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Google Opening San Francisco Startup Incubator To Bridge The Gap Between Silicon Valley And Startups Worldwide

Google Opening San Francisco Startup Incubator To Bridge The Gap Between Silicon Valley And Startups Worldwide | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Google announced that it wants to assist global startups into growing harmoniously, and that is why the company will deploy a new office building in San Francisco. The facility will bridge the gap between Silicon Valley names and young IT businesses.

Read more: click image or title.

 

FREE Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km

The company revealed that it will open up the 14,000-square-foot space, which will be used to tighten cooperation with emerging companies, hosting events, as well as local and global developers.

According to Google's presentation of the initiative, the space should "bridge the gap between Silicon Valley and startups from [global] emerging markets." The tech company wants to aid the organizations in having a better grasp on their local and global challenges, and to create a space fitted for sharing resources.

- See more at: http://www.techtimes.com/articles/174304/20160819/google-opening-san-francisco-startup-incubator-to-bridge-the-gap-between-silicon-valley-and-startups-worldwide.htm#sthash.KRoyt4Q3.dpuf

The company revealed that it will open up the 14,000-square-foot space, which will be used to tighten cooperation with emerging companies, hosting events, as well as local and global developers.

According to Google's presentation of the initiative, the space should "bridge the gap between Silicon Valley and startups from [global] emerging markets." The tech company wants to aid the organizations in having a better grasp on their local and global challenges, and to create a space fitted for sharing resources.

- See more at: http://www.techtimes.com/articles/174304/20160819/google-opening-san-francisco-startup-incubator-to-bridge-the-gap-between-silicon-valley-and-startups-worldwide.htm#sthash.KRoyt4Q3.dpuf
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

#Google wants to keep their #talent nearby. They have plenty of money to do that.

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Google launches a 6-month accelerator to help startups build mobile products

Google launches a 6-month accelerator to help startups build mobile products | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Google has joined the ranks of Y Combinator, 500 Startups, and Techstars in launching an accelerator, something that you wouldn’t necessarily expect from the technology giant. The program is built on the company’s Launchpad initiative and is a long-term engagement with select startups from around the world to give them the best resources, access to great mentors, and help accelerating their product. Read more: click image or title.



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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Another #accelerator, this time from #Google.

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Here's How Startups Actually Start Up

Here's How Startups Actually Start Up | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Explained in plain English

There’s a sucker born every day — or so they say. But the way startup fever has been spreading across the land, it almost feels more like there’s a Zuckerberg being born every day. And that feeling is real. According to data from the Kauffman Foundation, 2015 has marked the first year startup activity has been on the rise since the Great Recession. In fact, it’s soaring — the numbers show we’re living through the biggest upswing in new companies, products, business deals, and jobs in the past twenty years.

That makes it sound like now is the perfect time to bring your million dollar idea to market — but how is that even done? Read more: click on image or title.



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

A great down-to-earth outline of what it takes to #startup your own #venture.

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Richard Platt's curator insight, August 29, 2015 1:23 PM

According to data from the Kauffman Foundation, 2015 has marked the first year startup activity has been on the rise since the Great Recession. In fact, it’s soaring — the numbers show we’re living through the biggest upswing in new companies, products, business deals, and jobs in the past twenty years.  That makes it sound like now is the perfect time to bring your million dollar idea to market — but how is that even done?   -  1st off, begin by casting aside any fears that you can’t make a dent in the tech universe with little computer prowess.“We’re seeing more and more people enter the tech space because the definition of tech continues to grow,” says Michele Markey, vice president of Kauffman FastTrac, a global network of advisors helping entrepreneurs launch and grow companies. She’s seen everything from medical devices to mobile apps launch from Main Street as much as Silicon Valley, and that’s a trend many expect to continue.    1. Eying the competition:  It may not sound as exciting as a weekend-long hackathon or a giving a flashy presentation to a bunch of investors, but the reality is that most startups live and die based on early research. Scoping out the competition is vital to understanding where there’s an opportunity to make a move. This can involve everything from dissecting competing products to improve upon their designs or simply mapping out their locations to find a new way to reach underserved customers.   2. Finding and defining customers:  Markey says startup founders also conduct research by hitting the bricks and talking to would-be customers about their ideas. “A smart entrepreneur needs to figure out where their sweet spot in the marketplace is,” she says. “Who is that customer that’s going to use the product, pay the money, and maybe be the repeat user?  

3. Shoring up intellectual property:   Padlocking your product or service with an array of patents, trademarks, or copyrights can sound terribly dull, but the truth is it’s one of the most important steps to ensuring a budding company’s success. Without these protections, a competitor can swoop in and copy an idea without having to pay a dime for all the hard work done until this point.  And finally, startups are also wise to copyright their reproducible works. Whether it’s an paperback, and e-book, or even an image, if it can be duplicated, it should be protected. That may sound like a publishing industry problem rather than a startup issue, but as TechCrunch noted last year, it only took four hours for copyright law to crush one particular startup’s dreams.

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5 Times You Should Rethink Joining an Accelerator

5 Times You Should Rethink Joining an Accelerator | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Before your put the pedal to the metal, make sure your company is ready to quickly scale.

Thinking it may be time to accelerate and take the next step to success?  Before you go to Mach 10, it’s smart to think about accelerating in the right light. It’s not always the golden ticket to "greener" pastures that many are seeking.

I was part of the Imagine K12 accelerator, which funds startups in the education space akin to the prestige of the Y Combinator. While it was an amazing experience, accelerators aren't for everyone. As someone has gone through the program, I’ve been asked about when a venture should accelerate and when it’s better to put the brakes on.

Here are five scenarios that may make you think twice about putting the pedal to the medal:  Read more: click title or image.




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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Accelerators can be the perfect experience for your startup. However, you can be too early, not ready, or not fit. Read this article first to get some idea what it's all about.

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500 Startups Accelerator Announces Its Thirteenth Batch Of Companies

500 Startups Accelerator Announces Its Thirteenth Batch Of Companies | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

With their twelfth batch of companies set to demo to investors and the press next week, 500 Startups is announcing the thirteenth batch of companies to go through its accelerator.

The firm is adding 30 more startups to its 1,000-company portfolio, and there are a few clear trends among the batch: lots of on-demand services, marketplaces, and physical goods like hardware or cleaning products.

As with its recent cohorts, the accelerator is bringing in companies from San Francisco, Silicon Valley, New York, and outside the U.S. for its newest batch. 500 Startups founding partner Dave McClure explained the philosophy behind that diversity at Disrupt NY on Tuesday, noting, “we think they’re under-priced assets that the rest of the world is missing.”

Here’s the complete list of startup joining 500 Startups in the Bay Area this summer:  to see full list click on title or image of this article.




