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Branding, Social Media, Viral Marketing, PR, Blogging, Communications
Interests: food, wine, hiking, writing, photography, books, people, social media, video, really great literature, french and italian design
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Today, Kolibree, the guys who brought the world's first connected electric toothbrush to market at CES in January, announced that their connected toothbrush is now available for pre-orders on Kickstarter, the renowned crowdfunding platform that allows users to help fund a project or product. I've been involved in a marketing and communications role and as an advisor since the beginning, so it has been quite a fun ride so far. Since we first showed the prototype in Las Vegas at the beginning of the year, we have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from everyone from mom's who are excited about being able to monitor their kid's brushing for the first time, entrepreneurs who recognize great innovation and existing electric toothbrush users to geeks and developers who are interested in building third party apps to gamify the experience at an even deeper level. We've come a long way since the beginning and Kolibree's earliest prototype -- it's now time to move this ever so elegant connected toothbrush to the next level! Funds raised from Kickstarter supporters will be used to manufacture and distribute Kolibree’s connected toothbrush, starting with a limited rollout in June and wide distribution worldwide starting in the U.S. and Europe in late Q3/early Q4 2014. Unlike anything else that exists today, Kolibree’s smart, connected toothbrush has a unique technology with sensors to analyze your brushing habits... Those brushing habits are then displayed on a mobile dashboard you can readily access from your phone or tablet. You can learn about your brushing behavior from that data to improve your habits over time. By being armed with smart data, you can be more empowered to take better care of your teeth and make future dentist visits less painful and less expensive. Kolibree is particularly useful for parents who want to instill... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2014 at down the avenue
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When you hear the word DENT, you might have a visual of a dental brand or maybe an auto repair company, but your mind might not automatically jump to a conference in the middle of the Idaho mountains whose goal is to shake things up across industries with technology. Now in its second year, Steve Broback and Jason Preston are the visionaries behind this event, which aims to explore the magic and science of visionary leadership and groundbreaking success. While so many events and conferences focus on one main track or trending idea, i.e, mobile apps, enterprise software, wearables or connected devices, DENT the Future has focused on creating an "experience" for its attendees, all centered around entrepreneurship, leadership and having "fun." Sessions and discussions ranged from mobile development, gaming, delegation and goal setting to the art of design, crowdfunding, wearable tech, data visualization and decoding the language of glamour. We delved into education and IPs and then onto the importance of creating support networks when building a startup, before embarking on a dialogue with Richard Douglas "Dick" Fosbury, who is one of the most influential athletes in the history of track and field. We also heard from Chris Anderson of the CSI Centennial Observatory and the Falukner Planitarium, who shared how the current best understanding of gravity -- based on Einstein's relativity -- suggests that everything creates its own dent in the universe, however small, how this connects everyone to everything, and how the relativity of simultaneity means that we all inhabit our own unique universes. With crowdfunding on the rise as an alternate to traditional angel and seed investment, it was no surprise to see IndieGoGo Founder & Chief Development Officer Danae Ringelmann on the stage in an inspiring fireside chat with Jeremiah Owyang. We explored the benefits... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2014 at down the avenue
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I recently agreed to participate in an online video series on social media in business called Next Generation Power Summit, produced and organized by Australian entrepreneur Rosemary Burnett. The series will kick off March 5, 2014 and run through March 18 and the schedule of social media gurus and expert interviews are listed below. The video interview series aims to help businesses with their online and digital strategy through advice and insights from a host of folks living it and breathing it every day. Objectives of the series are to: Get clear about your core message and brand Build a following on social media Attract and connect with your ideal client in the places they are hanging out. Turn those connections into relationships and sales Learn the strategies the experts have adopted themselves, to achieve ‘big business’ success. I'm up on March 17 however there's a host of great other consultants and specialists in the line-up starting on March 5 beginning with Rosemary's kick off. Note that it is free to participate but you have to register on the main Next Generation Power Summit home page. I'm told that this Tele-summit series is similar in approach to a Global Mentor Mastermind event. There will be the opportunity to watch the video interview replays for a limited time if you can’t make it on the launch date however you will need to register regardless to get access to the content. Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2014 at down the avenue
