It’s not easy to stand in front of a packed room of angel investors and venture capitalists and ask for money. But on Thursday afternoon, that’s exactly what 10 entrepreneurs attempted to do as part of Microsoft Windows Azure accelerator, a new incubator program supported by TechStars.
After months of preparation, Socedo founder Aseem Badshah took the stage for Demo Day in hopes of winning over the well-heeled crowd. He was blunt in his pitch, telling investors that he was looking to raise a $500,000 seed round for his lead generation service.
“We’ve already got $150,000 committed in our round, and we are going to use this capital to accelerate our product development and penetrate the market over the next year…” he said. “Communications channels are changing, and there are no tools to help sales teams leverage the power of social media. We are excited to chat with you after the presentation and discuss with you how you can join us on this journey to revolutionize the world of sales.”
Will investors bite?
Maybe. This much is sure. Microsoft’s Executive Conference Center was a target-rich environment for entrepreneurs. Venture capitalists such as Madrona’s Matt McIlwain and Voyager’s Bill McAleer and angel investors such as Geoff Entress and Charlie Kindel listened to the presentations, the first group of companies to emerge from the Windows Azure accelerator program.
Overall, the entrepreneurs seemed pleased.
BagsUp founder Ben Jackson, who hails from Australia and plans to move his family to Seattle in March, called the program an “awesome and transformative experience.” Here’s a look at the 10 companies which presented:
Appetas: Web site and mobile app creation tools for restaurant owners. Founders: Keller Smith and Curtis Fonger. Previous GeekWire coverage: Appetas wants to make restaurant sites absolutely delicious
Embarke: Analytics for messaging, delivering messages when consumers are most likely to engage. Founders: Al Bsharah and Bryan Hall
Keebitz: Automates affiliate marketing. Founders: Anne-Aymone Ferreira and Vincent Naigeon
Mobilligy: Changes how people pay their bills by bringing convenient, secure, and instant bill payment support to mobile devices. Founders: Steve Gordon, Tyler Griffin and Richard Chung.
Socedo: A simple and effective web application for lead generation and relationship management on social networks. Founder: Aseem Badshah
BagsUp: Online travel startup that taps into social networks to help people find great spots while traveling. Founder: Ben Jackson:
Fanzo: A ranking of sports fans. Previous GeekWire coverage: Sports social network Fanzo enters a very crowded field Founder: Paul Ingalls
MetricsHub: A cloud monitoring service with incident detection for remedying common problems. Founder: Charles Lammana.
RealtyMogul: A crowdfunding platform for real estate where accredited investors pool capital and invest in properties that are acquired, managed and eventually resold by professional private real estate companies and their management teams. Founder: Jilliene Helman
Staq: A game management platform to make it easy to monetize free-to-play games on mobile, web and consoles. Founders: Massimo Andreasi Bassi, Luca Martinetti and Francesco Simoneschi.
Here are some more photos from yesterday’s pitch event.