- Ultra Light Startups is the oldest and biggest monthly startup-investor pitch event in New York and Boston
- Over 700 startups have pitched at Ultra Light since 2008
- 6.0% have received at least one round of venture capital
- 20.3% have received angel funding
- Multiple startups have received angel investment directly from Ultra Light events
- 64.9% are currently generating revenue
- 15.3% have over $20,000/month in revenue
- 7 companies have had successful exits
- Ultra Light has sent startups to all of NYC’s major startup accelerators, incubators, and competitions (TechStars, ERA, DreamIt, SeedStart, General Assembly, TechCrunch Disrupt, NYU Venture Competition)
I spoke with you for a few minutes at the end of the evening, so I may have forgotten to thank you for an excellent event! You guys kept a tight rein on it, so it was entertaining, engaging and educational at the same time – which is quite a feat. I’ll make sure to have the next one on my calendar.
Moses Merchant, CEO at Port Indigo
Just wanted to say thank you again for having Hulafrog pitch at the Ultra Light Startups event last month. It has led to several introductions for us. And since we were one of the winners, we were able to pitch to NY Angels this morning and have already been invited back for a second meeting. Regardless of how that turns out, presenting at Ultra Light was a great experience for us and we’d definitely recommend that any new entrepreneur looking for seed funding apply.
Sherry Lombardi, co-founder of Hulafrog
Pitching at UltraLight Startups was a fantastic way for me to flush out my business idea and get feedback from a very smart audience. Also, an interesting thing happened. Months after my pitch, a company in my industry found the video of my pitch and started a conversation with us. We later sealed a partnership with many top USA affordable bluetooth speakers companies! ULS is an amazing resource for any entrepreneur – I’m a big supporter and excited to be a part of the community
Faraz Qureshi, founder of SoundGuy
UltraLight has turned out to be an exceptional opportunity for us, with Paladin, First Round, and SFJ all requesting a meeting.
We can’t thank you enough for giving us the opportunity to share our story, we’ll continue to sing your praises to the startups we meet.
Keep up the great work!
Brian Sowards, founder of USEED
I pitched at two Ultra Light Startups events – one in New York and one in Boston – when I was still an inexperienced first-time entrepreneur trying to figure out the right business strategy for CityRover. The ULS experience was invaluable for me because it forced me to formalize my business goals and offerings in order to hone my audience pitch. Second, it taught me how to be comfortable presenting to a sizable audience. Finally, the instant feedback from perfect strangers, in the form of live questions and informal chats afterwards, really helped me gauge people’s interest in what I had to offer at the time, and contributed to my decision to pivot away from digital content to focus on walking tours.
Max Vishnev, founder of CityRover and author of Walking Away From Wall Street: From Corporate Bull to Building a Business
I’ve attended Ultralight Startup events for over two years, and in that time I’ve gone from being very interested in startups to quitting my job and bootstrapping my own company. Since the beginning, the Ultralight events have provided a great sense of community, and have proven to be one of the best places to pitch and network. Now that we’re beginning to consider financing, I’m looking forward to pitching, since I seem to meet at least one great investor at every Ultralight event I attend.
Nihal Parthasarathi, Co-Founder at CourseHorse
Pitching at Ultralight Startups was a great way to get exposure for LocalBonus. The panelists provided insightful and actionable feedback that has been incorporated into our business, and the audience is truly passionate about the startup community. Graham is awesome at building the Ultralight community and the support lasted well beyond the night we pitched.
Derek Webster, Founder and CEO of LocalBonus – an ER Accelerator winter 2012 company
Pitching at UltraLight is a no-brainer. We were able showcase our product to customers, connectors and just generally helpful people. Most importantly, we got awesome feedback that helped shape our service.
Satjot Sawhney, Team SherLabs – an ER Accelerator winter 2012 company
We —Appy Couple— would never have made it into the ERA2 Class if it hadn’t been for Graham and Ultralight Startups. Aside from having learned a lot every time I attended one of the pitch sessions, it was reading about the Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator in the newsletter that prompted me to apply for Appy Couple. I hardly dreamed we’d be successful, but now we’re one of the fortunate ten in this amazing, valuable accelerator program. Thanks Graham!
Susanne Dunlap, Co-founder of AppeProPo – an ER Accelerator winter 2012 company
Twice I’ve pitched at Ultralight Startups and both times I’ve come away with valuable insight into our product and brand positioning. The new format now unlocks even greater opportunities as you can work on your pitch and receive quality feedback from a panel of knowledgeable investors. Couple this experience with a consistent opportunity to meet and network with fellow entrepreneurs and you’ll find Ultralight Startups a worthwhile stop along the line for any aspiring entrepreneur.