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Well worth checking out for investors, entrepreneurs and technologists on February 11, 2014, is Smart Money Silicon Valley, an interactive event where you can engage directly & intensely with other investors. It is a forum to discuss cultural issues & problems associated with your particular area as regards the startup ecosystem & investment. Smart Money Silicon Valley envisions a global community where the seeds of this investing ecosystem can be planted anywhere. 27 Investors will be speaking during the day including a Cocktail Party at end of day where you can mix with investors socially. Also recently added don't miss the BitCoin & Virtual Currencies Round Table with William Quigley, Clearstone Venture Partners; Jered Kenna, Tradehill; Steve Kirsch, Cointrust; Bill Tai, Charles River Ventures; Nick Shaek, Ribbit Capital. Here is a useful video with thoughts from past attendees and a video of speakers from the November 12 event. 15% discount off registration using code: CBWWDN. Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2014 at down the avenue
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This year marks the fourth year I've been involved as co-curator at TEDxBerkeley, an annual TEDx event held at Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley California. Now in its fifth year, this was the first year the event sold out at 1,700 and that's not including volunteers and our team. We had an outstanding line-up of speakers and performers this year, and the talks were centered around this year's core theme: Rethink, Redesign, Recreate. Below is a summary of a handful of the talks, but you can find out more about the speakers on the TEDxSpeaker page and through their online videos which should be posted sometime in February or early March 2014. Kicking things off in the morning was well renowned entrepreneur and former Apple evangelist, Guy Kawasaki, whose talk was entitled The Art of Innovation. Addressing entrepreneurs and wanna-be entrepreneurs, he suggests that rather than draft a mission statement, create a vision with real meaning...in other words, a mantra of why you should exist. Fedex doesn't equate to a series of trucks that deliver packages, but Peace of Mind. He also pointed to the fact that so many companies try to innovate from the same growth curve rather than jump ahead of the curve which is where real innovation happens - that was Kodak's fail btw. Change in an industry is inevitable, so don't lag behind because you're too set in the way you do business and too inflexible to pivot to a new vision before it's too late. When you start to think from a truly innovative place, you're essentially rolling the dice. If you have indeed jumped to the next innovation curve like Apple did, it’s okay to have some crappiness in your product suggests Guy, as long as you get it out there. No surprise coming from... Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2014 at down the avenue
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I’ve always loved the word Roots. In English at least, the word always made so much sense to me since the word’s foundation is in fact, a foundation….Roots are the source of where things are formed and grow; they are the part of a plant which attaches to the ground and gives it support, just like a family does. It is also the basic cause and the source of origin of something, like our culture and “hood” provide us throughout our lives. We are all born from a root, a strong thread of sorts that binds us to a known place, a known culture, a known color and a known value system and just like a maple tree knows its soil, we know our own. And, just like that tree grows and blossoms into something rich, pure and beautiful before it eventually withers and dies, we too go through a similar journey, passing through cycles just as nature does, calling on our “roots” to give us the support and strength we need to get to the next stage of our lives. Somehow we have this notion as children that our parents and grandparents won’t ever die because they were the first source of strength, protection and support we ever knew; it doesn’t seem possible that the matriarch or patriarch everyone turned to for strength, would someday lose their own. Having been raised by my grandparents, I’ve experienced the journey to death more often than most people my age and seen more people I care about and love slip away before I felt it was their time. We’ve all experienced death in some shape or form -- even as children, we have seen a family pet or bird we may have only nurtured for a week or two die before our... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2014 at down the avenue
