Good morning, All,

Here’s the link to RSVP to our event this evening, and hope to see you there. It starts at 6 pm, open bar for the first hour, and we will be packing truffles.

Last week Elon Musk unveiled his plans for the Hyperloop, a transport that can potentially carry passengers from LA to SF in 30 minutes, traveling at just under the speed of sound. It’s expected to cost $6 billion – a pittance next to the $70 billion the state is paying to build a “high speed” rail system along the coastal corridor that will make the trip in three hours and isn’t expected to be finished until 2029. For the record, China’s Shangai Maglev Train could make that trip in just under an hour and 20 minutes. Musk says that the Hyperlink can be up and running by 2020. Of course, he’s a bit busy running Tesla Motors and Space X, so he does need someone to run the project.

“How could it be that the home of Silicon Valley and JPL – doing incredible things like indexing all the world’s knowledge and putting rovers on Mars – would build a bullet train that is both one of the most expensive per mile and one of the slowest in the world?” Musk blogged.

Of course, if you’re looking for an answer, as always, follow the money. Whether or not Musk’s Hyperloop comes to pass, and we personally hope it does, we salute vision and anyone who will put their money where their mouth is to pursue a dream (he is personally investing). If there’s one thing we can take away from all of this is that the next time you’re plan on launching yet another product in a space where too many entrepreneurs are already focused, think again and think bigger.

No, bigger.

People are generally limited by two things: fear and their own imaginations, or lack thereof. Say what you will about California, but it is very much a land of visionaries, although it must be said that none of them currently occupy a seat in the state legislature. Yes, we realize that Musk is South African-born. German-born Peter Thiel noted a while back, criticizing tech at large, “We wanted flying cars. Instead we got 140 characters.” Elon Musk just might be the one character to pull this off: as always, the future belongs to those who can see it coming.  Onward and forward.


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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. Over $50k in prizes. Grand prize $20,000 For more information and to apply, go here.

Flights. Camera. Action3. Win 30 Round-Trip Tickets on American Airlines, deadline August 21st. To enter for your chance to win, upload a short video telling us about a trip that changed the course of your business. And just like that, you could be one of three Grand Prize winners who will each win 30 round-trip tickets and exposure to thousands of potential customers.

Define the second screen experience — win $50,000 for the best TV companion apps. Deadline: August 22nd. Use the Viggle API to create responsive apps that enhance the TV-watching experience. Apps must be built with HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript and integrate with Viggle’s native iOS and Android apps. Need an idea for an app? Check out the 100+ ideas that have already been proposed by the public. You can build anything from a static content experience to a fully immersive game. Use your imagination!

StartmeupHK Venture Programme, deadline August 25th. InvestHK is aiming to support the growth of high impact ventures on a global scale, by facilitating their access to financial, intellectual and social capital. It also seeks to propel the development of Hong Kong as an entrepreneurship and innovation hub. Twelve successful finalist entrepreneurs from around the world will be invited to attend a four-day programme in Hong Kong from 4-7 December 2013 to:
Pitch to potential investors and business partners
Receive mentorship from business leaders
Network with investment and business communities
Attend leading design, innovation and technology trade shows

Heads up, Israel-based Startups on the list: Israel to NYC, deadline August 25th. The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and the US Israel Business Council (USI) are partnering to host Israel’s leading early stage tech startups on October 7-9 in New York City. The exclusive three-day “Israel to NYC” program will enable selected Israeli startups to meet investors and business partners and learn how to launch their US expansion in NYC.

StartmeupHK Venture Programme, deadline August 26th. InvestHK is aiming to support the growth of high impact ventures on a global scale, by facilitating their access to financial, intellectual and social capital. It also seeks to propel the development of Hong Kong as an entrepreneurship and innovation hub, contributing to the development of a more prosperous economy and society.
12 successful finalist entrepreneurs from around the world will be invited to attend a four-day program in Hong Kong from December 4-7 to pitch to potential investors and business partners, be mentored by business leaders, and attend leading design, innovation and technology trade shows.

The Great Tech Awards, deadline September 5th.  Five startups will be flown to London on Virgin October 14-19 and meet with UK investors and a senior representative at #10 Downing Street and attended the Wired UK conference. Looking to expand into the UK market? Huzzah!

