SellingThe Parents, Richard Branson & Acquisition: Bad Ass Startup Chick Stacey Ferreira Tells Her Story

Stacey Ferreira, MySocialCloud, Bad Ass Startup Chick, GigTank

Stacey Ferreira is a bad ass startup chick, and quite frankly has one of the most bad ass stories we’ve ever heard. That story starts when she was a student at an all girls Catholic high school in Phoenix, Arizona. When you hear about entrepreneurs starting out as developers in high school, a lot of times those stories are about boys.

Well Ferreira was lonely and missing all of her public school friends who were about 40 miles away. Looking for something to do to pass the time she turned to her brother Scott. He had just begun teaching himself how to program, so the two of them decided they would learn how to become game developers.

Through the rest of her time in high school, Ferreira spent her free time creating and developing different projects with her brother. Then the time came to graduate high school and their parents insisted that they had just one more summer left before they had to go get real internships like everyone else. The Ferreira siblings decided to go all in and move to Los Angeles to build out one of the projects that they had worked on in high school. That project became MySocialCloud.

During that summer Richard Branson held a fundraiser contest of sorts that said if you could donate $2,000 to his charity you could have cocktails with Branson in Miami. Stacey wasn’t even old enough to drink, but quickly realized the value in spending time with Branson. Oh, the other problem was they didn’t have the money. To make matters worse, when they called and talked with someone in Branson’s office they discovered the two of them would need $4,000 not $2000.

Scott and Stacey now had the daunting task of selling their dad on getting a loan. Dad wanted a business plan, Stacey told the standing room-only crowd at a startup event Tuesday in Chattanooga. So she and Scott developed a business plan. Almost reluctantly their dad said yes, but they had to return the money in 3 months.

That ended up not being too tough because that meeting in Miami ended up with a million dollar investment.

Stacey, who is also involved with the Young Entrepreneur’s Council, told her story during FireSide Talks, which featured Thiel Fellows and other entrepreneurs 20 and under. Stacey talked about her entrepreneurial journey from that private school in Arizona, to living in almost the slums of Los Angeles, meeting Branson, getting $1 million dollar investment, and eventually getting acquired. Oh, and that was in less than two years.

Watch Stacey tell her own story:



Non Tech Co-Founders Check Out TechSpeak For Entrepreneurs

TechSpeak For Entrepreneurs,Nelly Yusupova, Fred Wilson, startup tips,startup news

Nelly Yusupova founder of TechSpeak For Entrepreneurs (photo:

Although he hasn’t led a deal this year, the venture capitalist of all New York venture capitalists, Fred Wilson, is still sharing great advice on his “avc” blog. If you’re not a regular reader of you need to be.

Last week he wrote about his friend Nelly Yusupova, the CTO at Webgrrls International and the founder and creator of TechSpeak For Entrepreneurs.

As you might imagine, TechSpeak For Entrepreneurs, is a two day bootcamp that teaches us non-technical founders the ins and outs of the software design and build process, and how it works.

Wilson says “…that entrepreneurs who are not deeply technical spend too much money, time, and effort trying to get their ideas turned into software products. Many hire the wrong people, get a product that doesn’t meet what they wanted, and worse of all, many get ripped off in the process. ” Wilson is not a “design” or “developer” snob and realizes that all great startups don’t need a technical founder, but they need to be technically savvy.

TechSpeak for Entrepreneurs also helps non-technical founders learn the lingo and the language on the design and development side. To some, speaking tech is like a foreign language, taking the time out of  your busy schedule to attend a TechSpeak for Entrepreneurs could give you the leg up.

There are three TechSpeak For Entrepreneurs’ bootcamps coming up in Phoenix, Silicon Valley and New York.

Phoenix, AZ   Apr 05-06

Silicon Valley, CA   Apr 13-14

New York City, NY   May 04-05

“If you are a non technical entrepreneur, I strongly advise you to get technical. And TechSpeak for Entrepreneurs is a good way to start on that journey.” Wilson suggests.

Wilson is a VC and Principal at Union Square Ventures in New York. Click here to check out his personal blog. 