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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

#500Startups is doing a great job facilitating young startups into the

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The Top 20 Start-Up Accelerators in the U.S. - HBR

The Top 20 Start-Up Accelerators in the U.S. - HBR | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/8FNi

A quantitative ranking.

Start-up accelerators have become a prominent feature of the entrepreneurship landscape in recent years. New programs appear nearly every month, and in many ways, accelerator participation has become a rite of passage for budding entrepreneurs. Yet, with the proliferation of programs, the newness of the phenomena, and little to no publicly available data on outcomes for the programs and affiliated start-ups, it is hard for entrepreneurs to determine which programs are most effective and, more importantly, which specific program would be the best fit for their particular start-up’s goals. With this challenge in mind, we set out over the last few years to both foster conversation about the accelerator model, and help entrepreneurs gain visibility into the strengths of individual programs.

To begin, our research enterprise the Seed Accelerator Rankings Project releases an annual ranking of accelerator programs. To construct these rankings, we collect detailed, confidential data directly from accelerator programs. We then calculate quantitative measures to better understand how programs stack up on several important outcomes, and supplement those measures with a broad survey of each accelerator’s graduates. As a non-commercial, academic-based enterprise, we provide a neutral ground for accelerators to share confidential data, which allows us in return to provide the community with rank-based benchmarking and aggregate statistics without revealing confidential information about individual start-ups. Read more here: http://snip.ly/8FNi



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Hi Dave, (Growthink CEO)

You are a wonder. Your Financial Business Modelling put in the Excel format is an excellent way to make entrepreneurs understand the basic concept of finances. Your direct involvement and assistance in my case is very much appreciated.


Khai Levinh
Managing Director
Media Blender

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

#Accelerators are doing a great job everywhere. Take advantage of them.

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38 Things Every Entrepreneur Should Know

38 Things Every Entrepreneur Should Know | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/qU1X


I'm a 38-year old startup entrepreneur, and I've had my share of ups and downs. Here are the things I've learned along the way.

I read a great post a couple of months ago, written by a friend of mine, for females, that really inspired me (even as a male). As we get older, we begin to see things more clearly. Things we once thought were important become secondary. We start to truly understand what life (and business) are all about.

At my age (I'm 38), I'm not claiming to know everything (or an expert in anything for that matter), but I do believe I've learned a few things. As I approach my 40′s, I thought I'd share the lessons (sometimes hard) that I've earned--and learned:

  1. Nobody cares about what you say, only what you do.
  2. Funding is not the end, only the beginning.
  3. Once you take on funding, the stress gets worse, not better.
  4. Don't beg for investment dollars. They're paying to be your partner, not the other way around.
  5. Arrogant and disrespectful investors will never be good partners. Ignore them.
  6. Never, ever ever, pay to pitch.
  7. TechCrunch is overrated. Unless you sell to startups, it doesn't do shit. It's good for the ego though.
  8. Some people only care about people who they think are popular. They'll only acknowledge you when you appear to be more connected then they are. Get rid of these people.


Read more here: http://snip.ly/qU1X



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Growthink really understands how to create compelling business plans and raise capital, and Growthink's Capital Raising Products succeed in infusing this knowledge.
-John Morris
Managing Director, GKM Ventures,
Board of Governors, Tech Coast Angels

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How 'venture builders' are changing the startup model | VentureBeat | Business | by Ali Diallo, Media Investment Tech Ventures

How 'venture builders' are changing the startup model | VentureBeat | Business | by Ali Diallo, Media Investment Tech Ventures | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/qLPH

The venture-building philosophy is a rising movement in the tech and startup industries, both in the U.S. and internationally.

If you haven’t yet heard of venture-builders — also called tech studios, startup factories, or venture production studios — let me introduce them to you: They’re organizations that build companies using their own ideas and resources.

Unlike incubators and accelerators, venture builders don’t take any applications, nor do they run any sort of competitive program that culminates in a Demo Day. Instead, they pull business ideas from within their own network of resources and assign internal teams to develop them (engineers, advisors, business developers, sales managers, etc.).

You’ll want to get used to the idea because we’re going to see a lot more venture-building organizations emerging. Read more here:

http://snip.ly/qLPH


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"With Growthink on your side, you are in a win-win situation. They placed themselves in my situation and analyzed my business as if it were their own business. I could never recommend any firm but Growthink to provide business planning services at this level of quality."
Prem K. Kapani, CEO

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

A new way of creating new business is growing from the startup concept. Taking all of the best aspects together and putting them in very focused setups is a great idea. It would be a great place to work before starting your own startup or small business. So much to learn. Also the perfect place to launch your own idea from, all the resources and support are right there.

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What We Learned From 40 Female YC Founders - Y Combinator

What We Learned From 40 Female YC Founders - Y Combinator | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

By Jessica Livingston

We’re excited to launch Female Founder Stories, a collection of interviews with 40 of Y Combinator’s female alumnae.  We asked them about things like how they got started, their experience at Y Combinator, their experience as female founders, and what they wish they'd known when they were younger.  As you'll see, their answers are fascinating, both individually and in their variety.

This is the biggest collection of interviews with female startup founders I've seen in one place, and as a result we have an unprecedented opportunity to notice patterns in their experiences (and just as interesting, where there aren't patterns).

One of the most consistent patterns is how many founders wished they'd learned to program when they were younger. Some wished they'd even known it was an option, and many others knew it was an option but were either intimidated or felt they’d somehow missed the window. "Don't opt out of computer science because you think you are behind," one founder said. "You probably aren’t."

We got an interesting variety of responses when we asked the women whether being a female was advantageous or disadvantageous in their roles as founders. Some felt they had been harmed but as many felt it was an advantage. Interestingly, many said it got them attention for being unusual, and that they'd used this to their advantage. Others felt that being female did impose some barriers, but didn't let it get them down.  "Given how hard it is to be a founder (male or female)," one said, "gender disadvantages are probably just a rounding error."

One surprise was how varied the founders’ backgrounds were. I know all these women and even I was surprised how varied their paths to Y Combinator were.  If you wanted evidence contradicting the myth that YC only funds one type of founder, you could not do better than read these interviews.

Not surprisingly, most of the women were domain experts solving a problem they themselves had.  That's something that tends to be true of successful founders regardless of gender.

When I started Y Combinator back in 2005, I was one of a tiny minority of women in the venture business, and from the start I've made sure YC had an environment that is supportive of women.  It wasn't even a conscious decision.  To the extent there was one partner in charge of YC's environment, it was me, and as a woman myself I would not have tolerated anything else.  And as YC has grown, so has the number of female partners. Now there are four of us and we are not tokens, or a female minority in a male-dominated firm. At the risk of offending my male colleagues, who will nevertheless understand what I mean, some would claim it's closer to the truth to say that that we run the place. As YC funds more and more startups, Kirsty, Carolynn, Kat, and I are dedicated to maintaining an environment where women feel welcome and can succeed.

