Good morning, All, and happy Year of the Dragon to you!

Among the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac, the Dragon is the only mythical animal, believed to be accompanied by thunder and rain; dragons move like lightning and whirlwinds – all powerful yet totally unpredictable. Hmmm. It is commonly believed that dragon years are lucky for anyone thinking of starting a business or initiating a new project of any sort because money is easier to come by for everyone, whether it’s earned, borrowed or received as a gift. In ancient China, the celestial Dragon represented  power. Today, it is the ultimate auspicious symbol signifying success and happiness.   May the celestial Dragon bring good luck to everyone. And we have dragons out there to slay:

Last week Jerry Yang exited the board of Yahoo; the online community rallied in record numbers and managed to get a postponement on the SOPA and PIPA votes – both of which had pretty much been considered shoo-ins for passage (The largest online protest in history, by numbers: http://sopastrike.com/numbers/); and Kodak filed for bankruptcy (What Happened To Kodak’s Moment? http://tcrn.ch/yv8Fz9) These three things are not unrelated: video did kill the radio star, and the big media companies know it. Two more thing happened to which attention must be paid: megaupload was shut down and all of its assets seized, without due process, and former Senator and current MPAA chief Chris Dodd went on Fox News to explicitly threaten politicians who accept MPAA campaign donations that they’d better pass Hollywood’s favorite legislation…or else.” Full article is here: http://bit.ly/ya94fq. Of course, there are lobbying restriction on former congressmen (Why Chris Dodd Failed With His SOPA/PIPA Strategy http://bit.ly/wmBP2K ) and since the online community managed to get together, it may be time we stayed together and cry enough already, while we’re still have a voice (A petition to the White House: Investigate Chris Dodd and the MPAA for bribery after he publicly admitted to bribing politicians to pass legislation: http://bit.ly/yPtkB8). But wait! There’s more: there’s ACTA, the Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement that is more sweeping and Draconian than either SOPA and PIPA, and spans virtually all countries of the developed world. The US – and many other countries – have already signed on, and it’s now awaiting Senate approval – and the Obama administration has aggressively pursued it and strongly supports it. Full article is here: (If You Thought SOPA Was Bad, Just Wait Until You Meet ACTA http://onforb.es/y5oQtD) To sign the petition to stop it: http://bit.ly/ygUaWt – and make sure to also get the word out. We cannot let this slip under the radar. Jerry Yang’s departure from the company he founded and the demise of Kodak due to technology may in fact signal a time for a changing of the guard. It’s time we stop referring to ourselves as the tech community and become a unified tech industry and enough of politics-walletics as usual. In the words of Wikipedia: “Thank you for protecting Wikipedia. We’re not done yet.” This is the year for slaying dragons – and sending a dragon slayer or two of our own to Washington. Onward and forward.


Another accelerator, deadline unknown, but it says January. We run four three-month funding cycles a year, one from January, April, July and October. We may ask the founders of each startup we fund to move to the Northern NJ Metro Area for the duration of their cycle, during which we work intensively with them to get the company into the best shape possible. We usually $10,000-$100,000 per startup. Occasionally we invest more. The goal is usually to give you enough money to build an impressive prototype or version 1, which you can then use to get further funding. What do we get out of this?  From 2-30% of your stock. Usually 5 or 10%. For more information and to apply: http://bit.ly/ysJLXG

SOMETHING OLD AND SOMETHING NEW  NYC Big App Awards, deadline January 25th. – 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/ To reward yourself for submitting — or just for thinking about submitting! — plan to attend the opening celebration for the new BMW i Ventures Incubator. (BMW i Ventures is an NYC BigApps strategic partner) on January 31st. You must RSVP by January 27th. For more information and to attend: http://bit.ly/AtYjps. To learn more about BMW-i Ventures and if you would like to know more about the application process for the incubator, please contact tara.gebbia@bmwnaext.com_.BMW-i, based in NYC, is looking for promising services that fit to the BMW i brand and improve personal mobility in urban areas and deliver extra comfort or smart advantages (intermodal travel, smart parking, recommendations, communication etc). Early- or mid-stage. Run by capable entrepreneurs. Even more information here: http://bit.ly/eOXX9R

