NYU’s CrowdPitch: Space Exploration Startups and Beyond

With plans to be in New York City yesterday, I ended my day in Manhattan a little later by attending a two-hour pitch-fest at NYU’s Stern School of Business.

CrowdPitch’s concept is simple enough: an audience (students, would-be entrepreneurs, startup groupies, bloggers) act as angel investors with pretend dollars in which to fund startup ventures. The companies are real, though, and have four minutes to make their case for getting the make-believe moolah.

A panel of Stern professors and other industry experts are there to critique the presentations, crunch the numbers on the business models, and then offer advice for when these companies face real angels and VCs.

While the overall quality of the pitches was high, you quickly learn that to attract investors, startups should strive to be scalable, frictionless, and vertically integrated—biz speak for nice fat margins with minuscule marginal costs and no competition.Continue reading