Snakt at Demo Day

By Tristan Snell

As co-founder of a tech startup, I get asked a lot of questions — such as, “Is this seat taken?” and “Room for milk?” and “When are you going to get a real job?” To help everyone understand the experience of starting a company, I’ve put together the following Q&A.

What’s your startup?
Snakt is a social video app. We’re launching on iOS this winter. You can reserve your spot on our invite list by going to or following us on Twitter at @getsnakt. Or if you make kickass video content, we want to work with you: email me at

What the heck do you do each day?
I drink a lot of coffee. I look at computer screens a lot. I do my best to manage and nudge and steer and lead a fantastic team of software developers, creative strategists, content creators, and community builders. I send a lot of emails. I do a ton of phone calls. We’re in the home stretch of building the app, we’re raising our seed round with angel investors, and we’re talking to a lot of content makers, including online video stars, comedians, and musicians.

What did the Demo Day experience mean for you?
There were two major benefits of Demo Day for Snakt: the process and the outcome. The process of having to craft and refine our pitch, and the outcome of making connections with investors and content makers.

What was your process for crafting and refining your Demo Day pitch?
It involved a lot of coffee. We may or may not have gotten a bit high off of all the dry-erase markers from hours and hours at the whiteboard. There were a lot of really bad drawings (somewhere my high school art teachers were weeping). We got a lot of great feedback from our Media Center mentors, as well as other advisors we’re lucky to have.

But there’s no denying it: this was one of the most difficult parts of the entire experience so far — mulling each word, each phrase, each image. And it’s extraordinarily difficult to tell a story that you’re actually still living out, to be a leading character and a detached narrator at the same time. There was a certain irony in this: Snakt is all about helping creators tell stories in a more dynamic, social, and interactive way, and suddenly we had to deal with telling our story.

Can you pay for my drinks, since you’re going to be a billionaire?
If only. But we did connect with some awesome investors and content makers at Demo Day, and we’ve had a number of productive follow-up meetings. Fingers crossed.

Seriously, when are you going to get a real job?
Relax, Dad. I’m working on it.