Good morning, All,
The big news this week was yesterday’s announcement that The Marissa Mayer Era at Yahoo starts today. Google’s employee #20 certainly knows her stuff, and guess we’ll see if she can make a difference to the company: http://tnw.co/MtXKNY
A while back, a friend’s parents went to the racetrack for the first time in their lives. They knew nothing about the sport, and since my friend is a dancer, her mother suggested that they bet on a horse called She Can Dance. “She Can Dance,” her dad said, “but can she run?” They won: he chose a horse with better odds. Hashable shut down this week. Admittedly, we personally never found it compelling – the gamefication of introductions/death of the business card. But gamefication was the catchphrase du jour, you needed that element to get the attention of investors and the company’s founder was a successful entrepreneur. Hate to state the (maybe not-so-) obvious, but if we want traction, the question always should be: how will this play in the vowel states (you don’t flyover in an online world). And: who is your audience (yes, Yahoo’s is primarily female, just for the record). Or try: how will this improve life as we know it out there? We in tech do live in a bubble: we live in tech hubs rife with early adopters, and we seem to forget that out there, there is a much lower percentage of people who: – Feel a burning need to have a web-enabled phone – Feel incomplete if they go to dinner – sans their mobile – Feel that everyone will think they haven’t left the house in months if they fail to compulsively check in on foursquare. If you build it, eventually they will come. But we can’t abandon the ‘fixed’ (as opposed to mobile) web just yet, and above all, again we remind you, don’t piss off your user base. And wasn’t Digg a lesson in that this week: The Lessons For Facebook, Twitter And Reddit In Digg’s Demise (http://onforb.es/PW3mSs). From 30M down to 8M users in a year, by simply releasing a new version of the site – and not listening to feedback from their most active members. So the former darling of the online world, once worth $164 million, had its parts sold off for $16 million, and it was all self-inflicted. Founders tend to live in bubbles. It’s our product; we know what’s best. And we’re not always responsive to user feedback – or the vagaries of our site/application/product features that keep our users coming back. Visionaries are few and far between. They see a future we cannot imagine, not a feature we feel compelled to implement. The better part of entrepreneurship may well be stewardship, and that may be the thing that distinguishes a dot com from a dot bomb. Choose wisely because in our world, fortunes can fall even more quickly than they rise. That’s horseracing! Onward and forward.
The list of Startup Weekend Upcoming Events
NEW Amplify.la – deadline unknown. Our accelerator program is four months of intense collaboration designed to help entrepreneurs amplify their business far beyond where it is today. We provide up to $50,000 in seed funding, free workspace at our Venice campus and hands‐on mentorship. Our companies also benefit from a variety of free or highly discounted services including hosting, legal, banking and more. For more information and to apply: http://amplify.la/
NEW Angelpad, deadline July 21st. Angelpad is a mentorship program founded by Thomas Korte and other ex-Googlers to help web-technology startups build better products, attract additional funding and ultimately grow more successful businesses Twice a year, we provide an extensive mentorship program to carefully selected startups, during the course of 10 weeks, in our San Francisco office. For more information and to apply: http://angelpad.org/about/
NEW The Microsoft Accelerator for Windows Azure, deadline July 21st. This program will host ten companies for a three month, on site, focused on building businesses that take advantage of the cloud. The program runs from September through mid-December in Seattle and is being powered by TechStars, using the same mentor driven methodology pioneered and proven by them in New York, Boulder, Seattle and Boston. For more information and to apply: http://bit.ly/LW1Tdi NEW Springboard, deadline July 22nd. Springboard is a unique opportunity to turbocharge your startup by working with accomplished mentors and experts in a dedicated business environment. We are only one of two “startup competitions” that have been endorsed by UK Trade and Investment (“UKTI”) for applications for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa. Subject to your team being made an offer by Springboard, you can apply for a Prospective Entrepreneur Visa that enables you to enter the UK for up to 6 months, and allow you to participate in Springboard and seek to secure funding. Business plan not necessary. For more information and to apply: http://springboard.com/view/faq/
Oxygen Accelerator, Birmingham, England, deadline July 31st. A 13-week intensive mentor led bootcamp, followed by 13-weeks of incubation that culminates with a series of investor days where we will help you pitch to a large, carefully selected group of Angel investors, VCs and Private Equity groups for next stage funding. Up to €40,000 per team in exchange for 8%-10% equity, and much more, including relocation allowance: http://www.oxygenaccelerator.com/ 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
NEW THE NEW ENGLAND VENTURE SUMMIT Call for Top Innovators, early deadline September 12th. If you are a Startup seeking capital and/or partnerships, submit your plan for the opportunity to present at The 7th Annual New England Venture Summit, the premier venue connecting emerging growth companies with active Venture Capitalists, Angel Investors, Corporate VCs and Investment Firms. A select group of 50 Top Innovators from the technology, life sciences and Clean-tech sectors will be chosen to present their breakthrough investment opportunities to an exclusive audience of Venture Capitalists, Private Investors, Investment Bankers, Corporate Investors, and Strategic Partners. To apply to present: e-mail email@example.com for an application. To nominate a company:please forward: company name, main contact at firm, contact details and why you think they should present to firstname.lastname@example.org. Early bird registration is now available. For more information: http://bit.ly/LjlttK
Battle of the Apps: become the Kick Apps Champion by creating software that helps small businesses. Contest now opened, deadline: December 31st. Infusionsoft is offering$20,000 in cash and prizes for the best apps to help small business customers. Use the Infusionsoft API to create an app, integration, or plug-in that helps Infusionsoft customers grow their business! 1st through 4th place winners will receive ongoing marketing, plus stage time at InfusionCon 2013. 10 runners-up will receive InfusionCon boothspace and 2 tickets to the conference. Register to enter.
