Earlier in April, Pando Projects won the $25,000 prize at the WeMedia Pitch It! Challenge in NYC. Below is me, accepting a massive check that later served as an umbrella, as we walked home in the rain.
About 170 people submitted ideas for businesses. 8 finalists were selected to give our 8 minute pitches before 150 people and a panel of judges. It was one of the coolest experiences of my life. As a former high school drama geek, I relish in the opportunity to stand up before an audience and tell my story.
I was able to connect with some amazing people, including:
- Craig Newark, the founder of CraigsList. We talked about squirrels (he loves them; I hate them.) We also talked about CraigConnects. He claims that I sound like Sarah Jessica Parker when I speak into a microphone.
- Charlie O’Donnell, a Principal at First Round Capital. He advised me to take a few months and do in-depth market research to understand the web product we’re creating. He’s also ridiculously nice and made me less scared of venture capitalists.
- Esther Dyson, an Angel Investor who invested in Flickr and MeetUp. She hooked me up to speak at New York Tech MeetUp last week. I crave more time with her, but she seems very busy.
- Steve Rosenbaum, author of “Curation Nation.” He strongly recommended that I set Pando up as a for-profit business, and offered to introduce me to investors if I do. He has a really great mind (and an office that looks like a leggo set.)
Here is a video of me, after the win! http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10150561183455217