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Year: 2012

7/17/12

7/17/12

Good morning, All,
The big news this week was yesterday’s announcement that The Marissa Mayer Era at Yahoo starts today.  Google’s employee #20 certainly knows her stuff, and guess we’ll see if she can make a difference to the company: http://tnw.co/MtXKNY
A while back, a friend’s parents went to the racetrack for the first time in their lives. They knew nothing about the sport, and since my friend is a dancer, her mother suggested that they bet on a horse called She Can Dance.  “She Can Dance,” her dad said, “but can she run?” They won: he chose a horse with better odds. Hashable shut down this week. Admittedly, we personally never found it compelling – the gamefication of introductions/death of the business card. But gamefication was the catchphrase du jour, you needed that element to get the attention of investors and the company’s founder was a successful entrepreneur.  Hate to state the (maybe not-so-) obvious, but if we want traction, the question always should be: how will this play in the vowel states (you don’t flyover in an online world). And: who is your audience (yes, Yahoo’s is primarily female, just for the record). Or try: how will this improve life as we know it out there? We in tech do live in a bubble: we live in tech hubs rife with early adopters, and we seem to forget that out there, there is a much lower percentage of people who: – Feel a burning need to have a web-enabled phone – Feel incomplete if they go to dinner – sans their mobile – Feel that everyone will think they haven’t left the house in months if they fail to compulsively check in on foursquare. If you build it, eventually they will come. But we can’t abandon the ‘fixed’ (as opposed to mobile) web just yet, and above all, again we remind you, don’t piss off your user base. And wasn’t Digg a lesson in that this week: The Lessons For Facebook, Twitter And Reddit In Digg’s Demise (http://onforb.es/PW3mSs). From 30M down to 8M users in a year, by simply releasing a new version of the site – and not listening to feedback from their most active members. So the former darling of the online world, once worth $164 million, had its parts sold off for $16 million, and it was all self-inflicted. Founders tend to live in bubbles. It’s our product; we know what’s best. And we’re not always responsive to user feedback – or the vagaries of our site/application/product features that keep our users coming back. Visionaries are few and far between. They see a future we cannot imagine, not a feature we feel compelled to implement. The better part of entrepreneurship may well be stewardship, and that may be the thing that distinguishes a dot com from a dot bomb. Choose wisely because in our world, fortunes can fall even more quickly than they rise. That’s horseracing! Onward and forward.
Deadlines:
The list of Startup Weekend Upcoming Events
NEW  Amplify.la – deadline unknown. Our accelerator program is four months of intense collaboration designed to help entrepreneurs amplify their business far beyond where it is today. We provide up to $50,000 in seed funding, free workspace at our Venice campus and hands‐on mentorship. Our companies also benefit from a variety of free or highly discounted services including hosting, legal, banking and more. For more information and to apply: http://amplify.la/
NEW  Angelpad, deadline July 21st. Angelpad is a mentorship program founded by Thomas Korte and other ex-Googlers to help web-technology startups build better products, attract additional funding and ultimately grow more successful businesses Twice a year, we provide an extensive mentorship program to carefully selected startups, during the course of 10 weeks, in our San Francisco office. For more information and to apply: http://angelpad.org/about/
NEW  The Microsoft Accelerator for Windows Azure, deadline July 21st. This program will host ten companies for a three month, on site, focused on building businesses that take advantage of the cloud. The program runs from September through mid-December in Seattle and is being powered by TechStars, using the same mentor driven methodology pioneered and proven by them in New York, Boulder, Seattle and Boston. For more information and to apply: http://bit.ly/LW1Tdi NEW  Springboard, deadline July 22nd. Springboard is a unique opportunity to turbocharge your startup by working with accomplished mentors and experts in a dedicated business environment. We are only one of two “startup competitions” that have been endorsed by UK Trade and Investment (“UKTI”) for applications for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa. Subject to your team being made an offer by  Springboard, you can apply for a Prospective Entrepreneur Visa that enables you to enter the UK for up to 6 months, and allow you to participate in Springboard and seek to secure funding. Business plan not necessary. For more information and to apply: http://springboard.com/view/faq/
Oxygen Accelerator, Birmingham, England, deadline July 31st. A 13-week intensive mentor led bootcamp, followed by 13-weeks of incubation that culminates with a series of investor days where we will help you pitch to a large, carefully selected group of Angel investors, VCs and Private Equity groups for next stage funding. Up to €40,000 per team in exchange for 8%-10% equity, and much more, including relocation allowance:  http://www.oxygenaccelerator.com/ Women 2.0 PITCH comes to NYC, deadline August 31st. We are now accepting applications for PITCH NYC from early-stage ventures around the world with at least one female founder to apply to the startup competition.  PITCH NYC 2012 will provide entrepreneurs with a chance for fame and fortune: finalists present onstage at the conference, and prizes include $25k cash from L’Oreal, $24k worth of free hosting from Rackspace and a finalist interview with TechStars! Stay tuned for more awesome prizes to be announced. Early-stage ventures with under a million in funding and a product in the market (prototype OK) are invited to apply. We are looking to identify, recognize and reward the most disruptive women-led ventures globally – and invite them to pitch onstage for the PITCH NYC conference in November for top prize. Got a startup idea but no team, or got an idea but don’t know how to build it? You have at least THREE MONTHS starting today to emblazen the deadline of August 31 into your head and make it happen. For more information and to apply: http://bit.ly/K56mbS
NEW  THE NEW ENGLAND VENTURE SUMMIT Call for Top Innovators, early deadline September 12th. If you are a Startup seeking capital and/or partnerships, submit your plan for the opportunity to present at The 7th Annual New England Venture Summit, 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 Venture Capitalists, Private Investors, Investment Bankers, Corporate Investors, and Strategic Partners. To apply to present: 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. Early bird registration is now available. For more information: http://bit.ly/LjlttK
Battle of the Apps: become the Kick Apps Champion by creating software that helps small businesses. Contest now opened, deadline: December 31st. Infusionsoft is offering$20,000 in cash and prizes for the best apps to help small business customers. Use the Infusionsoft API to create an app, integration, or plug-in that helps Infusionsoft customers grow their business! 1st through 4th place winners will receive ongoing marketing, plus stage time at InfusionCon 2013. 10 runners-up will receive InfusionCon boothspace and 2 tickets to the conference. Register to enter.
Dell Launches $100M Innovators Credit Fund. Qualified start-ups can get extra funding and technological resources from the computer giant. The catch is, you must have already received some angel funding or venture capital before you can apply. Start-ups can get up to 10% of its current funding or up to $150,000 with limited credit terms. Article is here: http://bit.ly/NsJpQK For more information: http://eir.dell.com/
powered by Movable Ink For you edification this week:
Roger McNamee of Elevation Partners calls NASDAQ & Morgan Stanley Criminals in Facebook IPO Debacle. Show of hands: who’s surprised? http://bit.ly/NbbLzF
The complete guide to Israeli startup accelerators. And a lesson is what to look for and why accelerators work for some and not for others: http://tnw.co/LiRYs7 Five Reasons Britain May Be The Best Place To Start A Company In 2012. Over the last five years, the British Government has announced changes in every annual budget to help nurture the growing ecosystem that had already started to establish itself organically in the UK. Other governments can take a lesson: http://onforb.es/LEgmui Vinod Khosla: Maintain the Silicon Valley Vision. Ok, he’s a SV-based investor. Better (more inclusive) title would have been: How to Build the Future. Still, a lesson in pursuing the mission, not the exit: http://nyti.ms/N8h3fj Your LinkedIn Intervention: 5 Changes You Must Make. If you want to get results though linkedin, there is an etiquette. Learn it may well lead to more successful networking: http://onforb.es/Nemp6m The Secret Lives Of Teenagers Online: A Full Report From Business Insider. And remember: they’re the future:  http://read.bi/NU39vb
What Agencies (and startups) Can Learn From a Superstar Startup. It’s dollarshaveclub.com. Speed is important, and bold means memorable: http://on.mash.to/LiK6vp How To Prepare Your Startup To Raise An Angel Round. Approaching a well known angel investor cold with the expectation that they’ll fund you, is like walking up to a beautiful stranger and expecting you’ll be planning a wedding by the end of the conversation. Be prepared: http://tcrn.ch/NAiD3S 7 Do’s and Don’ts for Founders: http://bit.ly/LmbtE2 The Formula. Television is formulaic – and startups can be as well. Brad Feld suggests following the formula, when it works – but don’t be afraid to deviate from it, when necessary: http://bit.ly/N3qbeU
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 Conrad Egusa: When I was writing for VentureBeat.com I learned pretty quickly that most entrepreneurs do not know how to approach the media, and when they do look for PR, they need to spend hours collecting the contact information of tech reporters. My company spent 100 hours creating a free comprehensive tech reporter contact list. The list is here: http://www.brownsteinegusa.com/find-tech-reporters I’m also releasing a free Beginner’s Guide To PR: http://brownsteinegusa.com/beginners-guide-to-pr/. I hope they are of help.
How Hoboken, New York’s Baby Brother, Built An Innovation Scene Of Its Own: http://bit.ly/Lwvvxz And congrats to Aaron Price, NJ Tech Meetup founder, Entrepreneur at Large for DFJ Gotham, founder of CrafterMania.com and SOS member, who certainly played his part in making it happen. We keep telling you: it’s worth the trip across the river! Yes, the NJ Tech Meetup is tonight – waitlist only, as usual.
Our thanks to everyone who came out to help me celebrate my birthday – and yes, we are planning another event for August. Stay tuned and until then, as always, help is on the way…

