Facebook Start Offers Resources For Mobile Developers

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Facebook Start is a new program that gives new or seasoned mobile developers a free package of tools and services. There are two tracks, Bootstrap for those who are just starting out and Accelerate for the more seasoned developer looking to scale their app into a real business.

Any mobile developer with an app that has been live for at least 30 days may apply for a free package of tools and services worth up to $30,000 from several partners.

Adobe Creative Cloud – Creative services
Appurify – Mobile app testing
Asana – Project management
Blue Jeans – Cloud-based video collaboration service
Desk.com – Customer support app
HootSuite – Social media monitoring
MailChimp - Email marketing
Proto.io – Mobile app prototyping
Quip – Mobile productivity suite
SurveyMonkey – Online survey platform
Transifex – Localization
UserTesting – Usability testing
Workable – Recruiting

To be considered apply for FbStart, the application looks like this simple form below.

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6 Common Roadblocks to Deals

roadblocks to deals_ start at goThe word roadblock is rarely a positive thing, primarily in business and especially in traffic. To be hindered, barricaded or slowed down can cause a great loss in a business deal’s momentum. However, if we examine the signs of roadblocks and approach them carefully, we can save ourselves from an uncomfortably bumpy road ahead.

6 Common “Roadblocks” to Deals

1. Can’t

I will refrain from exemplifying the multiple times I’ve heard “can’t” tossed around in meetings as a way to quickly shut the door on an idea or project. The more appropriate and less cowardly word ought to be “won’t.”

When it comes to business most things can be done, but it takes a great deal of thought, time, and problem solving to weed out the good from the bad and finally make a decision to not do something.

2. Risk

Evaluating risk is a critical part of any business deal and partnership. The health and reputation of the company are always at stake and are what matter most. There have been instances where a potential deal seemed sweet but the risks were too sour, and I inevitable had to close negotiations and walk away. Short wins do not always equal long term success.

3. Resources

Tony Hsieh once said to approach  problems as if you have unlimited resources to solve for it. The reason is because it will help uncap your thinking beyond the boundaries of money, labor, land, and other economics of a deal or new business venture.

4. Change

Nascent ideas may be misunderstood for long periods of time. And you must be willing to be fine with that. There is a long list of companies who didn’t embrace shaping their business to the market and the market to their business. The open internet beat AOL. Netflix beat Blockbuster. BestBuy is essentially the showroom for Amazon. Bottom-line: Don’t be averse to growth opportunities that change your business.

5. Group-Think

A mistake too often made is relying on consensus to make decisions. The most entrepreneurial characteristic of Biz Dev in both small and large organizations is that nascent ideas may be misunderstood for long periods of time. This is okay.

While some may not fully understand the perceived changes that can come with new ideas, it is important to keep an open mind, challenge the doubt and commit.

6. Ego

You can’t trust business partners whose ego clouds their understanding, economics, and motivation of a partnership. You’ll always be looking over your shoulder and constantly checking the mechanics of your relationship. Yes, you will have a water tight legal document, but their is no legalese or financial reward in the world that can carry an ego that might just sink you.

A Guide to Hosting Tech Events In Las Vegas

What you’ll find in any thriving tech community is that throughout the month extremely passionate people are hosting panel events, hackathons, meetups, Skillshare classes, and tech conferences.

I’ve curated a list of the venues available in Las Vegas from events I’ve either attended or hosted via Vegas Hack. Feel free to send additions to this list to kyle@startatgo.com.

inNEVation Center | 6795 Edmond Street

Great For: Speakers, Meetups, Panel Events, Hackathons, Skillshare classes

Capacity: The biggest room holds about 140 people and they can live stream whatever event is happening in the main room into 2 over flow rooms which is probably another 75 people.

Point Person: Alexis Glaser | lexi@InNEVation.com

Website: “One-of-a-kind public/private conference, collaboration & coworking environment created by Switch. Mission – to boost and diversify Nevada’s economy.”

Work In Progress | 317 S 6th Street

Great For: Hackathons, Meetups, Speaker Panels, Skillshare classes, Co-Working

Capacity: 40 in the main classroom, 100-150 in the garage

Point Person: Sara Vainer | sara@workinprogress.lv

Website: “We curate events the are designed to inspire, educate and empower our members to do amazing things. Speakers, fireside chats, field trips and more are available to our members for a modest cost, often free.”

Learning Village | 727 Fremont Street

Great For: Hackathons, Educational Events, Meetups, Special Events

Capacity: Approximately 100 in one of the largest buildings

Point Person:  learningvillage@downtownproject.com

The Beat | 520 Fremont Street

Great For: Trivia Night, Meetups, Mixers

Capacity: It’s a wide range depending on how much of the building you wanted to utilize. About 200 on a flow, if it was an all night thing. Just inside The Beat,  approximately 50 people for say Trivia night.

Point Person: Jennifer Cornthwaite | downtownjennifer@gmail.com

Usr/Lib | 520 Fremont Street

Great For: Meetups, Skillshare classes, Co-Working, Vegas Jelly

Capacity: 30 in the classroom, 40-50 in the library

Point Person: Sara Vainer | sara@workinprogress.lv

Downtown Cocktail Room | 111 S Las Vegas Blvd

Great For:  Mixers, Great Drinks

Capacity: Downtown caters to any size group up to 150 people (up to 250 on a flow).

Point Person: Michael | michael@downtownlv.com

Website: “Our extremely competitive bar packages, attentive staff, and intimate atmosphere will keep you comfortable, relaxed, and entertained any time of day or night. We can custom create cocktail(s) for any size events. If interested, just ask. 120 of your closest friends for the price of a few tables at a nightclub! Packages start at $5000.00 for open bar, DJ, staff, and security included for 3-5 hours.”

Coming Fall 2013: The Inspire Theater

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Reaching Out to Strategic Partners

It’s important to find out what is your potential partner’s priorities are at that moment in time. You’ll have the ammunition you need to intelligently speak their language and address their needs. If you don’t take the time to learn what is going on behind the wall’s of the organization (there are things you just wouldn’t know), you’ll be wasting your time and theirs.

To identify partnerships with promise, have a deep understanding of the strengths, weaknesses, and priorities of potential partners. Only then can you know if you’re presenting something they care about. Once you know what’s important to them, you can bring meaningful ideas to the table that will accomplish a win-win.

The Deals We Don’t Do

With all the time spent looking for win-wins, when you decide not to move forward with a potential partnership, it’s also a win. The deals we don’t do are wins for two reasons (1) you avoid potential dead weight deals (2) you learn a lot from due diligence and testing.

You also get the time to go after new opportunities. While it may not be the type of win that equals added growth to your company, it can be meaningful in many ways:

  • Take the research you’ve done to scope an opportunity and play it forward towards similar directional concepts that may lead to win-wins. 
  • Use it as an opportunity to look at your pipeline again. Who is in a position to provide what you need to make this work?
  • Look at recent data on your targets to recognize any new leverage opportunities that may now exist. Are there any specific priorities (capital efficiency, cost control, revenue growth) that you now need to address? 
  • Strengthen ties with existing partners and create new ones.