The Booksmash Challenge, deadline September 6th. HarperCollins is issuing a call to developers to create excellent, functioning software and proof of concept apps utilizing the HarperCollins OpenBook API, and in doing so turn opportunities into reality. Use imagination and technology to build software that goes beyond the traditional ways we read and discover books. Grand prize: $15,000

NEW  New England Venture Summit, early deadline to pitch your company, September 12th. The 8th annual New England 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, the New England Venture Summit is one event you won’t want to miss. Early bird rate to attend is now available. Save 50%.

Clinical Trial Visualization Redesign, deadline October 2nd. Eli Lilly, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, invites designers and developers to re-imagine clinical trial information in a patient-centric way. As part of Lilly’s Clinical Open Innovation initiative, which calls on open innovation to help transform clinical research and development, challenge participants are now being asked to focus on the ideas and possibilities for envisioning clinical trial protocols from a patient’s point of view. Clinical trial information can often be dense and difficult to digest from a patient’s perspective. Patients may have questions surrounding the risks and benefits of their participation in the trial, logistics, the role of their personal doctor, and much more.  The goal for this challenge is to redesign that information in a way that highlights key aspects in a visually appealing and user-friendly way. $75,000 in prizes in all. Grand Prize: $35k.

The New York Expo and Conference is back – the real one! Free Early Bird registration now available.
The largest business show on the East Coast is now open for FREE early bird registration. 40+ Seminars. 250+ Exhibitors. Unlimited networking. And yes, that is Brian Solis on the home page. He’ll be keynoting and that’s always worth the price of admission. Register here.
Date: October 17th
Venue: Javits Center, NYC

For you edification this week:

Speaking of flying cars…New Zealand Approves Jetpacks, Proves Future Is Here After All. The government approved testing (limited to an elevation of 20 feet over land and 25 over water). Peter Thiel must be smiling this week.

Speaking of California: Ten Things I Hate About You: SF Edition. When his company moved to SF to join the Y-Combinator program, the author was less than taken with the city. You might also want to catch the comments posted on BI which, in all fairness, is a NY based publication.

57 startup lessons. AKA Lessons Learned the Hard Way.

Entrepreneurs Court New Super-Angel Investors. It is no secret that the world of venture capital, or VCs, was turned upside down by the recent Recession and many other changes in the marketplace. There’s now emerging a new wave of investors, popularly known as “super-Angels,” micro-VCs or “super-seed” investors. Every early-stage startup should explore this new funding alternative.

71 Compelling & Surprising PowerPoint Tips from the Pros. Think you know Powerpoint? Think again, and not a bad idea to take a few pointers from the pros.

What a way to tell FB that you found a vulnerability. Hijack Zuckerberg’s timeline to file your bug report. This hacker did just that. We do believe it got FB’s attention…

These Silicon Valley Titans Think You Probably Shouldn’t Start a Company. According to Dustin Moskovitz, co-founder of Facebook and Asana, the biggest problem in Silicon Valley culture is the fantasy that entrepreneurship is something you aspire to, in and of itself. We call those ‘wantrepreneurs’ on this coast…

Speaking of titans, How To Build A Company That Warren Buffett Would Invest In. For direction on how to create undeniable value for the people who will pay you for it, some of Buffett’s unwavering tenets can be employed to help entrepreneurs identify how to create the value that resonates with end users and investors alike.

How to Get Motivated When the Going Gets Tough. A list like this always comes in handy.

From SOS member and thesquarefoot cofound Jonathan Wasserstrum: An interactive Infographic Showing Manhattan Co-Working Spaces. Says Jonathan: “One of the main trends in real estate–especially–as it touches startups has been the proliferation of coworking spaces.  NYC is on the forefront of this trend and by last count there are more than 30 of them spread throughout the city.  We created an infographic showing all of the locations.” Hope this helps!

For your amusement this week: The Daily Show mocks Chris Matthews’ Presidential Predictions. Yes, it begins…

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!

Again, our networking event is tonight, Tuesday, August 20thSOS End of Summer Networking and Happy Hour. Open bar for the first hour. Worth the price of admission and you know we’ll be there to make introductions for you, so even if you’re shy, we’ve got you covered.

That’s it from us this week, and yes, we are also planning a long-overdue find-a-cofounder event, too. It’ll be in mid-September. And now, as always, help is on the way…

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