SSE Labs' Blog

Stanford's Student Startup Accelerator

Archive for February 2011

Game Closure and SSE Labs Recently Featured in Tech Crunch Article: Game Closure Makes it a Breeze to Build Multiplayer, Cross-Platform Games

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After a great pitch at Demo Day, recently admitted SSE Labs start-up Game Closure, was featured in a raving Tech Crunch article by Rip Empson just after receiving 1200 new developers signups for their private beta. Game Closure is the project of Michael Carter, Martin Hunt, and Tom Fairfield, all of whom have extensive experience with game development.

“Enter Game Closure. Launching today at SSE Labs’ Demo Day at AOL, Game Closure is a smart new game development environment and SDK that makes it easy to create, host, and deploy HTML5-based cross-platform, multiplayer games, starting with iOS, Android, and Facebook.

Traditionally, game players are accustomed to experiencing platform lock-in when playing games. You have the games you play on Android, the games you play on your desktop, and your iPad. The same is true for developers: when writing games, they are generally required to create separate versions for each platform using fundamentally different technology. What’s so cool about Game Closure is that it allows players to seamlessly transfer live, running games to virtually any device and provides developers with all the tools to make cross-platform distribution fast and easy.”

Check out the article in full detail here and continue to follow the SSE Labs Blog for more updates about all of our great Session II start-ups!

Also, be sure to follow the Game Closure Blog for more exciting updates on their progress.

Written by ahzietsman

February 24, 2011 at 11:09 pm

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2/24 – SSE Labs is Recruiting Staff for the Summer and Next Year!

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SSE Labs Staff Positions:

SSE Labs is an ambitious start-up that aims to be the most successful start-up accelerator in the world; we are looking for talented individuals to join the SSE Labs staff who are passionate about entrepreneurship and want to be part of a rapidly developing organization. As part of the staff, you will have the opportunity to:

1. Form strong relationships with our extensive network of top executives and investors from the Silicon Valley, the Bay Area, and across the nation
2. Work intimately with the most elite and promising Stanford entrepreneurs, helping to provide them with education, community, resources and mentorship.
3. Train with experienced Staff members and mentors to develop skills and technical abilities
4. Gain hands-on startup experience as a staff member coordinating SSE Labs, as well as working with numerous start-ups in their exciting business ventures
5. Special access to all SSE Labs expert workshops and exclusive events

We will be holding an informational session for potential Staff members in Old Union 200 on Wednesday, March 2nd at 6:30pm. Applications are due by 5:00pm on Saturday, March 5th. Go to http://sselabs.stanford.edu/jobs to apply for all staff positions.

The following available positions begin in Spring 2011 and the continue through the 2011-2012 Academic Year:

HR Director – Develop the HR structure of a rapidly growing program with the help of our advisors

Marketing Director – Design and implement a marketing campaign to reach out to our top-tier network in Silicon Valley. Manage our social media, digital presence, and communicate regularly with our top-tier network.

Technology Director – build on top of an existing the website, , and learn how to maintain & improve our internal systems.

Mentorship Director – Interface with the high quality mentors in our network and help them connect with the passionate entrepreneurs in our program.

Community Director – Help coordinate the different members of our community by planning/scheduling events and working with our companies.

Business Development – Help our budding companies find the right deals to lock down the resources they need to succeed. Learn the art of networking and negotiating deals by working with members of our high quality network.

Associate – develop valuable the skills and learn how to execute in a startup environment. Learn about business and entrepreneurship alongside the companies in our program.

Summer paid positions are also available:

Sr. Managing Director (full-time) – Oversee all aspects of the program

Managing Director, Internal (full-time) – manage and lead internal affairs, including HR, campus relations, and staff development.

Marketing Director – see above.

Community Director – see above.

For full descriptions and to apply, please visit http://sselabs.stanford.edu/jobs.

Written by ahzietsman

February 24, 2011 at 9:55 pm

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2/22 – SSE Labs Legal Workshop with Terry Kelly

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Terry Kelly, Dorsey & Whitney LLP

Session II kicked off Tuesday evening with a SSE Labs legal workshop on incorporation and corporate governance with Terry Kelly, a partner at Dorsey & Whitney LLP, one of the SSE Labs main sponsors. He is an expert on emerging high-technology companies with respect to venture capital financing, intellectual property law, and licensing and distribution agreements. His representative work includes close partnership with many technology companies dealing with issues such as spin-off, sale to public company, recapitalization of U.S. and foreign operations, and acquisition.

We would like to thank Terry for his expert legal advice and his generous time contribution towards mentoring our ambitious entrepreneurs. He provided insight into the initial incorporation period for startup companies and the legal structure of shareholders, directors, and officers. Also, his detailed information on the stock purchase agreement, specifically on consideration, repurchasing rights, and vesting was helpful to make sure that our companies do not hit many of the shareholding pitfalls that typically face rising startups. And always remember when starting a a company:

  • Do not botch the capitalization process by selling stock too early. Selling stock too early can force  a company to get releases from strangers later in their growth.  Vesting is a good way to avoid this common pitfall.
  • Do not publicize prototype/early product information to the general public and avoid leaks that will make a startup un-fundable. Before obtaining a patent or achieving Angel or VC funding, confidentiality will provide more worth to most companies that rely on intellectual property.
  • Avoid the temptation to incorporate in states that ‘look too good’. California and Delaware are the two safest states to incorporate in for a beginning technology startup. Even though states like Nevada have lucrative offers and low starting rates, their legal infrastructure makes it harder for those states to support a quickly growing company.

