Good morning, All, and happy to see that you weathered the storm!
Last year, Hurricane Irene hit the Eastern Seaboard. New York dodged a bullet on that one, but it was a wake-up call. When Sandy plunged downtown Manhattan into darkness, Goldman Sachs, located at the epicenter of the maelstrom, was fully lit up and functional. They’d obviously heeded the lessons of Irene (actually, they were prepared even before that), while our Mayor Bloomberg, a huge advocate of global warming, turned his attention to – pressing hard for a ban on oversized softdrinks. The New York Times did a piece in September criticizing the mayor for moving too slowly in addressing potential flooding and worse: New York Is Lagging as Seas and Risks Rise, Critics Warn: http://nyti.ms/SIYNbA. “Planning to be flooded” is no replacement for investing in protection. Consequently, lives were lost: let’s not forget that NY is second only to New Orleans in the number of people living less than four feet above high tide. New York was a Tale of Two Cities: uptown, which was not affected by the storm at all, and downtown/the outer boroughs/low lying areas, which were in the dark and parts of which – and still do – looked like downtown Beirut. Moreover, it was a Tale of Two Realities: what we were told by our elected officials, and the reality of the situation/news that was streaming through social media, more specifically, via Facebook and twitter (Disconnect Between What We’re Told And Aid People Are Receiving: http://youtu.be/65hk_PoWMwc, while a friend posted: PLEASE HELP AND MAKE CALLS. Island Park was devastated this week. FEMA and the Red Cross have relocated to where there is MEDIA COVERAGE). Most people were turning to social media for help and or/information. Variations on a line from ‘Alien,’ and take note, elected officials: in cyberspace, everyone can hear you scream.
In the midst of all of this, Mayor Bloomberg announced that the NYC Marathon would not be cancelled. After all, we are a resilient bunch, and power was restored to much of Manhattan (note: the race goes through all five boroughs). New York was back to normal, in Mayor Mike’s reality. (In New York’s Public Housing, Fear Creeps In With the Dark: http://nyti.ms/X8DXXV; Queens residents arm themselves in the post-storm blackout from looters: Residents feel isolated and some use guns, baseball bats, booby traps — even a bow and arrow — to defend themselves. http://nydn.us/VLkpns). The reality was: the city that never sleeps had become the city that would only sleep with one eye opened.
The Marathon nightmare started when Gothamist ran this: Food Trucks, Generators To The Rescue For… Sunday’s Marathon? http://bit.ly/SBhFKT. In Bloomberg’s New York, there are cameras everywhere and someone is always watching. Those generators had been sitting on the unaffected Upper West Side since before Sandy hit and stayed there, while hospital emergency generators were failing and patients had to be moved to other hospitals, in the dark, under dangerous conditions. The race always starts in Staten Island – one of the worst-hit boroughs – and rest stations were being set up alongside people who were homeless and or/had been without power/heat/hot water/food for days. While Bloomberg insisted that police would not be diverted to focus on the marathon, NYPD Captains Endowment President Roy Richter said that, in a normal year, the marathon “is a tremendous tax on the resources on the Police Department” (Marathon Canceled for Sunday Despite Bloomberg’s Insistence: http://bit.ly/QZGsXB; Marathon organizers blame race cancellation on media, not killer storm: http://nydn.us/VLkpns). The cancellation of the race cost the city millions. If the mayor had simply announced that this year’s race would go on as a fundraiser for Sandy relief, he might have gotten even more sponsors to sign on, not to mention the donations that would have come from the viewing public. Take note, entrepreneurs: that’s a pivot, and pivots can often create win-win scenarios.
Social has become the go-to media in extraordinary times. The power may be out at home, but there’s always somewhere to charge your smartphone. And social wrought a change: where it might once have been true that you can’t fight City Hall, with social shining a spotlight where there has never been one before, and reporting your every move and announcement, you can’t fight, City Hall. Anymore than you can ignore Mother Nature, and yes, we are expecting a Nor’eastern tomorrow, so keep those hatches battened down. Let’s not forget, Manhattan: we’re not just a city: we’re also, in the words of Spaulding Gray, an island off the coast of America. 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/
NYU-Poly Incubator Accepting Fall Applications, deadline unknown. At the NYU-Poly Incubator we understand the needs of early-stage startups. We focus on providing our startups with the key resources that they need to be successful. This fall, we are excited to accept a few more startups at our DUMBO location in Brooklyn. Our incubator is looking for energetic and innovative startups that want to be apart of the bigger NYC Tech Community. For more information and to apply: http://bit.ly/Q85fbI
NYC Next Idea, deadline November 9th. NYC Next Idea is back and better than ever for its fourth iteration! With newly expanded eligibility rules that permit a much larger cross-section of US-based teams to participate, this year’s competition promises to bring the best business ideas from all around the globe to NYC for a chance to pitch to seasoned investors and win $35,000 to get their business off the ground. Registration is open now via this link. For more information: http://bit.ly/IIFg3G
NYC SeedStart Enterprise-Focused Accelerator, deadline November 9th. NYC SeedStart: Enterprise is looking for software and web-based teams with technical co-founders launching companies in the enterprise software area. The program will take place in New York City from January to March 2013. Particular areas of interest are SaaS, Real-time Analytics, Security, Cloud Services and Consumer-enabled Enterprise Products. Up to ten teams will be selected to participate, with each company receiving $20,000 in funding in exchange for a 5% equity stake in the business. For more information and to apply: http://www.nycseedstart.com/Or contact us @ firstname.lastname@example.org
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
“Who Would You Fund” TechStartup Challenge 2012, deadline November 11th. Think your startup has what it takes? Prove it! Submit your startup promotional vidle and you just might win the opportunity to make a live pitch to the ARC Angel Fund. For more information and to enter: https://vidle.me/competition/whowouldyoufund
Vator is bringing its popular evening event and competition back to NYC! Deadline: November 14th. 15% SOS discount code: SOS15. 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.
