Contest: Free Branding Services for the “Next North American Startup”


Are you a startup in North America? Did you blow your whole budget on R&D?

A startup without a solid brand at launch isn’t going to succeed. It’s that simple. Lucky for you, Vancouver digital branding agency Skyrocket wants to help. They’re holding the Brand Prize contest (open to North American startups only) with the winning startup receiving a $40,000 Visual Identity and Branding System.

Why are they doing it?

According to Skyrocket Creative Director Michael Parks:

“Startups spend all their resources on R&D, often neglecting their identity and brand. Of course developing a valuable product is important, but having people who want that thing is the key to making it! By creating a brand that breathes purpose – that defines the audience relationship – we can captivate a market and truly disrupt.”

startup branding

Skyrocket wants to give one worthy startup a chance they wouldn’t otherwise have, by providing full branding services for free: they want to launch that startup into the market with every possibility for success.

Are you that startup? The contest works like this:


Applications are open (at until September 15: the winning startup will be announced just 15 days later on September 30.

If you’ve got a killer product and a solid business model, then there’s only one question you’ve got to answer:

Do you have what it takes to win the Brand Prize?

About Skyrocket

Skyrocket is a digital agency specializing in user-experience design and branding. Whether they’re building a complex web app, an ecommerce website, or even a simple website, everything Skyrocket does works to express a company’s brand.

1000s Of Startups & Small Businesses Vying For Super Bowl Commercial Thanks To Intuit

Intuit, Small Business Big Game, Startup Challenge, Super BowlIntuit, the small business leader in financial management solutions, is holding a pretty big contest for small businesses and technology startups.

The contest, which Intuit calls the Intuit Small Business Big Game, kicked off in August when all those interested in entering had to inspire the folks at Intuit and everyday people across the globe. That round narrowed nearly 100,000 entries down to just 10,000.

The remaining 10,000 companies are using their networks, social networks, friends, and families for an upvoting process. Those 10,000 companies are being dwindled down to just 20 which will be revealed on Monday, October 28th.

The next step in the Small Business Big Game Challenge will have Intuit’s 8500 employees and then a judging panel, narrow those 20 companies down to just four.

In November Intuit will reopen voting globally for the world to vote on the final four contestants in the Small Business Big Game. The company with the most votes will be chosen as the winner and receive a professionally produced television commercial to air on the national telecast of the Super Bowl in February.

The Super Bowl commercial will put the winner in front of over 100 million viewers, many who actually watch the game for the commercials. Last year’s Super Bowl fell just shy of the record for the most watched television program in history and was the third highest rated Super Bowl of all time.

You can stay up to date with Intuit’s Small Business Big Game here.

That’s not the only big thing for startups in February check this out.

Domino’s Realizes They Are Startup Fuel! Offering $500 Pizzavestments To Startups.

Domino's, Pizzavestment, Ann Arbor Michigan, Startup

Domino’s is embracing the fact that their pizza fuels thousands upon thousands of hours of time spent working on startups. Pizza and Red Bull power hundreds of hackathons. I’ve spent many a Startup Weekend eating pizza for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Now the Ann Arbor-based pizza giant has embraced its relevance in the startup world with a brand new TV advertisement.

“Without pizza, school projects and music albums might go unfinished. Startups, unstarted. …No one’s coming up with a world-changing idea over halibut. No way. It has always been pizza,” the announcer says in the commercial.

“No one knows the power and possibility of a great idea more than Domino’s, having been the ones that truly revolutionized pizza delivery over fifty years ago,” said Russell Weiner, Domino’s Pizza chief marketing officer, in a statement. “Gatherings that create great ideas often include pizza — and we want to do what we can to fuel the next revolutionary concept that will also continue to be celebrated fifty years from now.”

