Tag Archives: womeintech

Startup Mansions – Thinking outside the box in San Francisco’s hot apartment rental market

Ever heard of co-working? Well, this takes co-habitating a new meaning. With San Francisco’s tight housing marketing, residents are starting to think outside of the box and revolutionize an old idea of co-habitating. The demand for 1-2-3 bedroom apartments are extremely competitive currently, but demand for 10 bedroom mansions, not in this economy. There are a handful of mansions housing tech startups around the city and bay area.

Here’s a renovated Victorian mansion across from Alamo Square houses 10 startups under one roof. I was lucky enough to get a tour from one of the occupants. They have a Great Room furnished with kitchy retro decor where all the walls is a giant chalkboard motivation board. Their living room was designed to house a bullpin of computer stations the call the “War Room.” The use of dry-erase paint on the walls make it easy for the ad-hoc meetings that occur many times a day. The house also has a music room, ping pong, billard table, community kitchen, bunk beds to pile in the bootstrappers, large deck facing Alamo Square. Some bedrooms have private baths, whereas some are shared.

Sure its the “Real World” tech style, but it goes beyond convenience. The benefits of these arrangements is intangible yet significant.  The increased productivity gained, forged friendships, partnerships formed, synergy of share resources, network and peer feedback makes this simply priceless. These occupants are selected by the company that holds the lease, thus holds the risk, but this gives the most flexibility in terms of lease terms, especially for the international entrepreneur where it’s more difficult to get a lease or sub-lease. There are several mansions like this already and the company that has the lease to this mansion is planning to expand operations. Check www.airbnb.com for some options.

Great Wall Club – Google I/O International Night

Great Wall Club U.S presents “Google IO International Reception“.This event will provide a great opportunity for attendees to meet with developers and entrepreneurs from around the world. At this event, expect hot topic discussion and networking opportunities with people in the industry.

Agenda

4:30 – 4:45 Presentation David W. Healy, Partner of Fenwick
4:45 – 5:00 Presentation “Mobile Goes Global” Michael Wong
5:00 – 5:20 Presentation “Devloper Opportunities at GMIC SV” Steve Austin
5:20 – 5:25 Q&A
5:25 – 5:35 Raffle- where I won the grand prize worth $1000 for VIP tickets to the upcoming GMIC SV 2012 - The Global Mobile Internet Conference in October.
5:35 – 6:00 Networking was interesting because their were many reps from China.

G-Startup is a leading startup competition for mobile Internet growth stage and early stage companies. Deadline July 31. For details click here. Here’s the GWC Blog.

GMIC SV 2012

For the first time, Global Mobile Internet Conference (GMIC) will be held in Silicon Valley this year in October. The Global Mobile Internet Conference is an annual mobile industry event which has become Asia’s largest mobile Internet conference and is now coming to Silicon Valley. An expected 5,000 entrepreneurs, executives, investors, and developers will gather this October at GMIC SV to learn from and network with key players from the largest and hottest mobile markets across the world.

Focusing on connecting the mobile Internet ecosystems around the globe, GMIC provides a platform to share best practices to succeed in the world’s hottest mobile markets. Industry leaders are learning that the road to success in markets unfamiliar to their home country is complicated by language, culture, government, and infrastructure differences. GMIC SV puts the experts on stage to communicate key factors and share their own stories for getting mobile companies to succeed in these countries.

Beyond keynote speeches, panels, and fireside chats, GMIC SV organizes appSpace—the developer track and competition—and G-Startup, the startup competition for early stage and growth companies. And, of course, there will be plenty of social events to ensure GMIC SV attendees can relax, see more of Silicon Valley, and connect with potential partners, clients, and friends.

Google is lending a helping hand to non-profits

Google San Francisco Office

Google rolled out a new community outreach program for non-profit organization which I was honored to be invited to attend because I’m on the board of directors for a breast cancer charity, Busted Foundation.  This was especially appreciated by the community because the limited resources challenging many non-profit organizations.

Google apps offer a wide variety of products to make work and life much more efficient. They update so often that it was nice to get a bit of handholding. First we were divided up and participated in a session where we learned about the different Google apps, marketing, advertising opportunities, Google grants, etc. Afterwards, we were assigned to have a private session with a Google developer.

I bombarded by my developer with plenty of questions about Google Hangout, Events & Drive. My developer was very proficient with Google products but was a different development team so wasn’t an expert. He was very friendly, responsive and helped me convert my board meetings to Google Hangout.

