Good morning, All,

First, come join us for our next ERA + SOS Startup Breakfast on April 12th, This one will take place at SOS Headquarters, in a lovely backyard on the UWS. Breakfast will include famous Fairway bagels, our own healthy, fat-free muffins, coffee, tea, juice – and lively conversation. Date: April 12th, 8.30 am – 10. $15 in advance and $20 at the door. To register: http://bit.ly/GRXHrA and hope to see you there, bright and early.

The big news this week is employers asking job applicants for their facebook passwords (Two US senators ask the Attorney General to investigate employers asking for Facebook logins: http://vrge.co/GNYTMi). Yes, it is an invasion of privacy, not to mention various laws that it violates, but are employers really that clueless? With more and more people tweeting, all they really need to do is – follow that potential hire on twitter. Seriously. We know a number of people who attended SxSW, many of whom were sent by their employers and what was the big standout in the tweet stream? The free food trucks and the parties, re drinkfests. From what we saw, little or no real news was reported or technologies touted – or tweeted. What were you tweeting and think that employer is likely to send you again next year? A few simple guidelines on social media and while they may seem obvious, hey, our tweetdeck is always up, and sometimes it’s the obvious that escapes us:
1.     Think before you tweet – someone’s always watching and/or retweeting
2.     Do we really care where you had breakfast/lunch/dinner – and you had how much to drink and where? Tweets are forever, the health police are out in force and your employer will know it’s a hangover and not some 24 hour bug.
3.     Keep your tweets relevant: you never know who’s reading them. It’s a public record of your life and you don’t need share everything with us.
4.     Never tweet when you’re angry
5.     Stay the hell off your computer/ipad/smartphone when you’re drunk
6.     While employers – or potential employers – might not get access to your facebook password, they can still read your blog. Careful what you say. It’s not a personal diary – unless it’s password protected.
7.     Foursquare: another favorite or soon to be favorite of employers, burglers and stalkers everywhere.
We’re not picking on SxSW attendees, and we know you worked hard and did what you needed to do, so calm down. We’re also a big fan of social/networked media and like many applications, it’s a tool and one to be used wisely and with forethought. With video cameras pretty much ubiquitous and social media filling in the blanks behind closed doors, careful out there: what happens in Vegas – or Austin or anywhere else for that matter – no longer stays in Vegas. Onward and forward.


YCombinator, San Francisco, deadline March 28th, 8 pm. (psst: you can even apply if you haven’t got an idea for a startup: http://ycombinator.com/noidea.html) But if you do have a project to submit, apply here: http://ycombinator.com/apply.html Program runs for 3 months, 2-10% equity stake taken for $11,000 given, + 150k from Ron Conway and Yuri Milner. Yes, there is that, too.

Hey Startups: Here’s An Easy Way To Get 75K For Your Company, deadline March 31st. Apply to enter Business Insider’sStartup 2012 business-plan competition.: http://bit.ly/zzaKwm The online form will take about an hour to fill out. (You can save and come back if needed.) A top handful of finalists will compete to take home $75,000 in cash and prizes at the intense, fun Startup 2012 conference on May 3 in New York.
Winners also get to attend the event and hear from amazing speakers like Jason Goldberg, CEO of the world’s fastest-growing startup, Fab.com, and Philip James, CEO of the hit online wine flash retailer Lot18.
Do this now because the form closes on March 31, in 3 short weeks. Note: this is a business-plan competition, primarily. Contestants do not need a polished, whizz-bang, ready-to-market prototype. They should have at least a minimum viable product, and a very sharp, well-articulated business plan. The competition is open to companies that have taken less than $2.5million in outside financing. See more fine print here.
2. After entering, take a call with an active investor.Some of New York’s top VCs — with track records including major wins — will interview top candidates selected by a judging panel. From there, a handful of finalists will be chosen.
3. Attend Startup 2012and present your idea onstage. Then, more grilling from VCs.
4. One winner gets $75,000! That’s $25,000 in cash and $50,000 in prizes.

Kauffman Life Science Ventures Summit, deadline April 2nd. Registration fee: $100. Up to 200 life science entrepreneurs will be selected across four industry sectors: therapeutics, medical devices, diagnostics, and digital health. Applicants will be accepted based on two factors: (1) how much they will benefit from the experience based on where they are in their early-stage entrepreneurial journey, and (2) the commercial viability of their plan. For more information and to apply: http://bit.ly/x9xtWM

NEW Turnstone is giving away $25K worth of office furniture, deadline April 15th.  Pretty amazing opportunity for a small company.  Additional details of the contest can be found here:  http://myturnstone.com/contest/. This contest is national.  The video should be about why you want a great space to work in and what this makeover would do for you and your company – and this contest is national!

NEW New York Entrepreneur Week starts April 16th, early bird discount ends April 5th. Yes, it’s back and we have a 10% SOS discount for Monday. For more information (with more being added daily) and to register:  http://bit.ly/H21Kvy (discount code: StartupOneStop)

MassChallenge, deadline April 11th. This is the largest-ever startup accelerator and competition, and the first to support high-impact, early-stage entrepreneurs with no strongs attached.
3 month accelerator program. World-class mentorship and training, free office space, access to funding, media and more.
$1M in cash awards. $4M+ in-kind support.
Open to all. Any startup can enter, from anywhere, in any industry.
No equity taken. No restrictions applied.
$1M in cash awards. $4M+ in-kind support.
For more information and to apply: http://masschallenge.org/

Wall Street Journal Codethon April 13-15 at NYU Law School, and to attend you must apply and be accepted. We’d love to have a good turnout from the NY developer community. More details, a brief application, etc. are available at our site: http://datatransparency.wsj.com/

3rd Annual NYC Startup Job Fair, Friday, April 20th, 2012
1:00 – 2:30 pm Engineers/Developers Only
2:30 – 5:00 pm All Candidates
World Trade Center 7 (250 Greenwich St)
Free – Limited Tickets – Registration Required
This is the third annual NYC Startup Job Fair. The companies present are some of NYC’s top startups. Last year’s event held 40 startups and this year we’ve moved to a larger venue so that we can include more startups. It’s a great chance to talk with and learn more about opportunities with NYC startups.

ERA is now accepting applications for Summer 2012! Application deadline: April 29th Yes, it’s here in NYC, with access to world-class mentors, office space, and more. Each company receives $25,000/8% equity. And we’re one of the mentors! For more information and to apply: http://eranyc.com/apply/

NEW The Second Annual User Experience Awards are here! Submission deadline May 1st. The User Experience Awards aim to honor and celebrate outstanding UX projects and practitioners. The UX Awards are produced in partnership with IXDA NYNYC Chapter of the UPA and NYC-CHI and culminate with an Awards Ceremony on June 12 in NYC. We’re actively seeking submissions from UX professionals for this year’s Awards! If you think you’ve worked on a project in the last two years that shows great user experience in terms of the final product or the process you followed, please submit your project, app, software, website, or even strategy to UserExperienceAwards.com by May 1 2012! Enter to win cash prizes, press, PR and community recognition! Full details of the submission process can be found on http://userexperienceawards.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/

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For you edification this week:

The Complete Guide to Getting Press Coverage For Your Startup. You’re always your best PR – although hiring pros can certainly help. According to the writer, “Mashable featured us 6 times, TechCrunch twice, over 10 articles in The Next Web, plenty of write-ups from ReadWriteWeb, GigaOm, LifeHacker, VentureBeat, Inc. Magazine and others. In total, there were over 40 stories by these notable sites written about us, each one based on the tips in this guide.” Given this, we thought we’d share: http://bit.ly/GQFwyq

Why Every Startup Should Consider Creating an Advisory Board Early On. We all get so busy and focused on what we’re doing, we sometimes forget this important piece. “A board can guide the founders and help them make important business decisions. A board is also a meaningful signal given to outsiders such as potential investors, clients, and employees. The founders are likely to be perceived as serious, ambitious business owners supported by a strong team.” Full article is here: http://bit.ly/xAzVJx

Five Steps to an Awesome Executive Summary. Don’t get nervous. This is a guide to doing a one-page pitch sheet and worth the minute or two it takes to read: http://bit.ly/H84wBy

Why You Should Think Twice Before Sending That Intro Email. Yes, there’s a time and a place for introduction, and we all make them. There is such a thing as overdoing it, and Mark Suster spells it all out for you. http://bit.ly/GPtjKy

Frighteningly Ambitious Startup Ideas. Want to be a billionaire? Paul Graham outlines how to get there – it ain’t easy, but it’s doable. Neither Bill Gates nor Mark Zuckerberg knew at first how big their companies were going to get. All they knew was that they were onto something: http://paulgraham.com/ambitious.html

A lesson from Richard Branson: Why geeks need to learn how to delegate. According to Sir Richard Branson, delegation is one of the most important traits of a leader. What he has always done is find people who are better than him at a task and then he steps out of their way. Isn’t that one of the cardinal rules of great leadership? Maybe he’ll get us all into outer space after all: http://tnw.co/H6kjCg

The 25 Hot NYC Startups You Need To Watch. NYC is a hotbed for startups. Business Insider spotlights 25 very early stage companies that generating a buzz in the investor community: http://read.bi/GIEM2W

That’s it from us for now. Looking forward to seeing you at our next breakfast and for now, as usual, help is on the way…

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