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Name Your Startup with These Nine Tools - David Henzel

Name Your Startup with These Nine Tools - David Henzel | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Got a great idea but stuck trying to figure out how to name it? It’s OK, we’ve all been there. Your ideal name has already been taken and the domain name is no longer available. It’s time to get creative. Let’s talk startup names and go over a few tools that will jog your creative brain.    

Coming up With a Great Name   

Shopify Business Name Generator https://www.shopify.com/tools/business-name-generator Use this tool if you’re looking for a plain-English kind of name. The tool works by adding a word to the beginning or end of a keyword. The names it generates will never be “Google” or “Twitter” but instead will be along the lines of “Search Online” or “Right Tweet”. Read more: click image or title.



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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Several creative tools to jog your #creativity in finding a name for your #startup

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The 12 Disruptive Tech Trends You Need to Know

The 12 Disruptive Tech Trends You Need to Know | Pitch it! | Scoop.it




McKinsey’s in-house think tank compiled a cheat sheet for the future of tech.


Insight into which developments will have the greatest impact on the business world in the coming decades. 

People pay plenty of money for consulting giants to help them figure out which technology trends are fads and which will stick. You could go that route, or get the same thing from the McKinsey Global Institute’s in-house think-tank for the cost of a new book. No Ordinary Disruption: The Four Global Forces Breaking All the Trends, was written by McKinsey directors Richard Dobbs, James Manyika, and Jonathan Woetzel, and offers insight into which developments will have the greatest impact on the business world in coming decades. Below, we’re recapping their list of the “Disruptive Dozen”—the technologies the group believes have the greatest potential to remake today’s business landscape. Read more: click on image or title.



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Via Kenneth Mikkelsen
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

#Disruptive #Technology is changing our world rapidly. Check out all these amazing new trends.

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Farid Mheir's curator insight, August 29, 2015 5:24 PM

No surprise, but always good to be reminded during budgeting and strategy season.

Jack Licata's curator insight, September 9, 2015 9:37 AM

The Future Is Now!!

Wesley Yuhn's curator insight, September 9, 2015 9:51 AM

12 #Disruptive #Tech #Trends You Need to Know via @wesleyyuhn1 http://sco.lt/..#siliconvalley #startup #CIO #fintech #SaaS

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Pitching to President Obama: What 3 tech startups tried at White House Demo Day

Pitching to President Obama: What 3 tech startups tried at White House Demo Day | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
President Barack Obama hosted more than 30 startups at the first-ever White House Demo Day, including a language-learning mobile app, a smart teddy bear named Jerry and a baby monitor that measures vital signs.

In a typical Demo Day for new companies, teams pitch to prospective investors. But this was not typical. At the White House recently, budding startups had a different opportunity—pitching to the President of the United States.

As part of the Startup America initiative to promote entrepreneurial endeavors, President Barack Obama hosted more than 30 startups at the first-ever White House Demo Day, including a language-learning mobile app, a smart teddy bear named Jerry, and a baby monitor that measures vital signs.

“If you are going to present to the president, you want it to be perfect,” said Gina Gotthilf of Duolingo, a free language-learning mobile app that was voted Apple’s iPhone App of the Year in 2013.

Luis von Ahn, inventor of reCAPTCHAand co-founder of Duolingo, told the president that there are about 1.2 billion people in the world learning foreign languages in order to get a better job or to escape poverty. But traditional methods can be expensive.

“I decided to make an app that would teach languages entirely free,” Ahn said. “And today it’s the most popular way to learn languages in the entire world.”

The app, which is designed to look like a game, capitalizes on the addictive quality of mobile gaming applications to teach users vocabulary, reading, writing and speaking.

Obama joked that if he wanted to “spruce up on his Spanish” he would download the app, but he’s “not allowed” to have a smart phone right now.

“It was inspiring to see the president interested in improving language education in the United States,” Gotthilf said. Read more: click on image or title.




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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Great ideas turned into very creative startups.

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Using Technology To Humanize Finance

Using Technology To Humanize Finance | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

“Banking is necessary – banks are not.” Bill Gates said this in 1994. It was a bold statement to make at the time, and one that some have associated with the start of a transformation in financial technology.

