Full Recap of Techstars NYC 2015 Winter Demo Day

I am not exaggerating when I say that yesterday was one of my best days both at Techstars and my professional career. My second Techstars NYC batch took stage at the beautiful Skirball theater and delivered crisp, clear and compact pitches to the audience of over 500 investors, mentors, press and community members.

The companies truly shined. Everyone was just on. We had David Cohen and Brad Feld on stage. The event went without a glitch. And afterwards my inbox was just flooded with great notes from all the attendees and folks who followed the event through media.

Thank you to the companies, Techstars staff, and attendees for making this event so awesome. Here is the re-cap.


David Cohen opened the event and talked about Techstars equity back guarantee and 1% pledge.


I took the stage next to thank our incredible mentors.


Here is a video that companies made to thank their mentors:

Spoon University

Mackenzie Barth, CEO of Spoon University was the first one to present. Spoon University is a food network for the next generation. They have experienced more than 10x growth in the last 4 months, and now have 2.5MM uniques. Spoon University is building a new type of media company: a true network. 3K students contribute content from 100 campuses around US.


Cartesian Co

Ariel Briner, took the stage next. Cartesian Co enables rapid electronics prototyping with their desktop 3D printer for circuit boards. Think MakerBot for electronic circuits. To make this technology possible, Cartesian team had to invent a new kind of ink. To date they’ve sold $300K worth of printers to both hobbyists and big names like Google and NASA.


Moisey Uretsky co-founder of Digital Ocean has was named top mentor for Cartesian Co.

He made this awesome video to introduce the company.

Here is the demo of Cartesian Co printer in action.


Alexandre Strzelewicz, CEO of Keymetrics, came to Techstars by way of Paris. He took the stage next. Keymetrics offers a real-time platform for managing and monitoring NodeJS applications. Their open-source product, PM2, has been downloaded more than 600K times and grew 14x in the last 12 months, and is now seeing 40% MoM growth. Keymetrics powers tens of thousands of websites around the world and has Intuit, PayPal, and Southwest Airlines among their beta customers.



Brandon Paton, a serial entrepreneur, a Y Combinator alum, took the stage next to present his new company. Localize offers localization as a service, and helps translate your website with one line of code. They make a typically painful process completely painless with no dev effort. The company now has 150 paying customers and served translated pages to over 10MM unique visitors in March. Localize has been experiencing rapid growth, averaging 15% revenue and customer growth WoW.


Stefan’s Head

Next up was Satty, CEO of Stefan’s Head, the first text-message driven retail brand. Looking for something off the beaten path? Look no further. Whimsical Stefan is your weekly shopping concierge and companion. He dreams up cool, limited edition products and texts you when the next one is ready. Hurry, if you snooze, Stefan will offload his stuff to other peeps. To get on the list: TXT STEFAN: 646-759-0904.


Data Camp

Jonathan, CEO of Data Camp was up on stage next. DataCamp is an online data science school that offers hands-on courses using video lessons and interactive coding challenges. Over 100K data scientists have signed up. DataCamp is ramping up its monthly revenue via subscriptions, and have partnered with GA, Coursera, top universities, Microsoft, IBM and Accenture.


Update on other Techstars companies in NYC

Next I took the stage again to give an update about other Techstars companies in NYC. We had some pretty great data to share with everyone.

Payal Kadakia, CEO of Class Pass, an amazing Techstars company in NYC, addressed the Demo Day attendees.

Bento Box

Next on stage was Krystle, CEO of Bento Box. This company offers restaurants a platform to manage mobile-first websites, marketing and operations. Over 100 restaurants in NYC, including Union Square Hospitality Group, Spotted Pig, Breslin and Meatball Shop are using Bento Box today. The company is seeing 30% MoM growth, and is now expanding to other cities.



Thierry, CEO of Stream took the stage to talk about new kind of data store designed for building, scaling and personalizing feeds. 500K apps have feeds in them and they keep re-inventing the wheel. Much like Elasticsearch changed the game for search, Stream is making building feeds easy. The company has 100 customers, and has seen 50% growth WoW in Techstars. They served 10MM feed requests in March, and have Rhapsody, eToro, and StockTwits in beta.


Unique Sound

Roman, serial entrepreneur in music space, took the stage next to present his new company. Unique Sound is a platform for composers and sound creatives to showcase their work and get hired. As the mobile video is growing the demand for high quality original music grows with it. UniqueSound now has a database of 1,000 composers who have done projects for L’Oreal, Mandarin Oriental, and Samsung.


Here is the amazing music made by one of Unique Sound composers for Nissan.


Shane Scranton an architect by training, took the stage next to talk about how virtual reality will impact the way we experiencing spaces. irisVR builds software to share, edit, and visualize 3D models in virtual reality. With their platform people can experience spaces in VR before they are built. IrisVR helps save money on costly updates and post-construction changes. IrisVR has 1,200 beta signups including top AEC (architecture, engineering, construction) firms in NYC.



Joseph Fasone was the last CEO to present. Pilot is a new kind of internet provider for businesses. It is fiber-based, 10x faster than Google Fiber, features transparent pricing, 100% uptime guarantee and white glove service. Pilot built smart software that helps guarantee speed and makes it easy to manage internet in the office. They have 150 customers in NYC, 30% MoM growth and will be soon expanding to Chicago.


KJ Singh, who is running Techstars NYC program with me, took the stage next to thank our sponsors, associates and hackstars.

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KJ announced our special guest, Brad Feld, who took the stage and talked about the evolution of NYC Techstars and how we now have had the most technical batch to date.


Finally, we called all the companies on stage to with them the best of luck.

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Here is some media coverage. A nice re-cap from Alley Watch and Business Insider. Entrepreneur magazine had an inspirational piece. Erin Griffith wrote a piece for Fortune magazine. Mashable made great videos of Cartesian and IrisVR, you can watch them here. Also check out Business Insider’s profiles of Spoon University and Stefan’s Head, and my post about real tech that companies built from earlier this week. In addition Entrepreneur magazine ran another round up piece here, and here is an article from Xconomy commenting on the technical strength of the batch.

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Alex Iskold View All →

Engineer, Immigrant. Vegan. 3x Founder, Managing Partner @2048vc. Previously ran @techstars in NYC. I write #startuphacks: http://alexiskold.net .

6 Comments Leave a comment

  1. This is amazing – the coverage AND the recap itself!!

    Congratulations on such a hugely successful event.

    Really look forward to meeting you. πŸ™‚

    Kerri Shea Beers Techstars Director of Marketing 303.746.5346


    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was bummed because I was unable to make the event. But this was terrific, Alex, thanks. It looks like a strong contender for the best combination of Demo Day class and Demo Day event ever.

    Liked by 1 person