“SeedStart Media 2011” Launches Summer Startup Program for Digital Media Entrepreneurs

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SeedStart Media 2011, a summer program for the most innovative startup companies in digital content, e-commerce, ad infrastructure and mobile technology announced that it will begin accepting applications today. The Program will link entrepreneurs with largest media, advertising and technology companies in New York City.

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Entrepreneurs who join the program will be advantaged through mentorship and the opportunity to form relationships with leading media companies. (David Horowitz, Managing Director, Comcast Interactive Capital)

SeedStart Media 2011, a summer program for the most innovative startup companies in digital content, e-commerce, ad infrastructure and mobile technology announced that it will begin accepting applications today. The purpose of the program is to grow the entrepreneurial sector of New York City by providing promising entrepreneurs with funding and a network of mentors, investors, and leading industry experts to advise them. Participating in the program are some of the world’s largest media, advertising and technology companies including AOL Ventures, Comcast, Hearst, MTV Networks, News Corporation, Time Warner, Vivendi and others to be announced shortly. The program is also supported by NY Tech Meetup, Silicon Valley Bank, New York University and well known New York-based law and accounting firms.

Up to ten promising startups will be invited to come to New York City to participate in the 12 week program, starting in mid June. Each team will receive $20,000 to support the development and launch of their company. Through a program of lectures, coaching and networking events, each company will interact closely with representatives of traditional media companies, digital media companies, e-commerce companies, experienced venture capitalists and entrepreneurs. Representatives of these firms and other experienced entrepreneurs will serve as mentors to the program participants, helping them refine their ideas, develop their products, and accelerate their companies’ growth. The program will conclude with an “Investor Day,” in which each company will present to a group of venture capitalists, angel investors, and potential customers and partners. Five venture capital firms will provide funding and mentorship for SeedStart Media 2011 including Contour Venture Partners, Comcast Interactive Capital/Genacast Ventures, NYC Seed, Polaris Venture Partners and RRE Ventures.

“This summer we decided to concentrate on one particular vertical, digital media and e-commerce”, said Owen Davis, Managing Director of NYC Seed, a firm that provides seed funding to New York City based software companies. “This is a key vertical for New York City and with a growing need for innovation we have gathered an outstanding group of media, advertising, technology and early stage investment professionals to offer guidance and marketplace feedback to ensure the long-term success of companies.”

“This program offers a very unique opportunity for entrepreneurs to work directly with some of the greatest brands in traditional and digital media as mentors and potential partners. One of the most difficult things about building a company from scratch is gaining access to the companies and people that might have a significant impact on a new business. SeedStart's vertical focus makes this a reality”, said Peter Flint from Polaris Ventures, one of the five venture firms involved with the program.

"New York City is home to many of the world's top media companies, making it an ideal location for SeedStart Media 2011," said Maria Gotsch, President and CEO of the New York City Investment Fund. "This program combines the investment expertise of the city's early stage venture community with industry expertise at leading media companies to accelerate the growth of the next generation of media tech companies. Creating jobs in the entrepreneurial sector is important for the future of the New York City economy."

“We are excited to partner with SeedStart to support the development of media-focused start-ups in New York City,” said David Horowitz, Managing Director of Comcast Interactive Capital. “Entrepreneurs who join the program will be advantaged through mentorship and the opportunity to form relationships with leading media companies. We look forward to seeing the great innovations that result from this initiative.”

Finalist will be selected by the end of March. The program will begin in early June in New York City and conclude with presentations to investors in September. For more information about SeedStart Media 2011, visit http://www.nycseedstart.com.

Inquiries should be directed to Owen Davis, Owen(at)nycseedstart(dot)com or 707-469-3669.

About SeedStart’s Partners

Contour Venture Partners
Contour Venture Partners is a New York based early stage venture capital firm. Contour invests in companies that provide innovative technology enhanced products and services into the financial services, digital media and internet sectors. Contour teams with passionate entrepreneurs and management teams to build great businesses that seek to ultimately transform their industries. http://www.contourventures.com/

Comcast Interactive Capital/Genacast Ventures
Comcast Interactive Capital (CIC) is a venture capital fund focused on broadband, interactive and enterprise businesses. CIC is affiliated with Comcast Corporation, a diversified global leader in cable, broadband services, communications, media, and entertainment. CIC's primary goal is to generate superior financial returns from venture capital investments in early and growth-stage technology, consumer and services businesses. To achieve this goal, CIC works to enable the success of its portfolio companies by applying the unique resources, contacts, experience, and insight of both CIC and the Comcast family of companies. http://www.civentures.com/