Now, two decades later, we are seeing this revolution unfold before our eyes. Catalyzed in large part by the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009, a new financial order is emerging. It is one where large, traditional banks are increasingly facing heavy competition from new entrants – namely, online marketplace lenders – that are delivering a more human lending experience through the technology, transparency and trust that consumers want from their financial services providers.

In a March report titled “Future of Finance,” Goldman Sachs analysts Ryan Nash and Eric Beardsley noted that regulatory changes and new technologies are among the top factors reshaping the traditional banking sector and enabling the rapid growth of marketplace lending. Read more: clickk on image or title.





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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Food for thought. Change is happening everywhere and technology is certainly enabling the process.

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Free Helicopter Ride, Anyone? 40 Awesome and Absurd Tech Company Perks. (Infographic)

Free Helicopter Ride, Anyone? 40 Awesome and Absurd Tech Company Perks. (Infographic) | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/OQy1

While many of these benefits are just good policy, others definitely fall into the 'over-the-top' camp.

We've heard it before, and we'll hear it again: Working at a tech company has definite upsides.Competitive salaries aside, by this point, it's old news that some of the tech industry's hottest companies offer their employees' cushy benefits. Many of these policies – such as Foursquare's decision to subsidize nightly dinners for its employees, Twitter's schedule of free, in-office yoga sessions, and Microsoft's offer of paid parental leave for new mothers and fathers – make real, strategic sense. It's easy to see how free meals can incite longer work hours, wellness programs can lead to a healthier, more productive workforce, and paid parental leave can reduce turnover.But as companies continue to try and one-up each other, the perks are getting a little out of hand. Take, for instance, Asana's policy of giving each employee $10,000 to spend on desk decor, Zynga's arcade and video-game packed lounges, Dropcam's tradition of taking every new hire on a free helicopter ride, or Google's complimentary concierge service for its employees. While each of these perks may arguably translate into a more productive, unified workspace, after a certain point, the justifications begin to stretch a little thin.Regardless of their actual usefulness for attracting and retaining top talent, all of these plush benefits make for fascinating reading. Unum, a financial protection insurer based in the U.K., has compiled an infographic that showcases 40 alternatively useful, over-the-top, and down-right bizarre tech company benefits.From 'Free Massage Fridays' to team trips to Hawaii, check them out below. Read more and see the infographic: http://snip.ly/OQy1




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Five US tech hubs you probably didn't know about

Five US tech hubs you probably didn't know about | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/rRWu

These cities might just be the next Silicon Valley.

Move over Silicon Valley. The current tech boom is not just in the Bay Area, and some unlikely cities are gaining traction as key hubs.

While places like San Francisco, New York City and Austin, Texas, are often cited as thriving tech areas, other areas are gaining ground.

"These are areas that for the most part have a cheap cost of living and are major company hubs," said AJ Smith, a spokeswoman for the financial advice tech start-up SmartAsset.

Because every major company and government agency has a growing demand for skilled tech workers, more cities are attracting tech talent, she said.

"That is how these places become tech hubs," Smith added.


http://snip.ly/rRWu



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Expensive Town, Unhappy Startups?

Expensive Town, Unhappy Startups? | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Cost of living can be a strain on startups and can influence where they launch

Startups are usually strapped for cash. The ones promising enough to receive large checks from venture capitalists and investors are not so much jumping for joy because they’ve won the lottery, rather because they know the cash injection means an extended lifespan.

One sizable drain on any young company’s resources is the cost of living in the city it calls home. That translates to rent, as well as living salaries for employees or prospective hires that have to live close enough to make it to work every day. And equity, as magical as it is, won’t pay off your landlord.

In that sense, are expensive towns more difficult to start up in? Are startups that put down roots in high value cities putting themselves at a disadvantage? It could well be a calculated trade-off.

According to a recent poll conducted by The Supper Club – a UK-based members-only networking group for startups generating over $1.6 million – about 40% of London-based business owners have considered picking up and leaving the city to headquarter elsewhere. Why? Apparently the cost of housing in the capital city is too darn high and is driving away talent. Of The Supper Club’s 330 entrepreneur members, 79% fear that brain drain could cause a severe scarcity of skills within the next five years, citing rent costs and poor public transport.

