VentureSocially – The YouTube of Crowdfunding for Startups

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Crowdfunding Startup Platform

Target Audience: startups
Website URL:

Feedback sought:

  • Spend no more than 5-10 seconds on do you think the site is about?
  • Now go back to the site and comment on various elements of the site.
  • What do you find bothersome? What do you like?
  • Would you create a venture pitch? If not, why?
  • What do you think of the sign up process?
  • What do you think of creating a pitch?
  • Did the video upload work?
  • What do you think the site compares to other similar sites/competitors like
  • Please share any additional feedback/comments you may have.

About VentureSocially: is all about the pitch. Any budding entrepreneur can rock up and create deep and meaningful pitches to attract some of the biggest names in venture funding and capital.

Entrepreneur can create as many Venture Pitches as they wish. Once they are happy with the final pitch they can show case the pitches to the world either by distributing the link themselves or waiting for a funding angle to pop by and discover their pitch organically.

Pretty soon the offers for funding with start to come in and one can view each bid from the Venture Profile page. Once they see a bid they are happy with and a funding angel or company they could work with they can accept the bid online.

The next steps happen independently of, the legal aspect of a venture partnership needs to be arranged by a legal representative in your local area. Currently does not offer this service to the users of the site (to be implemented in the near future).

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16 thoughts on “VentureSocially – The YouTube of Crowdfunding for Startups

  1. Spend no more than 5-10 seconds on do you think the site is about?
    At first glance, I had absolutely no idea what it was about. Only that it was a website that allowed you to create something.
    It should be noted that I don’t know what is a “Venture Pitch” and that might explain why I am so confused about the website.

    Now go back to the site and comment on various elements of the site.

    At first glance, your website seem pretty good aesthetically. Good colours, good theme, modern layout, quick and efficient “summary” of the potential features of the website. The youtube video is specially useful for “baby steps” into signing up with you, but wouldn’t it be best to have a video that outlines the why rather that the howof signing up? Why should I sign up with you and not another website? Also consider this: “What if the user is deaf?”
    This leads into another point. It is good that you said about the potentials of your website, but you could focus more about the BEST points of it not the STRONG one. In business, you don’t have time to be modest. For example, you wrote “has a powerful set of features”, why not replace it with “has a unique set of powerful features”? You, therefore show to the user that your website is powerful and unique. You are saying “Come on guys, sign up now you won’t find that kind of features anywhere else!”. That was marketing talk.
    Continuing with the features: When you observe the main page carefully, you can see that you got the priorities wrong. What I mean is that you should put more emphasis on your company’s name rather than the “Log In”, “Sign Up” or “Take a Tour” ones (All those are bigger than the name and thus attract the eyes more). And I also find the buttons of facebook, google, twitter, etc… to be too big. They should be smaller and your company’s name should be slightly bigger. You want people to remember your name!
    I like the features a little bit down the page. They do attract attention, but as they are at the button they will be only seen as more reference, which is good. You also provided summaries of your features that won’t bore the user, I wasn’t bored with reading them one by one. That is because you gave a meaningful and nice looking icon to each of your features and provided an informative yet concise details about each of them. The features link gives more in-depth details about more technical features, which it should do !
    The sidebar with title “Top Ventures” is well placed on the main page as well. I personally noticed those ones last, and they provide backup as to which ventures are the best out of your websites. It shows the user Proof of your competency.
    The “Take a Tour” button should be more customised, not just a redirected link to your “Features” link. For that button, you can afford to take longer and be more detailed where necessary as well, don’t forget to use dot points! You could provide another popout page specially for the Tour with the “next” buttons that goes through the various pages you would incorporate in it. And at the end, put up a “Sign Up” button in the last slide.
    The feedback button is well placed and is noticed just enough. What I don’t like is that fact that by clicking it, a window popout and tell me to go to the feedback forum? I would honestly forget about the feedback altogether ! It would be better to make it “slide out” as I thought it would do. And then get a short form to fill in as it is slided out. The form should have name, comment, at the least. But please, don’t make me click on that just to tell me to click on another link to go somewhere else.
    Last point, should “Blog” and “About Us” be in “help”? I reckon the “About Us” page should have its own page. And the “Blog” can be a button in the header or in the navigation bar.

    What do you find bothersome? What do you like?

    See Above
    To summarise though:
    Colour, theme, balance, modern layout, youtube video (not content), baby steps to sign in, summary of features on home page and more details in its own page, feedback button on the side, top ventures sidebar.
    Name not enough focus, login buttons with facebook, google,etc… are too big, content of video (Should be why instead of how), “Take a Tour” is just the same as “features” link, feedback button did not slide as expected, feedback tells me to go to another link (should be able to give feedbacks on the spot), “Blog” and “About Us” shouldn’t be in “Help”.