The number of startups we've funded with a female founder has grown from a trickle when we first started to about 19% in 2014. In the most recent batch (W15), we asked about gender on the application form for the first time. The percentage of startups we accepted with female founders was identical to the percentage who applied. (And this happened organically; we didn't check the numbers until after.)  Which implies the percentage of female founders we fund will increase in proportion to the percentage of female applicants.

There are two ways I think YC can have the most impact in increasing the number of female founders. First, we need to continue to do what we’ve always done: to help individual female founders’ startups succeed.  Those women will then become role models who inspire other women to make the leap and start startups too.  To serve as role models they need to be visible, so we're also focusing on showcasing YC’s female alumni through interviews like these and events like our Female Founders Conference.

I said at the first Female Founders Conference last March that I thought 2014 would be the tipping point for female founders. I still think I’m right, and our hope is that these interviews will be part of what makes things tip-- that they will both inspire more women to start startups (and please apply to YC!) and also inspire some who already have started to keep going.

Startups are hard. They are not the right thing for everyone. But what makes them the right thing for you is whether you are driven enough, not what gender you are, and that's one of the clearest patterns in these interviews.

Save the date: Y Combinator's second annual Female Founders Conference will be held in San Francisco on February 21, 2015.


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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

"The number of startups we've funded with a female founder has grown from a trickle when we first started to about 19% in 2014. In the most recent batch (W15), we asked about gender on the application form for the first time. The percentage of startups we accepted with female founders was identical to the percentage who applied. (And this happened organically; we didn't check the numbers until after.)  Which implies the percentage of female founders we fund will increase in proportion to the percentage of female applicants."

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Startup Competition

Startup Competition | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Startup CompetitionWin 225,000 DKK to make your idea happen - A Booster Pack is awarded to each of the 25 most promising high growth potential teams. Each package has a product value, 400,000 DKK

Startup Competition participants can win 25,000 DKK in each of six categories with an additional 200,000 DKK for the overall most promising startup. This competition focuses primarily on innovation, strength of business case, team diversity, startup potential and implementation strategy, including growth opportunities.

Participation gives access to advisors, workshops and an extensive network of investors, industry experts and serial entrepreneurs; all participants receive feedback from qualified jury members.

To enter the Venture Cup Startup Competition, submit a business plan of up to 15 pages before the deadline in the spring.

What’s In It For Me?

For the past 14 years, we have worked to help and inspire young entrepreneurs. With more than 2000 teams, 1200 new jobs, and 4 international offices under our belt, Venture Cup is one of Europe’s largest and most trusted non-profits to help make startups happen. Supported by the Danish universities and some of Denmark’s most innovative companies, we provide support and the right mindset to help you succeed.

Some of the key challenges we can help you with:

  • Cash Prizes: 25,000 DKK to the best idea in each category and an additional prize of 200,000 DKK to the overall winner, no strings attached.
  • Network: Meet serial entrepreneurs, investors, researchers and industry experts.
  • ⊕ Venture Cup Booster Pack: – A package including all the help you need as a startup, awarded to each of the 25 most promising high growth potential teams. Each package has a product value 200,000 DKK
  • Feedback: Get early and vital feedback from our jury or apply for a ⊕ mentor.
  • Training: Learn to pitch, prototype, network, and write a business plan.
  • Experts: We facilitate contact to advisors and mentors to help you reach the next level.
1. Can I Apply?

1. For University Students, Staff and Graduates. All teams must have at least one person who is a student, faculty member, or recent graduate (within the last calendar year) from one of the Danish universities (AAU, AU, CBS, DTU, KU, RUC, SDU, ITU) at the time of submission. Note that this does not include HHX, HTX and Gymnasium-level students; please refer to our sister organization, ⊕ Young Enterprise. Full-time foreign students and diploma students are also welcome to apply, as long as they otherwise comply with the rules. For a full overview, please see the ⊕ rules.

2. For the Startup Competition CVR number is required, prizes will be paid to your CVR number. If you do not have a CVR number yet, Venture Cup will assist you with the application process.

2. Business Plan

You need to explain your idea and the potential business. The judges will typically be looking for the following: a) the innovation of your idea; b) the problem it solves; c) the team to solve it; d) the business case; and e) how you will make it happen.

The business plan must not exceed 15 standard written A4 pages. If you need inspiration on how to write a business plan, please check out our guide at our ⊕ Resources page or ⊕ download the Startup Competition inspirational guide/template here (PDF)

Once you have written the business plan, please save it as a PDF file of max 10 MB and name it the same as your team/company (e.g. “rubycup.pdf” or “blacksiliconsolar.pdf”)

Note: All members of the jury, advisors, and Venture Cup staff have all signed a ⊕ Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) as well as a set of ethical rules.

3. Choose Category

Once you have written your business plan you should have a clear idea of what category your plan belongs in. Industry experts will read, rate, and provide vital feedback based on their category insight, so choosing the right category is important for both jury and participants.

We will screen all business plans to make sure you are entered in the category that best fits your idea, and you can apply with as many ideas as you want in any number of categories. You cannot however submit the same idea in more than one category.

The 6 categories are:

  • CleanTech & Environment: energy efficiency, waste management, pollution reduction etc.
  • Life Science & MedTech: biotech, pharma, medical devices, healthcare, biomaterials etc.
  • Mobile & Web: apps, web services, search engines, augmented reality, near field communication etc.
  • Services: education, consultancy, marketing, tourism etc.
  • Product & Technology: industrial design, devices, robotics, hardware, nanotech etc.
  • Social Entrepreneurship: welfare innovation, social & societal solutions, non-profit organization, 3rd world development etc.
4. Checklist
  • You and your business plan comply with the ⊕ rules.
  • Your business plan is ready and contains the relevant areas of interest explained ⊕ here.
  • All contact info on all team members should be clearly stated in the business idea and in our online competition management tool (the site where you upload your business plan).
  • Make sure your business plan is saved as a PDF of max 10MB and named after your business plan.
  • Be prepared to answer ⊕ these mandatory questions when submitting your business plan.
5. Apply

All applications are handled securely by our online competition management system. Once you click “Upload” a new window will open for your application. Fill out all the required info, upload the PDF to our online competition management system, then you will receive a confirmation email for a successful upload. Note: The upload may take a few minutes, so please be patient and only click the Submit button once.

I Have Applied, Now What?

Congrats! You have now taken the first step to make your idea happen, and are now officially a member of the Venture Cup ⊕ Alumni Club. Once the jury have rated and provided feedback to all participating teams, we will release the feedback and make the finalists public via email and the website. This process usually takes 6 weeks.

