ATDC/TAG CapVenture 2011 Notes

75 5th Street, Midtown Atlanta
Image by MikeSchinkel via Flickr

Tonight I had the chance to attend the CapVenture 2011 program put on by the ATDC and TAG. The panel, startup presenters, and fireside chat participants did a great job.


  • Gift giving site around preferences and tastes
  • Gift recs based on site, age, gender, preferences
  • Example: favorite clothing colors in size and see a selection of matching items (comes from the Product API)
  • Not event or item based (e.g. no wish lists)
  • Revenue model: affiliate commissions, greeting card sales, ads, partnerships
  • Goal of 2.5 – 5 million users in five years
  • Raising $500k for ongoing customer acquisition and feature enhancements


  • Gives devices the power to feel
  • Focused on touch tech market opportunity
  • Applications in automative, consumer electronics, and medical devices
  • Benefits: lower cost, more durable, and more efficient
  • Works in more environments like with gloves and fingernails
  • Revenue model is OEM (approx $1 per device)
  • Raising $1M

Blue Mammoth Games

  • Casual action MMO for your browser
  • Virtual characters in a shared world
  • Founded in May of 2009
  • Raised $300k
  • Opportunity: 115 million play casual games and MMOs bring in $8 billion/year
  • Dungeon Blitz – game built for casual gamer that rewards playing smaller chunks of the game
  • Launched 3/25 and over 16,000 users
  • Raising $700k
  • Want to expand to console and tablet as well as more games


  • Time machine for websites that automatically backs up the site on a regular basis
  • Serves the 50M SMB companies on shared hosting platforms
  • 95% of market is underserved
  • SaaS recurring revenue at $10/mo/site
  • Expanding development and marketing


  • Digital version of customer loyalty cards for retailers
  • Install an iPad at register and customers put their phone number in on the spot
  • Product gives more insight into loyal customers
  • Ability to more effectively segment customers
  • Focus in on bringing repeat loyal customers to clients
  • Email marketing and Facebook integration
  • Target: Counter service restaurants and salons
  • Started in April 2010
  • 61 locations and 30,000 users
  • Raising $250k

PinDrop Security

  • Bringing trust back to the phone
  • Won GRA/TAG 2011 business launch 2011
  • Phone fraud is easy to do via caller ID spoofing
  • Technology that shows every phone calls leaves a unique fingerprint based on the phone
  • Anti-Fraud Call Analyzer – deployed on site at a bank
  • Financial institutions, law enforcement, and time and attendance opps
  • Caller ID verification market: $540 million in 2011
  • Raised $255k
  • Raising $500k angel round

Tom Noonan – Fireside Chat Notes

  • Sold his condo in Boston and used his wife’s 401k to help fund ISS
  • Had 35 credit cards with different variations of his name to help fund ISS
  • “It’s hard to be an entrepreneur if you can’t sell”
  • Mentors include John Imlay and Sam Nunn
  • Sam helped get ISS in the center of the world policy debates about internet law
  • “Boards are under-emphasized in early stage companies”
  • “Board can’t have any friends (don’t recruit existing friends but rather find outsiders with good chemistry)”
  • 50% of the connected network’s energy is waster
  • $4 trillion a year total on electricity
  • 112 term sheets in four weeks for JouleX
  • 26 early stage investments not counting TechOperators
  • People send signals of coachability
  • “I find selfless people that are motivated — I’ll fund them all day long”
  • ISS management team had great chemistry but weren’t friends
  • 99% of the ISS success credit was to management team and employees
  • Couldn’t raise VC money until they signed three big customers

The ATDC/TAG event was well done and it was great to see these new startups present.

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