Tag Archives: entrepreneur

Silicon Beach Fest – this weekend in Santa Monica – June 21-23 – the SXSW of Los Angeles

Silicon Beach Fest is LA’s first festival organized by its tech community to celebrate LA tech, entertainment & startups with panels, keynotes, workshops, mixers, and more at a dozen venues focused in Santa Monica and Venice on June 21-23, 2012. Head to the beach on the first weekend of summer to celebrate LA’s digital innovators!

Follow @SBFestLA - #SBF.

Fest attendees and speakers include: invited celebs, start-ups, VCs, movie and music studio execs, agencies, fashion, content creators, artists, social media gurus, developers, etc. from LA, Silicon Valley, etc.

 

Learn moreSilicon Beach Feast

 

Of all the events, the most exciting is Angel Pitch Day, with Nate Werlin of Venture Beat judging:

Got an idea? Want to pitch it to the angels and get feedback?

Then Angel Pitch Day is the event for you. If your idea is selected, you will get to participate at Angel Pitch Day where you will have an opportunity to pitch your idea to a live audience of angel investors.

You will have 2 minutes to deliver your pitch, then you will get candid feedback from top angels on your idea. Hear what they have to say and their insights into how you can improve your idea.

Silicon Valley to get its own airline – SurfAir

A new airline, SurfAir, has emerged to serve entrepreneurs, executives, and Venture Capitalists, who travel frequently throughout the state of California.

…the US infrastructure has billions of dollars that is hardly used, so much infrastructure that Michael Flint said he could have us landing on a runway within 20 minutes, in case of an emergency with my mom. I later learned that about half of America’s airports operate at less than 10% capacity, and those are mainly the municipal airports, such as Palo Alto Airport in Silicon Valley.

SurfAir grew quickly and is already launching its beta this month. It’s starting with six destinations. 500 people were selected to participate. It’s a subscription model, just like Netflix. For less than $1000 per month, members can fly multiple trips between California destinations on a private Pilatus 8-seater aircraft. Passengers drive right up to the aircraft, where a valet parks their car and takes their luggage. They’re all pre-screened, so all they have to do is board the aircraft, and they’re at their destination within an hour with a car waiting for them as they exit the plane.

via Pando Daily

 

 

The airline will have (planned) service to – Palo Alto, Monterey, Santa Barbara, & Los Angeles – and it looks to be big hit:

 

When we originally interviewed SurfAir CEO Wade Eyerly last March, he indicated the company was seeking about $2 million. But over the past couple of days we’ve gotten unsolicited calls from investors, who wish to remain anonymous at this point, who have told us that there was so much demand that the company has raised nearly $14 million.

via - SurfAir’s 1st Round of Funding “Oversubscribed”

Tony Hsieh: Delivering Happiness to Downtown Las Vegas

Beyond the casinos, past the clubs, over the glittering, multi-million dollar hotels that light up the Las Vegas Strip, beat the quiet drums of innovation and progress. Change is afoot.

Las Vegas is on the verge of a renaissance, thanks, in part, to the fantastical vision and persuasive passion of Zappos CEO and Delivering Happiness author, Tony Hsieh.

Credit Marc Burckhardt

What began as a relocation project, moving the online shoe and apparel shop headquarters from its Henderson location to downtown Las Vegas, has blossomed into a revitalization project, breathing new life into an area all too often described as seedy and run-down.

By the end of 2013, Zappos will take over downtown’s old City Hall building, which will receive a major renovation to accommodate 2,000 of its employees (the Henderson office is home to approximately 1,200), and several blocks of surrounding real estate have been procured to round out the “Zappos campus,” serving as a spark plug to the surrounding area.

It’s all part of Hsieh’s vision to make downtown Las Vegas a vital community — attracting families, urban dwellers, and business owners — to not only visit, but to live and thrive, with art galleries, yoga studios, coffee shops, book stores, sporting events and charter schools.

Hsieh is investing $350 million into the Downtown Project, with $200 million in real estate development, including residential, $50 million for small business investment, $50 million for education, and $50 million for start-up investments, in companies who are already in Las Vegas or are willing to relocate to downtown.

The start-up investment is a ripe opportunity for seedling companies looking for the right environment to get off the ground. Besides providing a lower cost of living, compared to many start-up hubs, the Downtown Project offers access to mentors, space and peers.

When I asked Zach Ware, who oversees campus, urban, and start-up development, about the strategy to attract start-ups and compete against fertile start-up grounds like Palo Alto, San Francisco and Seattle, he explained:

We’re less about comparisons and more about creating something new. Most cities have their fair share of incubation programs and other formal ways to accelerate learning and happiness. We see an opportunity to create a form of an incubator in an entire city, but without the formalities. So if you consider the elements that make up an incubator (proximity to mentors, proximity to others like you, access to capital and space) we think those things can be more organically scaled if they are a part of a city. 