7/9/12

7/9/12

Good morning, All,
The next SOS event is tonight and we have a 25% discount for SOS members.  Code: sos. It also happens to be New York State Day and my birthday! We are hosting in conjunction with DoItInPerson, so hope you can join us for an evening of drinks and networking with business owners and entrepreneurs. Thank you, DoItInPerson, for making it happen. To RSVP http://bit.ly/LnJuAT and hope to see you this evening! Two interesting graphs circulated last week: Google Graveyard and Microsoft Morgue. We’re still waiting for the Facebook Follies and Ya-hoo Thought that would work? Behemoth’s don’t always get it right and yes, while money is made, jobs are also lost. Companies seem to get to a size/place/hubris where they want to own all eyeballs everywhere, seemingly losing sight of the cardinal rule of business: does it add to our value proposition? There’s no doubt that FB has a lot more members than Linkedin, but here’s How LinkedIn Gets TWENTY Times More Money Per User Than Facebook (http://read.bi/KYFeeM). LinkedIn users spend an average of 18 minutes a month on the site to FB users’, 6.4 hours. But LinkedIn gets $1.30 in revenue for every one of those hours to FB’s 6.2 cents. Since its IPO, Facebook stock has skidded 17% so far, while LinkedIn shares have leapt 64%. Facebook is still banking on the ad revenue model; LinkedIn – monetizes data. The full Forbes article is worth a read: How LinkedIn Has Turned Your Resume Into A Cash Machine: http://onforb.es/LClNKa. We remember when the internet was referred to as the information superhighway and, social or not, that basically hasn’t changed. Many of us simply forgot, or didn’t know that in the first place. “@NickLukan: “A million guys walk in to a Silicon Valley bar. None of them buys anything. The bar is declared a rousing success.” via @Quora. Eyeballs are great, but the real value of a business always shows up on the bottom line. At the end of the day, it’s all about building a sustainable business, and currency is still the currency of the day. Spend it wisely. And don’t piss off your end users by arbitrarily changing (timeline; fb email) or diluting your brand. Onward and forward.
Deadlines:
It’s that time again – Startup Chile, deadline July 10th. For more information and to apply: http://startupchile.org/about/apply/    NEW  Heads up, Israel: Up West Lab, deadline July 10th. This is a Silicon Valley accelerator supporting Israel’s best entrepreneurs and offers a 10-week program and takes a small equity and give up to $20k per company. They also help you sort out living arrangements, and offer post-program support after Demo Day. For more information and to apply: http://upwestlabs.com/ NEW  GameFounders, deadline July 10th. GameFounders the first gaming startup accelerator in Europe (Estonia). It’s the usual 3-month mentor-filled program, but the startups will get several opportunities to practice and present to international VCs, corporate and angel investors at Demo Days held in Tallinn, Helsinki, London and San Francisco. Investment taken: 9% for 5k per founder (up to €15k).For more information and to apply: http://www.gamefounders.com/ NEW  Digital Catalyst Fund, Romania, deadline July 15th. This fund is dedicated to helping highly promising entrepreneurial teams to develop businesses centered on the future of digital media, digital marketing and digital communication and provides them with the funding, support and connections they need to flourish. The DCF initial commitment is to provide US$500,000 financing to ten carefully selected projects. This 3-month bootcamp is based in Bucharest. For more information and to apply: http://digitalcatalystfund.com/ NEW  The list of Startup Weekend Upcoming Events
Oxygen Accelerator, Birmingham, England, deadline July 31st. A 13-week intensive mentor led bootcamp, followed by 13-weeks of incubation that culminates with a series of investor days where we will help you pitch to a large, carefully selected group of Angel investors, VCs and Private Equity groups for next stage funding. Up to €40,000 per team in exchange for 8%-10% equity, and much more, including relocation allowance:  http://www.oxygenaccelerator.com/ Women 2.0 PITCH comes to NYC, deadline August 31st. We are now accepting applications for PITCH NYC from early-stage ventures around the world with at least one female founder to apply to the startup competition.  PITCH NYC 2012 will provide entrepreneurs with a chance for fame and fortune: finalists present onstage at the conference, and prizes include $25k cash from L’Oreal, $24k worth of free hosting from Rackspace and a finalist interview with TechStars! Stay tuned for more awesome prizes to be announced. Early-stage ventures with under a million in funding and a product in the market (prototype OK) are invited to apply. We are looking to identify, recognize and reward the most disruptive women-led ventures globally – and invite them to pitch onstage for the PITCH NYC conference in November for top prize. Got a startup idea but no team, or got an idea but don’t know how to build it? You have at least THREE MONTHS starting today to emblazen the deadline of August 31 into your head and make it happen. For more information and to apply: http://bit.ly/K56mbS
Battle of the Apps: become the Kick Apps Champion by creating software that helps small businesses. Contest now opened, deadline: December 31st. Infusionsoft is offering$20,000 in cash and prizes for the best apps to help small business customers. Use the Infusionsoft API to create an app, integration, or plug-in that helps Infusionsoft customers grow their business! 1st through 4th place winners will receive ongoing marketing, plus stage time at InfusionCon 2013. 10 runners-up will receive InfusionCon boothspace and 2 tickets to the conference. Register to enter.
Dell Launches $100M Innovators Credit Fund. Qualified start-ups can get extra funding and technological resources from the computer giant. The catch is, you must have already received some angel funding or venture capital before you can apply. Start-ups can get up to 10% of its current funding or up to $150,000 with limited credit terms. Article is here: http://bit.ly/NsJpQK For more information: http://eir.dell.com/
powered by Movable Ink For you edification this week:
A must read from Vanity Fair: Microsoft’s Downfall: Inside the Executive E-mails and Cannibalistic Culture That Felled a Tech Giant. From the article: Microsoft had a prototype e-reader ready to go in 1998, but when the technology group presented it to Bill Gates he promptly gave it a thumbs-down. “He didn’t like the user interface, because it didn’t look like Windows,” a programmer involved in the project recalls: http://vnty.fr/LjkvUq. 5 Great Tools That Help You Create Apps For Your Business. In the end, you must pick a tool according to how complex your app will be. The more tailoring you have to do in the development stage, the more shades of gray start to appear on what you should choose from this list: http://bit.ly/MTDBid 5 Trick Questions Every Entrepreneur Should Answer Before Asking For Money. It’s all about minimizes the chances of a future misalignment: http://onforb.es/IRbuOR 7 things I wish we knew before our seed round. Once you’ve raised the money, it’s just the beginning: http://tnw.co/N2wHpP Thanks, but No Thanks: Passing on an 8 Figure Venture Round. Why did they say no to this huge opportunity? They had their reasons – and they know the risks. And we sincerely hope it works out for them: http://bit.ly/MVtBk5 Nice Try, Twitter: Here’s A Quick Workaround To Get Your Tweets Published in your Linkedin Feed Again. Twitter cut ties with LinkedIn; tweets will no longer appear on LinkedIn via status updates. It’s part of Twitter’s effort to control tweet consumption: http://read.bi/N9Jnf2 12 Rules For Building Your First Profitable Startup. Sell, sell, sell – and make sure it’s a product people will buy into. Literally: http://bit.ly/L8H129 Higgs bosom in plain English, and why it’s so important. Often referred to as the ‘God particle,’ there’s your first clue as to its importance: http://tnw.co/N90Sf9
Time to Vacate Wall Street. Despite all of the bluster about NYC becoming a tech capital and creating opportunity and jobs, one need only look at the industries that are here – and quickly evacuating – to see how it won’t be long before our industry, too, is strangled and forced out by regulation and taxes. The blue social model devours its own: http://bit.ly/N8u7z3 Scientist Creates Pizza Healthy Enough to Eat 3 Times a Day, Every Day. 100 taste testers said it was as good or better than other frozen pizzas available on the market. They go on sale in UK supermarkets later this year.http://bit.ly/N867w0
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!
Congrats this week go to Alden Levy (http://mybillregistry.com/ ), who heard about the iEvening pitch event through SOS – and won the evening! Congrats also go to ER Accelerator company Bizodo, who were just featured in  PandoDaily and will also be featured in this month’s edition of Inc Magazine And from Julianna Davies: I’m part of the design team at MBAOnline.com, and we created a graphic that illustrates the 30 years of innovation at Microsoft and their failures along the way. Title: Microsoft MBA: Over 30 Years of Innovation Graphic: http://www.mbaonline.com/microsoft-mba/
That’s it from us this week and hope to see you this evening at my bday celebration. The newsletter will go back to its Tuesday schedule next week. It being my bday, decided to err on the side of caution this week. Until then, as always, help is on the way…