NEW inSiteNY, deadline Febrary 1st: InSITE sources startup companies from the New York area who are seeking to raise Venture Capital or Angel financing. We neither focus on a particular industry nor do we have a quota for industry and business types. Company submissions are evaluated by a committee of InSITE members and selected based on broad criteria. For more information and to apply: http://bit.ly/pEgEAq

Hacker School is a three-month, full-time school in New York for becoming a better programmer. We’re free as in beer, and provide space, a little structure, time to focus, and a friendly community of smart builders dedicated to self-improvement. We value free software, beautiful code, personal growth, and shipping. The third batch will take place from February 13th to May 3rd. For more information and to apply: http://www.hackerschool.com/

Race For Apps, deadline January 26th . The judges have completed their first round assessments and 29 of the lanes have been filled. They have decided to reopen the race to fill the remaining lanes in four of the categories. If you’ve got a great idea for an app which you think could help people visiting Hackney during the 2012 Olympic Games, go for it! For more information and to apply: http://bit.ly/w9KIiv

Startup Weekend San Jose, January 27-29th. You know the drill. You have 54 hours – GO! http://sanjose.startupweekend.org/

Rockstart Accelerator Amsterdam, deadline January 31st Rockstart Accelerator is a new program that helps the most promising teams from around the world to launch their startups and break through on a global scale. We support 10 startups for 100 days, backed by 99 mentors, coaching by entrepreneurs in residence and a 3-week road-trip to Silicon Valley. Our goal is to get you ready for international expansion and growth funding of between 100,000 and 1,000,000 EUR. For more information and to apply: http://rockstart.com/accelerator/

Mini Seedcamp London, January 31, 2012 is a one day event aiming to connect the 20 best web-tech, mobile and software talent with some of the leading entrepreneurs, developers, and experts from all across Europe and all over the world. For more information and to apply: http://bit.ly/rqgVQm

WIM Accelerator, Deadline February 1st. Women Innovate Mobile (WIM) is the first startup accelerator and mentorship-driven program designed for women-founded companies in mobile technology. WIM’s goal is to provide women entrepreneurs with the guidance, feedback and connections needed to make their startups best in class companies and formidable business concerns. Our companies will receive $18,000 in funding, free office space, product development and design support, mobile-marketing promotions, and access to an incredible network of mentors, funders and advisors. In exchange for our investment and services, we receive a 6% equity stake in each company.  For more information and to apply:  http://womeninnovatemobile.com/ From the WSJ, A Start-Up Program for Women in Mobile Tech: http://on.wsj.com/vErQhp

NEW Startup Weekend EDU is coming to NYC February 3-5th to launch startups and transform education. To learn more and register for this technology-driven revolution in education, visit http://nycedu.startupweekend.org

NEW  businessweek is looking for America’s most promising social entrepreneurs, deadline February 9th. The idea is to find and report on business ventures that advance a social or environmental mission and aim to turn a profit. For more information and to apply: http://buswk.co/zWbf20

Startup Bootcamp Amsterdam, deadline February 12th. We provide seed investment, 6-months of office space, 99 mentors, daily coaching by serial entrepreneurs in residence and a 3-week road-trip to Silicon Valley. Teams receive a maximum of €17,000 per team and 6 months of free office space in return for 8 percent of equity. The accelerator program operates for 3 months. For more information and to apply: http://bit.ly/vWpBqW

NXTP LABS/TechStars Argentina deadline 13 de Febrero – and that’s the extent of our Spanish. For more information and to apply: http://bit.ly/rYcDfN

