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Caution: Some States Don't Treat Voters Fairly

Folks, as I've mentioned over on craigconnects, anytime there's upcoming elections, that means that you should be aware of your rights.

There are some real bad actors out there trying to implement laws to stop eligible people, including women, people of color, and older folks, from voting. What I learned in high school civics class is that an attack on voting rights is virtually the same as an attack on the country.

Some politicians have tried to manipulate voting laws for their benefit, that's not right. We need integrity in our elections and voting that's free, fair, and accessible.

It's up to us all to ensure the integrity of our voting process by getting registered, speaking up against voter ID laws and the attack on voting rights, and to encourage everyone to vote, regardless of ethnicity or gender.

Disenfranchising voters is not a new thing, but has been happening across the country for some time now. A while back, I worked with some good folks to create an infographic about the impact of voter suppression.

My team and I have also compiled a list of voting resources; please check it out, and share any helpful resources that you think are missing in the comments of this post. Thanks!

Amazing, Over $365K Raised in Women Startup Challenge

Hey, big news, folks: the first round of the Women Startup Challenge launched by Women Who Tech in partnership with investors Joanne and Fred Wilson and myself, just came to an end, and a total of $365,681 was raised for women-led startups. It really was a photo finish over on CrowdRise, as over $10K was raised in just final 5 minutes…

Read more on "Amazing, Over $365K Raised in Women Startup Challenge" »

One More Day to Fund the Women Startup Challenge

Folks, tomorrow's the last day of the Women Startup Challenge. The startups raising money have been doing a great job and over $191K has been raised so far. There's still a little bit of time to help 'em raise even more. And remember: each startup gets to keep all the money they raise even if they don't move to the final round of the Challenge.

wwt

Here's the deal: the crowdfunding is the first round of the Women Startup Challenge. Once the crowdfunding ends tomorrow, a panel of judges (comprised of investors and tech experts) will choose the 25 most promising startups to move to the final round. The final round is a live pitch competition at General Assembly DC. The first prize winner will get $50K, in cash, no strings attached. Lots of other startup friendly prizes, like a one-on-one meeting with 500 Startups will be given away too and pro bono legal advice by Prager Law.

I'm sponsoring this Challenge alongside Joanne and Fred Wilson, Rad Campaign, CrowdRise, Care2, NTEN, 500 Startups, General Assembly, Medium, and Forward 2.

Take a look through all the startups raising money, and support those that you think have really good ideas, if you're able. Thanks!

An Open Letter to Young Nerds

Dear Young Nerds,

Okay, the biggest lesson I wish I knew at age 22 had to do with taking control of my own career. That means ownership of my own personal narrative, which has to do with personal branding and identity. Sure, that's a marketing-ish perspective, at odds with my nerdliness, but that's the human reality.

For more, check out my advice on how to hack your career (… and to be clear, I'm an old-school, socially inept, plastic-pocket-protector and thick glasses-taped-together kinda nerd. Current nerd chic is more about media geekery, which I'm fond of myself).

Professionally speaking, if I was talking to my 22-year-old self, I'd encourage me to be bolder, to seize opportunity, to take chances. For example, I shoulda pushed Unix really hard for the IBM Series/1 minicomputer. (Linux, which kinda rules the Internet, is a derivative of sorts of Unix.)

For that matter, I shoulda somehow gotten into the original PC project. Not only was I at IBM Boca Raton, but my first office mate wrote the fundamental code running the hardware, the BIOS.

At 22, though, I really screwed up a lot of personal matters.

I shoulda been listening to people more about, well, everything, even regarding the purchase of my first car. Instead of being a car for a guy 50 years older, it mighta been something merely ordinary, and that woulda been a big improvement.

Finally, trying to meet women in ballet class? Not a good idea. I was terrible, and failed completely.

Also, it put me into the hospital, twice, and I still bear scars, prosthetics, and dental work, ongoing after around 40 years.

To the other nerds out there, what would be your best advice?

p.s. here's why I'm a nerd, and not a geek.

How You Can Give Back to America's Heroes

I like to honor and support veterans and military families all year long, but with Memorial Day, I like to do some extra support to help out. This is the third year that I've supported the Veterans Charity Challenge, and we're raising money for orgs that support vets, milfams, police, and firefighters. Between last year and the previous year, more than $790K was raised to support orgs helping America's heroes.

The Veterans Charity Challenge 3 begins May 21st at 12pm ET and runs through July 2nd at 1:59:59pm ET.

vet charity challenge3

We're hoping to raise even more this year. I've donated $25K. To signup to participate, or to give back to veterans, you can visit the Veterans Charity Challenge 3 page over on CrowdRise.

A few things to note about the Challenge:

  • This year’s grand prizes are $10,000 (1st place), $5,000 (2nd place), and $3,000 (3rd place).
  • There’s additional money given away during the Challenge, too:
    • Bonus Challenge 1: raise at least $250 this week and get entered to win $1,000 (runs 5/26 – 6/2)
    • Bonus Challenge 2: raise the most this week and win $1,000 (runs 6/2 – 6/9)
    • Bonus Challenge 3: get the most donations this week and win $1,500 (runs 6/9 – 6/16)
    • Bonus Challenge 4: get 10 donations and get entered to win $500 (runs 6/16 – 6/23)
    • Bonus Challenge 5: next 100 donations of at least $20 will get a $20 match (runs 6/23 – 7/2)

For the folks participating in the Challenge, here are a few tips:

    • The more compelling your page is, the more likely people will stick around to learn about your cause.
    • Tell your story.
    •  Use Facebook and Twitter to update people about your fundraising campaign but don't rely on it. Email converts 100x better than social media.
    • There are way more tips in the Veterans Charity Challenge 3 Toolkit Here. Make sure to check 'em out.

Please share this so that lotsa orgs will have the opportunity to support veterans and their families. It's not altruism, it just feels right.