6/26/12

6/26/12

Good morning, All, The next SOS event is July 9th, and it also happens to be my birthday! We are hosting in conjunction with DoItInPerson, so hope you can join us for an evening of drinks and networking with business owners and entrepreneurs. Thank you, DoItInPerson, for making it happen. To RSVP: http://bit.ly/LnJuAT And hope to see you there to help us celebrate! Microsoft is back in the news. Never count out a sleeping giant - and Microsoft is a company that always sleeps with one eye open. Remember a few years back when they invested in FB? (Microsoft invests $240 million in Facebook: http://on.msnbc.com/KVcRiW. From BI: Microsoft's Investment In Facebook At A "Ridiculous" Valuation Was BRILLIANT: http://bit.ly/Mtbsvi). Now, with MS/FB – aka, the new Bing search, it might just have gotten even more brilliant, while G+ slowly fades. We remember when Microsoft was the Evil Empire: the tech bully who would buy or destroy competitors because they could (look up Stacker – Microsoft made overtures to Stacker to license their code, and when Stacker wouldn’t play, MSFT apparently wrote their own version using the knowledge they had obtained. You’ve never heard of Stacker. You’re no doubt familiar with defrag). This week, MSFT announced the release of Surface, its iPad wannabe/gonnabe (Video: Microsoft Surface And Apple iPad Announcements Compared Side By Side: http://bit.ly/OeTD8U) – and it’s not completely a clone (5 ways Microsoft's Surface may be better than an iPad: http://bit.ly/PVErL4). Tomato, tomahto: let’s not forget that it was MSFT who bailed out – and may well have saved – Apple a few years back (Microsoft to invest $150 million in Apple: http://cnet.co/QIk19). That was ’97, when an older and wiser Bill Gates was still at the helm, and MSFT was on the eve of being usurped as the Evil Empire by a company that would go magnitudes beyond whatever evil MSFT had contrived in its day. Yes, Google. Now with Apple about to eliminate GOOG maps from its devices (Google Is Now Recognizing The Threat To Its Mapping Dominance: http://read.bi/PVM7wX), Android sales still not as strong as the iPhone, and Google dropping prices on both its mapping API and its cloud storage, well, no one stays on top forever, and cautionary tale ahead: Google lost sight of a key ingredient to success, whether your service is free or not: the end user. We personally studiously avoid Google products, whenever possible. We mentioned a while back that while researching Type 2 diabetes – a disease we do not have, but were doing research for personal reasons - and found ourselves slammed with subject related spam. Which we began keeping in a separate folder on weekend, to see how out of control GOOG was. Roughly, spam count about 2200 pieces between Friday evening and Sunday evening. When the number his 2700, we abandoned GOOG search completely. That was December, and we’ve been keeping track ever since. Spam count this past weekend: 37 pieces. And thanks for all the fish. Google has been secretly tracking users on mobile, on the web – and no doubt everywhere it has embedded itself, and behavioral targeted searches are not always helpful. Au contraire. Google is still the top search engine, but considering the ground its losing in other areas, it’s neither all-powerful nor bullet-proof. MSFT was smart to sleep with one eye open. Google would be wise to lose the ego and do the same – if only to watch its own back. Onward and forward. Deadlines: The 2012 New York Venture Summit is June 28th, and it's the premier venue connecting emerging growth companies with active Venture capitalists, Angel investors, Corporate VCs and Investment Firms. Presented by youngStartup Ventures, The 2012 New York Venture Summit provides an unparalleled opportunity for startups to meet, network and showcase their innovative investment opportunities to a leading group of investors. If you're thinking of attending, we have an additional SOS discount for you: Your SOS discount code is sos150 – which is $150 off the current registration rate. Is it worth it? This just in: They’ve added a Fireside Chat with Ram Shriram, Managing Partner of Sherpalo Ventures and Founding Board member of Google (and their first investor) moderated by Steve Davis of Goodwin Procter LLP. Long answer: absolutely. Ram is a seminal SV investor and doesn’t often do speaking engagements on the East Coast, as far as we’ve noticed. For more information and to register: http://bit.ly/JTGiuI NEW Dell Launches $100M Innovators Credit Fund. Qualified start-ups can get extra funding and technological resources from the computer giant. The catch is, you must have already received some angel funding or venture capital before you can apply. Start-ups can get up to 10% of its current funding or up to $150,000 with limited credit terms. Article is here: http://bit.ly/NsJpQK For more information: http://eir.dell.com/ NEW Chinaccelerator, deadline June 30th. This is the first mentorship-driven seed funding program in China, providing extensive support for startups including seed funding, mentorship, and free office space. 4-8% equity taken for 10,000 CNY per founder (for 3 founders at max).For more information and to apply: http://bit.ly/Ltj1qk NEW StartupBootcamp Berlin, deadline June 30th. This accelerator program focuses on exposing and connecting startups to our expanding community of mentors and advisors that provide expertise from a multitude of industries. Startups in the programs get seed funding, free co-working space with other startups, services from sponsors and get a dedicated mentorship plan that will excel you from wherever you are in the development cycle to the next. 8% equity stake taken for 15,000 Euros and over $75K Euro in benefits.For more information and to apply:http://bit.ly/GCAVPh Chase and LivingSocial want to help fuel that drive by awarding up to 12 individual grants of $250,000 to 12 small businesses. Submit your Mission: Small Business℠ application today! Program ends June 30, 2012. For more information and to apply: https://www.missionsmallbusiness.com/ Call to international entrepreneurs: LaunchHouse Accelerator Program Takes Off, deadline July 1st. Over the past three years, LaunchHouse has succeeded in seeding, mentoring, and helping 30 companies to obtain follow-on funding. It plans to enhance those efforts with a new group of software and web-based tech entrepreneurs participating in the progra The LH Accelerator kicks off September 3. The application deadline is July 1. LaunchHouse will invest a total of $25,000 in each of 10 entrepreneurial teams (consisting of two or more co-founders) in software and web-based technology. Based in NE Ohio, but you can enter from anywhere in the world: http://bit.ly/Jy3D5o DreamIt Ventures Fall 2012 Philly program, deadline July 6th, 2012, and heads up, minority-led startups: We will select up to fifteen companies, including five minority-led startups, to participate in the three-month accelerator program. The deadline for applications is July 6th and the program will kickoff on September 7th. More information on the program can be found on our website at www.dreamitventures.com/apply. If you have questions, please contact Noelle McHugh at info@dreamitventures.com DEMO Fall now accepting applications, scholarship consideration deadline July 6th. Standard deadline: August 17th. We just wrapped up one of the biggest DEMO events in our 22+ year history! Over 70 companies launched new products to a packed room of press, VC's, angel investors and IT executives. If you didn't make it to DEMO, check out some of the cool products that launched from the DEMO stage. Now, we're gearing up for DEMO Fall 2012, Oct. 1-3 in Santa Clara. We are accepting applications for companies to launch or pitch their product. If you have a new product or now of a company right for a DEMO launch, visit, http://www.demo.com/launch. .Or, if you already have a product in the market, or know of a company who does, a Showcase sponsorship opportunity in the DEMO pavilion may be something to consider. For more information, visit, http://www.demo.com/showcase It’s that time again - Startup Chile, deadline July 10th. For more information and to apply: http://startupchile.org/about/apply/ NEW Global Entrepreneurship Summer School, Berlin. Earlybird deadline June 30th. Final deadline: July 15th. This year we will accept 35 outstanding students from around the world. All applications will go through a very strict, but fair selection process. For more information and to apply: http://www.globalsummerschool.org/ NEW Oxygen Accelerator, Birmingham, England, deadline July 31st. A 13-week intensive mentor led bootcamp, followed by 13-weeks of incubation that culminates with a series of investor days where we will help you pitch to a large, carefully selected group of Angel investors, VCs and Private Equity groups for next stage funding. Up to €40,000 per team in exchange for 8%-10% equity, and much more, including relocation allowance: http://www.oxygenaccelerator.com/ Women 2.0 PITCH comes to NYC, deadline August 31st. We are now accepting applications for PITCH NYC from early-stage ventures around the world with at least one female founder to apply to the startup competition. PITCH NYC 2012 will provide entrepreneurs with a chance for fame and fortune: finalists present onstage at the conference, and prizes include $25k cash from L’Oreal, $24k worth of free hosting from Rackspace and a finalist interview with TechStars! Stay tuned for more awesome prizes to be announced. Early-stage ventures with under a million in funding and a product in the market (prototype OK) are invited to apply. We are looking to identify, recognize and reward the most disruptive women-led ventures globally – and invite them to pitch onstage for the PITCH NYC conference in November for top prize. Got a startup idea but no team, or got an idea but don’t know how to build it? You have at least THREE MONTHS starting today to emblazen the deadline of August 31 into your head and make it happen. For more information and to apply: http://bit.ly/K56mbS Battle of the Apps: become the Kick Apps Champion by creating software that helps small businesses. Contest now opened, deadline: December 31st. Infusionsoft is offering$20,000 in cash and prizes for the best apps to help small business customers. Use the Infusionsoft API to create an app, integration, or plug-in that helps Infusionsoft customers grow their business! 1st through 4th place winners will receive ongoing marketing, plus stage time at InfusionCon 2013. 10 runners-up will receive InfusionCon boothspace and 2 tickets to the conference. Register to enter.

