Long Island Startup Digest – 4th Edition

Posted on January 28th, 2013 by AndrewHazenCom  |  No Comments »

Welcome to our fourth edition of Startup Digest – Long Island

Please sign-up for future newsletters at http://startupdigest.com/long-island/

Given the HUGE turnout of 70+ people at our LI Startups Meetup this week, I have LOTS of Long Island Startups to cover like HereMatch, O My Jewelry and CollegeStartup.org.

HereMatch is the ultimate business networking tool! A must have app for anyone attending conventions, conferences, trade shows, seminars, business networking groups, and business networking events.
HereMatch is free to download, free to use, and available for immediate download for iPhone and Android.

O My Jewelry is a hollow bracelet that holds your favorite perfume and releases your favorite scent all day!

CollegeStartup.org – CollegeStartUp strives to connect students with educational experiences where they can grow into entrepreneurs. On 3/9/13 CollegeStartup.org is having a one-day college startup competition to create and pitch an idea for the chance to win $1,000 cash!

Since we covered The Art of the Elevator Pitch at our last LI Startups meetup, you can see their “pitches” and others at http://www.youtube.com/listartups

Upcoming Events

February 6, 2013: First-To-File: Is Your Company Ready for the Upcoming Changes to the Patent Laws?
A collabroative event to discuss how the next wave of changes by the America Invents Avt will affect you and yor business. Learn more and register here.

February 11, 2013: LI Startups and LISTnet’s Lean Startup group have speaker Kuty Shalev of CleverTech presenting on Exploring Practical Examples of Using Lean Startup in Real World Examples. You can join at LI Startups or LISTnet’s Lean Startup group

February 12, 2013: LISTnet’s BEST Event – The “BEST” Resources for Your Company’s Growth! We’ll help put the pieces together. Funding, IDA Programs, Start-Up Programs, Economic Development
The Garden City Hotel 6 pm – 8:30 pm Register Here

You can submit your startup or your event to andrew@LIStartups.com for consideration in next week’s digest.

For newcomers: The Long Island StartupDigest is an events list, created by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, that is laser-focused on the needs of start-ups on Long Island.

* StartupDigest is a simple, curated resource for entrepreneurs, it was recently acquired by Startup Weekend and has more than 250,000 international subscribers.

Please send feedback to andrew@LIStartup.com

Long Island StartupDigest is curated by:
Andrew Hazen – Angel Investor, Serial Entrepreneur & Attorney

The Art of the Pitch

Posted on January 28th, 2013 by AndrewHazenCom  |  No Comments »

Last week I hosted our second LI Startups meetup that focused on The Art of The Pitch. The event was well attended with over 70 entrepreneurs and after I covered some insight and tips on delivering a better pitch, I asked several people from the group, some even strangers, to “pitch” us all…..and they did!!

Here are some great pictures from the event and I also uploaded some video pitches that I recorded here…..what do you think?


Founder vs. Co-Founders??

Posted on November 26th, 2012 by AndrewHazenCom  |  No Comments »

I’ve been doing LOTS of reading and research lately on startups and I must admit while it may seem ‘obvious’ many article and entrepreneurs suggest that the co-founder model provides balance for improved startup success. Moreover, I’ve seen a few accelerator programs that require not only at least two co-founders, but one of the co-founders MUST BE an engineer!

We all know of famous co-founders such as Bill Gates & Paul Allen; Steve Jobs & Steve Wozniak; Larry Page & Sergey Brin; Bill Hewlett & Dave Packard, etc. and I personally am ALL about surrounding yourself with an extraordinary team and getting the “best of the best” for each area where you need to succeed! Therefore, I agree with the statement that the co-founder model provides for improved startup success…

While I did not have a co-founder at my digital marketing agency of 15 years (I did have an outstanding team though!!!) I do have co-founders at Angel Dough Ventures and two other of my latest ventures and I will admit, besides someone else “having skin in the game,” when you find the ‘RIGHT’ co-founder(s) who compliments your skills/knowledge it makes the experience that much more enjoyable!!!

I know, I know, easier said than done which is why I want to try to help and share the following Co-Founder Resources with you:


Let me know your thoughts on Founder vs. Co-Founder!!


GiftBasket.com Sells for $350,000

Posted on November 20th, 2012 by AndrewHazenCom  |  No Comments »

‘Tis the season to be selling domain names as FindYourDomain.com has published on its website that it sold GiftBasket.com for $350,000

This is fantastic name and a wonderful sale for BOTH the seller and the buyer in my opinion.