Dell Launches $100M Innovators Credit Fund. Qualified start-ups can get extra funding and technological resources from the computer giant. The catch is, you must have already received some angel funding or venture capital before you can apply. Start-ups can get up to 10% of its current funding or up to $150,000 with limited credit terms. Article is here: http://bit.ly/NsJpQK For more information: http://eir.dell.com/
powered by Movable Ink For you edification this week:
Roger McNamee of Elevation Partners calls NASDAQ & Morgan Stanley Criminals in Facebook IPO Debacle. Show of hands: who’s surprised? http://bit.ly/NbbLzF
The complete guide to Israeli startup accelerators. And a lesson is what to look for and why accelerators work for some and not for others: http://tnw.co/LiRYs7 Five Reasons Britain May Be The Best Place To Start A Company In 2012. Over the last five years, the British Government has announced changes in every annual budget to help nurture the growing ecosystem that had already started to establish itself organically in the UK. Other governments can take a lesson: http://onforb.es/LEgmui Vinod Khosla: Maintain the Silicon Valley Vision. Ok, he’s a SV-based investor. Better (more inclusive) title would have been: How to Build the Future. Still, a lesson in pursuing the mission, not the exit: http://nyti.ms/N8h3fj Your LinkedIn Intervention: 5 Changes You Must Make. If you want to get results though linkedin, there is an etiquette. Learn it may well lead to more successful networking: http://onforb.es/Nemp6m The Secret Lives Of Teenagers Online: A Full Report From Business Insider. And remember: they’re the future: http://read.bi/NU39vb
What Agencies (and startups) Can Learn From a Superstar Startup. It’s dollarshaveclub.com. Speed is important, and bold means memorable: http://on.mash.to/LiK6vp How To Prepare Your Startup To Raise An Angel Round. Approaching a well known angel investor cold with the expectation that they’ll fund you, is like walking up to a beautiful stranger and expecting you’ll be planning a wedding by the end of the conversation. Be prepared: http://tcrn.ch/NAiD3S 7 Do’s and Don’ts for Founders: http://bit.ly/LmbtE2 The Formula. Television is formulaic – and startups can be as well. Brad Feld suggests following the formula, when it works – but don’t be afraid to deviate from it, when necessary: http://bit.ly/N3qbeU
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!
From SOS member Conrad Egusa: When I was writing for VentureBeat.com I learned pretty quickly that most entrepreneurs do not know how to approach the media, and when they do look for PR, they need to spend hours collecting the contact information of tech reporters. My company spent 100 hours creating a free comprehensive tech reporter contact list. The list is here: http://www.brownsteinegusa.com/find-tech-reporters I’m also releasing a free Beginner’s Guide To PR: http://brownsteinegusa.com/beginners-guide-to-pr/. I hope they are of help.
How Hoboken, New York’s Baby Brother, Built An Innovation Scene Of Its Own: http://bit.ly/Lwvvxz And congrats to Aaron Price, NJ Tech Meetup founder, Entrepreneur at Large for DFJ Gotham, founder of CrafterMania.com and SOS member, who certainly played his part in making it happen. We keep telling you: it’s worth the trip across the river! Yes, the NJ Tech Meetup is tonight – waitlist only, as usual.
Our thanks to everyone who came out to help me celebrate my birthday – and yes, we are planning another event for August. Stay tuned and until then, as always, help is on the way…