Thanks for participating and good luck!


Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km



Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Startup Competitions like this European one (Denmark) are common all over the world. Prepare well, you might get a great start with funds and exposure. Business plan required! Check this one, will help you get started:

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Three months at Y Combinator: what it’s like and how to get in

Three months at Y Combinator: what it’s like and how to get in | Pitch it! | Scoop.it


Four months ago now, we got accepted to the Y-Combinator for our shared inbox solution. We wrote about our first month inside the famous Californian structure. But recently, we’ve been asked to write what happened after that. And let’s face it, a lot of things happened!

So here I am again, after 3 months at Y Combinator. I’d like to go over what it did for our team, our product and our fundraising.

(You’ll also find some advice for filling out your YC application and doing the interviews at the end of this article, make sure to check it out if you’re interested.)

It makes or breaks your team, and that’s a good thing


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Y Combinator is pretty intense. Amongst all the other things that it will bring you, one stands out: after these 3 months, you definitely know who your team is.

When we started Y Combinator, there was 5 of us working at Front (my co-founder, 3 employees and me). To make things easy, we decided to rent out a house in Palo Alto that would accommodate us all and from which we could all work. We weren’t from the Bay area at all, we weren’t even from the United States so we figured this was just the simplest way to go. Being far from our families and our friends had a least one advantage: we could be entirely focused on the work we wanted to do and that’s what we did, right from our living room. But that would also mean that we would stay together 24/7.

This will necessarily test the relationships you have with your teammates more than anything you’ve done before. YC pushes you towards your limits and makes sure that nothing is going according to plan. If relationships are easy to maintain when everything is going well, it’s a whole different story when the pressure is on. You’ll probably need to face some downtime, a bad launch, weeks with no growth at all, excessive churn, you and your team will be tired. And not only will you have to manage all of that, you’ll also need to make sure that the morale stays up and that everyone is still motivated to get up every day and walk to the living room to keep building a product that people will love.

But there is definitely a silver lining to the point I’m trying to make:, our team came out of this summer stronger that it ever could have been otherwise. We now know who we are, how we work together and when it’s time to just let everything down and go eat a burger. And this, in my opinion, is definitely priceless.

It helps you answer the only question that matters: is your product something people want?

Y Combinator makes things go faster

This sound pretty obvious knowing that Y Combinator is an “accelerator”  but these are the different reasons that actually make everything go really fast.

  • As a startup of the batch, you get high visibility thanks to Demo Day and to your own TechCrunch launch. Thanks to that, we were able to get more than 300 signups in our first couple weeks (see exactly how we did it here).
  • YC partners are all highly connected and are always happy to make as many intros as you need to experts, potential customers, press…
  • The YC alumni network is really strong (over 1,400 founders and 700 startups today). And everyone is really responsive when it comes to giving you advice or meeting you in person. This is how we managed to get meetings with founders of Stripe, Dropbox or Airbnb!
  • Being right in the Valley made it really easy for us to go to events and meetups and meet great people there too.

But you still need to figure out things by yourself: YC will never tell you what people want

If there is one thing that is true about YC partners, it’s that you can’t expect them to do the work for you.

I still remember the day we finally got to meet Paul Buchheit. At that time, he was the partner we were most excited about meeting because of him being Gmail’s creator. We had prepared this whole set of questions for him regarding our app. We presented 3 different orientations for the product and asked his advice on which one we should choose. We thought he would just pick one and we would love the office hour with a magic answer that would make everything clearer. His answer: “Follow your growth”. I can’t say we weren’t disappointed but it actually made so much sense. Two reasons for that: we knew our market way better than any YC partner and we talked to our customers more than they ever could. And that meant that he didn’t have the answer, we did.

In the end, even if you’re in great company and if there are a lot of people ready to help you, you’re the one who will have to do the hard work and make the tough decisions. But YC will be there all the way to help you ask yourself the right questions and focus on the right things.

It makes your financial future safer, at least for the next 18 months

Demo Day will be one of your main focus during the 3 months and it’ll definitely be an additional source of pressure. But you need to know one thing: you’ll be fine. Sure, you will probably need to rehearse your pitch dozen or even hundreds of times and you will reach a point where you’re not sure what you’re really saying anymore.

But, again, you’ll never feel alone in the weeks before the event. We found that the partners were always there for us, whenever we needed them. During their office hours obviously, but also during those late night or weekends when questions usually creep up. They’re always just a Skype call away!

On D-Day, don’t let yourself be impressed by all the investors and people in the room (around 500 if I counted them right). Sure, there are some of the most impressive VC funds out there like Sequoia or a16z, as well as major seed funds (SV Angel, First round…) and great business angels. But they’ve been expecting this day as much as you have for the past 4 months. Basically, you just need to consider your pitch as a gift to them and everything should be alright.

Advice and tips for applicants

1. The application

  • Be concise. One or two sentences per answer is plenty enough. Bullet points are great.
  • Give figures. These can be lines of code, number of beta releases or beta users, your total addressable market, your pricing….
  • Show you’re making something people want. Again these are probably going to be numbers: of email subscribers, of paying customers, of active users, of pre-orders… But you can also share good feedback or LOIs.

Zain Shah, from the YC Summer 2013 batch, also wrote question per question advice you should definitely have a look at.

 

2. The interview

  • Be concise. Again. Try staying under 15 seconds per answer. Time flies when you’re in the interview room and you want to cover as much as you can.
  • Give figures. Feel free to use the same ones you used in your application.
  • Be prepared. List all the questions you might get asked (find some ideas here and here) and write down all the answers. Once you’ve done that, assign different replies to different co-founders so you don’t get mixed up.
  • Rehearse. Don’t think that knowing the right answers is enough. You need to rehearse over and over again (we probably rehearsed over 10 times) to make sure everything is seamless. You can stop rehearsing the day before the interview though to avoid the unnatural effect of reciting text. If you can, do mock interviews too, if possible with an American company (if you’re not from the US). They have a different approach to selling products from which you learn a lot.

 

3. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice

We’ve all been helped before entering Y Combinator and we now all feel really grateful. So don’t be afraid to ask YC alums to help you out for a mock interview or for preparing some responses to tough questions. I’d be happy to help (just shoot me an email at mathilde (at) frontapp.com)

And whatever happens next for you, remember that preparing a YC application will never be a waste of time.

If you don’t get accepted after the written application, look at the bright side of things: you now have a better understanding of your market, you’ve thought of your team more and you’ve put words on your idea and your vision. These are things that you wouldn’t have taken the time for otherwise.

If you don’t get accepted after the interview, you will get the reason why and you’ll then be able to improve your product. This is what happened to SoapApp. You can ping them on Twitter, they’ll tell you how they were able to pivot after their interview.