    Would you create a venture pitch? If not, why?

    Firstly, I still have no idea what a “Venture Pitch” is. Secondly, after making a research about “Venture Pitch”, I am not a businessman. So for those criteria, its a no.
    BUT, assuming I am interested and know what you are talking about, I would probably “try” your website. It looks promising and as if a lot of efforts have been put into it. It is entertaining and attractive as well. If you focussed more on the “Why I should join”, you would get a lot of people to “try it”. Hopefully you can keep the user interested in it !

    What do you think of the sign up process?

    The process of signing up seems to be very easy and straight forward, even without the video! But, do I really need to have a twitter, facebook. google, Linkedin or yahoo account? I believe that it might reject a minority of your potential client. I always frown upon those type of signing up, I believe that as long as you got an email address, you should be able to sign up. Why not?
    You could also implement an email notification after the sign up, so that the account can be activated. That is if you decide to implement the “get an email and sign up” process.
    By the way, your youtube video is outdated ! It does not show that you need to sign in from your google, yahoo, etc… accounts. You should check that. It shows, I think your previous sign up process where you fill out a form, which I prefer. Reasons include I can choose another password for this site, I don’t need to use the same password as my other accounts. Here I have too, it’s less secure in that way.

    What do you think of creating a pitch?

    Easy and straightforward. It is common sense of what the form is asking to fill in. You could probably put a comment like “Values with * next to the name are compulsory”.
    The venture site name wouldn’t allow me to enter some random value. I don’t know if it is voluntary or not.
    Ah! This is misleading. I thought I had to write https://<whateverIchoose&gt;, I did not know that I just wrote a “whateverIchoose” name and it would be that my URL. You might need to clarify that!
    You can say, Venture Site Name, and then has a script underneath that goes, Your Venture’s URL is… And it would update as the user changes the name.
    Did the video upload work?
    Yes the upload did work, but with a minor problem. My powerpoint 97-2003 was showing the squares around the texts in your website. It shouldn’t.
    What do you think the site compares to other similar sites/competitors like
    You site is still in the new/beta phase so of course it would not stand a chance right now. But it looks like it got potential, if you succeed in getting more people to join, you will have a good standing !
    Please share any additional feedback/comments you may have.
    You should try and optimise your website for less favoured people, such as deaf ones, or colour blinds or even for those having other web browsers! Don’t forget about the variety of platform and web browsers. Is your site optimised for mobile phones as well?

  2. Feedback sought:

    Spend no more than 5-10 seconds on do you think the site is about? This site is a vehicle by which businesses can virtually promote themselves and their ideas to generate funding for their initiatives.
    Now go back to the site and comment on various elements of the site. I like the use of symbols on the page for various actions and themes. I think this catches the users eye right away.
    What do you find bothersome? What do you like? Bothersome – I think the site’s overarching purpose needs to be more immediately clear to the visitor.  Likes – I think the use of symbols and color on the page are great!
    Would you create a venture pitch? If not, why? Yes, I would. I think once the visitor delves deeper into the site and learns more about it, the site’s purpose is a strong one.
    What do you think of the sign up process? The process is clear, but I don’t understand why I have to go through my FB, Twitter and other social networks to launch the pitch. I think one should be able to launch the pitch via your site and this site should be working to advertise these pitches with potential funders via its own social media links.
    What do you think of creating a pitch? It seems easy enough.
    Did the video upload work? It worked perfectly on my Mac.
    What do you think the site compares to other similar sites/competitors like To be honest, I think gobignetwork’s site is much clearer as to the site’s objective and purpose. The “get started” button on this site makes me want to jump right in to develop my venture.  Perhaps your site could create a hot button or link on the main page which would draw the visitor in my quickly and provide details making the site’s objective more clear.
    Please share any additional feedback/comments you may have. The site’s purpose is great. I love the idea behind it, but think that your site’s objective should be more clearly revealed on the page through a combination of text and images.

