Good morning, All,
The threat of a lot of wind and water – aka Hurricane Sandy – came along starting this past weekend and most of the Eastern seaboard was on put on high alert or shut down, including New York City, which came to a grinding halt. True: Halloween Week and NYC turned into a ghost town. In the midst of all this, California had an earthquake – as did Canada and Apple Computer (Massive Shakeup at Apple: http://tnw.co/WWh3mI).
We’re not used to natural disasters in New York City, especially here in Manhattan. The outer boroughs have had tornados here and there, but let’s face it: we’re not in Kansas. Not by a longshot, and with all due respect to Kansas, we mean that as a metaphor.
We came across this article last week, and Sandy certainly changed our perspective on it: Why We Can’t Solve Big Problems. “We wanted flying cars—instead we got 140 characters,” says paypal co-founder and mega-investor Peter Thiel: http://bit.ly/RHwUjy In fact, the foundersfund website opens with the missive, What Happened to the Future?: http://bit.ly/qmSt6l. Lest we forget, it took years to get from the telegraph to the telephone; from the horse and buggy to the automobile, and both faced much public resistance and ridicule. Home computers have only been around since the 80s, and graphics didn’t hit the internet until the 90s. (10 Inventions That Changed the World: http://bit.ly/Q34iF3). These are still the relative early days of online tech, with apps and services disrupting, updating and even improving many an industry. Including news, which is being reported and disseminated in real time, online, and often long before it hits the broadcast media, and in ways that the broadcast media cannot readily accommodate. @ElzbthMllr tweeted: “I watched Katrina unfold on CNN. I am watching #Sandy on Twitter, Instagram & Facebook.” That’s how we personally followed the storm as well, and were happy for the updates, even if they were only coming in 140 characters at a time. Mr. Thiel has put his money – and made his fortune – into several internet-based companies, including facebook, to which a lot of people also turned for storm updates – and an online payment system, while helpful, is not exactly a cure for cancer, either. Consider: How A Facebook Page Prepared A Region For Hurricane Sandy, And What That Teaches About Social Media: http://onforb.es/WWSplM. The Frankenstorm brought out social media with a purpose; localized/disseminated information; flagged emergencies; and inspired real-time response – in ways few other mediums could (@L—H–: My friend has only so many hours left on his ventilator battery, at Broadway and Duane in Manhattan, anyone nearby have a generator?). Of course, you do always have to consider the source of the information as well – and verify: it’s very easy to spread panic, and there are people out there who like to do just that, so do be careful, and no, we are not referring to the aforementioned tweet. Social media helped many people to prepare for and survive Sandy’s winds and waters and demonstrated that it is very much a critical communications tool, in the present and in future. And, unlike potential investors at times, in emergencies it can be a hell of a lot more than just a lot of hot air. Onward and forward.
The list of Startup Weekend Upcoming Events
The Awesome Foundation wants to give you $1000 for your best idea – almost anywhere in the world. We give micro-grants each month to projects that are inspiring, delightful, and elegant: in a word, Awesome. To apply in NYC: http://bit.ly/NWueRO For more information and the complete list of chapters all over the world: http://www.awesomefoundation.org/
NYU-Poly Incubator Accepting Fall Applications, deadline unknown. At the NYU-Poly Incubator we understand the needs of early-stage startups. We focus on providing our startups with the key resources that they need to be successful. This fall, we are excited to accept a few more startups at our DUMBO location in Brooklyn. Our incubator is looking for energetic and innovative startups that want to be apart of the bigger NYC Tech Community. For more information and to apply: http://bit.ly/Q85fbI
Fintech Innovation Lab London, deadline November 1st. Program runs 7 January to 22 March. To apply, complete the online application form and upload a two-minute video that describes your technology and how it would help financial services firms. http://bit.ly/P3vm6G
NYC Next Idea, deadline November 9th. NYC Next Idea is back and better than ever for its fourth iteration! With newly expanded eligibility rules that permit a much larger cross-section of US-based teams to participate, this year’s competition promises to bring the best business ideas from all around the globe to NYC for a chance to pitch to seasoned investors and win $35,000 to get their business off the ground. Registration is open now via this link. For more information: http://bit.ly/IIFg3G
NYC SeedStart Enterprise-Focused Accelerator, deadline November 9th. NYC SeedStart: Enterprise is looking for software and web-based teams with technical co-founders launching companies in the enterprise software area. The program will take place in New York City from January to March 2013. Particular areas of interest are SaaS, Real-time Analytics, Security, Cloud Services and Consumer-enabled Enterprise Products. Up to ten teams will be selected to participate, with each company receiving $20,000 in funding in exchange for a 5% equity stake in the business. For more information and to apply: http://www.nycseedstart.com/Or contact us @ firstname.lastname@example.org
AWS Global Startup Challenge, deadline November 9th. The Amazon Web Services (AWS) Global Start-Up Challenge is a way for promising start-ups to get noticed and compete for an opportunity to win some great rewards. This year’s challenge offers prizes such as $100K in combined cash and credits for multiple winners, VC introductions, PR support, and more. If your start-up is built using AWS, we want you to apply!
Meet Tier One Investors: Finalists will be flown to San Francisco where they will meet 1:1 with top VCs
More Winners, More Prizes: This year we will award winners in four categories, and award each of the four winners $50,000 in cash and $50,000 in AWS credits
Press and Attention for Your Start-Up: Past winners have been covered by top tech news outlets, and AWS offers other free promotion to top teams as part of the contest. For more information and to apply: http://bit.ly/OwE8ny
“Who Would You Fund” TechStartup Challenge 2012, deadline November 11th. Think your startup has what it takes? Prove it! Submit your startup promotional vidle and you just might win the opportunity to make a live pitch to the ARC Angel Fund. For more information and to enter: https://vidle.me/competition/whowouldyoufund
Vator is bringing its popular evening event and competition back to NYC! Deadline: November 14th. 15% SOS discount code: SOS15. What do the top 10 finalists win? The opportunity to give a three-minute presentation onstage to some of the top investors in the industry, here in NYC on December 5th.
