You’re Never Done Building When You’re Tackling Big Issues, Says Brad Svrluga

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Brad Svrluga

There was a time when every other tech event was a pitching competition. While their popularity has declined in favor of tech’s innovative event of choice –hackathons – Entrepreneurs Roundtable just had their 77th iteration, and they’re still going strong.

Having done this for six years and having launched their own accelerator Entrepreneurs Roundtable can easily be counted as one of the best pitching events relatively new entrepreneurs looking for a seed round can attend or participate in looking to get an edge in immersing themselves in the business.

Held at Microsoft headquarters in Times Square, five startups, including one chosen from the audience, pitched and received feedback from keynote speaker High Peak VenturesBrad Svrluga.

Svrluga spoke about his years of experience at first working with a firm, and then starting his own, High Peak, which invests at the seed stage in SaaS, e-commerce, and enterprise companies. High Peak’s TXVIA’s sold to Google in 2012 and was one of the firm’s many successes.

We view our job not as an oracle but as general practitioner. Our job is to be a diagnostician and build a network of resources in the form of deep domain experts,” said the investor.

After he spoke, Svrluga took questions from the audience. One audience member asked what’s the biggest difference between the firm he runs now and the one he worked for in the 90s? Brutally honest and funny, Svrluga answered “I have a fucking clue versus I didn’t.” He also revealed that, through the years, he learned the importance of investing in the entrepreneur rather than the product. His firm evaluates whether a founder is incredibly smart, as well as humble. He asks if they are incredible learners, self-reflective and honest with themselves.



Beauty box subscriptions have exploded in recent years, with companies like Birchbox, CurlBox and others springing up to satiate the everyone’s inner beauty junkie and every grooming habit. As much as women and – increasingly – men love testing items at minimal risk, there comes that time when not everyone is going to love everything they receive. eDivv seeks to capitalize on an already underground market where beauty box customers trade their unwanted items. According to cofounder Casey Casterline, roughly 10,000 people were trading the beauty products they didn’t want. Beauty items is just the beginning, as the company is looking to expand into gift card subscriptions and other unwanted items. They’re already in talks with brands such as Sephora to make it even easier to extend the life of beauty items so that they never go to waste.


More startups…


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About the author: Fikriyyah George

Fikriyyah George is a freelance writer with a BA in Journalism from SUNY New Paltz. She covers events and startups for local blogs. She’s especially enamored with the convergence of new technology spurring innovation in well-established industries.

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