Good morning, All, and no, we’re not talking about silly walks but instead, domain name registration. Yes, the Name Game.
We went to the kickoff mixer for StartupWeekendNYC and it occurred to us: all of those people there to launch startups – how the hell do you name the damn thing? Takes some people more than 54 hours just to come up with a name for their new company – and the website, of course. So we sat there thinking about website names and their relevance to the site itself – and does it matter? Example: Google. Apple. Facebook. Myspace – ok, never mind that one, but we never said that a name is necessarily an indicator of the long-term success of a site. Zaarly came out of the last StartupWeekendLA and they’ve even raised a round of funding. The site helps you buy and sell with people around you. Don’t tell me that one of the zaarly team members didn’t show up to the LA StartupWeekend looking a bit, um, off, when another member of the team said, ‘go home, get some sleep and don’t forget to shower and shave before you come back here. You’re looking a bit zaarly.’ A name was born. As a former copywriter, moi could even venture a guess as to how the name Cialis came about. A few creatives sitting there, tasked with coming up with a name for the product, and they were coming up with bupkis. It was getting late; everyone wanted to call it a day, or a night, more likely, until one guy said, “Who would use this stuff? My grandfather. The guy has a girlfriend. And he’s in his 70s! See, this is the stuff my grandpa would take when he’s going to see Alice.” Done!
CNN reported nearly a year ago that we’re running out of IP addresses (http://bit.ly/jQDSnT). How long before we run out of decent dot com names, too? Creative spellings (kohorts) and -.ly have become very popular lately. Bit.ly. Comp.ly. There are a plethora of them and we’re surprised -.it hasn’t caught on. Why go for an adjective/adverb when you can go for a call to action? It’s a thought. Not that bit.it portends that anything good might come out of the site, but just an extension you might want to keep in mind, whilst attempting to come up with a name for your next venture. Gofor.it! Onward and forward.
And the winner is…Speaking of StartupWeekendNYC, the winner is tagify.us (Tagify! Define your world!), which allows you to crowd-source your contact management across all the networks you already use and search your friends’ public tag cloud, curated by all the people who know them best. Or create private tags just for you. Second prize went to inbed.me, the world’s first Social Accommodation Booking engine, for independent young travelers, allowing users to see who else is going to stay in the hostels & guesthouses listed before they themselves book, and even connect with them after booking a bed. Right! And yes, in a socially-connected world, -.us and -.me come in very handy. And hats off to SOS members Frank Debow, who did an amazing job organizing and Kelley Boyd, mentor with the most positive feedback – by a landslide!
New York Venture Summit call for Top Innovators deadline June 15! The 11th annual summit 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 2011 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 2011 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. For more information and early bird registration ($100 discount with your “sos” code: http://www.youngstartup.com/newyork2011/overview.php To apply to be a Top Innovator: firstname.lastname@example.org
Silicon Alley Talent Fair & After Party is June 16th. The recent surge of entrepreneurial activity in New York has created a surge in hiring. Now is the time to join some of New York’s most creative and industrious minds to bring the next wave of computer products and services to the forefront of daily use. Join us on June 16th at the Armory for a Startup Talent Fair, where you’ll have plenty of time to meet with exciting new startups and network with other talented individuals like yourself. Good back story, too: SAJF was born out of 80 + startups doing the entrepreneurial thing and leveraging an email mishap to rally around the concept of doing their own job fair. It took on a life of its own and has found mass support across the NYC startup community. For the full story: http://mashable.com/2011/04/05/nyc-startups-job-fair/ This event is organized and produced by startups for startups. To register as a jobseeker: http://bit.ly/SATFtalent; to register as an employer: http://bit.ly/SATFemployer
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. 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
Startup Chile: tentative deadline July 4th. Start-Up Chile is a program of the Chilean Government, created by the Ministry of Economy, executed by CORFO via InnovaChile, that seeks to attract foreign, high-potential entrepreneurs to come to Chile to bootstrap their businesses with the end goal of converting Chile into the innovation and entrepreneurial hub of Latin America. Start-Up Chile provides access to a mentors network, attendance to weekly networking events, and the support of the Program which offers all the necessary contacts to find the money, the talent, the expertise, the visibility or other support that you may need. The Program assigns a $40k grant per project ($20,000,000 CLP), a 1-year resident visa to every founding team member provided on the application, a temporary workspace (desk & wifi). And you surrender zero equity in your company. The program is conducted in English, and entrepreneurs worldwide are encouraged to apply. For more information: www.startupchile.org
DreamIt Philly applications now being accepted. Deadline July 8th. Apply at: http://bit.ly/ecieVT.