It’s hard to believe that London – named #2 tech hub in Europe by the European Commission last April – could face an exodus of tech and business startup talent. But if costs and infrastructure are truly frightening personnel away, might the startups looking to hire them follow suit?

In the United States, the most expensive cities are New York, San Francisco, Honolulu, Washington D.C. and Boston (check out the full list HERE).

The tech capital of the world, San Francisco, is notorious for its high-costs . One-bedroom apartments there cost more than anywhere else on earth, according to a study. Some startup founders have jumped ship because they found they could score talented people in Portland, a city with a lower cost of living, and discovered that prospective employees overwhelmingly chose the Oregon city to San Francisco.

Once an industry term for small business, startups now connote an exciting entrepreneurial lifestyle more and more college educated youths are choosing -- and here's why.

New York’s credentials as a startup hub have been piling up over the past several years, thanks in large part to the so-called Silicon Alley phenomenon. Rents for commercial real estate have risen with it and young firms are spilling out of Manhattan into other boroughs, like Brooklyn. Housing-wise, New York City is not a cheap town to live in and newcomers – or city residents priced out of more central areas – are finding they’re forced to look farther and farther east for reasonable accommodations. Some move the other direction, across the river to New Jersey.

“Overall, there are no signs of the real estate industry slowing down,” says Ashkán Zandieh, founder of real estate tech coalition RE: Tech. “While interest rates are low, developers are borrowing and owners are refinancing. The most positive impact that we’re seeing is in suburban markets.”

As far as the startup scene is concerned, there’s no slowdown due to cost of living. Those that were already working in New York do not want to move and those that are interested in starting up in the City That Never Sleeps know that there is capital to be had and the volume of consumers around them creates a thriving market. The pricetag of doing business is just a fact of life, says Zandieh. “There’s a cost to play and if you want to play in New York the costs are going to be astronomically high.”

In the end, though, cost of living and desirability of location is a balancing act that entrepreneurs and business founders have to think about carefully. Sure, you may be paying high rent and the price of transport, takeout Thai food and an after-work cocktail may seem bloated, but if you’re in a vibrant and international city that offers its people a world of culture and access they cannot get in other places, you might find you’re willing to take the financial hit. If the money factor sill bugs you, it may be time to scout out other locations that, though cheaper, offer a lifestyle that’s almost as enticing.

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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Tough choice. Startups can thrive anywhere I would say, but are all the tech and brains available? And what about connections and funding?

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9 startup companies perfect for your family

9 startup companies perfect for your family | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

It’s a new age for startup companies, and your family may reap some benefits from them.

Right now, the United States is adding 20 million new businesses every year, according to the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity. And, according to The New York Times, many of these startups — between 25 and possibly even 40 of them — are worth more than $1 billion. So, yeah, they're big.

Which of these startups are the most relevant to your family? Here’s a list of nine startup companies that your family might find helpful:

Pley
For Pley, everything is awesome. The California-based startup company rents Lego sets out to families for minimum prices — ranging between $15 and $40 a month, according to Entrepreneur — giving kids a chance to test out their desired Lego set before making the full commitment with a purchase.

Hubert
This French-Romanian startup is all about helping families interact. Called Hubert, the company helps the elderly connect with their families from across the world, according to expatica.com. This is help for the 37 percent of people over the age of 80 who go online, as the Pew Research Center noted.

Frameri
Frameri is as startup as they come. It began as a Kickstarter campaign, but soon grew with the help of the co-founder of AOL. Now, the company is helping people swap their eyeglasses, according to The Cincinnati Business Courier. You change the frames, and they change the lenses. Simple.

ULTRA Testing
Though ULTRA Testing isn’t exactly helpful because it just tests software, it does accommodate families by hiring those with autism. Business Insider recently ran a rather popular piece about how the company hires employees who have autistic characteristics, since they have natural capabilities and aptitudes that others don't.

Automatic
Want to get rid of that weird sound in your car or figure out when you’ll need gas? The startup Automatic, based out of San Francisco, is helping people do just that. Fox News Business reported this month on how the app helps people save the $3,000 they spend annually on their cars just by informing them of their gas usage, braking and speeding habits.

