Good morning, All,
When you’re starting a company, everyone tells you what to do – put together a deck, talk to customers, talk to investors. We’ve seen the lists ad nauseam, but what about a list of what not to do?
1. Produce a product or technology that no one wants. It’s called ‘buy-in’ because the idea is to get people to buy.
2. Not have a revenue model from Day One. You might not implement it immediate – but it better be there.
3. Spend all of your time fundraising and not enough time on developing your product
4. Build a pitch instead of a business
5. Listen to investors, chapter and verse. We all go to pitch panels and get investor feedback. Question: how many times have you attended one such event, heard an investor sing the praises of the company – and witness him/her write a check, or heard that they wrote a check not long afterwards? Thought so.
6. Not listen to investors. Some do know what they’re talking about. We know both of them.
7. Think that sales and marketing are not as important as product development. Every chair needs at least three legs to support it.
8. Lack the determination and resolve to realize your dreams.
9. Start a company for the wrong reasons – your product is cool, but is it compelling? And are you the one to do it? Know your strengths and limitations.
10. Give up too easily: of course it’s hard to do – if it were easy, everyone would do it
11. Not have a clear message or product. We go to a lot of pitching events. Half the time, we’re not sure what the company is about – and neither are the investors. Do one thing and do it well. And be able to describe it.
12. Have a grabber. Example: BMW – the Ultimate Driving Machine. FedEx: When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight. Clear. Simple. Effective. Multibillion dollar company – and they got there almost overnight. Be memorable.
Another mistake is using the word ‘disruption.’ We know that it’s the word du jour but it’s used far too frequently, and even more frequently misused. Disruption is an ethos; it changes things; it doesn’t accept the status quo and sometimes, it’s the middle finger. True disruptors are few and far between and change the very fabric of our lives, if not our vocabulary. We google; we tweet, we friend. And if there’s absolutely, positively still some confusion about what true disruption is, when was the last time you sent a package and say that you were going to FedEx it? Onward and forward.
So, you need a product built and you don’t have a technical cofounder. What’s an entrepreneur to do? You can contact 1st MVP and have their team build it for you (mention SOS for a 25% discount), or build your own 1st Minimum Viable Product at the mini-hackathon this weekend, May, May 25th. Discount Code: SOS20 We will also be there participating as part of the feedback panel to help make sure your finished product fulfills the three v’s: Visible,Viable, Valuable. Hope to see you there!
The list of Startup Weekend Upcoming Events
NEW AngelHack Tel Aviv – Spring 2013 Hackathon, $59 May 24th – Saturday, 4 pm, Electra building , yigal alon 98, 26th floor, Tel Aviv
Jump start your startup ideas at AngelHack’s global hackathon competition, where you can win $100,000’s in prizes, hack your way into our accelerator program, get flown out to Silicon Valley, pitch the Valley’s top investors, and ALL that for just winning the hackathon! Boo-Ya!
Digital Catalyst Fund Summer Boot Camp, starts in June; companies are accepted on a rolling basis. No technical cofounder required and you’ll spend the summer in Bucharest – the Paris of Eastern Europe! Apply here. Applications are now being accepted for Digital Catalyst Fund’s 10-week Summer Boot Camp. This one-of-its-kind accelerator is seeking entrepreneurs with early stage ideas that can impact the new media/digital marketing space. Accepted entrepreneurs will be provided with up to $20,000 cash and cash equivalent services, as well as $30,000 in technical development resources. You’ll be living (in a converted mansion; chef included) and working with our technical teams in Bucharest, Romania. We’ll also provide mentors and a Demo Day, back here in NYC. For the informational webinar happening this week, go here. https://angel.co/digital-catalyst-fund Also for more information, there is a story on them in AlleyWatch.
New York Venture Summit: Apply to present/early bird registration ends May 22. 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.
NEW Code For America Accelerator, deadline May 31st. The four month program focuses on civic startups, providing them the network and training needed to grow their businesses. Every month, the startup teams are brought together in CfA’s San Francisco offices for an intensive week-long curriculum led by industry experts, coupled with networking events with investors. Throughout the program, the startups have access to hands-on mentorship, administrative support, and office space. Companies also receive the opportunity to meet government officials through our network and our annual CfA Summit, which draws civic technology leaders from around the country. $25k in cash, office space, mentors, demo day – you the know the drill.
LaunchHouse Accelerator Accepting Applications, Cleveland, Ohio, and all are welcome to apply. Deadline unknown. Program starts in August. For more information, see below under ‘I Can Help.’ To apply, go here. Also, just for your information, they do encourage people from anywwhere to apply – and even provide housing!
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.
Blueprint Health Accelerator, deadline June 8th. They just had their demo day, and getting ready for the next session. The foundation of the program is a community of over 150 healthcare entrepreneurs, investors and industry executives that are committed to helping you build and grow your business. It’s the largest network of mentors with healthcare expertise of any accelerator, which can provide you with warm introductions and the strategic and tactile advice you need. Plus $20,000 in cash, over $50,000 in perks, office space at our SoHo office, and a community that is dedicated to seeing you succeed.