Long Island Entrepreneurs: Come Out, Come Out Wheverever You Are!

Posted on November 13th, 2012 by AndrewHazenCom  |  No Comments »

As published today in Long Island Business News
Long Islanders looking to cash in on their good ideas but unsure of how to do so have a new resource to help them out.

A new special interest group, created by Angel Dough Ventures founder Andrew Hazen in conjunction with the Long Island Software and Technology Network, will aid would-be entrepreneurs with information and guidance on business formation, product/service development, funding and marketing.

All advice will be provided by local entrepreneurs like Hazen who have successfully brought their ideas to market, as well as experts from other fields such as law.

Hazen said it’s his hope the special interest group helps to create a series of new startup companies in the region.

The group’s first meeting is at 8 a.m. on Dec. 11 at the offices of Uniondale-based Ruskin Moscou Faltischek and there are already over 50 people signed-up to attend.

For more information please visit www.LIstartups.com
Hope to see you there!!

Man Has Made First Amendment Challenge in Domain Name Dispute

Posted on November 7th, 2012 by AndrewHazenCom  |  No Comments »

LegalNewsline is reporting that The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has sent back to district court a Texas attorney’s constitutional challenge to the State of Texas’ attempt to deny him use of his website’s domain name.

John Gibson maintains a website under the domain name “TexasWorkersCompLaw.com.” In February 2011, Gibson received a cease and desist letter from the Texas Department of Insurance, Department of Workers Compensation, which alleged that his use of the words “Texas” and “Workers’ Comp” in the domain name of his website violated Sec. 419.002 of the Texas Labor Code.

The Court of Appeals agreed with the district court and affirmed the dismissal of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment claims. However, it found some merit in Gibson’s First Amendment challenge.

“The United States Supreme Court has recognized that commercial speech is protected by the First Amendment… However, the Constitution… accords a lesser protection to commercial speech than to other constitutionally guaranteed expression,” wrote Judge Edith Brown Clement in the Fifth Circuit’s “as-applied” analysis.

Gibson argued that his website did more than just propose a commercial transaction and thus should have more than the protection afforded commercial speech, and the Court agreed that it might. But, the Court said, “the domain name may nevertheless be considered commercial speech if“ it is an advertisement of some form, it refers to a specific product, and the speaker has an economic motivation for the speech.”

Because the issue of whether a domain name is commercial speech or “a more vigorously protected form of speech” is a new issue, the Court wrote, “This is an issue we need not reach or decide in this appeal without a record of all of the surrounding facts and circumstances involving the website’s domain name.”

You can read the entire article here


4 Websites to Get Inspired for Your Startup Idea

Posted on October 27th, 2012 by AndrewHazenCom  |  No Comments »

Are you looking for the right startup idea? Here are 4 websites that can help you to find the inspiration you are looking for:

Do you want to start something innovative? Check what people miss on the market at IdeasWatch. Creative minds share here (and keep sharing) hundreds of ideas they would love to use if they existed. Thanks to global scope of IdeasWatch you can discuss their business models, technical solution or marketing with other entrepreneurs, investors or geeks from all over the world. The international community also helps to spot similar projects in another country. If you fall in love with one of the ideas you can easily form a team with other people passionate about the same idea and start a business together.

Would you rather start something that already exists and proved itself? Keep an eye on Springwise. More than 8,000 spotters bring new ideas from many countries on daily basis. The editors choose them very carefully to keep the high quality. Feel free to get inspired and try to run a similar idea in your region or in a different way. The website is visually very appealing thanks to pictures and nice headings for each idea. An advantage and drawback at the same time is the number of subscribers – more than 150,000 people receive the same idea, so act quickly!

Cool Business Ideas
Want another source of realized ideas like Springwise? From time to time look at Cool Business Ideas. The concept is practically the same, however, they have a much smaller community of spotters and less subscribers. This makes the ideas more scarce (less people want to do it). There are usually tangible products you might want to import to your country if they are not already there. The ideas differs from Springwise so there is no reason not to check both.

Killer Startups
Looking for emerging internet startups? Subscribe to Killer Startups. This site allows anyone to submit a startup for free. It is therefore popular among early-stage entrepreneurs to promote their projects. From the websites featured in this article, they publish by far the most startups per day (15+). The quality is varying though. Some of the startups turn out later to be quite big,while others keep their school-project-look and never grow up. Nevertheless, both are inspirational. It might not be that hard to catch up when you see a good idea that is poorly realized.