Follow us on twitter powered by Movable Ink For you edification this week: Facebook's Lame Attempt To Force Its Email Service On You. Yes, like it or not, if you’re on FB, you now have a FB email address. In fact, FB has taken the liberty of making your Facebook email your default contact address, like it or not: http://onforb.es/ML0oMs Happily, there’s an easy way to reverse it: Lifehacker: Facebook Changed Everyone’s Email to @Facebook.com: Here’s How to Fix Yours: http://bit.ly/NDEuvh And yes, we know that Microsoft Agrees to Acquire Yammer for $1.2 Billion in Cash. “They’ve been behind in terms of social, and this puts them in a really strong position, perhaps even the lead,” said Rob Koplowitz, an analyst at Forrester Research Inc: http://buswk.co/LZFACH A 5-point checklist to create lucrative opportunities with disruptive technologies. Disruption is part of the business game. Entire empires can be crippled in the blink of an eye. Just look at the postal service. Once an untouchable giant it was brought to its knees by email: http://bit.ly/KFa6AO The 11 risks VCs evaluate. Here are the major risks that I typically review when a startup pitches: http://bit.ly/MvQWdR Always Swim Downstream. Some of us have this weird need to ignore the things we’re already good at and focus too much time and energy on being better at things we’re not good at. Yeah, that’ll work: http://bit.ly/KUpqq3 New York: Techie Magnet. We’re not about to let this devolve into a pissing match with SV, but New York certainly has its upside – like, not everyone here works in technology. Whew! http://on.wsj.com/NKj4hc Tweet anonymously: There are times, we suppose, when it’s just gotta be done. Haven’t tried it, but for the curious – or gossipmongers: http://anontwttr.fox21.at/ Apple Wants to Protect Your Identity – by Cloning You. One of the properties Apple won in a February acquisition of patents from Novell, the technology allows the company to fight would-be Little Brothers by cloning users’ digital identities. It’s digital pollution, with a purpose and, as the patent text notes, its purpose is to “make any data collection about a principal less valuable and less reliable.” So much for behavioral targeting: http://on.mash.to/LmXoIj If You Think The Soda Ban Is Bad, Check Out All The Things That Are Illegal In Singapore. All true, BusinessInsider, but let's not forget that you’re now comparing us to a fascist regime. http://read.bi/MJiR8m And according to the Heritage Foundation’s 2012 Index of Economic Freedom, Singapore ranks 2nd. The US is now #10 – and falling: http://bit.ly/A9o2Gi That's it from us this week and hope to see you on my birthday! Given that next week is the big US Independence Day weekend, chances are we won't send a newsletter next week, but we will be back soon enough! And now, as always, help is on the way…

