GA & 500 Startups

By perksconsulting |

Are you launching a startup? Are you, or is someone on your team, a General Assembly alum?

General Assembly has partnered with 500 Startups for a four-week program that combines Silicon Valley mentorship, resources, and capital to help prepare companies to get accepted into a top-ranked accelerator program. This is a great opportunity for all General Assembly alumni and we’re excited to see the great startups that are selected.

Program details and the application information can be found here.

Applications are due May 1!

CMX Summit + Lauren Perkins

By perksconsulting |

Community  has always been a big part of the Perks Consulting approach. Whether we are “baking in” customer insights or listening for feedback, we take a very customer-centric approach to our engagement.  That is why we were so excited to have our our CEO Lauren Perkins speak at the CMX Summit in NYC on the business value of community in June. The CMX Summit was a 2 day event centered around community builders, and already has created an amazing following (the hashtag “#cmxsummit” was actually trending at #2, right behind the World Cup, for the 2 days it occurred.)

The roster of speakers represented amazing companies known for their communities such as, Etsy, Creative Mornings, Behance, Organizing for Action, and TEDx. Over 200 digital community managers came to hear talks from these leading experts who shared their best practices, innovations in the field, and inspirational stories of creating community in unexpected and creative places. We are happy to finally be able to share Lauren’s talk, which was just released.

Check it out and let us know what you think in the comments!

#TooManyGoodEvents – Social Media Week Guide

By perksconsulting |

AlleyWatch mentioned Lauren Perkins’ event: Being a Good Date: Applying Dating Tactics to Social Engagement in their “Too many good events” guide.

Social Media Week is fast upon us and with it comes the difficult decision of what to attend. With so many good speakers, 224 events and after-parties, how do you get the most out of this week while still pretending to go to work and attempting to grab longer periods of rest than the quiet between train stops? Since we haven’t got a spare time machine, we’ll offer up a list of events that should not be missed: (more…)

Stop By General Assembly’s Open House!

By Perks |

In the last year, General Assembly has been a instrumental educational partner for Perks Consulting and for our CEO Lauren Perkins, who is part of the resident faculty at the NYC campus. Lauren has had the pleasure of teaching and expanding on course subjects such as Building an Online Community for Your Brand, Community Management for User Acquisition, and the latest offering, Building a Brand-Centric Strategy for Your Business.

Perks believes General Assembly is on the forefront of bridging the educational and entrepreneurial gaps in NYC, and they are quickly expanding into into international waters with new campuses in Berlin and London.  The classes mentioned above are barely a sampling of the wide variety of course offerings that General Assembly offers, and they invite you to learn more about the full breadth and extent of the General Assembly curriculum.

Register for their Open House here.

Lauren’s next class will be an afternoon long User Acquisition Workshop on Friday, June 22, 2012 from 12:00-4:00pm.  Grab your ticket here!


Post-Internet Week New York 2012 Round-up

By Perks |

With appearances from tech heavyweights including Pete Cashmore of Mashable, Tumblr founder David Karp, Mozilla’s Mitchell Baker, and Federated Media’s John Battelle listed on the 2012 schedule, New York’s Internet Week continues to cement the city’s position as a viable tech epicenter, bringing attendees from all over the world. A vast majority of these digital-focused discussions paid tribute to the growing start-up community that New York has been sustaining. These emerging companies, while headed by not the most experienced of professionals, are teeming with creativity and innovation that had the audiences tweeting uncontrollably.

Certain themes riddled the events of 2012 Internet Week New York. The arguably most apparent topic that surfaced was the current shift toward mobile content. While websites haven’t yet become obsolete, becoming a big player in the mobile industry can transform a company, as people are spending significantly more time on their mobile devices. Optimizing that experience for multiple screens and cross-platforms also continues to be an issue that plagues many brands and publishers, especially as the tablet and smartphone have become a hand-in-hand supplement to many everyday activities including tv viewing.

While IWNY placed focus on new and growing startup players, there was discussion on what the market is lacking, namely solutions in the music industry, a conversation track that has become synonymous with Internet Week in recent years through curation by SoundCtrl. The music industry continues to be fractured in the years following Napster; though Spotify has become a household name thanks to its Facebook integration, the net is still in dire need of an “ESPN of music”. This hypothetical epicenter has to compile and synthesize the different dimensions of the music experience so that people no longer have to use the different channels and mediums that exist in the music sphere.

Internet Week seamlessly combined the past, present, and future of the Internet to deliver a variety of informative and useful discussions to audience members and remote viewers alike. Startup founders walked away from IWNY with a bounty of advice on how to establish a presence in their respective spaces. Brands and agencies continued to heed the advice and observations from multiple perspectives, continuously attempting to catch up with the paradigm shift of digital behaviors and interests. The layman was able to leave with an entrepreneurial wind at their back having witnessed first-hand what a simple idea can build.

