The best way to get a meeting with Ellie Wheeler of Greycroft Partners is if it’s through a warm introduction. If you’re unsure as to what such a thing would entail, don’t worry: it isn’t nearly as daunting as it sounds. All it means is that Wheeler is more likely to see an entrepreneur if has been introduced by someone she trusts.
It also helps if you attend events like Entrepreneurs Roundtable, where Wheeler was the latest guest investor, and where she readily answered questions during the Q&A – and made herself available afterwards.
Things to know about Ellie Wheeler:
- Prior to her work at Greycroft, she evaluated opportunities at Lowercase Capital.
- Prior to that, she worked at Cisco in Corporate Development.
- She also worked briefly at DN Capital, a London-based firm, which had a focus on early stage ecommerce companies.
Currently based in New York City, Wheeler’s focus is on B2B, B2C commerce innovation, marketplaces and mobile applications.
The idea behind Sportmantel is to allow users to easily edit longer videos, annotating them into highlights and the interesting parts. As most people do not watch longer videos, Regina Rossi, the Founder and CEO, hopes that by doing this it will mean more people will watch them.
For example, a 20-minute Olympic fencing match can be cut down to 5 minutes. In keeping with this example, part of the current teams consists of Olympic competitors who want the increase exposure of their respective sports.
It will not only be sports videos, though: the goal is to take every video longer than 5 minutes and annotate it such that none will be longer than 5 minutes.
“We want to cut the fat out of videos,” said Rossi.
While Sportmantel is starting with a crowdsourcing approach, the goal is to create an algorithm that will be able to make the annotations automatically. In keeping with this goal they are studying how individuals annotate the videos and learning how to apply that same methodology to an algorithm.
Eventually they hope to create a tool to embed in all current video players, so as to increase the amount of videos that can be easily annotated.
Simpli.st wants to make it easier to create warm connections. As explained earlier, a warm connection is nothing more than an introduction, so what simpli.st has set out to do is streamline how we think about our network of connections and make it easier to introduce people with a skill set to those who need someone with that skill set.
“We’re making networks work better,” said founder Ron J. Williams, “we’re not trying to replace current networks, like LinkedIn.”
Instead of forcing you to thumb through a rolodex of business cards or scroll through a spreadsheet of contacts, Simpli.st will easily compile a list of connections. So while you would normally spend a full work day putting together a list of contacts who could get a job done, Simpli.st would do that same job in 10 minutes.
In addition, if you are looking for someone with a particular skill, all you would need to do is put it into Simpli.st and it would give you a link to send to co-workers and contacts. Just by clicking on this link, Simpli.st would scour their contacts looking for someone to help you.
“It’s there to simplify your workflow,” said Williams.
AcuteIQhas a focus on mid-tier publishers who have passionate audiences, but can’t always get to them. What AcuteIQ does is it finds these audiences and drives them to the appropriate content publishers.
AcuteIQ only makes money when the publishers make money – specifically a 30% cut of that money.
For mid-tier publishers, scale + research = revenue. AcuteIQ is there to help provide the scale and the research needed to get the larger audience tuning in.
Zenly provides video tours of apartments and allows prospective tenants to rent said apartments without a broker.
“You’ll never find a fake listing,” said founders Omer and Isaac Pakla.
Photographers will go down to the apartment to shoot stills and tape a video tour after learning about free rooms for rent from the building managers. Once listings are up, users can complete the entire rental process online, quickly and safely. This way, it’s more efficient than a broker – and cheaper, since Zenly only charges a 5% fee instead of a 10% or 15% one that a broker might charge. The beta launched in June and is currently servicing only parts of the city, though they are expanding to cover not only the rest of it, but parts of Jersey as well.