Good morning, All,

Our first SOS bbq of the season will be on May 3rd  (rain date: May 10th), sponsored once again by our friends at 1099partners.com (http://www.1099partners.com/). Come and have some BBQ, talk to the 1099 people and enjoy the great outdoors in a lovely garden! Rumor has it there may be investors there as well. $15 in advance; $20 at the door. To RSVP: http://sosbbq20121.eventbrite.com/

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!

Next, an exclusive SOS Member Offer: Complimentary Admission to NY XPO for Business. Because of our long standing support of the NY XPO for Business we are thrilled to offer YOU COMPLIMENTARY ADMISSION ($15 Value). This offer is not available anywhere else. FREE 1-DAY XPO PASS INCLUDES UNLIMITED NETWORKING & 2 SEMINARS
Date: May 2 – 3 2012
Location: Javits Center Hall 1A – 655 West, 34th Street, New York, NY 10001
For more information and to register: http://bit.ly/PQPDb
Discount code: COMP1

It’s accelerator season – deadlines are upon us or have just passed – and with the sudden proliferation of them, we’ve seen many discussions on many lists about the upside/downside of accelerators. Should we surrender all that equity, basically for a stipend? Is this the right accelerator? Will we get what we want/need or funded at the end of the day, or the three months? Can we do better on our own? We don’t have the answers: just the questions you’re asking. Let’s face it: not everyone gets into the so-called A list accelerators. Should you settle for your second choice?
Some food for thought:
1.     Accelerators get hundreds of submissions, and even if this one was your second choice, you’ve still bested hundreds of other applicants. Think about that.
2.     Did you get along with the accelerator partners during the interview? You’ll be spending the next three months of your life with them and longer, considering that they’re literally now your business partners. Don’t just think about getting in: consider whether or not this will be a fit.
3.     Ask questions. This is a two-way street and you have questions, too. Don’t worry about pleasing them: think about your possible future with them. Long term. Will these guys have your back?
4.     You want to look at their success record, too, on many levels: Ask how many of their graduates have gone on to get funded/acquired. Ask about the mentors: Do they come in and speak to the ‘class,’ and meet one-on-one as well? How accessible are they?
5.     Make sure to attend their pre-deadline happy/hospitality hours. Talk to people who’ve been through the program and ask direct questions.
6.     DO YOUR HOMEWORK before applying and before going to the interview. Read the accelerator’s blogs – and blogs from past classes/companies who’ve been through the program. Go buy them coffee – or a 5 hour energy drink.
The upside:
1.     Access to mentors who work in your field, who can give you guidance and more importantly – make introductions to key people you need to talk to
2.     Investors come to you – not only on Demo Day, but they tend to drop in to see what you’re doing – and how you’re progressing. Not all of them wait until Demo Day to invest
3.     Demo Day – The press is there and they will write about you. Your next investor/affiliate/company looking for an acquisition may be reading, or be there at Demo Day
4.     You know how you’re always networking, with some of that time spent looking for investors? Come D-Day, they’re all there. In one room. With nothing else on their plate except talk to you, and you know the deal: when they come to you…
5.     You’ve been chosen to participate in the accelerator program. Newsflash: you’ve been vetted. Game on and it’s only yours to lose. Tweeted at ER Accelerator Demo Day last week: the value of an accelerator is on display today at @ERAccelerator demo 10 companies all with users, 60% with rev @muratny @WIMAccelerator
6.     Demo Day – you’re part of the last class of graduates, but you come to Demo Day as well, and speak to investors who were interested but not quite ready to invest in you before. Tell them about your progress. Or talk to an investor who might not have been there during your D-day.

Polls have been taken to find out why people apply to accelerators and it’s certainly not about the money. Accelerators are basically about three things: access, interest and time. Access to mentors and investors; interest from the press, companies who may see you as a potential acquisition target, and investors. You’ll find plenty from the first two. Time? Not so much. The three months go by fast, so make sure to use the time wisely. Onward and forward.


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/

NEW  DEMO NYC, deadline May 2nd. Application is here and that’s all we know, except that DEMO is always a good one: http://bit.ly/Jv3S4i

IBM SmartCamp Kick Start New York, deadline May 4th. SmartCamp is an exclusive global program bringing together entrepreneurs, investors and experienced mentors who want to build a Smarter Planet. SmartCamp provides access to world-class advisors plus a direct route to seed and venture capital. Selected companies work with our global mentor network consisting of world-class entrepreneurs, investors and industry experts. 0 equity taken. For more information and to apply: http://bit.ly/IbI6n9

Hacker School: Summer 2012 Applications Open, deadline May 7th: http://bit.ly/Inm9fo. It will run from June 4 to August 25. The batch will be hosted at Etsy, which is also sponsoring $50,000 worth of scholarships for female programmers (Hacker School remains free for all students; the scholarship money is for living expenses). We’re trying to make this batch at least 50% women. For more information: http://bit.ly/Ilm8fm

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.

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:

After Two Startup Accelerators, What I Wish Someone Had Told Me. Yep, that’s like repeating third grade twice, but at least now they’re “experts” at utilizing startup accelerators, if nothing else: bit.ly/Jr7Ecq

ER Accelerator’s second round of startups graduate in NYC. And note: all have customers; some have revenue; some already have money committed: http://bit.ly/Ibp6pK

More ER Accelerator: Dibsie, Transforming Social Networking into a Shopping Catalog. And more press: http://bit.ly/Igg6wk

Be Concise! – The Top Questions Asked At A Y Combinator Interview. You have 15 seconds to respond to each question, and get given pro-tips like, “DO NOT BEAT AROUND THE BUSH” and “Answer like you would in a conversation, not a presentation:” http://tcrn.ch/K8R84N

What will you do to change the world? Two pieces about the lack of real vision/innovation in tech these days: From Chris Dixon, “Meaningful” Startups. STOP CHASING TRENDS! “We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters”. Alexis Madrigal writes in The Atlantic that “we need a fresh paradigm for startups”, and dismisses the significance of recent “hot” startups. Still, what may seem like a toy can literally change the world, eh, twitter? http://bit.ly/HUnKQD

When Will This Low-Innovation Internet Era End? Electricity is still electricity. Only the light bulbs have been changed to soak the electorate: http://bit.ly/Iw832a

Speaking of Congressional invasiveness in our lives: Sneak attack: surprise amendment makes CISPA worse.  Congress just deleted the Fourth Amendment. It’s worse than you think and we’ve come to the conclusion that GOOG et al are exploring space – because our legislators are already living in some other world:  http://bit.ly/KeZFOu

CISPA Is The New SOPA: Help Kill It. It still has to go through the Senate. Contact your congressmen here: http://bit.ly/HvOXaS

Let’s End Networking, Please! Surprised that this is included, given that we are a compulsive networker? That said, some good points made – and that said, we’ve personally met some of our closest friends through networking: http://tnw.co/JsKoxs

That’s it from us this week, and hope you had an opportunity to check out the new and improved SOS website (https://startuponestop.com/).Thank you for your feedback and yes, we will be adding a directory. Great suggestion!  Hope to see you at the bbq and bonniefoods will have a booth at the NY XPO (#605) so stop by!   And now, as always, help is on the way…

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