|Type of site||Social; Entrepreneurs, Investors|
|Created by||Bambi Francisco, Cyril Brignone,|
Vator, Inc. is a community-based website focused on the business of funding and building emerging technologies for startups. Vator operates a database of private-company profiles and a newsroom, covering technology and Internet trends through analysis and interviews. It combines social networking, industry news, and video to organize presentations about business opportunities within an online audience of entrepreneurs and investors. Vator is headquartered in San Francisco, California, with a bureau in Silicon Valley.
The name Vator is a reference to the term "elevator pitch", used in the technology industry to describe a brief corporate or investment presentation that can be delivered in the time span of an elevator ride (thirty seconds to two minutes).
Vator.tv was launched in June 2007 by technology industry journalist and former MarketWatch personality Bambi Francisco, and Roland Vogl and Cyril Brignone.
According to Francisco, who serves as CEO, Vator.tv started out as an experiment to help vet startups' pitches and to give exposure to those she might overlook as a columnist. After mentioning the idea to Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal and manager of the $2 billion hedge fund Clarium Capital, Thiel saw value in such a vetting mechanism, and asked if he could invest. After the Vator community reached 50 videos, Thiel joined other high profile angel investors: Matthew Hill, an early investor in Shopping.com (which was acquired by eBay in June 2005 for $635 million), Georges Harik, a developer of Google AdSense, and Richard Rosenblatt, current CEO of Demand Media and former CEO and Chairman of Myspace, together provided Vator's first round of funding in May 2007.
After launching in June 2007, Vator ran competitions with Demand Media to rank start-up business plans with user-generated ratings. Redpoint Ventures launched a "wine 2.0" competition with Vator. The venture capital firm was looking for wine-related businesses to fund.
Vator implements a web 2.0 platform for entrepreneurs to submit a company profile and videotaped two-minute "elevator pitches," or a requests for funding, where they are ranked by the Vator community for quality. By submitting their video to an online community of investors, an entrepreneur makes one pitch instead of having to repeat the same presentation dozens of times to different investors and venture capitalists throughout the funding process. By viewing the highest rated pitches, venture capitalists save the time of having to sort through numerous business presentations.
- Francisco, Bambi. "Why I started Vator.tv, and why I'm leaving MarketWatch" Marketwatch. April 6, 2007.
- Marshall, Matt. "Bambi’s Vator.TV, a pitch platform for entrepreneurs, raises round" VentureBeat. May 11, 2007.
- Needleman, Rafe. "Vator.tv launching tonight: YouTube for start-ups" Webware. June 6, 2007.