Publishing Startup Showcase

Mark Jacobsen (O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures), Otis Chandler (, Liza Daly (Safari)
Location: Astor Ballroom Level:
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Startup Showcase will be returning to TOC 2013, giving groundbreaking startups a chance to show their stuff to the world. Highlighting the startup ecosystem’s creativity and variety, the Showcase will give young companies in the publishing space a chance to get their company in front of a global community of leaders in the publishing and technology industries, as well as potential investors. And this year we’re changing the format slightly and allowing the public to choose the finalists, giving startups even more exposure in the publishing industry.

And the winners are…

Watch video of the three winners being announced (and giving their 1 minute pitch) onstage at TOC in New York

The 10 Finalists

Congratulations to these 10 startups who will be joining us in person at TOC in New York City to demo their products and services in the Startup Showcase.

View the list of the 20 semi-finalist companies

About Startup Showcase

Who qualifies to participate?

  • Relatively young publishing (and publishing-related) startups that aren’t drowning in investment (yet)

  • Established companies incorporating new technologies and/OR innovative business models in their approach to publishing

How it works:

  • Our team of investors, VCs, and industry analysts will select 20 leading publishing startups from all the submissions we receive. (Note: call for submissions ended December 6)
  • The 20 semi-finalist companies will then be put up for a public vote by the publishing industry
  • The 10 companies with the highest combination of public vote and judges’ score will then get the opportunity to demo their product/service and tell their story in-person at the TOC Startup Showcase on Wednesday, February 13 in New York City.
  • On February 13 during TOC, we’ll have the 10 finalists demoing in one large room. TOC attendees and two judges from the investor community will have a chance to visit the demos and listen to your 5-minute pitch. We’ll then ask everyone to vote on their favorite startup
  • The three winners (two judges picks and the audience favorite) will be announced the following day during the afternoon keynotes. Each of the winning companies will then give a one-minute pitch and have a short conversation with the judges onstage.

If selected as a finalist:

  • We’ll provide you with a small table and room for two people to demo
  • You’ll supply your own laptop for the demos (we won’t provide power, so we recommend bringing two laptops)
  • Wireless internet access will be available, so web-based demos are okay
  • You’ll bring a maximum of two people (at least one of whom must be a founder or C-level equivalent)
  • The week prior to the event, you’ll supply us with a presentation of 2-4 slides that includes screenshots for your onstage pitch in case you are selected
  • You’ll receive a complementary 2-Day Pass that will get you into all keynotes, sessions, and events

Important Dates
All Startup Showcase submissions due: December 6
Semi-finalists notified by: January 3
Semi-finalist voting opens: January 7
Semi-finalist voting ends: January 11
Finalists notified by: January 15

  • To get started, complete our complete our Startup Showcase application before December 6.
  • Once we’ve received all the applications, we’ll review them and contact the finalists by DATE TBA. If your company is chosen, you’ll receive up to two 2-day passes to TOC 2013 for the members of your company who will be pitching.
  • You’ll have a space in the showcase to try and win over the judges.
  • The winning startup will be chosen onsite at TOC 2013.
  • To be a finalist, you need to be in New York on February 13, 2013.
Photo of Mark  Jacobsen

Mark Jacobsen

O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures

Mark is a co-founder and managing director of O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures (“OATV”), which has raised two funds and has over $100M under management. Prior to OATV, Mark was the EVP for New Ventures and Business Development at O’Reilly Media, and managed its investment portfolio. While at O’Reilly, he also had extensive operational experience including managing two startup companies, and overseeing O’Reilly’s conferences business, as well as responsibility for most business development and strategic relationships. Mark is currently a board member of CollabNet, Instructables, O’Reilly Media, TripIt, AMEE, Path Intelligence and LocalDirt, and a board observer of Chumby Industries. Mark holds a J.D from Georgetown University Law Center and a B.A. from St. Olaf College.

Photo of Otis  Chandler

Otis Chandler

Otis is the founder and CEO of – a social network for
book lovers. Launched in late 2006, the site has since grown to over
1.7 million members, completely by word of mouth. Goodreads raised an
angel round in 2007, and is otherwise privately owned.

Along with a passion for building websites, Otis is also a voracious
reader. He started Goodreads as part of a personal goal to read more
books, and watch less TV, and has found a large core group of people
that love reading, and have helped drive the direction of Goodreads.
He is an engineer at heart, and loves tinkering and listening to
customers in order to make the best product possible.

Before founding Goodreads, Otis was a Software Engineer and Product
Manager at Monster Worldwide, the leading purveyor of
online jobs, purchased the company in 2004. At Tickle, Otis was in
charge of, a top ten online dating service. Otis
credits all his knowledge of building successful online media websites
to his experiences at Tickle. Otis graduated with a B.S. in
Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University, where he always
believed he would one day build cars.

Photo of Liza Daly

Liza Daly


Liza Daly is the CTO at Safari, where professionals go to learn the technology, business, and leadership skills they need to have a remarkable career. Liza came to Safari via an acquisition of her digital publishing companies and was given a mandate to build a modern engineering team to transform the business. She has been a software engineer, entrepreneur, and technical manager at both startups and larger organizations. She’s made her home and career in the Boston area and is active in the digital art and open source communities.


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