DavidV’s Venture Pitch

Yep, you read it right.  DavidV is part of the Venture Forum.

My real-life company CrowdTrust Technologies is in the process of launching a real-life product called “Gleanr” that I humbly believe will be the best learning technology ever invented(!). The marketing launch is December 7, but I’m keen to provide the world-class EVA’s of ETEC522 a very special sneak peek.

Gleanr (tagline “Sow what you know”) in educational terms is a next-generation hybrid of eportfolios and personal learning environments.   In web terms it is hyper-personalization, an emergence of “personal networking” that converges social networking, vertical search engines, and personal clouds (Twitter meets Google Reader meets Evernote meets LinkedIn).

I welcome your response to my elevator pitch (Gleanr Pitch).  Anyone who wants to review the full, confidential prospectus should email me directly.

Finally, I’m hoping that everyone will try Gleanr out sometime over the holidays.  Here’s an interim How To (Gleanr How To) until we get the onboarding/orientation materials into the product.   I will convey special charter membership and privileges to any ETEC522 students who provide me with good critical feedback.



1 Cari Wilson { 12.01.09 at 7:44 am }

Hi David,

So I was intrigued enough to view the pitch and the site. I’ve signed up and will play with it after work today – looks great! I really like the little “light bulb” thing (Sorry, technical term escapes me!) and the fact that so much can be kept all on one account. One of the things I find so frustrating lately is the number of different accounts I have for different things!

Two minor observations….I kepo thinking “sow what you know” was a typo (hey, I rhyme) for “SHOW what you know”…It wasn’t until I saw the painting in your pitch that I figured out what you were going for. Not sure how you would fix that, because I actually like the slogan – just didn’t get it at first!

Looking forward to trying it out!


2 Mark Reed { 12.01.09 at 9:12 pm }

This idea is timely as I was recently playing with the idea of creating portfolios for my planning 10 class that is very capable. Yes i think having the grad portfolios was not such a bad idea and it make sense to have a digital presentation/ archive of ourselves. Security is definitely an issue for me as a teacher advocating having my student put documents such as resumes online.

Looks like this would be my third choice so i will request the full version.

3 Omar Ramroop { 12.02.09 at 10:12 am }

This is (obviously) a well-thought plan. I always wondered when the rise of “amalgamation” type sites/resources would take off. After exploring both the pitch and the website, if I understand correctly, this is akin to e-portfolios, resources, and social networking being combined. With services like this, it is hard to capture the beauty of it in a pitch. It was not until I visited the website that I saw much more potential.

Naturally, security and privacy are two issues that arise when introducing a social networking service. Another issue that should be addressed is ease of use and providing a user-friendly interface. With so many resources and people, streamlining the interface is the best bet. If it is as seamless as Delicious (with the Firefox Add-on), then you may have a winner.

If I can free up some time over the holidays, I will look forward to testing it out. It is a great idea, well-executed, and looks professional.

Best regards,


4 Adam Rattray { 12.02.09 at 2:51 pm }

Hi David,
I like the all encompassing idea of Gleanr. It is a sophisticated product that all all networking users can appreciate. Why log into facebook, twitter, linked, and more if you can log into a single site and do it all. Receive and send information. I especially like the fact that you can send information with a single click to friends and family.

I am now a Gleaner and I look forward to both using and observing how this product competes. It is a tough market out there.


5 James Richardson { 12.03.09 at 11:27 am }

Hi David,
This type of all-in-one media convergence is very appealing. Your product is well developed with an existing user base, attractive website, and a persuasive well organized pitch. Unfortunately I couldn’t access the ‘how to’ document. Rather than play the sycophant, I am going to stick my neck out and offer some critique. Diigo features some of highlighting/bookmarking/sharing features of Gleanr so I am interested on what differentiates the 2 platforms? Gleaning tends to imply that users are scavenging leftovers or working harder once the low hanging fruit has been harvested. Are Gleanr’s are more adept at finding the diamonds in the rough? When users start to develop their ‘personality’, do you foresee adding ‘semantic web’ afforances that would help seperate the wheat from the chaff in Gleanr?

