Startup America Partnership Regions To Send 8 Startups To Demo


The Startup America partnership and their 26 regional partnerships have announced a contest to send 8 lucky, and good, startups to the DEMO conference in Santa Clara CA this fall. All 8 winning startups will receive free travel and free entry into the conference, which as one of the premiere startup events in the country, is a pretty expensive ticket.

Four of the Startups will receive showcase space in the DEMO pavilions the other four Startups will get to pitch on the DEMO main stage. Companies that have become household names like E*Trade and TiVO have presented on the DEMO main stage. Even our good friends at Rawporter have experienced the DEMO stage.

Startup evangelist, and our good friend Nick Tippmann provided some of the official video coverage at DEMO’s spring event this year.

“We’re incredibly excited to collaborate with DEMO and our regions to send startups to launch at this renowned event,” said Scott Case, CEO, Startup America Partnership. “You only need to look at a list of DEMO alumni to see what a game-changer it is for any startup focused on growth.”

“The Startup America Regional contest will allow incredible companies that may not have had DEMO on their radar to compete with the most plugged-in Silicon Valley startups out there,” said Neal Silverman, EVP and general manager at DEMO. “We can’t wait to review the submissions from startups headquartered in places like Tennessee, Texas and Iowa, all of which have robust startup ecosystems that people may not be aware of.”

The contest is only open to registered Startup America members. At DEMO Spring 2012, Startup America members TourWrist, ZBoard, and Jumala all won DEMO God Awards, with TourWrist winning the grand prize: the People’s Choice Award.

“TourWrist’s DEMO experience really highlights the best of our progressive, supportive society,” said Charles Armstrong, founder and CEO of TourWrist. “From a DEMO presenting scholarship and support from Startup America to the audience–bestowed People’s Choice honor and IDG’s $1M media award, our humble startup has been given an incredible chance at success. All startups out there thinking about launching at DEMO should enter this contest immediately!”


To sign up for the contest click here

To enter you need to be a member of Startup America

Nibletz is the voice of Startups “everywhere else”

Huge Startup America, American Airlines Contest Ends Friday

The Startup America Partnership is working with American Airlines to bring startups across the country one of the biggest contests to date: “Flights. Camera. Action.” The grand prizewinner is announced at (and hooked up with tickets to) Inc. 500/5000, and receives 80 round trip flights, print and film features in the in-flight magazine and video, and more. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity ending this Friday!

Are you a Startup America member? If not you can join here for free and regardless if you win the contest or not American Airlines is always offering Startup America some unheard of great discounts because they know how hard it can be to grow a startup and small business.

The contest, which ends August 10, 2012 has opportunities for you to win several prize packs with multiple flights. All you have to do to enter is submit a 60 second video here telling how a travel connection has helped your business. You wanted to be animated, fun, happy and tell a great story all in 60 seconds or less. The first 400 people who submit a video will receive 300 American Airlines Business ExtrAA bonus points. You can use these points for accumulation but its the equivalent of a one day pass for the Admirals Club which can come in handy on a layover.

This contest is perfect for startups: the quick and creative submission process allows entrepreneurs to tell a compelling story, and the prizes are enough to kick any business into high gear.

The contest is easy. In just 60-seconds, tell American Airlines how air travel helped you make literal or figurative connections.

What’s your travel connection story? Tell American Airlines and win big!

“The American economy is driven by startups – young, high-growth companies that are the number one job creators,” Scott Case, CEO, Startup America Partnership told “Travel is a critical component to these companies. American Airlines’ “Flights.Camera.Action.” contest highlights the amazing startups around the country and provides them with a unique opportunity to grow faster.”

Click here for all the details.


Don’t let this amazing opportunity pass you by. The contest ends this Friday, August 10, so submit your video today!


Join the Startup America Partnership here, it’s FREE!

Here’s the contest page

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Startup America & American Airlines Announce Huge Contest

Let’s face it, traveling is an integral part of the startup process. Whether you’re a startup in Silicon Valley or a startup “everywhere else” you need to travel to get to pitch events, conferences, industry events, sxsw and of course the almighty fund raising. The problem is when you’re on a sneaker-strapped budget, like we are on our “sneaker strapped nationwide startup road trip”, flying coach on Spirit airlines is a luxury that we often can’t afford.

Never fear the great folks at the Startup America partnership alongside American Airlines have announced the second annual Flights, Camera Action contest.

Are you a Startup America member? If not you can join here for free and regardless if you win the contest or not American Airlines is always offering Startup America some unheard of great discounts because they know how hard it can be to grow a startup and small business.