  3. Spend no more than 5-10 seconds on do you think the site is about?
    This site is about allows a person to create a presentation and  business plan for their company, for free.
    Now go back to the site and comment on various elements of the site.
    First, I must say that  your site is visually appealing, drawing me from the onset of looking at it. It features nice subtle colors, large tabs and easy to read font. I like that the homepage is not to long. I like the pictures that accompany this text where you briefly describe some of the key elements of your website. I like that you provide a easy how to video that not to to long. Some viewers may get lost in words and with a visual presentation they may fully understand what your site does. Great tabs that feature important information. I especially like that you have a home tab because often times people have to back space to go back to the homepage.
    What do you find bothersome? What do you like?
    I liked that tour and that it featured the most important elements of ones venture presentation. It’s even better that you can add a video, I don’t see that element when looking at sites that allow you to post business plans.
    Its nice to see that you allow people to login using existing accounts. I especaially like that you have yahoo and google because like myself I dont’t have accounts with the other social networking sites. I was a little confused my the venture tool box. I didn’t realize that those were business that werewanting to be seen. I think that you have a tab or section that specifinically states that  these business are ready to seen by the public. When I clicked on the discover tab it was not what I thought it would be. Discover is sort of a vague title for the business plans that are currently done. It is visually captivating but I wonder if it will still be so large(size of text box) if there were many business plan available to look at. I like that how it works tab but it should be in front of the discover tab since its more towards showing the website, while the discover tabs show current business plans. I think the about us section needs to be beefed up a bit. You need something that shows creditibility in who you are. Your site wants people to post business plans but from reading that we get no sense of experience that you have. On the guidelines page I don’t think that you need to post this twice, “Be nice! No swearing, no flaming, no anti-social behaviour.” I didn’t not understand the faqs page, being that their were frequently asked questions posted on them by you or anyone else. You have a decent contact page. Your blog page featured the same information as your guidelines page. This must have been a mistake/ glitch because when I went back to the blog tab I was given the correct information. I think the help tab is not accurate and it should be broken down. The venture tool box needs to be removed and placed in the appropiate tab. You already have that information placed under the “discover” tab, which I mentioned above, so it doesn’t need to placed on the page. It’s really distracting because in fact its not a tool that would help a potential venture pitcher.  
    Would you create a venture pitch? If not, why?
    I would create a venture pitch but I would like to see more information about your company and why a person should post their info on your site versus anothers.
    What do you think of the sign up process?
    The sign in process was extremely fast and I like how I could add a description to my profile. I think that there needs to be kind of conformation sent to my address to let me know things were successful.
    What do you think of creating a pitch?
    When I clicked on the your ventures tab it already had ventures so I am a little confused by that. If their my ventures then I am assuming it would be business plans that I have created. I think there needs to be a some type of symbol letting a person know what information needs to typed in veruses the extra but not pertinent infomration. Creating a pitch was simple but detailed. I like that you have an easy to follow search box.
    Did the video upload work?
    Yes it worked fine.
    What do you think the site compares to other similar sites/competitors like
    I like how there site added places where they have been featured, it add creditibilty to the site, something I think your site lacks. You might want to add a section that features a tab where people have the ability to post their own comments. It might help people to use your site better and success stories are always a plus.
    Please share any additional feedback/comments you may have.
    Does your company advertise to any sites other than social networking sites? If that is your angle then play it up. The possible draw back that some people might not see a professional aspect to some of those sites. Maybe you should think about linking your message area ones phone, email or something of the like. I can only assume that you can only get your messages by logging in to your site. It would be nice if one could view them and respond from a mobile device. You have a great site with loads of potential. I would definitly like to see what your changes are.

  4. Spend no more than 5-10 seconds on do you think the site is about?

    This site would appear to be some sort of service that would allow you to streamline your pitch in a professional, organized format.

    Now go back to the site and comment on various elements of the site.

    I like the layout…its clean, organized and thoughtfully laid out. The ‘create a pitch’ and ‘take a tour’ buttons are easy to locate so the visitor can get started right away.  I also like the icons that differentiate between the various categories beneath the green box…although, they should be linked to a page with more information, screen shots, etc of each section.  I don’t like the color combination of green, turquoise and the dark-orange ‘socially’ I feel it would be better on the eye to not introduce the color turquoise to the palate.   The instructional video is a nice option, although the process is easy enough to understand without it.

    What do you find bothersome? What do you like?

    I find the login process to be bothersome.  I prefer not to log-in using facebook due to privacy concerns.  I do not have twitter or the other services and my google account wouldn’t let me log in.  I would prefer to register directly with you service rather than sign in by linking one of my existing accounts.

    Would you create a venture pitch? If not, why?

    Yes, I would consider using this service is I was trying to obtain venture capitol and I would also appreciate the ease of the service if I was review pitches for potential investments.

    What do you think of the sign up process?

    see above under ‘bothersome’ elements…I did not like the sign-in procedure.

    What do you think of creating a pitch?

    Creating a pitch is very easy to use and well thought out.  The steps you have laid out to upload your pitch is a great way to make sure you have all the elements of the pitch incorporated in your presentation…its like s Dummies Guide to seeking inventors/

    Did the video upload work?

    I was not able to upload a video or even find something that would let me upload a video.

