Month: October 2010

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Partner event: Founder Institute accelerator

Start your dream company with the Founder Institute. To date, the Founder Institute has launched over 190 technology companies in 10 cities worldwide - many of which have been founded by women, such as Skimble, Memetales and WhatsFun. Is yours next? Applications are closing soon for Winter Semesters in Silicon Valley, Houston, Seattle and Boston.

  • Apply to Silicon Valley by November 7th here
  • Apply to Houston by November 7th here
  • Apply to Seattle by November 21st here
  • Apply to Boston by January 16th here

Anyone starting a technology company or thinking to become an entrepreneur should apply. It only takes a few minutes, and you don't even need an idea - just a passion to create a great technology company.

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Jen Costillo on Being Disruptive

Here is a blog post from one of the teams at Women 2.0 Labs this fall 2010 in San Francisco. Jen Costillo's Story

It was a day my team was dreading: Thursday presentations.

Every week over 5 weeks, each Women 2.0 Labs team presents the development of their idea and gets a chance to be properly torn down by the guest lecturer. The feedback is a once-in-a-lifetime chance but it can be a brutal wakeup call for teams who are deeply drinking the kool-aid all week.

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Founder Friday in Boston on November 12

Everyone has to eat, so why not share a meal and startup stories? Women 2.0 is holding a Founder Friday before Startup Weekend Boston. Meet fellow startup founders in Boston (both aspiring and current) for drinks and networking on Friday, November 12. Then we will walk over to Startup Weekend together.

Women 2.0 Founder Friday on November 12 in Boston before Startup Weekend

Join Women 2.0 for Founder Friday Boston on Friday, November 12 @ 5:15pm with Ali Powell (Founder, Boston WomenPreneurs).

Meet fellow entrepreneurs (both aspiring and current female founders of tech startups) over drinks before Startup Weekend Boston. Please RSVP for Founder Friday Boston on November 12.

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Madhavi Jagdish on Learning from Assumptions

This week's Women 2.0 Labs update comes after meeting Eric Ries in Week 1 of Labs. Madhavi Jagdish's Story

After an intense week, we had a lively and engaging session with Eric Ries, creator of the Lean Startup methodology. He illustrated Lean Startup concepts using examples from past experiences including IMVU and current, like Food on the Table. Eric inspired us to talk to prospective customers about our ideas to make sure we weren't deluding ourselves that we had the best idea in the world (aka the reality distortion field).

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Women 2.0 Startup Competition – PITCH 2010

The 4th Annual PITCH: Women 2.0 Startup Competition is open to early-stage ventures around the world, from high growth business ventures in web to mobile, from cleantech to biotech. Applying companies must have a female in the founding team, be in beta stage, and have received less than 3 million in funding. Deadline to apply is October 8, 2010.

Thanks for applying -- now hang tight! Finalists will be notified by October 19.

All applications will receive written feedback from at least 3 members of the judging panel. Finalists pitch live in at the 4th Annual PITCH Night on November 4, 2010 in San Francisco. Previous years' prizes included meetings with Michael Moritz (Sequoia Capital) and Tim Draper (Draper Fisher Jurvetson).

This year, winners receive meetings with iconic investors Esther Dyson (investor in companies such as Flickr,, and 23andMe), Matt Murphy (Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers), Mike Maples (Managing Partner, FLOODGATE), and Naval Ravikant (Partner, AngelList). Winners will also receive a host of startup-friendly services valued at $17k.

How to Enter the Women 2.0 Startup Competition:

1.)  Fill out the one-page application online. You can edit your application online anytime up to the closing date of October 8. Applying teams must have at least one female on the founding team.
2.)  Mail in your napkin business plan. Scribble and doodle your business idea on a paper napkin, and send it in.
3.)  Film a quick 2-min video pitch. This isn't a business pitch to the investor, but a marketing pitch to your consumer.
4.)  Submit everything by the closing date of October 8, 2010. Last day to edit your application online and upload your 2-minute video is October 8, 2010.
5.)  Finalists will be notified October 19, 2010. The judging panel will review submissions and provide written feedback to all applications.
6.)  Finalists present on November 4, 2010 in San Francisco. You are invited to join us at Women 2.0 PITCH Night to watch finalists pitch live and hear keynotes from female founders of successful tech startups (VMware, Obopay, and SunRun). This is the biggest Women 2.0 event of the year -- get your ticket now!

Quick Facts about PITCH 2010:

  1. The founding team must have at least one female.
  2. The founding team must have a technologist* on the founding team. A technologist is an engineer, scientist, mathematician, biologist, etc.
  3. Your venture must be in beta. This means you should have a prototype (alpha or beta version) or the product is already in the market.
  4. PITCH is focused on companies with high-growth potential.

Apply to PITCH: Women 2.0 Startup Competition

How to apply to the Women 2.0 PITCH Startup Competition -- there are 3 parts:

  1. Fill out the application on Angelsoft. Once you start an application, you may edit your application anytime prior to the closing date of October 8, 2010. Application fee is $50 per startup.
  2. Mail in your business model scribbled on a paper napkin -- Capture your creativity on the paper napkin with your doodles and drawings. Submit your business idea on a paper napkin no larger than 7×7 inches. Your name and contact info must be on the napkin so we can match it with your online application. Napkins must be received at 63 Bovet Road, #519, San Mateo, CA 94402 no later than October 8, 2010. Napkins will be exhibited to the public at PITCH Night. By default, your napkin will be exhibited. If you do not wish to participate in the exhibition, state clearly on a note and attach it on the napkin.
  3. Film a 2-minute video pitch -- Think of this as a traditional television commercial, and the audience/viewers are your "perfect" customers. How will you pitch your product to them? The video should be uploaded along with your business plan through Angelsoft. Uploading video takes time and bandwidth, we suggest you do not wait until the deadline to submit your video pitch. Angelsoft will allow you to upload a video of up to 5 minutes long, but we strongly suggest you keep your video to 2 minutes -- you should be able to distill your message into a 2 minute video for uploading.

