Monday, September 08, 2008

BOPportunities Abound

Here are 3. Well, maybe two- Y combinator is definitely a long shot. But never say never!

1) Cornell is doing a BOP Narrative contest. Cash prizes for short essays on challenges of implementing innovation in BOP markets. October 5 deadline.

2) The process has started to apply for the Acumen Fund Fellows 2009-2010. This program has been a great experience for past fellows, giving them a year of working with Acumen portfolio companies. Some of their experiences are on the Acumen site. Applications are due October 17.

3) Paul Graham's Y Combinator is accepting applications for new ventures. October 17 deadline. It is also interesting to read how they run the application process.

For those in the SF area, the upcoming Social Capital Markets Conference on Oct 13-15th looks interesting. They have quite a few good panels lined up. For instance, I'd try to see the Monday afternoon sessions on "Democratic Capital" or "Serial Entrepreneurs" (of course they are at the same time) and on Tuesday I'd like to see "Capital Dating," "Design in the Developing World," and Rick Aubry's session on scaling. I will say, that after looking over the line-up, I felt it was a bit short on the entrepreneurial perspective. But I am guessing a lot of entrepreneurs will be in the audience and working the crowd.

In the future, it would be cool to borrow from some of the other industry conferences (e.g., BIO) and provide a more formal setting for entrepreneurs to meet potential funders. It would be cool to have a random process too. If you come to a conference, you have to agree to meet with X number of people, some of whom want to meet with you, while some are random, serendipitous hook ups. (Hey- we are only talking swapping ideas.) Short 10 minute meetings. No up front expectations, other than you will each listen to what the other has to say, and see if you have any ideas to help each other out.

In the upcoming weeks, there will be a few interesting announcements on funding opportunities for BOP ventures. Good to see the growing interest and different approaches that are emerging. I'd love to say you will read about them here first, but my bleeps know this really isn't a blog for keeping up on current developments. Special operations, you know. Got to protect my sources.

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