Good morning, All,
Last week, our friend Murat Aktihanaglu was watching television, trying to find news about the protests in his native Turkey. It was nowhere to be found on the major news outlets. He found it on a grassroots station. And on twitter. CNN Turkey was airing a documentary on penguins. Seriously? Unable to sit by passively and despite the fact that he’s anything but political, he was motivated to act because people were getting hurt: They were being gassed and hit by water cannons. He crowdsourced advice (via twitter and facebook) and within an hour of finding that grassroots station, he’d launched an IndieGoGo campaign to raise money to take out a full page ad in The New York Times. Donations started pouring in from at least 50 countries, across six continents at the rate of $2,561 an hour. It was one of the fastest-growing campaigns in the platform’s history. By 11 the next morning, enough money was raised to pay for the ad – and then some. That’s when the press started paying attention: not because of the cause, but because of the virality of his campaign. Murat shifted the spotlight back to where it belonged: on the events transpiring in Turkey. We covered the story in AlleyWatch. The media wanted to make it about Arab Spring. Despite the fact that the Turkish population is heavily Muslim, it isn’t about Arab Spring: Turkey is a democracy and has been for a very long time. It’s about a government out of control and a free people fighting for their rights because they are only too aware of the fact that once you lose those rights, they’re very, very difficult to get back.
Attention must also be paid to what is happening closer to home: Namely, abuse of power on a massive scale:
U.S., British intelligence mining data from nine U.S. Internet companies in broad secret program
Justice Department Fights Release of Secret Court Opinion Finding Unconstitutional Surveillance
There’s a coup taking place.
Our privacy is being decimated. We are seeing the erosion of our civil liberties in the name of safety, by the same government that ignored intelligence that might have prevented the Boston Marathon bombings. The talking points are doublespeak, and coming from both sides of the aisle. We have a government that’s gone rogue, enabled by technology and their abuse of power, and operating outside of the system and the laws that they swore to uphold. In the words of Baudelaire: The finest trick of the devil is to persuade you that he does not exist. Onward and forward, but with both eyes open.
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New York Venture Summit: Register here to attend and if you do so by June 12th, you save $300. The 13th annual New York Venture Summit, presented by youngStartup Ventures, is the premier industry gathering connecting venture capitalists, corporate VCs, angel investors, technology transfer professionals, senior executives of early stage and emerging growth companies, university researchers, incubators and premier service providers. Whether you are an investor seeking access to new early stage deals, or a CEO or Founder of a new venture looking for funding, visibility and growth, New York Venture Summit is one event you won’t want to miss. To be considered for one of the Top Innovator slots, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for an application.
CROWDFUNDxNYC Challenge, deadline June 15th. Grand prize is $25,000.
Grand Prize Winner will be selected from the 1st place winners in the three categories. Additional prizes/in-kind services available for all winners.
SMALL BUSINESS: independently owned and operated for-profit company meeting the size requirements of the U.S. Small Business Association.
SOCIAL ENTERPRISE: for-profit, social mission driven organizations which apply market-based strategies to achieve a social purpose. See this definition of Social Enterprise on Crowdfunder.
TECHNOLOGY STARTUP: a company designed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model with high growth potential, generally in a phase of development and research for markets.
Matchpoint | East, June 30th. This is an exclusive opportunity for selected health technology entrepreneurs and large stakeholders to meet in designated 15-20 minute meetings. Meetings are arranged based on selected criteria by industry leaders and investors, leading to high-yield discussions with innovative companies! During these meetings, innovators have the opportunity to demo their innovations with potential partners and investors. Hundreds of applications are reviewed by our team and host companies to select companies to participate in exclusive round table discussions and demos. Traditionally, over 500+ applications are reviewed to identify 10-15 innovative companies per host sponsor. Apply here.
Take the H.E.L.M., deadline July 15th. To encourage the continued growth of Lower Manhattan, Take the HELM will award four $250,000 cash grants and four $50,000 cash grants to companies seeking to open an office or expand in Lower Manhattan.
NEW Startup Leadership Program, deadline July 15th. SLP was started in 2006 and has grown to a global Program with over 200 Fellows, and one of the most innovative education programs, as well as one of the highest quality networks of entrepreneurs and innovators in the world. Through this program you will get access to the same outstanding quality of Fellows all over the world. SLP is complementary to, and not a substitute for leading incubators and accelerators. Please go through the Program, Calendar, Curriculum, Fees and Expectations to get a good sense of the Program. And note: it’s global.
Global Apps To Empower, deadline July 26th. We invite you to think out of the box and create apps that inform, educate and empower women everywhere. Compete for $10,000 in prizes. Have your app pre-loaded onto thousands of devices for global distribution on the Ubislate series of tablet and at the BluWorld portal. Receive up to 20 tablets for user testing and app development. Receive global recognition from partners and sponsors including publication of your app deployment story.
MTA AppQuest, deadline August 20th. Change the way 8.5 million people commute every day — create the transit app of the future. New/existing mobile apps running on any platform accepted. For more information and to apply, go here.
For you edification this week:
If you think all of this is not a big deal and will just blow over: Why the NSA Prism Program Could Kill U.S. Tech Companies
How To Launch In 10 Steps With Less Than $2,000, by Adeo Ressi. While there is no magic formula to starting up, Adeo’s 10 steps to launching a company can help expedite the process and save you some cash along the way. To learn how, watch the video below and check out TechCrunch’s outline of the ten steps here.
5 Steps for Calculating Your Startup Costs. Some entrepreneurs believe that calculating their costs is all about listing and tallying their cash outlays. This is an essential step, but equally important is to set some milestones and build your financial plan around hitting these goals.
Fake it ‘til you make it – 10 of the most dangerous pieces of startup advice. Here’s a collection of 10 of the worst and most annoying startup advice and clichés.
13 Secret Features Hidden In Your iPhone. Who knew (well, some we did know about)?
And since we’re on the subject:
The Fuse Has Been Lit: Seven Critical Points on Uncle Sam’s Spying Program. One way or another, a revolution is coming.
Now’s A Good Time To Read NSA Lawyer’s Speech About ‘False Myths’
Sources: NSA sucks in data from 50 companies.
Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations The 29-year-old source behind the biggest intelligence leak in the NSA’s history explains his motives, his uncertain future and why he never intended on hiding in the shadows
Tracking: The NSA’s Secret Surveillance Programs. Fast Co is tracking–and contextualizing–the latest news on the NSA’s secret surveillance of phone calls and internet communications.
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!
Father’s Day is coming and we’re giving you some lead time this time. Yes, we do have our healthy, unbelievably luxurious yet low calories, low fat and vegan bonniefoods.com truffles – bonus 25% more when you mention SOS when ordering and thank you! Full selection is here, and of course, you’re welcome to order cookies, too.
Want to play with our most insane creation yet? REDD’s Apple Launcher is live here! Housed in a remote warehouse, the REDD’s Apple Launcher is set in a bar scene where you’ll have a chance to aim and fire mock apples at targets for the chance to win prizes. It’s live for the next 2 weeks. Give it a shot and let me know what you think! Email me at email@example.com
That’s it from us for now, except to remind you that Sunday is Father’s Day! And now, as always, help is on the way…