It was a quiet week at Launch Pad in New Orleans. After 12 weeks of start-up hustle & bustle related to Launch Pad Ignition and Launch Fest, I’d gotten used to the madness.
It wasn’t quiet because the 2012 Ignition program is over. It was quiet because Chris Schultz, Peter Bodenheimer, and Barre Tanguis were taking on Tech Crunch Disrupt in New York City with six of the seven ignition companies.
Chris Schultz reflected on the trip, “I think the biggest impact of the trip was exposure to our founders of the world they now live in and getting on the radar of investors, customers, partners on a stage like Disrupt.”
The Ignition companies are no strangers to TechCrunch, where coverage of Launch Fest and the class was positive. VoteIt was featured in TechCrunch after raising an $800,000 round last year, and Giftmeo’s beta launch was also covered by one of the world’s most popular tech blogs.
The founders are slowly making their way back to New Orleans, but we’ve already had a slew of reports on their experience in New York. Red Ticket Games was featured today in a PCMag.com slideshow as one of nine “startups to watch” with their recently released game, Expert Trivia.
Zak Schwarzman, a Columbia business school student and AOL Ventures intern had nothing but good things to say about the Ignition crew in his follow-up blog post. He listed Kinobi as a demo highlight and said, “NOLA had the 4th biggest contingent present behind NYC, SF, and Israel, not bad for the bayou.”
“Being able to present at an event like TechCrunch Disrupt in a a startup scene like New York is amazing in itself. To then be recognized for not only having a fantastic piece of technology but also as being part of the ‘NOLA crew’ shows that what we’re doing here is not to be taken lightly,” said Chapman Snowden, one of the Ignition company founders.
Chapman’s company Kinobi was a hit at both Launch Fest and TC Disrupt. Kinobi is built around the Microsoft Kinect and allows users to create, share, and practice interactive learning experiences. Lessons are recorded and uploaded to the platform. Users then practice a lesson in front of the Kinect and the website provides real-time performance feedback.
Kinobi won third place at Startup Weekend EDU in New York earlier this year when the company was just an idea in Chapman’s mind. Since then, he’s worked tirelessly with a team of local Louisiana developers to turn his concept into a reality.
According to Chapman, the trip was fun and productive. “General response to Kinobi was better than we’d ever imagined. We engaged well over 250 people, and the vast majority immediately got the potential of the tech and started to throw out ideas on what and how they would use it for.” Chapman continued, “For us now it means we need to move from being a novel and cool piece of tech to a viable and profitable business.”
Outside of meeting investors on the floor at Disrupt, the group was able to secure several off-site group and individual meetings with investors in the area. At one point the group traveled to Greenwich, Connecticut for investor meetings.
Ron Bienvenu, founder and managing director of the Louisiana Buyout Fund, joined the group there and introduced them to his contacts. Ron opened the meeting by stating, “You can see that capitalism is alive and well in America when you look at what’s going on in New Orleans.”
Reports from all corners indicate the trip to New York for TechCrunch Disrupt will prove to have been successful in both press coverage and opening doors to additional financial resources for the individual companies involved.
Check out the pictures below (provided by Chris Schultz) of their time at TechCrunch Disrupt NYC 2012: