Good morning, All,

It’s Tuesday, April 26th and yes, it’s (finally) another SOS gathering. We wish it could be a barbeque in the backyard, but, well, soon enough and in the meantime, blame it on the groundhog. On Digital Media will be there to interview some of you – and they’ll memorialize your elevator pitches on video, so bring your best face. Details to come next week. Oh, and then you can post your elevator pitches in the newsletter. We love it when a plan comes together!

We have a lot of new members today, so welcome, and brief intro for you: the newsletter is here to help – you. Feel free to post what you need, be it people, office space, legal advice, hosting suggestions, beta testers – go for it. You’re also welcome to post what you have to offer: services, for example, or if you’re organizing an event. Finally, you can do your elevator pitch. Keep it brief and whether you’re looking for funding or feedback – let us know.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled program. First,

Next, a nod to Genius Marketing 101:

As you no doubt know, last week Linkedin passed a milestone – 100 million members – and sent out a letter of appreciation to the first 100,000 (#15564). Which set off both a firestorm and bragging rights – all day long and then some – on various listservs in which we participate. No matter: it was brilliant marketing on their part and heaven knows FB gets enough press. Our .02: FB is where we go to see what our friends/family are up to; linkedin is where we go to get work done. And let’s not forget twitter – our running conversation with the world, short and sweet.

Deadlines and lots of them:

First, next Thursday, April 7th is the ER Accelerator Happy Hour. Please come join us for some free beer, networking – and meet some ER
Accelerator mentors and learn more about the program. ER Accelerator is now accepting applications for its June 2011 program:
http://eranyc.com Apply to work with our amazing team of partners, sponsors, interns, resident technologists, resident designers and 150+ mentors including Fred Wilson, Howard Morgan, Esther Dyson, Jeff Stewart, David Pakman, Brian Cohen, John Frankel, Anil Dash and more. Application deadline is April 30th: http//eranyc.com/apply. Also, the next Entrepreneurs Roundtable, which will be on April 20th.

Enter the Startup 2011 Competition For A Chance To Win $100,000 In Cash And Prizes, courtesy of Business Insider. Do you have what it takes to bring home the big check? From hundreds of applicants, our judges –Joel Cutler of General Catalyst, David Pakman of Venrock, Rick Heitzman of FirstMark, Stuart Ellman of RRE, Habib Kairouz of Rho, andLaura Sachar of Starvest — will winnow the list down to seven. Each will present on stage and withstand the judges’ grilling. One lucky winner will pocket $100,000: a $25,000 investment from founding sponsor General Catalyst Partners and $75,000 in goods and services to boost his or her startup. Even more valuable than the cash investment is the exposure and networking opportunities you’ll receive if you’re chosen as one of the seven finalists. Startup 2011 is for startups that have raised less than $2.5 million in outside financing. Application deadline: midnight, March 30. For more information and to enter: http://read.bi/gz6cSS

Games For Change application deadline is March 31st. GAMES FOR CHANGE is the leading global advocate for supporting and making games for social impact. The Games for Change Festival is the largest gaming event in New York City and the only international event uniting “games for change” creators, the public, civil society, academia, the gaming industry and media. The 8th Annual Games For Change Festival takes place here in NYC June 20-22. Early bird tickets are available now and prices go up after April 15. For more information and to enter or register: http://www.gamesforchange.org/festival-2011/

NYC SeedStart Media application deadline: March 31st. This is a 12-week summer program designed to provide seed funding to technology companies to build a product and launch their company. SeedStart is interested in companies focusing on advertising infrastructure, e-commerce, digital content, and mobile technology. Companies will work with an incredible network of mentors, professionals, and experienced technology entrepreneurs. Venture Capital Partners include Contour Venture Partners, Comcast Interactive Capital/Genacast Ventures, NYC Seed, Polaris Venture Partners, RRE Ventures. We are inviting technology companies willing to spend the summer in New York City that are concentrating on these industries to apply to SeedStart. The program will give up to 10 companies $20,000, office space, and time in exchange for a small piece of equity (5%). At the end of the 12 weeks, SeedStart features an investor day where companies will have the opportunity to present to seed and early stage investors as well as potential partners and customers.  They’re also hosting an info session March 29th at 7pm, 160 Varick St. 12th floor. All mentors, participating corporations, and SeedStart Media applicants – and potential applicants – are invited to attend. Please RSVP at info@nycseedstart.com  For more information: http://www.nycseedstart.com/