That being said, we wish you all the best of luck!

 

Make sure you come and say hi!



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Great experience. Expand your limits!

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Incubated: Y Combinator's Approach To Finding And Helping Startups Become Big Winners

Incubated: Y Combinator's Approach To Finding And Helping Startups Become Big Winners | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Y Combinator is the most famous of all startup accelerators out there, thanks to success of companies like Airbnb, Dropbox, and Stripe, all of which have gone through its program. YC co-founder Paul Graham once referred to the process of finding and nurturing those big hits as “Black Swan Farming.”

But how does YC do it? What sets it apart from some of the other accelerators out there, and why does it seem like its alumni companies are disproportionately successful? With the latest episode of Incubated, we set out to find out.

At first glance, Y Combinator doesn’t look that different from most accelerators in part because it defined the category. Founded in 2005, its success has inspired multiple other programs to copy its 12-week format of weekly meetings, partner office hours, and access to alumni and mentors from the tech world.

But one of the things that sets it apart from other accelerators is just the depth and breadth of knowledge that exists within its network. In part, that stems from running for so long — there are about 1,500 YC alums available to learn from. And many of those alumni end up becoming the first partners or customers for startups in a current class.

While startups are expected to have their own space, Y Combinator companies meet weekly on Tuesdays to catch up, discuss their progress, and learn from famous entrepreneurs who are invited to talk about their own challenges in scaling up their businesses. It also hosts a series of other events, like Y Combinator Startup School, that are open to entrepreneurs who wish to attend.

One other thing that sets it apart is the selection process: YC takes online applications to help screen applicants, but bases its decision mostly on one 10-minute interview with the accelerator’s partners. It looks for founders who have deep domain expertise, and companies that can be big outliers in different technology.

Y Combinator just opened applications for its winter class this week.


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Y Combinator has pioneered this approach and keeps on creating success stories.

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Why startups need to focus on sales, not marketing by @foundersatwork - The Accelerators - WSJ

Why startups need to focus on sales, not marketing by @foundersatwork - The Accelerators - WSJ | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
JESSICA LIVINGSTON: The most important thing an early-stage startup should know about marketing is rather counterintuitive: that you probably shouldn't be doing anything you'd use the term "marketing" to describe. Sales and marketing are two ends of a continuum. At the sales end your outreach is narrow and deep. At the marketing end it is broad and shallow. And for an early stage startup, narrow and deep is what you want -- not just in the way you appeal to users, but in the type of product you build...

To read the full article, click on the title or image.


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Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, June 4, 2014 9:45 AM

Great article in the Wall Street Journal. What a Startup needs is nothing but proving that it can be successful, and what better way to do that than making that sales model work.

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What Startup Accelerators Really Do

What Startup Accelerators Really Do | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Here’s what we know.

The well-advertised boom in startups and venture capital in recent years has coincided with the emergence of new players in startup ecosystems. One of these, startup accelerators, has received a great deal of attention but also little scrutiny. Moreover, they are commonly misunderstood or mistakenly lumped in with other institutions supporting early-stage startups, such as incubators, angel investors, and early-stage venture capitalists.

In a recent analysis published by the Brookings Institution, I tackle some of the confusion around startup accelerators by laying out a clearer picture of what they do, and how they differ from other early-stage institutions. I also provide a review of the research literature on the effectiveness of accelerators to achieve their stated aims, some best practices for accelerator programs, and some figures on the size, scope, and impact of these organizations in the United States.

Accelerators are playing an increasing role in startup communities throughout the United States and beyond. Early evidence demonstrates the significant potential of accelerators to improve startups’ outcomes, and for these benefits to spill over into the broader startup community. However, the measurable impact accelerators have on performance varies widely among programs — not all accelerators are created equally. Quality matters. Read more: click image or title.

 

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Google’s big move creates more space for startups

Google’s big move creates more space for startups | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Google will have room for hundreds of new employees in a move to new offices that also frees up space for what will become North America’s largest technology incubator.

More than 350 employees have moved from Google's former offices in the Tannery building in downtown Kitchener to much larger space in the nearby Breithaupt Block development.

The Internet giant had 80,000 square feet of space in the Tannery building. It has 185,000 square feet of space in the new offices in the Breithaupt Block, a former industrial building that at one time housed a rubber factory and auto parts plant.

"We will be hard pressed to run out of the space for the next few years," said Steve Woods, Google's senior engineering director in Kitchener. "I think the fact that we are being given this opportunity is a sign that we are doing well inside the Google context."

He wouldn't say how many employees Google may add, but he noted that the company's local workforce has grown more than tenfold since it arrived in Waterloo Region about 10 years ago.

"We grow organically with our teams' successes, and the opportunities that come up," Woods said. "Hopefully we will have the opportunity to grow significantly." Read more: click on image or title.



Learn more about funding, find great funding sources, get a free business plan template, post your funding request for free, and more:

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#Google is creating more space in their offices near Toronto, Canada. They will have the biggest #startup #incubator in N.America.



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BuildUp Fellows Program Aims To Nurture Underrepresented Founders In Tech

BuildUp Fellows Program Aims To Nurture Underrepresented Founders In Tech | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

There’s no shortage of tech accelerators and incubators, with the likes of Y Combinator, 500 Startups and TechStars. All three of them have addressed diversity in their own ways, but more could always be done.

Enter the BuildUp Fellows program, an intensive two-week accelerator designed to educate and mentor underrepresented founders, like women, veterans and minorities, in the tech industry. Entrepreneurs selected will get free desk space in downtown San Francisco, mentorship, meetings with investors and other industry experts.

BuildUp is the brainchild of Kristina Omari, Wayne Sutton and Christian Anderson (pictured above). Collectively, they make up a diverse, all-star team of serial entrepreneurs, mergers & acquisitions experts and investment bankers.

“Coming from an investment banking background, I have seen biases at work in regards to founders and funding,” Anderson told TechCrunch. “I want to bring to light investment opportunities of game changing, innovative products and experiences, which are created by ‘nontraditional’ founders.”

BuildUp is looking for startups that have strong potential in four key areas: global impact, innovation, design and growth. The program will run from Sept. 28 through Oct. 9, 2015. Startups can apply through August 31.


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Underrepresented #founders in the tech industry, such as women, veterans or minorities in general, have a new #accelerator with a 2 week program.

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How To Make The Most Of Your Startup Accelerator Program Experience

How To Make The Most Of Your Startup Accelerator Program Experience | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Seed accelerators have been around for 10 years now and their popularity doesn’t appear to be waning any time soon. Sure, criticism for the programs themselves and the proliferation of different programs around the world have taken some wind out of the sails, but primarily, joining an accelerator program – or rather, being accepted to an accelerator – is still considered valuable and an endorsement of the concept and business model.

