Good morning, All,
Warning: We’re on the soap box this week: Michael Arrington posted this about journalistic integrity: Truth, Money, Right, Wrong. The issue is that CBS, which own c|net, is dictating policy and according to Arrington, journalists have rules “designed to ensure their objectivity and impartiality.” As if that concept exists anymore in a world of ‘All the news that we see fit to print.” It was social media and the online press that organized to defeat (at least for now) PIPA and SOPA. And this from Yahoo! News: Press Ignores Lives Saved Because Of Firearms, Says CCRKBA “In the month following the tragic Newtown school shooting, more than 65,000 people used firearms in self-defense, yet the national news media has virtually ignored this important aspect of gun ownership.” And lest we forget: Queens residents arm themselves in the post-storm blackout from looters. In Hurricane Sandy’s aftermath, the police were busy elsewhere and the rule of law broke down. A hugely vocal proponent of the gun ban, what we find amazing is that Mayor Bloomberg always travels under a heavily armed guard, even when visiting his home in Bermuda and note: Bermuda is a gun-free zone – but Mr. Bloomberg saw to it that he received a special dispensation. Yet the Mayor blasts NRA call for armed school guards. Hey, as long as we’re all equal under the law… We are not advocating either way: we are saying that we have a Constitutionally guaranteed right to bear arms, and we cannot allow a bifurcated system where our Mayor can bring armed officers to a gun free zone in the name of protection, yet he favors denying the electorate the same rights. Our heart goes out to the Newtown families who lost loved ones, and if our elected officials are so concerned with protecting the children, why are they fighting legislation to protect them: namely, by installing armed guards in the schools? TSA – how long did it take for that to be instituted? Not long at all. The larger issue is: Americans have the inalienable right to own guns based on the Second Amendment. Think the attack on your rights ends – or starts – there? You have the right to personal property, right? The government can seize your property in the name of Eminent Domain. Formerly, if the government felt they needed your property, they had the right to seize it. That’s been changed. Now, if they want your property, done deal. And you have no recourse.
Thomas Jefferson said, “If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” In NYC, Mayor Bloomberg has legislated the kind of oil used in the popcorn at movie theatres (vegetable oil has replaced the far healthier coconut oil), and the size of sodas that you’re allowed to buy. Nationally, foods do not need to be marked if they’re Genetically Modified. But wait! There’s more! Unlocking your cell phone became a crime as of Saturday, January 26. And it will carry fines between $2,500 and $500,000, and in some cases, prison time. You need the approval of your carrier. So, who owns your phone, after all? We witnessed prosecutorial overreach in the suicide of Aaron Swartz a few weeks ago. And that was not that’s prosecutor’s first suicide, thanks to her political ambitions: Prosecutor of Aaron Swartz Linked To Another Suicide Of Defendant. Nor was that an isolated incident: do the government’s right supersede the rights of the governed? This is what led to the founding of our country in the first place. We believe in the Constitution and only bring up the fire arms issue as it is center stage at the moment. But make no mistake about it: this is very much about all of our rights that are currently Constitutionally protected. No matter how you feel about fire arms, once you’ve allowed one of your rights to be legislated away, the precedence has been set for any and all of your rights to disappear. We cannot allow our lawmakers to show a blatant disregard for the very laws and tenets upon which this country was founded, and which they swore to uphold. Let us not forget the many lives that were lost to secure those rights in the first place. More frightening still: if we lose them, what’s next and what will it take for us to secure them once again? Onward and forward.
