Ultra Light Startups(TM) a SUCCESS!

Ultra Light Startups:”Monetization through Online Advertising”

Me, Graham Lawlor (founer), Max Ramirez

Me, Graham Lawlor (founder) & Max Ramirez (Blinkx)

For those of you looking for a group of entrepreneurs who help each other launch successful tech ventures, then Ultra Light Startups (TM) is the place to be. The group was founded  by Graham Lawlor in New York City,  with contributors and viewers all over the world. Ultra Light Startups meets on the first Thursday of every month, hosted by Rose Technology Ventures in New York.

last week I attended the largest meetup in Ultra Light history with 40+ attending. The panel discussion of the night – “Monetization through Online Advertising” might have been the reason for the size of the crowd. As you’ll see from the presenters bios (included below), the speakers at this event may have contributed to those numbers as well.

Elevator Pitch in Under 60 seconds!

The night started off with “Introductions by elevator pitch”, where everyone in attendance participated in pitching their companies in 60 seconds or less.  Companies ranging in all sizes from fresh start-ups to fully-staffed and successful companies were present. I was a little turned off by some of the pitch’s because of their lack of “enthusiasm”. But that’s why it was important for them to be there that night. They needed to learn from what other people did well. (Kudos to Guilherme Cunha of YellowVertical.com, for a memorable pitch!)

“Pizza and networking” was supposed to follow the elevator pitch’s, but unfortunately the Pizza was a tad late so we got started on the panel “pre-pizza”. First of foremost, the Moderator, Ronald Bradford, Principal of 42SQL. I’ve seen him around the city at different events and every time he has made himself known. A very smart, sharp and “in-the-know” individual…and kept the panel running smoothly and on-time.

Alex, Max, Noah and Derek

Alex, Max, Noah and Derek

The panelists of the night were…

…Alex Baydin, Founder and CEO of PerformLine
…Derek Lee, Founder and CEO of SocialDough (in the works)
…Noah Robinson, Owner at Mercenary International (his blog here)
…Max Ramirez, Head of online ad sales for blinkx.com

Each were very knowledgeable in their own space, and contributed very well to the topic at hand. I took the liberty of jotting down some highlights. Derek Lee seemed to be very clear that “if this is your life’s work, build your business for 5 years from now, not today. […] You need to know a site is going to make money first, then make it scalable (not the other way around)”.

Alex Baydin stayed closest to the topic at hand pushing CPI, CPC and CPA for best methods of monetization. “CPA is great for a publisher with a small budget” and “CPC is good for contextual targetting”.

Next up was Max Ramirez, who took a different approach with pushing video content. “Right Now is the time to go after video and don’t be shy to call the NBC’s of this world”. Obviously he has the chihulees to call those companies and break deals, but his point was clear…”VIDEO CONTENT = $$”.

Moving into a more brand-aware direction, Noah Robinson’s approach was simple: “WEAR A PINK SHIRT AND GET NOTICED!!” (…with his hat that night, I imagine he got his point across). He also made 2 other good points: “Don’t waste time with branded ads” and “Data is everything”.

Ultra Light Startup Power-Crew!

"Power-Crew!"

The discussions went on and the panelists contintued on. Around 9pm the panel ended and everybody headed over for a few drinks at Dewey’s Flatiorn! Overall, it was a great event and definitely worth the $5 fee! The September 4th Ultra Light Startups event was their biggest and best yet. The addition of an interactive panel discussion rather than a single speaker helped boost attendance and I’m interested to see what they do next.

For those of you interested in finding more info on the group, check out their Facebook Group, LinkedIn Group (new), or Mailing List to be sure you receive announcements.

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Posted under Events, Online Marketing, Ultra Light Startups

This post was written by Joshua Russak on September 8, 2008

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