The best accelerators are incredibly competitive – Y Combinator and TechStars have application acceptance rates as low as 1 to 3 percent. Luckily for my company, we were accepted to the 2014 TechStars Boston class. I want to share how we did everything we possibly could to get the most out of TechStars in the short time we had under their umbrella – and how any startup can replicate those best practices in their own accelerator or incubator.

Our methods aren’t for every company, but hopefully you can learn from some of our strategies – specifically what worked and what didn’t. Read more: click image or title.




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500 Startups announces $10M TukTuks (ตุ๊กตุ๊ก) Fund

500 Startups announces $10M TukTuks (ตุ๊กตุ๊ก) Fund | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

We’re proud to announce the launch of “500 TukTuks”, a $10M USD micro-fund focused on promising startups, managed by new 500 investing partners Krating Poonpol and Moo Natavudh. Why the name TukTuks? Well they are small , lean, fast, agile, and dangerous. JUST LIKE STARTUPS. We’re excited to take a trip through the winding roads of Thailand to discover smart, badass entrepreneurs.

Why 500 TukTuks?

500 sees an opportunity to invest early and often into the next generation of Thailand’s most promising startups and empower them with best of Silicon Valley’s education, thinking, talent, and money to provide unfair advantage in the local market. 500 will be the first major SV accelerator and seed stage investor in the local Thai market and founders will gain access to our global network of high-value mentors and 2,000+ founders. 500 will look to invest in not just companies that can succeed in the local Asian market, but through its accelerator, find and work with Thai companies that can succeed in the US and global market.

500 TukTuks Management & Investment Team include:

  • Krating Poonpol  – Venture Partner (Thailand)
  • Moo Natavudh – Venture Partner (Thailand)
  • Dave McClure – Founding Partner (Investing & International)
  • Khailee Ng – Managing Partner (SEA)

Who are the local investment partners?

Read more: click on title or image.





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Dave....
I downloaded your business plan template ...It is  great!!! we have a successful delivery service already running today ...This plan is for a new liquor store idea ...my tax consultants say your plan is amazing..Thanks Dave!!!
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These Are The Top 20 US Accelerators | TechCrunch

These Are The Top 20 US Accelerators  |  TechCrunch | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/iBlz

By Yael Hochberg

Startup accelerators have become a prominent feature of the tech landscape in recent years, with more and more programs popping up every month.

In many ways, they have become a rite of passage for thousands of entrepreneurs who apply to and join programs annually.

Yet, with so many programs to choose from, and little publicly available data on each program, it can be hard for entrepreneurs to figure out which programs are most effective and which specific program would be the best fit to help launch their startup. We founded the Seed Accelerator Rankings Project with this challenge for entrepreneurs in mind. Read more: http://snip.ly/iBlz




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"No matter how small a company may be, we believe that Growthink’s standard of excellence does not change from one client to the other and we would certainly welcome the opportunity to work with Melissa and her colleagues again."
Shannon Lindsay
Publisher
Southern Beauty Magazine

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

#Startup #Accelerators are everywhere now. Here's the list with the top 20.

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7 Leading Accelerators For Overseas Startups Coming To Silicon Valley

7 Leading Accelerators For Overseas Startups Coming To Silicon Valley | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Silicon Valley has become the epicenter of the startup universe, and with that comes a virtual tsunami of startups from all parts of the globe.  These young companies are flocking to the home of Uber, Snapchat and Airbnb for a chance to change the world.  They need venture funding, business relationships, mentorship, A-list talent and most of all strategic guidance.

Many of these startups seek out incubators and accelerators to help them plug into the Silicon Valley ecosystem, make connections and move fast.  But how does a startup choose from the hundreds of accelerators out there?  What makes one accelerator better suited for overseas startups than another?

We’ve taken an in-depth look at how accelerators operate in the Valley and come up with a short list of key factors that determine their success in dealing with foreign startups:

....

     Pitch & Presentation Training — The majority of overseas startups need help communicating their ideas.  English isn’t necessarily their first language, and they must be able to articulate their vision and plan to investors.  Also, Silicon Valley has a certain style of pitching.  Short, concise pitches that are laser focused on the big opportunity, product market fit, team, traction and market size.  Many overseas startups simply don’t understand how to do this correctly.

...

Read more here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/drewhendricks/2015/02/17/7-leading-accelerators-for-overseas-startups-coming-to-silicon-valley/



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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

The best list of accelerators/incubators in Silicon Valley. The article describes all the reasons for working with these accelerators and names the best seven of them. I highlighted one of the mean reasons for foreign startups above, the "Pitch & Presentation Training", but there are many more. Excellent piece of information.

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CEO Sundays: 6 Effective Ways to Run Your Startup Into the Ground | Techli

CEO Sundays: 6 Effective Ways to Run Your Startup Into the Ground | Techli | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
The reality of being an entrepreneur, however, means enduring a turbulent, unavoidable mental and emotional roller coaster.


Anyone can start a business. Find a name, fill out the articles of incorporation, pay a fee to file and publicize it as directed, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming the next Mark Cuban or Lori Greiner. It’s easy on paper.

The reality of being an entrepreneur, however, means enduring a turbulent, unavoidable mental and emotional roller coaster. It’s a hard ride to success.

But, if along the way you decide that success isn’t your thing, here are six calculated strategies that will lead to your startup’s ultimate demise (so you can get off the ride early):

1. Don’t Prepare for Slow Growth

Many startups fail because they simply run out of money. Why do they run out of money? They couldn’t get customers fast enough. When you get started building your startup, your projections for revenue growth might be up to six times the speed of reality. Reality is a bitch.

To ensure a quick exit: Quit your day job, and don’t bring in any investors who may provide the runway you need to prepare your startup for long-term success. You built an amazing widget, so you’ll be replacing your current salary in a month or two. Your savings account will be all you need to weather your ramp-up period.

2. Don’t Worry About Customer Churn

You’ve been landing new customers at a pretty good clip. Evidently, people are married to the idea that your product is going to meet their needs. But the honeymoon ends, and reality sets in. Customers are fighting with your product every day. Your product’s little quirks are getting annoying, and customers are starting to regret their decision to buy.

People don’t come with instruction manuals, so why should your product? Surely, all of your customers have read John Gray’s “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus,” so they’ll totally understand when your support team needs to go to their “cave” immediately following a new feature release. Your lack of support should ensure that your customer divorce rate exceeds the national average.

3. Ignore the Market

No matter how wonderful your product is, it will fail if it doesn’t solve a real problem in the marketplace. People don’t just throw money away; you have to satisfy a real need. If you’re not fulfilling a true need, you’re well on your way to killing your startup. Reaching in too many directions is another great way to add to the pain, as a one-size-fits-all startup typically fits none.

