Good morning, All,
The twitterverse went wild last week over what was basically an act of immaturity that spiraled out of control, thanks to social media. In brief: Adria Richards (SendGrid) was offended by a (perceived) sexual joke having to do with a “dongle” and “forking,” which she overheard at a developer conference. Instead of confronting the developer, she took a picture of him, then shamed him on Twitter and in her blog post. DongleGate was born. They both got fired. Once again, the power of the Internet and the amplification brought about via social media got some people in trouble.
Newsflash: most guy tell each other off color jokes (last week’s Grey’s Anatomy featured a prank in which one doctor had another doctor unwittingly page a patient named Jenna Talia. No one was fired. The show was not cancelled). Didn’t it occur to her that rather than report it to the twitterverse, she could have turned around and talked to them. She was fired but not before SendGrid was taken offline by Anonymous for a few hours (but not PlayHaven, although the brogrammer was fired as well). Everyone was wrong and everyone missed the forest through the trees last week: that CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act) has reared its ugly head once again. If passed, it would destroy online privacy in the United States, by allowing private companies to share virtually any information about you with the government, and vice versa. Which basically also gives private companies carte blanche to listen in on your conversations/emails, etc as well. We saw what happened when Adria Richards basically invaded that developers private conversation: that was a warning shot and that was just a taste of what could very well potentially come about. Time to keep your focus on Congress and not the Ministry of Silly Walks or we’re going to all lose that element that makes this industry great: that we enable free speech, and have no compunctions about marching to the beat of a different drummer. Let’s keep it that way. Latest petition is here. You have your marching orders. Onward and forward.
The list of Startup Weekend Upcoming Events
YCombinator, deadline March 29th. How do we choose who to fund? The people in your group are what matter most to us. We look for brains, motivation, and a sense of design. Experience is helpful but not critical. The ideal company would have two or three founders. We’ll consider those with four or five. We’re reluctant to accept one-person companies, though we have funded a couple. You do need to be in the Bay area (or be willing to move there).
Behind the Pitch, deadline to pitch: March 31st. Apply to pitch! Event: April 22nd. NOTE: you don’t have to be a mobile applications company or have a female founder/co-founder on your team to apply pitch at this event. Behind the Pitch is a market-focused event for startups, providing current data on fund raising and financing of early-stage ventures, as well as the status of VC/Angel funding and funding insights/trends by region and sector. Behind The Pitch is an opportunity to hear from founders (Songza, Nail Your Mortgage + Others) who have successfully raised funding for their ventures and to gain insights from the Pitch Pit of VCs, angels, accelerators, incubators and startup advisors. And an opportunity for you to pitch your startup!
NEW Healthcare Innovation World Cup, deadline March 31st. The focus is Type 2 Diabetes. If you have a novel idea, technology solution or business concept with the potential to fill an unmet need in type 2 diabetes care delivery, then step forward and enter it in the Healthcare Innovation World Cup! The most promising World Cup competitors – in teams up to three individuals – will earn a high-profile platform to showcase their solutions, including prize money totaling $75,000 and networking opportunities with industry leaders who can launch the brightest ideas into the marketplace. All competitors retain the intellectual property and equity of their creations.
Mobile Monday Silicon Valley Launches Accelerator Program – “Momentum,” deadline March 31st. The Mobile Monday Accelerator Program is a twelve week program that helps entrepreneurs accelerate their businesses, spur innovation in the mobile space, and develop deeper relationships with the mobile industry. For more information and to apply, go here.
New York Venture Summit: Apply to present/early bird registration now open. The 13th annual New York Venture Summit, presented by youngStartup Ventures, is the premier industry gathering connecting venture capitalists, corporate VCs, angel investors, technology transfer professionals, senior executives of early stage and emerging growth companies, university researchers, incubators and premier service providers. Whether you are an investor seeking access to new early stage deals, or a CEO or Founder of a new venture looking for funding, visibility and growth, New York Venture Summit is one event you won’t want to miss. To be considered for one of the Top Innovator slots, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for an application.