DEMO Spring 2012, application deadline February 17th.  DEMO Spring 2012, the launchpad for emerging technology and trends, is returning to Silicon Valley April 17-19, 2012 and we have many exciting new reasons to attend and launch!  www.demo.com
DEMO Innovation Tour- Announcing Dates/Locations:
DEMO comes to Palo Alto, Boulder, Boston and Austin in February and March in search of the best innovation to showcase at DEMO Spring 2012, April 17-19, Hyatt Regency Silicon Valley. Apply today for a meeting spot and you or your client will have an opportunity to meet with Matt Marshall, DEMO Executive Producer, members from the DEMO and VCs to get candid feedback on your pitch and make investment connections.
DEMO and Foundry Group – February 8, 2012- Boulder, CO
DEMO Meet-up- February 8, 2012 in Boulder, CO at T-Zero Lounge, 6-8 p.m.
DEMO and Kleiner Perkins- February 9, 2012- Palo Alto, CA
DEMO and Atlas Venture- February 14, 2012- Boston, MA
DEMO and SXSW- March 11, 2012- Austin, TX

DEMO Innovation Tour- www.demo.com/innovationtour
No Barrier to Entry: Apply to Launch or Pitch at DEMO Spring 2012 and take advantage of our new pricing and scholarship program opportunities. Application Deadline: February 17, 2012.Over the next few months, we’ll be in touch with conference updates, speakers and more! To apply to Launch or Register to Attend: www.demo.com

Win a VIP Trip to SXSW, deadline February 24th. Yeah, thought you’d like this one: http://bit.ly/wTXVdT

Applications for the DreamIt NYC Summer 2012 program are now open.  Final deadline: March 16th, but note: there is a definite advantage to applying early, as it results in the application getting  more attention (and possibly early admittance).
-the program runs from May-August 2012 in NYC
-accepted companies get seed money (typically $20-25,000), office space, free legal and accounting services, and access to a who’s who list of advisors and mentors (http://www.dreamitventures.com/team/advisors.php)
For more information and to apply: http://www.dreamitventures.com/apply/.

The Appy Awards – enter once and you could win twice. Deadline March 21, 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:

http://voteforthenet.com/ “In 2012, I will only support candidates who stand for Internet freedom and who oppose the PROTECT IP Act and SOPA. I will work against any candidate, of any party, who votes to censor and stifle the Internet.” It’s an election year and your vote may well outweigh Hollywood money and influence. And while we’re on the subject: HOW CONGRESS IS PREPARING TO DESTROY THE INTERNET: These Popular Sites Could Be Screwed By SOPA http://read.bi/wDlRUg

Why Bootstrapping Is Just As Over-Rated As Raising Venture Capital. As the author sayd, “The cliché is that it’s not the destination that matters, but the journey.  Sure, maybe in Bullshitistan.  In the sports and business world, it’s all about the outcome. When it’s said and done, you can own 100% of a lemonade stand or 1% of Coca-Cola.” Eric Reiss may sell a lot of books with his Lean Startup concept but really, isn’t it post Web 1.0 common sense?  http://tcrn.ch/w7ftWG

6 Things to Know Before Starting a Business. According to the author, here’s advice he’d wished someone had shared with him before he’d started his first – and second – businesses. Happy to share: http://on.mash.to/AssupQ

Startup Metrics in Plain English. A shockingly large number of people still can’t define their value proposition in simple terms, so Sister Mary Explains It All. Kidding, but couldn’t resist. The author gives some plain English metrics to help you better communicate with your team, your investors – and maybe figure out a few things you yourself should know about your product: http://bit.ly/yWJbsz

Why Some Startups Succeed And Others Fail: 10 Fascinating Harvard Findings http://read.bi/x4yPCI

How to Develop Your Fund Raising Strategy. Yes, it’s Mark Suster, entrepreneur and VC who gives his fund raising perspective from both sides of the table: http://bit.ly/zynNiG

Dharmesh Shah’s guide to angel investing: Don’t worry, be snappy. Boston-based Shah is cofounder of Hubspot and a prolific angel investor. His summary: Angel investors shouldn’t over-think it. Just write checks, support our future stars. http://bit.ly/AoX9aM

That’s it from us this week, except this little ditty about priorities and royalties uber alles: http://bit.ly/wgYna4 and now, as always, help is on the way…

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