Smart$Money is a unique program which informes, educates and prepares foreign business angels and VCs for their future investments in IT startups. Smart$Money enables them to exchange knowledge and experience as well as share, inspire and connect with each other.
Program moderator Pemo Theodore and Startup Monthly team made it a reality.
40+ participants, keynotes, and panelists (among them Steve Blank, Robert Scoble, Buddy L. Arnheim, Christine Herron, Jeff Pulver, Bill Reichert, Greg Kidd, Brant Cooper and more key players in Venture Capital ecosystem) learned about foreign and domestic angel and VC investments, deal-structure, market trends, and the Silicon Valley ecosystem. The participants got connected to leading investors in Silicon Valley, visited successful startups, and got acquainted with various accelerator programs. During the 4-day program, participants visited Facebook, Microsoft, Stanford University and other Silicon Valley companies' offices. Agenda also included keynotes, roundtable discussions, networking events and pitch sessions (5 companies from Startup Monthly Accelerator presented their products to investors).
Each day had special keynotes, themes, mentors and speakers: Ecosystem Day, Angels Day, VCs Day, Investment Day.
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Accelerator Program 2012 is rapidly gaining speed, 5 teams from Russia, Greece, Lithuania and Silicon Valley are working side by side with mentors, investors and angels improving their products.
Every other week we will be introducing you to one of the Startups!
Weendy is a web and mobile application for surfers, snowboarders and extreme sports fans, enabling them to share action video and photo updates, meet with people, explore places and find the best conditions before they go out.
Co-founders Katerina Stroponiati and Yiannis Varelas will tell you about Weendy.
All sport enthusiasts face the following problem: lack of real time updates from the spots they care about as well as failing forecasts. These challenges makes these enthusiasts drive for hours to the beach/mountain, but most of the times actual conditions are far away from those expected. These guys are struggling to find a way to connect with the people who are already at the spot in order to get an accurate update of the conditions, so they can save their time and their money. To overcome this problem, some created Facebook groups, but they ended up as advertising lists. Lack of filtering based on users' profiles makes the groups noisy and (due to their local character) it's hard to discover new places or connect with people in different locations. Also, industry fragmentation and the lack of a common communication platform provides a unique opportunity for businesses to find, communicate and engage with new or existing customers through weendy.
How they started
Both of the founders are addicted windsurfers, kiteboarders, surfers and everything related with watersports, so they know first hand how it feels to spend all your weekend driving around to find the appropriate conditions and get in the water. And it's common to be wasting your time and money, either because forecasts were wrong or because you didn't have the right information. So, they decided to do something about this in order to help their community members not wasting their time. They built a simple app that allowed you to shoot a 10 second video of the conditions, and share them with your friends. In just two months, the app dominated the Greek market, and expanded to more than 15 countries.
Why they got selected
They believed that what they had was a kick-ass product. They are part of the extreme sports community, great niche of the crazy people/surfers, so they deeply understand how this market works. The product has been validated from their market, has remarkable traction and the business model is straightforward.
Good luck, Katerina and Yiannis!
StartupMonthly is exited to open its first official house (we call it a Mansion) to host the new accelerator participants arriving on November 1st. These entrepreneurs will becomes part of the 2nd cohort of startups accelerated by StartupMonthly.
This 6 bedroom house with a beautiful backyard, a garden, a fireplace and a spacious living room in sunny Menlo Park/Atherton area can't wait to welcome its guests. Young entrepreneurs from Russia and Lithuania will be living here for 4 months developing their products and working towards scaling their businesses.
The accelerator program is geared towards startup companies solving challenging problems in web, mobile, smart TV, or cloud domains. The accelerator combines seed investment, hands-on learning, and one-on-one mentorship from serial entrepreneurs, investors, and seasoned hackers. StartupMonthly also provides the orientation, acclimatization, and access to Silicon Valley and the thriving StartupMonthly ecosystem.
StartupMonthly team did their best to provide minimalistic but comfortable environment for the guest and to make them feel welcome. The house is light and spacious: cozy living room with a fireplace is a great place to rest after long productive days and to get together with other entrepreneurs to share successes, disappointments and valuable contacts. Each bedroom has 2 beds, clean soft carpets, big windows and private bathrooms. The house is equipped with fast wi-fi, a large modern kitchen and dining room room areas, a BBQ area in the backyard and of course the California sun! All these are great conditions for entrepreneurs to develop and grow their businesses.
It's important to separate working and living space to find the right balance between work and fun, effort and rest. This is why StartupMonthly decided to locate the Mansion office within walking distance of the shared working space where the this accelerator cohort will work side by side with local entrepreneurs and their startups.
Additional master bedroom space is available for select few visiting startups who would like comfortable inexpensive accommodations and an introduction to the StartupMonthly ecosystem. Please send an email to email@example.com to learn how to take advantage of this opportunity. You can see the pics of the accommodations here.
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By Valerie Muravitsky
Lately Lean and Agile terms started appearing interchangeably, as in "lean agile methodology". Although these methodologies are merging and many organizations employ a hybrid of Lean and Agile development methods, they started as separate practices. The two do go together and there are elements of Lean that we utilize more and more in Agile, but it is important to understand the distinction and avoid confusion.
Startup Monthly Team includes Software Architects, UX Designers, Legal, Financial, Lean Startup experts, Serial Entrepreneurs and Industry experts