For those of you who didn’t assume a perfect fit right out of the gate, you may have stumbled upon a market fit, so you’ll need to take a page out of Blockbuster’s book to drive your business into the ground. Avoid pivoting your business in any way to react to — or, worse, proactively anticipate — market changes.

4. Under-budget and Overspend

Everything in business costs money. Mismanaging that money is essential to killing your startup. When planning projects and campaigns, underestimate how much money it’ll take to bring them to market. This is typically accomplished by utilizing textbooks rather than actual data analysis and research.

Under-budgeting in this manner will drain a large portion of your assets, but it’s possible you have venture capital money by now. Those investors expect you to spend all that money quickly, so you’ll definitely want to start pouring money into large, long-term expenses, like platinum conference sponsorships and five-year leases on swanky office space that you’ll definitely “grow into” someday. Once you’ve blown all that cash and have little to show for it, your down round will surely kill your startup’s buzz.

5. Stop Marketing

You need to drop out of the conversation. There’s a McDonald’s in nearly every city in the world, and it still pours money into market research. If McDonald’s needs to remind people it’s around, your enterprise startup certainly does. Luckily, if you kill the buzz early enough, you can avoid being resurrected by a rabid, loyal following.

Stop all sponsorships, remove paid advertisements, and avoid networking at business conferences and other industry events. These types of activities will lead to higher sales, better business relationships, and a stronger overall business. By halting marketing efforts, you can ensure your startup rests in peace.

6. Go Solo

When you started the business, you did it by yourself, and like the captain of a sinking ship, you probably don’t want others’ blood on your hands. Some entrepreneurs have it easy because they already assumed they were capable of accomplishing it alone, but others still have a healthy, autonomous business to dismantle.

By taking the load on yourself, you’re ensuring that your business will fail. Larger competitors working longer hours (some even working with your former staff) will outperform you on every level, and natural selection will implode your startup, leaving you free of responsibility and able to begin anew.

People kill their startups every day, so why can’t you? If you remove your nose from the grindstone and stop listening to what the market and your customers are telling you, you’ll be well on your way to joining them. You may end up in the same startup graveyard, but at least you’ll be one of the few who actually understands how you got there.


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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Point 1 is a little confusing, it's what you're supposed NOT to do...

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New accelerator is solely for firms with a female founder

New accelerator is solely for firms with a female founder | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

In Greek mythology, she is the goddess of war and wisdom. In Philadelphia's University City, Athena is a more earthly vessel, taking shape to make warriors of female entrepreneurs.

DreamIt Athena is a rare business accelerator, exclusively for companies with at least one female founder.

Announced this month and accepting applications until Dec. 8 at https://app.wizehive.com/appform/login/2015philly, the program to help women turn their ideas into fundable businesses with growth potential will launch in February with its first cycle of participants, a minimum of four companies. A second cycle is planned for spring 2016.

To qualify, applicants must have technology-based products or services with large market opportunity.

The program's name seemed a natural, said Karen Griffith Gryga, managing partner of DreamIt Funds, the equity arm of DreamIt Ventures, a top-tier accelerator that has launched 168 companies since its start in 2008. Of those, 40 were companies with female founders.

"Athena is the Greek goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration," Gryga said. "And whenever you're doing a start-up, you've got to have tremendous inspiration and vision, but also fortitude and courage. It's not easy to launch and build and develop a start-up."

Especially for women.

"We just felt it was time to do something about it," she said. "The answer is not more networking events."

Timing proved fortuitous. In the spring, DreamIt applied for funding from Pennsylvania's "Discovered in PA, Developed in PA" grant program and was approved in August for $491,000.

That's enough to finance two three-month cycles. The plan is to continue afterward, "but with a more commercial partner," said Gryga, who will oversee the Athena program with Patrick FitzGerald, managing director of DreamIt Ventures' Philadelphia program.

"There's just been an outpouring of support for it," said Gryga, who plans to conduct a national search for female CEOs and serial entrepreneurs willing to serve as mentors and inspiration.

To fill the post of project manager, DreamIt Athena's creators have hired a local woman described by a peer as "a real connector in the Philadelphia ecosystem" of female entrepreneurs.

Archna Sahay, a native of India now living in Center City, started the Female Founders Network in February to help women in business find one another.

A finance major at Virginia Tech, Sahay, 35, went on to work as a portfolio analyst and investment analyst at Wachovia and its successor, Wells Fargo, and then worked in the brokerage business for Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley.

Sahay left Morgan Stanley on Sept. 30 to focus on the Female Founders Network. But in just weeks, she had a job offer from DreamIt that seemed like divine intervention.

"I'm very spiritual," she said. "I always like to see God's hands in things."

As a believer that financial independence for women is "one of the most important things you could work on," and as a big sister who wants "to leave the world in just a slightly better place" for two younger ones, Sahay said the chance to help build what was believed to be the first female-oriented program by a top-tier accelerator feels like "what I was meant to do."

Her 12 years in finance - and some recent studies - left her convinced of the need for DreamIt Athena. Among those studies was a report by professors of Babson College in Massachusetts, "Women Entrepreneurs 2014: Bridging the Gender Gap in Venture Capital."

It found, in part, that though early-stage investment in companies with a woman on the executive team has tripled to 15 percent from 5 percent in the last 15 years, 85 percent of all venture-capital-funded businesses have no women on the executive team.

One reason for that, Sahay said, is another troubling finding by Babson: The total number of women partners in venture-capital firms has declined since 1999, dropping to 6 percent from 10 percent.

"There aren't enough women on the other side of that table," Sahay said.

When it comes to successfully pitching to investors, entrepreneurs need to connect with them. The sex divide is a serious obstacle, said Holly Flanagan, managing director at Gabriel Investments, a Philadelphia early-stage investment group.

"The challenge for women is they tend to solve problems that are faced by women," Flanagan said. "Because the majority of investors continue to be men, the advice I always give female founders is they have to articulate their story in a way that helps [all] investors feel the pain they are out to solve."

That message will be driven home at DreamIt Athena, Sahay said.

Among others applauding the effort is Yasmine Mustafa, founder of Roar for Good L.L.C., a young self-defense technology company.

"With greater inclusiveness," Mustafa said, "the opportunity to support the growing number of women founders creates even more possibilities for delivering transformative solutions - not to mention establishing more female role models, especially in predominantly male industries like technology."


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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Another great initiative for women in technology and startups

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Growthink Products for Capital Raising and Business Planning

Growthink Products for Capital Raising and Business Planning | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

How do successful startups and entrepreneurs really get funded?

I don't indulge very often in self promotion. However, when I see so many entrepreneurs looking for funding in many of the social media... I wonder.

I have to give them the right information to help them find the right ways to succeed!