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The fifth annual TEDx Berkeley, which will be held at Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall on Saturday February 8, 2014, will feature 20 inspiring and innovative speakers and performers who will address this year’s theme Rethink, Redefine, Recreate. From education and healthcare to the monumental shifts we are seeing across technology, digital entertainment, sustainability, communications and the environment, the goal of this year’s event is to open up a global conversation around innovative ideas and transformations that happen when we don’t follow the status quo. The speaker and performer line-up for 2014 includes the following thought leaders and visionaries: Kare Anderson: Kare is Say it Better Center founder, an Emmy-winning former NBC and Wall Street Journal reporter, columnist for Forbes and Huffington Post, and a translator of neuroscience research which improves how we connect and collaborate. Nikki Borodi: Nikki is a musician, clown, aerial acrobatic, yoga instructor and artist who is in the process of writing a circus rock show to inspire people to manifest their dreams. Vangelis Chaniotakis: Vangelis, who dreams of starting his own circus troupe, has been training on partner acrobatics since 2011 while also dabbling in hand balancing, tumbling, and static trapeze. Brenda Chapman: Brenda was formerly a story artist at Walt Disney Feature Animation, story supervisor on The Lion King, helped launch DreamWorks Animation Studios and created, wrote and directed for Pixar Animation Studios including Golden Globe winning Brave. Dr. Al Greene: Dr. Greene is Medical Director at HealthTap, former President of The Organic Center, founding partner of the Collaborative on Health and the Environment and his site DrGreene.com, cited by the AMA as “the pioneer physician Web site”, has received over 80 million unique users. Roberto Hernandez: Roberto co-directed and produced a documentary film which was nominated for three Emmy Awards and won an Emmy for... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2014 at down the avenue
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Paris-based KEECKER is showing off its new smart, wirefree and connected robot on the International CES 2014 show floor in Las Vegas Nevada this week. The new connected device will redefine the home entertainment and connected devices market. With a powerful video projection and 360° audio & capture system, KEECKER allows you to project movies, listen to music, browse the web, make video calls, play video games, transform the design of your home and more, all controlled through your smartphone. Using KEECKER's innovative technology, you can transform your home with just one single device, eliminating the need for so many ”siloed” technology solutions we are forced into using today. KEECKER can project digital rich art, media, images and video anywhere as well as move around your home. Truly wirefree and mobile, KEECKER rolls alongside you using its advanced motorized wheels. Moving beyond entertainment as we know it today, KEECKER transforms any room into an entertainment arena and any surface into a massive and immersive screen. Freed from its ”container”, content can be projected anywhere, whether its traditional entertainment, video, photos, interior design or beyond. Equipped with a powerful video projection and 360° audio and video capture system, KEECKER allows you to project movies, listen to music, browse the web, make video calls, play video games and more. While many devices such as computers and smartphones are solely for personal use, KEECKER enables the sharing of collective experiences at home, bringing families closer together. Interested in taking a dive into the Milky Way or bringing your children under the sea in the comfort of your own home? Want to draw monumental artwork on your walls or create pop up interior design just for a night? Whether you want to walk through your house Skyping with a friend in Tokyo, wake up... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2014 at down the avenue
Kolibree, a company dedicated to innovative solutions to keep you healthy and smart, launched the world’s first connected electric toothbrush last night at the large renowned Unveiled Media Event in Las Vegas on the eve of the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Unlike anything else that exists today, Kolibree’s smart toothbrush has a unique technology to analyze your brushing habits and display them on a mobile dashboard you can readily access from your phone. Kolibree’s connected toothbrush is paired with a mobile app. You simply download the free mobile app, connect via Bluetooth and every brushing is recorded. Then, the data about how you brushed automatically synchronizes to your smartphone telling you whether you brushed long enough and reached the hard-to-reach but important parts of your teeth and gums. With the Kolibree connected toothbrush and mobile app, you can take control of your health and teeth with easy-to-understand monitoring and scoring. You can easily share your stats with your dentist and family or choose to keep it private. Designed for families, the app works with several toothbrushes so the entire family can participate. Kolibree rewards your progress and cheers you on when you are improving, allocating points to kids to encourage them to improve their brushing habits. The Problem Kolibree Solves: Your dentist may have told you that plaque and tartar build up can lead to losing your teeth if not monitored and acted upon fast enough. Many people don’t realize that poor dental care can also impact the overall care of your health. While Kolibree does not proclaim to solve periodontal disease or suggest that it can keep cavities or gingivitis at bay, the better you take care of your teeth, the more likely it is that you can and will avoid serious problems. Before Kolibree, the issue... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2014 at down the avenue
