Let’s STIRR Things Up A Bit – Web 2.0 Event Soars to New Heights, Part I

Stirr Mixer 1.8

STIRR has set the bar pretty high, and it has earned its place as the reigning champ for monthly tech/Web 2.0 business events. Note, that I will stop using words such as “mixer” and “networking event” because they cast a horrible misconception on what STIRR is really all about.

The secret of STIRR’s success is that its founders, Sanford Barr, Sean Ness, and Dan Arkind carefully screen their invite only (and wait list application) lists in order to fill the room with people that really are start-up founders, VCs, CEOs, serial entrepreneurs, bloggers, reporters, and influencers.

STIRR 1.8 was no different. In fact, I’d say that it raised the stakes again. This time, the event was held at illusions night club in Palo Alto (formerly The Edge). But there wasn’t an over bearning DJ or regular club goers poisoning the mix, this was STIRR’s night – and it was almost bub.blicio.us.

There was incredible food, a packed room of tech movers and shakers, and not to mention a huge stage complete with lighting. Presenters had their shot at rockstardom to kick off their 60 seconds of fame in true style.

Our own Alison McNeill was on location capturing videos (post #2 following shortly)

On to the “Original 60 Second Spot ™”

Host, Rafe Needleman of CNET and the new CNET Webware, kicked things off with a bang – again. He does a good job, and definitely keeps these guys on track. He also asks the questions that add relevance and perspective to the 60-second presentation.


Photo Credit, Jameson Hsu, MochiMedia

On to the presenters…

frucall
Frucall, Nasser Manesh, Co-Founder & CTO

This is a very cool service especially during this holiday shopping season. I’ve been using it all the time and saving a lot.All you have to do is to call Frucall (1-888-363-7822) and key in the barcode of the product you’re interested in. Frucall tells you what the best online prices for that item is. You can do all kinds of other things with Frucall like purchasing the item, bookmarking, voice notes, etc.

Kongregate
Kongregate, Jim Greer, Co-founder & CEO

Kongregate is a casual-games start-up dedicated to creating an infectious community site for players and developers. They’re currently in an “alpha” testing phase and looking for enthusiastic players and developers of Flash games. They want to create the leading online hub for players and game developers to meet up, play games, and operate together as a community.

They’re basically hoping to land recognition and compensation for aspiring game developers and make it fun and easy for people to come play. Kongregate shares microtransaction and advertising revenue with contributing developers, who retain the full rights to their games.

Krugle
Krugle, Steve Larsen, Co-Founder & CEO

Krugle is a (another) search engine but this time, its specifically for developers. Krugle provides programmers a single place to quickly find the source code they need, the information they need to evaluate it, and the tools they need to share it. It quickly finds and reviews source codes, finds code-related technical information and lets you save, annotate and share your search results with others (all in one application).

liftopia
Liftopia, Evan Reece, Co-Founder

Liftopia aspires to become the #1 online seller of lift tickets. Their goal is to provide you with top value lift tickets, every day of the week. Through their resort partnerships they can give serious deals, many of which can’t be found anywhere else. They’re also constantly working to bring more resorts in to Liftopia and add more selection. Good. Everything costs too much as it is. I also enjoy “Sliding on the Cheap,” but this might be a better resource. We’ll see.

Charles River

STIRR Sponser, Charles River Ventures shook things up with the announcement of their new QuickStart program – which had the room buzzing, and, in all honesty, this is something I’m asked for my opinion on to this day.

CRV has created an innovative program to eliminate these issues and help entrepreneurs get up and running quickly – the CRV QuickStart Seed Funding Program. CRV QuickStart provides select entrepreneurs with a loan to fund the work needed to build out your idea, enabling you to explore its potential in its earliest stage before you raise a round of formal equity financing. By offering up to $250,000 in the form of a loan (also referred to as a “convertible note”), we’re providing the capital to fuel ideas without that painful seed-stage dilution.

If CRV loans your company $100,000 with a six percent interest rate, and six months later the company closed a Series A round, at that point the loan balance (with interest) would convert at a 25% discount (value = loan dollar amount plus interest / .75) into $137,333.33 worth of Series A stock. Given that seed funding amounts are typically very small compared to the amounts one might expect to raise in a Series A round, as the example illustrates, the aggregate discount amount, in this case $37K, is a tiny fraction of what tends to be a multimillion dollar Series A financing.

I find it very interesting and would like to revisit it a bit more later.

Other folks I had a chance to meet anc catch up with include:

Reno Marioni, CEO, pointr
Julie Sloane, Editor at large, Fortune Small Business magazine
Paul Pattison, Founder, CEO, Picture Cloud
Tara Anderson, Marketing/PR, Valleyschwag
Jennifer Gee, cofounder, Homeslyce
Kurt Collins, Manager, Business Development, PhotoBucket
Bruno Haid, Head of Strategy, System One
James Hong, cofounder, HOTorNOT
Dave McClure, Master of…, 500 Hats
Christopher Carfi (blog), CEO, Cerado, Inc.
James Yu (blog), Founder, BuzzShout
VicPodcaster, HotfromSiliconValley
Megan McCarthy, Valleywag
John Furrier, PodTech
Daya Baran, Chief Gruuve, GRUUVE and President of WebGuild
Sunny Madra, Founder, Posticky
Gregory Narain (blog), CEO/Founder, Social Roots
Jessica Hardwick (blog), CEO, SwapThing
Alexander Mouldovan, CEO, Crowd Factory
Alex Limberis, CEO, LifeBits
Min Jung Kim (blog), Marketing Manager, Photobucket
Jeffrey McManus (blog), Chief Seeker of Approval, Approver.com
Karim Tahawi, CEO & Founder, My Currency Co
Mital Poddar (blog), VP Marketing, SwapThing
Kenneth Shaw, cofounder, HomeSlyce
Benjamin Hill, Co-Founder, Mycroft (Now Inchorus)
Mike Masnick and Dennis Yang of Techdirt

I know I met many more people and I apologize if I didn’t include you on the list. I need to make sure I get business cards from everyone!

Again, it was an incredible and highly productive evening. Now, I’m looking forward to STIRR’s Winter Wonderland Holiday Event next month.

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ABOUT ME

Brian Solis is a digital analyst, anthropologist, and also a futurist. In his work at Altimeter Group, Solis studies the effects of disruptive technology on business and society. He is an avid keynote speaker and award-winning author who is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders in digital transformation.

His most recent book, What's the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. In 2009, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.

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