Perks Consulting intern Sarah Dalia contributed to this post.

Vator and Bullpen Capital Brings Popular SF Event, Venture Shift, to NYC Thursday November 17th

By Perks |

Angels and investors have poured a record amount of dollars into NYC based seed and early-stage investments this year, upending Boston to take the coveted #2 spot behind Silicon Valley as a leading startup and venture center.  With VC firms opening East Coast offices, the mood swings of recent valuations, the inevitable cash crunch of funding, and the rise of secondary markets and liquidity events, these issues are all on the minds of investors and entrepreneurs. Vator and Bullpen Capital are taking their popular Venture Shift event to NYC bringing a wide roster of East Coast VCs and Angels to debate on what all of this means for the overall entrepreneur and venture environment. Perks Consulting is producing this event as a follow up to last year’s Vator Splash startup competition event.

Drawing a sold-out crowd of 450 attendees, Venture Shift in San Francisco probed the changing dynamics of the venture industry and is now headed to NYC on the evening of November 17, Thursday, at Le Poisson Rouge, in downtown Manhattan. Keynote speakers include startup to VC crossover, Mark Suster of GRP Partners, and market gamechanger, Barry Silbert, Founder and CEO of SecondMarket. Billy Chasen, CEO and co-founder of and Michael Lazerow, CEO and founder of Buddy Media serve as Venture Shift Floating Point speakers, offering the startup point of view from two young and rapidly expanding companies.

To supplement the event Vator and Bullpen are also giving three lucky startups an opportunity to present their companies at a demo table at the event. Startups should submit their company’s Vator profile to the competition page before voting ends on November 10th:

The full Venture Shift NYC lineup is as follows:

Barry Silbert, Founder and CEO, SecondMarket
Billy Chasen, CEO and Co-Founder,
Michael Lazerow, CEO and Founder, Buddy Media
Howard Morgan, Managing Partner, First Round Capital
David Tisch, Director, TechStars
James Robinson, Partner, RRE Ventures
Tony Florence, Partner, NEA
Owen Davis, Partner, NYC Seed
David Cundey, Director, Credit Suisse Securities
Ward Breeze, Partner, Gunderson Dettmer
Gil Beyda, Founder & Managing Partner, Genacast Ventures
Roger Ehrenberg, Founder and Managing Partner, IA Ventures
Daniel B. Garrie, Partner, Pulse Advisory
Lewis Gersh, Managing Partner, Metamorphic Ventures
Rick Heitzmann, Founder and Managing Director, FirstMark Capital
Spencer Punter, Director, Capital Dynamics
Lee Hower, General Partner, NextView Ventures
David Tetens, Partner, ff Venture
Bobby Ocampo, Associate, Grotech Ventures
John Avirett, Principal, Greenspring
Ezra Roizen, Partner, Ackrell Capital
Micah Rosenbloom, Partner, Founder Collective
Bruce Taragin, Managing Director, Blumberg Capital
John Borthwick, CEO, Betaworks
Ed Zimmerman, Lowenstein Sandler
Bambi Francisco, Founder, Vator
Paul Martino, Founder, Bullpen Capital
Duncan Davidson, Founder, Bullpen Capital
Rich Melmon, Founder, Bullpen Capital

More information on the event and tickets is available at  Friends of Perks receive a 15% discount on admission and demo tables (which includes 3 tickets and logo on monitors) using the code “perks15″.  For press inquiries and media pass requests, please contact or 510-217-8095.

About Vator:

Vator (short for innovator) is one of the largest business networks dedicated to high-tech entrepreneurs.  Founded and run by veteran and award-winning journalist Bambi Francisco, Vator consists of, a leading business network with more than 80,000 members and high-tech companies, using the service to effectively get discovered by investors, partners, and the overall entrepreneur community. VatorNews is Vator’s news site focused on innovation with 400-plus contributors.

About Bullpen Capital:

Bullpen Capital is a second round investor that invests in companies previously seeded by the Super Angel funds. Bullpen’s founders include Paul Martino, founder and former CEO of Aggregate Knowledge, Duncan Davidson, founder of Covad and former venture partner at VantagePoint, and Richard Melmon, co-founder of Electronic Arts.

Perks CEO Lauren Perkins to Teach at General’s User Acquisition Day on August 9th

By Perks |

General logoAfter a 6-session workshop series on community building held this spring at NYC’s startup campus, General, Perks CEO Lauren Perkins returns again to be a part of User Acquisition Day on Tuesday, August 9th from 9:00AM to 5:30PM. Lauren will host the post-lunch session at 1:00PM discussing tactics on how to build a strong and sustainable user base through a community engaged via social media and digital tools. Not only will tactics be discussed in how to acquire users, but also on the strategies to retain users and their active loyalty over time through engagement, conversation, and sharing.
Lauren will be joined by fellow instructors Hadley Harris, Ajay Kulkarni, Joe Ziemer, Byrne Hobart, and Aaron Glazer covering the entire user acquisition gamut including SEO, SEM, product virality, funnel and registration management, and PR.