6/19/12

6/19/12

Good morning, All, The next SOS event is July 9th, and it also happens to be my birthday! We are hosting in conjunction with DoItInPerson, so hope you can join us for an evening of drinks and networking with business owners and entrepreneurs. Thank you, DoItInPerson, for making it happen. To RSVP for the early bird rate: http://bit.ly/LnJuAT And we thank you for the birthday wishes you've been sending - and still hope to see you there to help celebrate! Indulge us this week: we're including a bit of a personal story/life lesson. Fedex came about when someone saw the need that some packages needed to be delivered absolutely, positively overnight.But they were absolutely, positively not an overnight success. Google built a better search engine – although it took years for anyone to notice. It took Amazon six years to become profitable, and Jeff Bezos was the laughingstock of the industry when he started out (and note: Ebook Sales Surpass Hardcover for First Time in US.: http://on.mash.to/L7fSfN). We personally have been involved in tech since 1994, but when a potentially life-threatening illness (type 2 diabetes) struck someone near and dear, we shifted gears and made restoring his health top priority. It’s hard to change someone’s eating habits overnight, so I changed the ingredients in his favorite foods – which resulted in his being taken off medication in 2 months (the doctor said it would take at least a year) – and bonniefoods (http://bit.ly/M3cXD5) was born. When I wasn’t looking. This past weekend, we were invited to exhibit at The Seed – the vegan festival – and it was our public launch of bonniefoods. It was an eye opener. We were extremely well received – we have unique products that address health and dietary issues - and a number of food allergies – yet which taste like their traditional counterparts. And we know it’s still a long road to success – if/when we get there. Lessons learned: it’s interesting having a retail product, where success comes one dollar at a time. Literally. We walked the room: we talked to other vendors – all of whom happily answered our questions: we are on terra incognita in the food space, but we’re also on a mission: to share what we learned about this disease, and to get our products out there. Kids were my beta tasters (sic). Tough room - but they know cookies and candy! And they're honest. Everyone wants to be a tech star overnight and make the BI 100 or the list of 25 People You Have to Meet (really?). What struck us at The Seed was that not everyone there was vegan – many had health problems or food allergies or loved ones with health problems. And Type 2 diabetes is a big one – and it’s difficult to find real information that can help. So noted. He’s fine and still off the meds today – nearly 4 years later. Still, our work with bonniefoods is just beginning, but I’m on a mission and that’s what separates the entrepreneurs from the wantrepreneurs: the fire in the belly. Here is an absolute must-read for any entrepreneur: The Start-Up Gap (http://bit.ly/MIgbZl) - what you really have to go through to succeed, and you still may not get there. You can’t just talk the talk – you also have to walk the room. Have your story - and tell your story, from the heart. That's what people want to know - what drives you. You absolutely, positively will not get there overnight. It’s more like one dollar/one subscriber at a time. But slow and steady often wins the race, and if anyone out there knows any food investors or has contacts in the food industry, you know how to find me. Onward and forward. Deadlines: New York Venture Summit Call for Top Innovators. If you are a Startup seeking capital and/or partnerships submit your plan for the opportunity to present at The 2012 New York Venture Summit, June 28th, the premier venue connecting emerging growth companies with active Venture capitalists, Angel investors, Corporate VCs and Investment Firms. Presented by youngStartup Ventures, The 2012 New York Venture Summit provides an unparalleled opportunity for startups to meet, network and showcase their innovative investment opportunities to a leading group of investors. To apply to present please e-mail iwant2present@youngstartup.com for an application. If you're thinking of attending, we have an additional SOS discount for you: Your SOS discount code is sos150 – which is $150 off the current registration rate. Is it worth it? This just in: They’ve added a Fireside Chat with Ram Shriram, Managing Partner of Sherpalo Ventures and Founding Board member of Google (and their first investor) moderated by Steve Davis of Goodwin Procter LLP. Long answer: absolutely. Ram is a seminal SV investor and doesn’t often do speaking engagements on the East Coast, as far as we’ve noticed. HackLolla: create cool festival apps for music fans, deadline June 25th. Lollapalooza is offering over $6,000 worth of prizes and tons of promotional exposure for the best festival apps created using the Lolla API. Plus 2 Sold Out VIP Passes to Lollapalooza.The Grand Prize winner will be designated The Official Fan App for Lollapalooza 2012! With the Lolla API, developers can access data on artists, events, stages/venues and updates for Lollapalooza 2012. Prizes will be awarded for apps that help fans get the most from their Lollapalooza experience before, during and after the Festival. Winners will be promoted on the official Lollapalooza website and to fans via the Official E-list (~400K), Facebook (~300K), Twitter (100K), and the jumbotron screens at the Festival (80K per day)._ Lollapalooza’s official line-up for 2012 includes more than 100 of the most notable and buzzworthy bands from across the globe, including Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Black Keys, Black Sabbath, Jack White, and many others. The Festival is August 3-5 in Grant Park, Chicago._ To enter, Get a Lollapalooza API key from DoStuff Media by clicking here. Chase and LivingSocial want to help fuel that drive by awarding up to 12 individual grants of $250,000 to 12 small businesses. Submit your Mission: Small Business℠ application today! Program ends June 30, 2012. For more information and to apply: https://www.missionsmallbusiness.com/ Call to international entrepreneurs: LaunchHouse Accelerator Program Takes Off, deadline July 1st. Over the past three years, LaunchHouse has succeeded in seeding, mentoring, and helping 30 companies to obtain follow-on funding. It plans to enhance those efforts with a new group of software and web-based tech entrepreneurs participating in the progra The LH Accelerator kicks off September 3. The application deadline is July 1. LaunchHouse will invest a total of $25,000 in each of 10 entrepreneurial teams (consisting of two or more co-founders) in software and web-based technology. Based in NE Ohio, but you can enter from anywhere in the world: http://bit.ly/Jy3D5o NEW DreamIt Ventures Fall 2012 Philly program, deadline July 6th, 2012, and heads up, minority-led startups: We will select up to fifteen companies, including five minority-led startups, to participate in the three-month accelerator program. The deadline for applications is July 6th and the program will kickoff on September 7th. More information on the program can be found on our website at www.dreamitventures.com/apply. If you have questions, please contact Noelle McHugh at info@dreamitventures.com DEMO Fall now accepting applications, scholarship consideration deadline July 6th. Standard deadline: August 17th. We just wrapped up one of the biggest DEMO events in our 22+ year history! Over 70 companies launched new products to a packed room of press, VC's, angel investors and IT executives. If you didn't make it to DEMO, check out some of the cool products that launched from the DEMO stage. Now, we're gearing up for DEMO Fall 2012, Oct. 1-3 in Santa Clara. We are accepting applications for companies to launch or pitch their product. If you have a new product or now of a company right for a DEMO launch, visit, http://www.demo.com/launch. .Or, if you already have a product in the market, or know of a company who does, a Showcase sponsorship opportunity in the DEMO pavilion may be something to consider. For more information, visit, http://www.demo.com/showcase NEW It’s that time again - Startup Chile, deadline July 10th. For more information and to apply: http://startupchile.org/about/apply/ Women 2.0 PITCH comes to NYC, deadline August 31st. We are now accepting applications for PITCH NYC from early-stage ventures around the world with at least one female founder to apply to the startup competition. PITCH NYC 2012 will provide entrepreneurs with a chance for fame and fortune: finalists present onstage at the conference, and prizes include $25k cash from L’Oreal, $24k worth of free hosting from Rackspace and a finalist interview with TechStars! Stay tuned for more awesome prizes to be announced. Early-stage ventures with under a million in funding and a product in the market (prototype OK) are invited to apply. We are looking to identify, recognize and reward the most disruptive women-led ventures globally – and invite them to pitch onstage for the PITCH NYC conference in November for top prize. Got a startup idea but no team, or got an idea but don’t know how to build it? You have at least THREE MONTHS starting today to emblazen the deadline of August 31 into your head and make it happen. For more information and to apply: http://bit.ly/K56mbS Battle of the Apps: become the Kick Apps Champion by creating software that helps small businesses. Contest now opened, deadline: December 31st. Infusionsoft is offering$20,000 in cash and prizes for the best apps to help small business customers. Use the Infusionsoft API to create an app, integration, or plug-in that helps Infusionsoft customers grow their business! 1st through 4th place winners will receive ongoing marketing, plus stage time at InfusionCon 2013. 10 runners-up will receive InfusionCon boothspace and 2 tickets to the conference. Register to enter.

Follow us on twitter powered by Movable Ink For you edification this week: Who’s In Charge? Every entrepreneur who has ever raised money has been on the receiving end of lots of wisdom, advice and guidance from their investors. Most of the time this is a great thing. But what do you do when an investor starts taking charge? You can ask Mark Zuckerberg, who never wanted to take FB public but the investors insisted. Or you can read on: http://bit.ly/M0Es1a How Much Money Can You Make Working in Digital (Chart). Interesting, and remember, these salaries do not necessarily apply in early stage startups – who will often offer an upside to compensate: http://on.mash.to/Mm1Lgf How we Found Customers to Start Developing. Very important to know your audience – and to find them. They’re ultimately the ones who will define your company: http://bit.ly/M0G3UA On following directions. It’s important to know how to color inside of the lines. The ones who don’t stand out – and sometimes in a good way: http://bit.ly/M0J0o2 How Microsoft and Yahoo Are Selling Politicians Access to You. It's that kind of year and Microsoft and Yahoo are selling political campaigns the ability to target voters online with tailored ads using names, Zip codes and other registration information that users provide when they sign up for free email and other services. The Web giants provide users no notification that their information is being used for political targeting. Microsoft's privacy policy makes no mention of matching people's names and Zip codes against voter lists. In space, no one hears you scream. On line, no one tells you you’re been sold: http://bit.ly/Khv7kS That's it from us this week and hope to see you on my birthday! And now, as always, help is on the way…

6/12/12

6/12/12

Good morning, All,

First, on the lighter side, the next SOS event is July 9th, and it also happens to be my birthday! We are hosting in conjunction with DoItInPerson, so hope you can join us for an evening of drinks and networking with business owners and entrepreneurs. Thank you, DoItInPerson, for making it happen. To RSVP for the early bird rate: http://bit.ly/LnJuAT Gifts not necessary. Donations always happily accepted (see donation button above).

Last week was a bad one for online security: LinkedIn, eHarmony, last.fm and Amazon all reported password breaches. Forest through the trees: we also learned that linkedin’s smartphone app sucks up all of your calendar information – and sends it back in the clear, without the benefit of encryption, although the company denies that. Yes, the service is opt-in (buried in fine print), and while we all readily surrender a lot of information in our linkedin profiles, how much more do they need and what business does the company really have in our calendar app? Marc Andreesen wrote a piece not too long ago about why software is eating the world (http://on.wsj.com/rqCmOn). It may be time for a follow up about how software is also eating our privacy. In case you missed it this past weekend, Apple and Google use spy planes with military grade cameras that are so powerful they could potentially see into homes right through skylights and windows (Beware the spy in the sky: After those Street View snoopers, Google and Apple use planes that can film you sunbathing in your back garden: http://bit.ly/MnaJO4). You know, the kind of tech intelligence agencies used to identify terrorist targets in Aghanistan. The U.S. technology giants are racing to produce aerial maps so detailed they can show objects just four inches wide. With video cameras on every street corner, we already live in a surveillance society. This takes us another leap forwards toward that and do we really need that much of a street view? We’ve heard it before: information just wants to be free. But at what cost to personal freedom, privacy and security? Onward and forward. Read More...

6/5/12

6/5/12

Good morning, All,

First, yes we are planning another SOS event – July 9th, to be exact, and it’s special because it also happens to be my birthday! So hope you can join us for a night of drinks and networking with business owners and entrepreneurs. Details are here and thank you, DoItInPerson, for making it happen. To RSVP for the early bird rate: http://bit.ly/LnJuAT Gifts not necessary. Donations always happily accepted.

