Trace is a serial entrepreneur in NYC and now the Managing Director of NYVP making angel investments
Once you use it, you’ll wonder how you lived without it…
A few years ago my dad came back from Peak Pitch — a startup/VC event where you pitch investors while on the ski lift — and told me one of the crazier stories I’ve heard. If you know my dad, he’s a big storyteller but this one was unique…
He was at a table with some people and they all started to say where they grew up and one of the founders Joaquin Roca said Brooklyn. My dad being from Brooklyn followed up with where? He said Flatbush. My dad being from Flatbush, said where? He said an apartment/complex on Avenue H, where my dad grew up, so he said which one? This one, which was the same that my dad grew up in? Which apt? The same one my dad grew up in thirteen years later!
The startup/VC world gets smaller every day and having lived in NYC for the last 10yrs, you bump into people you know on the streets all the time. But meeting someone that lived in your apartment 13yrs after you, who then also went to the same school is pretty small odds.
So after the event we stayed in touch, he pitched us his startup idea at the time and unfortunately, we didn’t really like it and passed on investing.
Two years later…
I was at Laurel Touby’s event at her apartment talking with a friend and finally, the guy standing next to him tells me he’s that guy from the crazy story with my dad. We had never actually met, so it was nice to finally put a face to it and chat with him to learn more. He tells me he has this new idea for a “process recipe sharing platform” which didn’t really make sense to me. He mentioned a few of my friends are doing diligence / investing, so I followed up with them. More specifically a newer friend of mine Gyan had just sent me his syndicate, which was a coincidence as well.
Once I met the team and saw a demo of their MVP, I knew the internet wouldn’t be the same. I’ve run/built numerous online products over the last decade, painstakingly created countless step by step guides for clients with screenshots/arrows etc and then still had to walk them through things on the phone/zoom as well… there had to be a better way! Now you can create any recipe (guide) you want once and share with everyone who will be guided through the process by Dottie, showing them exactly where to click on their screen. We’re proud investors to support this vision and give everyone precious hours of their lives back.
Go download/install the extension https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/minerva/fmnkjhgnmnllimijijhkokmigchmpmcd
How many times have you visited a website and become frustrated because you can’t find something or do what you wanted…
The best way to explain the product is to click one of the links below — it will redirect you, then open it. Once you do, you’ll understand instantly:
Even though really smart people built websites/platforms for people to use intuitively, they always become cumbersome and hard to navigate. So Minerva built a really easy to use chrome extension that overlays on any website you want, creating the interactive blue dot you see above, so you know exactly where to click and go to next. And soon you’ll be able to create your own!
Startups and investing are a rollercoaster sometimes but it’s always so much fun to work directly with the founding team early on. The team decided they wanted to launch on Product Hunt, so I set up a scheduled “hunt” the week prior and we started working on the news release, branding and their really interesting idea to do a full-day Zoom, bringing on really interesting/fun people every 30min-1hour to chat and do live demos.
Timeline of the day: https://www.producthunt.com/posts/minerva
Have a slack channel with everyone on it for direct communication and lots of gifs
We go live at 6am EST, founders post their “Hey Hunters” comment with lots of info and away we go…
First Zoom chat/interview goes live at 8am with Nir Eyal from Singapore
We start posting to our social media accounts — twitter, facebook, linkedin, slack and instagram over the next few hours
They started sending out drip emails as well every few hours too (I think the algorithm doesn’t like lots of traffic coming all at once, especially directly to the link)
We didn’t make the homepage until 7:35am, which was a very long hour and a half :)
Zoom outages that day too? Luckily didn’t affect us
Oh and YC Demo day startup that afternoon too? Wonderful…
By 11:30am we’re #2 and only 50 votes behind the #1… 40, 30, 20,10
We have the most votes by 1:15pm but still #2 based on the algorithm.
It wasn’t until around 4pm that with 100+ more votes we took the #1 **Slack chat fills with gifs**
We finished #1 for the day with 862 votes! (Currently 1600+)
Over the next few days the news/link gets mentioned in newsletters and even the Product Hunt weekly as the “Clippy for every website”
We love to tell founders that launching a product isn’t a moment in time but a period of time — you have a launch month. Hence why I’m writing this weeks later, to keep the energy and momentum going (along with some procrastination)
We can’t thank everyone enough for all their support, love and outreach, which the team is trying to keep up with. And special thanks to Product Hunt for building a great product/platform that works!
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(The author is the Managing Director of NYVP making angel investments)