Wednesday, August 15, 2007

DEMO Alumni and the Pleasure of a Startup Launch

I didn't realize I was part of yet another network of people connected by the tag "DEMO Alumni" till recently as there was a DEMO Alumni party last night:-)

I had launched Coola at DEMO in 2000. Launching at DEMO has been a life changing, career changing for sure, experience for me.

Chris Shipley has been working for 20 years identifying new technologies and providing a beautiful launch pad with DEMO conferences.

I have the greatest respect for her eye for spotting promising technologies and winning teams. You can see the list of successful companies who launched at DEMO and exited or IPOed. For those who do not exit their first startup, you can still see future success of the same founders.

Chris Shipley helps shape the business concept by asking smart questions, listening and helping the teams figure out their blind spots and package the company with a clear launch checklist which makes DEMO a fun and unique event and going to DEMO an exciting time for all DEMO companies.

Recently I've been involved in the DEMO process (hush, can't tell you anymore now) and am impressed at how well-oiled an engine it is with a weekly calendar listing deliverables to get ready to launch for DEMO. This will help the new kids from school who come with a cool technology to define launch with such a high bar set getting ready their product, web site, brand identity, press kits, getting ready with all aspects of launch marketing, DEMO presentation honing your pitch and Exhibit Stall to showcase your product and a media wish list for targeted PR.

I think of getting to present in DEMO as setting high your standards on the business side of your business and a good start for anybody's career.

My favorite DEMO Alumni serial entrepreneurs are Vincent Paquet and Craig Walker, who build Dialpad, sold to Y!, most recently build Grandcentral sold to Google. I've been a Grandcentral fan right from the start and noticed how they set about meticulously building their company, stitching themselves into the ecosystem, scaling site content to show company growth and incrementally improving user communications all DEMO style.

Hope to see you at DEMO again and next year at the DEMO party!

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