5/10/11
Posted at 19:00h, 10 May 2011 in List Archive by Bonnie Halper No Comments 135 Likes Share

Good morning, All,

And yes, we mean theonion. So, there’s a new startup out there that has been getting a lot of buzz from the press and in the twitterverse and what they do is…well, we can’t tell you. In fact, no one knows what they’re all about, with the possible exception of the founders and their investors – and there are a lot of them – and they’ve raised quite a bit of money, too (Stealth NYC Startup Kohort Raises $3 Million Seed Round From IA Ventures, RRE, And More, http://tcrn.ch/gzSqs0)  Mashable covered them, too (How To Sign Up Users Even Before You Launch Your Startup http://on.mash.to/j3vMpe), although, there are step to this success story that were excluded.  For all we know, they may be launching the next google, but in the meantime, you may need to know these missing steps if you hope to follow this model:
1.     Make sure one of your founders is former VC
2.     Make sure all or a lot of your friends are VCs/investors with large twitter followings
3.     Send out early invitations to these people, and make sure to include a twitter share button
Curious to see what they’re all about, and as Mashable reminds us: buzz is great, but substance matters more. Cuil? Onward and forward.

Speaking of the press, we are reminded once again that it’s not always a good idea to piss them off and yes, every now and again, they do eat their young. Everyone’s got an agenda – The Tech Press: Screw Them All: http://tcrn.ch/mhrDHI

Deadlines:

The User Experience Awards contest @ UserExperienceAwards.com deadline is May 15th. It’s free to enter, and the Grand Prize winner receives $1000 and press. There are also three other prizes of $500. All user experience professionals, startups, agencies, established companies and students are encouraged to submit. For more information and to enter your submission: http://userexperienceawards.com/http://userexperienceawards.com/

The User Experience Awards aim to showcase the value and importance of user experience in creating successful digital products and services. Great user experience is often an essential differentiator in the product or service offering and THE critical component that drives user satisfaction and engagement. The contest is open to anyone, with a juried awards ceremony  featuring 8 UX experts that will be held on the first day of the 2011 NYC Internet Week.

The first annual International Startup Festival, call for pitches. Deadline: May 15th. The International Startup Festival is an event focused on the business of startups. With a special emphasis on hot sectors like mobility, social networking, and gaming, the program features dozens of opportunities for startup founders to learn from experienced entrepreneurs and multiple venues for pitching your business to investors and thought-leaders in the industry.  The event is taking place in beautiful Montreal, Quebec, July 13 – 15. They want to see great entrepreneurs and never-before-seen startups to pitch their companies to hundreds of the industry’s leading investors, analysts and bloggers. If your company has what it takes, apply here: http://www.startupfestival.com/en/call_for_pitches/

NYC TechStars deadline for the summer program is coming up.  Early application deadline is also May 15th. Apply here: http://www.techstars.org/apply/

If you’re the founder of a high-growth startup, Bain Capital and Chubby Brain are co-hosting CEO Perspectives on Navigating Venture Capital. Join Managing Directors from Bain Capital Ventures and the Founders/CEOs of Rent the Runway, blip.tv, TargetSpot, Buy With Me, Magazine Radar and Stamped as they share triumphs and tribulations as well as insights on how the big idea is born, how to raise capital to fund it, and ultimately how to build a great business. Attendance is free, but by invitation only for 20-25 startups. Deadline is June 1st and for more information and to apply: http://www.chubbybrain.com/venture-capital-ceo/

Hacking Education: A Contest for Developers and Data Crunchers. Ten years ago, a teacher in the Bronx launched DonorsChoose.org. Since then, more than 165,000 teachers at 43,000 public schools have posted over 300,000 classroom project requests, inspiring $80,000,000 in giving from 400,000 donors. We’ve opened up that data, and invite you to make discoveries and build apps that improve education in America. Help to shape your school system’s budget by revealing what teachers really need. Build the first mobile app for hyper-local education philanthropy. We’ve got a list of suggestions to help get you thinking. We hope to build a community of developers and data crunchers, so we’re launching a contest! Deadline is June 30th, and more information is here: http://www.donorschoose.org/hacking-education

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Pieces we liked this week, and there were quite a few of them:

Five Things Every Entrepreneur Should Know About Angel Investors.If your startup is looking for an angel investor, does it makes sense to present your plan to flocks of angels, and assume that at least one will scoop you up? In reality, hitting large numbers of angels in multiple locations with a generic pitch is one of the least productive approaches.  http://bit.ly/lYusSf

The Next Ten Years Will Be Great For Both Founders And VCs. Until very recently, public investors, those who waited until the hard work was done and the upside was evident, were the ones who earned the greatest returns. Game-changer: in order to participate in the great wealth creation taking place in this and future technology cycles, you will have to be a founder, an early employee or a private investor. So keep doing what you’re doing. And read on: http://tcrn.ch/jU0Ce4

10 Business Plan Dos and Don’ts. Insights from a judge at Harvard Business School’s Business Plan Contest. Of course, some say you don’t need a business plan any more. And some say that even decks are going by the wayside in favor of product. But, always good to know and keep in mind because remembe: they still want to know about your business. http://bit.ly/ld6j9w

Top 15 U.S. Startup Accelerators and Incubators Ranked. Someone posed this question to the list recently, so thought we’d include this and remember: there are new ones launching all the time, and stand-bys launching perhaps in a city near you. So check the list and check on which cities they may be including next: http://bit.ly/jvimeC

Making the Most of Your Startup’s Beta Testing Process. It’s a familiar story: a startup launches their beta. The tech blogosphere writes up the news: “Sign up now!” Droves of people rush to do so (well, hopefully). There’s a spike in traffic and solid number of names and email addresses of interested people. But then what? Sharing is caring – and building. Targeting can be critical: http://rww.to/g5AFsD

Don’t be an idiot. Find a great Startup Advisor. Everyone needs help and don’t we know it. Good advice, from someone who learned the hard way: http://bit.ly/kJ2o8q

Ten Things I Learned From Failure. Every entrepreneur has made a series of mistakes or been subject to failures along his or her entrepreneurial journey. These setbacks, though painful, will teach you more about business than any textbook, lecture, or mentor ever could: http://bit.ly/mNeFtA

Finally and don’t we know it: A report in the New Scientist claims that Easily distracted people may have too much brain. http://t.co/8sp0ml0. On that note, you may want to wrap your around this for a chuckle as we leave you with Existential Star Wars: a film by George Lucas and Jean-Paul Sartre: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-uQWNd540I. Well, almost because before we go, as always, help is on the way…