Jibo
Jibo is just what your family needs to see those old photos or help out around the house. Deseret News National reported earlier this month about the robot that can help you tuck your kids in at night or even help you wash your clothes — perfect for any working parent.

KNO Clothing
KNO Clothing is good for families for two reasons. The first reason: It can get you the clothes you need. The other? Its aim is to help end homelessness. With each purchase, the company donates to a number of organizations that aid homeless people across the country. For the 75 percent of people who are donating, this startup makes giving all the easier.

Kurbo Health
Want to help your child fight obesity? Kurbo Health may be the key. This app helps kids keep track of the food they're snacking on by engaging them with fun and interactive games. This may be a good app for some families whose kids aren’t aware they’re actually overweight — which is a common trend, according to the Centers for Disease Control — and for those who are a part of the ongoing rise in obesity.

Dealflicks
Think movie theater prices are a drag? Well, instead of trying to save on snacks, you many want to try Dealflicks, which offers both tickets and concessions online for lesser prices. The company offers coupons and myriad offers to help you save at the box office.



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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Startups don't always have to be tech companies. Here are some great ideas for products/services for families.

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This map reveals exactly where Silicon Valley gets its talent

This map reveals exactly where Silicon Valley gets its talent | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Where does Silicon Valley's talent come from? This incredibly detailed map tells all. The visualization, made by Bloomberg Businessweek, shows the top 100 sources of "imported talent," from both U..S. states and foreign countries.

According to Bloomberg, “Asian Americans became the majority of the tech workforce in the Valley” in 2010; and one third of Valley startups “are founded by Indian Americans.” In addition, Mexico, Texas, and Arizona rank among the top ten sources of Silicon Valley talent, Bloomberg claims.

Most importantly, this graphic makes crystal-clear why countless entrepreneurs and investors consider immigration reform a top priority. See the graphic in full right here




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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Great information.

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Echelon 2014: Startup Marketplace gets bigger

More than 100 companies – startups and enterprises, are expected to showcase their products at one massive hall at Echelon 2014, on June 10 & 11

Since its inception in 2010, Echelon has come a long way recognising the best of startups in the technology and digital domains in Asia.

Fifty startups through invitation, selected through a stringent four-stage process, will get a chance to showcase their product/s at Startup Marketplace, the exhibition space at Echelon 2014, to be held on June 10 & 11 at the Expo Drive in Singapore. This year, Startup Marketplace will share space with Tech Alley (the space for enterprises to showcase themselves), in one massive hall, allowing startups and enterprises to interact freely and build momentum and engagement. In all, there will be more than 100 technology companies exhibiting their wares.

To read the full article, click on the title or image.



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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

This is an event in Singapore. Startups are popping up everywhere and Asia is certainly doing its share. Is this becoming part of a new economy?

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Google’s big move creates more space for startups

Google’s big move creates more space for startups | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Google will have room for hundreds of new employees in a move to new offices that also frees up space for what will become North America’s largest technology incubator.

More than 350 employees have moved from Google's former offices in the Tannery building in downtown Kitchener to much larger space in the nearby Breithaupt Block development.

The Internet giant had 80,000 square feet of space in the Tannery building. It has 185,000 square feet of space in the new offices in the Breithaupt Block, a former industrial building that at one time housed a rubber factory and auto parts plant.

"We will be hard pressed to run out of the space for the next few years," said Steve Woods, Google's senior engineering director in Kitchener. "I think the fact that we are being given this opportunity is a sign that we are doing well inside the Google context."

He wouldn't say how many employees Google may add, but he noted that the company's local workforce has grown more than tenfold since it arrived in Waterloo Region about 10 years ago.

"We grow organically with our teams' successes, and the opportunities that come up," Woods said. "Hopefully we will have the opportunity to grow significantly." Read more: click on image or title.



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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

#Google is creating more space in their offices near Toronto, Canada. They will have the biggest #startup #incubator in N.America.



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Lessons Learned From My First Startups

Lessons Learned From My First Startups | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

I was born an engineer and an introvert. The rest is pretty predictable.

When I was three I obsessed over jigsaw puzzles. At five, LEGO. I showed whatever I built to my mom, and she gave me a stream of positive, non-objective feedback. She didn’t need completed puzzles or LEGO models; she would have loved anything I built.

