A quick note on the pitiful quality of this video: I was holding off on posting my videos from Refresh Miami Demo Night, because I kept hoping that others that used dedicated camcorders to video the event would post theirs. The lighting at the show was positioned behind the presenters and so my iPhone couldn’t cope with the lack of lighting in front and the glare of the lighting behind the speakers. I’ve edited as best I can to enhance the lighting, but you really will have difficulty seeing faces. I also cut out background noise hoping to improve the sound that the iPhone is capable of recording, but that creates other audio funkiness. I’ll have a dedicated camcorder for the next show.
Below is video of the pitch by Michael Gitter, CEO of Miami Startup DoYouRemember.com at Refresh Miami‘s Demo Night. Michael and I will be meeting next week to discuss his company and what they are doing technologically and as a business to grow. Michael and others felt a bit slighted by my previous coverage of Miami Demo Night, because I didn’t mention their name despite the fact that they won the judges’ award for best pitch. My focus from that night was based upon my interest in fostering technology startups in Miami, but I’ve since reconsidered and have decided to cover as many viable startups as I can including our own client companies that may or may not have a technology play. One of the lessons I’ve learned in the last 26 years of my professional life, that rushing to judgement in terms of the viability and value of a company is a silly thing to do. The technology and web world is filled with examples of people thinking an idea had no merit only to watch it become a multi-billion dollar organization.So, I am going to apply what I have learned, give everyone a shot, and then still make my own personal call about the value of a product and we’ll see how things play out.
There is a market for Do You Remember and they seem to have a solid plan and a good team assembled and my neglect to cover them in my previous post was not a reflection on whether or not I think they can succeed as a business, but rather whether I thought there was anything valuable from a technology perspective in order to continue to grow our technology ecosystem here in Miami and South Florida. Michael Gitter is adamant that they have some cool technology for me to see, so I am going to venture over to Venture Hive to take a look at what they have and where they are headed. Certainly nostalgia is a huge market and there are no big focused players in the space, so we’ll see what they have and report back next week and we’ll get into technology and the business model.
About judges for these events: It’s my understanding that at least 2 of the judges had some investment, program, and/or mentoring relationship with the contestants and had to recuse themselves from the final voting so that effectively a 4 judge panel became 2 when it came down to choosing the best pitch and company. It would seem to me that we could find solid judges for these competitions that don’t have a potential conflict of interest with the contestants in these technology startup contests here in Miami. It just doesn’t look good when they recuse themselves and if they don’t recuse themselves, then it looks very old school Miami and that’s the last thing this growing community needs right now. I realize we are still growing and finding our way and it can be difficult to put all the pieces together, but that shouldn’t be something we have to be concerned about.
Update: It looks like DoYouRemember.com has received a $1 million investment. VentureBeat doesn’t say by whom, but I’ll check into it. Great to see some money flowing in this town. No posts anywhere on their site about it and I can’t find a blog or news section on the DoYouRemember site.