Phil Thomas Di Giulio, Co-Founder of WellcomeMat.com
Thank you so much for the opportunity to present little compass. Since I had to leave early I did not get a chance to say good bye personally so am reaching out via email. I have received many emails from people in the audience, great feedback and really good advice.
Thank you so much, it was a great experience and although nervous I think I was able to deliver the message well.
Joana Anker, Founder of Little Compass
Just want to let you know I went to my first ultra-light startup event last Thursday. Loved it, real casual and fun yet serious and effective. Recently started a company called Tech Helper which is going to provide upper income, highly educated boomers and seniors with tech instruction in everything from Social Media and iPads to Blackberries and On-Line Money Saving. Am preparing my pitch presentation to submit now. Anyhow, thanks again.
Bruce Pienkny, Founder of Tech Helper
Ultra Light Startups can really make a difference when you’re trying to get a company off the ground. The group and its founder, Graham Lawlor, really understand what it means to bootstrap a company without venture capital, angel investors, or even an office. The group’s events provide concrete advice, help founders learn how to pitch their companies, and offer a great way to meet and network with others who are in the same situation — or who’ve been through the process and can help.
Allan Hoffman, founder of Web100
Making mistakes is an essential part of developing a startup, recognizing those mistakes early is what sets you apart.
Ultra Light Startups has been a fantastic resource for our company, we’ve been able to discuss with other founders who are in the same situation, what is and isn’t working with our projects and learn from their experiences as well.
We couldn’t have gotten to where we are without the work that Graham Lawlor and his team is doing.
Dean Collins, founder of Live Chat Concepts inc
I started going to Ultra Light Startups 16 months ago to promote my start-up, DubFiler. I quickly learned this is not a room full of customers, but rather a room full of people I can swap information with. The format makes you feel like you know everyone, and by time your’re having drinks at the end, you’re usually making plans to continue the conversation later.
The community is friendly, helpful, and full of people interested in a conversation, not just pitching at you. It’s been infinitely valuable to me as an entrepreneur.
Corey H Maass, founder of Gelform and TheBirdy
Ultra Light Startups has a uniquely catalytic networking format. A series of 60 second pitches start the evening with great energy and allow effective networking. The people who are attracted there to pitch, and learn from the panels, form a great community who are really doing things. A great event series, which has grown an entrepreneurial community, and which is about, and run by, that community.
Owen Brunette, founder of SwarmPoint LLC / StartWaves
Every month Ultra Light Startups has provided a fun, informative, cost effective, “must attend,” well run event. The opportunity to pitch allows one to perfect an essential skill in a no risk environment. The monthly panel discussions on important topics are extremely valuable to any startup. One always comes away with practical advice that can immediately be put to work. The networking with like minded entrepreneurs is another added value. There is not a better event in NYC for a web based startup.
Jonathan Rosen, founder of Give Inc
Without a doubt, I owe my entrepreneurial success to Ultra Light Startups. Designed to help every level of Entrepreneur, they have completely revolutionized the after-work meetup model, creating an in person incubator for success. It is the future of Entrepreneurship, and should be part of every boot-strappers check list. If you’re looking to grow your business or want to become on entrepreneur, I highly suggest you attend Ultra Light Startups.
Joshua ‘Red’ Russak, founder of RedRussak Inc
This was the first meetup that I had attended during very early stages of FABLOGUE that has helped me tremendously. I pitched my idea for the first time in front of complete strangers but the vibe was very warm and informative. My first pitch led to an article about FABLOGUE in the BusinessWeek. Ultra Light Startups was my first connection into the entrepreneurial world of NYC which has proven to be very fruitful.
Rana Mumtaz, founder of FABLOGUE
For the past year, my small business has thrived and expanded due in no small part to my continued affiliation with Ultra Light Startups. Through Ultra Light events, I met dozens of people that have either helped me shape my company or actually become individual customers.
The company’s founder, Graham Lawlor, attracts a large pool of very clever entrepreneurs who have a world of diverse knowledge. Tapping into this fountain of knowledge provides a constant stream of ideas that can very often be applied to your own business practices.
Each meeting is the equivalent of five “self-help” business books. The only difference is that each meeting provides you with a list of contacts to keep each conversation going.
Finally, being part of the Ultra Light family provides a strong sense of community. It can be a bit lonely when you first start a company by yourself. Ultra Light Startups provides a forum where you can meet like-minded people who are experiencing or have experienced some of the same growing pains your dealing with now.
John Adams, founder of Social Media Engineers
Ultra Light Startups is an awesome place to meet like minded entrepreneurs and increase one’s network. Aside from meeting entrepreneurs, I have also successfully cultivated meaningful relationships with service providers and advisers who are passionate about NYC’s start up scene. Whether you are a serial entrepreneur or someone who is contemplating taking the plunge into starting your own company, I highly recommend you check it out.