    What do you think the site compares to other similar sites/competitors like

    My initial impression is that your site seems less professional and less-established than the  I would suggest having some reviews from reputable business sources & media outlets that would reassure people you are a reputable company and their pitch will be viewed by legitimate venture capitalists.

    Please share any additional feedback/comments you may have

    I would concentrate on have more brand  integration on your site…the name of yous site already escapes me right now and I’ve been  spending considerable time looking at it and testing its features, where as goBig stucks out in my mind because they have the big-looking guy on the main page.  I would suggest getting a more prominent logo and the site name displayed boldly & consistently throughout the entire site.  I would also work on getting media reviews, endorsements and affiliate yourself with reputable sources within the wold of venture-capitalists. I feel like you have the bones of a great service but still need some work developing your brand identity.

  5. What do you think the site is about?
    After a brief glance, it appears to be a site that enables start-ups to develop business plans and pitch their ideas to venture capitalists.
    Now go back to the site and comment on various elements of the site.
    Honestly, my very first thought was, “Why is there an orange block around the word “Socially” in “Venture Socially”?  I just thought it looked a little odd.
    My second thought was that I really liked your connectivity options.  People can sign in from any of various accounts–Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, LinkedIn.  That’s so convenient!
    Third, I tried “Take a tour.” (By the way, you should also capitalize “tour” if you’re going to capitalize the “up” in “Sign Up”; it’s just more consistent.)  This page was disappointing.  It was just a series of screenshots and didn’t really show me how to use the site in a concrete way.  On the other hand, the video was much better and actually demonstrated how to use the site step by step.  In comparison, the “Take a tour” page isn’t very informative, so I’d either eliminate that or add some copy to sum up each step so that it’s not a waste of a page.
    My next step was to start clicking through the tabs at the top.  I was disappointed to see that “Features” was the same page that “Take a tour” linked to.  Again, I didn’t find it to be that instructive.
    The “Discover” tab led to the start-up pitches, which I wouldn’t have expected.  I would suggest renaming this tab “Start-ups” or “Pitches.”  There were only two start-ups listed so far, and one of them was obviously not ready.  I checked out the other one and had no problem reading through it, but I was disappointed that there wasn’t a video available.  I had gotten the impression that start-ups were going to be able to create and upload video presentations, which is, in my mind, more professional and appealing.
    “How It Works?” (no question mark needed there, BTW) led to a very brief page and–I’ll be honest–it didn’t do much to impress me.  First, I was left wondering who these supposed angels were.  Do you already have venture capitalists lined up to partner with your site?  If so, who are they?  What are their credentials?  If not, what guarantee would I have that the angels on your site are serious and that I’m not going to get defrauded in some way?  Second, you have a number of spelling errors on this page.  For instance, it’s “angels,” not “angles.”  There are several other problems like that, so you should have a proofreader go over this.
    Finally, I visited your “Help” page and the other pages in the “Help” drop-down menu.  Again, there are typographical errors here–missing periods, misspellings, and the like.  The “About Us” page is way too short.  It doesn’t leave me with any sense of who’s behind this.  Who are your founders?  What are your qualifications?  The “Guidelines” page is the same as the main “Help” page, so I’d eliminate that as a separate page.  The “FAQ” is not complete, contributing to the overall feeling I’m getting that the site lacks professionalism.  The blog, however, is very good.  These tips for pitch presentation are very useful, and I found myself wishing that you would add them to the “Guidelines” page rather than burying them back here.  A lot of users probably will never visit the blog, yet this is advice they need to know.  And one more problem: I couldn’t get back to the home page from the blog.  I had to use my back arrow.
    Once back at the home page, I scrolled down farther to have a look around.  I think it’s nice that you have some of your top ventures listed in the sidebar, but I’d move the “Find New Ventures” button to the top of the sidebar, above the fold, so that investors can see it right away. I’m also not as keen on your choice to cover the home page with various tools.  I’d prefer to see something more visually appealing, maybe a photo collage of business professionals shaking hands, a graph from a business plan, things like that.  Right now, you’re crowding the home page with a lot of tools that aren’t really useful until the user signs up.  So I’d reserve these for a part of the site that only members can access after sign-up.  Specifically, I’d make them accessible from each user’s account.
    Now, at the bottom of the home page, you have a bunch of categories–“Business,” “Entertainment,” “Education,” etc.  I assume that these are start-up categories.  I think this is really the wrong place for these tabs, hidden down here at the bottom.  I’d turn these into a drop-down menu under the tab that you now call “Discoveries,” which, again, I would rename “Start-ups.”  Alternately, you could create a sidebar on the left for all these start-up categories.
    What do you find bothersome? What do you like?
    I like the site concept.  It’s really cool that you want to help connect start-ups with angels.  However, I don’t like all the things that make the site seem unprofessional–the grammatical and spelling errors, the lack of adequate information about your company, and the perception that any old troll can come along and potentially steal my ideas.  I just don’t get a good sense of who your investors are and whether this is worth doing.
    Would you create a venture pitch? If not, why?
    Not yet.  While I like the idea, it doesn’t seem to offer any protection from people who might want to steal my ideas.  If this was a protected, members-only site, I would have more confidence in it.  It would also help if you already had recruited a number of investors and could tell me more about them.
    What do you think of the sign up process?
    Hmmm…So I have to sign up through my account at one of the six web sites you listed?  What if I don’t have an account at one of those sites?  Or what if I just prefer, for whatever reason, to sign up from a different account?  I like that you offer these connectivity options, but the fact that you force people to use them is kind of strange.  In any case, I signed up through a Yahoo account.  I had no problems doing so.  Navigation from within my new account at Venture Socially was easy.  I had no trouble finding my way around.  Another thing that really puzzled me, though: You don’t seem to differentiate between accounts for start-ups and accounts for investors.  I say that because I noticed that my account had both a tab for my ventures and a tab for my bids.  I’m thinking that investors from private companies aren’t that likely to want to sign up through Google or Facebook!  Again, my suggestion would be to allow people to create unique accounts at your site with their own user names and passwords rather than forcing them to sign in through personal accounts at other sites.
    What do you think of creating a pitch?
    Creating a venture seemed very straightforward, but when I clicked on the “Venture Toolbox,” it just brought me back to the same page.  I would’ve liked to have seen the tools featured on the home page moved here to this toolbox.  This is when I would really need them!  Also, I would really have liked to see some instructional material available from within my account, maybe in the form of pop-up bubbles beside each box in the form.  I know you have how-to info on the home page, but I wouldn’t want to have to keep returning there.  Also, I tried to create a mock venture, but I was unable to get past the box that asked me for my web site.  My question here is: What if I’m a start-up that doesn’t have its own web site yet?  Building a web site is usually a later stage in the process, not the first!
    Did the video upload work?
    Well, I wasn’t even able to get to that step because I didn’t have a web site to enter.  I tried to add a mock site, but Venture Socially correctly identified that it was “invalid.”  So I couldn’t get any further in the process.
    What do you think the site compares to other similar sites/competitors like
    I visited, and I have to say I like their site better.  It seems more professional, which inspires my trust.  Notice how the site lists its investors so that I know it’s for real!  I can even search for an investor!  I also appreciate the testimonials and media endorsements, which further establish credibility.  In addition, the site appears to have some useful tutorial information about different forms of capital and how to apply for them.
    Please share any additional feedback/comments you may have.
    I think this is a nice idea, but now that I’ve seen your competitor’s site, what do you offer that they don’t?  Is it that your site is totally free while they require payment for some of their features?  Is it that you’re aiming for the European market, whereas seems to aim for the U.S.?  These would be valid selling points, but you need to emphasize them right upfront if they are indeed part of your value proposition.  Also, to be truly competitive, you’ll need a site that seems more professional, both in design and in services.  Right now, it doesn’t inspire my trust as a start-up.