The contest, which started today and runs through August 10, 2012 has opportunities for you to win several prize packs with multiple flights. All you have to do to enter is submit a 60 second video here telling how a travel connection has helped your business. You wanted to be animated, fun, happy and tell a great story all in 60 seconds or less. The first 400 people who submit a video will receive 300 American Airlines Business ExtrAA bonus points. You can use these points for accumulation but its the equivalent of a one day pass for the Admirals Club which can come in handy on a layover.

The top 9 videos from each of three contest categories will be put up on a contest page for public voting from August 28- September 14th. Every one of these 27 entries will receive 10,000 American Airlines Business ExtrAA bonus points, which are good for up to 5 round trip Plan Ahead economy class tickets. (Heck we’ll take that).

The top three videos from each category, after the public vote, will earn 20,000 Business ExtrAA bonus points for up to 10 domestic round-trip Plan AAhead® award Economy Class tickets, and two complimentary admission tickets to the Inc. 500|5000 Conference & Awards Ceremony in Phoenix, where the Grand Prize Winner will be announced.

The First Place Winners from each category, as selected by a panel of judges – for a total of three winners – will receive an additional 30,000 Business ExtrAA points for a total of 60,000 Business ExtrAA points (the equivalent of 30 domestic round-trip Plan AAhead® award Economy Class tickets). They will also receive an all-expenses paid trip to the Inc. 500|5000 Conference & Awards Ceremony, including exclusive networking opportunities with iconic startup leaders and various entrepreneurs, and an Admirals Club annual membership for up to two employees.

The Grand Prize winner will receive an additional 100,000 Business ExtrAA points – equivalent to 50 round-trip Economy Class tickets, AAdvantage® Gold status for up to two employees for one year and exposure in a variety of American Airlines media channels including an inflight video and a feature in the American Way magazine.

What are you still reading for, go sign up for Startup America and enter the contest.


Join Startup America here

Here’s the contest page

Hey, we’re on a sneaker-strapped nationwide startup road trip and NEED YOUR HELP, please click here

Contest: There’s A New Kid In Town, The TechSlinger And You Can Win One This Summer

At Chicago TechWeek we got to meet the team from Michigan startup TechSlinger. This is a new wearable accessory designed to easily transport your tablet, your phone, your wallet and other small items. You can even hang your keys from it.

At first glance you may not think it’s for you, but it so is. Especially if you carry multiple gadgets with you and one of them is an iPad or Android tablet. You see, when you go out to a meeting or a networking event, or any event for that matter and you bring your tablet you’re putting a device that costs hundreds of dollars at unnecessary risk.

I’ve witnessed first hand people who’ve had their iPads turned conveniently into coasters. I’ve seen people leave them behind and drop them, shattering the screen, trying to hold a beer or other drink. Oh and of course the countless times I’ve seen beer, soda and other liquids poured onto the iPad.

Granted, you want to take your iPad or tablet with you because you undoubtedly have work to do, or you want to show off the latest app you’ve downloaded or pictures and videos of the kids. Well that’s great except most purses can’t fit iPads, no one wants to bring the bulk of a backpack or briefcase out with them, and holding them is risky.

The TechSlinger looks like an under jacket holster and has one pouch designed to hold an iPad or tablet and then the other side has two compartments. One is a secure compartment for your phone the other is a secure compartment for your wallet, credit cards, money, license, etc. I actually hold a 16,000mah portable battery in my extra pocket insuring that not only are my devices with me but backup power is as well.

The TechSlinger fits under any jacket, blazer or suit coat and keeps your gadgets from interfering with important things, like walking.

At the recent TechCrunch meetup in Atlanta over 40 people asked about the TechSlinger. At the airport, TSA folks were asking about the TechSlinger, and of course on three different trips to three different Apple stores, people asked about the TechSlinger.

Well low and behold we’ve got Techslingers to give away.

Here’s how it works. Starting this week at ComiCon 2012 in San Diego, just tweet

“@nibletztweets & @techslinger I need a #techslinger” and if you’re lucky you’ll be randomly selected to win one. We’ll randomly draw winners in San Diego, Washington DC, Memphis, Cincinnati and other places along our sneaker-strapped nationwide startup road trip, and you’ll win. It’s that easy. Then your friends will ask, “where’d you get that”.


Find out more about the TechSlinger here

Here’s more coverage from Chicago’s TechWeek

Oh and we’re on this cool sneaker strapped, nationwide startup roadtrip

Cornell University Startup: Empire Robotics Wins Five Minute Pitch Contest


A robotics startup founded by Cornell University students in Ithaca New York took home the top spot in the recent Worcester PolyTechnic Institutes Venture Forum Five Minute Pitch Contest.

