Monday, November 8, 2010

'New York Entrepreneur Week' Means Business

The 15-second pitch during New York Entrepreneur Week in April, above, is back for this edition, along with the popular networking session, below. Photos by Jeffrey Holmes for New York Entrepreneur Week.

HAVE a brilliant business idea and all the resources to launch the enterprise except money? Is the idea cogent enough to pitch to a moneybags in 15 seconds or less – on an elevator?

You are a thrill-seeker in the spirit of a 007 or any other double 00. Life’s excitement is on the edge where danger looms.

Doubtless, you are an evolved individual with pretensions to green living.

This really you? Do you want to be this individual? A place to be then, literally and virtually, is at New York Entrepreneur Week. It’s on today through Friday at Scholastic Auditorium in Soho. (

Organizers of the year-old, semi-annual NYEW best state their mission: “Our goal is to make connections across diverse industries, from young idea-stage innovators to hundred million dollar revenue generators, and join them together in a unifying movement that propels inspired business, facilitates lasting connections, and generates opportunities for more successful entrepreneurial ventures.”

It’s five days of speeches, panel discussions featuring leading and emerging entrepreneurs, Q&As, networking opps, and so on.

Each day during 20 min Speed Networking entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs-in-the-making have an opportunity to hunt up clients, hear solutions to business problems. And to pitch their big idea in the time it takes an elevator to reach the desired floor - at least 10, hopefully. There are also a couple of opportunities to submit the pitch online in hopes of breaking the world record. At the moment, the only prize is bragging rights, but a quick pitch can only help down the line, no? (

Those who have been there (Living on the Edge: The James Bond Entrepreneur Lifestyle) and survived to tell the tale will explain how to morph those danger-courting tendencies into moneymaking propositions. Likewise, practitioners (Investing in Green: Why it Works) will jaw about how to make green from being green – sensible strategies along the lines of staying on-trend and why green is ripe for investment.

Plenty of food for consumption during the week. For instance, it is so difficult for some to do that it has given rise to 30 Second ‘Big Ask’ Round Robin. Here, 15 folks – some reluctant, no doubt – sitting in the crowd will be randomly selected to take the mike and ask for the money, mentors and advice they need. Childcare, too.

Events around dining and happy hour include NYEW Presents: The Entrepreneur VIP Dinner. Over a four-course meal and “intimate ambiance,” an opportunity to pick the brain of “six of the best and brightest entrepreneurs in the world.” Has anybody checked Bill Gates’ datebook? The more faint of heart will be less intimidated by NYEW & Do it in Person Present: The Cocktail Reception. Recognizing the importance of face-to-face communications, NYEW and DiiP blog have thrown in to host a mixer. In hopes of loosening tied tongues, a ticket for one premium drink – presumably that includes a martini, shaken not stirred.

Attendees can use tidbits picked up during NYEW at Startup Weekend. ( It is being billed as the first Arts+Tech mash-up where in 54 hours startup enthusiasts, marketers, business managers, graphic artists and others will converge for a networking orgy designed to spawn community and companies. It is also part of the Global Startup Battle.( It will connect startup weekends in more than 20 cities around the world e.g., São Paul and Tokyo, and lead to a sort of battle royale.

Meanwhile back at NYEW, innovators should turn their attention to the birthplace of civilization. Soon enough Asia will be tapped out, whereas Africa is still ripe for the picking, so to speak. “Entrepreneurship, Conscious Capitalism & the New African Renaissance” provides an overview of hot sectors, projects, social initiatives and successes/pitfalls on the Continent.

Considered the centerpiece of sorts of NYEW is “2BN in Value Created: Top Entrepreneurs Reflect.” In no uncertain terms, successful CEOs recommend thinking big first and crushing (yikes!) the competition.

Visit to register, purchase tickets and get more information about New York Entrepreneur Week.

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