No comments yet
Mousetrap logo - Single word

Being Thankful

For certain sectors of society these are incredibly exciting times. New industries are being born, Web3, DeFi, Blockchain, the Metaverse are the buzzwords du jour. But these are also times of immense social, economic, and public health upheavals. And no one can be reduced to representing a sector.

Let’s mourn our losses, be kind to others who are experiencing loss but hold onto hope and practice gratitude. Gratitude is a muscle that develops with exercise. Keep family and friends close. Happy Thanksgiving.

Apply to:

The David Prize  5 New Yorkers. $200,000 each.No strings attached.

The David Prize is a celebration of individuals and ideas to create a better, brighter New York City. Open to any individual working in the five boroughs, the Prize welcomes those with the grit and vision to change our communities, our culture and our future for good. Apply by Dec 21

The New York Fashion Tech Lab’s 2022 Applications are NOW OPEN.
The Lab focuses on women-led, b2b, fashion and retail tech startups.
Details here
: or reach out to with questions. Apply by December 30.

Events of Note

Retail X Series: B2B Retail Tech Sales December 2, 2021 at 1pm ETFireside Chat with Zabe Agha, Founder of MetricalTopics:

  • How to target your early customers
  • How to sign the critical first pilot customer
  • How to convert a pilot into a contract
  • Pricing models for B2B companies
  • Building and managing the sales pipeline
  • Growth hacking strategies for retail tech and B2B companies

Free registration available HERE

A Better Mousetrap partners with companies we believe in. For sponsorship opportunities email

Did someone forward this newsletter to you? 

Subscribe to get it every week. 

Forward this email to a friend.

Do you need podcast or video interviews or editing. Contact me now!


Marcos Dinnerstein

Follow me on Twitter: @bettermousetrapnyc @marcosd

Connect with me on LinkedIn

Record. Transcribe. Edit. Mix. As easy as typing.
A Smarter Way to Create Podcasts
Descript logo - Smarter podcast editing
I’m excited to be partnering with Descript. After using it for a few months I’m a total convert. There’s nothing simpler, faster or more intuitive for editing podcasts than Descript. You get a great sounding podcast that takes care of the technical and tedious parts. I’ll name just one feature that blew my mind – automated filler word removal. It’s like, um, a massive time saver. Give it a try.
Download Descript for free –>

Funding, Grants, Competitions, Training Opportunities

See complete list on

Free NYC Gym Membership
Free Stress Relief Do this for yourself and everyone who loves you. Join an NYC Recreation Center for free, nada, bupkis Offer good until Dec. 31 This is an amazing deal.

SLP (Startup Leadership Program) is a 6 month, remote, not-for-profit, no-equity “accelerator for the founder” focused on developing early-stage entrepreneurs. Learn the key fundamentals of building and growing your startup from some of the most prominent people in the NYC startup ecosystem.

Blockchain + AI startups – Apply to Pitch Night by Aves Lair

  • Fast-tracked interview for Aves Lair’s incubator, accelerator, or VC program. (Varies bystage of the company)
  • Feedback from Mentors and VC’s in Aves Lair’s ecosystem
  • Social media & Newsleterr exposure
  • Featured on Aves Lair’s investor mailing list

Learn the basics of web development all in a single course: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. You’ll also learn how to use your browser’s developer tools to understand HTTP requests. Bonus – the course creator, Dr. Chuck even touches on single-table SQL databases.(14 hour YouTube course)

$4,000 Growth Grants from the National Association for the Self Employed These grants of up to $4k can be used for marketing, advertising, hiring employees, expanding facilities and other specific business needs. (Membership in the org is required) Learn more

DIY Venture Fund: if you are considering creating an investment fund then you’ll find the legal costs can be incredibly steep. Help is on the way in the form of a starter template that reportedly gets you at least halfway through the process before you need expert legal help. Read this TechCruch piece and follow the link there.

