Startup pitch competition: Jason invests 25K | E1725 | Summary and Q&A

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April 20, 2023
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This Week in Startups
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Startup pitch competition: Jason invests 25K | E1725

TL;DR

Founders pitch their startups at Founder University Showcase, where they receive feedback and a chance to win a $25,000 investment.

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Key Insights

  • ❓ Founder University is a 12-week program that supports early-stage startup founders.
  • 📞 The showcase provides an opportunity for founders to pitch their startups and receive feedback from experienced investors.
  • 💡 The program focuses on helping builders develop their ideas and create valuable companies.
  • 🛄 Founder University aims to provide ongoing support and resources to founders beyond the program.
  • 😉 The showcase also offers an opportunity for founders to win a $25,000 investment.
  • 👀 The program looks for founders who have experience in product development.
  • ❓ Founder University fosters entrepreneurship and offers a platform for founders to connect with mentors and investors.

Transcript

hey everybody hey everybody welcome to another episode of this week in startups we've got another great founder University showcase for you today what happens uh during this podcast is very simple couple people pitch me their idea uh and they show me their product I use my Spidey Sense my unique ability to look into the soul of Founders and find ou... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What is Founder University and what is the purpose of the program?

Founder University is a 12-week program that supports early-stage startup founders in building their companies. The program offers mentorship and guidance to help founders develop their ideas and create valuable businesses.

Q: How does the Founder University showcase work?

During the showcase, founders pitch their startups to experienced investors. The investors provide feedback and evaluate the startups for potential investment. The showcase also offers an opportunity for founders to win a $25,000 investment.

Q: What is the criteria for startups to participate in Founder University?

Founder University looks for builders who have experience in product development, either through building previous products or working on related projects. The program is open to early-stage founders who are looking to create significant value through their startup idea.

Q: How does Founder University support founders beyond the 12-week program?

Founder University aims to provide ongoing support to founders even after the program ends. This includes potential investment opportunities, networking, and access to resources that can help founders grow their businesses.

Summary

In this episode of This Week in Startups, Jason Calacanis showcases two pitches from participants of Founder University, a 12-week program where Calacanis invests $25,000 in startups. The first pitch is from Alexandra, founder of Humm, a dating app that focuses on mindfulness and well-being in the dating process. The second pitch is from Russell, founder of Cyberfilm AI, a tool that uses AI to help filmmakers create movies by generating ideas, scripts, and storyboards. Calacanis provides feedback and advice to both founders.

Questions & Answers

Q: What is Founder University, and what types of individuals and teams do they look for?

Founder University is a 12-week program where participants pitch their startup ideas and products to receive investment from Jason Calacanis. They are looking for early-stage founders who have built something and want to create massive value in the world.

Q: How does Humm differentiate itself from other dating apps, and what inspired its creation?

Humm focuses on bridging the gap between mental wellness and dating by making the dating process intrinsically rewarding. The founder, Alexandra, was inspired to create Humm based on her own dating experiences and the realization that the current dating landscape leads to burnout and distress.

Q: Are there any challenges that Humm aims to address in the dating space?

Humm addresses the challenges of emotional fatigue, burnout, and transactional interactions in dating apps. It aims to provide a more thoughtful, well-being-focused approach to dating that allows users to enjoy the process and make meaningful connections.

Q: How does Humm's pricing structure work, and what have customer responses been like?

Humm charges a subscription fee for dates and offers coaching and date add-ons. The service has been well-received, with customers paying and returning over several months. The pricing has been considered reasonable by users, and some have even suggested that it could be higher.

Q: What aspects of filmmaking does Cyberfilm AI assist with, and what are its current features?

Cyberfilm AI helps filmmakers with various aspects of the filmmaking process, including generating clever titles, writing scripts, and creating storyboards. The current version is the MVP, focusing on title generation, script writing, and basic storyboarding. Dialogue generation and additional features like scene creation and comic book creation are planned for the future.

Q: What are the main challenges that Cyberfilm AI helps filmmakers overcome?

Cyberfilm AI helps filmmakers overcome challenges like writer's block, finding complementary characters and villains, and connecting different parts of the story. It aims to assist in creating a cohesive and engaging film by providing ideas and suggestions.

Q: How has Cyberfilm AI been received by users and industry professionals?

Cyberfilm AI has received positive feedback from users and professionals in the film industry. Users have found value in the ideas generated and expressed a need for assistance in specific areas like villains and love interests. The technology has the potential to enhance the creative process and streamline filmmaking.

Q: What are the future plans and potential growth for Cyberfilm AI?

Cyberfilm AI plans to expand its features by adding dialogue generation, scene creation, comic book creation, and extensions for popular screenwriting software. The company aims to capture a significant portion of professional writers and video creators, potentially reaching an ARR of over $500 million in a few years.

Q: Have there been any discussions about rebranding or improving the product's design?

Jason Calacanis suggests considering a rebranding from "Cyberfilm" to something more focused and memorable, like "Storyboarder." He emphasizes the importance of branding and design in appealing to users and making the product stand out in the market. Improving the design and user experience is essential for future growth and success.

Q: What advice does Jason Calacanis give to the founders based on their pitches?

For Humm, Jason suggests considering higher pricing as the service provides significant value to customers. He encourages them to continue refining their offering and exploring ways to enhance user experience. For Cyberfilm AI, he recommends improving the design and branding to match the quality of the technology. He emphasizes the importance of capturing potential users' attention through a strong visual identity.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Founder University is a 12-week program for early-stage startup founders to receive mentorship and support.

  • The program focuses on helping builders develop their ideas and create valuable companies.

  • During the showcase, founders pitch their startups and receive feedback from experienced investors.

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