Good morning, All,
Is it OK for multimillionaires like Zach Braff to panhandle for money on Kickstarter? “Crowdfunding has helped countless creative projects get off the ground, but if we continue to allow it to be hijacked by the rich and famous there will be no chance left for the little guy,” the piece begins. Remember: donors get nothing; if the film is successful, the producers get yet another opportunity to show up at a restaurant and take that table that you’d been waiting an hour for. Braff already had a financing deal in place. But he felt it was more important to take the $25 from that kid in Brooklyn. He’s disrupting the Hollywood system. We understand that. He’s also disrupting a system that might otherwise produce the next Stanley Kubrick – someone whose vision is so far afield, it’s way beyond the scope of the traditional Hollywood financing clique. How long will it take before a Shawn Fanning or an Evan Williams decide to launch their next startup through kickstarter? Would that not diminish the chances of an unknown with a possible groundbreaking technology?
Speaking of disrupting systems, we attended TechCrunch Disrupt this past week, and saw a number of companies exhibiting who had gotten their start through kickstarter programs. Meanwhile, investors on the panels seven floors north of them were complaining that there were no more big ideas. We did note that, after the investors finished their panels, they disappeared. We didn’t see them mingling among the startups. Hard to notice something that starts as a speck on the landscape, from an ivory tower. They’re looking for the next Jack Dorsey or Evan Williams, meaning, they’re waiting to see what Jack Dorsey or Evan Williams come up with next and honestly, how many groundbreaking ideas can one person or two people come up with, after all? Cuil and Color had A teams. Yet Cuil lost millions – not Cuil, and Color disappeared before ever really launching, leaving many an investor (they raised $41m) in the red on that deal. Which, in all fairness, is a Color, too.
Did TechCrunch Disrupt, disrupt? On a scale of 1-10, no. But they usually seem to miss the forest through the trees. They talked about Amazon – a big idea – which investors initially dismissed. It took six years for the company to hit profitability and now it’s an – Amazon. The next Amazon is out there, and the kernel of it was present, seven floors below the investors. It’s 3-D printing. How many parts in your refrigerator are made of plastic? Pipes and tubing? Shoes? It’s just beginning and shows the promise of being more disruptive than even Amazon, which disrupted retail bigtime. What do you think is going to disrupt online retail? The future is already being downloaded. Onward and forward.
The list of Startup Weekend Upcoming Events
Digital Catalyst Fund Summer Boot Camp, starts in June; companies are accepted on a rolling basis. 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 – which can be accessed by living and working with our teams in Bucharest, Romania. For the informational webinar happening this week, go here. https://angel.co/digital-catalyst-fund
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 email@example.com for an application.
Gates Foundation offers $100k for ‘next-gen condom,’ deadline May 7th. You can’t make these things up.
Hack Summer Stage App Challenge (a program of City Parks Foundation), 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. is looking for the app to engage its 280,000+ attendees at the annual summer-long festival. OK, you don’t win cash, but you do get VIP seating at the event, and more!
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!
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.
L’ORÉAL NEXT GENERATION AWARDS, deadline May 10th. The three winners will be able to execute pilots across L’Oreal brands executed by the end of 2014. The winners will have the opportunity to meet with Venture Capital firms, L’Oréal executives, partners, and the press. L’Oréal will provide airfare and accommodations to attend the event. Winners will also be provided press opportunities with major consumer and trade publications. Winners will be recognized on the , on the L’Oréal Women in Digital website and invited on an ongoing basis to attend all L’Oréal Women in Digital meet-ups in local markets and internally to provide mentorship.
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.
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.
NEW 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.
NEW 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.
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For you edification this week:
“Don’t worry about people stealing an idea. If it’s original, you will have to ram it down their throats.” -Howard Aiken
LinkedIn Crushes Estimates But The Stock Falls Off A Cliff On Weak Guidance. The professional social network derived the lion’s share of its sales from talent solutions, which was also the fastest growing channel, up 80% to $184.3 million. Yet the stock lost 10% of its value and what were we saying, just last week? Core competancy..
Brain, Interrupted. Can you really multitask effectively?
The Damaging Psychology of Down Rounds. A down round sends a signal that something is wrong with your company. Something didn’t go to plan. And no amount of explanations, “we raised in a frothy market. We know that. You’re getting a great deal when we’ve made huge progress.” or whatever simply won’t erase the “something is wrong” psychology.
European startups: Here’s how to (not) raise capital in the US. Going to San Francisco to network, meet interesting people, get advice on your company is a great learning opportunity and the cost is well worth it. But don’t expect to go back with a check.
Entrepreneurs: Who are they? Where do they come from and what are they up against? Who do you think is more likely to start a business? Is it the 20-something with nothing to lose or the 40-year-old settled down with kids? Interesting infographic.
No, I Don’t Want a Ticket for the Women’s Luncheon. The most important part of who you are in your career is not your gender, so stop categorizing yourself as “women in technology.” That label does nothing for your salary, it does nothing for your job title, and it does nothing to prove that you are an equal. Only your work and your passion can do that.
Twelve Memorable Quotes from TechCrunch Disrupt 2013. Full disclosure: I wrote this, but it pretty much sums up Disrupt…
How to Choose the Right Business Model for Your Start-up. There are only four model. Pick one. But make sure to pick one.
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!
Blueprint Health’s summer program starts on July 8 is accepting applications for healthcare start-ups. Just for the record – the class that just graduated already raised $4 million from investors. Blueprint Health is a healthcare focused accelerator program based in NYC that helps early stage healthcare companies get started by providing access to a community of mentors, customers, and capital. All three classes included, companies have raised over $10 million in seed capital from some of the most well-known and respected healthcare VCs and angels. Companies and floating founders can apply by visiting www.blueprinthealth.org. Go for it!
Mother’s Day is Sunday and we have a BonnieFoods Truffle Special – 25% more for free. They’re low calorie, low fat, sugar and dairy free – and all natural. Place your order at bonniefoods, and in special instructions, make sure to tell us that you’re an SOS member. Due to time considerations, tri-state area only. And thank you!
For your amusement this weel: SNL’s take on Google Glass. That’s it from us for now, and don’t forget that Sunday is Mother’s Day1Call, visit, send flowers – or bonnie foods truffles! And now, as always, help is on the way…