6/4/13
Posted at 11:16h, 04 Jun 2013 in List Archive by Bonnie Halper No Comments 135 Likes Share

Good morning, All,

Since taking on the position as Editor in Chief at AlleyWatch, we’ve gotten any number of press releases in any given week. Same when we were in the music business. Press releases are fairly boilerplate. Which means that they becomes white noise. Which is why most press releases, especially from new/unknowns are routine and summarily ignored.

How many versions of your deck/executive summary/talking points have you written? The point is to capture the attention of the investor, hopefully in the first sentence and essentially in the first slide or two. Essentially, for you, or you’ve pretty much lost them.  Newsflash: the same holds true for your press release. Don’t tell us how excited you are to have INSERT NAME HERE on as WHO CARES? Tell me a story. In other words, pretty much write the press release as if you are writing the article itself. Not that reporters are lazy: just that if you tell a good story, and a compelling one, you are much more like to get their attention/intrigue them to follow up with you and maybe even give you a bit of press. We realize that press releases have been written a certain way since time in memoriam. That doesn’t mean that it works and if you’re going that route, you’d better have a great PR firm behind you, in which case, they’d have written the press release themselves and that doesn’t mean you have to accept the status quo and sign off on it: if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten. You need an angle. If you don’t have an angle – that thing that differentiates you as having something besides just another company launch announcement – you don’t have a story. Not one that’s likely to be readily picked up, anyway.

Write your press release – or make sure it’s written – in a way that’s going to grab the reporter; that’s going to make them want to tell your story, because it’s a good story. And if it’s a slow news day and the reporter is looking for something interesting to write about, your story just might rise to the top of the heap. But if it’s just another boilerplate press release, it may well go no farther. End of story. Literally. Onward and forward.

 Housekeeping:

Advertise with us. Have a special announcement or ad you’d like to place, front and center? Email us at hello@startuponestop.com for rates and more information.

Deadlines:

New York Venture Summit: Apply to present/early bird registration ends June 5.  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 iwant2present@youngstartup.com for an application.

Fourth BigApps Competition, deadline June 7th. $150k in prizes, and there’s a NYC BigApps 2013 Expo and Hackathon Weekend at eBay’s New York offices the weekend of April 6th. More information about the BigApps competition is on the NYCBigApps website.
 
Blueprint Health Accelerator, deadline June 8th. They just had their demo day, and getting ready for the next session. The foundation of the program is a community of over 150 healthcare entrepreneurs, investors and industry executives that are committed to helping you build and grow your business. It’s the largest network of mentors with healthcare expertise of any accelerator, which can provide you with warm introductions and the strategic and tactile advice you need. Plus $20,000 in cash, over $50,000 in perks, office space at our SoHo office, and a community that is dedicated to seeing you succeed.

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.
Categories:
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.

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:

9 key things to mention when pitching your software startup. Note that one of the points is: craft a story. As we were saying…
Since we’re on the subject. Startup PR Tip: To Get Press, Don’t Pitch Your Product

The Definitive Guide to Getting Venture Capital. VC firms and their specialties included.

The Dreamer’s Dilemma: Prevent Your Dreams from Turning into Nightmares. “They had written off the Tesla Roadster as a niche product for techno-geeks (another shout-out to the audience) but we’ve moved beyond that,” Elon said.. “After the Roadster, so many people called bullshit on the Model S it was ridiculous, but then we brought it to market. Then they said you’ll never make a profit, and then we did that. So I hope they will observe there is a trend here. “

How Women Angels And Entrepreneurs Are Beating Investment Odds. Bonus, female investors who are more likely to invest in female led businesses and some will take a board seat as well.

Anyone Can Read Your Old Emails: It’s The Law! Our question is: when did this stop being a government of the people, by the people, for the people and thank you, Abe Lincoln (Gettysburg Address, in case you’ve forgotten).

Airbnb remains illegal in NYC, with one host fined $2,400. Summer’s here and so is vacation time. If you’re considering renting out your place while you’re away, proceed with caution. NYC is just not as tech-saavy as the hype would lead you to believe. One step forward, two steps back.

In case you haven’t yet seen Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends Report, always an interesting 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!

Congratulations to our friends at Stray Boots, who were mentioned in the New York Times this past week, and kudos, guys! Let’s Play: Making Travel a Game

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.

For your amusement this week:  Last week, in case you missed it, we featured: Nicolas Tesla Pitches to VCs. Time for Nikolas Tesla pitching to investors, part 2.  Also, a giant meteor just sailed past our little planet, so here’s a bit of earth science to break up the week.

That’s it from us for now. And now, as always, help is on the way…