TechCrunch Disrupt Battlefield – Deadline April 3rd. Do you have the hottest, next generation start up? Start here. Let your future begin at the Disrupt Battlefield. It’s the premiere start up launch competition by TechCrunch.  Hopeful founders and entrepreneurs submit their young, unseen startup companies for the opportunity to launch on technology’s biggest stage in front of an all-star panel consisting of the biggest innovators, angels, VCs and influencers in the Tech community.  Up for grabs is the $50,000 prize and the coveted “Disrupt Cup,” and new open doors. For more information and to apply: http://disrupt.techcrunch.com/battlefield/

The Founders Lab is coming to New York City! They will select about 15 hackers and engineers, designers, product and marketing mavens to begin to develop high-growth mobile ventures in NYC. You may apply individually (most common scenario) however, pairs or teams who want to work together and are open to change, may also apply. Founder Labs builds fresh founding teams and validates ideas. Application deadline: April 20th. For more information: http://bit.ly/gcOJF8

Good Deeds Time:

This Saturday, April 2nd is the Taka Kigawa Benefit Concert for Japan. As you know, Japan is now facing the series of unprecedented, unimaginable crises.   Pianist Taka Kigawa is doing a benefit concert for Japan. Tickets $25 and the 100% of the ticket sales goes to the Japan Earthquake Relief Fund by Japan Society. For more information: http://on.fb.me/dV5Ij7 Also, if you have friends or family in Japan and are a TW phone customer, you can make free calls to check in on them, until 4/15: http://tinyurl.com/4pz38tl

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Pieces we liked this week and since Friday is April Fools, yes, we did have some fun with it this time:

How to Turn Around a Failing Business: A Step-By-Step Plan The economy has affected many businesses, but the good news is that with a well thought out plan, it is possible to make the best of your business—even in these times.  If your business needs some life infused into it, pay attention to this step-by-step plan that will help you get your business back on the right track. Even better news: no where is the word ‘pivot’ mentioned: http://goo.gl/fb/Q9srg

What it’s Not is just as important as what it Is.The hardest part of early app design is determining what is essential to an application, and what is out of character or a distraction. Good lessons to be learned here: http://bit.ly/eT2XP2

Bubble, bubble. Bubble Trouble? I Don’t Think So. Ben Horowitz weighs in with an excellent read and as he so astutely points out: As today’s clients move from PCs to mobile devices, a huge set of opportunities will emerge for new companies to solve important problems. http://bit.ly/gXMyxI

This is definitely a bubble – or bubble head? We report, you decide: http://goo.gl/fb/v9GJJ

AngelList just launched a new blog. Always good to keep up with those guys and you’ll find it here: http://blog.angel.co/

How to Network at A Conference You’re Not At. Since we’re all so busy and bilocation has not yet been perfected, well, let us not forget that technology is helping to get us a few steps closer. Yes, it can be done and here are some helpful tips on how to do it and note: do not try this at the next SOS get-together. I’ll know. Trust me: http://bit.ly/gSXlhb

Good news from our members: congratulations to honestlynow.com – Tereza and Bob – who over the last couple of weeks have enjoyed a flurry of press, starting with a great writeup on techlicious (How Do I Look in this Dress? Finally, honest answers: http://bit.ly/glyQin, which re-appeared on msn’s TODAYshow.com. Then, Australia’s leading morning show booked HN for a live appearance (Fashion’s Answer to Facebook: http://bit.ly/flE32Z), which had Aussies piling onto the HN facebook fan page. Next, they were written up by life hacker (HN Solicits Discreet Advice from your Friends) http://bit.ly/gs2BBL and chatted on drive home radio with hosts and fans in Denver and Manitoba, and picked up fans in Flint. 
And some great reviews have rolled in on their iPhone app http://honestlynow.com/iphoneapp
Impressive: people who’ve asked questions invite 6x the amount of friends as everyone else. 
The moral of the story: it pays to dip your toe in the water.  And, btw, askers of the very best questions are being randomly selected for cool prizes.  So join, ask that burning question – and keep doing what you’re doing. Unless it’s a fashion faux pas.

Finally, the strange story of www.hitmanforhire.com and how a would-be Vegas hitman ended up in an Irish jail. His website is down – and he probably should have just posted on monster.com. Makes sense to us! http://bit.ly/h7c3w0

Hope to see you on April 26th and until then, as always, help is on the way…

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