NEW CROWDFUNDxNYC Challenge, deadline June 15th. Grand prize is $25,000.
Grand Prize Winner will be selected from the 1st place winners in the three categories. Additional prizes/in-kind services available for all winners.
SMALL BUSINESS: independently owned and operated for-profit company meeting the size requirements of the U.S. Small Business Association.
SOCIAL ENTERPRISE: for-profit, social mission driven organizations which apply market-based strategies to achieve a social purpose. See this definition of Social Enterprise on Crowdfunder.
TECHNOLOGY STARTUP: a company designed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model with high growth potential, generally in a phase of development and research for markets.
Matchpoint | East, June 30th. This is an exclusive opportunity for selected health technology entrepreneurs and large stakeholders to meet in designated 15-20 minute meetings. Meetings are arranged based on selected criteria by industry leaders and investors, leading to high-yield discussions with innovative companies! During these meetings, innovators have the opportunity to demo their innovations with potential partners and investors. Hundreds of applications are reviewed by our team and host companies to select companies to participate in exclusive round table discussions and demos. Traditionally, over 500+ applications are reviewed to identify 10-15 innovative companies per host sponsor. Apply here.
Take the H.E.L.M., deadline July 15th. To encourage the continued growth of Lower Manhattan, Take the HELM will award four $250,000 cash grants and four $50,000 cash grants to companies seeking to open an office or expand in Lower Manhattan.
Global Apps To Empower, deadline July 26th. We invite you to think out of the box and create apps that inform, educate and empower women everywhere. Compete for $10,000 in prizes. Have your app pre-loaded onto thousands of devices for global distribution on the Ubislate series of tablet and at the BluWorld portal. Receive up to 20 tablets for user testing and app development. Receive global recognition from partners and sponsors including publication of your app deployment story.
NEW MTA AppQuest, deadline August 20th. Change the way 8.5 million people commute every day — create the transit app of the future. New/existing mobile apps running on any platform accepted. For more information and to apply, go here.
For you edification this week:
We all know that tumblr was just acquired by Yahoo! For $1.1 billion. Here’s Marissa Mayer’s post. On tumblr, of course. More next week and for the record – this is the first billion dollar exit for a web 2.0 company that was NYC born and bred…
@cloudspark point, pivot, peak, pare, lean, lean in, leap, layer, look, fuel, feel, forget, jump, make, multiply, add >> biz books need new verbs
@mfauscette Sure, think outside the box, but when there is work to be done, stay inside yours & get your job done
The One Word That Shouldn’t Exist in an Entrepreneur’s Vocabulary. It’s ‘No.’ We’ve said it before. This time, it’s coming from Mark Suster.
How to Find the Right Venture Capitalist for Your Startup. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. Good to go in with both eyes open. And your questions prepared in advance.
Getting the Most Out of Your Investor Meetings. Wim Vernaeve gives tips on how to get the most out of investor meetings, what to focus on during your presentation, equity allocation, and more.
Etsy accused me of not assembling my synths by hand, demanded photos, and shutdown my shop Etsy accused this guy of not assembling his own handcrafts – then asked him for step-by-step documentation of his process. Huh???
How to Launch a Startup on $10/week. Move your startup to Morocco!
In case you’ve been busy and missed it: Everything announced at the Google I/O 2013 keynote in one handy list.
8 Online Resources to Find Your Next Investor. Some you know, some maybe not so much.
Is Crowdfunding to Be Crowdless? The JOBS Act has the potential to help entrepreneurs finance their small and emerging growth businesses through crowdfunding, but only if we get the costs right. In the year since the measure was signed into law, online technology platforms have continued to successfully disrupt the costs of fundraising, necessitating a reevaluation by the Securities and Exchange Commission of some components of the law before completing the regulations. From SOS member AnnMarie McIlwain, CEO of CareerFuel.net.
Bloomberg’s New Conflict Of Interest? He’s supposedly not running Bloomberg News, since he’s Mayor of NYC. There’s the leaky Bloomberg terminals issue. Has this guy ever met a conflict of interest that he didn’t like? (or actually respected?)
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!
Father’s Day is coming and we’re giving you some lead time this time. Yes, we do have our healthy, low calories, low fat and vegan bonniefoods.com truffles – bonus 25% more when you mention SOS when ordering and thank you! Full selection is here, and of course, you’re welcome to order cookies, too.
There’s an Angel Hack Pre-Hackathon NYC Workshop, May 22nd (drinks included) to allow people to get a head start on the competition. This is the ideal place to meet teammates, learn tools, and get prepared for the big weekend ahead.
Join AngelHack and Animoto for a fun night of hacking. The fiesta goes from 7-9pm. Come armed with questions for our partners, we’ll come armed with beers and pizza. Looking for a Co-founder? You’re in luck! Check out CoFoundersLab and build your dream team before you hack. And don’t forget to register for Angel Hack with your 50% SOS discount code: hack50.
For your amusement this week: The Hilarious Things Passengers Say On Virgin Airlines. And just for fun and my, how the web has grown up! That’s it from us this week. Have a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day Weekend. And now, as always, help is on the way…