Michael Chuang, founder of iTB Holdings Inc.
Thanks, Graham, for consistently delivering well-structured networking opportunities, valuable startup education and interesting, fun events. I look forward to Ultra Light Startup events whenever I am in Manhattan.
Kimberly Kubalek, founder of Kubalek Internet Solutions
Ultra Light Startups is the only monthly event held in New York that I make an effort to attend regularly. It’s unique format, in which every CEO/founder has a chance to pitch their company, followed by pizza and a panel discussion, effectively blends learning and networking–a nice touch. In the last year, I have probably made more than a dozen meaningful business connections at Ultra Light which have benefited my company.
Joe Chin, founder of SourcePad
If you’ve started a company, then you need to attend Ultra Light Startups. I’ve been attending for over a year and at every single event, I see a startup I want to get to know; I am exposed to valuable knowledge from the panels; and, I get to meet and exchange information with peers. Through Ultra Light, I have attracted new business, I’ve helped several startups, and I’ve been motivated to pursue a (stealth) side project based directly on what I’ve learned. Being an entrepreneur is the loneliest job in the world. By attending ULS, you instantly become part of a group of success-driven peers, which is essential to your sanity and success.
Karl Schmieder, founder of MessagingLab
I have found Ultra Light Startups (ULS) to be the primary networking event that I attend in NYC. I feel the format and setting foster higher quality connections with people who have a similar outlook on starting and running businesses. Fellow entrepreneurs appreciate the hardships involved with bootstrapping; and vendors appreciate the fact that the attendees don’t have buckets of cash to throw around
From ULS, I have established both vendor relationships, as well as business partnerships. The latter are the most interesting to me, as they tend to be the toughest to build successfully. Given the demographic of ULS attendees, and the more familiar/intimate setting, the relationships that have developed have significantly changed the nature and direction of my business.
Ray Bernaz, founder of Socialibrium
Ultra Light Startups has been an invaluable resource for me and my startup both as a learning resource and as a way to network with other entrepreneurs. ULS forums have been a great opportunity to learn from successful entrepreneurs involved in a wide array of ventures at different growth stages. The information I’ve gotten through ULS forums has been key in helping to identify market opportunities and validate our business model. The best part about our continued participation in ULS has been the community of entrepreneurs. Through the ULS network we’ve been able to establish meaningful partnerships and access a variety of valuable resources.
Graham Clarke, founder Dealicio Inc and 53 Technology
You can feel the startup energy flowing at Ultra Light events! Graham always struggles to get people back after the break because they just can’t stop the networking. I’m an avid NYC Meetup-er, but I’ve made best working connections at ULS events and I’m positive, they will bring more as I go through different stages of rolling out my startup – HowDoable.com
Sergey Chernyshev, founder of HowDoable
As a first time entrepreneur I’ve learned so much at ULS – the panels are always on point and lively. I recently attended an event on site social features and was really impressed with the quality and depth of the discussion. Graham Lawlor goes out of his way to help entrepreneurs by taking a genuine interest in their concepts and execution strategies; he gives helpful advice and readily makes introductions. What is awesome (and unlike other meetups) is that the panelists are all accessible for follow up conversations at drinks afterwords. As well as making strong connections, I’ve also made some great new friends!
Radha Kapoor, founder of LookLab
Especially when I was forming my idea, ULS was a great intro to the entrepreneur community. It helped me feel out my space, gave me peers to emulate and people to measure myself against. At that formative stage, the startup blogs and the tech meet ups made success feel so far away. Hard to connect where I was with that place; ULS was a safe first step. Whenever someone talks to me about starting a business, I tell them to go to a ULS meeting, see if they want that energy. Quite frankly, in the beginning, you live on energy.
David Bloom, founder of Naama Networks
As an entrepreneur the road is not always clear– and the service that you are providing is dynamic and a huge help to those of us that are suiting up and going for it!
I am a big fan of what you are doing. I don’t want to miss a second of the event!
Carolyn Paddock, founder of In-Flight Insider
It’s been close to two years since I discovered Graham and ULS. And without being overly dramatic, I have to say, it’s been a cornerstone of some life-changing events for me. When I first started attending I was in the early stages of creating my web design agency, DigitalXBridge (DXB). Through the experiences had and networking I’ve done at ULS, DXB has grown into an established brand, due in large part to Graham and this event, which we’re now so proud to sponsor.
Jay Melone, founder and President of DigitalXBridge
The panel was excellent and the pitches were interesting. There was a lot of very practical advice for startups. I also liked the service provider pitches – it was good to learn about companies that have experience working with startups.