This ad is part of a new campaign to show Domino’s support of startups. The company has also announced that they are giving 30 startups $500 pizzavestments, $500 gift cards for free pizza. These pizzavestment cards will be delivered in the above pictured pizza box shaped attache case. The company hasn’t announced how to get the pizza cards just yet.

They are also partnering with crowdfunding site, Indiegogo, to give people who support upstart projects free pizza as well, reports creativity-online.

Watch the new TV spot below and as soon as we find out how to enter to get that pizzavestment, we’ll pass it on!


Launch Tennessee And The Blackstone Foundation Are Looking For The TENN Best Startups

Launch Tennessee, Blackstone Foundation, TENN, startups, accelerators

Just yesterday we were talking about the 9 accelerator regions in Tennessee.  Launch Tennessee is the public/private partnership that oversees those nine accelerator regions and helps promote Tennessee startups statewide. Earlier this month they announced a new initiative, cleverly called TENN, that’s looking to identify the ten top startups coming out of the Tennessee accelerators. The program will kick off August 27th with a statewide demo day.

The TENN is sponsored by the Blackstone Foundation, who we just reported yesterday announced their LaunchPad program was moving into their 5th state, Montana.

“Focusing on innovation and attracting and encouraging entrepreneurs are key economic development strategies in Tennessee,” Gov. Bill Haslam said in a statement.  “Launch Tennessee’s initiative to coordinate a statewide network of startup accelerators is an important part of our ongoing efforts and isn’t being done anywhere else in the country.  The TENN program, which is one of the most exciting projects to come out of this effort, recognizes the best and brightest of Tennessee’s entrepreneurs.  I look forward to the new ideas, partnerships and investments that will result from the program.”

Companies that have graduated from one of Tennessee’s nine regional business accelerators in the last year can apply to be one of The TENN by Aug. 2. A panel of regional and national venture capitalists and angel fund leaders will select The TENN to participate in the inaugural program. The application, a full listing of the panelists, and other program information may be accessed online.

Shortly after demo day, The TENN will leave for a statewide bus tour, where they will meet with leaders of Tennessee’s top corporations. Additionally, during the master accelerator program, The TENN companies will fly to California and the East Coast to network with venture capitalists and angel investors.

Other benefits of the TENN program include office space in the nearest regional accelerator or a subsidy for the company’s existing office space, events that connect the companies to industry-specific mentors, and high-level access to major corporations based in Tennessee.

Governor Haslam will announce The TENN at the statewide demo day, which will also include a keynote speech from John Greathouse, partner at Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Rincon Venture Partners and co-founder of RevUpNet.

“I am looking forward to participating in the upcoming TENN program, Tennessee’s statewide demo day in which the top companies from Tennessee’s accelerators join forces to network and compete,” Greathouse said in a statement. “The TENN program is an outstanding opportunity for startups that are past the initial incubator stage, but are seeking mentors, funding and other critical resources to help them achieve the next stage of success. My hope is that this unique platform spawns similar regional and statewide events targeted at assisting companies that have graduated from accelerators but have yet to reach critical mass.”

Just as it was last year, August will be a huge month for Tennessee startups. Chattanooga’s GigTank, Memphis’ ZeroTo510, and Nashville’s Jumpstart Foundry accelerators will all graduate.

You can find out more about Launch Tennessee here.

This huge startup event for startups everywhere else is also in Tennessee.



Not Even Arson Could Stop This Startup For Autistic Children From Winning $100,000 In Nevada Contest

Sport-Social, Las Vegas Startup, Autism, Startup Contest

Autistic campers at sport-social enjoy the skateboard ramps during summer camp (photo:

Sport-Social is an off-line startup founded by 22-year-old therapist for autistic children, Andrew Devitt. Devitt created Sport-Social, a recreation/fun center of sorts, specifically for children with autism, offering therapy through sports, fun, and group activities.  The goal is to teach autistic children social skills through sports, games and the arts.