This is excellent that Google is doing more community outreach like this to empower users to use and optimize Google products. It increases brand loyalty and improves community reputation. Good job and thanks for the nice lunch.

Weekly & Monthly Networking opportunities

There are many websites to go to for event info but Eventbrite.com and meetup.com are my favorite resources for tech events around town.

Weekly

The Hub – Co-working space holds “90 seconds and a cookie” Thursdays @ 2pm – Milk, Cookies, and Mingling! A break for treats and conversation during the slump of the day. Members only or pay the daily fee to pitch

Nextspace – Co-working space holds Friday Happy Hours @ 4pm members or pay the daily fee to join

Hackers & Founders – Meetup group that holds weekly Wednesday lunches, locations vary between San Fran and the Silicon Valley.

Various Meetup happy hours. Refer to Meetup.com for the various groups.

Jumpstart – $15 JumpStartDays is a mentoring program for seed stage pre-funded, pre-revenue technology startups. Each month 12 entrepreneurs present to a panel of Keiretsu Forum angel investor members and seed stage VCs. The purpose of the program is to provide mentoring and resources to entrepreneurs to ‘jump start’ their company. The presenters benefit from the involvement of Keiretsu Forum’s members whose networks, time, resources, and experience are as valuable as their capital.

RockIT trivia – Tech recruiters leading a fun geek event with free beer & snacks.

Monthly

Life 3.0 - is the largest monthly startup demo show in San Francisco. We gather the most disruptive startup founders in the same room with investors, early adopters , and media. At Life 3.0, Funders and Founders mix to exchange ideas, do business, and get inspired.

Funders & Founders meetup - Different from Life 3.0. Its more of a lecture/Q&A with multiple industry leader speakers. Wine & refreshment usually served. $20

Networking After Work - Network After Work-San Francisco is a business and social networking event company. The events are created for professionals who want to expand their network, create new business opportunities, and mingle with other professionals. The events range in size from 200-600 professionals and take place in San Francisco’s best bars, nightclubs, and hotels.

Startup Waffles - started by the StartupDigest co-founders Chris & Brendan to bring together founders and hackers for tasty waffles.

Geek Girl Dinners -  the result of one geek in the UK, tired of being the only girl & having to constantly prove herself, who decided to go find more of her kind and invite them to dinner. This is the Bay Area Chapter. Free.

First Friday Happy Hours

Startup HQ – They provide beer & snacks bonus is the taco truck – BYOWallet

Women2.0 – Founder Friday – just down the street from the Startup HQ Happy Hour - BYOWallet

NextSpace – First friday work at NextSpace for free and stay for happy hour.

Top meetups for tech startup founders new to the bay area

There’s a ton of meetups in the Bay Area that would fit almost everyone. You just need to be clear on your networking goals. Whether personal or professional, meetup.com provides a great venue to meet like minded people in your community. In the Bay Area, tech has been and is the hot topic for many meetups. There’s a huge variation in interest groups and how they conduct their meetings and events. Most groups are free to join, many are free meetings, etiquette is to pay for your own drinks unless mentioned in the details, a few are pay as you attend special meetings & events, etc.

Here are some of my picks for tech startup founders, especially those new to the Bay Area and want to expand their professional network.

  • Funders & Founders – Monthly Life 3.0 events + other lectures, discussions,
  • Hackers & Founders  - weekly meetings in various locations of informational session, hackathons, happy hours, networking opportunities and weekly networking lunches with others in the tech community. Prepay 1 week in advance and sign up for the emails to get invited weekly as the locations do change. For more info:
  • Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs and Startups – one of the largest meetups in the Bay Area. They hold a variety of events including information sessions, demo days, bootcamps, co-founder networking and the happy hour is definitely highly recommended.
  • SF Jump Start Days – $15 The JumpStartDays program provides feedback, mentoring, and resources from angel investors to seed stage pre-funded, pre-revenue technology startups. http://www.meetup.com/jumpstartdays/
  • The Silicon Valley iOS Developer’s Meetup 
  • SF Statup Idea-to-IPO
  • Just for the ladies – Women2.0, Girls in Tech, Geek Girls Dinners, and plenty more.

Funders & Founders

VIDEO: Let’s Lunch – Expand your professional network

A great free way of expanding your professional network, meeting new people or just making new friends are sites like www.LetsLunch.com. One could be randomly paired for a one on one lunch, one could join interest group lunches, be introduced to someone or be invited to lunch.  The members has a wide variety of people from all walks of life but here in the Bay Area there is an abundance of techies and startup founders. There’s a directory so explore and add to your wishlist based upon your networking goals. All you need to do is schedule the lunch, show up and pay for your own lunch.

