Good morning, All,

We suffered the untimely death of a much-loved family member last week, and our brain isn’t quite functioning properly yet, so we do ask for your indulgence this week. And apologies that I had to miss the Rock Out at the Empire State Building, but I will be at the next one. Mark your calendars: November 15th, and again, we’ll be on the 60th floor of the Empire State Building. Early bird rate is available, so make sure to register now: http://terraceparty5-auto.eventbrite.com/  And our thanks to our ESB host and sponsor: Corporate Tax Network is a national accounting and consulting firm catering exclusively to the entrepreneurial, start-up, and SMB business communities.  Due to our niche in the start-up community, we understand the issues that new organizations face, and we consult with these firms in order to facilitate growth.  In addition to our tax services, CTN also provides incorporation assistance, bookkeeping, payroll, business planning services, and wealth management services.  SOS members have an opportunity to sign up for a free for the “intro to business taxes” webinar. Or feel free to contact Ryan directly: email him at rcain@corporatetaxnetwork.com, and make sure to mention SOS.

When did Groupon become the gift that keeps on giving? – no pun intended. The Chicago-based startup announced that their long-awaited/previously postponed IPO is back on and let the chips fall where they may (HEY, GROUPON HATERS, ANALYZE THIS: Groupon Breaks Even In Q3 http://read.bi/oIrIQ4; ‘Groupon Is A Disaster’ http://read.bi/qGmrQU). Forest through the trees: There are serious VCs invested in Groupon, and BI’s Henry Bodgett (who wrote the first article cited) is not only a former Wall Street analyst rather than a reporter: he has also taken quite a bit of venture money for his publication (Business Insider raises $7 million from investors http://bit.ly/njQBxC) and some it came courtesy of the very same investors who backed Groupon. And yet BI was among the first/loudest to cry ‘conflict of interest’ when Michael Arrington announced his new VC fund not too long ago. We don’t know if Groupon is going to be the biggest IPO in internet history (doubtful) or if they’ll even be around in five years. It would be refreshing – and inspire a bit more confidence – if Blodgett considered taking a page from the playbook he threw at Arrington and disclosed that BI and Groupon – or whatever other company on which he may be reporting – share investors so that online journalistic integrity doesn’t continue to devolve into being just another oxymoron – right up there with Facebook IPO. Onward and forward.


Anna Curran is the New York Co-Founder of The Startup Foundation (a Kauffman Foundation project). It takes a lot for a startup to get noticed in this town. Lack of visibility is one of the many a major challenges facing an entrepreneur who is on the path to growing and scaling their businesses. To answer the call, the Startup Foundation  NYC will be hosting press events where journalists will have the opportunity connect with several startups curated by theme. The goal is to reveal early stage startups to journalists and help them gain traction. If you’d like a shot at some great press for your startup, here’s a start: http://bit.ly/qsyWz4 Winners will be notified November 2nd.

ER Accelerator is now accepting applications for its winter session: Deadine November 19th. You don’t have to be NYC based, but you will have to move here during the program – and it is worth your while: each company gets $25,000 in seed funding and three months of:
Free collaborative office space in the heart of New York City
Best-of-class one-on-one mentoring from 140+ of industry’s best experts (both during and after the three month session)
Access to experienced technologists, UI gurus and other product experts
Free legal and other services
Hands-on help from inSITE business interns and engineering interns
Exposure to dozens of leading seed investors and VCs during the Accelerator
At the end of the session, startups will pitch to hundreds of angel investors and venture capitalists and continue to utilize the ER Accelerator network indefinitely! So get those applications in.  http://eranyc.com/apply/

NEW Startup Colorado to launch in November. Silicon Flatirons, a program of the University of Colorado Law School, announced Thursday the creation of Startup Colorado, a program that will attempt to expand the breadth and depth of entrepreneurial networks throughout the state. Program kicks off November 9th. For more information: http://bit.ly/qTjkc4

6th Annual New England Venture Summit  – Call for Top Innovators and an SOS discount! The early deadline for presenting company applications is October 26thIf you are a Startup seeking capital and/or partnerships, submit your plan for the opportunity to present at 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 investors.. E-mail iwant2present@youngstartup.com for more details and an application. To nominate a company please forward: company name, main contact at firm, contact details and why you think they should present to nominations@youngstartup.com. The event happens December 14th; 50% off if you register by November 9th: http://bit.ly/nCkYN6For a further discount, the code is: sos.