By 11, I was writing video games on my Amstrad CPC-464. At 15, my best friend Eddie (an English kid living in Kansas and a Japanophile) and I were spending much of our time building and playing games. (Yes, we were the biggest nerds in our school.)

We only had two customers — ourselves — and we iterated according to our collective wishes. It made the games better, and it made the experience of building them more fun.

Fifteen years later I joined a data-storage company called Isilon. I ran the performance team, and got the job of turning one of the world’s slowest storage systems into something that our potential customers didn’t laugh at. Read more, click image or title.




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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

There is no way to be an expert in every aspect of building a startup. Many founders start as programmers and are very smart tech people. That does not make them businessmen or marketers. This is an honest article that shows many startup mistakes. Learn as you go, but shorten the process: get informed.

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BuildUp Fellows Program Aims To Nurture Underrepresented Founders In Tech

BuildUp Fellows Program Aims To Nurture Underrepresented Founders In Tech | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

There’s no shortage of tech accelerators and incubators, with the likes of Y Combinator, 500 Startups and TechStars. All three of them have addressed diversity in their own ways, but more could always be done.

Enter the BuildUp Fellows program, an intensive two-week accelerator designed to educate and mentor underrepresented founders, like women, veterans and minorities, in the tech industry. Entrepreneurs selected will get free desk space in downtown San Francisco, mentorship, meetings with investors and other industry experts.

BuildUp is the brainchild of Kristina Omari, Wayne Sutton and Christian Anderson (pictured above). Collectively, they make up a diverse, all-star team of serial entrepreneurs, mergers & acquisitions experts and investment bankers.

“Coming from an investment banking background, I have seen biases at work in regards to founders and funding,” Anderson told TechCrunch. “I want to bring to light investment opportunities of game changing, innovative products and experiences, which are created by ‘nontraditional’ founders.”

BuildUp is looking for startups that have strong potential in four key areas: global impact, innovation, design and growth. The program will run from Sept. 28 through Oct. 9, 2015. Startups can apply through August 31.


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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Underrepresented #founders in the tech industry, such as women, veterans or minorities in general, have a new #accelerator with a 2 week program.

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How 'venture builders' are changing the startup model | VentureBeat | Business | by Ali Diallo, Media Investment Tech Ventures

How 'venture builders' are changing the startup model | VentureBeat | Business | by Ali Diallo, Media Investment Tech Ventures | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/qLPH

The venture-building philosophy is a rising movement in the tech and startup industries, both in the U.S. and internationally.

If you haven’t yet heard of venture-builders — also called tech studios, startup factories, or venture production studios — let me introduce them to you: They’re organizations that build companies using their own ideas and resources.

Unlike incubators and accelerators, venture builders don’t take any applications, nor do they run any sort of competitive program that culminates in a Demo Day. Instead, they pull business ideas from within their own network of resources and assign internal teams to develop them (engineers, advisors, business developers, sales managers, etc.).

You’ll want to get used to the idea because we’re going to see a lot more venture-building organizations emerging. Read more here:

http://snip.ly/qLPH


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A new way of creating new business is growing from the startup concept. Taking all of the best aspects together and putting them in very focused setups is a great idea. It would be a great place to work before starting your own startup or small business. So much to learn. Also the perfect place to launch your own idea from, all the resources and support are right there.

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80+ Indian startups to work for in 2015

80+ Indian startups to work for in 2015 | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/cCKe

Startups have far from being the 'cool places to work for' to the 'aspirational brands to make dreams come true, for yourself and for others. Here's a an exhaustive list of 80+ Indian startups to work for in 2015.

2014 saw the much awaited funding rush in the Indian startup ecosystem, an industry which otherwise has been driven by only passion. Startups grew exponentially and so did the aspirational value of working in a startup. Freshers from top engineering and management institutes considered working in a startup at par (or even better) with that of MNCs of the world. Senior management was also opening up to experiment to the roller-coaster ride of startups and many of them decided to steer the ships for them.

More here: http://snip.ly/cCKe


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"Thank you for consistently enlightening me with your knowledge of managing an enterprise and experiences of successful entrepreneurs of your part of the world, with your personal touch."
 
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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

For my Indian Tech followers and visitors.

