Good morning, All,
Our next EW+SOS+ER breakfast will be December 6th, centrally located at Wichcraft at 555 Fifth Avenue. We keep it to a small group; everyone introduces him or herself, and everyone has the opportunity to talk about what they’re doing – and what they need to get to the next level. Hope to see you there! RSVP here: http://roottbreakfast2.eventbrite.com/
Cross one off the bucket list: last week we met one of our personal favorites – Mark Suster – who spoke at the Vator VentureShift conference and stated unequivocally that the current tech bubble will burst next year – 2013 at the latest. His recommendation: take as much money as you can – NOW – and since there are a number of people out there who are suddenly ‘investors,’ he also warned about inexperience/newly minted investors, and we’d like to share an excellent blog post Mark Birch on this very subject not too long ago: (The Trouble with Non-Investor Investors. “You can file this under investors to avoid,” states Birch, and to read on: http://bit.ly/vZRaFH). Suster also said that there’s no such thing as superangels, and mentioned the barbell, which, if you haven’t been paying attention, is the industry term du jour. ‘Barbell’ refers to that investment no man’s land between early stage and serious VC money, where the investment landscape almost literally flatlines. It’s also the place that separates out the serious companies: where you literally have to make it on your own petard or close up shop. You’d better have something no one can live without – and are willing to pay for – or has made a dramatic change in the landscape, and no one can live without, like twitter. Just something to think about. That said, the angels are out there, but spend your money and build your product wisely and yes, Virginia, you do need a business model.
The demons. Two troublesome pieces of legislation before Congress. First the Entrepreneurs Access to Capital Act, or ‘Crowdfunding’ bill would expose investors to swindles http://bsun.md/tYijgE It passed in the House by a vote of 407-17, but as written, it offers zero protection for investors and at the end of the day, may well hurt us all. Second is SOPA, which stands for the Stop Online Piracy Act, or as TheNextWeb so accurately states: SOPA Is An Easy No: These Idiots Are Coming For Your Internet (http://tnw.co/tuuAOr). There was an online protest this past week, but far from over. The EFF has tool for you http://bit.ly/ufie58) This is an issue that requires our attention, and action, and thank you, Iggy, for reminding us about the urgency of this matter. And just to remind you who’s making these decision/voting on these measures: CBS 60 Minutes : Congress Trading Stocks on Inside Info (Boehner, Pelosi,Bachus) Part 1 of 2 (http://youtu.be/n-uefCvtp24) Onward and forward.
Samsung’s $100k Challenge to Developers, deadline November 29th. Samsung is offering $225,000 in cash and prizes for the most innovative converged apps that enable an interactive home entertainment experience between Samsung TVs and other devices. The 2011 Samsung Free the TV Challenge invites software developers to create compelling converged apps that offer seamless user interaction between a Samsung Smart TV and at least one other screen, such as a phone, tablet or computer. Last year, we released the first-ever Samsung TV App SDK and launched the 2010 Free the TV Challenge to develop native apps on our line of Smart TVs and Blu-ray devices. This year we take another leap forward to free the TV with “converged apps” — multi-screen apps that offer immersive, interactive home entertainment experiences. For more information and to apply: http://www.freethetvchallenge.com/
4 Reasons Why You Should Apply To Women 2.0 PITCH, deadline November 30th. Forbes did a piece on it. Link to apply is there as well: http://onforb.es/tnj94Y
NEW Thiel Fellowship, Deadline December 31st. Yes, it’s Peter Thiel. An ideal candidate is 19 years old or younger as of December 31, 2011 and has ideas that simply cannot wait. She or he wants to change the world and has already started to do it in some fashion. We want fellows who dream big and have clear plans, who take risks and learn from mistakes, who think long-term and like to tinker. Inspire us. To apply: http://bit.ly/sf9t4p
NEW TechStars NYC, early appliction deadline: January 10th. Final deadline: January 23rd. Time for the Spring session. To apply: http://apply.techstars.com/ For more information: http://www.techstars.com/