6 Mark Reed { 12.03.09 at 10:35 pm }

Hi David,
the following thoughts occurred to me as I reviewed the Gleanr prospectus.

Market focus – this market seems enticing but potentially tough to break into. I like your examples of potential users for Gleanr – they speak to potential customers through the profiles on pg.4 you identify scenarios that are enviable for many individuals that aspire to be like the users described.

The type of offering is somewhat abstract but the way Gleanr is described it is definitely a desirable service. The identification of an individual’s value on the net to advertisers creates a solid indication of the internet’s potential as a tool to launch personal presence, which can be leveraged for the creation of wealth.

I can really see this product starting with a basic user status that can grow into a more extensive product warranting user fees. What I am not sure about is if the customer will attribute the flow of gleaned information to the product presented. For example, as advertising begins to become more streamed to provide appropriate products for the user –will they recognize it is happening? In other words what can your venture do to identify how the service is working for the customer.

Global Markets

It is difficult to assess how the Gleanr product is suited for use in areas other than Wired Anglophone countries. Have you been able to identify what type of basic requirement a high end Gleanr would require in terms of bandwidth and hardware?

An evaluation of potential customers’ awareness for concepts such as virtual presence would be an important consideration before expansion out of the North American market and into a more global venture. In short the professional scenarios could be adapted in a culturally sensitive manner.

Overall I was impressed by the team you have assembled but being a conservative investor I would opt for the 100,00o minimum investment.

7 Annette Smith { 12.05.09 at 2:08 pm }

Having just spent an hour of my last day of school work rambling around the Gleanr site I have a few comments.

I worry about consolidating all my net bits in one place. I guess I want to preserve the divide between the private, family me and my professional persona. I am not convinced yet that gleanr would help me preserve what little privacy I have left (but the holiday break is coming and I may yet become hooked). I suppose I would want to have two gleanr accounts to accomplish this separation, but I am not sure how that would work and might miss the point entirely.

I think the product is interesting, and the simplicity of operation is attractive. I like the idea of consolidating when so much of our online selves is spread out over many applications and services. It could be a solution to the problem of getting spread too thin to be coherent.

The basic pitch is clear and engaging. Enough so that it pulled me away from my final 512 paper…

I look forward to seeing how this product evolves.


8 Len Pelletier { 12.05.09 at 4:20 pm }

Hi David,

I remember when there was a big fuss about Bill Gates deleting his Facebook profile because he felt maintaining an online presence consumed too much time for not enough pay-out. Maybe he’ll be one of your first investors! Clearly this is a much needed tool.

Is it cell phone browser friendly? I have to say, I didn’t understand the appeal of many social networks (like Twitter) until I had an iPhone and a 1 hour commute on the bus.

Best of luck on the launch on Monday!

9 Ernest Pao { 12.05.09 at 4:20 pm }

Hi David…very well done pitch and it’s certainly nice to get an idea of what a professional pitch may look like. However, in fairness to the other students, your elevator pitch is well over the 150 word limit!

Your pitch does a good job of answering many questions including what this product is about, what it does, company background, and vision. I like how this product consolidates many of the social media products already used and out in the market. My only question are, is there a cost to using it? And, what is the competition?



10 Sean McMinn { 12.05.09 at 6:56 pm }

Hi David,

Thanks for sharing your pitch. Like Ernie, I found it interesting to see what a professional pitch looks like.

Ervything is clear: your comany, vision, product, market and opportunity. It seesm that your business model is what most online social media comanies are doing; that is, offer a free consdensed version and then charging for more. I also like how you offer different scenerios for different potential markets.

I like your concept. It makes sense. In fact, I’ve seen others attempting to do the same thing (although, not to the scale that you are). For example: Seesmic combines Facebook and Twitter into one place. But that brings me to the only thing that would hesitate me from investing — competition. I think products like your is the next logical step and I’m guessing others will follow soon. Have you forseen this? And what have you planned to counteract a growth in this market?

Good luck and thanks for sharing.


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