Posts Tagged ‘TechCrunch’

Footnote’s Presentation at TechCrunch50

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

OK, my quick reactions to Footnote’s pitch to the TechCrunch50 event today:

  • Starting off with a personal vignette about attending a funeral… a good idea?  Worked for Arcade Fire, I guess.
  • Note to self… make sure that personal experiences I relate about deceased friends or relatives help my audience associate warm, positive feelings with our website.
  • Yikes… do VCs/serial entrepreneurs get the  genealogy space?  Another reason not to go looking for VC funding, perhaps.
  • Loic Le Meur’s concerns are likely shared by quite a few… among his points:
  • “Honestly, I find it disturbing.. i wouldn’t like to have my family exposed, can I opt out for my family?”
  • “I would hate to see a blank profile with my father’s name when he (and I) can’t control it.”
  • “Monetizing my family… I have a problem with that.”
  • Give the Footnote team credit for rolling with the punches.  They seemed confident, at ease, not defensive.  If I were them, I would have found the “you’re just like Ancestry” comment annoying… I thought they turned that one around well.

Footnote a TechCrunch50 Finalist

Monday, September 8th, 2008

TechCrunch50Footnote Logo

Congratulations to Footnote.com for being selected as a TechCrunch50 Finalist.  TechCrunch is a hugely influential website that spotlights the most promising up-and-coming Internet startups.  Each year they hold a highly-anticipated conference event where company founders pitch their business ideas to venture capitalists and the tech media.  Last year’s best presenting company was Mint.com, a personal finance startup that has gone on to secure $16.7M in Series A and B investments from Shasta Ventures and Benchmark Capital, among others.

Footnote will be making their TechCrunch50 presentation in San Francisco this Wednesday as part of a session entitled “Vertical Social Networking”.  They’ll go up against social networks for bird watchers, fashionistas, those looking to support social causes, and online gamers.

When I mention my involvement in a genealogy-related startup to potential investors, many are quick to dismiss the field as too “niche” to merit serious (i.e., venture-scale) investment.  To some extent, that reflects their own lack of familiarity with the field, but it also represents a fairly realistic assessment of what’s happened in the genealogy market to this point.  By choosing to showcase Footnote at their yearly “coming-out” party for startups, TechCrunch has signaled their view that Footnote could break out of the relatively narrow genealogy market vertical, garner mainstream customer traction and attract serious new investors.

In my view, this is great news for the genealogy community.  It should embolden entrepreneurs trying to bring innovative new family history products to market.  This in turn will help insure that the field doesn’t continue to be dominated by a few large players.  And of course, here at Genlighten, we hope it translates into accelerating growth in the market for Internet-enabled genealogy services.

Again, congratulations to the Footnote team!