Lolita Taub’s, (Twitter: @lolitataubAsking for a Founder’ threads on twitter are a great source of practical, actionable knowledge for founders. Here’s a bot that helps you search those posts by topic

NEW ‘Math Meets Bio’ Columbia-AlleyCorp Collaboration (APPLY HERE)

Apply by Nov 22nd 

Areas of Interest:Technologies at the intersection of mathematics and biology, including but not limited to: Computational Biology, Enabling Technologies for Drug Discovery, Tools and Algorithms to Support Advancement of Precision Medicine, Operational Tools to Support R&D Infrastructure

Benefits: Projects selected by AlleyCorp receive funding, mentorship from experienced entrepreneurs, curriculum, and a community of practice. AlleyCorp to provide a minimum commitment of $50,000 in direct fundingplus applicable indirect costs, where applicants should submit a reasonable budget to meet proof-of-concept milestones.

Eligibility: At least one team member must have a full-time faculty appointment at a Math Meets Bio member institution, and the project must be based substantially upon intellectual property owned by the faculty member’s institution.

Current Math Meets Bio Alliance Members: Columbia University, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical Center

Questions? Alex Turo at

RTW Charitable Foundation Accelerator (APPLY HERE)

Application Deadline: Monday, November 22nd at 5:00PM ET

Areas of Interest: Translational projects focused on treatment of rare and ultra-rare diseases in the following areas:

Central Nervous System, Cardiovascular, Immunology/Autoimmunity (non-oncology)

Projects should be aimed towards developing treatments or technologies to improve patient lives.

Funding: Selected research projects will receive up to $125,000 (including a maximum of 10% indirect costs) in philanthropic funding.

Eligibility: Applicants must have a full-time faculty appointment at a participating New York-based academic institution.

Participating institutions include: Columbia University, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical Center

Questions? Sam Galindo, at

Cornell Tech Launches $150K Start-up Competition with Google & Tech:NYC the “NYC Recovery Challenge.” The challenge will bring together startup entrepreneurs from across the five boroughs to pitch tech solutions for New York’s recovery to a panel of business, economic, and policy experts with the chance of winning cash prizes, technical mentorship, and more.

JD Supra: Funds Available to Businesses Under Updated COVID-19 EIDL Program. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced major modifications to the 2020 COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program on September 8, 2021, including raising the maximum loans available from $500,000 to $2 million.

Enthuse Foundation’s Third Annual Pitch Competition ($30,000 in cash & prizes) celebrating the women who are making their mark on the food, beverage, and CPG industries.

Signal The investing network for Founders, VCs, Scouts, and Angels.

National Association for the Self Employed Growth Grants ($4,000) Paid membership required ($12 per mo. or yrly – not too bad)

New York State Spearheads Defense Against the Next Pandemic by Launching a $40M Biodefense Fund for Startups and Academic Researchers 

New York State’s new $40 million Biodefense Commercialization Fund provides grants of up to $4 million to startups and academic research projects to help accelerate the development and commercialization of life science research to address serious infectious disease threats, including COVID-19 and its variants.

Companies developing promising diagnostics, therapeutics, vaccines, and other innovations to prevent, treat or mitigate serious infectious disease threats may apply for grants of up to $4 million. NY’s academic research institutions may apply for grants of up to $500,000 to help fast track advanced intellectual property nearing a commercial phase and university exit. Apply or learn more here or email Apply by Nov. 22, 2021

VentureCrushFG Pods (Virtual Program) from Lowenstein Sandler. No equity, no fee, no demo day.

No Code Tools For most founders there’s probably no need to build an MVP from scratch. It makes sense to use a no code tool to determine if there’s any there there. But which one? For guidance I go to that master teacher, YouTube.