The young entrepreneurs are hoping to develop their robotic gripper technology, think those wild orange gripper things, that functions robotically.

According to the Worcester Business Journal
The gripper is a ball-shaped elastic membrane filled with granular material attached to a robotic arm. The air pressure inside the ball is manipulated to adjust the softness or hardness of the gripper, allowing it to conform around and squeeze objects.
This exactly the kind of tech that’s missing for bringing more agile manufacturing to the United States, to automate manufacturing lines in the United States, and that’s exactly what we intend to do with this patent pending technology,” John Amend, the company’s chief technology officer told a roomful of businesspeople, investors and others gathered in the school’s campus center Tuesday evening.

The team took home a prize of $2500. While they aren’t breaking the bank with that kind of prize money, they are getting invaluable exposure from the investor community.

A company called SafeSiren which makes a safety device for school students took home the second pace prize. Other ideas presented included a better way to sterilize catheters, an energy management system for hotels and a blue tooth device designed to replace hearing aids. Check out the source link below for more on those companies.

Source: Worcester Business Journal

Tips For Pitching At A Hackathon Style Pitch Weekend


As the voice of Startups everywhere else we spend quite a lot of time at hackathon style startup competitions. You know the type,two or three day build a startup weekends. In fact there’s an international organization called Startup Weekend that hosts a lot of the events we really enjoy covering.

Now let’s preface this and say these tips are from the last ten events Cameron, Brent and I have attended and or judged, and not the two events we are at this weekend.

Timing Is Everything
In most weekend long startup competitions the first day starts with rapid fire pitches. From there they are whittled down to a handful of ideas that will be developed over the weekend period. The rapid fire idea pitches are between 2 and 5 minutes. That’s certainly not a lot of time. Make sure your pitch is concise and you don’t sound like the micro machine man.

Cut To The Chase
You don’t have a lot of time to pitch. Jump right into the idea first and do the background stats second. It’s ok to run out of time rattling off statistics that many have probably heard before. If you start with the stats upfront,you may not have enough time to actually get the idea out there. If you run out of time on the idea, your startup has very little chance of getting produced.

Build The Startup During The Contest
Keep in mind these are “weekend pitch contest tips”.
If you have your pitch deck done, a product in beta or at least a concept built,a weekend hackathon style contest isn’t the place. You need what we call in these parts, a networking event.

To me there is nothing less classy then signing up for a startup weekend event, pitching a product just about done that may need a designer or two or a marketer, or an investor and then leaving when your idea doesn’t get picked. Network, help others that aren’t as far along as you are.

Mark’s Mango Smoothie Shop or Toms Tshirt manufacturer isn’t a “startup” most startup weekend style events are looking for businesses that can go from idea to proof of concept in 48, 54 or 72 hours.

The Team That Works Around The Clock Will Probably Win
I’ve only seen two startup weekend style events where the teams didn’t have at least the option of working all weekend long. If you had a great idea and so did Tom and you went home and Toms team stayed all night, when you get back in the morning don’t be surprised if they already have social media streams, an alpha shell and feedback from four major companies. That’s just the way it goes.

In fact at a Startup Weekend in Portland most teams stayed all weekend even with a threat explosions and guns

Do Your Research
If you’re going to make a claim in your pitch that you have the first ever this or the first ever that,do some research. When judging contests I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt if I can’t find your concept ten pages back in Google search results. However if your idea is on the first page in the Google Results within the first two results, FAIL.

Pay It Forward
Last night at the launch for 48 Hour Launch in Memphis folks from Friendsignia, Paytopia, Work For Pie and other local companies who have either been through 48 Hour Launch or Seed Hatchery were there. They joined teams and they are mentoring and helping. Especially “everywhere else” you need to stick together. Take a look at St.Louis. St.Louis native Jim McKelvy, best known for being a co-founder of Square, is constantly reinvesting in St. Louis.

More tips to come later

Bloomington Indiana Startup: CheddarGetter To Ring NYSE Closing Bell Today

The New York Stock Exchange has held a contest that’s got a lot of the startup world talking. They’re not giving away a million dollars, or magically making an IPO happen for the startup. The contest? Pick a startup to ring the closing bell.

The winner, a Bloomington Indiana startup called CheddarGetter, will ring the closing bell this afternoon.

CheddarGetter is a startup in the, not so glamorous, online billing space. CheddarGetter will stand alongside two other startups as they ring the bell together.