Last month, The Nevada Institute For Renewable Energy Commercialization held Project Vesto a startup contest with a $100,000 prize for startups across the state. The contest received over 230 entrants, and polling was done online.

Sport-Social was selected as the grand prize winner out of all the entrants. They will receive $25,000 in seed money and must hit milestones in order to receive the rest of the prize money.

While this story has a very very positive outcome, it didn’t look that way a couple of months ago. Back in May an arsonist set fire to the facility causing over $80,000 in damages, the worst nightmare for an already bootstrapped startup. Sport-Social’s employees worked around the clock to partially open up the facility a week later so the over 250 children that benefit from it’s programming.

The Las Vegas Sun reports that when Devitt woke up on Monday, April, 18th his phone was filled with voicemail messages from neighboring businesses and his alarm company. When he first heard the news that Sport-Social had a major fire he didn’t quite comprehend. When he arrived at the location he found out that seven fires had been set and that the prize closet and equipment for the children had been ruined. 24-year-old Samuel Powers, who used to work for an agency that collaborated with Sport-Social, was arrested for setting the fires.


Overcoming the tragedy, rebuilding, and pressing on led the company to the win the contest which will help the rebuilding efforts.

Despite the fire and rebuilding, Sport-Social will benefit from the program in other ways, namely mentorship and guidance on preparing the business to continue to grow in Nevada.

“For startup companies like Sport-Social, it is extremely important to couple hands-on mentorship with seed capital to help ensure their success,” Ian Rogoff, Chairman of the Board of NIREC said in a statement. Through Project Vesto, Sport-Social will gain access to a distinguished network of angel investors, experienced entrepreneurs, and consultants who will work hands-on with Sport-Social over the coming months to take their business concept to the next level. “We look forward to helping Sport-Social become an even bigger success story for Nevada than it already is,” says Rogoff.

You can find out more about the  Project Vesto here and about Sport-Social here.

Check out this Pittsburgh startup PopChilla that created a robot for autistic children.


NJ Startup PoetCode Wins “Most Fundable Startup At Startupalooza 2013

PoetCode, New Jersey Startup,Startupalooza,startups,startup competitionThe “Most Fundable Startup” award at the 2013 STARTUPALOOZA in New York City has been given to PoetCode, the New Jersey-based creative content company behind the breakthrough eBook and Massively Multiplayer Online game (MMO) in one, Dynasty of the Magi. PoetCode was selected as the winner of a group of 25 aspiring entrepreneurs.

With Dynasty of the Magi, PoetCode has created the first dual-platform interactive experience that allows the gamer/reader to shape the outcome of the eleven eBook fantasy series. This ecosystem of hybrid storytelling that PoetCode has developed has been named liMMO, short for Literary Immersive Massive Multiplayer Online Game.

The Dynasty of the Magi trial version for iPad was launched on the App Store in December of 2012. The app is now in the process of being updated based on user feedback and has an expected App Store and Google Play Store release in early summer 2013.

As a result of their STARTUPALOOZA win, PoetCode will be a Featured Entrepreneur Guest at The Yale Club New York’s Private Equity Forum on Thursday, May 2nd. The New York Private Equity Forum is America’s premier business funding conference for early and later-stage companies seeking growth capital.

Dynasty of the Magi was also awarded the Publishing Innovations Awards’ Best Transmedia Project of 2012, as well as the Quality, Excellence, Design (QED) seal that serves as the “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval™” for eBooks.

Visit the Dynasty of the Magi Website

Startup Front has something brewing for startups just outside of Chicago.

Best Of Everywhereelse Startup Video Contest Is Live, startup,startup contestIn just under 2 weeks nearly 100 startups will be in the Startup Village at “ The Startup Conference” the event takes place in Memphis Tennessee at the Memphis Cook Convention Center. There are actually three startup booths still available!

The startups in the village are competing for a cash prize of $10,000 and other startup related prizes, and to be crowned the best startup “everywhere else”.  Startups in the village have until Friday to submit their video link via dropbox or to however they will lose time in the voting process which starts right now.

