Nomi Foster, the CEO of Platypus TV, is one of the six CEOs who will pitch to investors at demo day for the StartFast Venture Accelerator on August 14th at the WCNY Public Television and Radio in Syracuse, NY.
“We're looking forward to demoing it for investors and mentors and, more importantly, putting it out there for the public,” says Foster of the team's app. “I will say, though, that all of this presenting practice has really helped hone my skills, especially since I haven't pitched in over a year. I now feel more comfortable speaking in public and much better with off-the-cuff.”
Since the end of May, six teams have been working out of StartFast, a mentorship-driven venture accelerator in downtown Syracuse. With renowned mentors and team members coming from as far as Australia, StartFast is truly a world-class accelerator.
“It’s been a great summer. These are really the best times I’ve had the opportunity to work with and the best set of interns and I’m really pleased with the support from the community, investors, and sponsors,” says Chuck Stormon, one of the managing directors at StartFast, serial entrepreneur and author of Start Fast!: How to Accelerate Your Software, Web, or Mobile Venture.
Every year, the accelerator chooses 5-10 software, mobile, and Internet companies that each receives $25,000. The six teams pitching include Platypus TV, Mass Mosaic, Wyzerr, Zursh, Instamour, and Interface Foundry.
“We modeled this program on TechStars in Boulder. Just the way that community has embraced startups, the Syracuse and surrounding communities have shown they want to help and support,” says Nasir Ali, another one of the StartFast managing directors, serial entrepreneur, angel investor, and CEO and cofounder of Upstate Venture Connect.
Additionally, according to their website, “StartFast’s managing directors have invested in and mentored more than 26 companies, enabling them to raise over $40 million (10x the original capital of their initial angel investments). To date, two of these companies have had exits.”
Regardless of what happens at Demo Day, many of the CEOs are grateful for the experience.
“This summer has taught the team a lot,” says Foster. “We're a stronger team than even we imagined, this idea will always be evolving, we're a lot more capable than even we thought, and, ultimately, we have a great CNY community behind us every step of the way.”