Hatchery Recap: Swoot, eSession, Red Lasso

SAI Contributor David Parmet runs Marketing Begins At Home, a Westchester-based marketing and pr consultancy.

Yao-Hui Huang and David Blumenstein have been putting together Hatchery events in New York since May. Described as “Pop Idol Meets Venture Capital,” the events offer start-ups a chance to showcase their offering in front of a panel of experts and a conference room packed with angels, marketing types, journalists and techies.

Tuesday night’s show-offs: Glenn Pennock of Swoot (widget maker) , Gina Fant-Saez of eSessions (rent studio musicians, resources, over the Web) and Al McGowan of Red Lasso (TV and Radio search). The panelists:  Arthur Chang, Founder of Tipping Point Partners; Kirby Cochran, Director of Broadcast International; Abigail Disney, who’s from that Disney family and is vice chair of Shamrock Holdings, the family investment vehicle; and Shelly Palmer, Managing Partner of Advanced Media Venture Group and the President of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences…

The format – a brief presentation by the companies followed by questions from the panel and the audience, followed by a wrap up and judgement by the panel, made for some interesting exchanges. The first presenter, Amsterdam-based Swoot, played hard to get; CEO Pennock said he didn’t need money, which led many to wonder what he was doing there. The (sort of) laugh line of the evening came from Abigail Disney: Questioning Swoot’s customer acquisition plans she referred to the family business business and suggested roping them in “when they are young.” At which point every parent in the room who’s bought a copy of “High School Musical” shot daggers at  Ms. Disney.

Given the standing room only nature of the event, and the lack of air circulation in the room, Huang and Blumenstein promise more events in bigger venues in 2008.

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