Go to the official YouTube Channel and from there feel free to watch all the videos and decide which one you think is best. By liking that video you’ll be giving that startup your vote.

Next Friday, February 8,2013 the voting will end at 11:59pm central time. The comments/likes will be closed on all of the videos. From there, the top 5 startups by “You Tube” likes, will pitch off on Monday at the conference in front of thousands. Through an audience vote we will crown one of them the best of “everywhere else”.

Click here to go to the YouTube Channel and Let the Voting Begin!

Awesome Contest: Signal Wars Is Back As We Travel To CES 2013

Some of you may have been followers of our previous well known mobile tech site. If you are, you’ll remember “Signal Wars” a contest where if you get crappy cell phone signal you can win. Well we weren’t sure if we would do it again over at The Voice of Startups Everywhere Else, but alas we’ve teamed with Wilson Electronics to bring you Signal Wars Part Three.

This weekend we’ll be traveling across the country from Atlanta Georgia to Las Vegas Nevada for CES 2013. Along the way we’ll be looking for our loyal readers who suffer signal problems. It sucks having the latest greatest 4G (and sometimes 3G) smartphones and not getting the most out of them because you live in a crappy area for signal. Well fear not, we’ve got a contest for you.

From Friday at 5pm (Eastern Time) through Sunday at 7pm (Pacific Time) simply tweet us the following message:

“Help @wilsoncellular and @startuptechguy my #signalsucks, I’m in XXX XXXX”  where xxx and xxxx = your city and state. If you live along the route 40 corridor going across the country and we see your tweet it could be your lucky day.

contests, wilson electronics, wilson cellular, CES 2013We’ll do a short video with you talking about your bad signal, we’ll check out your bad signal on the video and voila you’ll be the recipient of a brand new Wilson Electronics Wilson Sleek. You’ll get to choose whether you want the 3G or 4G version and you’ll see a vast improvement in your cell phone signal in the car.

Wilson Sleek signal boosters aren’t little stickers you put on your phone. The dash mounted cell phone holder connects to a signal booster and a small antenna you put on the top of your car, that actually increases your voice and data signal significantly.

We’ve traveled across the country with Wilson electronics 10 times over the last few years and every time we’ve had continuous cell phone signal except for one teeny tiny portion of Arizona.

Again it’s this easy tweet the message:

“Help @wilsoncellular and @startuptechguy my #signalsucks, I’m in XXX XXXX”  where xxx and xxxx = your city and state. If you live along the route 40 corridor going across the country and we see your tweet it could be your lucky day.

We’ll DM you or have you email us to arrange the meeting, shoot the video and if you’re selected, you’ll win. (allow 2 weeks for delivery).

Speaking of contests, startups in the startup village at this conference, have three opportunities to pitch for $100,000

Iowa City Startup: Ready To Go In America Wins Dream Big Contest

Ready To Go In America, Iowa Startup,startup,startups,startup competitionA startup that provides a pocket guide and mobile app for international students visiting the United States has won the Iowa “Creative Corridor’s Dream Big Contest”.

Ready to Go In America came away with the $5,000 prize in the contest last Thursday after pitching to a panel of judges. This moved the startup into the next round where they will be competing against other Iowa startups for $10,000 this time around.

The startup was founded by Jeff Owens, Mekinda Mekinda and Bobby Schlichting. Mekinda is an international student currently enrolled in a program at Kirkwood Community College. Owens is a senior informatics and art major at the University of Iowa and Schlicting is a farmer and entrepreneur from Vinton Iowa.

“It’s unreal,” Owens said to Iowa City Area Development. “There was so much competition. I was surprised to win, and having so many people supporting our idea makes me even more excited about it.”