Every now and again, that question rears its head in some industry publication or other: are we in a bubble? We’re not going to comment yea or nay on the techonomy, but there is a definite bubble out there, and not to cast aspersions at millenials at large – there are many Gen Ms with their feet planted firmly on the ground - and maybe it’s because we reside in a tech hub – NYC – that we encounter so many of what we call the bubble boys. Not sure that there are hard and fast rules on how to spot them, but you’ll know them when you see them: 1. They may or may not have a stable place to live. Reasoning: the industry and the world at large, should support an entrepreneur because, well, they’re entrepreneurs and that’s the rule. End of discussion. 2. They don’t need jobs – many have never had or at least held one for very long, because they’re Entrepreneurs; Entrepreneurs have to keep their eyes on their visions and not be distracted with such mundane considerations as how to support themselves, or how a business runs. Eye on the prize and as soon as they get to their MVP stage, they will be millionaires in quick shrift. 3. It may seem oxymoronic that they don’t care about money but intend to be millionaires, if not billionaires. It’s not: their eyes are on the forest, not the trees. 4. They don’t need a resume, an investor deck - that's sooo '90s, and they are, after all, the ones who move the industry forward.* 5. *Yes, we know this needs further explanation: from their point of view, their crew are the early adopters and once you have them - and of course they will - game over. Think FB v MySpace. Monetization model? More investors. The industry will support them. It's the Too Big to Fail paradigm. 6. They believe that having a dot com qualifies them as being a CEO of a company. Seriously. 7. They don’t listen. They seem to be listening, but they're not: what they're doing is devising arguments against anything you're saying. They are of singular mind, and nothing penetrates the bubble. 8. The rules of economics have been revised to suit them, and they will reinvent history – tech history – to fit their arguments. Never mind that it’s a glaring separate reality that bears no resemblance to the world as we know it. And if you try to argue with them and try to teach them something about actual history, well, won’t work. See #6. 9. They Zuck themselves, meaning, they subscribe chapter and verse to the Mark Zuckerberg playbook: Start a dot com, go viral, drop out of school, become a billionaire. No experience or adult supervision necessary. 10. They are connectors. They are supremely confident and will go out and meet everyone - and anyone who is anyone. And they’re always happy to make an introduction. We admire their confidence and there’s a lesson for you: their confidence opens doors – many of them - and moves them forever forward. And they're happy to help you, too. Yes, there's always an upside We all know them. We’ve all encountered them, or if you go to enough networking events, you will. They’re actually throwbacks to the days of web 1.0, where the rule was: the industry should support a startup, whether they had a roadmap to profitability/what they were doing made any sense at all or not. Then, as now, there were many an investor listening to them, somehow believing that the web 1.0 bubble boys knew something about tech and the New Economy that the rest of us just weren’t/aren’t seeing. Which is what led to the first tech bubble. These bubble boys weren’t in the industry then so whatever happened then does not apply to them (See #6, and the ancillary Any History that Predates them Doesn’t Count). Which doesn’t change the fact that what man cannot remember he is doomed to repeat, so let’s be careful out there. One final note: they do come on like a house on fire, and that can be seductive. But remember: a slow burn trumps a flame out. Always. Onward and forward. Read More...

5/29/12

5/29/12

Good morning, All,

What exactly happened on Black Eye Friday? At the end of the day – literally – and contrary to popular misconception, the FB IPO was not a flop. FB did well, with $16+ billion now in their coffers, without having had to surrender much of the company at all. With all of the controversy surrounding the NASDAQ glitch, et al, there certainly was a lot of CYA and passing of the buck (not literally: they kept the big bucks for themselves) going on (Zuck was poorly served by his 'adults' http://bit.ly/LsNGkE) and what concerns us, above all, is the shameful lack of ethics that were evidenced. On all levels. Yes, only large investors were informed about the company’s poor performance in its last quarter. But is an ethics problem pandemic? We attended TechCrunch Disrupt last week – and ran into an SOS member who was an early (small) FB investor when trading opened. And who gave us information about exactly how the little guys got screwed, beyond what had been reported in the press. We turned the information over to the WSJ, who have far more resources at their disposal than do we. We also informed a friend of ours, who writes for an online publication (and who has no formal training in journalism) of the shenanigans. This person took us to task for having called the Journal, contending that it could hurt the tech industry/IPO market and that we had a responsibility to protect the industry. Really? What about the small investor? More importantly, what about ethics and moral responsibility?

The blowback from the FB IPO? A definite loss of public confidence in the market. (And, yes, we did notice that Zuck, who is the largest shareholder and CEO, didn’t waste any time in grabbing his vig:Is Mark Zuckerberg Up to the Job? http://bit.ly/JROgUU) So what happened? We defer to SkyNet Wars: Presenting The Rogue Algo Responsible For FaceBook's Downfall. The writer contends that the question is how come in a market as controlled and manipulated as the central bank-dominated venue we have now, was FB stock allowed to plunge? For what may be the actual definitive answer, as opposed to now trite philosophical ruminations on valuation, ethics, underwriter and shareholder greed, we once again go to Nanex, which has caught the perpetrator red handed once again: http://bit.ly/KaCMAo. And note to self and caveat to you all: If you have no ethics, you have nothing. Sidebar: Penalty for stealing: you can never trust anyone. Penalty for lying: you can never believe anyone. As to the company that helped to bring about Arab Spring? If it does come to pass, we certainly have them to blame if this all helps to contribute to an IPO winter. Onward and forward. Read More...

5/22/12

5/22/12

Good morning, All,
Once in a generation, a true visionary comes along and it is our privilege to witness genius. These people are brash, stubborn and because they march to the beat of their own drum with their eyes ever on the prize – a future or a product that we ourselves cannot envision – they are inevitably excoriated/vilified/ dismissed – the test of the hero – and they rise from the ashes, undeterred and undaunted, and maybe a bit humbled by the ordeal.  And forward they go. This is not Mark Zuckerberg. The Facebook IPO took place on Friday – which we personally refer to as Black (Eye) Friday – and we saw no great spike from the opening price. True, it didn’t end the day far from where it started, thanks to the many underwriters determined to keep the stock stable. Many reasons can be cited: the half hour delay; GM pulling its advertising; the economy at large; the decrease in company’s revenues from its previous quarter; concerns about the company’s future revenue model; the dog ate their homework. And yesterday saw no great rally. Au contraire (Inside Job: Facebook I.P.O. Shows the System Is Broken : http://nyr.kr/LeQUbb; 7 Reasons Why Facebook IPO Was A Bust: http://onforb.es/KD3jDx). Facebook does have an impressive 800+ million members, and Zuck now has shareholders to answer to, too. But wait! He’s still the majority shareholder (nearly 30% of the stock) so public company or not, it’s still more or less the Mark Zuckerberg show, and therein lies the problem. Credit where credit is due: he’s now the 29th wealthiest person on the planet – at 28. Brash and stubborn he is, but he does not possess that one quality that breeds loyalty to his product and that will carry him – and facebook – through whatever challenges and dark days may lie ahead: neither inspire passion. Facebook has not distinguished itself as a product we cannot live without. Yes, the stock will no doubt go up again at some point, but the fact remains: there is no ‘wow’ factor. That takes genius, and arrogance does not trump nor is it a substitute for vision. Are we breathlessly awaiting what the company will do next? If the answer is, ‘no,’ then you know why the stock price failed to go through the roof. For all we know, Facebook may still manage to astonish us but frankly, given their attitude towards privacy, we see them more in the Google mold: remember ‘do no evil?,’ a noble sentiment which GOOG abandoned long ago, along with the desire to innovate – but take heed, entrepreneurs. Money and power do not necessarily mean that you must compromise your principles, your vision, and your desire to do something that manages to push the human race forward. There are exceptions and that is the mark of true genius. If you want to know how to get there and stay there, while staying on the high road and still managing to inspire passion and keep your shareholders happy, it has been done. It can be done. We leave you with the words of someone who did it and who narrated this 1997 spot which never aired: http://youtu.be/8rwsuXHA7RA Listen and learn. Onward and forward.
Deadlines:
NEW Angel Pitch, deadline to pitch: May 23rd. If  you’re a interested in pitching, please send a quick 5 minute pitch with a description of the company to arnold@generalassemb.ly.  Preference will be given to companies with a prototype and user traction.  May 23rd is the deadline, so get the pitches in before then!  The earlier you apply, the better your chances.  The winner of the pitch event will also be given a chance to pitch direct to the NY Angels, one of the most active Angel Groups in the country.
New York Venture Summit Call for Top Innovators. If you are a Startup seeking capital and/or partnerships submit your plan for the opportunity to present at The 2012 New York Venture Summit, the premier venue connecting emerging growth companies with active Venture capitalists, Angel investors, Corporate VCs and Investment Firms. Presented by youngStartup Ventures, The 2012 New York Venture Summit provides an unparalleled opportunity for startups to meet, network and showcase their innovative investment opportunities to a leading group of investors. To Apply to Present.please e-mail iwant2present@youngstartup.com for an application.   TechStars Seattle, deadline May 25th. You know the drill: a 3-month program; $18k + $100k convertible debt note, with 6% equity taken. TS provides seed funding from over 75 top venture capital firms and angel investors who are vested in the success of your startup, as well as intense mentorship from hundreds of the best entrepreneurs in the world. To apply: http://apply.techstars.com/
New York Digital Health Accelerator, deadline June 1st. The program will provide up to $300,000 of funding per company from a syndicate of leading venture capital and strategic investors. In addition, winners will have the opportunity to meet other leading digital and tech entrepreneurs in the New York community. For more information and to apply: http://digitalhealthaccelerator.com/
Blueprint Health: Transform health & wellnesswith your startup, deadline June 8th. 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. For more information and to apply: http://www.blueprinthealth.org/   powered by Movable Ink For you edification this week:
Ok, so yes, we do need the token FB recap – 6 Reasons Why the Facebook IPO Fell Flat. Facebook worth more than McDonald’s? Seriously? Mickey Dee’s, with restaurants all over the globe, close to 100% brand recognition and a proven business model, posted $27 billion in revenues last year and a $5.5 billion profit. Facebook made $1 billion on $3.7 billion in revenues. I’m lovin’ it: http://on.mash.to/JpAvwI And, just for the fun of it: Famous IPOs: Where Are They Now? [INFOGRAPHIC] Remember theglobe.com? Uh-huh.  http://bit.ly/KyxUSy
Diaspora Says It’s Back on Track, Joins Y Combinator Program.  The anti-facebook, which allows users to own – and customize – their own data/photos/text, is back in the game, following the suicide of one of their founders. It begins… http://dthin.gs/KRKcIO  For more on Diaspora: On Diaspora’s Social Network, You Own Your Data: http://buswk.co/Kf8XiU
For the Brits on the list10 Angels You Should Knowhttp://bit.ly/K2S2O0
7 Hot Startup Tips for Raising a Killer Seed Round. There are many stories of hot startups raising killer seed rounds, and it can feel like money is flowing everywhere. Times might be good right now, but raising external capital is a complicated process. Here are tips that can help you achieve your goals as quickly and pain-free as possible. http://on.mash.to/LnQLFn To Be Successful You’ll Need to Shake Hands and Kiss Babies. Business is built on personal relationships. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – get out there and press some flesh: http://bit.ly/KpaXDp The Seven Forces Disrupting Venture Capital.  Here are the forces that have altered – and are altering – the landscape for traditional venture capital in software.http://tcrn.ch/IC6ABK
Silicon Valley’s Hottest New Start-Up Idea: Nothing. Seriously. In fact, Y Combinator is introducing a program this summer “targeting groups that don’t have an idea yet.” And down the rabbit hole we go: http://onforb.es/IUzOwL
Just one last thing on the subject of all things FB…as for co-founder Eduardo Saverin and the Congressional blow-back/media storm surrounding his surrendering of his US citizenship to avoid taxes: Eduardo is Brazilian-born and at the end of the day, helped to create quite a few jobs here in the US. A simple “thank you” will do. Yes, you can still submit your decks for our next SOS 1-on-1. Again, apologies for the delay, and it will be in early June. Do feel free to send your deck to hello@startuponestop.com and we will pass it to investors’ rep. Have a safe and wonderful Memorial Day Weekend, and if you happen to be in town for the holiday, email us at hello@startuponestop.com: there’s a good chance we’ll be doing a bbq on Sunday evening, weather permitting. Until then, as always, help is on the way…