NYC Big App Awards – New York City is challenging software developers to create apps that use city data to make NYC better. $50k in cash and prizes! You have from now until January 25th to enter. For more information and to apply: http://2011.nycbigapps.com/
The Appy Awards – enter once and you could win twice. Deadline March 21, 2012 but any entry you submit today may also be selected as our “Featured App of the Week“, scoring you some seriously instant gratification. And we doesn’t love that? For more information and to enter – any time – http://appyawards.net/
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For you edification this week
Peter Shankman was one of our guest entrepreneurs this past week at our SOS+ER+EW event, and generously spent most of the evening meeting one-on-one with startups. And gave sage advice when he stood up for a few minutes to speak publicly: Investor Peter Shankman’s Advice: Don’t Ask for Money, which includes six very helpful tips: http://bit.ly/vDGL3n
Don’t Forget to Bootstrap. Speaking of spending wisely – or not taking investment money at all: http://bit.ly/sOxwMs
Brad Harrison from BHV also spoke at the event, and made five very different and equally important points: Investor Brad Harrison’s Event Advice: Focus on Social and Business: http://bit.ly/sB6L8h
The Brilliant Way To Negotiate In Three Easy Lessons. “Negotiation is almost as important as sales,” writes James Altucher. “By the way, it’s not as important. Much more important to get the foot in the door (the first “yes”) then have the door slammed in your face. But once the foot is in the door you have to make sure it’s not chopped off. This is negotiation:” http://tcrn.ch/vxdvLm
The Market Size Fallacy. How does one measure the market size of a company creating a completely new market? http://bit.ly/sxofGZ
And speaking of the crowdfunding bill, again from Mark Birch: Gambling, Investing and Startups: “We should be cautious about jumping head first into opening up startup investing to all. In theory, it sounds like an excellent idea to help even more entrepreneurs fund even more innovative ideas that could spur job creation. It is the unintended consequences however that could come back to harm a lot of people that are ill-equipped to handle the roller-coaster ride of private market investing..” And as an early stage investor himself, Birch knows of what he speaks: http://bit.ly/rw7mcv
Crowdfunding: Where it has been and where the new bill is taking it (infographic). The positives and negatives: http://bit.ly/vY7C8d
For UK-based startups looking towards crowdfunding: Crowfunding gold rush as London Group raises record 1 million pounds on Crowdcube: http://bit.ly/uPIYYk
Heads up, India: Top Angel Investors To Attend VCCircle’s 2nd Angel Investor Summit, December 1st. Angel investment in Indian continues to see a lot of traction, with an increasing interest from large, successful entrepreneurs and existing institutional investors. We have no personal experience or member feedback from this group, but here’s the information, if you’re interested in attending: http://bit.ly/uKTlGq
Your requests for cookies. Some of you have asked me about them this week and yes, they are available and yes, they’re wheat-free, dairy free, egg-free, naturally sweetened, contain no artificial ingredients – and they’re unbelievably good! My Type 2 diabetic other half can safely eat them, too, btw. Here’s the deal: they come in three varieties: chocolate chip, chocolate chocolate chip (which taste like brownies) and peanut butter and yes, we can make them nut-free – except for the peanut butter. If you want to order some, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In honor of Thanksgiving and it being not only a short week, but one of the biggest travel weekends of the year, we’re not including the usual I Need Help/I Can Help, as we don’t want to shortchange anyone. But we’ll be back next week, so feel free to post, if you need help or have help to offer. If you’re new to the list, simply go to startuponestop.com and follow the link. In the meantime, have a safe and wonderful holiday and help will be on the way soon enough…
Elevator Pitch/Member News
When you have good news to share – let us know and we’re happy to spread the word!
HPVP Invests In PublicStuff (with Lerer Ventures & First Round Capital). Congratulations to ER Accelerator graduate publicstuff (Need Your Street Plowed Or A Pothole Filled? File A Ticket On PublicStuff, A Community Help Line In The Cloud: http://read.bi/vLGJFg). PublicStuff helps towns discover issues and proactively address them. You can check out the company here: http://www.publicstuff.com/ More about the investment here: http://bit.ly/v1i10J