In an online video posted by CheddarGetter to garner support for their bell ringing conquest, Marketing Director Adam Quirk said:

“There’s a ton of cool tech going on here in Indiana, but you wouldn’t know it if you lived in New York. I lived there for seven years and never heard about an Indiana tech company. So we’d like to ring the opening bell to show that tech startups exist all over this country. There’s a lot of awesome stuff going on here in the Midwest, from Chicago, to Omaha, to Kansas City, to here in Bloomington, Indiana.”

CheddarGetters unique online billing platform has garnered some of the corn belt’s brightest graduates, who may have otherwise moved out of the state. They started as an in house billing solution for tech incubator SproutBox’s startups. Now they boast hundreds of clients in startups, SMB’s and larger business customers.

Congratulations to this startup from everywhere else, ring the bell and make the corn belt proud.


Find out more about CheddarGetter here


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Boca Raton Book Swapping Startup Wins FAU Business Plan Competition

A Boca Raton software entrepreneur putting two kids through college just won $15,000 in the Florida Atlantic University business plan competition. Mark Fredericks and his son David, a junior at FAU, pitched SwitchMyBooks which won the competition and the money to go along with it. They also won $80,000 in business services for the startup.

The contest was open to South Florida entrepreneurs and not just students at FAU.

SwitchMyBooks was born out of necessity. Fredericks quickly realized that spending $1000 or more per year on textbooks for college was a reality.

“The average student spends well over $1,000 a year for books,” Fredericks told the palmbeachpost. “That’s a huge burden.”

Sure there are other ways to get used textbooks online, however SwitchMyBooks has a more innovative approach on a local level. Students who want to sell their books using SwitchMyBooks simply list the book on the site. When they have a buyer the buyer pays a $.99 fee to SwitchMyBooksand then negotiates the actual sale of the book with the seller individually. They can then meet up, presumably on the same campus or nearby to actually do the exchange. The reservation fee lets the seller know they have a serious buyer and the buyer know they have the book.

FAU is the first campus to use SwitchMyBooks they implemented the site on campus last month. Fredericks has his sites on a nationwide rollout though. If he can get one million students using the site he could easily generate $5M in revenue.

Unlike other used book sites SwitchMyBooks users deal locally and don’t have to worry about shipping heavy books through the mail. They can also of course use cash versus Paypal or another form of online payment.

source: Palmbeachpost


FCC Chairman Genachowski & Senator Frank Lautenberg Announce New Jersey Apps Challenge

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski was in New Jersey with Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) on Wednesday to announce the New Jersey Apps Challenge and a new piece of legislation to foster American innovation.

The New Jersey Apps Challenge is of course a mobile apps design contest between three New Jersey universities. Students at Stevens, Rutgers and the New Jersey Institute of Technology are invited to participate in this statewide contest. The contest is open to students, faculty and alumni of the three institutions.

“The New Jersey Apps Challenge” will accept built-from-scratch mobile apps through December 31, 2012. A panel of judges will evaluate entries based on several metrics, including overall utility and potential commercial success. Winners will be selected from each university to meet with the university presidents, and one overall winner will meet with Dennis Crowley, CEO of foursquare, to pitch the winning idea.

“New Jersey’s students and entrepreneurs are on the cutting edge, and the apps challenge will showcase this next generation of New Jersey innovators,” said Senator Lautenberg. “From Thomas Edison to Albert Einstein to Bell Labs, New Jersey has long been the birthplace of new ideas that have transformed our economy and our world. By bringing the brightest minds in business and academia together, we can help ensure that New Jersey continues to build on its rich tradition of innovation.”

Genachowski added: “New Jersey has all the key ingredients to become a great engine of job-creating innovation: talent, world-class research universities, infrastructure, and access to capital. I’m glad that New Jersey leaders like those here today are working to encourage collaboration and entrepreneurship in the apps economy. It’s a low-cost but potentially high-yield way for young people to build their business skills and practice being an entrepreneur without quitting their day jobs or interrupting their education.”

The “America Innovates Act” will help universities and other research institutions grow “proof of concept funds” The legislation will also provide innovators with the business development training they need to take their ideas to market.

Maryland Governor Takes To Pinterest For Start Up Pitch Contest


Pinterest is one of the hottest social networks around. Most sites and analysis are suggesting that the pinboarding network is geared towards women. We reported earlier this week that America’s top man President Barack Obama has started using it.

Now Mayland’s Democratic Governor Martin O’Malley is using it as well. While Potus promises photos of the first family, including first dog BO, and Obama family recipes, O’Malley has something different.

Governor O’Malley is going to use his Pinterest page to promote homegrown startups. O’Malley is embarking on the first ever startup showcase pitch contest.

More after the break

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