Following is a page from my site at Business-Funding Insider. This works. Get the information and follow all the steps. You will get funded.

Don't keep on begging for investors in the wrong places where scammers and thieves try to victimize you. Follow this advice:

Read this 'Introduction and Review of Growthink Products' to help you raise all the capital you need, and plan your business to grow into 8 figures, and exit profitably!

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

The occasional self promotion. Some people and organizations have the know-how. This is one of them. Check it out.

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Brand Value: a Look at Brand-Focused Startup Accelerators

Brand Value: a Look at Brand-Focused Startup Accelerators | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

If you’re a young startup with a gleam in your eye, a working prototype in your back pocket and very little else, then making the right first step will be crucial for success.

For founders with little-to-no previous startup experience,joining an accelerator makes a lot of sense. Even if you’re a seasoned pro with an exit or two under your belt,  a helping hand might still be useful.

Traditionally, accelerators provide a combination of things; primarily a small amount of funding, a space to work and access to mentors, industry bodies and individuals they would otherwise struggle to gain the attention of.

However, while many accelerators are open houses in terms of their focus, there’s been a growing trend of certain businesses to host their own in-house programs, or take part in accelerators that are designed to connect brands with tech startups.

So, how does a brand-focused accelerator – that is, one that promises startups an audience with relevant world-leading brands in their area of focus, or one focusing a specific segment of industry, differ from a more general approach? We spoke to Brandery, Collider, The Bakery London and Orange Fab to find out what they had to offer.

What do startups get out of brand accelerators?

So, what a startup gets out of a brand accelerator is pretty similar to other accelerators – although the specifics of the funding and other benefits often vary.

For example, Collider – a UK-based organization that works with more than 27 individual brands – gives startups a combination of oversight, cash and mentorship over a program lasting 13 weeks.

Each of the Collider startups this year will get up to £150,000 ($243,000) – increased from up to £70,000 – to help them bring a product to market, its co-founder Rose Lewis explained. However, it’s the focus on a specific vertical and the added exposure Collider gives the startups and brands that really makes the key difference, she argues.

 In the first four weeks of our accelerator, they meet with up to 12 brands – all giving their time to the startups, and all  [based] around the product marketing questions: are these businesses building stuff that William Hill, Unilever, Haymarket are going to buy?


Brandery‘s four-month long program is similar to Collider’s – it provides support for seed stage companies in the form of $25,000 in funding, mentoring and access to a host of discounted or free services (such as IT, HR, legal etc.). Brandery also provides one year of free office space for a year, general manager Mike Bott explained. Collider does not offer physical work space.

“Each startup is paired with a creative agency who has committed at least $25,000 in free work. Specifically, two intensive workshops are conducted during the program to get the startups off to a fast start, Brand in a Day and Growth Hack Day. During Brand in a Day, the startups and their creative agency partner develop core brand architecture: new names, logos, taglines, brand manifestos, visual identity and other core pieces of their brand.

Similarly, during Growth Hack Day, the startups, their creative agency partners, and brand managers from Procter & Gamble hammer out key parts of the startups’ marketing plans, including user acquisition strategies, go-to-market strategies, and other ‘growth hacks’ they can use to keep the startup growing and retaining users as quickly as possible.

One of the startups to come through Brandery’s program – and now a part of Disney’s accelerator is ChoreMonster. Chris Bergman, founder and CEO of the company told us that the experience was “incredible” for the company.

We were able to learn from top mentors in the branding space, specifically about what we should do to create a strong brand, how our technology could benefit their agencies, and how brands at Fortune 100 companies operate. I couldn’t imagine our company without the understanding that we gleaned from The Brandery.

Slightly differently, while Brandery and Collider tend to focus on seed stage startups looking to develop their business rapidly for the long-term, The Bakery London exists solely to accelerate ad-tech and marketing startups to a test market within eight weeks.

Its focus is increasing revenues, not scoring investment, its co-founder Alex Dunsdon explained to TNW.

We focus on markets (revenue) not investors (equity)..ie the objective is a trial market not investment in the company. We start with the problem, ie. what the market wants now. Many of the best businesses are able to carve out products that people can test now.

We find the right tech globally against problems. Think of it like flipping the way it normally works – telling the world of tech companies what the market is.

Dunsdon added that it takes very little time to accelerate a technology to trial stage, so the only real reason you’d perhaps want to look elsewhere is if you were looking for investment to get off the ground, rather than looking for a perfect market fit.

All [the companies attracted to our program] have a product and share a desire to scale. The big problem we solve is product / market fit and the ability to use a brands audience to scale.

For other startups, there are reasons to think twice about joining a specific brand’s accelerator program.


For example, if its technology isn’t particularly well aligned with the brand, or because the startup fears that association would jeapordize its independence. It might also make more sense for a startup to enter into an accelerator program based on a specific topic, rather than a specific brand, such as FinTech or health-oriented programs.

The funding aspect of brand accelerators like these are in contrast to the way in which Orange Fab operates: there’s no systematic cash support, although it does provide a convertible note option for interested startups – up to €15,000 in France and $20,000 in the US. Instead, at the end of the program, Orange’s VC division can choose whether or not to invest in the startups.

Douplitzky said that VC affiliates like Iris Capital tend to make minority investments in startups, but that the program launched too recently to provide details on the percentage that receive follow-on funding.

Ultimately, whichever accelerator a startup enters, they generally provide similar benefits on the surface, and an underlying promise of more closely connecting each startup to a brand, whether that’s a single one or mutliple. In some cases they also provide the potential to add legitimacy to startups simply through their association, which is a slightly less tangible benefit.


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Incubated: How The 500 Startups Accelerator Helps Startups Get Noticed | TechCrunch

Incubated: How The 500 Startups Accelerator Helps Startups Get Noticed  | TechCrunch | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

It's only been around a short three years, but the 500 Startups Accelerator has already cemented its spot as one of the top programs for founders who are  looking to improve their products and reach new users. Now graduating more than 100 new companies per year, the program has historically done a great job of including international startups.

500 Startups runs four accelerator classes each year, running a 12-week program of about 30 companies in each batch. The program operates as an incubator in which startups all work together within the same office space, with access to staff and mentors to help them grow their business.

The accelerator is particularly strong in helping startups to understand their internal metrics and distribution, helping them to market their products and services more efficiently. And it’s got a strong background in helping companies about design and improving their product.

It’s also been great for international companies, many of which get their first exposure to what it’s like to operate in Silicon Valley. The program helps them to understand their audience from a global perspective, and helps them to figure out the best way to reach users around the world.

To find out more, check out the video above (link below), where I talk to partners, mentors, and some founders who have been through the program.


http://techcrunch.com/2014/07/30/incubated-500-startups/




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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

First of a series of videos on incubators.

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