Join us at Vator Splash in San Francisco on February 2nd

If you want to mingle with top venture capitalists and angels, who are funding the next wave of innovative powerhouses, join Vator Splash for Splash SF at Cafe du Nord on the evening of February 2, 2012. Ten early-stage startups selected by their peers share the stage with rockstar CEOs who share their secrets to success with the crowd of 400 startup CEOs, investors, service providers and bloggers.

Splash is an event that brings together blue-chip high-tech startup investors, who give you insights into how they think when it comes to investments. They’ll also talk about their investment philosophies in light of the new and abundant sources of early-stage capital. If you want to be recognized as one of the 10 up-and-coming startups to present before them and an audience of some 400 attendees, be sure to join the competition. Applications are open now!

Get your 15% discount on tickets by using the promo code “STARTUPWKND” here. The best deal is in the demo tables, which include three tickets to event and afterparty, plus signage and exposure at the event. As always, there will be an open wine bar, starting at 4 pm, courtesy Cannonball Winery, and an afterparty performance, starring Coverflow.

The two keynote speakers onstage are Jeff Fluhr, founder and CEO of Spreecast, and co-founder of Stubhub, where he served as CEO, building the company from the ground up until the sale to eBay for $310 million, as well as Aaron Levie, founder and CEO of Box, which is currently valued at a reported half-a-billion dollars. The VC/investor list includes Michael Brown (head of Twitter Corp Dev), Craig Sherman (Meritech Capital), Saad Khan (CMEA), Charles Moldow (Foundation Capital), Mike Hirshland (Resolute VC), Jed Katz (Javelin Venture Partners), Sharon Wienbar (Scale Venture Partners), Raj Kapoor (Mayfield Fund), Howard Lindzon (prolific angel investor), Frank Artale (Ignition Partners), Josh Stein (DFJ), Darcy Frisch (Hearst Ventures), Shayna Modarresi (DLA Piper), and David Hornik will be back for another segment of “Late Night with David Hornik.” The online judges include Jules Walker (KPMG), Xander Mahoney (DFJ), Craig Stern (head of Corp Dev, Nextag), and Freeman Murray (prolific angel investor). And, of course, there is the afterparty band – Coverflow, with Raj Kapoor (Mayfiled), Tim Chang (Mayfield), Phil Kaplan (ADHD Labs), Prashant Fuloria (Facebook), Ethan Beard (Facebook), and the musician timekeeper – The Mule from Smule.

Interested in attending? Get your 15% discount on tickets by using the promo code “STARTUPWKND” here.

Future Tech Startup Founders Need Vision and Mentorship

In 2011, it was difficult to go more than one week without hearing from a new tech startup that built the latest iPhone or Android app, or that launched the newest and best way to create, manage, and measure your social media profiles. Add to that on demand television and music, and data mining, and you’ve got a pretty well-rounded look at the landscape of tech startups in 2012 and beyond.

For companies building solutions like those mentioned above, it doesn’t take much money or even that much time to launch and start proof of concept. Long gone are the days spent perfecting pitches for investors, venture capitalists, or even crowdfunding partners (although, startups that get funded during seed-stage have been shown to be more successful).

Instead, the whole product is developed, produced, and marketed before investment money is even needed. These affordable, just-in-time products and services are exactly what have shaped the recent past of the tech startup age.

But can it really sustain the future of these companies?

Learning What Works – Two Keys to Success

Sometimes – often times – startup founders are just too close to their own company’s success to actually realize it. Because outside funding is not necessarily needed for so many small tech firms, founders are not given the opportunity – or the mandate – to learn how to grow a business from the ground up from people who have been there and done that.

Key 1: Mentorship

As the author in a recent Harvard Business Review blog post pointed out, there is much more to startup success than technology itself. “Though we enjoy writing about dropout tech legends, most times their success is catalyzed by others — they came up with the ideas and the investors provided the leadership and the non-tech factors (such as pricing models, branding, and promotions, among others) that propelled them to stardom.”

It takes more than a solution, no matter how awesome the solution is, to create success for a company. Mentors can often help startup founders see the forest for the trees, because it’s both normal and expected for startup founders to become consumed with their technology, and to tune out the other critical business factors.