I hope these sites fuel your inspiration and entrepreneurial drive!!

Angel Investors on Twitter and Facebook

Posted on October 25th, 2012 by AndrewHazenCom  |  No Comments »

I just came across what I think is a very useful resource for startups and entrepreneurs….it is a Directory of angel investors on twitter and facebook

One of the best ways to develop a relationship with an angel investor is to follow them on Twitter, their blogs and Facebook. Before contacting an angel, you should read everything they’ve written, tweeted, blogged or said (publicly)–that’s just startup 101.

Here is a list of some of the world’s most notable angel investors (sorted by location), their Twitter handle, Facebook page and links to a sampling of their investments.


Ideas alone aren’t worth squat

Posted on October 25th, 2012 by AndrewHazenCom  |  No Comments »

Just read a great article by @RedHeadWriting entitled: Why Collaboration Is Key…..

Ideas. They bubble up all day long, when we’re sitting at stoplights or standing in line for our mocha-lotta-frappa-no-whip concoctions. And, I’ve noticed, the idea supply chain goes into overdrive after a few shots of tequila.

But ideas alone aren’t worth squat.

To turn ideas from air into something of value, you first have to admit that you’re not special.

I’m not special. It’s probably the most difficult lesson I’ve had to learn as an entrepreneur. I’m fallible just like everyone else. The day I stopped thinking all my ideas were brilliant and my business practices above reproach was the day my company started to take off.

I’m not special. It’s probably the most difficult lesson I’ve had to learn as an entrepreneur. I’m fallible just like everyone else. The day I stopped thinking all my ideas were brilliant and my business practices above reproach was the day my company started to take off.

I realized that, in their infancy, my ideas are just things bouncing around in my noggin like the last three gumballs in a glass globe outside the grocery store. On the surface, I had nothing. Ideas that sit in your head are worthless for a few reasons:

They’re idle. You haven’t built anything people can take for a spin.
They’re bulletproof. You haven’t put them in front of anyone who can shoot them down.
They’re invisible. If people don’t know about your idea, they can’t feel anything about it.

It’s easy to pick up a copy of your favorite magazine (this one included) and marvel at the finished products. What we rarely think about is how those ideas got out of the inventors’ heads and in front of other people–the only place where they have a chance for success.

So, a starting point for making that idea special: Find brains to bounce it off. We’re not talking about Facebook blasts to family and friends. Instead, seek out:

Your target consumers to find out if they would buy what you plan on selling. Listen–really listen to them–and act on their feedback.
Some down-the-line potential backers to see how they react. (But be careful with this bunch. If you waste their time, they won’t want to hear from you again. Be prepared, with a concise pitch and any questions you may have.)
Solo entrepreneurs who are on at least their second venture. You want to learn from their failures–and they’ll be the most honest with you. They’ll tell you, “Here are the challenges I see with that.”

So instead of sitting around with your idea, thinking about how pretty it is and how much you love it, start thinking about the people who can help you add some weight to your thinking. The doing: That’s the path toward special.
Some food for thought!!

Can Crowdfunding Help Reduce Some Risk?

Posted on October 15th, 2012 by AndrewHazenCom  |  No Comments »

When creating a new product or service, one of the most difficult things to gauge is the level of market interest, if any. You, your family and friends may think you have a fantastic product, but how can you be sure that potential customers will think so too? More importantly, how can you test the viability of your product or service without spending a lot of money??

In the past, the way to test the market was to create the product and see how people responded to it. This meant committing upfront costs to manufacturing a small batch of the product – denying you economies of scale – and either going back to make more (if it did well), or losing the investment (if it did not).

Crowdfunding, however, helps reduce SOME uncertainty around market interest in a product or service. Depending on the crowdfunding platform, you may be able to raise capital simply based on a drawing/rendering or design-prototype. It is extremely important to note that capital raised via crowdfunding does NOT have to be paid back and you do NOT give up equity or go into debt.

In September 2012, Kickstarter, a leading crowdfunding platform, changed its policy and banned project renderings and simulations from starting crowdfunding campaigns. If this trend continues amongst other crowdfunding platforms than entrepreneurs may have to revisit committing to some small upfront manufacturing expenses.

What are your thoughts about crowdfunding?