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CEO Sundays: 6 Effective Ways to Run Your Startup Into the Ground | Techli

CEO Sundays: 6 Effective Ways to Run Your Startup Into the Ground | Techli | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
The reality of being an entrepreneur, however, means enduring a turbulent, unavoidable mental and emotional roller coaster.


Anyone can start a business. Find a name, fill out the articles of incorporation, pay a fee to file and publicize it as directed, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming the next Mark Cuban or Lori Greiner. It’s easy on paper.

The reality of being an entrepreneur, however, means enduring a turbulent, unavoidable mental and emotional roller coaster. It’s a hard ride to success.

But, if along the way you decide that success isn’t your thing, here are six calculated strategies that will lead to your startup’s ultimate demise (so you can get off the ride early):

1. Don’t Prepare for Slow Growth

Many startups fail because they simply run out of money. Why do they run out of money? They couldn’t get customers fast enough. When you get started building your startup, your projections for revenue growth might be up to six times the speed of reality. Reality is a bitch.

To ensure a quick exit: Quit your day job, and don’t bring in any investors who may provide the runway you need to prepare your startup for long-term success. You built an amazing widget, so you’ll be replacing your current salary in a month or two. Your savings account will be all you need to weather your ramp-up period.

2. Don’t Worry About Customer Churn

You’ve been landing new customers at a pretty good clip. Evidently, people are married to the idea that your product is going to meet their needs. But the honeymoon ends, and reality sets in. Customers are fighting with your product every day. Your product’s little quirks are getting annoying, and customers are starting to regret their decision to buy.

People don’t come with instruction manuals, so why should your product? Surely, all of your customers have read John Gray’s “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus,” so they’ll totally understand when your support team needs to go to their “cave” immediately following a new feature release. Your lack of support should ensure that your customer divorce rate exceeds the national average.

3. Ignore the Market

No matter how wonderful your product is, it will fail if it doesn’t solve a real problem in the marketplace. People don’t just throw money away; you have to satisfy a real need. If you’re not fulfilling a true need, you’re well on your way to killing your startup. Reaching in too many directions is another great way to add to the pain, as a one-size-fits-all startup typically fits none.

For those of you who didn’t assume a perfect fit right out of the gate, you may have stumbled upon a market fit, so you’ll need to take a page out of Blockbuster’s book to drive your business into the ground. Avoid pivoting your business in any way to react to — or, worse, proactively anticipate — market changes.

4. Under-budget and Overspend

Everything in business costs money. Mismanaging that money is essential to killing your startup. When planning projects and campaigns, underestimate how much money it’ll take to bring them to market. This is typically accomplished by utilizing textbooks rather than actual data analysis and research.

Under-budgeting in this manner will drain a large portion of your assets, but it’s possible you have venture capital money by now. Those investors expect you to spend all that money quickly, so you’ll definitely want to start pouring money into large, long-term expenses, like platinum conference sponsorships and five-year leases on swanky office space that you’ll definitely “grow into” someday. Once you’ve blown all that cash and have little to show for it, your down round will surely kill your startup’s buzz.

5. Stop Marketing

You need to drop out of the conversation. There’s a McDonald’s in nearly every city in the world, and it still pours money into market research. If McDonald’s needs to remind people it’s around, your enterprise startup certainly does. Luckily, if you kill the buzz early enough, you can avoid being resurrected by a rabid, loyal following.

Stop all sponsorships, remove paid advertisements, and avoid networking at business conferences and other industry events. These types of activities will lead to higher sales, better business relationships, and a stronger overall business. By halting marketing efforts, you can ensure your startup rests in peace.

6. Go Solo

When you started the business, you did it by yourself, and like the captain of a sinking ship, you probably don’t want others’ blood on your hands. Some entrepreneurs have it easy because they already assumed they were capable of accomplishing it alone, but others still have a healthy, autonomous business to dismantle.

By taking the load on yourself, you’re ensuring that your business will fail. Larger competitors working longer hours (some even working with your former staff) will outperform you on every level, and natural selection will implode your startup, leaving you free of responsibility and able to begin anew.

People kill their startups every day, so why can’t you? If you remove your nose from the grindstone and stop listening to what the market and your customers are telling you, you’ll be well on your way to joining them. You may end up in the same startup graveyard, but at least you’ll be one of the few who actually understands how you got there.