Free Python + Solidity Course Blockchain isn’t just for investing – you can use these distributed database tools to automate tasks as well. That’s where Smart Contracts come in. This Python course will show you how to use Solidity to code your own Smart Contracts right onto the Ethereum blockchain. (16 hour YouTube course)

Closed Loop Ventures is actively investing! Contact: Rene Paula,
Closed Loop Ventures led by my Danielle Joseph, Hannah Friedman and René Paula is actively investing. We are early stage impact investors seeking innovative technologies and business models that are accelerating the circular economy. We look to invest in companies across the sectors of plastics & packaging, food & agriculture, apparel & beauty as well as supply chain logistics & technology. Our stages are Pre-Seed and Seed (with follow-ons through Series A) and our initial checks range from $100k to $1 million at post-money valuations less than $10mm. We lead and co-invest. Apply here:

New York State COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program. This program awards grants from $5K – $50K. See if you qualify

Partnership for New York City
We invest in innovative nonprofit and for-profit companies to ensure a promising future for New York City.
NEW No-Warm-Intro-Required Investor List by @ybelyayeva. As always, be sure to contact only those investors where there’s an obvious fit with your company. Don’t waste the most valuable resource in life – time.

Free Coding Course

Do you have ~10 hours to spare and a desire to learn some coding basics? For free? Consensys Academy is offering free training. You will learn the essentials (Git, Unix/Linux, JavaScript, and more) in ~10 hours, and be in peak form to tackle Bootcamp in the fall! Level up. Upskill. Learn how your devs think. Go here.

Investor Scout (Paid Database) 37,000+ investors

As always, be sure to contact only those investors where there’s an obvious fit with your company. Don’t waste the most valuable resource in life – time.

NEW SoGal Startup Grants for Black Female Founders $5 – $10K + lifetime “ask-me-anything” access to the SoGal Foundation and SoGal Ventures teams. Rolling acceptances Learn more & apply

Jane Walker | IFundWomen will be funding a total of 30 groundbreaking women-owned businesses through the end of the year. Businesses will be selected across the Entertainment & Film, Music, Sports, STEM, Journalism and Hospitality industries to receive a $10K grant plus a one-year Annual Coaching Membership on IFundWomen. Learn more & apply 

Fullstack Cyber Bootcamp and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), through its Cyber NYC initiative, are launching a full-scholarship to increase access to cybersecurity skills training for low-income New Yorkers financially impacted by COVID-19. The program provides free tuition to the Fullstack Cyber Bootcamp, the official cybersecurity bootcamp of New York City. Learn more

We Venture | NYCEDC is a $30 million public-private partnership to connect New York City-based, women and minority-founded technology startup companies with the venture capital they need to grow and thrive.

 Alternatives to VC Funding That All Founders Should Know About, by Lolita Taub

The Collab Lab Gain practical experience by working remotely on real world projects with other early-career developers. Learn more and apply

NYC Youth Paid Fellowship opportunity!  2021 Innovation Fellowship Apply to the Cybersecurity Innovation Fellowship, get a monthly stipend, certifications, and a paid internship

Matt Wallaert Talent Network (Find/Post a Job)

Please note that I give priority to underrepresented candidates. While I encourage everyone to let me know what they are looking for, the dominant use of both my time and social capital is creating a more equitable workplace and that applies here as well.

OpenVC OpenVC is an open resource (think Wikipedia) where VCs can claim their investment thesis. By doing so, VCs receive less spam from clueless founders. They also drive highly-qualified deal flow. In return, it makes life easier for founders (yes, it matters).

Laconia Capital has a year around internship program for undergrads and grad students. Learn more here.

Is it your task or mission to build community? Here’s an air table link to a collection of newsletters dedicated to building community. HT to Lolita Taub

Lowenstein Sandler VentureCrushFG Accelerator No equity, no charge, not required to do business with anyone, no demo day

Aves Lair is a seed-stage accelerator based in NYC. Every 6 months, we invest $100k in each company that is ready to take on our program. Our 12 week plan of action offers a hyperconnected platform that develops innovative solutions utilizing our network of global industry and academic leaders in AI, Blockchain, Cloud, and Data Analytics (A.B.C.D). Rolling admissions Learn more and apply

Closed Loop Ventures is an early stage impact investor seeking innovative technologies and business models that are accelerating the circular economy. We look to invest in companies across the sectors of plastics & packaging, food & agriculture, apparel & beauty as well as supply chain logistics & technology.  Initial checks range from $100k to $1 million at post-money valuations less than $10mm. We lead and co-invest. Apply here


Comments are closed.