SocialGrow Round Two Pitch Slides - 2010 MassChallenge Global Startup Competition


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On July 13, 2010, SocialGrow President Marsh Sutherland and Chief Marketing Officer Ken Herron pitched SocialGrow as part of round two of the 2010 MassChallenge Startup Competition at Fan Pier Boston.

The slides have been annotated to include the talking points used for each slide.

Learn more about Microsoft BizSpark SocialGrow and the SocialGrow software application at, and keep up with the latest social media best practices by following SocialGrow on Twitter at

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SocialGrow Round Two Pitch Slides - 2010 MassChallenge Global Startup Competition

  1. 1. As presented to the MC judges on July 13, 2010 Photo Credit: Kyle Psaty
  2. 2. Note: Our talking points for each slide will be on the virtual SocialGrow Inc. yellow stickies. Our judges were: John Mutkoski, Harjinder Sandhu, and James Woodward. The easiest way to grow your online connections Round 2 Judging Marsh Sutherland, President and Co-Founder Ken Herron, Chief Marketing Officer and Co-Founder July 13, 2010
  3. 3. According to HubSpot just last month, 253 million people in North America, and 1.7 billion people worldwide, use the internet on a daily basis.  Of these, over 60 million in the U.S., and over 500 million worldwide, use social networks on a daily basis. For the businesses in the U.S who are increasingly using social networks to engage with these 60 million-plus people -- SocialGrowʼs target customers -- it is currently slow, tedious...a royal pain for them to grow their online connections. What if...there was an easy-to-use, web-based application -- for businesses and organizations of all sizes -- which automated the process of inviting their target customers to connect with them on their different social networks? We have done just that. Over 60 million people in the U.S. actively use social networksSource: HubSpot June 2010. (that’s over 500 million people globally) Page 1 of 6
  4. 4. We have developed a SaaS application in (C# and AJAX), hosted by Microsoft partner Hostway, and using Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 for our database. As Exchange checks users' calendars to pull out potential time slots for meetings, we check users' e-mails to pull out potential connections for social networking. We present our users with a list of their "Potential Connections".  This enables We make it easy. them to easily choose with whom they want to connect, on which of their different social networks, with which invitation text, and how they want to categorize the connection. Through a patent-pending digital identification engine (SocialGrow's core IP), we are currently the *only* company with software automating the social network invitation process from within a user's workflow. We anticipate fast-follower competitors to include companies like: Xobni, Spokeo, Gist, Rapleaf, MyLife, Flowtown, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Microsoft, and Google. 1. Let us check your e-mails. 2. Accept your “Potential Connections”. 3. Grow your social network connections. Page 2 of 6
  5. 5. We have all heard the saying that companies should "eat their own cooking".  We have eaten our own cooking to successfully grow SocialGrow's social network connections to accelerate our product development, customer service, marketing, and public relations. How?  We created a group on LinkedIn specifically for our Alpha release users.  This not only enables all of us -- leadership, development, and marketing -- to know who our users are, but allows us to personally engage with them, and makes us accessible and accountable to them real-time to build *their* product. We have also grown active communities on third-party social networks including Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, and others. With almost 25,000 followers, our Twitter audience is our most viral, and therefore our most valuable social media asset asset to date. Page 3 of 6
  6. 6. SocialGrow makes it easy for all of our users, regardless of size, resources, or skills, to grow their social network connections. Our early adopters have been the hyper- networked B2C sales and marketing users who use social networking for their lead generation.  We make them more money, faster. We make businesses Starting at just $12.99 a month, SocialGrow's revenues will come primarily from subscription and affiliate (referral) fees.  Subscription fees will begin with the more money, faster. 3Q10 Beta release.  An affiliate agreement has already been signed with Xing, and agreements are pending with Tagged, Affluence, and Fruster.  Tertiary sources of revenue will include OEM licensing fees and advertising. The MassChallenge prize money will be used to accelerate Beta release development, marketing for paid subscribers, and filing for utility patent applications. Subscription Fees Affiliate (Referral) Fees OEM Licensing Fees and Advertising Page 4 of 6
  7. 7. From day one last July, we have recruited the diverse, experienced technology, marketing, and business talent we need to execute. Each one of our three principals has been matched with a seasoned startup advisor from their respective discipline: -  President Marsh Sutherland, formerly of deNovis, Akibia, and KPMG, is advised by Mike Troiano (President of Holland-Mark Digital) -  CMO Ken Herron, former CMO of the worldʼs second stickiest social network (Online Buddies), is advised by Dean Harris (former CMO of Vonage and Kayak)  -  CTO Charbel Elkhoury, formerly of Greenfield Online,Trimble Mobile Solutions, Siebel Systems, is advised by Raju Matta (TripAdvisorʼs Senior Director of Engineering) Advisor: Mike Troiano, President of Holland-Mark Digital President Marsh Sutherland (JD/MBA/BA) Advisor: Dean Harris, Former CMO of Vonage and Kayak CMO Ken Herron (MMP/MBA/BA) Advisor: Raju Matta, TripAdvisor’s Sr. Dir. of Engineering CTO Charbel Elkhoury (PhD/MBA/BS) Page 5 of 6
  8. 8. Marketers EASY to build their online audiences EASY to find, connect with, and engage Businesses their customers on social networks SocialGrow makes it EASY for marketers, businesses, and social networks: For marketers -- SocialGrow makes it EASY, fast, and Social cheap to build their online EASY to grow their members audiences. Networks For businesses -- SocialGrow makes it EASY to find, connect with, and engage their target customers on social networks. For social networks themselves -- SocialGrow makes it EASY, fast, and Mass- cheap to grow their members. EASY to make SocialGrow a And for the MassChallenge Challenge judges -- SocialGrow makes MassChallenge finalist! it EASY to make us a finalist! Judges Page 6 of 6