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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Point 1 is a little confusing, it's what you're supposed NOT to do...

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Brand Value: a Look at Brand-Focused Startup Accelerators

Brand Value: a Look at Brand-Focused Startup Accelerators | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

If you’re a young startup with a gleam in your eye, a working prototype in your back pocket and very little else, then making the right first step will be crucial for success.

For founders with little-to-no previous startup experience,joining an accelerator makes a lot of sense. Even if you’re a seasoned pro with an exit or two under your belt,  a helping hand might still be useful.

Traditionally, accelerators provide a combination of things; primarily a small amount of funding, a space to work and access to mentors, industry bodies and individuals they would otherwise struggle to gain the attention of.

However, while many accelerators are open houses in terms of their focus, there’s been a growing trend of certain businesses to host their own in-house programs, or take part in accelerators that are designed to connect brands with tech startups.

So, how does a brand-focused accelerator – that is, one that promises startups an audience with relevant world-leading brands in their area of focus, or one focusing a specific segment of industry, differ from a more general approach? We spoke to Brandery, Collider, The Bakery London and Orange Fab to find out what they had to offer.

What do startups get out of brand accelerators?

So, what a startup gets out of a brand accelerator is pretty similar to other accelerators – although the specifics of the funding and other benefits often vary.

For example, Collider – a UK-based organization that works with more than 27 individual brands – gives startups a combination of oversight, cash and mentorship over a program lasting 13 weeks.

Each of the Collider startups this year will get up to £150,000 ($243,000) – increased from up to £70,000 – to help them bring a product to market, its co-founder Rose Lewis explained. However, it’s the focus on a specific vertical and the added exposure Collider gives the startups and brands that really makes the key difference, she argues.

 In the first four weeks of our accelerator, they meet with up to 12 brands – all giving their time to the startups, and all  [based] around the product marketing questions: are these businesses building stuff that William Hill, Unilever, Haymarket are going to buy?


Brandery‘s four-month long program is similar to Collider’s – it provides support for seed stage companies in the form of $25,000 in funding, mentoring and access to a host of discounted or free services (such as IT, HR, legal etc.). Brandery also provides one year of free office space for a year, general manager Mike Bott explained. Collider does not offer physical work space.

“Each startup is paired with a creative agency who has committed at least $25,000 in free work. Specifically, two intensive workshops are conducted during the program to get the startups off to a fast start, Brand in a Day and Growth Hack Day. During Brand in a Day, the startups and their creative agency partner develop core brand architecture: new names, logos, taglines, brand manifestos, visual identity and other core pieces of their brand.

Similarly, during Growth Hack Day, the startups, their creative agency partners, and brand managers from Procter & Gamble hammer out key parts of the startups’ marketing plans, including user acquisition strategies, go-to-market strategies, and other ‘growth hacks’ they can use to keep the startup growing and retaining users as quickly as possible.

One of the startups to come through Brandery’s program – and now a part of Disney’s accelerator is ChoreMonster. Chris Bergman, founder and CEO of the company told us that the experience was “incredible” for the company.

We were able to learn from top mentors in the branding space, specifically about what we should do to create a strong brand, how our technology could benefit their agencies, and how brands at Fortune 100 companies operate. I couldn’t imagine our company without the understanding that we gleaned from The Brandery.

Slightly differently, while Brandery and Collider tend to focus on seed stage startups looking to develop their business rapidly for the long-term, The Bakery London exists solely to accelerate ad-tech and marketing startups to a test market within eight weeks.

Its focus is increasing revenues, not scoring investment, its co-founder Alex Dunsdon explained to TNW.

We focus on markets (revenue) not investors (equity)..ie the objective is a trial market not investment in the company. We start with the problem, ie. what the market wants now. Many of the best businesses are able to carve out products that people can test now.

We find the right tech globally against problems. Think of it like flipping the way it normally works – telling the world of tech companies what the market is.

Dunsdon added that it takes very little time to accelerate a technology to trial stage, so the only real reason you’d perhaps want to look elsewhere is if you were looking for investment to get off the ground, rather than looking for a perfect market fit.