  6. Spend no more than 5-10 seconds on do you think the site is about?
    For the first few seconds, i dont really get into what your site is about. All i know is something related to creating a presentation and business plan. Then i saw the creating pitch and i know is about the pitch.
    Now go back to the site and comment on various elements of the site.

    Your site layout and all the navigators are clear. Is very simple and easy to use. U gt all the thing that needed include a video and descriptions. But i think your title should be more specific or ur description should be more specific to allow people to easy understanding. I find that is a little hard to know what ur site is about at first. The bottom of ur homepage listed all the categories which i think you should list it at left or right side of ur site. It’s more easy for people to recognize it. ur site connected wit facebook twitter etc which is really a great thing to keep connected to the social. U have  the take a tour feature which allow people to learn about ur site. Which is really nice. then u have the sign up button which easy for visitors to click on it. Your how it works explanation is abit too simple i think u can make it a slideshows to show people hw it works. In this way it might attract people attention.
    What do you find bothersome? What do you like?
    what i like is that ur site is simple and everything is so clear that allow visitor to browse ur site conveniently. What i dont like is that at the first place is abit hard to understand about ur site. U can add ur how it works in the home page with the slideshow which i think its a very good idea which can directly allow people know what ur site is about and how ur site works.
    Would you create a venture pitch? If not, why?
    For me no, because i dont really need it now. If i need it yes i would try it. It’s free why not? But it has to be convenient and easy to use. Urs is easy to use so i think i will create a venture pitch in ur site when i need it.
    What do you think of the sign up process?
    U offer six sign in options which connect to the social networks when i click on the sign up. i believe most of the people will have one of the account in ur option lists. But what if there is someone who really doesnt have any account from the six u offer? So, to make sure that u doesnt lose any member i suggest u should add a sign up from ur site. which is not using account from any other social site.
    What do you think of creating a pitch?
    It’s very easy to create. I will prefer a instructions at top before starting create. Which can allow people to view the instruction while learning to create. This will make people feel convenient and make people feel that u r professional on it.
    Did the video upload work?
    yes it work fine.

