midVenturesLAUNCH: Day Two
Oct 1, 2010 4:22 PM –
UIC Forum: Home of midVenturesLAUNCH
The second day of midVenturesLAUNCH was even more exiting than the first with the LAUNCH and COMPETE companies getting to show off their hard work. Besides the booths there were exciting panels, keynotes, and demonstrations on the big stage.
There were three panel discussions. From Concept to Product: How Incubators Help Seed-Stage Startups featured venture partners and founders of companies that started in technology incubators such as Adam Goldstein from Hipmunk and Nikhil Sethi from Adapt.ly. Mark Wilson, a contributor to Gizmodo, moderated Early-Stage Startups, a great panel discussion covering what startups can do to get customers and find funding for their projects. The last panel of the day was The 3 Stages of Not Being Silicon Valley. This keynote panel featured prominent people in Chicago’s exploding tech scene talking about how Chicago and the Midwest is gearing up to be the next tech-center of the United States. Sitting in that room you could feel just what they were talking about.
Keynote Panel at midVenturesLAUNCH
The three keynote speeches were very informative. Scott A. Jones, the Founder and CEO of ChaCha, spoke about how ChaCha started and why it’s become such a force in mobile search. Steve Huffman, Co-Founder of both Reddit and Hipmunk, was the youngest on stage, but his fresh perspective of the growing mobile and web based world was insightful. Brad Keywell, the Co-Founder of Groupon, MediaBank, and Lightbank, gave wonderful advice on how to build your new business specifically in the Midwest.
Brad Keywell, the Co-Founder of Groupon, MediaBank, and Lightbank
Steve Huffman, Co-Founder of both Reddit and Hipmunk
When the big stage was empty, you got a chance to talk to the 35 startups hoping to with the big $150,000 prize. What I particularly liked about these startups were that although most of them did not have a mobile application they were almost all considering ways to go mobile. Web-based tools like 60mo, Element Bars, and StatsMix are looking for ways to get off the big screens and into your hand. It was nice to see apps that we’re already familiar with, like HuddleHub, Mobestream Media (Key Ring), and PerBlue, showing off their handywork as well.
Familiar companies were launching there as well; ChaCha, hipmunk, Windows Phone…wait, did I just say Windows Phone? That’s right folks, we got a live look at Windows Phone 7 and we were kind enough to put up a video for you to take a look as well.
Some less familiar, but no less awesome, companies were there as well. Beyond Gaming is my new favorite with the potential to go mobile pretty easily. My new favorite that should have been mobile from the get-go is bumped.in! It’s like a foursquare for business! If these two companies get mobile apps out there, I see them exploding!
The big winner of the night was Wearable with their product, the AirStash, a wireless solution to storage on the go. It’s like a media server in your pocket! Congratulations to them!
The night concluded with an after party at District Bar in Chicago, a fun and relaxing way to conclude such a wonderful Midwest tech event. Looking at the turnout, energy, and excitement for midVenturesLAUNCH, there is no doubt that the Midwest is becoming something very important in the technology world.