The International Consumer Electronics Show (International CES) 2014 is around the corner once again and I'll be there in spades as always like I have over the past two decades. The event officially runs from January 7-10 in Las Vegas Nevada however pre-events, sessions and more start as early as January 5, including the fascinating UNVEILED Event which touts a number of new innovative products and services not yet on the market. I plan to be there in spades, so watch for tweets on my observations which will include photos as much as I can. (reliable wifi willing) Major technology innovators will be talking about their latest and greatest in a keynote series called The Tech Titans.The keynotes will be held at The Venetian, on Level 5 in the Palazzo Ballroom. From Brian Krzanich of Intel, Audi's Rupert Stadler and Sony's Kazuo Hirai to Yahoo's Marissa Mayer and Cisco's John Chambers, the crowds will inevitably pour into these massive ballrooms to learn about what they're doing and why. The Mobile Innovation keynotes at the LVCC (Las Vegas Convention Center) in N255 include John Donovan from AT&T, Qualcomm's Paul E. Jacobs, TechCrunch TV's Andrew Keen and Ericsson Group's Hans Vestberg. Twitter's CEO Dick Costolo, Salesforce's Scott Dorsey, and Ford's James D. Farley also take the stage. I'll be there scouting out new products, services and innovations for the mobile warrior for an entire week. I will be looking for things like efficient designs, lightweight products easy for travelers to carry, useful products that help travelers connect or use services remotely (to access movies, music, photos and more), cameras, tablets, external drives, batteries (a godsend and critical for any traveler), battery chargers and alternatives, and wearables. This appears to be the year of the wearables so let's see what comes out of... Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2014 at down the avenue
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As I began reflecting on the 2013 year, I realized it has been a watershed year for me in so many ways. What an incredible year of personal growth and professional reflection, where projects and encounters I didn't think would be diverse and creative ended up being more powerful because of what they didn't offer more than what they did. I experienced calmer and more serene waters, and re-ignited with nature in a way I haven't since childhood. As the 2013 year begins to close to an end, here are some photo highlights from the year. Be sure to check out the photos and blog posts from Iceland, Lithuania, Estonia, Kentucky, Finland, Greenland, Adirondacks & Upstate New York, Yosemite National Park and Chile. Happy Holidays & A Toast To An Incredibe 2014! Continue reading
Posted Dec 20, 2013 at down the avenue
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I write today with great sadness after learning about the passing of Nelson Mandela this week. You see, I have a long history with South Africa and every time she graced me with another memory, I was forever changed. Her imprint wasn't the kind of imprint other country destinations leave; it was if South Africa's spirit spoke to me each and every time, as if she had to teach me something larger than myself...a bit like Mandela did over the course of his lifetime... As I reflect on Mandela's impact and his important life work, I began thinking of all the talks I have heard him give including a dramatic one in person in the 1990s, and zeroed in my own South African story, one which he influenced by his actions, his courage, his resilience and his solitude. He changed how I absorbed not just culture, politics and history, but how I viewed humanity and the world. My story goes deep. Endure me on an important life journey for a moment, starting in a pre-Mandela world. Apartheid was still very much in place when I lived in South Africa as a foreign exchange student in 1984, two years before the country's declared State-of-Emergency. Being white, I was placed with a well-off English speaking white family in a ritzy Johannesburg suburb and sent to a prestigious white school. In this bubbled existence, I was meant to be protected from the waging cultural war that was brewing under the surface. We wore uniforms and lived colonial lives, with two tea breaks a day at school, private tennis lessons and trips to the stables for horseback riding. And, it was oh so very proper. Girls hung out with girls, and boys hung out with boys even at co-ed schools. I also studied at... Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2013 at down the avenue