    What do you think the site compares to other similar sites/competitors like
    I think that their site looks more professional than urs. Which i can easily understand what their site is about and their site is easy to use like urs. but i dont like their drop down menu which make thing confuse. ur navigators is better than them i think. which i can easy and wont make me feel that its complicated.
    Please share any additional feedback/comments you may have.
    About ur video that u show in the homepage, it is a very good video to allow people to understand but how many people would spend 2mins to view it? if they r just look around in ur site? i suggest that u make it 1mins video and make it auto play when people first go in to ur site. which can make people focus on the video. the video must be attractive, the sound must be can catch people attention and attract people. U can add a feature which allow people to directly send any questions to u by typing their email and the questions in ur home page. u can put at the bottom of ur homepage. This way, u can always stay connected with ur visitors which u can email them.

  7. * Spend no more than 5-10 seconds on do you think the site is about?

    Having taken classes on entrepreneurship I can tell that the site provides a way to pitch your ideas to investors.

    * Now go back to the site and comment on various elements of the site.
    The site as a whole seems appealing and easy to navigate.  The video on the homepage was clear and concise.

    * What do you find bothersome? What do you like?

    Browsing through the site did not find anything to be bothersome.  I like the overall design / feel of the site.  Perhaps one suggest on the features page instead of a page long list of screenshots you could do more of a tour of the features.  You could have a menu at the top of the Features page which links to each feature that you want to showcase.  These pages could have a small screenshot and then a small explanation of the feature.  The categories at the bottom of the page seem a bit disjointed.  They are not spaced out evenly.

    * Would you create a venture pitch? If not, why?

    Well, the only reason I would not create a venture pitch is because I don’t really have a venture to pitch.  Perhaps I am not fully understanding this question?

    * What do you think of the sign up process?

    While I know it is popular to use oAuth / Facebook / twitter account sign-up this usually turns me off when going to sign up for a site.  Especially if this is the only way for me to sign up.  I did choose to sign up however and the process was transparent.  I just chose Google, logged into my Google account and that was it.

    * What do you think of creating a pitch?

    Creating a pitch was very easy and straight forward.  I did not have any difficulty.  I really liked the jQuery in place editing feature.

    * Did the video upload work?

    I created a small two slide PPT to upload.  The upload process seemed fine.  However, I included a piece of clipart that was not retained when uploaded.  There also seemed to be some weird borders around the text areas of the slides.

    * What do you think the site compares to other similar sites/competitors like

    I had never heard of or visited before today.  The site seems a tad more professional than the Venture Socially site.  It has a light more business feel to it, where Venture Socially site has a bit more of a social network feel to it (which is probably fine and may be what you were going for given the name).  However, Venture Socially seems to offer more information about the pitches / ideas.  Gobignetwork seems more like a simple directory of startups / ventures where Venture Socially seems more like a social network for startups.

    * Please share any additional feedback/comments you may have.

    It was a bit hard to tell that I was signed in.  The sign up today button was still visibile and when I was not on the front page there was not really a noticible “create pitch” button.  Perhaps you could replace the sign up today button with the create pitch button once users are logged in.  I did notice that the “create your venture” button seems to have the same effect as the “create pitch” button which may be a little confusing.
    The buttons / icons under the venture toolbox are also a bit crowded.  I do like the fact that when you hover over the icons you get a description of what it does.

  8. Spend no more than 5-10 seconds on do you think the site is about?

    You’ve created a service to, essentially, match entrepreneurs and angel investors. Entrepreneurs make “pitches”, highlighting aspects of their business plan, product/service, etc, and then can either advertise the pitch they created on their site or hope to get picked up by an investor. From a quick overview of your site, however, you’re not really marketing “to” the angel investor, which creates potential credibility issues (more on this later).

    Now go back to the site and comment on various elements of the site.