It was extremely important for a company like Let’s Lunch to have a community manager because even though it is a website that matches individuals. Let’s Lunch had a limited budget and needed to increase their presence in the community and increase member excitement about getting out of their routine and discovering new people. Word of mouth & press coverage was how Let’s Lunch has expanded to over 10,000 members in multiple cities and countries.

Here’s a video of group lunch I helped lead regarding online marketing with special guest Murray Newlands, Influencepeople.com, Thanks for the video.

Life 3.0 – Love, Sex & Tech

Life 3.0 is the largest monthly startup demo show in San Francisco. We gather the most disruptive startup founders in the same room with investors, early adopters , and media. At Life 3.0, Funders and Founders mix to exchange ideas, do business, and get inspired.


*See me in the video

Life 3.0 – Love, Sex & Tech

April’s theme was Love, Sex & Tech. I was interviewed by Murray Newlands, Influencepeople.com. I was assisting Letslunch.com at their booth. Life 3.0 attendees voted for their favorite startups with beans. We placed 4th, not enough to place top 3 to do the pitch to the panel…which is good because Letslunch.com had nothing to do with love or sex but is a tech company. 45 different startups came to complete for the title of the Best Startup. The entire audience of 500 people voted.

The 3 companies that placed were innovative sexy tech ideas, my favorite being Vibease, a hardware+software teledildonic product intended for remote intimacy. A smart-phone app that powers a distant vibrator. The founder, Dema Tio, created a fantasy world where video, music and vibrations are aimed to help women achieve orgasm. Tio was in Singapore at the time of the event and watched the entire event via ustream feed. I would receive Tio’s excited SMS messages if the feed were ever interrupted. Tio had a representative at the demo booth but wanted to do the pitch himself. Tio was able to pitch to the panel via skype video. Awww, the power of technology bringing the world together. A good example of the future of our engagement.

And the winners are…Cheekd.com – a New York Startup that enables you to let good-looking strangers know that you are interested. Founded by Lori Cheek, a startupper, passionate as a billion dollars, Cheek mails her cards all over the U.S. inspiring everyone who believes in love at first sight to act on their dreams when they sight a dreamy stranger. In the second place came Closer ToGetHer, an app that controls iPhone-powered vibrators for distance couples. the founder, Justin Wilcox, has ambitions to supply the military with his app and partner with sex toy makers to help all long-distance couples enjoy each other and preserve fidelity. Vibease come in third place.

800 Birds – Seed Funding Tips, Traps & Jumps

It’s highly recommended that tech startup founders join 800 Birds, especially if one has interest in gaming. 800 Birds, previously known as ERT (Entrepreneurs RoundTable), an organically grown and over 1000 members strong startup/geek community.  Shirley Lin is the organizer of 800 Birds. She is very friendly, knowledgeable and a super networker in the SF startup community connecting one to a very valuable network. 800 Birds meetings are filled geeks, founders, industry leaders, investors, angels and many more. In the first meeting alone, I met one of each listed.

Here’s the event details: We have a VC and serial entrepreneur,  a seasoned corporate VC, a young startup founder and a legal expert on board to look into every aspect involved in the practice of seeking your seed round.  Your first seed round is the hardest to push through.  Learn the tips, traps and the jumps that can help you avoid making lot of mistakes.

Our speakers on the deck:
:: Jim Li,  one of the most prominent entrepreneurs in the Valley, a Venture Partner at Emergence Capital.  Geek at his heart, entrepreneurship in his blood, an MIT grad, Jim founded Halloo Communications, Flying Packets Communications, Whistle Communications, Tribe Computer Works, and Mytek with serial successful exits.
:: Thorsten Claus, Investment Managergr at T-Ventures of Amerca.  Thorsten has deep expertise in corporate investment, founded FundStorm, worked at Deutch Telecom.  Also a great friend to 800 Birds founder community.

On the deck, we also have:
::Justin Hovey, Partner at Pillsbury Law Firm, and long time staunch supporter for our startup community, can give you all the legal tips and traps when you are out seeking your first round with your co-founders or lack of.
:: Dan Dascalescu, co-founder/CIO, BlueSeed, a project backed by Peter Thiel to build the largest coworking space and startup incubator on a ship anchored 30 minutes from the coast of Silicon Valley. Located in international waters, it allows entrepreneurs from around the world to start/scale their ventures without the need for US work visa, while traveling to the mainland using easier to obtain business/tourist visas.  Dan is an ex-Yahoo! s/w engineer and co-author and translate a number of  IT books.