5/15/12

5/15/12

Good morning, All,
You know the drill: Bottom feeders all, and hate ’em till you need ’em, but remember: a good realtor can make your day. A good lawyer can save your company. A good recruiter can make your company – or your career. And a good VC can change your life – and potentially help to make even a small dent in the world. Roger Ehrenberg wrote a must-read piece: On Fixing VCs Ourselves http://bit.ly/J7sK2t There’s a lot of job creation going on in our community, as Roger notes: VCs help to create jobs. He also notes that “venture is the only professional services business which does not think training its employees is a good idea.” Not true. In down economies, many people turn to recruiting as a stop-gag measure while they’re between jobs. And therein lies part of the problem. As many of you know, I am a recruiter by trade, and let me tell you, it hasn’t been easy lately. Companies feel that they can post online, that stellar employees will flock to them – and that they can then underpay them, because times are tough. The truth is: with the explosion in the number of startups, the unemployment rate in this industry is not that high. Yes, Virginia, talent can still pick and choose, so companies do call in 3rd party recruiters – and many companies then feel that they can underpay them as well. That’s like asking a CTO to work for less than what they’re worth, because there’s a so-called shortage of jobs. Actually, it may just be a shortage of good CTO’s – and good recruiters.   As for the neophytes who turn to recruiting: why not? They know a lot of people. How hard can it be to send over a few resumes? There’s a big difference between searching for keywords and being able to vet an applicant. They’ll call everyone they can find on linkedin – whether the person is open to career opportunities or not – and piss everyone off, which further enhances recruiting’s bad reputation. Neophytes are also untrained in managing client expectations. Sure you want a mid level front end programmer and have $70k budgeted for the position. You also need that person to know back end coding, design and SEO. Really? That’s not one position: that’s team. If perchance you do find those skills in one person, not sure that they can do it all well – and they’re not going to take a salary of $70k. A trained recruiter knows how to manage expectations.And how to advocate for both the client and the applicant. That’s a talent and at the end of the day, you’re working for both of them, despite who’s writing the check.Then there’s the questions no one asks, having decided not to go with a recruiter, and these, too, need to be factored into your bottom line: how much business have you lost/had to give up because you didn’t have the people to execute on the work? How many employees have you lost because you didn’t have enough people and just piled more work on to the ones you do have? We know that internet fosters some bad habits, but you have to stop jumping over dollars to get to those pennies. Here are a few lessons in recruiting for you: 1.    There’s a difference between an HR person and a recruiter. HR people put systems in place and onboard new employees – it’s not their job to source them. 2.    Recruiting is easy, so you hire a kid out of school for the spot, right? Ok, so you’re bringing in someone who barely knows how to write a resume – and you expect them to be able to read them? This is the person to whom you are entrusting your company’s brain trust and future? Those keyword searchers? In our industry, they’re called researchers, or sourcers, not recruiters. 3.    Recruiters have and build relationships with candidates. We get to know them over time. We know their strengths and quirks, while your internal recruiter may spend may 15-20 minutes with a candidate on the phone and make a snap judgement. Hope, for your sake, it’s the right one. And again, how much experience does your internal recruiter have? Life and recruiting experience, I mean. 4.    Big Name Firms and retained search firms. You paid them a retainer. A big one. Of course they’re going to find you the perfect employee. Retained firms split the fees in thirds: 1/3 upon signing the contract; 1/3 upon start date of the candidate; 1/3 30 days after the start date of the candidate, and their fees can range from 30% to $80k and upwards for a placement. Fact: retained firms fail to fill the spot in a majority of the cases. But – they’ve gotten at least part of your money, so no loss on their part. 5.    A few more points to cover with whichever recruiting firm/indie you’re thinking of hiring:     How long have you been in business?     Do you specialize in my industry?     What types/levels of jobs do you work on?     What is your track record for repeat business? We all just witnessed the mess with Yahoo and Scott Thompson. Who technically didn’t lie on his resume, since he reportedly never submitted one (Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson Claims He Never Provided A Resume: Source http://huff.to/KebJBo) Retained firms: they don’t always bother with something so mundane as a resume. Which is quite an important document: it tells you how your potential employee positions him or herself.  Young VC associates need to be trained, as do recruiters. And many a startup CEO, too, for that matter. What precipitated this particular piece this week was that last week I emailed a former candidate of mine who is now CEO of a very well-known company. I’d noticed that he had a number of positions listed on his site, so I called and asked why he wasn’t working with me. Well, he’d hired a few internal recruiters. Red flag: then why were there so many open spots on his site. The company’s not that big, after all. Not yet, anyway. I then told him the story of someone who’d come to me a while back, looking for a new position and I’d submitted his resume to the internal recruiter  – who didn‘t see the right keywords, and summarily rejected him. I knew he was perfect for the spot, so introduced him directly to the CEO, who hired him on the spot. And that position changed my young candidate’s life. “That was you,” I reminded him. “And you, of all people, are banking on internal recruiters?” How quickly they forget. According to Ehrenberg, there’s a broken incentive model for VCs, and one of the suggestions he makes is to professionalize VC. As for recruiting, when you see that your process is broken, that’s what you want to do, too: hire a professional. It’s cheaper in the long run. Onward and forward.
Deadlines:
New York Venture Summit Call for Top Innovators. If you are a Startup seeking capital and/or partnerships submit your plan for the opportunity to present at The 2012 New York Venture Summit, the premier venue connecting emerging growth companies with active Venture capitalists, Angel investors, Corporate VCs and Investment Firms. Presented by youngStartup Ventures, The 2012 New York Venture Summit provides an unparalleled opportunity for startups to meet, network and showcase their innovative investment opportunities to a leading group of investors. To Apply to Present.please e-mail iwant2present@youngstartup.com for an application.
The Brandery, deadline May 15th, Cincinnati. This is a seed stage consumer marketing venture accelerator seeking startups on technology based in Consumer Internet, Marketing SaaS, Consumer Services and Products, Media and Entertainment. $20,000 and Over $175K in Free Benefits for 6% equity. Program runs 4 months. For more information and to apply: http://brandery.org/
Seedcamp Berlin, deadline May 15th. Seedcamp is an early stage mentoring and investment program that engages startups through our monthly Seedcamp Events, where entrepreneurs present their companies, network, receive mentoring, and compete for investment by Seedcamp. Yearly, we invest in about 20 companies. For more information and to apply: http://www.seedcamp.com/ Seedcamp NYC is coming up in June. Watch for it.
