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As we were trying to take lessons away from going to these demo days, we found that a significant number of those companies had business models that were predicated on advertising revenue supporting them, but we never encountered a brand,” says Gleeson. The partners started to see echoes of the ad industry vis-a-vis the web circa 2000. “You start to see all the things that were wrong with the web where we accepted banners and just kind of rolled along, you saw that dangerously close to repeating with these startups. It was ‘Oh, don’t worry, we’ll put the banner here and then we’ll scale to a billion views and that’s where we’ll make our money.’

Wieden + Kennedy Tech Incubator Picks Its Startup Class of 2011