In fact, mentorship is often cited as a huge propeller of success for tech startups. Companies like Y Combinator – a business incubator that provides seed funding for tech startup hopefuls – exist solely to prepare startups for success. According to their website, Y Combinator has funded over 300 startups since 2005. Among them? Such uber-success story companies as Scribd, Wufoo, and Posterous.

Key 2: Long-Term Vision

One of the side benefits of mentorship is the old adage that two heads are better than one. And sometimes, another person can help tech startup founders – who often go it totally alone – with long-term vision and planning. An article published on suggested that recent statistic evidence shows venture capitalists are more likely to fund companies in areas with high human capital – such as New York. “Experts think that top talent can be a silver bullet for many of the problems that ail a startup, such as a disorganized long-term vision.”

With no long-term vision, these companies are like annual flowering plants with shallow roots. They are easily trampled, victims of bad weather, and die every year, only to be replaced by others just like them.

After all, that’s where the money is, anyway – in the long-term vision. Big investors don’t plan to waste any more time or money in cool ideas that don’t get very far. It’s one thing to create an app or service that is very cool and that all of your friends would pay $1 for. It’s quite another thing to turn that money into profit.

Rest Assured, There is a Future for Tech Startups

No matter what the failure rate is for tech startups, there is no reason for anyone with an excellent idea to not pursue it. Not only is there money to be made, but there are great technological innovations waiting in idea stage for someone with creativity, intelligence, and passion to bring them to life.

There’s no reason for tech startups with promising products and services to go unnoticed anymore, with all of the many resources for leadership, planning, financial support, and programs to bring great minds together to build and sustain profitable companies. The future of tech startups is indeed very bright. All they need are a few helping hands.

This guest post is written by Lior Levin, a marketing consultant for the Tel Aviv University’s department of ma in security, and who also consults for a neon sign store that provides custom neon signs.

Tackling the Unknown at Startup Weekend

Guest post by Jamie Gough, Creator, Passive Income app.

I actually stumbled across an article advertising the Melbourne Startup Weekend event and thought I would attend, not really knowing what to expect.

I went to the Startup Weekend wondering; is my idea a good one?  How do I develop my idea into an application? How long will it take to develop?  I was worried I didn’t have all the right skills to develop my idea, insecure in the thought that it may not work.

Great pitches were presented from a range of people presenting diverse ideas. It was great to see the people presenting their pitch were passionate about their idea. Some people had been thinking about their ideas for years, others literally had developed the idea during the lead up to the pitches.

To me the technical side of development was what scared me, with no idea of what was involved, where to start and what it would cost me. Seeing the teams develop concepts and turn them into apps over a weekend gave me insight and inspiration.

I left after the Startup Weekend thinking my idea had possibilities, keen and eager after hearing past success stories that you will never know if you don’t give your idea a go.

After Startup Weekend I engaged some app developers. Working with the app developers was a great experience. (Although it was difficult to get them to stick to a delivery date!) The developers were also able to help me expand my concept and create a more interactive app.

Without Startup Weekend I doubt I would have got the experience and courage to develop the idea I was mulling over and turn it into an app (

Submitting the app for review was interesting, with the App review team initially rejecting the App but after one email from myself they had it loaded and for sale within 24 hours.

Now for the next phase of the journey, marketing the app, got any ideas, if so tweet me on twitter @jamie1367.

Please give me feedback on the app as I will incorporate changes into future projects – (

You know the funny thing, I can’t even utilise my own app as I am stuck in a contract with a phone that cant download iPhone apps!



Startup Weekend 2011: Year-in-Review

2011 was a great year for Startup Weekend: we met thousands of passionate and innovative entrepreneurs, entered new startup ecosystems, revisited familiar ones, expanded our Core Team, and launched new initiatives.  With all the fun we had during 2011 we can’t wait to see what 2012 has in store.  Happy New Year from all of us at Startup Weekend!

Matchmaking at Des Moines Startup Weekend

When we came across this article by our friends at Silicon Prairie News we had to repost it to our blog.  Congratulations Shannon and Kenny!  All of us at Startup Weekend wish you the best!

