Good morning, All,

It’s that time again: the year end round-ups are upon us, when every media outlet puts forth its Top Ten lists of top companies, top apps, top whatever, and their year-end summaries, from the startup ‘darlings’ who hit the airwaves (Startup: Silicon Valley) to the ones who went down the tubes (Zynga, Groupon). Let’s focus on how to move forward.

Since we’ve long been a big proponent of a business model over a business plan, confirmation: Burn Your Business Plan – Before It Burns You. “We need to have a more dynamic methodology for entrepreneurship than static business plans,” Alexander Osterwalder writes in the Wall Street Journal. “The good news is that we’ve now figured out how to replace business plan writing with a more reliable process that produces better results. It’s a process that supports you in your search for a scalable and profitable business model by combining three different methods in a powerful cocktail: Business model design with the Business Model Canvas tool; Business model testing with the Customer Development methodology); Rapid prototyping with the Lean Start-up methodology:” http://on.wsj.com/Tr4uN5 Osterwalder is co-author of Business Model Generation, the best-selling handbook for visionaries, game changers and challengers. There’s a 72-page preview, if you’d like to check it out first: http://bit.ly/lj0MXS

Speaking of planning your next move, also check out The Karma Life Matrix is a simple tool to help you do more of the things you want to do, and less of the things you don’t: http://on.fb.me/Wgp8zx. http://on.fb.me/WgpW7x

Since this is also a time of looking back, let’s take a longer look back. “The tech industry and its press have treated the rise of billion-scale social networks and ubiquitous smartphone apps as an unadulterated win for regular people, a triumph of usability and empowerment,” writes Anil Dash in The Web We Lost. “They seldom talk about what we’ve lost along the way in this transition, and I find that younger folks may not even know how the web used to be:” http://dashes.com/anil/  If you want to know where we’re going, look at where we’ve been. We have twitter, where we can express ourselves in just a few characters, not unlike ancient man did. Instagram? Cavemen first expressed themselves in – pictures.

Yes, Virginia, new social networks will arise. Sixdegrees.com predated them, and Facebook and Linkedin were/are fine in their day, but web 2.0 is about social, and connecting anyone and everyone in a global community to the point where they’re becoming cluttered, intrusive, and rendered less meaningful. One size does not fit all and never really did. They did or are figuring out their monetization models, but following old paradigms. Now that we’ve created global communities, we’re going to start segmenting into neighborhoods and even building gated communities.Commerce will grow endemically as Big Data becomes more meaningfully targeted to needs, not assumptions. And heads up to whomever is building the new social networks: if you want to entice the world to move in, make sure there are privacy shades installed this time. 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/

NEW  Matter Accelerator, SF, deadline January 6th . New York information session, December 18th. Matter support media entrepreneurs building a more informed, connected, and empowered society through our 4-month start-up accelerator in San Francisco. We invest $50k to give you four months of runway to do needfinding with your customers, prototype your solutions, and build traction with your audience. For more information and to apply: http://matter.vc/

NEW   Call for Top Innovators! The 1st Annual Venture Summit | West, early deadline for presenting company applications is December 19th, 2012. 1st annual conference will showcase 50 of the hottest early stage and emerging growth technology, life sciences and clean-tech innovators. If you are a Startup seeking capital and/or partnerships, submit your plan for the opportunity to present at The 1st Annual Venture Summit | West, the premier venue connecting emerging growth companies with active Venture Capitalists, Angel Investors, Corporate VCs and Investment Firms. Presented by youngStartup Ventures, Venture Summit | West 2013 provides an unparalleled opportunity for startups to meet, network and showcase their innovative investment opportunities to a leading group of investors. And it all happens in San Francisco on February 13th.
Apply to Present:
To be considered for one of the Top Innovator slots, please e-mail iwant2present@youngstartup.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 nominations@youngstartup.com.
So mark your calendar and click here to take advantage of the “early bird” registration savings before they expire. This is the event of the year you won’t want to miss! Click Here to Register Now! SOS members also get 10% off on attending.  Discount code:  sos10

DEADLINE THIS WEEK  FinTech Innovation Lab, deadline December 19th. This is 12-week accelerator program run by the Partnership for New York City Fund and Accenture for early and growth stage companies that have developed cutting edge technology products targeted at financial services customers. For more information and to apply: http://www.fintechinnovationlab.com/

NEW DEADLINE THIS WEEK  NEXT Facilitators, deadline December 21st. NEXT is a revolutionary program with a mission to democratize entrepreneurial education with the goal of helping every local community empower itself.  NEXT is in search of world class leaders in local startup communities to be selected to go through an intensive training and development program led by Startup Weekend, Steve Blank, and Bob Dorf. If selected to participate, you’ll be receiving our exclusive training in the NEXT methodology from Steve Blank and several leading voices from the startup community including Bob Dorf, serial entrepreneur and co-author of The Startup Owner’s Manual, Andy Sack, TechStars Seattle founder, Eric Koester, founder of Zaarly, and more. The one-month program includes group lessons from Steve Blank, small group training, discussions, and role playing as well as one-on-one meetings with other Facilitators enrolled in the training program. It’s an exclusive program limited to just 25 individuals per session and is offered free to you if your application is approved –– we simply ask that you help organize and facilitate the NEXT program in your community at least twice a year. For more information and to apply: http://swnext.co/facilitator-application/
We are now recruiting local leaders.  Individuals accepted will participate in virtual workshops and real-world role playing simulations to make sure they are fully prepared to lead a local program.
Target Cities – USA
Kansas City
Las Vegas
Los Angeles
Mountain View
New York
San Diego
San Francisco
San Jose
Washington, DC
Mexico City
Rio de Janeiro
Sao Paulo
Santiago (chile)
Reykavik (Iceland)

