Good morning, All,
So said Kelley Boyd, who spoke at our first SOS speaker event of the year (The Lean Movement: What You Need to Do – And Why You Probably Won’t Do It.) It really was a great presentation (sorry we didn’t record it – but we will try to have a video available for our next event, for those of you in far-off places). It was only one of the many points she covered, and although she didn’t cover this one until the end, we’re glad it was there, her point being that people talk the talk, because they can’t walk the walk. Try to be better coordinated: you learned how to walk and talk by the time you were, what, two? Apply those principles to your business and maybe, just maybe, you won’t fall down.
We work in an industry rife with people who fake it till they make it. In fact, it’s a mantra for many – and it detracts from us all. In any other industry they were be marked as scammers or grifters. Or people who don’t fully understand their space and the possible repercussions of what they’re building (privacy? That’s sooo 90s. NOT). Trust me: I’ve learned a lot since founding bonniefoods. A lot of our products are gluten free – a very popular buzz word these days and a category that has made many a johnny-come-lately wealthy. All well and good, but gluten-free bakers have replaced wheat flour with rice flour and potato starch and consider: would you sit down to snack on a bowl of mashed potatoes and rice topped with sugar, chocolate and nuts? We don’t use rice flour and potato starch as a wheat replacement BECAUSE THEY’RE NOT A HEALTHY COMBINATION, not to mention that they’re higher in carbohydrates than is wheat – and a type 2 epidemic waiting to happen.
You can still change the world without trying to change the world. Kelley used the example of Evernote, which is simply a replacement for pencil and paper. And the person who added wheels to suitcases? A simple stroke of genius, and changed the way we travel. The Lisa nearly killed Apple Computer. Does anyone remember MSFT’s Bob? It was relegated to a pop up paperclip. Not easy to be an innovator, but sometimes you can get there by keeping it simple, keeping it real, having the courage of your convictions, being able to walk the walk, and stay the course, one foot in front of the other. We leave you with our favorite quote from Kelley’s presentation: you don’t want to be the smartest person in the room: you want to be the richest person in the room. Cheers to that! Onward and forward.
Our next event will be March 12th, tentatively entitled: Adults in the Room: Accelerators and How They Can Benefit Your Company. More info to come next week, so stay tuned!
The list of Startup Weekend Upcoming Events
NEW Lean Launch Ventures LaunchPad Program, deadline: February 15th. The curriculum is based on the Lean LaunchPad from from Steve Blank and Bob Dorf. Bob is also an LLV advisor. The program is run as a flipped-class room in a workshop like format combined with a deep mentoring pool. The explicit goal for the course is to develop an MVP ready for customer validation. The program will kickoff early March at the Stamford Innovation Center, CT and run for 12 weeks, ending with a Demo Day for investors. LLV offers stipends of $20K to $25K for companies that successfully complete defined milestones. Feel free send email to info@LLVentures.co with any questions, and if you need a bit more time with your application, do contact them, as they can be a bit flexible.
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/
ER Accelerator now accepting applications for Summer 2013. Early application deadline: March 7th. Final deadline: April 19th. $40,000 investment 4-month program. Follow-on investment in future rounds. 200+ awesome mentors, including yours truly. Apply now.
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:
Beware of Ballers on a Budget. Which Mark Suster defines as people who are at every conference. Always on stage. Back stage. At the parties. Instagramming their pictures from London. Dublin. Korea. Mexico. Panels. Talking about changing the world. But they haven’t actually done it. Fake it till you make it, by any other name.
Why is venture capital, the industry that funds innovation, so very un-innovative? Doesn’t have to be, according to Josh Kopelman of First Round Capital.
What is someone going to stop doing when they start using your product? When you’re building a new product, you’re often thinking about all the new things people are going to be able to do with it. Now they can do this, now they can do that. Exciting! The better question to ask: What are people going to stop doing once they start using your product? What does your product replace? What are they switching from? How did they do the job before your product came along? A-ha! That’s when you’re on to something.
Zerofund: An innovative platform to kickstart Greece’s startup scene. Things are tough in Greece. Some people, especially the young generation, are doing their part to beat the crisis. And sometimes against all odds. We do have quite a few members in Greece, so heads up, guys: Zerofund is essentially a social network of mentors from Greece and abroad and a funding and participation bridge to an acceleration program in the United States called Mindthebridge. Check it out!
And if you think everyone’s connected over high speed internet, reality check: AOL’s Dial-Up Subscription Business Produces More Than All Of The Company’s Profit.
SOPA has reared its ugly head again, and lawmakers thought that we forgot about it: Help preserve Americans’ freedoms online and safeguard liberty by signing the “Hands Off the Internet” fax form and sending it to your representatives and senators today.
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!
Bonniefoods (that’s me) Valentine’s Day Truffle Special for SOS members in the continental US. We’ll add 50% more truffles and remember: they’re low fat, dairy free – and you’d never know by tasting these luxurious little morsels. When ordering, just mention SOS in the special instructions box – or email me And thank you for supporting a fellow entrepreneur!
And check out AlleyWatch, a new online publication covering the New York tech industry – and yours truly is Editor-in-Chief.
Just for fun: 20 Optical Illusions That Might Break Your Mind (not really). That’s it from us for now. Have a happy Valentine’s Day and until then, as always, help is on the way…