Charles Barkley wants to give your startup $25,000. Deadline July 18th to win ‘Chuck Bucks.’ Priceless, isn’t it, but true! The National Basketball Association Hall of Fame power forward also known as “Sir Charles” announced on his website a contest called “Earn Chuck’s Bucks.” He’s calling for the best business-plan pitches and says he’ll give the winner $25,000 to help fund that business. Here’s how it works: Any U.S. resident age 18 or older can submit his or her business-plan pitch. The entry period ends at 11:59 p.m. on July 18. Finalist entries will be posted on CharlesBarkley.com where fans will be encouraged to vote for their favorite pitch. A winner will be selected in mid-September based on the total number of fan votes and other criteria, which include the pitch’s creativity, originality, feasibility and “energy and enthusiasm.” This definitely isn’t your typical business plan contest, and it might seem a little strange coming from a former NBA All-Star with no previous business experience. Barkley admits in his video announcing the contest that he feels that it’s his job to “help people become successful.” Barkley bites from the video (on his website):
• Keep it short.The official rules call for entries to be 3,900 characters or less. “Send me the CliffsNotes. I don’t want to be readin’ through a bunch of crap.”
• Make it realistic. “Don’t be sendin’ me no bull,” Barkley says. In other words, make sure the idea isn’t ‘turrible’ (sic).”
For more information and to apply: http://charlesbarkley.com/
The Daily Candy 2nd Annual Start Small, Go Big Contest: Deadline August 5th. Here’s your chance to launch your bazillion dollar idea. One winner from each of our categories (fashion, beauty, food and drink, and home) will win a trip to New York City, a DailyCandy write-up, and a day at the DailyCandy Academy, where the likes of Isaac Mizrahi, Marcus Samuelsson, and Rebecca Minkoff will mentor the begenius out of you. Just think, you have nothing to lose but your day job. For rules, details, and an entry form: http://bit.ly/aR8Yk5
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For you edification this week:
From Chris Dixon, Notes on raising seed financing, aka, Chris Dixon Lays It All Out for You. This one’s a must-read, neatly outlined and to the point: http://bit.ly/k94IdI
Why it’s smart for consumer startups to grow first and make money later. From @andrewchen, and a lot of it is counter to what the New York investment community seems to believe/preach, but here you have it: http://bit.ly/lsoNFX
Don’t Waste Your Money On Lawyers. We do know that there are a number of lawyers on this list, and the author is not suggesting that you have less than the best lawyer your money can buy on your side. Some good general startup information you should know here, so read on and remember – not having a good lawyer can sometimes get very expensive: http://bit.ly/m73UA0
We haven’t failed, but successfully shown it doesn’t work. There’s pivot – and then there’s spin. When you can’t pivot, you’d better have good spin and this could help, especially when things didn’t work out quite the way you planned, and it’s time to explain it to your investors: http://tnw.co/ljxTeN
Ten YouTube Videos Every Entrepreneur Should Watch: http://bit.ly/k5QsaW – and they did save the best for last, IMHO.
Yes, there are two more conferences in NYC this week: the #140conf and ReadWriteWeb (ends today), so step lively and speaking of the Ministry of Silly Walks, for Monty Python fans and those of you who might have somehow missed it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZlBUglE6Hc Enjoy, see you next week and until then, help is on the way…