President Obama’s “Start-Up America Initiative” – $1 Billion in Early Stage Small Business Investment Company (“SBIC”) Initiative

Since the economic downturn, I am happy to see President’s Obama’s initiatives are really going towards improving the economy, creating innovation and providing jobs.  Here’s some info from the Small Business Association about the  “Start-Up America Initiative.”

Repost:

As part of President Obama’s “Start-Up America Initiative” SBA is implementing the Early Stage SBIC Initiative that intends to commit up to $1 billion in SBA  guaranteed leverage over a five year period to selected  early stage venture funds using its current Debenture program authorization. This initiative is intended to promote American innovation and job creation by encouraging private sector investment in job-creating early stage small businesses.

Early Stage SBIC final regulations and the accompanying Call Notice may be found in the Early Stage SBIC docket folder at www.regulations.gov or for more info click here

How will the Early Stage Call Process work and what is the timing?

Answer: The Early Stage SBIC Call Notice describes the process and timing in detail. In  general the process will include: A) Call Period; B) Initial Review; C) SBIC Fundraises and  Finalizes Documents; and D) Licensing.  In order to expedite applicants that have already raised sufficient capital, SBA has  established two “tracks” for the Early Stage SBIC Licensing Process as follows:

Track 1 – Applicants with Capital: This includes all applicants that have signed commitments for at least $15 million in Regulatory Capital and the remaining capital needed to achieve the minimum $20 million in Regulatory Capital for Early Stage SBICs “soft-circled”. Track 1 applicants that receive a Green Light will need binding unconditional commitments of at least $20 million in Regulatory Capital when they file their Licensing Application on or before July 30, 2012.

Track 2 – All Other Applicants.

For complete info click here.

Workin’ It – Alumni Networking Tips

Even with all the technology social media today, nothing beats the old-fashioned one-on-one personal meeting. There’s a certain connection that is made and a rapport that’s developed very quickly upon a live in-person meeting. I recently moved to the

Bay Area from Los Angeles.  One f the first places I looked to expand my professional network is USC. Luckily, the Trojan family is very strong and there’s plenty of opportunities even up here. Here are some tips I found useful when I am networking with alumni:

Tip #1 – Your university alumni network is a great resource. With everyone being online now, its easy to track down your college buddies via the university’s alumni webpage, LinkedIn groups, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Google+, etc. Attending an alumni event is always a good way of expanding your professional network and maybe connect with old friends.

Tip #2 – Get noticed, if you were asked to speak or have an opportunity to speak, don’t be shy. Grab the microphone and be ready with a snazzy intro. First impressions are everything. In the photos, I’m wearing a hot pink scarf when caught a lot of people’s eye, so the photographer took plenty of photos, especially during my speech.  So when the alumni followed up with me via email, the scarf was mentioned multiple times.

Tip #3 – When speaking in front of a crowd, I tend to scan the room to see the audience. If I’m ever nervous I just make eye contact from time to time with a friendly face. It’s natural, just take a breath and wing it!

Tip #4 – Work the crowd, shake as many hands as possible. However, remember, whenever given an opportunity, always speak to someone one-on-one for a more meaningful conversation. It’s amazing what might come out of  a 2 minute conversation even at an expo.

Tip #5 – Always bring some cards with you. After you exchange cards and they walked away, flip over the card and write how and where you met this other person so you could follow-up later. Maybe a hint on your conversation to jog your memory.

Tip #6 – If you are speaking to someone you really want to follow-up with but you forgot your cards, ask for their phone number or email and send them a quick text or email immediately.

Tip #7 – As soon as possible, follow-up with any conversations you might have had with someone. Do this while you are still fresh in their minds. Ask them for out for coffee or a meeting if possible.

Tip #8 – I’m not sure on the etiquette of this, but some people follow-up but adding this new person as a contact on Linkedin and other social media sites. Personally, I do not do this unless I have had extensive conversations with this person so my actually know my network of contacts. Others dislike being requested to add after just a quick first meeting.

Tip #9 – Networking for me is about meeting new people with the goal of meeting someone interesting. Through the conversation I learn about them and what they are doing currently and I often listen to see if that person is in need of anything. If they are and I could assist, I often volunteer to do something nice such as connect them with someone else that could help. Connections and synergy is what it’s about.

Tip #10 – Be genuine. People could tell right away if you aren’t, so just be yourself.

Remember…follow-up, follow-up, follow-up is key to your success. Good Luck!