The day before Affiliate Summit East in NYC, last Thursday, I attended a ULS get-together on Local. There were almost 100 people there– perhaps half from start-ups looking to network or pitch their product. Entry fee was $20, but $10 if you do a 60-second pitch. I am cheap, so I did the pitch.
After the pitching, there was a round table with Court Cunningham, CEO of Yodle– then the CEOs from outside.in, growth spur, and 8coupons. Clearly, I was there to meet Court, as he is a competitor in the local space. Panelists agreed that:
- the local space was a growing share of the $500 billion dollar advertising market
- the weak economy and low cost to make a website were initiating entrepreneurship on a scale never before seen
- the traditional media channels (radio, TV, print) are getting hammered, as ad dollars shift to local
- the cost of producing content is decreasing– we don’t need union writers, as anyone can blog. Consider the Iranian revolution broke via Twitter, not the traditional media
I was overall impressed with the quality of the networking– at the same level as Silicon Valley, with a touch less pretentiousness. The free pizza, provided by Seamless Web, was also a nice touch.
Afterward, I had the pleasure of meeting Graham Lawlor, founder of Ultra Light Startups. The concept of being ultra-light is that you don’t need venture capital– just a couple of folks with a great idea and a lot of resourcefulness. Looking forward to seeing how these informal groups (including TechStars and YCombinator) help young entrepreneurs achieve their dreams.
If you’re looking to start your own business, want to network with other startups, or perhaps need a bit of inspiration, I’d recommend that you attend one of these events.