Some highlights from our participation in midVentures25 tonight:
- Several of the people I’ve met at local tech events like the Chicago Tech Meetup, the Lean Startup Circle Meetup, and the Hacker News Meetup stopped by our booth to say hi and wish us success with the judges.
- A large assortment of hip-seeming 20-somethings asked us what our startup was about and seemed surprisingly interested in finding out more about their family history.
- Several people said they’d seen or heard about either Faces of America or Who Do You Think You Are. Even more commented on the recent Oprah episode spotlighting WDYTYA.
- A representative of a local church expressed interest in having their records digitized. My wife got their contact info so we could connect them with officials from FamilySearch.
- The judges seemed to take us seriously and asked insightful questions that showed they “got” what Genlighten was about.
- We were selected as one of the five finalists from the 25 exhibiting startups, and were asked to give a 3-minute pitch to the panel of judges, which included local VCs and entrepreneurs. Andrew Mason of Groupon and Chuck Templeton of OpenTable were among them.
- Despite my nervousness, I managed to give our presentation without feeling hurried or stressed and I was able to answer the judges’ questions calmly and confidently.
- We didn’t win, but we nonetheless came away feeling like we’d had a successful and rewarding evening.