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BBVA Open Talent Acceleration in Empire Startup Summit with investors

11/12/2014 04:12

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Today was the second and last day of the Empire Startups Summit! The program couldn’t have been more exciting: Interesting panels, networking opportunities and, of course, the final of the speed pitching competition. Two of our winners were selected today as semifinalist! That means that almost half of the total semifinalists were #BBVAOpenTalents! Do you wanna know who won the competition? Keep reading!


This second day started at 8.45am with a fascinating panel of female entrepreneurs: Andrea Miller, from YourTango, Maisie Devine from Poacht, Sonali Anoush from Browsy, and moderated by Vivian Maese from Latham & Watkins. They discussed the difficulties of being a female entrepreneur and the keys to succeed: know your strengths, be “overcommunicative” and be committed. Are you taking notes?

“I think of entrepreneurs as courageous people. It’s a hard and lonely path,” said Vivian Maese.

After the speed pitching, there was an interesting panel about Fashion Tech. The panel dived into emerging companies within the Fashion, Fashion Tech, Retail and Branded Goods consumer sectors. The panel was composed by Heather Marie from Shoppable, Aubrie Pagano from Bow and Drape, Lisa Morales-Hellebo from NY Fashion Tech Lab and Asmau Ahmed from Plum Perfect. Some of the key aspects for the future of fashion, according to the panelists, will be social commerce, integrated brands and individual personalization thanks to big data.

“Consumers are changing; they are very savvy. The way we shop right now is going to change dramatically in 5 years,” said Heather Marie.

The next panel was about when to scale your startup. Simon Mansell from Sprinklr, Tereza Nemassany from Microsoft, Stephane Wyper from MasterCard Labs, and Rodofo Gonzalez from Foundation Capital shared their thoughts about the topic. When is a good time to scale your startup? Is that before or after developing it? They all seemed to agree that if someone gives you money for development, take it and then figure out how to do it. Great advice!

“Nail it before you scale it & sell it before you build it,” said moderator Gina Waldhom from evol8tion.

The last panel of the Empire Startups Summit was conducted by Jay Bhattacharya, CEO & co-founder of Zipmark. The main topic was the investability of Startups’ founders. Kamran Ansari, from Greycroft, Matt Turck from First Mark Cap, and Jim Brown from Long Ridge, discussed the attributes that make a good entrepreneur and talked about their vision as VCs. Jim Brown pointed out that, to invest in startup founders, they look for experience, coach-ability and track record. Matt Turck noted that the qualities that usually make a good CEO, like perseverance, can sometimes turn the CEO into an asshole. Even though you can be an asshole to work B2C, you can never hire one to work B2B since you need to win clients and enterprise accounts.

"Would you back an asshole?" One of the important questions tackled by the VCs.

In the speed pitching competition, today’s semifinalists were:

InsightMedi: A free photo sharing network for the Healthcare Community.

Bespoke App: A creative browser for visual minds.

MarketIQ: transforms sentiment into predictions for business outcomes.

And two of our winners!!!

AudioSnaps: An app to take pictures with sound and share them everywhere.

TransferGo: An app for sending money the smart way.

The outcome was that 4 of 10 semifinalists were #BBVAOpenTalent winners: Clause Match, Socure, AudioSnaps and TransferGo.

At 4.30pm sharp, the final winner was announced… Daumantas Dvilinskas from TransferGo! One of our winners! TransferGo is a low-cost money transfer company. Daumantes will receive a seed investment of a minimum of $10,000. Woo Hoo! Congratulations!!!

Daumantas Dvilinskas is congratulated by Jim Brown from Long Ridge.

For the rest of the #BBVAOpenTalents winners, we are sure that this has been a great opportunity to gain exposure, make connections and learn. We wish them the best of luck with their startups!!! We would also like to congratulate the Empire Startups team for organizing such a great event. We are looking forward to next year!

Our winners before saying good-bye to the Empire Startups Summit!


All NY Crash Acceleration Week

Day 1:

Learning best ones

Stop Endeavor

Day 2:

Keys NY Startup Scene

Video: How fundraising process us

Day 3

Challenging rewarding

David S Rose give us the recipe for the perfect pitching deck

Day 4

StartupBus Accelerate

Idea behind StartupBus

Day 5

Empire Startup Summit, Part I

Day 6

Empire Startup Summit, Part II