Simon is the CEO of Stix (http://joinstix.com). Stix creates a new breed of mobile social games. Their first title, The President, is a turn-based game for 2-4 players, that combines simple strategy and actions skills. Check it out: http://the-president-game.com
Doing a startup is really REALLY hard. It is much harder than you expect. Trust me.
We have learnt a lot on our journey: about ourselves, about our domain, and about building a startup. Boiling it all down to a readable post is not easy. Nevertheless, I can highlight the most important lessons I’ve learnt:
Wave 7 is about to kick off and we’ve started collecting applications.
Come November, Wave 7 teams will continue the tradition of having a unique opportunity to enjoy the full benefits of an accelerator without needing to give up on any equity. You can now accelerate your startup, work out of an extremely supportive and productive environment, and become a part of the exclusive Junction Alumni Network entrepreneur community.
This wave we are announcing unique collaboration with MasterCard & General Motors to provide funding opportunities and hands-on assistance to The Junction teams.
Call ends Nov 4th. The easiest way to submit an application is at this link. If you aren’t starting something right now, send it to your friends. They will thank you.
For those who have yet to learn about The Junction we wanted to answer some questions:
What is The Junction?
The Junction is an open house for entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs at the junction enjoy a place to work out of and great people to work with. We also give back to the community by having open talks every Thursday – if you haven’t been there already, come right in through the meetup group. Here is a link to a movie we made of The Junction‘s first year of operation.
What more can I get from The Junction?
In addition to Thursdays” open talks, teams (and Alumni) at The Junction enjoy “twitter-free founder lunches” with industry luminaries like David Lawee (head of M&A for Google), Jeff Kowalski (CTO, Autodesk) and “office hours” with industry experts in fields such as UI/UX, marketing, product, finance, presentation skills and more.
Anything else I can expect from The Junction?
Sure! At the end of every wave The Junction holds a demo day showcasing demos by the members and alumni to the industry’s most prominent angel investors. Some of the funded Junction teams include EatWith, Simplee, ClarityRay, Vidit, Moment.me, and more.
But wait, that’s not all. We are happy to announce that starting from wave 7, The Junction will be collaborating with General Motors & MasterCard to provide members with strategic knowledge and advice, access to programs, industry experts, corporate resources and more. MasterCard will be a real asset for any payment related startup, and GM can be a huge help for Smart Sensing and Computer Vision Systems, Human Machine Interface and Wireless Enablers.
Sounds great. What’s the catch?
No catch! This is a pure for-the-community, “pay-it-forward” activity. No equity, no finders’ fee, no right of first refusal. All we ask is that you commit to support and help your fellow entrepreneurs with your knowledge and experience and thereby help The Junction’s community as it in return helps you.
Who should join The Junction?
Active entrepreneurs that are committed to their idea and are willing to give and receive to the community. Start-ups for which these three months can help catapult you forward. Any active team of entrepreneurs (1-3 team members, regardless of their idea) is welcome to join, be a part of, and work at The Junction.
Don’t forget to submit your application at this link
I was thinking that it could be cool if this meetup would theme around open source. I feel that folks in Israel are using an enormous amount of open source software but contribution and leadership is somewhat lacking. There is very small amount of open source projects actually initiated and led in Israel and it is not common for a start-up or larger companies to actually contribute to open source libraries that they use. I also know that people who believe in open source are usually the best hackers and that it would be cool to gather some of them in the same room.
The meetup was great. There were about 70 participants (it took about 24 hours for all spots to be filled) and about 12 people presenting (!).
You can check out the ustream feed from the session (quality is not that good…)
Thought it could be useful to share some refs to the decks/talks/people/projects with people who could not attend.
Not so lonely…
@idangazit (Idan Gazit) gave an amazing talk titled The Lonely Planet Guide to Open Source Communities. The deck was freaking b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l (if you saw any of Idan’s work you know it’s always beautiful) and the presentation gave a friendly introduction to how open source communities work from Idan’s experience and open source in general. You should definitely check out the deck.
Following Idan’s talk, @gidgreen (Gideon Greenspan) showed off a little project he was working on called Question2Answer, which is an open source platform for building Q&A websites. He built this platform all by himself and open sourced it and it became extremely popular very rapidly. Currently it runs more than 6,000 Q&A sites around the world with a registered user base of 500,000! I must say that this is a great example of the power of open source and the ability to make a difference with software.
@yosefd (Yosef Dinerstein) from Microsoft presented anode, which is an open source platform for hosting node.js apps. The platform is developed within Microsoft and runs on top of the Azure cloud.
All the libraries published as part of this project are available on Github and use the MIT license.
The githubbers panel
@ashevat (Amir Shevat) hosted an extended panel with folks doing open source day-to-day. Naturally, lots of interesting religious discussions about everybody’s favorite software stacks. The beauty of this world is that there’s no single answer that and everyone can decide on their own mix of stuff they use and love.
+1s go to Django, Rails and node.js on the web frameworks. Scala was favorable as well. -1s for Java and .NET and even for PHPwith claims around a poorly designed langauage quite a lot of bad advice from a vast community of web developers.
On the database front, hackers love MySQL, Redis and Riak. Oracle big expensive enterprise databases are off limits and there was an interesting discussion about MongoDB which some of the folks love and some feel that it’s not ready for heavy production use.
Following the panel, @adambn (Adam Benayoun) from binpress gave a useful talk about commercial aspects of open source. He listed the various license types and provided some interesting approaches on how real companies make money off of open source. Here’s a link to his deck.
Adam also talked a little about binpress which is a marketplace for software components they are building. Binpress helps people who publish software make money by taking care of the commercial side.
uijs – yet another cross-platform mobile app framework built with Israeli hands
We finished up with a few more quick introductions to open source projects.
@emeshbi (me) presented uijs which is an open source system for building mobile web apps based on the HTML5 canvas. It is in early stages and we are looking for folks interested in participating in the first steps of building this project. It is MIT licensed and hosted on Github.
Reversim – Israeli tech podcast
@rantav (Ran Tavory) referred everyone to his podcast called Reversim which is a super popular Hebrew podcast about software in Israel.