Vator, one of the largest business networks dedicated to high-tech entrepreneurs and investors, is looking to recognize 10 promising startups across technology, including digital media, social media, consumer Internet, software, SaaS, iPhone apps, and mobile.
Who should apply? Entrepreneurs with seed- to early-stage startups that have raised no more than $1.5 million.
What should you submit? Submissions are in the form of a Vator company profile. We encourage video as it gives us a better sense of who’s behind the company. But you don’t need one.
For more information: http://bit.ly/OVVrPl To apply for the competition: http://vator.tv/registration
BlueprintHealth Accelerator, deadline November 19th. The program is geared towards healthcare companies that want an intensive three-month program to help find customers and capital. Selected companies range from two founders with an idea to businesses that have customers, investors and are generating significant revenue. 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. We have 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. If you are accepted to the accelerator program, you will receive $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. For more information and to apply: http://bit.ly/Q926Y5
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/
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:
Hurricane Sandy Relief: Volunteering & Donations Guide: http://garysguide.com/sandy
And let’s not forget New Jersey: http://www.healhoboken.org/
Post Hurricane Sandy Tech Volunteer Sign-Up: http://bit.ly/VBZ2F1
New York City Marathon canceled but still has generators and supplies unused in park in spite of Hurricane Sandy recovery needs. You can’t make this stuff up: http://bit.ly/U3U1DM
Mayor Bloomberg’s Deft Climate Politics. While some will continue to link Sandy with energy policy decisions, important questions will have to be asked about why NYC was not better prepared, and what can be done before the next storm comes barreling up the coast: http://bit.ly/U2KQUi
Media Myth Alert. Social-media triumphalism and its myth-busting limits: http://bit.ly/UtK4Qw
New York’s Wet Future: How the City Could Live With the Sea Rather Than Fighting It. Like most cities, New York is built to beat back the sea’s spasms of violence, not to absorb them. Might be time to roll with the tides: http://bit.ly/RAqT8Y
Netherlands Highways Will Glow in the Dark Starting Mid-2013 The idea is to not only use more sustainable methods of illuminating major roads, thus making them safer and more efficient, but to rethink the design of highways at the same time as we continue to rethink vehicular design: http://bit.ly/Sc5wKa
Why Startup Entrepreneurs Need to Communicate More Like George Bush Than Al Gore. Flubs aside, Bush kept it real and spoke in plain language, according to Mark Suster: http://tcrn.ch/SKQAWT
Why Silicon Valley and Hollywood Don’t Get Each Other and Who Will Win the Future. Says Mark Suster, “For the past three years I have been pounding the table as loud as I can about the future opportunities in digital video. The concise guide is here.” More here: http://bit.ly/RcHYWF
How to pitch your startup… Just in case you haven’t worked it out already, the brochure is you and the audience is potential investors: http://bit.ly/PQ5H1P
The Intrapreneur’s Playbook. Startups get all the glory when it comes to innovation, but intrapreneurship–or, creating from within an established company–is much trickier. Here’s the 4-step playbook for making it work. Some of the rules hold for entrepreneurs, too, so read on: http://bit.ly/T5C09L
The non-developer’s guide to hiring software developers: http://tcrn.ch/SKQAWT
Why startups are hard. Everything you need to know: http://bit.ly/WnbIFL
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 Linnette Attai: In the spirit of sharing what I’ve been working on, after 12 years at Nickelodeon, I’ve left to launch PlayWell, LLC, a multimedia compliance consulting firm. PlayWell is focused on providing compliance solutions to regulatory and self-regulatory issues for media and marketing intended for children and teens. Think: privacy, safety, advertising, marketing, content. You can find out more at http://www.playwell-llc.com/.
One last thing: can we please stop changing the names of bridges, tunnels, etc? It’s very confusing, especially in an emergency and we still haven’t figured out where the Ed Koch Bridge (or is it a tunnel?) is. Just for the record: everyone still calls it 6th Avenue and it’s been how many years since it was renamed Avenue of the Americas? Just saying…That’s it from us this week, except to remind you that it is Election Day, so don’t forget to vote. And now, as always, help is on the way…