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You're invited to the 3rd DukeGEN Angel Pitch Event in San Francisco on June 1, 2011

posted Feb 17, 2011, 5:54 PM by Michael S. Cann Jr.   [ updated Jun 1, 2011, 5:25 PM by Howie Rhee ]
DukeGEN is hosting its third Angel Pitch Event.  We received 50 applications from startups founded by Duke alumni and students, and have selected seven of the startups to pitch at our event on June 1st at RocketSpace in San Francisco.  All Duke alumni, students, faculty, parents and invited guests are welcome to attend this free event.

Sponsored by

Thanks to Steve Allan '08

Thanks to Richard Allan Horning '69

Date:  Wednesday June 1, 2011 
Time:  6-9pm
Location:  RocketSpace - 181 Fremont St., San Francisco
Questions:  Contact Michael S. Cann Jr. T '95, Matt Koidin B '05, or Howie Rhee B '04 (
RSVP:  Click here to RSVP for this event.
Watch on Ustream: - event will begin at 6:30pm

Here are the Duke startups which will be presenting:
  • CommuterRx - Commuter benefits, fueled by Android
    • Team Lead: Benjamin Picard '07
    • Location: Fairfax, CA
  • Dynamo Micropower - Cheap power dense distributed power
  • Happy Toy Machine - Design your own toys online
  • LoudSauce - crowdfunded media buying platform
  • Rentcycle - OpenTable for product rentals
  • Ribbons - enable earnest friend job recommendations
    • Team Lead: Anthony Bishopric '08
    • Location: San Francisco, CA
    • Website:
  • Youbibi - China Travel Search 2.0

This video shows three of the presentations given by Duke founders at our early stage investor event at Dogpatch Labs in SF last year and should provide a sense of the format of the event for those who were unable to attend.

The investor panel includes the following individuals, who have built and sold companies for $1.4B:
  • Jim Scheinman T '88 of Maven Ventures, his early stage investment fund.  With over 15 years experience, Jim is a serial entrepreneur, angel investor, and adviser to consumer internet and mobile start-ups.  He is a pioneer in social networking and engagement marketing.  Jim is best known for his role as employee number one at Bebo, the third largest social network when it was acquired by AOL in early 2008 for $850M.  He was also the first business employee at Friendster.  Maven Ventures was the first investor in Social Gold which sold to Google in 2010 & is currently an investor/adviser at Tango, the leading mobile video call platform; and PageOnce, the leading mobile personal finance app. 
  • Josh Felser T '86, B '90 of Freestyle Capital, an early stage venture capital fund designed to fill the void between retreating angels and venture capitalists moving into later stage investments.  Josh is a seed investor and serial entrepreneur. He is the co-founder of Freestyle Capital, Spinner (first Internet music service, sold to AOL for $320mm), Grouper/Crackle (video sharing service, sold to Sony for $65mm) & (health information, launched in April 2010). He is also on the board of Duke's Center for Entrepreneurship.

  • Ryan Spoon T '03 of Polaris Ventures, a venture capital firm specializing in seed and early stage investments in companies engaged in the information technology and life sciences sectors.  Ryan was the founder of beRecruited, the nation's number one online networking destination for high school student-athletes seeking recruitment from college coaches and universities.  beRecruited was acquired in 2007.  Ryan worked for four years at eBay where he focused on user acquisition and launched and ran Kijiji (eBay's U.S. classified advertisements site).  He also served as VP of Marketing at Widgetbox, a widget distribution platform.
  • Aaron Patzer E '02, founder and CEO of Mint, a free, simple, and secure personal finance web application which consolidates your financial life in one place.  Aaron became the Vice President and General Manager of the Personal Finance Group at Intuit when that company acquired for US$170M in November 2009.  Prior to Mint, Aaron was a Lead Architect as Nascentric and the technical lead of the San Jose office.  Aaron was selected by Fortune Magazine to the Top 40 Entrepreneurs Under 40 in 2009 and Money Magazine named him as one of the top 8 Money Heroes of 2008.  He has twelve patents issued or pending to his name.

As with last year, the winning teams will be connected with "super angels" in Silicon Valley (thanks to Josh Felser).

Several of the companies which presented at last year's event have made significant progress since then.  RefYo, co-founded by Ed Spiegel E '99 and Kevin Lochner E '99 has tripled its revenues and turned down funding offers in favor of growing organically.  CoverHound, founded by Basil Enan T '03, has signed contracts with eight major auto insurance providers and recently joined the most recent AngelPad class.  Zipongo (fka FitNet), founded by Dr. Jason Langheier M '09, is in the process of closing an angel round, which includes some prominent investors from the valley.

RSVP:  Click here to RSVP for this event.

Watch on Ustream: - event will begin at 6:30pm

Presented by:
Michael S. Cann Jr. T '95 - Event Lead
Matt Koidin B '05 - Operations Lead
Shea DiDonna B '10
Basil Enan T '03
Howie Rhee B '04

Sponsored by:

Thanks to Steve Allan '08

Thanks to Richard Allan Horning '69