Last Friday, Novemeber 30, over 120 people joined inSITE fellows in celebrating the work that they’ve done this Fall semester at the InSITE’s Semi-Annual Final Pitch Event ‘InSITE Connect’ at Cooley LLP’s offices.
The event kicked off with some announcements by InSITE’s chairman Paul Tumpowsky. He revealed that InSITE is expanding outside of the city to Boston, Stanford and Washingdon DC, thanked all our partners and sponsors and listed some of the great achievements of InSITE alumni (more of this in a future post!).
Following Paul, founders and CEO’s of some of NY’s hottest early-stage startups, who presented in front of InSITE fellows and alumni, investors and a panel of VC’s including Brian Cohen (New York Angels), Weston Gaddy (Bain Capital Ventures), and Bob Greene (Countour Venture Partners).
The startups that presented, ReadrBoard, Fitocracy, TeachBoost, Uprise Art and Rosen Research, have been working with InSITE fellow teams throughout the semester. They pitched their companies, talked about how InSITE fellows helped them and received some tough questions and great feedback from the VC panelists. Just a few months back, they pitched to fellows to join the InSITE program and we were all proud with the progress that they’ve made.
After the pitches, several InSITE fellows presented the work they’ve been doing in special projects with some of the most important members of NY’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, including SONY ABC, 37 Angels, NYA project, E Health Accelerator, and also with some later stage startups such as 2U, Sherpaa,Recombine and Shake.
Blair Gardener, Senior Manager of Website Operations at 2U, one of the 10 VC-backed startups changing the world according to Forbes, discussed the education technology company’s work with InSITE on 2U’s newly announced Semester Online initiative. Semester Online is the first-of-its-kind program to offer rigorous, online, for-credit undergraduate courses through a consortium of top-tier colleges and universities. InSITE is excited to be working with 2U on this promising new initiative, helping 2U take a deep dive into Semester Online’s potential, from value added services to identifying unique use cases that this exciting new higher education offering makes possible.
Finally, Rony Chammas presented his research on gamification. His conclusions about the industry were threefold: 1) Consumers must receive a benefit for participating, 2) meet you audience where they live, 3) Be entertaining, relevant and meaningful.