NEW Finishweekend, Holland, MI November 12-13. Starting isn’t difficult, but finishing certainly is and we LOVE this concept. Members in Michigan, lucky you. Organizers elsewhere, take note: http://finishweekend.com/
Women 2.0 Startup Weekend in SF, November 18th– 20th. We provide the co-working space and brain fuel, and you bring the energy and innovation to build something big over the weekend. Both men and women are invited to get your ticket for Women 2.0 Startup Weekend now! To register: http://w2.startupweekend.org/tickets/

NEW Blueprint Health, Deadline November 13th. Blueprint Health is a startup accelerator based in New York City that helps entrepreneurs improve the health and wellness industry. We offer an intensive three-month program and provide $20,000 of seed capital, extensive mentorship and a shared work environment to help entrepreneurs go from idea to prototype and provide access to angel and venture capital investors. To apply: http://bit.ly/qzwW7K

Samsung’s $100k Challenge to Developers, deadline November 29th. Samsung is offering $225,000 in cash and prizes for the most innovative converged apps that enable an interactive home entertainment experience between Samsung TVs and other devices. The 2011 Samsung Free the TV Challenge invites software developers to create compelling converged apps that offer seamless user interaction between a Samsung Smart TV and at least one other screen, such as a phone, tablet or computer. Last year, we released the first-ever Samsung TV App SDK and launched the 2010 Free the TV Challenge to develop native apps on our line of Smart TVs and Blu-ray devices. This year we take another leap forward to free the TV with “converged apps” — multi-screen apps that offer immersive, interactive home entertainment experiences. For more information and to apply: http://www.freethetvchallenge.com/

The 5th Annual PITCH: Women 2.0 Startup Competition, deadline November 30th. For more information and to apply: http://bit.ly/pVlwCg The competition is open to early-stage ventures around the world, from high growth business ventures in web to mobile, from cleantech to gaming. Applying companies must have a female in the founding team, be in beta stage, and have received less than 3 million in funding.

NYC Big App Awards – New York City is challenging software developers to create apps that use city data to make NYC better. $50k in cash and prizes! You have from now until January 25th to enter. For more information and to apply: http://2011.nycbigapps.com/

The Appy Awards – enter once and you could win twice. Deadline March 21, 2012 but any entry you submit today may also be selected as our “Featured App of the Week“, scoring you some seriously instant gratification. And we doesn’t love that? For more information and to enter – any time – http://appyawards.net/

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For you edification this week

Lead, Follow or Get the Fuck Out of the Way. Mark Suster writes,  “Throughout life I’ve realized that many people are back benchers. “That will never work” is their motto. They “know” what’s wrong but they never do anything about it. They never lead. Yet they don’t follow. When you spot people like that in your company you shoot them.  Read on:  http://bit.ly/pGYO8D and it’s right up there with the…

Startup Mantra: Hire Fast, Fire Fast, again from Mark Suster: I have often said that what separates real entrepreneurs from pundits and bystanders is a bias towards getting things done versus over analyzing things. My credo has always been JFDI. http://bit.ly/mhSdAL

Why We Prefer Founding CEOs. The conventional wisdom says a startup CEO should make way for a professional CEO once the company has achieved product-market fit. In this post, I describe why we prefer to fund companies whose founder will run the company as its CEO. An oldie but goodie from Ben Horowitz of Andreesen Horowitz, and note that, like all VCs, they do leave themselves an escape clause: http://bit.ly/90rDY5

Why Startup Weekends Don’t Work. We don’t happen to agree with the blogger. Startup weekends have their place and are expanding globally. Heads up, NYC: NYC startupweekend is November 18th. Registration opens next week. See ‘upcoming events.’  http://bit.ly/nmxEnd

The Spread of Start-Up America and the Rise of the High-Tech South. The geography of start-up America is spreading, slowly and gradually, but inexorably. And some of the hottest spots are popping up in the South, but it’s definitely a world for self-starters, wherever you are: http://bit.ly/pZJDWz

Why should I join your start-up? Finding good people to work for you is key. This sef-described militant tech recruiter tells you how to attract the right people and more importantly, keep the right people working for you. http://bit.ly/nR9BQy

Speaking of which…5 ways to keep your rockstar employees happy. We’re not talking about free meals and drycleaners on premises. We said ‘happy,’ not ‘tethered.’ http://bit.ly/nd3AGz

It takes three years to build a business. We live in a world of immediate gratification. That’s now exactly how to build a sustainable business: http://bit.ly/rtCHql

MC Hammer announced at the Web 2.0 Summit that he’s launching his own search engine –WIREDoo: (http://cnet.co/qaoqHp). OK, so maybe you can’t turn it into a verb, but he did a compelling demo. Google may be all-powerful in search at the moment, but for your enjoyment this week, we leave you with this musical warning (?) to Larry and Sergei, from MC Hammer himself: http://youtu.be/WIHAkqCls4A. That’s it from us. Hope to see you at the ERA Halloween bash on Wednesday.  Unti then, as always, help is on the way…

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