Update: This application is no longer live, as it was successfully acquired by CapRally in January of 2013. As of November 2017, the Caprally website is down, but the case study is still worth reading.
Pitchbrite is a service that connects entrepreneurs with venture capitalists via common life factors (like a shared alma mater, location, etc.) and a unique social network algorithm. After entering information about yourself and your startup, it matches you with relevant VC firms and professionals.
However, this great and unique idea wasn’t without obstacles. Development had started for more than a year with no significant results, and PitchBrite risked losing trust with its current investors , as well as potential venture capitalists who were interested funding the project.
I was contacted by Matt Winn, the founder of PitchBrite, who worked in the VC world for several years prior to founding the company. Matt needed to quickly speed up development, prior to demonstrating the software to interested VC firms. The team which was working on this system had been struggling for three months, and investors were starting to get frustrated.
The team which was working on this system had been struggling for three months, and investors were starting to get frustrated.
For three months, I closely worked with Matt and another developer in order to finish the remaining features. Most of the code was poorly written, so we had to restructure the application, and we had to do it fast. The project ws completed in quite a short time frame compared to the time the old development team took. We followed the agile development methodology, which allowed us to push updates to the application really fast, and incorporate daily changes requested by our stakeholders.
Matt was able to demonstrate the project to interested venture capitalists on time, and was able to preserve his investors’ trust. The project went live on time, and hopes to become the de-facto standard for finding the best funding source. PitchBrite was a challenging and unique project I greatly enjoyed working on.
The platform was developed using the CodeIgniter framework, and made extensive use of the powerful Zend framework classes, which were being called from within CodeIgniter. The platform also made extensive use of Facebook API, LinkedIn API, and Twitter API. A custom scoring system was developed in order to offer the best matches between enterpreneurs and Venture Capitalists.