Genacast Ventures (http://www.genacast.com) invests in Internet technology entrepreneurs with a vision and passion for forging new markets or disrupt old ones. Established in 2008 as a partnership between serial entrepreneur Gil Beyda (Real Media and Tacoda) and Comcast Interactive Capital, Genacast’s commitment to helping exceptional entrepreneurs build great companies is already experiencing success with its first investment Invite Media being acquired by Google and its second investment Demdex being acquired by Adobe. Current portfolio companies include DoubleVerify (online advertising), PackLate (travel) and Enterproid (mobile). Genacast invests up to $750,000 in 3-4 seed-stage start-ups each year.

The New York City Investment Fund
The New York City Investment Fund (http://www.nycif.org) is the vision of Henry R. Kravis, founding partner of Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts & Co., who serves as its Founding Chairman. The Investment Fund has raised over $100 million to mobilize the city's world financial and business leaders to help build a stronger and more diversified local economy. It has built a network of top experts from the investment and corporate communities who help identify and support New York City's most promising entrepreneurs in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. The Fund is governed by a Board of Directors co-chaired by Russell L. Carson, General Partner of Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe; and Richard M. Cashin, Managing Partner of One Equity Partners. The Investment Fund is the investment and the economic development arm of the Partnership for New York City (http://www.pfnyc.org), the city's leading business organization.

New York Tech Meetup
Founded in 2004 by Scott Heiferman, the NY Tech Meetup has over 16,000 members, representing people from all parts of the New York technology community. Each month, 8 companies and developers demo technology they've been working on in front of a 850+ sold out crowd. The NY Tech Meetup is a community-led organization, and is not for profit 501(c)6. Its Executive Director is Nate Westheimer and Board Chair is Andrew Rasiej. http://www.nytm.org

NYC Seed
NYCSeed is a partnership between ITAC (http://www.itac.org), New York City Investment Fund (http://www.nycif.org), The New York State Foundation for Science, Technology and Innovation (http://www.nystar.state.ny.us), New York City Economic Development Corporation (http://www.nycedc.com) and Polytechnic Institute of NYU (http://www.poly.edu), which allows it to provide more than just funding. NYCSeed provides guidance from notable entrepreneurs, technologists and venture capitalists, connects companies to potential initial customers and helps companies move to their next stage of development. http://www.nycseed.com

Polaris Venture Partners
Founded in 1986, Polaris Venture Partners is a partnership of experienced investors, operating executives and entrepreneurs. The firm's mission is to identify, invest in and partner with seed, early stage, and middle market businesses with exceptional promise and help them grow into market-leading companies. Polaris invests in businesses across a number of markets including digital media, technology, consumer, enerTech and life sciences. The firm has over $3 billion under management and current investments in more than 115 companies. http://www.polarisventures.com

RRE Ventures
Since our founding in 1994 RRE Ventures has maintained a clear commitment to a simple philosophy – identify talented entrepreneurs attacking high growth markets and partner with them over the long haul to build industry-leading companies. Today we manage $850 million in investment assets dedicated to rapidly growing early stage technology companies. Our team delivers a unique combination of investment, operations and entrepreneurial expertise ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies, as well as an unrivaled network of relationships. We work hard to bring that combined expertise to bear for the benefit of our portfolio companies every day. http://www.rre.com/

Silicon Valley Bank
Silicon Valley Bank, which opened an office in New York City in 2001, provides commercial banking services to emerging, growth and mature companies in the technology, life science, private equity and premium wine industries. Through its focus on specialized markets and extensive knowledge of the people and business issues driving them, Silicon Valley Bank provides a level of service and partnership that measurably impacts its clients’ success. Founded in 1983 and headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif., the company serves clients around the world through 26 U.S. offices and five international operations. Silicon Valley Bank is a member of global financial services firm SVB Financial Group, along with SVB Analytics, SVB Capital, SVB Global and SVB Private Client Services. More information on the company can be found at http://www.svb.com.

Banking services are provided by Silicon Valley Bank, a member of the FDIC and the Federal Reserve System. SVB Financial Group is also a member of the Federal Reserve System.

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