Monday, January 19, 2015

What Bushmen can Teach You about Finding Money & Bootstrapping

How Startups can Survive the Drought and Find Investors

All Startups will endure "the drought" - when customers are scarce and investors non-existent.The more you can successfully bootstrap the company, the more you impress potential Investors. If you want to know how to endure “the drought” and find the money, think of the Bushmen or San of the Kalahari Desert. They get rain during one season of year, and conserve what they can with little technology - for the rest of the time, as desert insiders, they know how to find water through alternative sources.

What if you are a newcomer - a Startup in the desert? How would you find water?

You do this by what might be called "Salting the Monkey."

San drinking from a tuber
After they have run out of watering holes, wet sands and water stored in buried ostrich eggs, the San extract moisture from tubers growing beneath the ground. It is about as close as this desert comes to a water cooler but only a native could find its sublimely subtle shoots and live off the moisture they have to scrape from it. Anyone else would expire, which explains why desert Insiders have an advantage.

How to “Salt the Monkey” to Find Money and Business

How would an Entrepreneur, stuck in this wilderness, tap the resources of the true insiders? Tribesmen from surrounding areas who find themselves in this situation use other animals like baboons to help them find these sources of water. They do this by trapping the baboons or monkeys and feeding them salt so they get thirsty enough to lead them to water.

All it requires is finding a monkey hangout, an anthill, some seeds (a shiny object works too), twine and the aforementioned salt. First, the visitor makes a hole in the cement-like anthill at about crouching height. Next, the visitor appears near the monkey and plays with his seeds, making sure to get its attention. With great showmanship that ensures the monkey observes, he places his hand in the amply sized hole and drops the seeds. Then he walks away. The monkey, being a highly curious creature, will head for the anthill once the tribesman has left the scene put his hand in and grab the seeds. However, in making the fist, the monkey finds the hole is not big enough to remove his hand bulging with the seeds. Since the curiosity of monkey so consuming, he cannot let go of the seeds - and so he is trapped. He feeds the monkey the salt and soon enough the thirsty creature leads him to an underground lake.

Finding a champion in the desert and inspiring them enough so they lead you to the critical resource is they way every savvy Entrepreneur has launched their Startup.


                                                                http://bit.ly/1DNYIO4

Saturday, January 17, 2015

"Salting the Monkey": What Bushmen Teach us about Bootstrapping & Finding Money.



As the long-awaited Are You Fundable? is about to be released, here are some excerpts.
(This is not your typical Entrepreneur how-to book.)

How Startups can Survive the Drought and Find Investors

The more you can successfully bootstrap the company, and progress through your own financing or machinations, the more you impress Investors with your ability to deliver. So consider this a test you must pass – whether you get funding or not. If you want to know how to endure “the drought” and go on to find money, think of the Bushmen. Now generally referred to as the San, they live in the Kalahari Desert where there are no camels and few oases with springs or even wells where they can pump water out of the ground. They get rain during one season of year, and conserve what they can with little technology beyond filling ostrich egg with water and burying them in the sand.

For the rest of the time, they find water through alternative sources.

San drinking from a tuber
It turns out that water can come from many places other than a faucet or a pump. After they have run out of watering holes, wet sands and water stored in buried ostrich eggs, the San extract moisture from tubers growing beneath the ground. It is about as close as this desert comes to a water cooler but only a native could find its sublimely subtle shoots and live off the moisture they have to scrape from it. Anyone else would expire, which explains why Insiders – especially the pedigreed variety – has an advantage.


To Find Money and Business: “Salt the Monkey”
Since a real Entrepreneur may require the same ability to survive what is metaphorically a desert, how can they do it if they are an outsider or a visitor to this terrain? While the San have their proprietary ways of storing and finding these tubers, what would a newcomer – a disruptor - do? One famous example is how visiting non-San tribesmen from surrounding areas use other animals like baboons or monkeys in the desert to help them find these sources of water. They do this by trapping the monkeys and feeding them salt so they get thirsty enough to lead them to water.
How they do this is quite astounding. It requires finding a monkey hangout, an anthill, some seeds or any shiny object, twine and the aforementioned salt. First, the visitor drills a hole in the anthill at about crouching height. Anthills are built with a mixture of sand and mucus and have the virtual strength of cement, so making the fist-sized hole takes work. Next, the visitor appears near the monkey and plays with his seeds, making sure to get its attention. With great showmanship that ensures the monkey observes, he places his hand in the amply sized hole and drops the seeds. Then he walks away. The monkey, being a highly curious creature, will head for the anthill once the tribesman has left the scene put his hand in and grab the seeds. However, in making the fist, the monkey finds the hole is not big enough to remove his hand bulging with the seeds. Since the curiosity of monkey so consuming, he cannot let go of the seeds - and so he is trapped.

If all of this sounds eerily like the way you attracted your first customer, sponsor, corporate champion or Investor, so be it. But there’s more - the monkey is yet to do its real work. The patient visitor then walks up to the self-trapped monkey, attaches the twine to its neck and shakes the seeds loose from his hand, thereby freeing the monkey. He then ties the monkey to a tree and hands him the salt. The monkey devours the salt and quickly develops a hellacious thirst. At that point, the visitor undoes the leash and follows the parched monkey to his stored water source, which is typically an underground pond or lake.