Vator, one of the largest business networks dedicated to high-tech entrepreneurs and investors, is looking to recognize 10 promising startups across technology, including digital media, social media, consumer Internet, software, SaaS, iPhone apps, and mobile.
Who should apply? Entrepreneurs with seed- to early-stage startups that have raised no more than $1.5 million.
What should you submit? Submissions are in the form of a Vator company profile. We encourage video as it gives us a better sense of who’s behind the company. But you don’t need one.
For more information: http://bit.ly/OVVrPl To apply for the competition: http://vator.tv/registration
BlueprintHealth Accelerator, deadline November 19th. The program is geared towards healthcare companies that want an intensive three-month program to help find customers and capital. Selected companies range from two founders with an idea to businesses that have customers, investors and are generating significant revenue. The foundation of the program is a community of over 150 healthcare entrepreneurs, investors and industry executives that are committed to helping you build and grow your business. We have the largest network of mentors with healthcare expertise of any accelerator, which can provide you with warm introductions and the strategic and tactile advice you need. If you are accepted to the accelerator program, you will receive $20,000 in cash, over $50,000 in perks, office space at our SoHo office, and a community that is dedicated to seeing you succeed. For more information and to apply: http://bit.ly/Q926Y5
ER Accelerator Winter Session, deadline November 30th. ERA one of the top accelerators in the country, if not the world. Get $25k in funding; free office space in the heart of NYC; access to 200+ amazing mentors (http://eranyc.com/mentors/ and yes, Yours Truly happens to be one of them). For more information: http://eranyc.com/ To apply: http://eranyc.com/apply/
Take the HELM, deadline November 30th. The Take the HELM (Hire & Expand in Lower Manhattan) Competition will select up to 20 finalists that best meet the goals of the competition and seek to open an office in Lower Manhattan. Finalists will each receive a $10,000 cash grant, an opportunity to interview with the distinguished Take the HELM Selection Committee, and will participate in two days of exclusive business development programs in Lower Manhattan. Up to four Take the HELM winners will receive an additional $250,000. At least one $250,000 prize will be reserved for startup applicants. For more information and to apply: http://www.takethehelmnyc.com/
THE NEW ENGLAND VENTURE SUMMIT Call for Top Innovators, and it’s not too late to apply to present. http://bit.ly/OVZQBF. The New England Venture Summit provides an unparalleled opportunity for startups to meet, network and showcase their innovative investment opportunities to a leading group of investors. This exclusive venture summit will feature over 40 leading VCs on timely panel discussions; presentations by 50 cutting edge companies and high-level networking opportunities. It happens in Boston on December 5th. If you plan on attending, register now and save 50%: http://bit.ly/LjlttK
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For you edification this week:
Speaking of Frankenstorms – Survival of the fittest: failure in the startup world. How do startups move past fledgling territory and on to company status? Consider this your how-to-not-fail. Or try, and fail anyway — like Apple did before its return to power: http://tnw.co/S8zDlk
What Goes Wrong. Not all startups are successful. Jessica Livingston, founding partner at Y Combinator, says that “it’s like there’s a tunnel full of monsters that kill them along the way. I’m going to tell you what these monsters are so you know to avoid them.” And what to do about them if/when they show up: http://bit.ly/Y0zGnw
I Don’t Have Time. Big things start with small steps. Just a reminder: http://bit.ly/TNWU1r
Killing Your Startup on a Thursday Night. Sometimes, shutting off the lights is the best plan for moving forward: http://tcrn.ch/S5NOHL
James Dyson, maverick inventor, funds a product incubator. Dyson believes that with all the obsession on code and digital, there is need for physical inventions. “Talented young minds want to be the next Mark Zuckerberg or Larry Page. But with the world abuzz with digital, we are losing sight of real engineering. Hardware is profitable. Don’t be fooled”: http://bit.ly/RstBNJ
Hurricane Sandy: How You Can Help. The Red Cross needs blood. People need winter clothes: http://bit.ly/RtBlPB
10,000 Startups – Startup Weekend Next. From Steve Blank: Today we are announcing the biggest entrepreneurial program ever launched – Startup Weekend Next. A partnership of Startup Weekend, Startup America, TechStars and Udacity, Startup Weekend Next brings four weeks of amazing hands-on training learning to build your startup to cities around the world. Our goal– to inspire, educate and empower hundred’s of thousands of entrepreneurs and help create 10,000 startups: http://bit.ly/RtB8vE
Elevator Pitch/Member News
Hint, hint: Feel free to tell us what you’re working on, or if you’ve been featured in the press…Share, and we will, too!
Don’t forget that Entrepreneur Week is here in NYC next week – and we have a discount code for you: 20% off with code SOS20. Come learn, connect & have VCs pitch to you, for a change. Experience Entrepreneur Week. 50+ speakers over 5 days: For more information and to register: http://bit.ly/SYxE2o.
One last thing: to all of those Frankenstorm-troopers who were tweeting that their tech was rebooting every time the power blinked: it’s called a surge protector, and make sure to get a good one, with a circuit breaker in it. Technology can be so simple, given the right tool! That’s it from us this week. Enjoy your Halloween and no looting and pillaging out there (plans for that were tweeted, too, by gang members)! Stick with something safe and legal, like accepting Halloween candy from strangers (and please explain that one to me). And now, as always, help is on the way…