Let’s face it, not all ideas out there are worth of praise. I have been to many startup networking events where several people told me about very similar startup ideas that were basically copy-cats of other already proven models. But the best conversations are typically around those weird, different, maybe even bold ideas that make you think you don’t quite get it and wonder if it will ever make money.
Case in point is Vessyl, which Stephen Colbert hilariously mocks in his show. The “smart” drinking cup might have some utility, but so far has only gotten laughs.
Worth checking out.
Or click the image below.
LAUNCH Festival, an event where startup founders can pitch their ideas to investors, network with other startup enthusiasts and rub elbows with those who “made it” will be FREE in 2014.
The event was created by Jason Calacanis, who explained in an email why he is giving away tickets:
When I started in the industry in my 20s, I didn’t have a pot to piss in and was a ‘little rough around the edges’ – I was so lucky to have folks like Esther Dyson, Kara Swisher, John Battelle, Tim O’Reilly and (most of all) John Brockman include me in their events.
These events led to me rubbing elbows with Evan Williams, Yossi Vardi, Larry Page, Jeff Bezos, Ted Leonsis, Steve Case, Mark Cuban and countless other luminaries. Some of them became good friends and/or critical business contacts.
Now I’m trying to pay it forward for the 40+ startups that will launch onstage, the 150 that will be at demo tables, and the thousands of founders and technologists who maybe don’t have the budget yet to come to a world-class conference.
LAUNCH Festival is my legacy and I want as many folks to experience it as possible.
We had 6,000 people sign up last year and this year we hope to have 8,000 (stretch goal FTW!). This makes us the largest startup conference in the world – by far.
Grab your tickets here: http://launch.ticketleap.com/launch-festival-builder/dates
Thank you Jason!
If you’re in San Francisco and wished you could join an incubator but for any reason you didn’t, now there’s another option. Hackers & Founders “The Co-Op” is a different type of incubator, focusing more on business advice than in giving you money, is an interesting proposition.
How The Co-Op Works:
- Founders in The Co-op get together for weekly dinners where they listen to speakers and mentors and become a community.
- Founders are encouraged to become advisers in each other’s companies by trading small (0.25% to 0.5%) equity stakes.
- After working together on things like learning how to pitch and present, as well as the ropes of funding, founders are connected to the investment community (office hours are setup with a prominent angel in the community, personal introductions are made and AngelList).
- Towards the end of the program short video pitches are made and investors can view them online.
- Finally, there’s a party where investors meet founders in person.
For a full description and the history behind this new incubator-style program, check out the full article on Hackers & Founders site.
A recent post at the Sprouter Blog talks about what you should include in your press kit. Is a great list of items that you can use for your own startup. Why is a press kit important? It is basically your “pitch deck for the press”, it tells journalists and bloggers what your company is all about and gives them the basic facts they can use to then do a write up.
For the full list, read the post “How to Build an Effective Startup Press Kit“.
I would add to the list the following items:
- Product screenshots (with brief description of what you are seeing)
- Customer testimonial in video format (2 mins of someone saying how good you are is better than a 5 page case study)
Personalization, as they say in the post, is very important as well.
So what are you waiting for? Get started on your startup press kit today!
Eric Ries, the creator of the “Lean Startup” methodology for launching and running your startup has now made available a totally free online course teaching you the basics of his methodology, called “How to Build a Better Startup“.
Beautifully created on the SocratED platform, the course is a combination of short videos and text. Definitely worth checking out, and the link has just gone to my ‘favorite links’ on the home page of this blog.