New York Angels

Shouting into the unfunded abyss

May 6, 2011: 12:54 PM ET

When the founder of an unheralded startup offered a cri de coeur about the inanities of the funding process, he heard hundreds of voices crying back.

FORTUNE -- If there is a tech bubble, it certainly hasn't given lift to Adam Neary. Neary is the CEO of Profitably, a financial analysis service for small businesses. It doesn't feature check-ins, a bespoke social network, or a game layer. Its cofounder hasn't crashed and burned at another startup that was once the darling of TechCrunch. And most of you will never have any reason to use it. It's just an app that saves people time—and the people, in this case, are the decidedly unsexy demographic: finance professionals.

But wait! Don't go clicking into another tab. What makes Neary important isn't his app -- it's how he sees the app economy. "When they say there's a tech bubble, I think there's an emerging fear that some deals are being overvalued in some sectors. Not for me. I don't know one way or the other." Over an oatmeal and smoothie breakfast in Manhattan's Union Square, Neary explains that a tech bubble may exist for the startups bending their business models to the latest trends, but for the rest of the crowd, the ones that don't want to make a QR-code scavenger hunt that doubles as a five-person social network in which you can only communicate through images and local coupons, the bubble isn't exactly a fact of life.

"All I see are entrepreneurs all around who are struggling to get funding. Everyday. People are calling me, they want my help. People are asking for directions to investors, investors are not interested. I see people who are struggling all the time. I see smart people not getting deals done." More

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