Bringing Good Karma To The Startup Battlefield (NYC)

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A Startup Battlefield finalist at at TechCrunch Disrupt in NYC blogs about her experience.

By Neha Sampat (Co-Founder, KurbKarma)

Women in tech kicked butt this week at TechCrunch Disrupt in NYC!

After over 11 months of dedicating many nights and weekends to “my little venture”, the opportunity to finally launch KurbKarma as a Startup Battlefield Finalist was incredible – and an unforgettable experience for any founder.

Being the first woman presenter in the company of amazing women leaders like Heather Harde and Marissa Mayer was truly inspirational.

Check out our stage presentation here:

Co-Founders Neha Sampat & Matthew Baier launch KurbKarma, a Startup Battlefield finalist at at TechCrunch Disrupt in NYC.

Support from the Disrupt community was equally energizing. We were bombarded by tweets about winning the hearts of the audience and support from the investment community.

How KurbKarma Was Born

About a year ago, my close friend Matthew Baier and I were headed to City Lights Bookstore in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco. After circling around looking for parking for over 40 minutes, we finally parked several blocks away and headed to a nearby coffee shop instead. Wouldn’t it be great if you could have a friend hold a spot for you when you were headed to a neighborhood like North Beach? And what if there was an app for that?

Hence KurbKarma was born – a social network for parking, which delivers incentives for spreading parking karma in the form of “KarmaKredits.” As our idea evolved, we engaged raw engineering to help us build the app. As excited about the idea as Matthew and me, they jumped on board and we soon became a team of parking solution hobbyists.

Surviving The Battlefield

After four exciting days in NYC, we came back to San Francisco with the leverage of exposure from USA Today, TechCrunch, C|Net, Cult of Mac, Laughing Squid, and a Twitter reach of over two million impressions.

How did we pull this off? Well, we had a small army of supporters, many of whom are strong women leaders in their own right. PR, legal, design and operations – all led by women.

Given that we were one of the only startups in the finalist roundup that had bootstrapped its way to the launch – and hadn’t started any PR or marketing outreach until our stage pitch – we walked away the inspired underdog poised and determined to go on to do grand things!

Editor’s note: Got a question for our guest bloggers? Leave a message in the comments below.

About the guest blogger: Neha Sampat is Co-Founder of Kurba Karma. She is also a co-founder and advisor to raw engineering. Living by the motto “Never be boring,” Neha consistently challenges herself to pursue projects of passion alongside her full-time job as a marketer and advocate of cloud computing at VMware. Neha holds an MBA from Santa Clara University and a B.A. in French and Mass Communications from the University of Denver. Follow her on Twitter at @nehasf.