Taking a cue from the edicts in Triumph of the City, the project aims to make downtown Las Vegas a great place to eat, meet, work, live, learn, and play.

After witnessing first-hand the kind of company Tony Hsieh has built with Zappos — during my recent headquarters tour, one senior woman commented, “Boy, would I have loved to work here when I was young” — I have no doubt the project will be a success. In fact, it’s the only Vegas bet I’ll make.

President, Congress pass bill to allow venture capital funding via crowd sourcing

Earlier this month, President Obama sign the JOBS bill into law with strong bipartisan support, and no this isn’t the one you’re thinking of. This one is designed specifically for funding start-ups with a particular focus on crowd funding (i.e. Kickstarter).

Explained by author and professor, Jeff Jarvis:

The JOBS bill being signed by President Obama today is critical to the emergence and growth of the next generation of industries as ecosystems.

Those ecosystems are made up of three layers: platforms, entrepreneurial ventures, and networks.

Platforms (Google, Amazon, Salesforce, Facebook, Kickstarter, Federal Express, Foxconn), which make it possible for entrepreneurial ventures to be built at lower cost with less capital and reduced risk at greater speed. To provide the critical mass that large corporations used to provide — to, for example, sell advertising at scale or acquire distribution or acquire goods or services at volume — sometimes these ventures need to band together in networks (Glam, YouTube, Etsy, eBay).

The bill supports this flourishing start-up trend by updating some outdated laws, from the 1930s, and correcting some from the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.

Of interest to us, the regular people:

  • Entrepreneurs can raise up to $1 million per year through those approved crowd funding channels.
  • Investors with incomes of less than $100K will be limited to 5 percent, or $2K, investments.
  • Those who make over $100K/year will be limited at 10 percent, or $10K.

Previously, one could not sell equity through crowd funding and only registered investors with $100,000 could fund a company. Now, with the crowd sourcing provision anyone can get in on the action.

This is great for the industry and those with a nose for investing, but do be wary. Internet scammers and unskilled entrepreneurs will soon be asking for your money to fund the next Google.

 

Learn more about the billJumpstart Our Business Start-ups (JOBS) Act

 

// Photo – Guano

Berlin cracks the startup code

“We looked at each other and knew in that moment that we’d be crazy not to move here,” says Ciarán O’Leary, a partner at the German venture capital firm Earlybird. “There was just so much happening—founders everywhere, in every bar, cafe, every corner.”

Berlin…has become a global tech hub, one which foreign money discovered years ago. According to data from Thomson Reuters, 103 Internet startups received global venture capital funding in Germany in 2011, more than in any country besides China and the U.S. Although the numbers are not broken down by city, Berlin is where most German startups congregate.

Encouraged by all the interest—and the money—many Berliners have gotten startup fever. The Berlin Chamber of Commerce reports that 1,300 Internet startups have been founded in the city since 2008, 500 of them last year alone.

 

keep reading at Bloomberg BusinessWeek

"I never found anybody that didn't want to help me if I asked them for help." – Steve Jobs, 1994

Transcript:

I’ve actually found something to be very true. Most people don’t get those experiences because they never ask. I’ve never found anybody that didn’t want to help me if I asked them for help.

I always call them up.

I called Bill Hewlett when I was twelve years old and he lived in Palo Alto and his number was still in the phone book. He answered the phone himself, “Yes.”

“Hi, I’m Steve Jobs and I’m twelve years old. I’m a student in high school and I want to build a frequency counter. I was wondering if you had any spare parts I could have?”

He laughed and gave me the spare parts to build this frequency counter. Then he gave me a job that summer at HP working on the assembly line. Putting nuts and bolts together on frequency counters. He got me a job in the place that built them. I was in heaven.

I’ve never found anyone who said no or hung up the phone when I called. I just asked. When people ask me I try to be as responsive, to pay that debt of gratitude back.

Most people never pick up the phone and call, most people never ask. That’s what separates sometime the people who do things from the people that just dream about them.

You gotta act. You’ve gotta be willing to fail, to crash and burn. With people on the phone, with starting a company, with whatever.

If you’re afraid of failing you won’t get very far.

“I never found anybody that didn’t want to help me if I asked them for help.” – Steve Jobs, 1994

Transcript:

I’ve actually found something to be very true. Most people don’t get those experiences because they never ask. I’ve never found anybody that didn’t want to help me if I asked them for help.

I always call them up.

I called Bill Hewlett when I was twelve years old and he lived in Palo Alto and his number was still in the phone book. He answered the phone himself, “Yes.”