Our first speaker+networking event: The Lean Movement: What You Need to Do – And Why You Probably Won’t Do It will be on February 7thS Our first speaker is Kelley Boyd and some of you might know Kelley, who has mentored at many a startup weekends here in NYC, helping companies to figure out their business/revenue models. And Kelley will be happy to give you a pointer or two. We’re also keeping the group small – 50 attendees max – so that everyone can participate. And network, of course. Her talk will center around observations about what kinds of work people do in startups and what kind of support startups need and when! You will hear her views of the differences in coaching, advising and mentoring and what kind you should expect to give and get from those relationships. We will chat about the lean movement and what really has to be done and why you probably won’t do it! Kelley is an early adopter market specialist with expertise in business and sales models, strategies, tactics. A veteran of 7 web 1.0 startups, 5 of which went public, were acquired OR in one case both! Proud carrier of a Fortune #1 Badge (you gotta come to learn what that is!). Kelley is expert in a range of technologies from inter-networking to data security. Of late she has dusted off her Sales 1001 skills and worked in the burgeoning “lean” ecosystem with a number of weekend groups and start up companies. She’ll also share a few fun stories about sales – breaking into enterprise companies, gaining trusted adviser status among Fortune 10 CEO’s, How I lost a global Exxon deal and designing the network for the “Smartest Guys in the Room!” Hope to see you there! To RSVP: http://bit.ly/W525WP
The list of Startup Weekend Upcoming Events
LLGA | Cities Pilot the Future: Global Cities invite urban & social innovators to pilot their solutions. Deadline: January 31st. 21 cities are participating, each with their own pitch to companies, entrepreneurs, innovators, consortia, research centers, organizations and experts. For more information: http://bit.ly/tm2hxS
Startup Grind 2013, February 5-6, Mountainview, CA – 20% sos discount
Join us for Startup Grind 2013, a worldwide 2 day community event bringing together entrepreneurs and founders from every continent across the globe. Where better to host it than the heart of Silicon Valley? Not only will we have great Startup Grind networking and fireside chats, but we’ll also learn from the best and brightest entrepreneurs around the world as they educate and inspire us to push through 2013. Some things you can expect:
Be inspired by people and products we use and believe in.
Make the lasting friendships needed to survive our journey.
No panels. No startup booths. No pitching. Just founders helping founders.
Speakers will include Clayton Christensen (Innovator’s Dilemma), Mark Suster (Both Sides of the Table), George Zachary (Charles River Ventures), Brad Feld (Foundry Group), Bing Gordon (KPCB), Steve Blank, Ben Huh (Cheezburger Network), Jeff Clavier (SoftTech VC), Leah Busque (TaskRabbit), and many more being announced soon. SOS member Perri Gorman will be on of the moderators – and she’s very good. That we can tell you from personal experience.
For more information and to register: http://sg2013.eventbrite.com/?discount=SOS4532#
DreamIt Health, deadline February 8th. This is the first-ever Philadelphia-based health care accelerator. Powered by IBC and PennMedicine, this collaboration marks the first time a leading health insurer and a leading health care provider have come together in an accelerator to deliver the resources entrepreneurs need to capitalize on emerging health care opportunities. DreamIt Health’s 4-month program provides selected companies with a stipend up to $50,000 and office space, plus in-depth mentoring (which are uniquely assigned in a one-to-one fashion to each company), coaching from industry experts, and access to other critical health care-specific resources to rapidly develop and test its product. For more information and to apply: http://bit.ly/RQRqTc
Call for Top Innovators! The 1st Annual Venture Summit | West. 1st annual conference will showcase 50 of the hottest early stage and emerging growth technology, life sciences and clean-tech innovators. If you are a Startup seeking capital and/or partnerships, submit your plan for the opportunity to present at The 1st Annual Venture Summit | West, the premier venue connecting emerging growth companies with active Venture Capitalists, Angel Investors, Corporate VCs and Investment Firms. Presented by youngStartup Ventures, Venture Summit | West 2013 provides an unparalleled opportunity for startups to meet, network and showcase their innovative investment opportunities to a leading group of investors. And it all happens in San Francisco on February 13th.
Apply to Present:
To be considered for one of the Top Innovator slots, please e-mail email@example.com for an application.
To nominate a company please forward: company name, main contact at firm, contact details and why you think they should present to firstname.lastname@example.org.