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Wearable Wonderland is coming to The Old Mint in San Francisco on December 11, 2013. To celebrate the act of living this holiday season, 10% of all proceeds from the Wearable Wonderland event will be donated to a local charity. The event will be the official Stained Glass Labs Holiday Gala celebrating the emerging Wearable Technology & IOT ecosystem. This exclusive event is poised to bring together over 500 top-­tier technology executives and innovators. Wearable Wonderland will also feature over 20+ models fashioning the coolest wearable tech devices of 2013. Stained Glass Labs will award companies and devices for their notable innovations within the following categories: Smart Glasses Smart Clothing Smart Watches Smart Home Smart Application Stained Glass Labs Device of the Year Details: Wearable Wonderland Holiday Charity Gala The Old Mint 88 5th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103 Date/Time: Tuesday December 10, 2013 from 8:00 pm-­12:00 am. Continue reading
Posted Nov 23, 2013 at down the avenue
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Before I learned that Tony Fadell was former SVP of Apple’s iPod division and had reported directly to Steve Jobs, there was a sense that he abided by the "Real Men Ship" rules and I hadn't yet read his GigaOm Roadmap profile, where he presented on stage this week in San Francisco. GigaOm events have always been more B2B and enterprise at their core regardless of the theme and this case was no different despite the fact that the conference was atypical in many ways, almost TED-like. Taglined "The Intersection of Design and Experience", you were almost waiting for earth shattering insights from some of the best geeks, inventors, designers and visionaries in the industry. In this case, I probably should have started with Tesla's Chief Designer Franz von Holzhausen, except I sadly missed that session, or Adobe on design or even the very cool discussion around using data to program creative spaces, which included Jennifer Magnolfi's design examples and experiences with Herman Miller and most recently, the Downtown Project in Las Vegas. But, Tony intrigued me largely because he had a "say it like it is" personality which was refreshing and ever so beautifully arrogant at the same time. He acknowledged how easy it was to raise money now because he was a known and trusted entity because of his so many successes while reminding young 20-something year olds how much faster they could work alongside mentors and get their projects to "go" because of easy access to people compared to two decades ago. It made me want to have lunch with him, maybe even dinner. You can't be in your forties or beyond and not disclose at some juncture that you stand by profitability and having real metrics in place to build not just a perception for a... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2013 at down the avenue
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The Open Mobile Summit hits San Francisco November 12-14, 2013. The event aims to connect the most influential and innovative in converging mobile, Internet, media, electronics and commerce. At Appcelerate CEOs of the most successful app publishers on the planet share the secrets to their success building, marketing and monetizing apps. Crème de la crème of mobile leaders will speak and moderate panels and sessions including All Things D's Walt Mossberg, Sprint's Bill Malloy, Shazam's Rich Riley, Mozilla's Mitchell Baker, AT&T's Abhi Ingle, CTO's Dave Engberg and others. Get a full agenda and keynote speaker update. Click here to reserve the 2013 conference brochure. Use discount code ‘2439WBW’ to save an extra $100 from current prices. Topics include: Wearables Hit the Streets:The age of wearable technology is here. Everything from Google Glass to smart watches and health sensors are in fashion. But how will wearable re-program mobile strategy? The Death of TV: Multi-screen media has traditional TV on the ropes. How is the fight for the living room playing out and which video monetization strategies are looking like Grand Slams? Enterprise: Mobility is “The New IT”: Productivity, distribution, device management and security. Hear how CIOs and Enterprise IT pros are addressing the challenges and capitalizing on the opportunities in the mobile enterprise space. The Future of Mobile Commerce: Hyper-connected consumers are a challenge for retailers in store and online. Who’s winning the multi-channel shopping spree and how are connected devices changing buying behaviour? Apps: The Mobile Service Marketplace. Monetizing apps is no longer limited to advertisements. Explore the service marketplace revolution and discover the next victim of the app. Awash in Big Data. Data, data everywhere! Find out who is positioned to harness the wealth of mobile device data to create more valuable, personalized services for consumers. On Day 3... Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2013 at down the avenue
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DEMO Fall is coming to Silicon Valley October 15-17, 2013. Known as the launchpad for emerging technologies and trends, they'll be unveiling 50 new technology products from the DEMO stage, across multiple verticals and industries, including mobile, enterprise, health, wearable computing, digital money, big data, the Internet of things and more. Some of the speakers and judges include Di-Ann Eisnor from Waze, Evernote's Phil Libin, Ayr Muir from Clover Foods, Yelp's Jeremy Stoppelman, Jonathan Abrams of Nuzzel, Josh Elman from Greylock Partners, CNBC's Jon Fortt, Rock Health's Malay Gandhi, Spark Capital's Nabeel Hyatt, EchoSign's Jason Lemkin, Hilary Mason from Accel Partners, Google Ventures' Shanna TellermanBrian O'Malley from Battery Ventures, FitBit's CEO James Park and others. You can register here at a discounted rate of $700 off the normal registration price. It will be held at the Hyatt Regency for those heading out from the East Coast, Asia or Europe. Check out the DEMO Fall 2013 agenda. Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2013 at down the avenue