“Hi, I’m Steve Jobs and I’m twelve years old. I’m a student in high school and I want to build a frequency counter. I was wondering if you had any spare parts I could have?”

He laughed and gave me the spare parts to build this frequency counter. Then he gave me a job that summer at HP working on the assembly line. Putting nuts and bolts together on frequency counters. He got me a job in the place that built them. I was in heaven.

I’ve never found anyone who said no or hung up the phone when I called. I just asked. When people ask me I try to be as responsive, to pay that debt of gratitude back.

Most people never pick up the phone and call, most people never ask. That’s what separates sometime the people who do things from the people that just dream about them.

You gotta act. You’ve gotta be willing to fail, to crash and burn. With people on the phone, with starting a company, with whatever.

If you’re afraid of failing you won’t get very far.

1X57 is a Washington DC Tech Titan!

Hot off the presses!

Fresh from the minds of the Washingtonian team and editor Garret Graff!

The 2011 Washington DC Tech Titans:


Quote:

Our tech scene (DC) is the hottest it’s been since the dot-com glory days of the 1990s, with big investment by government in IT, surging green-energy programs, growing biotech research, and start-ups such as LivingSocial. Here are the people who are making this region grow.

And, our very own Titans!

From the magazine:

Amy Senger and Steven Mandzik
Founders of the consulting firm 1X57, they’ve become influential in Gov 2.0 circles—and have helped usher the CIA into the age of social media.

Press Release: Call For Start-Ups, Entrepreneurs, & Inventors

Are you an entrepreneur, inventor, or working for a start-up?

If so, here is an opportunity for you to get in front of 1,000 influential futurists and an online community of over 35,000.

We are pleased to announce the Futurists: BetaLaunch in partnership with the World Future Society, a 45-year old non-profit organization dedicated to advancing ideas of the future.

This launch platform will take place in July at the World Future Conference in Vancouver, Canada. The audience will be an enthusiastic and sophisticated group of customers, investors, forecasters, political figures, early adopters, engineers, and more!

To participate visit our website: Futurists: BetaLaunch website

Submit your innovation/invention, due by April 15!

We are looking for a wide range of entrepreneurs, inventors, start-ups, artists, educators, manufacturers, etc.


Official press release from the World Future Society

World Future Society – Futurists: BetaLaunch

Bethesda, Maryland

The nonprofit World Future Society has issued a call for inventions and innovations to showcase at the first annual Futurists: BetaLaunch, this summer in Vancouver. The Futurists: Beta Launch or F:BL will serve as a sort of technology petting zoo where engineers, designers or others can present their inventions to the 1,000 futurists expected to gather for WorldFuture 2011, the Society’s annual conference.

“Recently, the global community of the World Future Society was polled about what futurist ideas they would most like to examine. The results confirmed what we suspected; futurists love ideas, innovation and look to us [The World Future Society] to help them keep on top of coming technological breakthroughs,” says Jennifer Boykin, World Future Society director of development.

WorldFuture 2011

Founded in 1966 as a nonprofit educational and scientific organization in Washington, D.C., the World Future Society has members in more than 80 countries around the world. Individuals and groups from all nations are eligible to join the Society and participate in its programs and activities.

The Society holds a two-day, international conference once a year where participants discuss foresight techniques and global trends that are influencing the future. Previous conference attendees have included future U.S. President Gerald Ford (1974), Massachusetts Senator Edward M. Kennedy (1975), behavioral psychologist B.F. Skinner (1984), age-wave expert Ken Dychtwald (2005), U.S. comptroller general David M. Walker (2006) and inventor Ray Kurzweil (2010). Others in attendance typically include business leaders, government officials, scientists, corporate planners, and forecasters from across the globe.

“Because of their passion, conference attendees are key purchasers and influencers for markets serving innovation, inventions, learning, and new technologies of all kinds,” according to Boykin. She hopes that F: BL will allow inventors “to connect in a very personal way with an audience of people who can help you launch your idea.”

Where and When is the Event?

The Futurists: BetaLaunch showcase will be held in conjunction with WorldFuture 2011, the Annual Conference of the World Future Society at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre hotel in Vancouver, Canada on July 8-10, 2011. You can learn more about the conference by visiting www.wfs.org.

F:BL will be physically located in the conference exhibits area. The call for inventions will close on April 15, 2011. The World Future Society will notify all entrants of selection decisions by May 1, 2011.

All inventors selected for the conference will receive a complimentary registration to the conference ($750 value.) Travel costs are the responsibility of each inventor. Learn more about Futurists: BetaLaunch at http://wfsbetalaunch.com/ or contact Jennifer Boykin at jboykin@wfs.org or call 301-656-8274.