Good morning, All,
We got to a lot of pitch events – where investors are always present – as well as accelerator demo days – where there are even more investors present. Of course we always query them for their feedback post-event. Most often we hear: ‘yes, interesting, but we’ve seen this before.’ Or, ‘they’re in a crowded space.’ Newsflash: libraries and bookstores – on and offline – are filled with books, and yet when you get down to it, there are only seven plots in all of literature, and actually, they can be boiled down to three: man v man; man v nature and man v himself. So any fiction writers on the list? Give it up: it’s been done and why the New York Times should even bother with a bestseller list is beyond us. To make matters worse, Mark Zuckerberg Says There Are Only ‘6 People In The World With Good Ideas’ (http://read.bi/QmXzDU) – himself included, of course, and let’s not forget that FB was far from being the world’s first social network. (Oh, and in case you missed it, and speaking of social networks, they’re back: https://new.myspace.com/play.) Remember: only seven plotlines.
Given all of this, what’s an entrepreneur to do? Answer: what you’ve always done. Keep building. Never give up on building the better mousetrap. Of course, Einstein’s definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, but that’s not what we’re talking about. As Erin Griffin notes in her pandodaily piece about ER Accelerator Demo Day which took place last week, “If Facebook has taught us anything it’s that an idea doesn’t have to be original or first to succeed. It just has to be executed the best.” (Politics, Planes and Paperwork: http://bit.ly/Q2cPpD). A fine point, that may well elude many an investor. (She also notes that conversely, the best execution doesn’t always win, either. Remember betamax?). Investors like founders with great backgrounds or track records. Look, they dumped millions into Color (Color.com Raises $41 Million For Building Location Photo- and Video-Sharing Social Network: http://bit.ly/SNchkr) yet a handful of unknowns founded instagram – an industry hit which left the Color investors waaay in the red. Pun intended. You’ve never heard of Sulia – but you someday may: This Tiny New York Startup Is Showing Facebook How It’s Done. http://read.bi/USQ87O. It’s the world’s first subject-based social network. They organize short-form content into channels. It’s free, and built in a way so that they can someday monetize their content. No brainer for advertisers: here’s your dedicated audience. You don’t have to go looking for them. They’re right here in this channel. May be time to take a cue from companies like Sulia and don’t just make your focus to build lean, or do more faster. Build smart and build it your way. As Oscar Wilde said, be yourself… everyone else is already taken. End of story. Onward and forward.
The list of Startup Weekend Upcoming Events
The Awesome Foundation wants to give you $1000 for your best idea – almost anywhere in the world. We give micro-grants each month to projects that are inspiring, delightful, and elegant: in a word, Awesome. To apply in NYC: http://bit.ly/NWueRO For more information and the complete list of chapters all over the world: http://www.awesomefoundation.org/
CornellNYC Tech Now Accepting Applications for ‘Highly Selective’ Beta Class, Deadline October 1st. Classes start January 2013. The inaugural class of future tech leaders will help shape the future of the tech campus. Candidates must have the highest academic credentials, and demonstrate strong entrepreneurial interests, leadership skills and a passion for community engagement. For more information and to apply: http://tech.cornell.edu/apply/
NEW Vator is bringing its popular evening event and competition back to the Big Apple! Deadline to enter: October 2nd. What do the top 10 finalists win? The opportunity to give a three-minute presentation onstage to some of the top investors in the industry, here in NYC on December 5th.
For more information: http://bit.ly/OVVrPl To apply for the competition: http://vator.tv/registration
NEW LeWeb’12 Paris, deadline October 21st. We are looking for the most exciting and innovative startups and of course if your company or your product is in the “Internet of Things” space (LeWeb12 theme) this will be even better (but not compulsory!). If that sounds like your startup, entry is free and to apply: http://bit.ly/SrYhl2
NEW DreamIt Ventures inaugural Austin accelerator program, deadline October 26th. The details are here: http://bit.ly/OVWQ8y. Demo Day will take place during SXSW. To apply: http://dreamitventures.com/apply/apply-now/ .
AWS Global Startup Challenge, deadline November 9th. The Amazon Web Services (AWS) Global Start-Up Challenge is a way for promising start-ups to get noticed and compete for an opportunity to win some great rewards. This year’s challenge offers prizes such as $100K in combined cash and credits for multiple winners, VC introductions, PR support, and more. If your start-up is built using AWS, we want you to apply!