AlwaysOn just announced their first annual Power Players in Technology Business Media List. The AlwaysOn Power Players in Technology Business Media list honors editors, writers, and bloggers in the technology world who are keeping technology entrepreneurs informed and connected. Reporting on the massive technology breakthroughs hitting the market almost every day, this list of media have become the voices behind the ideas that make the Global Silicon Valley an incubator for success. Cool beans that We Blog the World made the cut, which at face value may not make sense, but it's largely because I also write about technology trends, conferences, events, startups, launches and entrepreneurs on Down the Avenue, on the Huffington Post and of course on We Blog the World, mostly in the products and events section. The site also has a Mobile category as well as a technology category, however the products covered range from luggage and fashion to mobile devices, social apps, gadgets which may help the on-the-go warrior and digital cameras. While the list is extremely long, and the more traditional cast of characters are listed (NY Times, Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, Mashable, etc), numerous bloggers are also listed who not just cover technology trends, but also social media and various vertical market industries, such as digital music, technology that moms and/or women care about and lifestyle issues. As venture capital-backed on-demand companies continue to bring new, innovative products and services to the world, the founders and their products and services are being covered by the people on this list. Many of the winners of this competition will be featured at the upcoming OnMobile 2013: Mobile Venture Summit, which will be held at the Fox Theatre in Redwood City, CA on October 10. If interested in attending, you can register here to secure your ticket... Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2013 at down the avenue
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I haven't had a chance to attend a VatorSplash event in awhile because of so much travel however I was in town for the latest one, held this week at San Francisco's Cafe Du Nord on Market Street. The event, as always, was packed full of interesting speakers, including renowned investors Jed Katz, Lars Leckie, Charles Moldow, Rory O'Driscoll, Keith McCurdy, Erin Hakansson, Alan Chiu, Dave Samuel, Rick Moss, Charles Hudson, Rob Coneybeer, Howard Hartenbaum, Tony Conrad, and others. Docusign's CEO Keith Krach keynoted on best practices and Jared Simon talked about lessons learned from their work at HotelTonight. In traditional VatorSplash style, the band Coverflow played in the basement at Cafe Du Nord following the event. With a new sound that has leapfrogged from their more well known 1980s standards, Raj Kapoor, Phil Kaplan, Ethan Beard, Prashant Fuloria, Tim Chang, Kristian Segerstrale and The Mule played through the night while the die hards danced. Above, HotelTonight's Co-Founder and COO Jared Simon on the VatorSplash stage. Of the companies who presented, a few call outs include The Orange Chef Company, a great new product for foodies, which focuses on the notion that eating well starts at home. With the Prep Pad and accompanying iOS app, Countertop, you’ll have insight beyond your plate. Quickly assemble meals on Prep Pad and watch as Countertop presents you real time nutritional information on your iPad or iPhone. Set your own goals, discover more about your food and gain confidence in making the right choices. They're taking pre-orders now. SweatGuru was founded by two women and is based in San Francisco. SweatGuru is the first marketplace that brings people together around fitness classes and experiences. By allowing anyone to organize, discover, book and share fitness classes online, SweatGuru takes the work out of working out.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2013 at down the avenue
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Vator, one of the largest business networks dedicated to entrepreneurs and investors, is holding its popular Splash event on October 2 at the Cafe du Nord in San Francisco followed by one of their infamous after parties where Coverflow will jam with attendees at the bar! The event showcases ten promising startups who have raised no more than $2M, who will present on stage in front of an audience of some 400 attendees in the high-tech space. Past winners have raised $50-plus million in follow-on funding and have included Thumbtack, Udemy, PokitDok, DogVacay, and others. Speakers include Keith Krach (CEO of DocuSign), Jared Simon (Founder, HotelTonight), Rory O'Driscoll (Scale Venture Partners), Rick Lewis (US Venture Partners), Lisa Maki (Pokitdok), Jed Katz (Javelin Venture Partners), Howard Hartenbaum (August Capital), Charles Hudson (SoftTechVC), Lars Leckie (Hummer Winblad), Jenny Fielding (BBC Worldwide), Tony Conrad (True Ventures), Rob Coneybeer (Shasta Ventures), Rick Moss (Hub Ventures), Charles Moldow (Foundation Capital), Andy Ross (Grant Thornton), Dave Samuel (Freestyle Capital), Ben Ling (Khosla Ventures), Kristian Segerstrate (Initial Capital), Ted Wang (Fenwick & West), Raj Kapoor (Mayfield), Ezra Roizen (Ackrell Capital), and Bambi Francisco (Vator). To get discounted tickets enter promocode "magicsauce15" to get 15% off your registration. Register here: https://vatorsplash2013.eventbrite.com/. Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2013 at down the avenue