“This is a dream coming true,” said Mekinda, who is orignially from Cameroon. “I’ve always heard the USA is a country of dreams. Now I know it is truly a reality.“

Ready To Go In America beat out 32 other entrepreneurs who competed in the contest that garnered over 10,000 votes. The top five startups in the voting competition squared off in front of the judges and an audience of nearly 100.

While Ready To Go In America was the official winner the judges also liked the pitch and presentation from high school student Eli Shepherd. Shepherd has found an environmentally friendly way to produce skateboards and apparel. He told the judges during his pitch that he needed $300 to fund the buying of equipment to produce his skateboard decks. The judges put the $300 together on their own to help Shepherd get his startup off the ground.

“Seeing so many people and organizations come together to support our region’s entrepreneurs has made the Creative Corridor Dream Big contest an inspiring project to be part of,” said Amanda Styron of Seed Here Studio, the group coordinating the contest and event. “We had a great night at the Live Pitch + Tech Brew! It was the perfect way to wrap-up the contest. I’m totally inspired by our growing community. It was a great night to get inspired, connect with the community and celebrate going big.”

The lead sponsor for the statewide contest is the Iowa Banker’s Association. Iowa is a hub of startup excitement. There are a lot of great startups including Ashton Kutcher backed Dwolla, in the state of Iowa.


Source: Iowa City Area Development

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AngelHack, World’s Biggest Hackathon Coming To DC And We Have Free Tickets

Angelhack, Angelhack dc, startup,startups,startup event, hackathon, Anton Gelman, Cont3ntThe old days, picturing a dark room filled with pocket protectors, broken glasses and keyboards are long gone. The hackathon has become a big part of our culture in the startup world. It seems like everyone with a pulse on technology has found the way to create a hackathon to design this, hack this, break into this, vet this, or program that. Microsoft recently held a huge hackathon on their Windows 8 platform. Startup Weekend holds several hackathons every week.

None of these hackathons can parallel the enormous size, booty (prize stash), resources and sponsors of Angelhack.

Angelhack is going down this weekend in 11 cities with 2500 hackers and one gigantic Angelhack crown. Hackers, coders, developers, founders and entrepreneurs will converge on Tel Aviv, Paris, London, Washington DC, Boston, Toronto, Los Angeles, Seattle, Santiago and San Francisco for one crazy weekend of hacking.

The event kicks off at 9:00am on Saturday morning and runs through 5:00pm Sunday night. This hackathon isn’t for the weak at heart though. This isn’t a turn the lights off at midnight and come back at 8am kind of hackathon. Angelhack will run continuously  all weekend long.

Angelhack is one of the most critically acclaimed hackathons in the world because of the creativity and startups that it helps create. All 11 locations will narrow the field down to 25 teams from around the world. These 25 teams will win six weeks of mentorship and be flown to Silicon Valley where they’ll show off their finished products to media, investors and other startups. In the past 30% of the finalists have found enough funding to continue building out their companies.

Our good friend Anton Gelman, the CEO and co-founder of Cont3nt is the Washington DC AngelHack coordinator and he’s given nibletz 35 free tickets to the event. Just go to this link to get your ticket and enter the word “nibletz” you’ll instantly save the $60 off the hackathon ticket price and be ready to go.

Gelman told our friends at DC’s

“Over the summer, I happened to be in New York and decided to check out AngelHack New York. Crazy enough, I won! They sent us to San Francisco in the following month to compete with other winners from other countries. It was probably one of the coolest events I’ve been to, and then I thought, this was such an amazing experience in New York, why can’t we have one in D.C.? So I arranged a few meetings, made a few phone calls, and was able to convince them to host an event here in D.C. And here we are, the first AngelHack competition is going to happen this weekend!”

Did we mention that Angelhack offers $650,000 in cash and prizes. If you’re anywhere within 300 miles of Washington DC, your plans for this weekend are now set.