Learn more, check out these Startup Tips at

Ohio Startup Huddlewoo Wants To Know What You’re Extraordinary At? Launches Today

Huddlewoo,Columbus startup,Ohio startup,startup,startups,startup interviewA new startup based in Columbus Ohio and Phoenix Arizona, called Huddlewoo, is launching today. This video platform gives ordinary people like me and you access to people we admire. Huddlewoo also lets ordinary people show off the things that they are extraordinary at.

Through Huddlewoo’s unique platform you can schedule 1:1 video conversations with people that you may not get the opportunity to meet in person.

Huddlewoo users create a profile and highlight what they are extraordinary at. The user than sets up an availability calendar through a tool within the web app. Once those two things are in place the user can set a price for their time, they can then decide if they want to make a little extra income or donate the fees from the video sessions to charity.

Are you a Zen SEO master and want to share a few tips in private settings? How much do you think that information is worth? You can set the price and the times and wait for people to line up to have Huddlewoo sessions with you.  Maybe you’re a great baker and want to share some kitchen tips for making the best cupcakes, you can do that too. Whatever you are extraordinary at and willing to share (even for money) can be added in your profile and easily discovered by other members of the Huddlewoo community.

This unique video, mentoring, online class hybrid, startup opens up in alpha today. We got a chance to talk with the Huddlewoo team as they prepared for their alpha launch.

Check out the interview below.

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Arizona Startup: Kwiddy Is The Ultimate Bartering Platform INTERVIEW

Bartering has been around almost as long as civilization. Back in the earliest recordable days of mans existence people would trade for the things that they needed. If you had fruit and needed meat you would trade someone. If you had meat and needed clothes you would trade someone.

Bartering was kind of lost for a while, and then barter networks came about. Barter networks were actually popular with advertising in the nineties. Whether it be print, radio or sometimes other broadcast media, media buyers could go through a barter network and trade airtime for vacation giveaways and other tangible and non-tangible goods.

Craigslist brought back bartering for tangible goods at the local level. If  you’ve ever perused the bartering section of Craigslist there are some crazy odd ball things out there, and others that make sense.  I once was traded a $50 gift card to Outback Steakhouse for just setting someone up a Twitter account and spending 30 minutes showing them how to use it.

So what is Kwiddy? Kwiddy is slang or another name for Quid Pro Quo, tit for tat, bartering if you will. You probably remember the scenes in Silence Of The Lambs were Dr.Lecter and Agent Staring go quid-pro-quo. The doctor helps Agent Starling with the case in exchange for Starling telling the doctor intimate details of her childhood.

I assure you that Kwiddy is not the least bit gruesome its actually one of the better pitches we’ve heard in recent days. Kwiddy is the ultimate online bartering platform.  It facilitates the ability to swap goods in person and in real time.

We got a chance to interview Kwiddy co-founder Adam Thelwell. Check out that interview, after the break

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Startup: Shortcut Blogging Turns Spoken Word Podcasts Into Written Words

A startup that truly hails from everywhere else is turning spoken word and audio podcasts into written word blogs, case studies, course materials and other written forms of communication. They’re much more than just a transcription service they make sure that the context from the source audio is turned into understandable, useable written works with the context in tact.

Co-founders Dave Young and Paul Boomer have backgrounds in advertising, radio and as marketing consultants, so an idea like Shortcut Blogging was natural for them.

We got a chance to catch up with Dave Young to talk about this innovative startup that hails from Nebraska, Arizona and Missouri. Yes, Shortcut Blogging is truly a startup from “everywhere else”.

What is Shortcutblogging?
Shorcut Blogging is a production company that turns spoken-word interviews (podcasts) into written-word content for blog posts, case studies, course materials, web content and more. We use professional broadcasters to conduct focused interviews with CEOs and other experts who want to produce content without writing. We transcribe the interviews and then our team of proofreaders and editors re-write the transcriptions into written content in the writing “voice” of the expert. A professionally produced audio podcast is a by-product that most clients also post with their written content.
Some of our clients use us for regular blogging, some use us for batch-produced content for product launches, courses and to promote events.
We also offer the services of our interviewers for people who want to do web video and need the help of an interviewer instead of just being a “talking head.”
Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds?
Dave Young and Paul Boomer are advertising and marketing consultants associated with Roy H. Williams’ Wizard of Ads group. Both of them have prior careers in radio broadcasting.
As consultants, they mostly work with local owner-operated businesses in retail and service sectors. Services include marketing strategy, media buying, web design, copywriting and more.
More after the break
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Arizona Startups: BioInspire BioTech Medical Device Incubator Taking Applications

Earlier this month we reported on a brand new biotech/medical device startup incubator opening up in Peoria Arizona. BioInspire, a partnership between the city of Peoria, BioAccel and Plaza companies, is looking to fill the incubator with early stage companies in the biotech/medical device field.

