Snapchat is currently in talks with investors over a round of funding that could value the company at a mind-blowing $10 billion, according to sources for Bloomberg. That’s a little over half the $19 billion Facebook paid for WhatsApp, but double the $5 billion market cap currently held by BlackBerry.
SAN FRANCISCO — Myles Weissleder has witnessed the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to startup demos.
The former VP of public affairs at Meetup.com presides over SF New Tech, a showcase for disruptive hopefuls that he’s run for more than eight years. Over 750 companies including SkyBox, Twilio, Prezi, Flipboard and Twitter have come to his networking mixer to demo before a live audience in a trendy SOMA club.
In San Francisco’s competitive startup environment, you can demo your game-changing idea (or Pet Rock app) every night of the week, but SF New Tech is one of the longest-running and largest showcases. Wannapreneurs face a few hundred audience members — many of them from influential companies like Apple or venture capital firms like CMEA capital — where the mingling is fueled by drinks and tacos.
During a recent demo night, Cult of Mac sat down with the indefatigable Weissleder, who is as at home on the stage with a mic as he is hobnobbing at the bar, to get his top tips on how not to bomb when you take the stage with your great idea, hoping to find cash and connect with influencers.
Closing its fourth round of funding, the mobile credit card processing company just raised $200 million, making it worth a staggeringly large $3.25 billion. The company, built by Jack Dorsey of Twitter fame, allows anyone with an iPhone, iPad, or other compatible mobile device, to accept credit cards. Square is widely seen as the industry leader in the mobile payment-with-a-dongle space (I just made that term up), as evidenced by other dongles released shortly thereafter by the likes of PayPal and Intuit, among others.
In what may come as no surprise, the COO of Square, Keith Rabois, is on record at All Things D, saying that the transition from current registers and point of sale devices (like ATM card-swiping devices) to iPads or other tablets will happen within the next year and a half. Square’s partnership with Starbucks is only the first of the steps being taken actively by Square to make this a self-fulfilling prophecy.
With millions of dollars pledged to all kinds of projects every week, it’s no wonder that Kickstarter has become one of the most popular funding sources for getting a new product off the ground. The process is simple: Start a project, spread the word, then — if your idea is a good one — watch the pledges roll in.
If you’re a budding entrepreneur with a great idea for a Mac or iOS accessory, or even an app or game, then Kickstarter could be the fastest and most effective route to success. Not only is it a great source of funding, but it also helps you establish just how popular your product will be.
Here at Cult of Mac we’ve stumbled across a handful of really outstanding devices that wouldn’t be around if it wasn’t for Kickstarter. But it’s not as easy as it sounds. While creating your project may be pretty straightforward, ensuring it succeeds is hard work.
To help you out, we’ve spoken to a couple of companies who recently used Kickstarter to launch their latest products, and they’ve given us some feedback and a few tips on how to ensure your Kickstarter project is a success.