All [the companies attracted to our program] have a product and share a desire to scale. The big problem we solve is product / market fit and the ability to use a brands audience to scale.

For other startups, there are reasons to think twice about joining a specific brand’s accelerator program.


For example, if its technology isn’t particularly well aligned with the brand, or because the startup fears that association would jeapordize its independence. It might also make more sense for a startup to enter into an accelerator program based on a specific topic, rather than a specific brand, such as FinTech or health-oriented programs.

The funding aspect of brand accelerators like these are in contrast to the way in which Orange Fab operates: there’s no systematic cash support, although it does provide a convertible note option for interested startups – up to €15,000 in France and $20,000 in the US. Instead, at the end of the program, Orange’s VC division can choose whether or not to invest in the startups.

Douplitzky said that VC affiliates like Iris Capital tend to make minority investments in startups, but that the program launched too recently to provide details on the percentage that receive follow-on funding.

Ultimately, whichever accelerator a startup enters, they generally provide similar benefits on the surface, and an underlying promise of more closely connecting each startup to a brand, whether that’s a single one or mutliple. In some cases they also provide the potential to add legitimacy to startups simply through their association, which is a slightly less tangible benefit.


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How to start a startup?

How to start a startup? | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

"Success has a simple formula: do your best, and people may like it." (Sam Ewing) 

Why startup?

Not every new business is a startup. A newly opened café isn’t a startup, at least we don’t call it that way. Startups are usually dynamically developing companies all over the world with a high growth potential. Many think that mostly internet-related or technological developments fill this category, though there are innovative businesses working in the field of education, biotechnology, robotics, fashion, environmental management, energetics, renewable energy, green technologies, and manufacturing and packaging technologies too.

According to the basic definition, it’s a quickly developing business, based on a
good idea, usually younger than two years, in which the main value is represented by the innovative approach, the big idea or the technological innovation.

The innovation strategy planned until 2020 is separately dealing with the startups and the startup ecosystem growing from them, since the quickly growing starting businesses will be a significant part of the future’s economy.

To read the full article, click on the title or image.




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Via Tamás Turcsán
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What makes you a start up? This brief article provides a good definition.

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Silicon Valley firms are even whiter and more male than you thought

Silicon Valley firms are even whiter and more male than you thought | Pitch it! | Scoop.it


After stalling for years, Google finally released data on the diversity of its workforce Wednesday, admitting that the company is "miles from where want to be." Lazlo Bock, Google's senior vice president of people operations, noted that "being totally clear about the extent of the problem is a really important part of the solution," adding that the company is supporting code education among historically underrepresented groups.

But those efforts may not be enough. Exclusive data obtained from the Labor Department by Mother Jones shows that top Silicon Valley tech firms lag far behind the general population in diversity, and that while Google is average in its recruitment of women, it has even fewer African-American and Latino employees than other major tech firms.



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Commentary: The year that was in tech, and what's ahead

Commentary: The year that was in tech, and what's ahead | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
SAN FRANCISCO – Was it the beginning or the end? As 2013 hurdled to its conclusion, the debate on 2014 had just begun: Is the tech industry on the verge of a renaissance or is the bubble about to burst?

 The glass-half-full types point to Twitter's titillating IPO; the other half insist that's when investors cashed in on social media's hype.

The truth, as always, is somewhere in the middle. It's indisputable Twitter's public offering will usher in a wave of IPOs. But the payoffs may not match the froth of the microblogging service, forcing would-be IPO candidates to seek corporate suitors. Indeed, Twitter shares are hovering near $65, up 44% from its opening day of trading Nov. 6.

The social media storm comes against a backdrop of wrenching changes. Tech's old guard — Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Cisco Systems — continues to wrestle with the slowly dying PC market; smartphone sales, meanwhile, are expected to top 1 billion in 2014 — roughly three times the population of the USA. (By early October, there were more than 1.5 billion smartphones in use worldwide.)

To continue reading... click on the title of the article.


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Via Marylene Delbourg-Delphis
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Tech is creating a revolution. Hardware, software, and just about every aspect of our life. Startups are taking advantage of this situation. Funding is soaring. Startups are taking off!

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sand0z's curator insight, December 27, 2013 3:55 AM

A look back at 2013 and some hints for what's coming in 2014.