Meet Tier One Investors: Finalists will be flown to San Francisco where they will meet 1:1 with top VCs
More Winners, More Prizes: This year we will award winners in four categories, and award each of the four winners $50,000 in cash and $50,000 in AWS credits
Press and Attention for Your Start-Up: Past winners have been covered by top tech news outlets, and AWS offers other free promotion to top teams as part of the contest. For more information and to apply: http://bit.ly/OwE8ny
NEW ER Accelerator Winter Session, deadline November 30th. ERA one of the top accelerators in the country, if not the world. Get $25k in funding; free office space in the heart of NYC; access to 200+ amazing mentors (http://eranyc.com/mentors/ and yes, Yours Truly happens to be one of them). For more information: http://eranyc.com/ To apply: http://eranyc.com/apply/
NEW Take the HELM, deadline November 30th. The Take the HELM (Hire & Expand in Lower Manhattan) Competition will select up to 20 finalists that best meet the goals of the competition and seek to open an office in Lower Manhattan. Finalists will each receive a $10,000 cash grant, an opportunity to interview with the distinguished Take the HELM Selection Committee, and will participate in two days of exclusive business development programs in Lower Manhattan. Up to four Take the HELM winners will receive an additional $250,000. At least one $250,000 prize will be reserved for startup applicants. For more information and to apply: http://www.takethehelmnyc.com/
THE NEW ENGLAND VENTURE SUMMIT Call for Top Innovators, and it’s not too late to apply to present. http://bit.ly/OVZQBF. The New England Venture Summit provides an unparalleled opportunity for startups to meet, network and showcase their innovative investment opportunities to a leading group of investors. This exclusive venture summit will feature over 40 leading VCs on timely panel discussions; presentations by 50 cutting edge companies and high-level networking opportunities. It happens in Boston on December 5th. If you plan on attending, register now and save 50%: http://bit.ly/LjlttK
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For you edification this week:
Speaking of never mind the bollocks… 4 Reasons Recruits Should Stop Accepting Traditional Resumes. We love this piece from mashable.com, which explains why resumes are passé. Oh, and for the record, when applying for a job at mashable, resume required: http://on.mash.to/P01KQU
Is Going For Rapid Growth Always Good? Aren’t Startups So Much More? It’s also ok NOT to raise venture capital. To aim at changing a small corner of your world or industry. Or your life. Mark Suster is always worth the read: http://bit.ly/Q91ZOG
How to remove all your old Facebook wall posts, public or private, from your Timeline. Good to know: http://tnw.co/SrVl85
3 Reasons Good Strategies Fail. So that great, new strategy failed miserably. But there might not be anything wrong with the strategy. Could be your execution: http://bit.ly/Vz8LOj
Notes on the acquisition process. Ah, nice spot to be in, but it ain’t over till the fat lady signs. Or something like that: http://bit.ly/TNlPBg
Just starting out in startups? Here’s some advice: http://bit.ly/PKzLcX
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 ER Accelerator’s Class of Summer ’12! The Graduates of ERA’s Demo Day Want to Solve All Your Problems, from Paperwork to Catering. This was the third class of companies to graduate from the accelerator, which launched in 2011. The previous two ERA classes now boast a collective valuation of over $100 million. Kudos to Murat and the crew: http://bit.ly/UrVkNH. And don’t forget that ER Accelerator is now accepting applications for the next class: http://eranyc.com/apply/
Congrats also go to our friends at pixable.com, early SOS members whose company was just acquired – SingTel Acquires Intelligent, Social Photo Aggregator Pixable For $26.5 Million: http://tcrn.ch/UkbIjd
Here’s something for you: Free pass to NEW YORK BUSINESS EXPO & CONFERENCE, October 17th In NYC. Promo Code: EXPO15. Register here: http://eventmanagement.org/newyork/register.php
Our next SOS gathering is October 18th. Register now for the early bird rate: http://sosoctobermixer.eventbrite.com/ Yes, time for another get-together. We know that a lot of you wait till the last minute – but if you register now, you’ll save a few bucks. That’s it from us this week, and now, as always, help is on the way…