All applications will receive written feedback from the judging panel. Judges are investors and successful entrepreneurs who take time to review your application in detail and provide honest, constructive feedback on your venture and application. For a list of the judging panel, click here.

Finalists will be notified October 19, 2010 and invited to present at Women 2.0 PITCH Night in San Francisco on November 4th, 2010. If you are selected as a finalist, the entire team must present at PITCH.

This competition is in line with Steve Blank's position that startups model while companies plan -- hence, Women 2.0 is holding a business model competition rather than a business plan competition. Judging is based on not just the initial business model but what the team learned by pivoting, for example, avoiding the "beauty contest" of business plans where judges resort to choosing the best "paper exercise" plan (rather than the best business or the team that has made the most progress in figuring out product-market fit). Teams, whether they win or lose, finish the competition significantly more prepared to launch their business in the real world. Read more »

Investor Meetings for PITCH 2010 Winners:

Esther Dyson (Principal, EDventure Holdings) Esther is an active investor at EDventure Holdings in a variety of startups, focusing on technology. Her portfolio of private space and air travel investments includes XCOR Aerospace, Space Adventures/Zero G (recently merged), Constellation Services, Icon Aircraft, Coastal Aviation Software and Airship Ventures. She has flown weightless on Zero-G four times, but hopes to go up again soon. On the IT side, Esther's investments included Flickr and, both sold to Yahoo! and Medstory, sold to Microsoft. Currently, she sits on the boards of 23andMe, Meetup, WPP Group, Eventful, Evernote, Boxbe and Yandex, the leading Russian search company. Esther sold her business EDventure Holdings, along with its Release1.0 newsletter and PC Forum conference, to CNET Networks in 2004. Esther left CNET at the end of 2006 and (with permission) has resumed doing business under the name of EDventure Holdings. She spends most of her time exploring new space, health care and IT start-ups and technologies, writing about them and actively (and with full disclosure) investing in some of them. Matt Murphy (Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers) Matt manages the iFund at KPCB, a collaborative initiative with Apple focused on funding and building defining applications on the iPhone OS platform and the mobile internet. His expertise is in network communications, compute infrastructure, and mobile applications. Matt is either a Director or works closely with the management teams of Booyah!, GOGII, Pelago, Shazam, shopkick, Kodiak Networks, RGB Networks, Stoke, Aerohive Networks, and Puppet Labs. Previously, Matt was a board observer at Google (from initial investment to IPO), led KP's investment in Autonavi (NASDAQ: AMAP '10), and was a Director at Ocarina Networks (acquired by Dell '10), Peakstream (acquired by Google '08), Dash Navigation (acquired by RIM '09). Prior to KPCB, Matt led product management at a semiconductor startup (Netboost acquired by Intel) and worked at Sun Microsystems. Matt holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Tufts University and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Mike Maples (Managing Partner, FLOODGATE) Mike is the managing partner of FLOODGATE, and was recently named as one of "8 Rising VC Stars" by Fortune Magazine for his investments in business and consumer technology companies. Before becoming a full-time investor, Mike was an entrepreneur and operating executive who worked in a variety of senior management roles in high-growth companies. His background spans a variety of markets including consumer technology, small business, and the enterprise, and he has led various functions in product development, marketing, business development, and corporate strategy. Mike co-founded Motive, Inc., the world's leading broadband software company in 1997, and played key roles in its growth from raw start-up through sales of more than $75 million. Motive was one of the only successful technology IPOs in 2004, and the most successful infrastructure software IPO for the prior three years. At Motive, Mike was General Manager of Motive's Corporate Business Unit, as well as Chief Marketing and Strategy officer. Prior to Motive, Mike was responsible for worldwide product marketing at Tivoli Systems, where he managed the company's product portfolio from its early-stage development through its 1995 IPO and growth to a $750M line of business within the IBM Software Group. Mike began his professional career at Silicon Graphics, where he served in business development and product marketing roles. Mike holds an Engineering degree from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Naval Ravikant (Partner, AngelList) Naval is an entrepreneur and angel investor, a co-author of Venture Hacks, and a co-maintainer of AngelList. Previously, he was a co-founder at Genoa Corp (acquired by Finisar), (IPO via, and (largest white-label classifieds marketplace). Naval has advised, iPivot, and XFire, among others, and invested in many companies, including Twitter, FourSquare, DocVerse (sold to Google), Mixer Labs (sold to Twitter), Jambool (Social Gold), SnapLogic, PlanCast, Stack Overflow, Heyzap, and Disqus. Naval holds B.S. in Computer Science and Economics from Dartmouth College.

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Ryan Richards on Team Formation and Spoon Date

We have an update for you from Women 2.0 Labs - the fall 2010 edition. At the start of the 5-week program, teams form around individuals and ideas. Ryan Richard's Story

On Sunday afternoon, my teammate Van and I got together for some Indian food at this place on the corner of Third St. and Folsom. We were talking about engineering, startups. and how excited we were about the Women 2.0 mixer. Little did we know that by the end of the day we'd have found our team and already be working on a great startup idea.

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