Written by ahzietsman

February 22, 2011 at 8:20 pm

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2/17 – SSE Labs Session 1 Demo Day

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Thank you to everyone who attended the SSE Labs Session 1 Demo Day! The event was a huge success and the turnout was incredible. Everyone, including theentire SSE Labs team, was tremendously impressed by the progress of all the session 1 businesses: Incompass, ClearEar, Tezzit, Bell Biosystems, FreshCookies, 6Dot, and Kitchit. Their hard work duringsession 1 was evident through their presentations and their innovative startups excited fellow founders, as well as the many VCs in the audience.

Brief descriptions of the talented session 1 teams that demoed and pitched their companies at Demo Day:

6dot Innovations — Developing a new portable, easy-to-use braille labeling device based on unique labeling technology. Team: Karina Pikhart, Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering; Trevor Shannon, B.S. Mechanical Engineering; Adelaide Calbry-Muzyka, Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering

Bell Biosystems — Applying a revolutionary cell imaging, homing, and selective destruction

technology to tools in the next generation of drug delivery.

Team: Caleb Bell, Ph.D. Chemistry; Dan Bell, B.S. Business Administration

ClearEar — Removing medically challenging earwax buildups more safely and quickly using a new patent-pending medical device.Team: Lily Truong, M.S. Mechanical Engineering; Vandana Jain, MBA

FreshCookies — Allowing mobile device users to win aggregated ad money through an interactive game.Team: James Thompson, Ph.D. Product Design; Matthew Crowley, B.S. Product Design; Jonathan Tilley, B.S. Computer Science

Kitchit — Bridging private chefs and event planners to create personal, in-home fine dining experiences.
Team: Brendan Marshall, MBA; Ian Ferguson, MBA; George Tang, B.S. Computer Science

Incompass — Using mobile device crowdsourcing to provide indoor navigation with high accuracy and no setup costs to retailers, advertisers, and consumers.

Team: Jessica Tsoong, M.S. Civil Engineering; M.S. Computer Science; Anand Atreya, PhD Electrical Engineering; Joseph Huang, M.S. Computer Science; David Millman, M.S. Computer Science

Tezzit — Allowing online retailers to dynamically optimize item prices to maximize profit.Team: Marty Hu, B.S. Computer Science; Kevin Liu, B.S. Economics; Steven Wu, B.S. Computer Science

Again, we would like to congratulate all of our startups for their development and growth this session. The pitches were especially powerful and stimulating and each team did a great job in garnering audience excitement for their ventures.

Special thanks to all of our mentors for providing each startup with detailed advice and expert guidance throughout session 1. Also, thanks to both the event and program sponsors for their continued generosity and support.

Written by ahzietsman

February 20, 2011 at 11:30 pm

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2/5 Application Results

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After weeks of reviewing companies for session 2, we are extremely pleased to congratulate Qwhispr, Juntos Fianzas, Legalytics, SongSpring, and GameClosure on their acceptance into SSE Labs! 65 Stanford teams applied and the throughout the review process, the quality of all the applicants astounded our team as well as the expert judges. This has been our most competitive application round yet and we are excited to begin working with the incoming companies, giving them community, mentorship, education, and resources so that they can turn their creative solutions into successful ventures.

We would like to extend special thanks to our expert judges for helping us in the selection process: Christine Herron (Intel Capital), Manu Kumar (K9 Ventures), George Zachary (Charles River Ventures), and Alex Kinnier (Khosla Ventures).

The innovative companies selected for session 2:

Juntos Finanzas creates innovative SMS-based personal finance tools that empower first-generation Latino communities.

Qwhispr is a search engine to find information from the right people in your Facebook and Twitter networks. It allows you to find relevant answers from outside of your immediate circle of friends, yet avoid posting publicly to everybody.

SongSpring offers users a vast and highly available selection of music that they will be able to stream from the cloud. The service will use a consumption-based model, in which users are only charged for what they actually listen to, ultimately lowering the barrier of entry for users to have access to an extensive and personal music collection.

Leglytics is the next generation of legal research platform. The main product is a visual exploratory interface for searching, navigating and displaying documents for the legal services industry.

Game Closure offers the first practical HTML5 gaming platform. Developers need only write their games once: we automatically package games for the iPhone, Android, and Facebook, allowing end-users to play each other seamlessly across platforms.

We are very excited to bring these new teams into our community and cannot wait to see how they progress through session 2!

Written by ahzietsman

February 20, 2011 at 11:12 pm

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1/6 In-house Demo Day

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The In-House Demo Day for session 1 was a great success! We would especially like to thank our lead mentors: Don Dodge, Bruce Schechter, and Jay Borenstein for providing expert analysis, guidance, and feedback for our teams.

Congratulations to FreshCookies, ClassiWhale, WhichTexts, Incompass, Bell Biosystems, SugarMonkey, 6dot, ClearEar, Tezzit, KitchIt for their effort in preparing their pitches and demos. The entire SSE Labs community is very excited to see the continued achievement of each of the companies.

Written by ahzietsman

February 20, 2011 at 11:11 pm

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