Last week was an an amazing week as I attended Where 2.0 location conference in Santa Clara, CA and had a chance to visit the headquarters of the startup world, Silicon Valley (San Francisco, Mountain View, Palo Alto and more. Also during the trip I had chance to visit Citizen Space, Path HQ and catch up with a few friends and mentors who will be taking part in the NewME Accelerator.
Last week was a big week for the NewME Accelerator as it was featured in the Wall Street Journal by Lizette Chapman. The post was called, “MC Hammer To Minority Entrepreneurs: “Let’s Get It Started” which was a short version of the VentureWire News release called “New Accelerator Program Aims To Boost Minority Entrepreneurs”
Here’s an excerpt from the “MC Hammer To Minority Entrepreneurs: “Let’s Get It Started” Wall Street Journal article.
As VentureWire reports today, Hammer, whose real name is Stanley Burrell, is lending advice to minority entrepreneurs in the New Media Entrepreneurship, or NewMe, accelerator program in Silicon Valley this summer. Starting June 16, seven minority-led start-ups from across the country will live in a rented house in Mountain View, Calif., and can work there or in a shared space in San Francisco. Additional Bay Area start-ups will also be invited to participate, but will not live in the house.
Hammer’s advice to start-ups? Don’t give away too much equity too early and look for a profitable niche within existing markets.
“You don’t have to invent the wheel, but you might want to be the company that invents the rims,” said Hammer in a phone interview.
Here’s an excerpt from the New Accelerator Program Aims To Boost Minority Entrepreneurs article via VentureWire.
Speakers and mentors will run the gamut. Participants include Foundry Group Partner Brad Feld, angel investor Eghosa Omoigui, Foursquare’s Tristan Walker and Twitter’s Doug Williams.
The mentors will provide a range of advice, from negotiating the legal maze around starting a company to dealing with technology and business-model issues and pitching VCs. The driving force behind the program is the belief that minority entrepreneurs–defined by the program as people of color and females–often find themselves at a disadvantage due to the networked nature of the tech world, especially in Silicon Valley.
“Everything is based on relationships. It doesn’t mean people are racist, but it means that you don’t know who to pick up the phone and call to get advice or to write a check,” said Hajj Flemings, chief executive of Detroit-based GoKit Inc., one of five companies already selected to participate. “You think you’re doing all the right things, but it’s like you’re a gerbil on a wheel not advancing and you can’t figure out why.” Black Web 2.0 Founder and Publisher Angela Benton said she first got the idea of providing a platform for minority entrepreneurs while at a conference last year in Washington D.C. Then, a report published a few months later pushed her to take action.
Since then we have received a ton of new speaker request and startup submissions. Speaking of submssions, the deadline is this Friday, April 29 to submit your startup. You can pitch your startup here http://www.newmeconference.com/startups/pitch-your-startup/. Good luck!
Also we’re still seaking sponsors/partners for the NewME Accelerator. It’s seven startups, three months, one house in the Valley. Can you say coffee, food, transportation and vampiremode! Interested? Contact Us.
Thanks for the support everyone. Fun times are ahead along with a lot of work!