Good morning, All,
In our industry, pivoting is not only perceived as a positive: it’s often seen as a necessity, if the plan is to innovate and grow. Boxee started out as a software company and pivoted into a set-top box developer (Boxee Box) that would allow anyone to stream media from their television or computer, and which would play practically any format. It was non-techie friendly – very important : you could watch a friend’s ripped DVD’s via a USB drive, or watch the streaming services, like Netflix, Spotify, et al. Then they pivoted again into Boxee TV / Cloud DVR storage service, and basically followed in the footsteps of all of the major cable providers. In other words, they stopped innovating and started copying off their neighbor’s papers. Never a good idea: they lost a lot of their audience – and their mojo. Consequently, they couldn’t raise their next round, and since they had put themselves squarely into competition with a number of companies for whom they might have been a potential acquisition, well, those doors were pretty much closed to them, too. Someone did acquire Boxee. At the time of this writing, buyer unknown; details undisclosed. Moral of the story: If you’re going to pivot, innovate: develop something that a potential buyer might want, not what they already have. Pivot if you must, but be careful not to paint yourself into a boxee. Onward and forward.
Advertise with us. Have a special announcement or ad you’d like to place, front and center? Email us at email@example.com for rates and more information.
Apply to be on Shark Tank, deadline unknown. ABC reality series Shark Tank is on a nationwide search to discover the next successful entrepreneur. If you’re ready to swim with the shark, application packet is here.
Ernst & Young is looking for great women entrepreneurs, deadline June 28th. The Ernst & Young Entrepreneurial Winning Women program is a national competition and executive leadership program that identifies a select group of high-potential women entrepreneurs whose businesses show real potential to scale — and then helps them do it. Apply or Nominate someone today!
Matchpoint | East, June 25th. 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.
NEW Startup Chile, deadline June 27th. Start-Up Chile is a program for those who want to accelerate and develop a world-class startup in Chile, while helping us shape the local culture to embrace entrepreneurship. Talented entrepreneurs from all over the world are invited to apply to be part of the program. If you have an amazing and scalable business idea or an established startup with high growth potential we would be happy to receive your application. $40k in funding; no equity taken and yes, there is a demo day. The cost of living is a lot lower there, too.
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.
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.
The UKTI is hosting The Great Tech Awards! Deadline, July 19th. 5 disruptive NYC startups will get a chance at a high-impact expansion to UK. Get to meet UK VCs, attend the Wired Conference, complimentary flight on Virgin and much more! Actual event will be in October.
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.
The Booksmash Challenge, deadline September 6th. HarperCollins is issuing a call to developers to create excellent, functioning software and proof of concept apps utilizing the HarperCollins OpenBook API, and in doing so turn opportunities into reality. Use imagination and technology to build software that goes beyond the traditional ways we read and discover books. Grand prize: $15,000
Clinical Trial Visualization Redesign, deadline October 2nd. Eli Lilly, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, invites designers and developers to re-imagine clinical trial information in a patient-centric way. As part of Lilly’s Clinical Open Innovation initiative, which calls on open innovation to help transform clinical research and development, challenge participants are now being asked to focus on the ideas and possibilities for envisioning clinical trial protocols from a patient’s point of view. Clinical trial information can often be dense and difficult to digest from a patient’s perspective. Patients may have questions surrounding the risks and benefits of their participation in the trial, logistics, the role of their personal doctor, and much more. The goal for this challenge is to redesign that information in a way that highlights key aspects in a visually appealing and user-friendly way. $75,000 in prizes in all. Grand Prize: $35k.
For you edification this week:
Five Reality Checks You’ll Suffer When Pivoting. Since we’re on the subject – plan ahead.
Avoid startup failure – Don’t make these 7 mistakes. Three out of four startups will fail before they ever get to market. Yes, even the greatest ideas are still susceptible to ending up in the trash. Here are some of the landmines to watch for.
10 Keys to Startup Traction that Investors Look For. We’re always wondering what the hell they expect. Hopefully, this gives some insight…
How to Fund a Startup. There are generally five phases of startup funding as far as venture capitalists are concerned. Here’s your roadmap.
To Sell Anything You Need to Know What Makes You Unique. And remember: no pain, no gain customers.
Private Search Engine DuckDuckGo Sees Record Traffic After NSA PRISM Scandal. Not surprising, and this, after all of the news reports that people are gladly giving up their privacy for ‘security.’ If our government were truly concerned about security, we would secure borders. And no rise in DuckDuckGo adoption.
Since it seems finding a cofounder is always an issue: A Guide to Matchmaking Sites for Co-Founders. And Rene Yap will be teaching his MVP class next week, to help you build your MVP yourself. Check out ‘I Can Help.’ Learn to Build Your 1st Mimimum Viable Product (MVP) – June 29th and special SOS 10% discount code.
The Startup Backlash. Simply a must-read.
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!
That’s it from us for now. We’re moving out of out office and putting things into storage this Wednesday, tomorrow, and if anyone has time to help, do let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org and thank you! We might not send out a newsletter next week, due to the holiday, so have a wonderful and safe July 4th, and now, as always, help is on the way…