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The Ultimate Summer Camp

Brooklyn Beta Summer Camp [Detail]

As attendees at Brooklyn Beta since it began we can testify to the relentless care and attention to detail that is invested in the conference by all of those involved. Cameron Koczon and Chris Shiflett, the driving force behind the conference, pour every last ounce of passion they have into it and, as if this weren’t enough, have a dedicated and hugely committed team of volunteers pouring their hearts and souls into the conference too, ensuring - ably - that Brooklyn Beta lives up to its core values summarised in its motto:

Make Something You Love

Messrs Koczon and Shiflett care. They care about our industry and they care about supporting it to do more and to do better. As they put it:

Brooklyn Beta has two goals. We want to inspire you to make something you love, and we want to help remove any barriers that stand in the way. With our conference, we do our best to help spread big ideas and connect designers and developers together.

They succeed in this aspiration, admirably.

Brooklyn Beta Summer Camp is the next, exciting instalment in this dynamic duo’s passion and commitment to do right by our industry. As they put it, “Summer Camp aims to help designer-developer teams build the next generation of web products and change the world.

The Summer Camp to End All Summer Camps

Across a twelve week programme in the summer leading up to the Brooklyn Beta 2012 conference, the inaugural Brooklyn Beta Summer Camp will support a number of creative startups to pursue projects - big ideas with big impact - in short, projects that aim to change the world and maybe even, “Put existing abusive, mammoth institutions out of business (pretty please).”

In return for a 6% equity stake - which is designed to be reinvested to sustain future Summer Camps - they’ll invest $25,000 in your company, but that’s not all… not by a long shot.

Successful companies will have the opportunity to pitch their finished products to a small room full of the best investors in New York and beyond (given Koczon and Shiflett’s extensive connections, this alone is a fantastic opportunity).

As if that weren’t an added bonus enough, companies will also be able to avail of the support and adice of a stellar who’s who board of advisers which includes: Charles Adler, co-founder of Kickstarter; Dan Mall, founder of SuperFriendly; Fred Wilson, partner in Unions Square Ventures; Jason Santa Maria, Creative Director of Typekit; and Jeffrey Zeldman and Jessica Hische, of whom more than enough’s already been said. (And that is just the tip of a very, very large and very, very experienced talent iceberg.)

It’s this board of advisers, perhaps more than any other aspect of Brooklyn Beta Summer Camp, that’s the real jewel in the project’s eye. This level of talent and experience to draw from - all operating at a truly global level - is almost impossible to measure, provides a truly invaluable brain trust, and offers the shortlisted Summer Camp comapnies an enviable head start. With a collective few hundred years of experience contributing their all to the Summer Camp companies, you’d be hard pressed to find better minds to draw from.

If You Care, Step Up to the Plate

Koczon and Shiflett, and their respective FictiveKin and Analog teams, are that rare breed in our industry: passionate individuals who care enough about our collective future that they’ll take the time, care, and attention to detail to invest in people, invest in you. More importantly, rather than talking about what’s possible, they’ll put their heart and soul into making what’s possible, possible.

That commitment, that passion to put action before talking, is a rare quality, a quality to recognise and celebrate.

On the fringe of conferences we often hear idle discussion about the wonderful things we can collectively achieve if we just put our combined talents together. More often than not two barriers stop this from happening: time and money.

Brooklyn Beta Summer Camp removes one of these. As they put it:

We do our best at Brooklyn Beta to help spread big ideas and connect designers and developers together. With Summer Camp, we want to take it a step further and remove what is quite possibly the biggest barrier of all, money.

With that barrier now removed all that remains is time. If you’re passionate, have a great idea and have an entrepreneurial spirit you’ve no excuses.

If you’ve an idea for a web product and you’re in a designer-developer team (or can find a designer ying to neatly fit your developer yang, or vice versa), you should get your thinking cap on and put in an application. Applications open on 31 May, 2012, allowing you plenty of time to get something inspiring together. Sign up to be notified the moment applications open.

Go on. Take Messrs Koczon and Shiflett up on their offer. Make something you love. Make something to change the world. Make something awesome.

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