Anand Simran, Ultra Light Startups member
It was one of the best panels I’ve had a chance to watch in a long time. Very practical advice for anyone that wants to do a tech/web start-up.
Paolo Werbrouck, Ultra Light Startups member
Fantastic group of people, lots of ideas and enthusiasm and Graham does a great job.
Jason Veduccio, Founder of IntelliGrunts
Really great event last night. Graham, you’re very good at asking practical questions and getting hands-on, useful answers out of panelists, which isn’t as easy as it looks. I get so much out of these panels.
Eileen Gunn, founder of FamiliesGo
I am sorry I did not make it personally to the event, but I finally watched the live feed. You are doing an amazing service. The panel was diverse and gave me confidence in knowing from my background of being a managing editor of a national trade magazine that I still know the concepts of a good sales team. There was a good balance of shooting for the stars while having very grounded roots – the true job of a CEO, I believe.
Nina Sutton, Founder of One Smart Mother
Great event tonight. The panel you put together was particularly useful – I will take to my grave the idea of aspirational selling: “sell before you have a product”. Hah! I love it, I’ve seen good entrepreneurs do that before many times, I just never put my finger on what it was. Congrats on quite a sophisticated event with excellent value. I learned a lot personally about good sales practice for the liquor venture, and I suppose for my law practice as well.
Nathan Whitehouse, Managing Member Whitehouse Law, PLLC
Since I have been coming to your events for three years, I have noticed substantial change. Three years ago, when I first came, the event was upbeat and exciting, but it did not change much from one event to another. This year when I come to your events, it seems that every time I come, you have something new, better and more exciting to announce. It seems that you have hit the upward moving part of the J-curve have stricken the balance between keep it small and niche at the beginning and constant improvement and expansion.
Robin Yang, founder of Economic Fairy Tales
I saw the online broadcast of last week’s event. In all honestly, I really enjoyed it. The host’s kept my attention, the interviews during the pizza break were interesting and in general, it was fun to watch. Just wanted to give some positive feedback.
Todd Barrish, founder of Indicate Media
I presented at your July event and we met soon after at a dinner organized by Laurel Touby and others. We were just featured in NY Magazine’s Approval Matrix and I wanted to thank you. Getting this type of validation is awesome for us, and I’m sure we couldn’t have gotten here without ULS and your organization’s help/support.
Aaron Rudenstine, President & Co-Founder | CityMaps
You have built and grown a great community. Honestly I was surprised with not only the turnout but caliber of people I bumped into and overheard while waiting to head up to last night’s event. Keep up the good work!
Hamilton Colwell, founder of Maia Yogurt
I wanted to let you know that I met with Todd Barrish [Indicate Media] yesterday and he was great. Spent well over an hour working on my pitch and had some great pointers – overall one of the best (most straight forward) pitch coaching I’ve had.
Maya Landesberg, Managing Director at I Had Cancer
Ultra Light Startups – A place to avoid sales people Most networking events are full of people trying to sell you their services. That is not the case with Ultra Light Startups. Graham has created an atmosphere of fellow entrepreneurs who meet, socialize and exchange ideas. They understand the purpose is to connect and expands ones social inventory. I have made great connections because of it, which assisted me in further business elsewhere.
To understand the spirit one must go to at least one meeting, and do not let the 9:00 end time fool you. Often the official part goes to ten and we convene at a local watering hole until past 11:00.
Scott Wolpow, founder of Prebilt Hosting
Thursday was my first Ultra Light Start up Conference – I was blown away with how much I walked away from it + the obvious community feel of those who have been regular attendees. Thank you for moderating such rich content in an open yet efficient manner. I’m trying to get something started while working full time – Vin from yipit totally got me convinced to try to build one on my own.
An Ultra Light Startups member
I found it very interesting to see others do their company pitches. The panel was great, they gave very informative tips. This was my first meetup and it exceeded my expectations greatly.
Jared Kugel, Founder of WheelsNeedDeals
So OUTSTANDING meeting last week! I don’t usually assign extra curricular activity to my sales team, but I’d like to have them watch a recording of the panel discussion if it is available, and I’m going to encourage them all to participate in the Lead Gen session next month.We are a giant corporation, but our division behaves much like a start up, and there was a lot to learn, even for our more experienced sales reps.
Rayellen Gilles, Director of Customer Experience at MediRegs a Wolters Kluwer Law & Business
I joined Ultra Light Startups one week ago,and last night was the first time that I participated in an Ultra Light event. The whole event was GREAT! I feel lucky thatI was able to be part of the group. Thank you for bringing us such a wonderful night!