Mass Challenge, deadline, April 3rd. The overall focus of the application process is impact. MassChallenge does not define impact, but leaves that up to the applicants. Impact for one company might mean improving lives or curing a disease, while for another it might be generating an enormous amount of revenue.
The NYC Department of Education is challenging software developers to submit apps and games that enhance math teaching and learning, and engagement for our middle schools, deadline April 10th. For more information and to submit, go here.
NEW Kaplan EdTech Accelerator, deadline April 14th. Kaplan and TechStars are partnering to launch the Kaplan EdTech Accelerator, a 3 month intensive program for 10 EdTech startups in NYC from June to September. What kind of companies are they looking for? Apps, platforms, K-12, higher ed, professional ed, and everything in between. There’s also an info session on Apr 2nd. And if you have any questions, contact Phil Schwarz at email@example.com
2013 UX Awards, submissions deadline April 15th. For more information and to apply, go here.
ER Accelerator now accepting applications for Summer 2013. Final deadline: April 19th. $40,000 investment 4-month program. Follow-on investment in future rounds. 200+ awesome mentors, including yours truly. Apply now. There’s also an ERA Summer 2013 Happy Hour at Connolly’s this Wednesday, March 27th. Come and learn more about the program, and talk to members of the present class, alums and mentors – like me!
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/
NEW Innovate Health Tech NYC, deadline May 2nd. $50,000 in cash & prizes, coaching sessions for finalists, and the opportunity to pitch your solution to health tech investors & entrepreneurs.
Startup Institute, deadline May 5th. SI works with professionals, career changers, and dynamic individuals to equip them with the skills needed to have an immediate impact on the startup company they join. The primary objective is to align passion with profession, and usher students into a life they love. This is a full-time, immersive, eight-week experience that will catapult you into your city’s technology ecosystem in the areas of web development, product & design, technical marketing, or sales & business development. Apply here and heads up: apply now: as soon as the class is full, applications close, too.
NEW Gates Foundation offers $100k for ‘next-gen condom,’ deadline May 7th. You can’t make these things up.
NEW HackSummerStage, deadline May 8th. SummerStage is looking for the app which best reflects the mission outlined above and uses the SummerStage content to engage the 280,000+ attendees to SummerStage’s annual summer-long festival. Apps that creatively utilize both the SummerStage API and other provided APIs to offer a beneficial and positive experience to festival-goers, and reflect the fact that SummerStage extends to 16 parks beyond Central Park, will be judged higher.
NEW Fourth BigApps Competition, deadline June 7th. $150k in prizes, and there’s a NYC BigApps 2013 Expo and Hackathon Weekend at eBay’s New York offices the weekend of April 6th. More information about the BigApps competition is on the NYCBigApps website.
NEW LaunchHouse Accelerator Accepting Applications, Cleveland, Ohio. Deadline unknown. Program starts in August. For more information, see below under ‘I Can Help.’ To apply, go here.
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For you edification this week:
Focus, focus, focus: Understanding your value stack. “I have seen too many potentially great teams and companies make these mistakes by trying to do too much, too soon. Please do not let this be you,” says Roger Ehrenberg.
The Entrepreneurial Age. According to the Angelist founder, the information age is over and we’re now in the Entrepreneurial Age. Personally, we don’t agree, but we’re just here to report.
One of the Biggest Mistakes Enterprise Startups Make. Yes, Virginia, you need professional services. It’s enterprise, grow up.
The 20 most fascinating accidental inventions. Spoiler alert: Saccharin is a coal derivative. Yum!
Nine Dangerous Things You Were Taught In School. Who listened?
just setting up my twttr. That was Jack Dorsey’s first tweet, which was retweeted 9000+ times. Last week, twitter turned seven, which is the age of reason. We’ll see. Here’s a brief history of the app.
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!
We all see the lists. The Top 20 hottest women in tech. The Top 30 hottest guys in tech. For your amusement this week: The 40 Hottest Cats In Tech. Have a happy Passover, a Good Friday, and wonderful Easter and now, as always, help is on the way…