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Kohort unveils at Disrupt, details emerge about Reiser’s involvement

Kohort’s launch presentation Tuesday at TechCrunch Disrupt from techcrunch.com/disrupt.

One of the 29 startups to launch this week at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in New York City has a direct tie to the Silicon Prairie: Kohort. Des Moines’ Shane Reiser, also the COO of Startup Weekend, has joined the Kohort team at Director of Business Development. Reiser is the only non-New Yorker involved in Kohort. (Left: Reiser, photo by Elizabeth Fuller via Flickr.)

Kohort, which raised a $3 million seed round, had not disclosed anything about its product or business prior to Tuesday’s launch. From the stage, Kohort’s CEO and co-founder, Mark Peter Davis, described the product as “the single solution that [a community] organizer needs to engage their membership: communication management, event management, member management, transaction management, under one umbrella.” Additionally, he said the product will allow groups to manage their sub-groups (what Kohort calls “chapters”) and to be social amongst other groups.

Davis said the product will be free for the vast majority of groups and began a private beta phase this week with TechStars, Startup Weekend and Arizona State University. The company’s business model involves selling sponsorships into free groups and generating service fees from transactions, such as ticket sales, within a group.

In addition to launching the product, Davis also used the stage to announce Kohort’s first initiative, along with American Express Open Forum and the law firm Cooley. He described the initiative as an effort to “unify the entire entrepreneurial ecosystem and export entrepreneurship globally by taking the model we developed at the Columbia Venture Community to every major university in the States and beyond.” Further details were not revealed.

Reiser, in New York City for the launch, said via email that his role currently involves, “on-boarding groups, building the entrepreneurship channel, bringing Kohort to every university in the world, a little internal ops stuff, and customer service.” He met Davis after inviting him to speak at a Startup Weekend event he organized last year.

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