The Founder Institute is an organization devoted to helping a entrepreneurs improve their chances of success when launching new ventures. It’s run by Adeo Ressi, creator of TheFunded.com, a venture-capital reviews site.
SeePort is aiming for a formal launch at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2011. The company’s objective is to reduce the cost and improve the user experience of video chat, a market which CEO Lauren Elliot claimed would grow to a size of $5 billion by 2015. (Elliot is pictured here receiving the prize from Ressi.)
After his presentation yesterday, Elliot accepted first prize which included $2,500 in cash and other prizes such as a slot at DEMO’s Alpha Pitch. (Matt Marshall, editor-in-chief and founder of VentureBeat, is co-executive producer of DEMO.)
The judges of the competition included George Zachary (Charles River Ventures), Rebecca Lynn (Morgenthaler Ventures), Jed Katz (Javelin Venture Partners), Jason Calacanis (Mahalo) and Sarah Lacy (TechCrunch). Though the judges weren’t able to elaborate on their reasons for choosing SeePort as the winner, their comments concerning the size of the market and the potential to increase the penetration of video chat gave some hints of their motivations.
The company has partnered with an undisclosed multinational corporation to manufacture and distribute the devices, whch should sell for under $200, operate without a computer, according to Elliot, will make configuring video chat easier than the current experience.