ConnectNYC Fiber Challenge, deadline: December 27th. NYC challenges small businesses to compete for high-speed broadband at their location. Winners receive free fiber build-out to their business, an overall value of up to $7M for all winning businesses. For more information and to apply: http://nycfiberchallenge.com/

NEW   Take the HELM, deadline extended to December 31. 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/
DEMO Mobile: The Future Is In Your Hands. Scholarship deadline: January 17th. Standard deadline, February 15th. Apply to launch or pitch: http://bit.ly/QjQQvE

Techstars NYC, deadline January 18th.  We invest $118K in each company we fund through $18K in seed funding and an optional $100K convertible debt note. TechStars itself is backed by over 75 different venture capital firms and angel investors. We also provide three months of intensive top-notch mentorship, incredible perks, and the chance to pitch to angel investors and venture capitalists at the end of the program. Our companies average over $1M in outside venture capital raised after leaving TechStars. To more information and to apply: http://bit.ly/TNP5Cz

 LLGA | Cities Pilot the Future: Global Cities invite urban & social innovators to pilot their solutions. Deadline: January 31st. 21 cities are participating, each with their own pitch to companies, entrepreneurs, innovators, consortia, research centers, organizations and experts. For more information: http://bit.ly/tm2hxS

DreamIt Health, deadline February 8th. This is the first-ever Philadelphia-based health care accelerator. Powered by IBC and PennMedicine, this collaboration marks the first time a leading health insurer and a leading health care provider have come together in an accelerator to deliver the resources entrepreneurs need to capitalize on emerging health care opportunities. DreamIt Health’s 4-month program provides selected companies with a stipend up to $50,000 and office space, plus in-depth mentoring (which are uniquely assigned in a one-to-one fashion to each company), coaching from industry experts, and access to other critical health care-specific resources to rapidly develop and test its product. For more information and to apply: http://bit.ly/RQRqTc

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For you edification this week:

How to permanently delete your Facebook account. It can be done. And it was posted for a reason: http://bit.ly/V3u4ZQ

Speaking of privacy shades – How Websites Know Your Email Address the First Time You Visithttp://bit.ly/UyTxpk

Even the deceased can no longer rest in peace – Why Are Dead People Liking Stuff On Facebook?  If nobody tells Facebook that the account-holder is dead, Facebook just keeps operating on the assumption the person is alive. And what does this say about the value of their data?  http://bit.ly/Uzf0R0

Ff you need more inspiration/motivation: Instagram says it now has the right to sell your photos. In its first big policy shift since Facebook bought the photo-sharing site, Instagram claims the right to sell users’ photos without payment or notification. And there’s no way to opt out: http://cnet.co/TX6han

Do You Care About Your iPhone Privacy? This App Will Quadruple Encrypt Your Messages And Shred All Data. Wickr’s mission is to provide a free and easy way for anyone to Leave No Trace. Wickr was designed to protect sources in hostile zones but has now pivoted into a consumer app, and in an age of the ability to search your messages without the need for a search warrant, good timing:  http://read.bi/To8k8T

Speaking of moving forward (not)… The Meteoric Ascent of the Patent Troll and the Devastating Consequences for Innovation. Last year patent trolls won a cool $29 Billion. They’re primarily non-practicing entities, and if you’re wondering where the innovation is, ask their lawyers:  http://bit.ly/SxCtT0

Would the Last Blackberry User Please Turn Out the Lights? I Already Left the Building. Just gotta love Mark Suster: http://bit.ly/UCIgFJ

Founders: Eyes wide open. Taking VC money is like getting married: when it’s good it’s great, productive and fulfilling. When it’s bad, however, splitting up is hard to do, emotionally and logistically. So bringing a VC into the mix is not something that should be taken lightly. If you do decide to take venture money, there are few things Roger Ehrenberg recommends founders do to get the most out of the relationship: http://bit.ly/TlhWkF

Wallflowers of Silicon Valley Get Asked to Dance. That means technology sectors — including mobile security, data analytics and storage companies and mobile payment systems —  are suddenly finding millions of dollars of investments coming at them: http://nyti.ms/VJXA35 As for the cool kids – lack of a business/revenue model, not so cool.

And speaking of looking back/eyes wide open, even the Cold War is rearing its head again, this time on line: (Internet regulation – A digital cold war? http://econ.st/UFowSM)

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!

Citi and the Wall Street Journal have teamed up to name the “City of the Year,” an award given to the most innovative city. Based on a combination of judging from the Urban Land Institute and popular vote, Medellín, Colombia, is one of the three finalists for the title of “City of the Year,” and SOS member Conrad Egusa, co-Founder of Espacio, which is a co-working space and entrepreneurial center located in the heart of Medellín, was recently named one of the finalists: http://citi.us/UCFEHP

That’s it from us this week and since next week is Christmas, we will not be publishing the newsletter. We do wish you all a happy, happy, joy, joy and have a safe and wonderul holiday. And see you next year! Until then, as always, help is on the way…

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