Good morning, All,
What exactly happened on Black Eye Friday? At the end of the day – literally – and contrary to popular misconception, the FB IPO was not a flop. FB did well, with $16+ billion now in their coffers, without having had to surrender much of the company at all. With all of the controversy surrounding the NASDAQ glitch, et al, there certainly was a lot of CYA and passing of the buck (not literally: they kept the big bucks for themselves) going on (Zuck was poorly served by his ‘adults’ http://bit.ly/LsNGkE) and what concerns us, above all, is the shameful lack of ethics that were evidenced. On all levels. Yes, only large investors were informed about the company’s poor performance in its last quarter. But is an ethics problem pandemic? We attended TechCrunch Disrupt last week – and ran into an SOS member who was an early (small) FB investor when trading opened. And who gave us information about exactly how the little guys got screwed, beyond what had been reported in the press. We turned the information over to the WSJ, who have far more resources at their disposal than do we. We also informed a friend of ours, who writes for an online publication (and who has no formal training in journalism) of the shenanigans. This person took us to task for having called the Journal, contending that it could hurt the tech industry/IPO market and that we had a responsibility to protect the industry. Really? What about the small investor? More importantly, what about ethics and moral responsibility?
The blowback from the FB IPO? A definite loss of public confidence in the market. (And, yes, we did notice that Zuck, who is the largest shareholder and CEO, didn’t waste any time in grabbing his vig:Is Mark Zuckerberg Up to the Job? http://bit.ly/JROgUU) So what happened? We defer to SkyNet Wars: Presenting The Rogue Algo Responsible For FaceBook’s Downfall. The writer contends that the question is how come in a market as controlled and manipulated as the central bank-dominated venue we have now, was FB stock allowed to plunge? For what may be the actual definitive answer, as opposed to now trite philosophical ruminations on valuation, ethics, underwriter and shareholder greed, we once again go to Nanex, which has caught the perpetrator red handed once again: http://bit.ly/KaCMAo. And note to self and caveat to you all: If you have no ethics, you have nothing. Sidebar: Penalty for stealing: you can never trust anyone. Penalty for lying: you can never believe anyone. As to the company that helped to bring about Arab Spring? If it does come to pass, we certainly have them to blame if this all helps to contribute to an IPO winter. Onward and forward.
New York Venture Summit Call for Top Innovators. If you are a Startup seeking capital and/or partnerships submit your plan for the opportunity to present at The 2012 New York Venture Summit, the premier venue connecting emerging growth companies with active Venture capitalists, Angel investors, Corporate VCs and Investment Firms. Presented by youngStartup Ventures, The 2012 New York Venture Summit provides an unparalleled opportunity for startups to meet, network and showcase their innovative investment opportunities to a leading group of investors. To Apply to Present.please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for an application.
NEW Fordham Business Challenge, deadline May 31st. Heads up, students: the challenge consists of four competitions connected to four Master of Science programs. Your challenge: Choose your program and solve the case. Winners in all four challenges receive a full tuition scholarship. One of the program winners will be awarded with an elite internship as well. For more information and to apply: http://www.fordhambusinesschallenge.com/
NEW Gdgt Startup Contest, deadline June 1: We’re giving away one Silver Sponsorship for gdgt live worth $3,500 to a local startup. Just send an email to email@example.com and tell us why your startup should win. The winner will be notified on Monday, June 4th. Entering is as easy as sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and telling us in a couple paragraphs why we should choose you.
NEW TechStars Seattle, deadline June 16; TechStars Boston, deadline June 20. You know the drill: a 3-month program; $18k + $100k convertible debt note, with 6% equity taken. TS provides seed funding from over 75 top venture capital firms and angel investors who are vested in the success of your startup, as well as intense mentorship from hundreds of the best entrepreneurs in the world. To apply: http://apply.techstars.com/
New York Digital Health Accelerator, deadline June 1st. The program will provide up to $300,000 of funding per company from a syndicate of leading venture capital and strategic investors. In addition, winners will have the opportunity to meet other leading digital and tech entrepreneurs in the New York community. For more information and to apply: http://digitalhealthaccelerator.com/
NEW Who are the top New York City tech influencers? VentureBeat wants to know. Get your nominations in now! Deadline to submit nominations: June 7th, 5 pm. For more information/ to submit your nomination: http://bit.ly/LC9B8V
Blueprint Health: Transform health & wellnesswith your startup, deadline June 8th. Blueprint Health is a startup accelerator based in New York City that helps entrepreneurs improve the health and wellness industry. We offer an intensive three-month program and provide $20,000 of seed capital, extensive mentorship and a shared work environment to help entrepreneurs go from idea to prototype and provide access to angel and venture capital investors. For more information and to apply: http://www.blueprinthealth.org/
NEW Women 2.0 PITCH comes to NYC, deadline August 31st. We are now accepting applications for PITCH NYC from early-stage ventures around the world with at least one female founder to apply to the startup competition. PITCH NYC 2012 will provide entrepreneurs with a chance for fame and fortune: finalists present onstage at the conference, and prizes include $25k cash from L’Oreal, $24k worth of free hosting from Rackspace and a finalist interview with TechStars! Stay tuned for more awesome prizes to be announced. Early-stage ventures with under a million in funding and a product in the market (prototype OK) are invited to apply. We are looking to identify, recognize and reward the most disruptive women-led ventures globally – and invite them to pitch onstage for the PITCH NYC conference in November for top prize. Got a startup idea but no team, or got an idea but don’t know how to build it? You have at least THREE MONTHS starting today to emblazen the deadline of August 31 into your head and make it happen. For more information and to apply: http://bit.ly/K56mbS
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For you edification this week:
All of this said about the FB stock, we give you these: Wozniak, Circa 2004: Google’s Value Is “Not Likely to Appreciate”: http://rww.to/MZ2K9r And then there’s the famous Bessemer anti-portfolio:t he list of is companies in which they (spectacularly) failed to invest, including HP, Apple, Google and Paypal: http://www.bvp.com/portfolio/antiportfolio
Internet Guru Robert Scoble Says Twitter Feels A Lot Like A Ghost Town While a lot of the tech press has said Google+ is a “ghost town,” Scoble says Twitter has started to feel more like a ghost town. Since July of last year, he’s gone from 0 to 1.5 million followers on Google Plus, and 13,000 to 261,000 followers on Facebook. But he’s only gone from 240,000 followers to 260,000 followers on Twitter. http://read.bi/JIkubZ
Start-Ups Crowd ‘Accelerators’ Interesting piece on accelerators but note: many have sprung up in the last two years, and don’t have the longevity/track record of a Y Combinator or TechStars – yet: http://on.wsj.com/Jhp1vN
3 reasons VCs can get IPOs very wrong. There are times when VC investments don’t quite work out. Why not? http://bit.ly/Leq03k
A framework to think about pricing seed, angel and venture capital rounds. How do you price a round? It seems to Charlie O’Donnell that the most important factor in pricing your round isn’t your progress or your idea. It seems to come down to two things: 1) How much do you want to raise? 2) Supply and demand of capital willing to invest in your company. http://bit.ly/J3rcUL
Three Ways Women Undermine Themselves At Work. There may be reasons why those around you aren’t taking you as seriously as you want them to: http://onforb.es/JO7ZLE
In case you’ve been under a rock – or away for the weekend – and somehow missed Isaac’s Live Lip-Dub Proposal, well, all we can say is that the bar has been raised, and it’s absolutely charming and worth a view: http://vimeo.com/42828824. And now, as always, help is on the way…