8:45 – 9:00 AM Registration at GA Front Desk
9:00 – 9:30 AM Thinking about User Acquisition by Hadley Harris
9:30 – 10:30 AM Product Virality by Ajay Kulkarni
10:45 – 11:45 AM Funnels and Analytics by Aaron Glazer
11:45 – 12:00 PM Lunch
12:00 – 1:00 PM Partners and Affiliates: An Interactive Lunch by Hadley Harris
1:00 – 2:00 PM Community Management for User Acquisition by Lauren Perkins
2:30 – 4:15 PM Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing by Byrne Hobart
4:30 – 5:30 PM PR for User Acquisition: Case Studies by Joe Ziemer

To purchase a day-long workshop ticket, visit:

Internet Week at the Wix Lounge with Perks Consulting

By Perks |

damien basile, kyle cameron studstill, bryce gruber, rosie siman at the Wix Lounge for Some Things Digital 2.0 with Perks ConsultingLast week the Perks Consulting team hosted an afternoon series of panels at the “Some Things Digital: Business 2.0″ Conference, a day-long series of panels on carefully curated topics that concern businesses of all sizes in today’s integrated world. Perks presented an “Engagement” segment of 3 panels covering the changes and evolution of the fashion industry, the landscape of female entrepreneurship, and a discussion on consumer innovation lifestyle trends.

The New Digital Fashion Experience: From Production to Engagement
Starting the afternoon off, Perks’ CEO Lauren Perkins was joined by Sammy Davis of Sammy Davis Vintage, the “Martha Stewart of Vintage”, and Jessica Moore of Stylebook, a fab mobile app to help you organize your closet. These two ladies have struck out on their own, building their careers and businesses based off of their social media and tech savvyness, while the power of crowdsourcing their audiences have kept their communities engaged and asking for more. The three women agreed that those brands and companies who set the stage for their communities and then let them create their momentum on their own will find their fans advocating and doing all the work for them. The amount of (mostly favorable) user-generated content has even crowded out official brand content among the results of YouTube or blog searches. Even for these smaller entrepreneurs the results are clear, Moore states that incorporating customer feedback in each new version release results in doubling app sales through word of mouth by her fans.

Lessons From Female Startup Founders
Continuing on female entrepreneurship, the mix of the newbie (Christy Purington of Clique), the serial founder (Beth Schoenfeldt, formerly of Ladies Who Launch and Collective-E), and the advisory (Kat Karimi, formerly of ASTIA), jumped on thoughts about money, males (vs. females), and management in the startup landscape. Bootstrapping and keeping things lean were encouraged among the group, knowing that having too much money makes a company lose control and direction. Angel and VC money should be saved for marketing and further development costs when the product is viable and ready to scale. Thoughts from the fashion panel were echoed again here, as Purington realized “listening to your customers from the beginning will save a lot of headaches” during product building and iteration.

How Businesses Can Harness Consumer Lifestyle Innovation Trends
The afternoon finished off into a diverse discussion of data, “utilitainment”, and the scourge of QR codes with Bryce Gruber of the Luxury Spot, Kyle Cameron Studstill of PSFK, Rosie Siman of Saatchi and Saatchi, moderated by Perks’ own Damien Basile. The year of data (and data exhaust) is coming according to the group, as the proliferation of available behavioral data is coming to fruition with mobile phones rapidly becoming attached to every part of our lives. Research firms like Nielsen will have nothing in comparison to the accuracy brought on by apps such as IntoNow, while it is inevitable that the concepts of data and privacy will eventually dissipate into acceptability, just like how Facebook statuses were once taken to be considered “creepy”. The fate of QR codes (if not already decided) lies in the establishment of best practices by the industry. Marketers have yet to clearly articulate the call to action in the use of QR codes – asking the scanner “do you want to know more” with the assumed answer of “yes”.

Big thanks to Perks’ Marketing and Media Director and Founder of Addieu, Damien Basile, Brett Petersel of Digital Somethings and The Community Manager, and the Wix Lounge for hosting us!

TEDxTribecaWomen Event on December 7th & 8th

By Perks |

picture-12TEDxTribecaWomen is a live webcast and series of events built around the TEDWomen conference. Our event is one of over 70 local, self-organized events that will take place across the globe to spark discussion and connection in a small group around TedWomen. We’ll be streaming all 5 sessions of the conference – 25+ live speakers, performers, tech demos and more, over the span of 2 days.
RSVP here