Get a free ticket to Angelhack from nibletz click here  

Source: InTheCapital

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Baltimore Startup bytelion Introducing Crowdfunding Platform For 6 Minority, Veteran Or Women Led Startups At A Time

A software company in Maryland called bytelion is planning on unveiling a new crowdfunding platform by the end of this month.  The new platform, called Select 6, is different from every other crowdfunding platform in a couple of key ways.

First off Select 6 is specifically targeting startups and ideas from minorities, women and veterans. These startups are sometimes overlooked by other traditional capital or skipped over on other crowdfunding sites with thousands of projects at a time.

Select 6 will feature 6 startups or ideas at a time. Rather than going to a site like Kickstarter or Indiegogo with thousands and thousands of projects, Select 6 will select six different startups to get funded and after those specific ideas and startups have either reached a time limit or raised their allotted funds, the next six will start the funding process.

Those 6 startups or idea, founders, which Select 6 calls pilots, will also participate in the S6 Startup Accelerator

Crowdfunding is one of the most exciting social innovations to empower creative and socially-minded entrepreneurs in recent years, Select 6 will be the first to channel this medium to provide more resources, exposure to professional mentors, and access to institutionalized funding that many minority, women, and veterans have a hard time finding when they start a business.

Even though minority and women-led ventures statistically perform the same or better year over year when compared to all startups that are angel-funded, a staggeringly low number of angel investors and startup accelerator programs nation-wide have MWV’s in mind or in their programs.

The mission of Select 6 is to help MWV-led startups create success stories in the marketplace and community; To share the education, experience and entertainment that is entrepreneurship & innovation with the public; To create sound investments in promising startups that can scale and expand.

Howard Cheng, founder and Chief Entrepreneur of Select 6, is emphatic about one thing: “We want to help MWV entrepreneurs and innovators find their wings and take flight with the help of diverse communities because we believe in their potential and tenacity. Entrepreneurship and innovation are key engines of economic and community growth, and Select 6 is our solution to addressing a national concern of creating value and jobs in the marketplace.”

Bytelion’s CEO, Terrance McGregor shares: “We are excited to work with Select 6 to develop such a meaningful platform for MWVs. We will continue to serve as a resource for Select 6 and S6 Pilots to get lean in their web development and startup approach. Staying lean and agile is the only way to go for SMEs because we can’t anticipate and predict everything, but we help clients get from idea to product faster with daily incremental improvements and updates that they can track and control. Time after time, we see that going lean speeds up the development process and keeps costs under control.”


Sign up for Select 6’s LaunchRock here

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Startup Maryland Announces 8 “Pitch Across Maryland” Finalists

Startup Maryland, StartupMD, Baltimore startup,Pitch Across Maryland,startup,startups, startup newsWe’ve been covering the Startup Maryland “Pitch Across Maryland” bus trip since it started in September. Why, because we’re originally from Maryland,( not because Mike Binko has thanked, us mentioned us or even retweeted us) regardless though it’s one of the best entrepreneur and startup activities we’ve seen. The “Pitch Across Maryland” bus tour was created by Mike Binko along with Julie Lenzer Kirk. The bus made stops all across Maryland from as far east as Ocean City/Salisbury and as far west as the mountains.

Along the way, they scooped up over 160 startup pitches. In an earlier article we reported that Binko was expecting around 50 pitches. What ended up happening is nothing short of spectacular. Not only did over 160 startups pitch, other startups came out to the bus stops to party and participate in the festivities and even Governor Martin O’Malley came out. When O’Malley came out though, he was also required to pitch.

Now Startup Maryland has announced the 8 finalists. These 8 finalists were chosen by a panel of entrepreneur and investor experts and they will now pitch at the 2012 Entrepreneur Expo on Tuesday,

Here they are:

Imagine IPD (Innovative Product Designs)

Founder and Executive Design Manager Raymond Cooper, has come up with a new wind turbine that he says is going to “solve so many more problems and issues with energy, it’s far  beyond what many people initially thought it would be”. Cooper has patented his turbine.

