Good morning, All,
Our next EW+SOS+ER breakfast will be December 6th, and it’s the Midtown Edition, centrally located at Wichcraft at 555 Fifth Avenue. Yes, we do keep them intime so that everyone is able to participate and tell us what you’re up to – and what you need. RSVP here: http://roottbreakfast2.eventbrite.com/
It’s December. Holiday music is in the air and early stage investors are pretty much in the wind. Or will be soon enough. Many of them will be at the many parties/events that are happening around the world this time of year. To help you make the most of it: The Basic Rules of Networking – in no particular order.
Rule #1: Show up! Tell yourself you’ll go for an hour. A good ice breaker? Try, ‘hello,’ and take it from there. The important thing is to put one foot in front of the other, and go. You might want to bring a wingman and work the room together, or divide and conquer. But make sure you don’t talk to just each other. That’s not helpful.
Rule #2: Check out who else will be there before you go. Most events list the attendees. Target those people you want to talk to. Go up and introduce yourself. If you happen to be at one of those rare events where people are not wearing name badges, find the organizer and ask if he or she can make an introduction, or at least identify that person to you. Don’t be shy: it’s part of a good host’s – or an assistant’s – job. If the host blows you off, think twice about registering for one of his/her events in future, and make sure your host isn’t busy with someone else at the time.
Rule #3: Bring business cards. Ask for business cards, when appropriate, and follow up. Download the linkedin app that let’s you capture someone’s information and send that person a linkedin invite. Ask first. Make sure they want to connect with you.
Rule #4: Don’t just look for investors – look for mentors as well. At our last networking event two weeks ago, yes, we had very helpful and active early stage investors who spoke to everyone who requested their ear. We also received a number of thank you notes from attendees who’d met – or to whom we’d introduced – entrepreneurs who worked in their vertical, or who had had successful exits in their vertical. Be open: one never knows…
Rule #5: Meet at least one new person at each event. Not just the speakers, but the rank and file as well. You may not get to talk to the CEO, and chances are, one of his or her associates, who is no doubt also there, will be much easier to approach – and will more likely take a follow up meeting.
Rule #6: Meet other attendees as well. They’re there for the same reason you are: to network. And you don’t know whom they might know who could possibly help you. You might know someone/have talked to someone in the room who could possibly help that person, too. Play it forward.
Rule #7: If it’s an event with a panel discussion and you want to meet one of the speakers, ask a question – the more informed, the better.Do your homework: read some of his/her most recent blog posts before you go. Introduce yourself afterwards. If you didn’t have a question to ask but have something that might interest that speaker, still introduce yourself afterwards; speak to him/her briefly; ask for a business card and offer to follow up. Oh, and follow up. Same holds true if you meet this person at a networking event/party. Speak to him/her – briefly – and offer to follow up. And follow up
Rule #8: DO NOT STALK. DO NOT ENGAGE IN A MONOLOGUE. You already know what you have to say – listen to what others have to say – and what they might have to offer.
Rule #9: Work the room. Don’t sit/stand in one spot all evening. I call it doing a lap.
Rule #10: Follow up with an email in the next day or two. Remind that person where you met – in the subject line – and if you’d like to get together, suggest coffee and ask when they might be available.
I know this sounds simple and straightforward. You’d be surprised how many events we attend where people do not have business cards. Or they sit in one spot all night, usually at the bar. Not helpful. Unless you’re there with a completely different agenda. 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
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
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
An Interactive Map Of The New York City Startup Ecosystem. Startups are popping up all over New York City and Business Insider has compiled a list of nearly 100 companies, accelerators and work spaces and their locations. If your startup isn’t listed, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and they’ll add it: http://read.bi/uqpykl
7 Tips For Getting Acquired. Note that the second tip is to start early, meaning, target and network. Did we not just say that? Also note, as the writer says, the key is to focus on growth and creating value for your users or customers, not (build) a company to get bought. http://bit.ly/vSkeZh
Here’s Why I’m Treating Startups More Critically Lately. According to Robert Scoble, “The marketplace is far harsher than I am and I’ve seen signals from the marketplace that entrepreneurs better heed: there are too many startups, too many things to try, too many apps that really don’t do much more than Google.” Why is he being so harsh? “I want better technology to use.” Good enough: http://read.bi/vF9ry5
Patience and hard work. If you build it, congratulations, but don’t expect too much. If you build it, market it, support it, monitor its publicity, and keep improving it, then they will come, slowly, in fives and tens. Each new subscription is proof that you’re getting somewhere. The trick is ensuring constant growth, and that takes hard work. http://bit.ly/5nL8Y
The Real London Tech Startup Scene. TechHub and Duedil identify hard-core tech startups in London, and since we know we have a number of members in the UK, we thought this might be helpful. Note: Active VC investors are also identified: http://bit.ly/w3GTIH
Speaking of Europe: EU Court of Justice: Censorship in Name of Copyright Violates Fundamental Rights. The Belgian judge devolved the matter to the European Court of Justice (ECJ), asking EU judges the following question: “Does EU law allow a national judge to give an injunction for an ISP to filter all the electronic communications passing through its network?” Point taken: http://bit.ly/uv8CGc From RWW and the issue from this side of the pond: Legal Analysis of SOPA/PROTECT-IP: No, It’s Not Censorship. Of course, the analysis comes from a practicing attorney, who leaves us with, “I have confidence in the structure of our court system, that the prosecutors and the courts are held to certain standards that should not allow a statute such as this to be manipulated.” Hmmm: http://rww.to/s4djhp
In honor of EW coming up: What Is An Entrepreneur: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZKhZmvJuZY
Steve Jobs Explains the Rules for Success: http://youtu.be/KuNQgln6TL0
One of our members recently commented to us that we’re always upbeat and positive. Guilty. He wants dirt – and knows that yours truly is a former gossip columnist. Well, we have been making a list – and checking it twice – and it’s coming. Christmas present and it’ll be all about The Things That No One Says Out Loud. For now, looking forward to seeing some of you at breakfast next week and until then, as always, help is on the way…