Good morning, All, and it was good to see those of you who were able to make it to NYEW last week. We were also very happy to hear that some of you did manage to find a cofounder at our last Find A Cofounder event. We will do another one in the coming weeks – and if anyone can refer us to a tequila sponsor, well, have an awesome idea, so email me. Now, on with the show.
First, this past weekend was StartupWeekend in both New York and Boston and congratulations to the winners! In New York, Belli Elle took top honors, with Fashionable Maternity Wear for Rent. Good work, guys, and what a great idea! Especially considering you did it in 54 hours or less. Coming in a close second was another winner (in our book): Love Your Layover, which helps you sort out what to do when you’re between flights. Also competing for the upcoming Global StartupWeekend winner, this time from Boston: “The Hitchery,” a location-based social game that’s all about letting your hitchhiking avatar go places without you. Tagline: “Get there without going there.” They can be found at http://www.hitchery.com/ or @The_Hitchery.
Business Insider IGNITION: Welcome To The Future Of Media conference takes place in NYC December 2-3 (more info below) and the first 5 SOS member who respond can attend for only $225 (code: NYCinnovation). We’re witnessing the greatest period of creative destruction — and invention — in the history of media. Hear from Nick Denton, Sarah Chubb, Susan Lyne, John Borthwick, Eric Hippeau, Jason Kilar, and many more on where it’s all heading. http://bit.ly/bbYa71 to RSVP and there’s also a 20% discount for all members (code: startup2010)
Next, two things from our buds at chubbybrain.com. They’ve relaunched the Funding Recommendation Engine algorithm (http://bit.ly/a2qxrD) with the goal of using data to help entrepreneurs identify funding sources. So far, over 1200 startups have gone through it (SOS did participate in the private beta and our thanks to you all for helping!) For those of you who are new to the list – and there are quite a few of you – Funding Recommendation Engine (FRE) helps to identify angel investors and venture capital firms you should approach. BUT Before you get your pitch looking great, and before you get traction for your product and before you spend time in front of the mirror refining your elevator pitch, we’d recommend ensuring your company name starts with the right letter and is the right length to maximize your chances for receiving venture capital. So, with tongue held firmly in cheek (one of our favorite expressions, since it does forgive so much), ChubbyBrain has now done a study to help you out with How Do You Name Your Company to Maximize the Probability and Amount of Venture Capital You Will Raise? Full piece is here: http://bit.ly/bBDgtQ
For those of you involved in social media, happy to tell you about the sFund, a $250 million venture capital fund designed to fund startups and companies focusing on social media-related initiatives. Its manager is Kleiner Perkins partner Bing Gordon, current board member of Zynga and Amazon and former chief creative officer of EA. What makes it unique is that its investors, which include Facebook, Zynga, Amazon, Comcast, Allen & Company and Liberty Media. All of these companies have committed to providing assistance in their areas of expertise to startups funded by sFund. Facebook, for example, is giving startups early access to its platform and APIs, while Amazon will give them a free year of access to Amazon Web Services. sFund also has a broad mandate within social and is allowed to make investments as small as $100,000 and as large as $100 million. There are advantages and disadvantages, so eyes open: http://bit.ly/c9RG6c
Speaking of pitching, some help for you on the art of the pitch: You have one minute to explain yourself, your business, your goals and your passions. Your audience knows none of these. Are you prepared? GO! Well, the HBS is here to help you out with The HBS Pitch Builder (http://www.alumni.hbs.edu/careers/pitch/) and it’s nothing short of Pitchcraft (didn’t Sinatra sing that one?) If you’re pitching soon, or whenever, it’s a pretty cool little tool that’s worth keeping in your repertoire of pretty cool little tools, especially if you want to/need to get your message out quickly, clearly and distinctly to someone who doesn’t know you. And with whom you may never get that opportunity again.
One last request: vote for me! Yes, I did enter a British Airways contest, (Face of Opportunity) and voting ends this Friday. But why wait till then? Go here to vote (http://britishairways.promo.eprize.com/contest/view_gallery_link?id=2240) – and don’t watch the video: I’d been up since 5 am and cooking up Startup Waffles, so i’ve looked better. And remember: every vote counts so vote early and often. And thank you!
Ok, so a number of you came up to us at NYEW and told us that you have things to post – then told me what they were. It’s easy enough to do: just go to the website: startuponestop.com, and go for it! But we also know it was a busy week and for those of you who did find the time to post, help is on the way…