    Header: The header is extremely clean. I love the glossy buttons and tooltips. The text next to the logo, however, has the tendency to be overlooked, since it’s so similar to the header. A darker color, or even slightly thicker font could alleviate this. I’m also not crazy about the fact that your search bar is SO disconnected from the header. A 1-2px spacer might work well to help distinguish it, but remember, most people looking at a site will see that disconnected area as the “Google Adsense Box” and just overlook it. Be careful there and make sure your page elements are tied in together. Also, with the logo… It might be too similar to the YouTube logo. From a marketing standpoint, you’re capitalizing on a familiar experience, but from a branding standpoint, do you really want people to think of YouTube when they think of you? When I think YouTube, I think idiots making videos for other idiots.
    Layout: The layout is fairly clear and clean, but there are a few elements that I find troubling/unattractive/non-functional. The area on your page reserved for the “venture toolbox” is pretty sparse. I know this is partly because you are in beta, and therefore don’t have many ventures to advertise, but I’d still like to see something else under that toolbox. Maybe a “favorites” of video pitches?
    In the footer, you should define the industry-area links with wording like “Browse Venture By Category” or something like that. It’s not really self-explanatory. Also, the links are not centered within their spacer elements – even if it’s intentional, it looks sloppy and lazy.
    Finally, in color choice: Why do you not re-use the green from the front page anywhere else? I personally like that more than the teal being used for page elements, and by not keeping your color consistent (and not having the search bar and venture toolbox on the home page), you’re creating a sense of disconnection in your site. Maybe it’s just me, but that bugged me.

    What do you find bothersome? What do you like?

    To a large extent, asked and answered. There’s a couple more things I want to point out, though, regarding formatting:
    I would caution you to get as much of the in-line CSS and in-line .js off the page as possible. Looking at your source, it’s very cluttered, and when you’re doing updates/upgrades, having all of your script/style info stored dynamically allows you to quickly call it and reduce the possibilities for error.
    When I first load the page, the search bar and venture toolbox look very different from when the page finishes loading. I’m not sure, but I think you have conflicting information in your master stylesheet and on your on-page CSS. Try to resolve that to prevent parsing/formatting problems.
    Color – There may be too much grey, as the background color is very similar to the header color, and the background color is also used to seperate page elements. Try experimenting with darker colors, or just other colors in general (or a parallex image) to see if this can help “liven” up the page a bit.
    Finally, your Favicon. I like that you’ve compressed the logo, but it’s not readable/recognizable. Can you make one with just the letters V S, and then use the color scheme from your logo?
    I know I already mentioned how much I like the glossy header and page elements, but I really do like it. I think you did a great job with your header. I find it odd, however, that the rounded corners, glossy finish, tooltips, and obvious care become less obvious as I scroll down the page. Can you round the corners on all of your page elements? Can any of your footer get a very slight gradiant or pattern treatment?

    Would you create a venture pitch? If not, why?

    No, for the reason I mentioned before. Because you don’t really market to investors, I find it hard to find you credible enough to use as a service. Where do you really come in to add value? Are you out recruiting investors? Are you putting out press releases? Do you network socially (not social networking, but conferences, b2b relationships, etc)? As an entrepreneur, I’d want to know about these things if they’re taking place, as I’d also hesitate to use your service if you’re not. How is outside marketing a part of YOUR business plan?

    What do you think of the sign up process?

    I don’t like that I have to use a third-party service to create an account. It’s convenient, but since I’m not sure if you’re credible yet, why would I want to give you access to my Google account? There have just been too many Android, Google, and Facebook app developers that misuse the permissions granted. Also, remove the “proxynow” from your account name. It just feels too much like a hijack. I do like, however, that this is all done in a thickbox instead of a popup or redirect, and that the site instantly reflects that I’m signed in.

    What do you think of creating a pitch?

    First, I created a venture. Very simple, however, some “tooltips” would be helpful here. What exactly is a high level pitch? Having sample text in the text box, or having a java tooltip would really alleviate potential questions. Also, does the signup need to have so much whitespace? I feel like the elements could be closer together, or even use multiple columns. Again, maybe that’s just me; I like to use the length of my widescreen display VS. the height.
    When I’m creating pitch details, the WYSIWYG editor doesn’t really… load. I have a text box, but all of the formatting options are whited out. And again, some tooltips might be helpful for the brand new entrepreneur.

    Did the video upload work?

    When my page loads, I don’t have the option to just click on the words “No Video Present” to upload – instead I have to use the toolbox. This is the only element of the page I have to do this for, so I assumed at first that I had to create my pitch before I made a video. This should probably be addressed. The video upload dialog also loaded fairly slow in comparion to the rest of the site, but it worked. Here, I want to point out, that you have the potential of a security threat. Since your site “opens” a file when it is uploaded, I could embed server-side attack code (maybe?). I would recommend using Google Docs to convert and display information, so it’s all stored in the cloud and removes some of the security risk on your part.