NEW Tech All Stars, London: deadline, May 15th This two-day tech startup event where startups will network with influencers and connect with VCs, mentors, potential partners, and other resources. It takes place June 20th and 21st in London, UK. We’re including a complementary ticket to LeWeb London, so if you’d like to participate in LeWeb, clear June 19th on your schedule too. The winner will participate in an event on June 22nd in Brussels, Belgium so hold that date – cause you’re planning to WIN this thing! To apply: http://bit.ly/L1zd1A NEW Unreasonableatsea, deadline May 20th. In short: 20 Mentors. 100 days. 1 ship. 14 countries. 10 ventures. 1 belief that entrepreneurship will change the world. This is a mentor driven accelerator for tech entrepreneurs who desire to take their ventures into new international markets. In January of 2013, we will be welcoming 10 entrepreneurs and their teams from every corner of the globe to join us for a 100 day program as we sail around the world and bring their products and services into new markets. For more information and to apply: http://unreasonableatsea.com/ NEW Startupdreamteam, deadline May 20th. This  a 9-week team-building program happening between June 18th and August 12th in San Francisco, which provides a perfect environment for 30 interns from all around the World to experience Silicon Valley at its fullest and build a lifetime network. To apply: http://bit.ly/L1yoFU NEW TechStars Seattle, deadline May 25th. You know the drill: a 3-month program; $18k + $100k convertible debt note, with 6% equity taken. TS provides seed funding from over 75 top venture capital firms and angel investors who are vested in the success of your startup, as well as intense mentorship from hundreds of the best entrepreneurs in the world. To apply: http://apply.techstars.com/
New York Digital Health Accelerator, deadline June 1st. The program will provide up to $300,000 of funding per company from a syndicate of leading venture capital and strategic investors. In addition, winners will have the opportunity to meet other leading digital and tech entrepreneurs in the New York community. For more information and to apply: http://digitalhealthaccelerator.com/
Blueprint Health: Transform health & wellnesswith your startup, deadline June 8th. 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. For more information and to apply: http://www.blueprinthealth.org/   powered by Movable Ink For you edification this week:
Speaking of recruiting… 3 Common Hiring Mistakes With Recruiting “A Players. As Mark Birch says, “there are ways to reduce the risk of hiring failures by being aware of common traps one makes during the hiring process when evaluating candidates.”  He gives three points that cover the most egregious yet correctable mistakes when hiring for highly critical roles http://bit.ly/JgeQGY
How to Be a Horrible Boss. It’s easier than you might think, but just in case you need some pointers: http://bit.ly/Igwr1d Since we’re on the subject of hiring and the FB IPO is this week: When Facebook Was Young And Trying To Attract Talent, It May Have Pulled This Brilliant Hiring Stunt At Stanford: http://read.bi/JxTV5m 10 Tweets That Are Invaluable Startup Advice. Yup, all in 140 characters or less: http://read.bi/M4l4zZ How To Raise A $1M Seed Round. If you can convey to investors that you have a repeatable business model, and understand the microeconomics of your business, then you are golden. This can help: http://tcrn.ch/JxQbjT When Is a Tech Startup Not a Tech Startup? Is Groupon really a tech startup? Why? Because it uses email? Because it uses an algorithm to trigger a deal’s tipping point? Hmmm: http://bit.ly/KksVJa What Kickstarter Means to You — Maybe. So what’s going on at Kickstarter? The best possible financing, sales as pre-sales or pre-order sales. It’s not technically crowdfunding, but it’s better than that, because it doesn’t dilute ownership: http://bit.ly/JpAiLx Experimentation is to a startup as a task list is to a job. You’re doing a startup. You’re no doubt already out of your comfort zone. Next task: get out of your comfort zone: http://bit.ly/JfTf2t Is Google Drive worse for privacy than iCloud, Skydrive, and Dropbox? Google’s cloud storage launched last week. Well, it’s Google, first off, and they’re never very transparent in their privacy policy. Before you jump, make sure to get your head out of the cloud: http://vrge.co/JO35g9
Our next SOS 1-on-1 with an investor will be take place soon. Again, apologies for the delay, but internet week has set us back – and Memorial Day is fast approaching, which has made scheduling it a bit of a challenge. So you still have time to submit your decks and you must send us your deck in advance, and you can submit from anywhere in the world. The focus is on startups who are looking to get to the next level, which means, you need the money to get there.  You do not have to be at the event, but if you are in the NYC area, it’s recommended that you come and have face time, if they’ve asked to meet with you after having seen your deck. For every one else, there’s VOIP, so do feel free to send your deck to hello@startuponestop.com and we will pass it to investors’ rep. Good luck, and apologies for the delay in getting back to you – decks are still being reviewed and we hope to have answers – and a meeting date – soon.  That’s it from us this week. Hope to see you at some of the Internet Week events this week and until then, as always, help is on the way…

5/8/12

5/8/12

Good morning, All,

Our next SOS 1-on-1 with an investor is coming up and we have a direct pipeline to a group of serious angels whose representative will be at the event. Caveat: you must send us your deck in advance, and you can submit from anywhere in the world. The focus is on startups who are looking to get to the next level, which means, you need the money to get there, and they’re not focusing on any particular vertical.  To clarify: You do not have to be at the event, but if you are in the NYC area, it’s recommended that you come and have face time, if they’ve asked to meet with you after having seen your deck. For every one else, well, there’s VOIP, so do feel free to send your deck to hello@startuponestop.com and we will pass it to investors’ rep. Good luck, And looking forward to seeing them! Apologies for the delay in getting back to you – decks are still being reviewed and we hope to have answers – and a meeting date – for you by next week.

The FB IPO. The speculation rages about who will make how much but the real question is: how will the IPO affect FB’s bottom line? The company earned $3.7 billion in 2011, but revenues are decelerating so far this year (Check Out How Weak Facebook’s Revenue Growth Is Compared To Google Pre-IPO: http://read.bi/IHo6bj). And they’re expected to be worth over $100 billion?  It seems that investors are once again in the take-the-money-and-run mode, with Henry Blodget helping to lead the charge, and again, Blodget failed to disclose that BI and FB share investors. (Hype Man Henry Blodget Is At It Again, Profiling Mark Zuckerberg in New York Magazine: The man who helped usher in an Internet bubble thinks Zuck is a super swell CEO – http://bit.ly/J7wFe8)  A must-read: Here’s Why Google and Facebook Might Completely Disappear in the Next 5 Years: http://onforb.es/IomHbv  The systole and diastole of our industry has shown us that companies expand and contract and new ones rise. Yes, Yahoo is a shell of its former self, but it has never been dethroned when it comes to Yahoo Finance, so they’re still standing. At least for now. To paraphrase Woody Allen, a technology company is like a shark: it has to keep moving forward to survive. And a large part of the current change (we will not call it innovation – at least not yet) is the migration to social and to mobile. Concurrently. Google and FB have – and had – young founders without either a world vision nor a vision for the future. Google has (so far) failed miserably in social, and FB was late to the game and fragmented in mobile. And how will FB justify their wild valuation? There will be shareholders to answer to, Mark. Point to the story: have a plan. One for monetization, and make sure to hire managers who can help move your company into the future. If your current ones don’t get it, get ones who do, or its fast in, fast out (Groupon stock closes below $10: http://bit.ly/J0wn90). As the Forbes writer observes, “Those who own the future are going to be the ones who create it. Web monopolies are not as sticky as the monopolies of old.” Now, as always, the future belongs to those who can see it coming. Onward and forward. Read More...

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