New York Company Hosts 'Tech Idol' Competition - InformationWeek

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6/2/2008
03:16 PM
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New York Company Hosts 'Tech Idol' Competition

Entrepreneurs get to pitch their business ideas to investors and answer questions from the audience. If they're really lucky, they get venture capital.

Technology entrepreneurs now have a chance to compete like the singers in American Idol to find out who has the best ideas and can attract venture capital in New York City.

They can pitch their ideas in "the Gauntlet," whose creator likens the contest to "American Idol meets venture capital."

Entrepreneurs get seven minutes to pitch their business ideas to investors and spend 15 minutes answering questions from audiences of more than 100 people. They include five experts in law, finance, accounting, technology, and investment.

"This is unlike any other forum in New York because it allows entrepreneurs to reach a diverse group of influential leaders who can play a role in helping their companies succeed," according to the Hatchery, the company that created the challenge.

Those pitching their ideas follow a format, suggested by the Hatchery, which covers the problem, the solution, the market, an industry overview, operations, and financials.

Contestants whose ideas fit themes defined by the Hatchery must follow guidelines, fill out online applications, and submit PowerPoint presentations to enter the Gauntlet. Three businesses are chosen for each monthly event.

Participants receive critiques and feedback, which gives them direction on ways to modify and improve their plans. They also get a chance to network with audience members. If they're really lucky, they get venture capital.

The year-old company is based in Chelsea and holds its events at various locations throughout New York City. Its founder, Yao-Hui Huang, has served as CEO of Gigapixel Creative, an award-winning design and branding company. She also lectures on how Asian women can build confidence, start businesses, and attain corporate leadership roles. The Hatchery's Web site refers to her as "Dr. Business."

The next Gauntlet theme is the social Web, and dry runs for formal presentations will be held June 13, 20, and 25.

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