So mark your calendar and click here to take advantage of the “early bird” registration savings before they expire. This is the event of the year you won’t want to miss! Click Here to Register Now! SOS members also get 10% off on attending. Discount code: sos10
NEW Reinventing NYC’s public pay phones, deadline February 18th to submit your design. More information here: http://bit.ly/YxXenH For the record, public pay phones were a crucial link for New Yorkers during Hurricane Sandy
Call for Nominations: Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards, deadline March 8th. Recognized as one of the most prestigious business award programs in the country, Ernst & Young is now calling for nominations in San Diego, Orange County, Greater Los Angeles, Northern California, Portland, Seattle and Utah for the 2013 Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards. Details: http://bit.ly/UCDHeU
Global Apps to Empower Competition Seeks Apps to Educate and Empower Women Everywhere, deadline April 30th. Applications that best satisfy the competition criteria will receive cash prizes and the opportunity to have their apps featured on Datawind’s $40 Ubislate educational tablet. That’s potentially a lot of computers – and a big win for the winning app! The UN is involved and the winning apps will be receive cash prizes, recognition (judges for the contest include Joanne Wilson, Vivek Wadhwa, Geena Davis. For more information and to apply: http://appstoempower.org/
DreamIt Ventures Accelerator Summer class is now accepting application. Deadline: March 15. It’s their third annual New York City Accelerator program, which will begin in mid-May and run to mid-August. The program offers $25,000 in seed funding, as well as collaborative work space, mentoring, exclusive speaking engagements with industry leaders, and an opportunity to pitch to investors on Demo Day. To apply as a company or an individual: http://www.dreamitventures.com/
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For you edification this week:
The Happiest (And Saddest) Countries In The World. The list is out and the US, which weighed in at #10 last year, sunk to #12. #1 is Norway.
THE GREAT CALIFORNIA EXODUS: A Closer Look. #1 reason why: economic adversity. Not that surprising.
50 VC and Angel Investors Every Young Entrepreneur Should Know. Good list, and it applies to all entrepreneurs.
The revitalization of the Canadian venture capital sector. “The federal government will put $400 million to work under the leadership of private-sector fund of funds and venture capital funds,” writes SOS member Chris Arsenault, who is also a Canada-based VC. Imagine that! The government is actually supporting the private sector.
Don’t sell products that people need. I know. Sounds wrong. But there are people who buy a new car annually. Hint: sell them what they want. Or, build a product that they’ll want. Think iPad.
4 things to know about crowdfunding versus raising capital. A look at what equity crowdfunding looks like when compared to the traditional capital raising process.
10 lessons I learned by taking the entrepreneurial Red Pill. It can be a hard pill to swallow. This might make it a bit easier to go down.
Should Startups Announce Their Funding? The short answer is yes, absolutely. There are reasons you may delay funding announcement but rarely reasons not to announce. Read on.
Solve problems that piss you off. It is odd how concentrating on the things that make you angry are sometimes indicative of how you’ll choose to manage the priority of a project in your life.
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!
Congrats this week go to my good friend Yair Goldfinger (ICQ, Dotomi), who just raised a round for his new company and is moving back to NYC. YAY! AppCard gets $6.5 million from Eric Schmidt, Jerry Yang and Peter Thiel for its customer loyalty platform. That’s what happens when you’re a successful serial entrepreneur.
Elevator pitch: Check out www.stockray.com!
StockRay is a virtual stock market where you can buy or sell virtual shares of the things you care about: TV shows, celebrities, cities, tech products, politicians… Invest in the things you believe in and make a profit if your stocks go up! Our goal is to create the largest real-time interest graph and trading platform in the world. We’d love to hear your feedback!
And thank you!
Teymour Shahabi, StockRay Inc.
Finally, AlleyWatch launched this week. It’s a new online publication covering the New York tech industry – and yours truly is Editor-in-Chief. Check it out and let us know what you think! For your amusement this week: Graphic Designers Get Revenge By Illustrating Client Feedback. That’s it from us for now. Hope to see you at our event on February 7th, and at our friend Aaron Sylvan’s Lemonade Heroes event. Until then, as always, help is on the way…