Good morning, All,
Yes, there are three categories:
Entrepreneurs build businesses
Wantrepreneurs are in it for the cool factor and are the online equivalent to people who look at houses and never pull the trigger. Realtors have a term for it: ‘playing dolls.’
Nontrepreneurs – there can be so many definitions here. We think of companies like color for this category: they’re the darlings of the VC world/tech press who raise $40+ million and have absolutely nothing to show for it, with the possible exception of various upgrades to the founders lifestyles. The companies die on the vine or the investors step in and put adults in charge. We did wonder if Mark Zuckerberg was going to fall into this category, and then something like this comes along and there’s a lesson to be learned: Facebook is testing ‘Buy Tickets’ links for events, but will it get into the ticketing business? [Updated]. He did build a huge global community; he did make billions in the IPO. But could FB be a sustainable business? For a long time, Facebook has looked like six actors in search of an author. They’re experimenting with charging $1 to send a message to a stranger. Google+ is free, so why spend the money? Not so easy to turn a feature that was a freemium into a premium. But getting into the ticketing business makes sense: Facebook is a killer app for event planning – but then we go to Eventbrite or even the new Doitinperson (yes, that is the link to our next SOS event, on March 12th) or ticketmaster to make the purchase. Good move on the company’s part, should they decide to do it (and looks like it’s a go), and it makes perfect sense: many people use FB to organize events, or to at least notify their friends/acquaintances about them: why not build in a ticket service and preserve their gated community? And monetize a feature that is already a big part of their platform. Think about it: you’re building your company and can’t be all things to all people, but do you have a feature that your users tend to gravitate to more often: there’s your premium. Actually there is a
#4. Gonetrepreneurs are entrepreneurs who have left the US to participate in accelerator programs elsewhere, or simply due to the US tax code and all of the regulations being imposed on businesses here. (See the first press piece below for more on this). New York City in particular is not as startup friendly as the press would have you believe. Yes, the investors are here, but the city itself is anything but startup friendly: high rents, taxes, insurance and costs of incorporation itself and numerous regulations. And this is why we’re losing some of our best and brightest, who have just had enough; who don’t feel like tithing a huge part of their earnings to the government. They’re outta here! Onward – in their cases, outward – and forward.
Our next SOS Networking+Panel event is Adults in the Room: Accelerators and How They Can Benefit Your Company, on March 12th. It’s a tough year for funding, and not much easier to get into an accelerator. They offer classes to help you shape your business and get it investor-ready. There’s always a mentor available to help when you get stuck. But what does it take to make it through the door? We’ll hear from three accelerator programs (Murat Aktihanoglu – ER Accelerator; Mark Wachen- DreamIt Accelerator; Kelly Hoey – Women Innovatate Mobile Accelerator) and a first-time entrepreneur (Sharmeen Mitha-Sehgal – AppyCouple) who came from a long career in corporate America, and still managed to beat the odds by getting into ER Accelerator. So what’s the special sauce? Come find out – and hear it from both sides of the coin. Refreshments will be served and insights will be offered, and our thanks to Orrick for hosting. RSVP here.
The list of Startup Weekend Upcoming Events
NEW TechLaunch NJ, deadline February 22nd. Participants in the incubator’s 16-week program will get co-working space at Montclair State University, infusions of legal and accounting know-how and (perhaps most importantly) up to $25,000 in seed funding to get the project off the ground. But you’d better be prepared to stay in New Jersey – TechLaunch is looking for startups that will stick around for awhile and help boost the state’s economy.
NEW The Startup Bus to SXSW. Deadline: As soon as humanly possible. You and a team of strangers, on a bus, at 60 mph, have 72 hours to conceive, build and launch a startup. Go!