From Pitch to Proposal: Iowa Couple Finds Love at Startup Weekend

Register Now for the Women2.0 PITCH Conference & Competition

Women 2.0 PITCH Conference & Competition (February 14, 2012 in Mountain View, CA) is a full day of learning from product innovation leaders who built Flickr, Facebook, Zipcar, TaskRabbit, LARK and more. Both men and women working in technology (from early-stage startup to corporate) are invited to learn from our speakers sharing best practices, growth strategies and stories of disruptive product development at their ventures.

Hear about launching products from concept to cash and customers! Watch the Women 2.0 Startup Competition finalists pitch live to a panel of investors for feedback and prizes. Network with 800+ members of the Women 2.0 community at our biggest event of the year!
To register, visit and save 10% with discount code “STARTUPWEEKEND”.

Inaugural APPNATION Enterprise Summit January 12th in San Francisco

The inaugural APPNATION Enterprise Summit will bring together the emerging and expansive app and connected device ecosystem to sift through the reality and hype of this game-changing transition in enterprise IT. The Enterprise Summit will include some of the world’s most prominent experts who are redefining application development and delivery in the enterprise. Join the dialog to address the risks, rewards, challenges and opportunities facing CIOs as they struggle to identify the right software, devices, systems and strategies and deliver results for their organizations.

The APPNATION Enterprise Summit is taking place on Thursday, January 12, 2012 at The Bentley Reserve in San Francisco. Use the discount code “STARTUPWKND” to get your 40% discount on registration here.

YEC Global Presents a Free Webinar with Joe Fernandez of

We’d like to formally invite you to attend a live, video Q&A that we are hosting alongside our friends from the Young Entrepreneur Council. The presenter of this event is none other than Joe Fernandez, Founder of RSVP here >>
Here is everything that you need to know…
WHEN: Thursday, January 12th, 4pm Eastern (1 p.m. Pacific)
WHERE: Broadcasting exclusively on (details to follow after you register)
WHAT: 90-minutes of startup/entrepreneurship Q&A with one of America’s top, young entrepreneurs
If you have any questions about this event, please email the event coordinator Jennifer at
We hope to see you there!

Startup Weekend EDU Listed #2 of 11 Tech Factors that Changed Education in 2011

All of us at Startup Weekend are very gratified to see that the impacts of our Education vertical are already being felt in the wider world of tech innovation.  In an article published by Innovation Daily, Startup Weekend EDU is commended for giving the “ecosystem of innovation…the fuel it needs.”  The EDU vertical is still a young one and all of us are looking forward to seeing the successes that come from events where business folks, makers, and educators work together to solve problems in the education industry.

Read the full article here.

KIDzOUT (Boulder SW) Ready For Market

By Seth Heine, President, KIDzOUT
An idea that was first explored at the Boulder Startup Weekend in February is now available in the Apple iPhone Store. KIDzOUT a highly detailed, GPS-based application that uses a proprietary database of nearly 250,000 relevant locations with searchable details for families on the go has already had over 300 downloads and 85 reviews.
Developed in the Denver-metro area with co-founders in Louisville, Colo. and Wyoming, the app directs families to diaper changing stations (sorted by women’s room, men’s room and family room installations); family-friendly restaurant details (high chairs, diaper changing stations, playgrounds, gluten-free menu options); playground locations (bathrooms, water fountains, playground features); and medical facilities (ER’s, walk-in medical facilities, pharmacies). This allows families to travel almost anywhere in the U.S., and Know Where To Go when they need to take care of children’s urgent needs.

According to co-founder Seth Heine, of Louisville, KIDzOUT got its legs at the intense weekend startup event. “We had this idea, and after spending the weekend talking with developers about how this idea could actually work as an app, I left the startup weekend confident that this was an idea whose time had come,” said Heine. “It was during that weekend that I began talking to—and hiring—developers and we got serious about devising a way to pre-populate our app with relevant locations.
As a parent, co-founder Jen Sieve-Hicks knows the value of the information KIDzOUT delivers.

“KIDzOUT is the first app of its kind. KIDzOUT app has more than 250,000 locations in it and growing, so you can make the smartest choices. The KIDzOUT database is by far the largest, most focused list of locations parents need to know about to meet the needs of their kids. This database is nationwide in scope, and is updated constantly by KIDzOUT users so you can expect to find everything from major retail and restaurant chains to local businesses and parks that you’d otherwise miss. We wanted a solution for parents so they can know where to go no matter where they roam.” said Sieve- Hicks.