Cooper says the turbine is bird friendly, and can produce 2 to 3x the amount of energy current turbines can produce.  According to Cooper the turbine can be scaled from large side to micro size.


Unbound Concepts

Unbound Concepts is the creator of “Book Leveler” an iOS app that allows the user to capture the ISBN number from a book. The app will then return the reading level of the book to the user. Now you don’t have to worry if the books you’re getting for your kid are too easy or too hard. With Book Leveler, if you’re on the fence about your kid reading a certain book you can quickly get the information you need to know, without reading the book.

Founder Katie Palencsar says that her startup is critical with the new “Common Core State Standards” which in a nutshell says that classroom material for all students needs to be matched according to reading level.


WooFound is a personalization tool that knows what you like and helps you find those things. We’ve actually covered WooFound here at nibletz before. WooFound is like hot or not for things. In his pitch video, founder Dan Sines says you can take things as wide ranging as beer and anthropology and say whether they are “me” or not “me”

Check out this other nibletz coverage of WooFound

Same Grain

Same Grain CEO Eric Eller is no stranger to pitching. Their company that counts executives from Apple, AOL, and Millennial Median in it’s pedigree, has already won pitch contests from the Washington Post and  the Start Right Business Plan Competition.

Same Grain is a social discovery tool available on the web, mobile or as a Facebook app which according to Eller lets you find and connect with people privately, that are just like you.

Same Grain is like for friends.


Koolspan is a digital security company. They manufacture a chip called the “Trust Chip” that is deployed in cell phones, smart phones, tablets, and computers. The chip has a suite of security and encryption apps on it that make securing data, voice and text easy and incredibly safe.

According to Greg Smith the company has already sold to Telefonica, Vodaphoen, T-Mobile Europe and they have their trust chip private labeled for AT&T. The company employs 25 people in their Bethesda Maryland headquarters.

Autonomy Engine (Debra Cancro)

This Carroll County startup is the creator of a mobile app called Hone Your Tone. It’s one of the most interesting pitches we’ve seen from the batch of Startup Maryland pitches. Hone Your Tone works in conjunction with a headset or lapel microphone and instantly gives feedback on the way you’re coming across.

This would be excellent when you’re in meetings or conference calls where you want to project a certain mood or tone in the call or meeting. You could also use it to practice speaking so that you don’t come off too arrogant or perhaps inexperienced.

For some Hone Your Tone could be the key to more sales, more closed deals, and better relationships.

SynAm Vaccine

This startup, founded by Carolyn Chen, is working on finding a vaccine for pneumonia.  According to Chen, pneumonia as we know it has 91 different strains. The current vaccines on the market only address a fraction of those strains. Chen’s new vaccine will cover all of them.

Pneumonia is the largest killer of children in the world with over 2 million. There are over 1 million senior hospitalizations a year in the US and over half of people with HIV/AIDS succumb to pneumonia.

SynAm believes they’ve created the first universal vaccine for pneumonia.

CoFounders Lab

CoFounders Lab may be a little late to the party. Shahab Kaviani’s startup is exactly what FounderSync in Cleveland is doing and to a degree what Founder Dating in the valley does. It’s the for founders. It’s the LinkedIn for entrepreneurs. If you’re looking for a CoFounder, CoFounders Lab may be the place for you.

Their success is going to come in product design, and how quickly they can scale.

Congratulations to these 8 startups. They’ll be pitching on Tuesday at the Entrepreneur Expo.

What do you think, tell us in the comments below via Facebook.

Here are my picks.

I am intrigued by Raymond Cooper’s pitch but for me to go all the way with that startup I would have to see the turbine and understand how it’s patentable and so scalable. If it’s even a fraction of as good as Cooper says it is he may do very very well.

I like Dan Sines from WooFound they’ve already raised money, have great advisors and are set to go.

