TechStars Investor Day and other good stuff today

This morning I had the privilege of attending some of the morning presentations from this year’s crop of TechStars startup companies in an event called “Investor Day,” held at the Boulder Theater.  TechStars is a Boulder, CO-based program that provides seed capital and mentorship for tech startups. SocialThing (which just got bought by AOL) and Brightkite were both graduates of last summer’s TechStars.

The main reason I went was because my good friends Susan Mernit and Lisa Williams were presenting the flagship product, WhozAround, from their new company, People’s Software Company. I’ve been watching them endure the TechStars maelstrom this summer, and they pulled through great despite lots of pressure and stresses.

WhozAround is currently a Facebook application in alpha. It’s the first step in their plan to bypass the current communication chaos that ensues whenever two or more people try to agree on a place & time to meet. As Susan said in her presentation today, “Do all those e-mails, IMs, texts, Facebook notifications, and other messages really make getting together easier?” I can answer that with a resounding “NOT!!!”

Here’s Susan giving the presentation:

Susan Mernit presenting at TechStars Investory Day, 2008

And Susan and Lisa taking questions from investors:

Susan Mernit & Lisa Williams taking questions from investors

(Apologies for the crappy images, my iPhone camera isn’t great for that sort of lighting and distance. I was sitting in the balcony.)

I’ll be heading back to the Boulder Theater in a couple of hours for the Tech Cocktails event there:

Tech Cocktails

But some more cool stuff happened today…

Last night I learned that the person who I thought was going to be teaching a video workshop I was arranging for this year’s Society of Environmental Journalists conference (Oct. 17-19, VA Tech, Roanoke) wasn’t going to be able to attend. Ack! So I had to scramble today to find a replacement. And I did, within an hour! Thanks to VA Tech communications professor Ken Garland for volunteering to help! I prefer short-lived crises 🙂

Then the mail arrived. It’s my birthday tomorrow, and I got some really great gifts from my family today:

A gorgeous handmade glass necklace from my sister Lynn:

Glass necklace

A much-needed new memory card from my brother, the Cub!

memory card

A fun book from my parents, who know I need to laugh more:

Bad Kitties

I’ve got a really cool family 🙂 Thanks, guys!

Plus, a birthday present I got for myself also arrived: Power to the People, a book by Vijay Vaitheeswaran, the very best energy journalist in the business, IMHO. (Could we get him to take over as Secretary of Energy, please?)
Energy book

Well, that’s all. Just wanted to let folks know that so far it’s been a good day, and I expect that to continue…

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