BioAccel announced at the AZBiz Expo last Thursday, a call for applications to identify companies that can advance medical device development and popular BioInspire.  Tenants will get office space, access to labs, mentorships and up to $300,000 in seed funding.

“We want to build on our significant health care footprint” said Scott Whyte, director, economic development services, city of Peoria. Nearly 19% of the jobs available in the city are in health care. Whyte added “The new facility provides a unique focus, including resources for medical device development that will hopefully attract attention across the US and bring the best technologies to Arizona.”

Bioinspire is managed by BioAccel, a Phoenix–based non-profit that works to accelerate the commercialization of life-science technologies.  BioAccel partnered with the City of Peoria to leverage its assets to provide Bioinspire with a sound foundation, comprehensive infrastructure and significant experience needed to launch the new enterprise and to drive positive economic impact and job creation. BioAccel’s commercialization programs are embedded in Bioinspire’s operations, which provide for ongoing deal flow and new company formation.

More after the break
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Arizona Military Startup: AlphaStripe Wins Austin Startup AppSumo’s Lean Startup Challenge

alphastripe,lean startup,startup,military startup,We’re starting to see more and more great stories of one startup from “everywhere else” helping another startup from “everywhere else”. That’s the case here with the story of Arizon based Military Startup AlphaStripe.

AlphaStripe provides a multimedia platform for military veterans and participants in wars and conflict situations to record and share their stories.  The Arizona startup is made up of several ASU entrepreneurs, two of which were previous founders of ASU Edison startup companies.

We’re fortunate at to have two former military people on staff. One of our co-founders and Editor at Large, Brent Fishman, was active duty military and said:

“As a former soldier in the United States Army, I can understand the need for something like AlphaStripe. When we come back from a deployment and settle into civilian life, AlphaStripe will help those who have been through it, cope by being able to share and relive those moments with other troops and our families”.

Our Florida based east coast editor Alex Smith, who served in combat on two tours to Iraq and one to Afghanistan,  as a United States Marine, added:

” Peace of mind. When it comes to deployments, many of us hold on to the memories as long as we can and unfortunately PTSD keeps those negative memories playing on constant loop. To have a platform such as the one above, I feel that the user would benefit from not only sharing their life experiences with others that can relate, but also with the healing progress that many Armed service men and women that have undiagnosed cases of PTSD”

Smith, who was diagnosed with PTSD, often deals with it by talking about his experiences in the military as often as he can. He takes great pride, when we are at conventions and other events, to sync up with those mobile, wireless and technology companies that are either founded by former military people or who’s technology has aided the military.

More after the break
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Arizona Startups: Peoria Getting New Biotech Incubator “BionInspire”

Peoria Arizona is preparing for a new biotech incubator called Bioninspire. The incubator will launch next month and is a partnership between the city of Peoria and BioAccel and Plaza Companies a real estate firm.

BioAccel is a Phoenix Arizona based non profit that works in life science technologies. Plaza Companies specializes in medical and technology real estate.  BioInspire will focus on medical device technologies. The incubator will operate out of 6800 feet that will encompass office space, lab space, conference rooms and more.

The city will support BioInspire with an aggressive marketing campaign.

For selected biotech startups BioInspire could provide up to $300,000 in seed investment along with free office space, free lab space and mentoring. Mary Ann Guerra, Chief Executive of BioAccel said that she hopes to bring in the right people that want to succeed and plans to do this with a vigorous vetting process.

The Bionspire Incubator will have an advisory council that includes; Russ Yelton, President of Northern Arizona Center for Emerging Technologies; John Lineham, a biomedical engineer professor at Northwestern University; and Enrico Picozza, director of SensAble Technologies.

The city is hoping that the incubator will help fuel the local economy and that the companies incubated there will stay in the area and continue to grow.


Source: AZ Central

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