What I’m most excited about though is the Hone Your Tone app. Communication is key and essential. I would love to use the app and practice speaking so the next time I am 1:1 with someone I can have the upper hand or when I’m speaking to a group of people.

Good luck to all the teams on Tuesday!


Startup Maryland

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BizKids And Ernst & Young Holding Social Startup Contest For Kids!

BizKids,Ernst & Young,Entrepreneurship, Social entrepreneurship,startup,startupsThe Emmy Award winning public television series Biz Kids has teamed up with Ernst and Young for a startup contest for kids. Entrepreneurs are getting younger and younger. We’ve seen sixth graders present at major conferences, 10 year olds make hundreds of thousands of dollars in the app store and a plethora of straight from high school to the accelerator stories in the last few years.

What we haven’t seen yet is a targeted entrepreneurial/startup contest for social entrepreneurship. Kids, that want to make a difference.

That’s the theme behind Ernst & Young, and Biz Kids “Build Your Social Biz” contest.

BizKids has put out a call for social kidtrepreneurs to submit their plans for a business that will help the community. While the ideas will most likely be plentiful and abstract Biz Kids reminds interested kids that a social business or “biz” can be anything from a dog walking business to selling cookies. They warn though, that they are looking for a social business not just “fundraising” projects.

There are five cash prizes up for grabs. The grand prize winner will receive $3,000 in cash for their social business along with a mentor from Ernst & Young. The runner up will receive $1,500 along with mentorship from Ernst & Young. There are three “honorable mention” prizes of $500 cash and each also gets a mentor from Ernst & Young.

Participants fill out the online entry form on then upload a one-minute video pitch on why their project should win. Entries will not be judged by the quality of the video but by the presentation of the vision for their social enterprise.

Entries are due December 31, 2012. A panel of judges will cull the top five entrants, and the names will be posted on the Biz Kid$ website by mid-February. The winner will be chosen by popular vote, which will take place over four weeks. Winner will be announced by the end of March. First place will win $3,000 and a lunch with a special guest; runner up will win $1,500; and three honorable mentions will win $500 each. All finalists will be paired with an expert mentor chosen to fit the nature of their business.


Here’s a link to the contest page

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$1.1 Million Awarded To 18 Startups In MassChallenge Awards

MassChallenge, the largest accelerator program in the world, celebrated their awards dinner for their most recent session in Boston Tuesday night. The dignitaries, entrepreneurs, celebrities and investors that filled the Boston Convention and Exhibit Center were there to see the best of the best of startup innovation coming out of the program that’s gone on to produce hundreds of millions in follow on funding and exits.

The 18 startups that received cash awards were narrowed down from a field of over 1200 applicants and then a pool of 26 finalists.

The four startups that won the diamond award of $100,000 each were:

Global Research & Innovation Technology


Rally Point

Strong Arm Technologies.

12 gold winners took home $50,000 cash prizes each and they were:

Bounce Imaging

Coach Up

Guided Surgery Solutions

Lab Automate Technologies

Ministry Of Supply

Nordic Technology Group


Dynamo Micropower

Integral Research

Lovin Spoonfuls

NBA Math Hoops

Ten startups were selected to stay on with free office space until next years class arrives in May.

In addition to those prizes directly from MassChallenge and it’s supporters, there were several community awards given out as well. Lovin Spoonfuls and NBA Math Hoops were the recipients of the $30,000 John W. Henry foundation prize for social impact.

Global Research Innovation won an additional $15,000 Perkin’s School For The Blind Assistive Technology Prize. PlenOptika won $10,000 as part of the same prize.

Rainbank and Bounce Imaging were recipients of a $15,000 prize from VenCorps for the greatest potential to positively impact New York City.

125 of the startups selected from the original 1237 applicants were part of the four month accelerator program. A round of judging narrowed those 125 startups down to the 26 that were competing Tuesday evening.


Source: Boston Herald

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