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On September 30, 2013 in San Francisco, Stained Glass Labs will kick off its first ever Glass and Wearables Platform ConferenceGLAZED! The GLAZED Conference was created to take wearables and conversations around it to the next level with a goal to help the Wearable Platform ecosystem generate billion-dollar companies. The event is a fabulous curation of technology pioneers, founders, executives, influencers and investors. Join in the dynamic discussion September 30th in San Francisco and get tickets using promo code "glazed" for 20% off tickets. The GLAZED Conference will take place in Mint Plaza located off of Mint and Fifth Street between Market and Mission Street in San Francisco's Central Market district and be followed by the Digital Fall Tech Fashion Show. GLAZED Conference in the Old Mint 88 5th Street, San Francisco CA 94103 Digital Fall Tech Fashion Show in the Mezzanine 444 Jessie Street, San Francisco, CA 94103 Continue reading
Posted Sep 24, 2013 at down the avenue
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Chile has long been on my bucket list and for a long time traveler who started hearing tales of this diverse country since childhood, it’s astonishing that it took me so long to get there. Something has always gotten in the way of me spending time in South America. First, it was because Europe and Africa were on my first ‘must stops.’ Europe, well because my heritage is there and I had to see if the French were really as snobby as everyone said they’d be and the Italians were as gorgeous as I’d imagined. Africa was next because somehow I feel as if I was African in a past life since the beating of the drums calls to me in the same way blueberry picking does in the Adirondacks in this life. Southeast Asia happened first by chance since an ex-flame dragged me there with a backpack in my early twenties and two years later after countless stops with bouts with dysentery, hepatitis and numerous other third world-like bugs, we returned to call England home. Not getting to South America is an easy excuse when you live in Europe since it’s simply so far away and after returning to the states and set up shop in New England, I had more excuses – there was more of Europe to do, more of Africa to do, more of New England to do. You get the point. And so, there South America was in nearly last place as a continent. Chile, Peru and Argentina have always been my top three destinations. In other words, these were the three countries I always wanted to break my South America virginity, not necessarily in that order. Peru has the views, the mountains, faces with unique features that left me in awe and I imagined... Continue reading
Posted Sep 24, 2013 at down the avenue
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Costa Michailidis opened the Being Human Session, the very last session of the day for TEDxUNPlaza, now in its first year, an awe-inspiring TEDx event held at the United Nations on September 16, 2013. Michael Marantz, the first speaker is an independent director and filmmaker. After being diagnosed with cancer at the age of 21, he rediscovered a new passion for being alive, constantly looking to discover more about life, technology, and why humans do what we do. This re-ignition in life is what continues to inspire him in his work today. He reminds us how powerful storytelling is and what powerful stories can do for people and for the world. He says, "you need others to collaborate with and to push you along your journey. Your experiences along your life journey becomes your story and that story becomes your guide." So true. Ultimately, the most important story is the one you tell yourself since it becomes your compass in life, often one you rarely deviate from. When something out of the ordinary or uncomfortable comes up in your life, you ask yourself: does it fit into my story? At the end of the day, we all get to tell the story of our lives but its entirely up to us how we define it and most importantly, how we share it. Given that Michael is also a composer, cinematographer, editor, writer, digital artist, and experiential designer, he has added perspective on how to tell more cohesive stories. Take Away: We all have stories to tell including the one about our own lives, who we are and what we stand for in the world. The good news is that we get to create that story, not let the world define it for us. Easier said than done, however life can... Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2013 at down the avenue