Call for Nominations: Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards, deadline March 8th. Recognized as one of the most prestigious business award programs in the country, Ernst & Young is now calling for nominations in San Diego, Orange County, Greater Los Angeles, Northern California, Portland, Seattle and Utah for the 2013 Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards. Details: http://bit.ly/UCDHeU
Global Apps to Empower Competition Seeks Apps to Educate and Empower Women Everywhere, deadline April 30th. Applications that best satisfy the competition criteria will receive cash prizes and the opportunity to have their apps featured on Datawind’s $40 Ubislate educational tablet. That’s potentially a lot of computers – and a big win for the winning app! The UN is involved and the winning apps will be receive cash prizes, recognition (judges for the contest include Joanne Wilson, Vivek Wadhwa, Geena Davis. For more information and to apply: http://appstoempower.org/
ER Accelerator now accepting applications for Summer 2013. Early application deadline: March 7th. Final deadline: April 19th. $40,000 investment 4-month program. Follow-on investment in future rounds. 200+ awesome mentors, including yours truly. Apply now.
DreamIt Ventures Accelerator Summer class is now accepting application. Deadline: March 15. It’s their third annual New York City Accelerator program, which will begin in mid-May and run to mid-August. The program offers $25,000 in seed funding, as well as collaborative work space, mentoring, exclusive speaking engagements with industry leaders, and an opportunity to pitch to investors on Demo Day. To apply as a company or an individual: http://www.dreamitventures.com/
NEW WIM Behind The Pitch, deadline to apply to pitch, March 22. Getting funded is challenging – and Behind The Pitch focuses on understanding and navigating the funding market, each quarter.
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For you edification this week:
Speaking of gonetrepreneurs…Cisco Won’t Buy Any US Companies Or Hire Any US Workers Until The Tax Code Is Changed. That’s a blow, as Cisco has historically been a company that acquires like crazy. Cisco is not the only company hoarding cash overseas to avoid taxes. U.S. companies have about $1.7 trillion offshore. For instance, Microsoft keeps about 87 percent of its $66.6 billion stored outside the U.S.; Oracle, 80 percent of its $31.6 billion; and Apple about 68 percent of its $121.3 billion. And you wonder why there are so many global tech hubs.
Is The Government Telling The Truth When It Says Your Data Is Secure? The government doesn’t need to break or crack the encryption. They are the government. They can compel you in many other ways to just turn over your acess codes, or just get them through social engineering.
Obama, Cybersecurity, And The Return of CISPA. In his State of the Union, Obama stated, “Congress must act as well, by passing legislation to give our government a greater capacity to secure our networks and deter attacks.” On Wednesday members of the House of Representatives reintroduced CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act), the highly controversial legislation that saw heavy opposition and online protest last year for its failure to protect the very privacy rights that the President’s current executive order claims to protect. If enacted, this would give Federal agencies a blank check to search our private data. Our once “unalienable rights” as Americans are starting to look more and more alienated. And you’d be surprised which companies are backing it. Read on.
Five Tools To Protect Your Privacy Online. Hardly a month goes by without some major action against Internet users… from Obama’s ‘kill switch’, to ACTA, SOPA and PIPA, to stasi tactics against people like Kim Dotcom. Online privacy is becoming more important by the day. And nobody is going to give it to you, you have to take steps yourself to secure it.
5 reasons mobile will disrupt journalism like the Internet did a decade ago. magine being able to rewind to the 1990s and help your news organization make key decisions — and create new habits — to help prevent a landslide of layoffs and enable the business to thrive on the Internet. That’s the opportunity we have today with mobile, the second tidal wave of change about to collide with the news industry.
The 4 Personality Types Every Startup Needs. Anyone can have a killer startup idea, but in order to make that idea succeed you’ll need an unbeatable team. Crafting the perfect team is an art. And one that needs constant refinement…
How To Hire Great Business Development People. They’re critical to every business. But how do you tell the good from the bad, before it potentially gets ugly?
Some ideas matter, just not the ones you think. Startup wisdom holds that startup ideas don’t matter too much because execution is everything. Within execution though, there are ideas that matter lurking. It is those ideas I want to unpack a little.
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!
That’s it from us for now. Hope to see you at one SMW or other this week, or at our event on March 12th, and remember: our event will be just before the DreamIt deadline, and not long before the ER Accelerator final deadline for applications. Think about it! Until then, as always, help is on the way…