    What do you think the site compares to other similar sites/competitors like

    The biggest difference I can see between you and gobignetwork has to do with how they market to each segment of the process. Like I mentioned before, you need to have a clear method of marketing to investors, which just doesn’t feel present in your site, but is a big part of theirs. Their site also has a “dynamic” element in the slideshow, but you have the video showing a tour. I do like the slideshow, though. Because gobignetwork is already established, they also have the benefit of outside affirmation (testimonials, mentions on Business Week, press releases, etc) that show their organic and outside PR efforts. Again, if you are doing PR, make sure to make that available to potential clients. They also offer other services, like building a business plan, a service network for things like credit, advertising, etc. They have an overall focus for businesses, allowing someone to build a venture from the ground up with their tools. Yours is a more niche focus, on getting the basic pitch funded. Both are valuable, but you should consider if your own value proposition would benefit from offering more services or catering to the business service network as well (hint: this would help YOU with funding through referral commissions and subscription fees)

    Please share any additional feedback/comments you may have.

    I like that you intend on having a social element to your site, with simple browsing, and it’s extremely easy to get started. I think more outside PR is needed (as mentioned before), as well as some cleanup on your layout (mentioned before). The biggest thing for me is the lack of a single, dedicated account for VentureSocially – though you are catering to the users of social media/networking, not everyone currently does. Also, it would be helpful to have some sort of marketing tools available on your site, but it’s not necessary since you integrated with Digg and Reddit. I’d maybe recommend using AddThis on your page, so you don’t have to worry about integrating with social networking – that way, the hard work is done, and new networks are always being added. Finally, get some more info in your pages like “About Us” to help establish credibility.

  9. Sorry – two more things.
    1. Since you are a beta, where’s your roadmap? Since almost everything on the page is currently “demo data”, I’m really not sure what features you have planned. I’m sure that you haven’t launched yet, and are really trying to just get initial impressions, but without seeing your sense of direction or long-term plans, I have to assume you don’t have any. BIG turn-off as a potential user or investor.
    2. Since you’re pretty heavily using blogging, facebook, and twitter, why not embed content from your social streams into your “brochureware” to create a more dynamic and up-to-date page? This makes page updates simpler, as they’re done automatically when you add new info, and it also can help establish credibility (if I see that you’re regularly tweeting updates and swapping ideas/info, and/or have a large volume of followers, I know instantly that you’re doing something right).

  10. I’m going keep it plain and simple here.
    Spend no more than 5-10 seconds on do you think the site is about?
    Really couldn’t tell with a quick glance. It mentioned something about a business plan. The quick glance really didn’t give ma anything to go on.
    Now go back to the site and comment on various elements of the site.
    With this longer look I can see that the site is about assisting people with new businesses make the connections for their website. It looks like your site has multiple tools to pitch a business idea.
    What do you find bothersome? What do you like?
    I’ll start with what I like. Your site presents a simple and easy to use interface which anybody should be able to pick up on.
    I don’t like the fact that your site doesn’t explain itself with a quick glance. With most websites, you can usually figure it out in about 5-10 seconds, but not with your site. It takes a little longer especially with some of the lingo that is used. I can’t say I like the video either. It doesn’t seem to help explain your site much. It just seems to show people how to work the site. This is a redundancy because of your sites interface.
    Would you create a venture pitch? If not, why?
    If I had an idea to pitch I believe that I would use your site, but I don’t have an idea for a pitch.
    What do you think of the sign up process?
    I’m a person who likes the ability to login with an account that I already posses, but I know that it doesn’t appeal to everyone. I’m sure the system creates less problems for you, but you might lose some people without the option to create a separate account.
    What do you think of creating a pitch?

    Did the video upload work?
    I didn’t attempt a video upload for the site. I also am currently using a slower internet connection.
    What do you think the site compares to other similar sites/competitors like
    Please share any additional feedback/comments you may have.
    Your site still has the ability to grow, so take all the feedback you can and make the best venture pitch site you can.

  11. The purpose of the sight is quite clear, and the layout is intuitive in my opinion. the sign up process is also quite simple and well thought out.
    One thing that I noticed is that the audio in the splash video is quiet. I had to blast my speakers to understand the words spoken by the voice over. I would say that even just throwing the audio in garage band and putting a little compression and limiting on it will up the professional perception of it ten fold. Commercials have a certain sound quality that everyone is conditioned to be used to hearing, and anything obviously less than that will be perceived by the viewer as amateurish or low budge.
    I also think that many more people would be enticed to sign up if there was some sort of reference in the video to some resources on the site that would help coach people through the process of setting up a professional looking pitch IE: templates and how – to info.
    I would perhaps use this service, but i will actually refer some people that i know who are putting pitches together to the sight and see if they would use it.
    Hope this was helpful

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