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After a warm, amusing and enchanting performance by the ever so talented WJM Band, a rock band of 10 year old boys, Paul Katz took the TEDxUNPlaza stage on September 16 to kickstart a conversation about the third session of the event: Ideas to Action. Entertainment industry executive, two-time Grammy nominee and social entrepreneur, Paul Katz is the founder and CEO of Commit Media. He cited Catapult, an example of an idea moved to action in the real world. The first crowdsourcing platform dedicated to girls and women's rights, it is run by small start-up team of people hailing from design, technology, advocacy, journalism and of course the girls and women's sector. The team's passion is driven by the fact that there's an urgent need for increased funds and engagement for girls' and women's rights and development, something which has been obvious for years to activists, advocates and everyone else working and campaigning on behalf of girls and women. When you realize how low the stats are, your ears perk up. For example, only 6% of all funding goes to girls and women's issues. One very real example in the developing world is the use of mobile phones being used to teach Afghanistan girls to read when they can't leave the house. To-date Catapult has helped roughly 200 projects in 81 countries worldwide. While one of Paul's key drivers is social entrepreneurship and change, he is also well known for the key role he played in building Zomba’s (later Jive) successful worldwide interests in record production and distribution, publishing, equipment rental, recording studios and producer and artist management. With more than 100 million albums sold and numerous Grammy Awards won, Zomba featured artists such as Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Backstreet Boys, and others, as well as composers whose songs were... Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2013 at down the avenue
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BRAVE was the theme at the TEDxUNPlaza's September 16 event at the United Nations. Up first was a moving session on Women Empowerment (check out my piece on three fabulous women who inspired me and the TEDx audience) and was followed by a session entitled Change Everything, which included accomplished leaders in business and government. Renowned investor and entrepreneur Tim Draper kicked off the session. Tim started his talk comparing government and private sector business models. He asks, "monopolies are bad and competition is good, so why are governments all monopolies? What about competitive governments?" His suggestion is that countries should compete for us -- they should have to compete for us. Tim's life's mission is to spread entrepreneurship and venture capital around the world, passing along ideas and stories on his journey. He shared a statement a Russian told him on the road, "markets are like parachutes, they're only good when they're open." He also gave an example of a chocolate company he advised in China. He reflects on what he shared: make that company really successful in China and friends, others will follow to invest in China. In the United States, he had to talk to many commissions when he started his school and the bureaucracy in this process he says slows things down. The country is made up by impersonal democracy. Take Away: Make countries compete for you; force your country to compete for you. When that happens, the entire earth will be the land of the free and the home of the brave. Next up was Silicon Valley based Naveen Jain who asks the audience: what makes a true entrepreneur? Are social philanthropic entrepreneurs "true" entrepreneurs? A business which is not profitable is not a sustainable business and becoming a $10 billion dollar entrepreneur is about... Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2013 at down the avenue
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I was involved in the first ever TEDxUNPlaza event this week in New York City, a full day TEDx event focused on the theme BRAVE with 24 speakers who inspired over 300 people at the United Nations Building. Considering how many conferences and events I've been to over the years where there have been so few women on the main stage or on panel discussions, it was refreshing to see the very first session of the day focus on women empowerment. While two fabulous men were also in this session: Steven Rogers, a professor at Harvard Business School and Dr. James Doty, the founder and director of the Center for Compasion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University, this post focuses on the three awe-inspiring women who moved me with their passion, commitment and perserverance this week. New age yogini Deepika Mehta, writer and animator Brenda Chapman and healthy living educator Sarah Hillware rocked the TEDxUNPlaza stage Monday morning. Deepika Mehta faced a severe emotional challenge when she was told she may never walk again. Today, she speaks from a place of gratitude now that she is not only walking again, but entertains people with her dancing and yoga movements. A traumatic rock climbing accident in 1998 made her re-evaluate what was important around her. Since then, she has experienced a profound healing and transformative power through the ancient practice of yoga. She continues to learn from teachers and spiritual masters in India and throughout the world. She has also trained with some of the top Indian film stars and is one of the youngest instructors to teach at one of the most celebrated Yoga festivals in the world, The International Yoga Festival in Rishikesh at the Parmarth Niketan Ashram. Brenda Chapman is another great model for resilience who... Continue reading
Posted Sep 19, 2013 at down the avenue