That is how you survive the desert and “develop” a champion. With a little imagination, you can see that launching a Startup may not be all that different: you may have to find alternate sources of funding that can sustain you and ways to salt the monkey – that is, getting other people to lead you to the resources needed for sustenance. This is the kind of resourcefulness that tells Investors you belong in the business. It separates the Entrepreneur who will simply feast on the Investor’s money hoping for good fortune and the ones who will use that money to get up and go build a business!  http://bit.ly/1DNYIO4












Monday, January 12, 2015

NY's Police Slowdown – Opening the Door to Tech/Social Media

Like the Last Strike of the Toll Workers….Before EZ Pass?

If you drive in New York you will notice that cops are no longer harassing cars with tickets. Yet, the city is working is just as well as it did when they were out in full force. The same applies to the regular cops.

Maybe 20 – 30% of New York policing was really about “toll-collecting” from the public.

If that’s the case, maybe we are better served by technology. It is cheaper to run street parking with EZ Pass systems, The same with speeding and traffic lights.

Police turn their backs on image of Mayor DiBlasio
Any number of low-level crimes can be monitored by remote cameras and police sent as needed. This not exactly news, but instead of leveraging new tech, the city has been flooded with cops, who are largely put to work ticketing the citizens.

Maybe they have just proven we don’t need their presence until summoned. That is better served by harnessing the public through social media technologies like Waze and Twitter, which capture real time issues as they happen by direct messaging from the public, or indirectly by suspicious activity.


http://nypost.com/2015/01/11/nycs-business-elite-in-a-panic-over-cop-strike/

Monday, December 15, 2014

Dec. Pitching Event Results: Petticoats to Pharmaceuticals

December brought in a new crop of amazing Startups.

The judges were impressed with the high quality of pitches - and also the unusual variety.

As a result, we had a very tightly contested finish with 4 finalists in the shoot-out. 

FINALISTS
So.i.Heard Music  Music Education for the 21st Century   
MB Group The largest global supplier of rare African fruits that temporarily alters taste buds for chemotherapy patients and a zero-calorie sugar substitute
HealthMed Corp    Patent protected combination of cholesterol medication for a large long-term user base

WINNER

Jewel Toned  Unique meant-to-be-seen shape wear and eCommerce site

Rachael McRary, Jewel Toned Founder earns an appearance at the next Private Equity Forum at the Yale Club. 

We hope you will be joining us again. Our next event will be in January when we will present the best of Startupalooza presentations.


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Too Old for a Job - Start a "School of Rock"!

My daughter Danielle, makes her debut in the Westchester Business Journal.

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Westchester dads open School of Rock in Mamaroneck

Tory and Vanessa Ridder stand behind their son Wolfe, 9, while watching students in the School of Rock’s performance program practice at their weekly band rehearsal. Photo by Danielle Brody
Tory and Vanessa Ridder stand behind their son Wolfe, 9, while watching students in the School of Rock’s performance program practice at their weekly band rehearsal. Photo by Danielle Brody
Fathers in the county are keeping the classics alive with a new generation of rock stars – Westchester kids.
Two childhood friends opened a new branch of the School of Rock franchise in Mamaroneck in September. With corporate backgrounds, Tory Ridder and Ned Kelly, and their business partners Steve Kennedy and Tony Reilly, are getting a taste of what it’s like to be entrepreneurs – and rock band managers.
School of Rock, a company based in suburban Chicago with more than 140 locations in eight countries, is not unlike the 2003 movie of the same name starring Jack Black as teacher to a group of student musicians. The after-school program offers school-age kids and adults private music lessons and an opportunity to join a rock band. Weekly group rehearsals are practice for the live themed rock show the students put on at the end of the season.
“It’s such a great feeling – and this ties into the business – to see the music that I grew up on inspiring the next generation and how they’re able to connect with it and use it as a way to learn music,” said Ridder, 40, of Fleetwood in Mount Vernon. “This type of program teaches kids how music was meant to be played and how the founding fathers of rock, how they did it. It’s a wonderful tool to use that music as both inspiration and teaching material for the kids.”
Continued Here (Westfair)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

November STARTUPALOOZA Discovers New Stars

Results from Nov. Startupalooza


The judges were impressed with the high quality of pitches.

As a result, we had a very tightly contested finish with 4 finalists.







FINALISTS






Advanced Neural Metrics, Inc. Frank Minella. Pain measurement software.









Milestone Sports Ltd. Jason Kaplan, CEO Free/lowcost wearable technology that keeps manufacturers and retailers in touch with their customers. 

PixelRouter Andrew James, CEO One of the first available games for the coming VR platforms.






WINNER

Congratulations to Manny Ben-Or of BrideClick the wedding advertising network.

Manny earns an appearance at the next Private Equity Forum at the Yale Club on Dec. 3rd. 

We hope you will be joining us again. Our next Startupalooza will be on December 11.