Archive for October, 2009

I’m attempting to go as an ipod advert to Halloween tonight!

I saw this ‘Geekiest Halloween costumes post on Huffington Post’ Thought I would try and replicate for Halloween in London tonight- what do you think? Or maybe i should go as a YouTube video?

Posted via web from Hermione’s posterous

You can no longer slap Nick Griffin:(

Those of you lucky enough to be able to visit the url http://www.slapnickgriffin.co.uk/ yesterday would have been able to play a flash game where you could give the BNP leader a good slapping, today however a quick visit to the site leads to this:

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What ever happened to freedom of speech …or freedom of slapping?!

Fantastic opportunity, get your startup noticed: Who wants to do an elevator pitch on TechCrunch Europe?

You might have noticed we’ve started doing weekly elevator pitches and posting them on TechCrunch Europe. This is a fantastic opportunity to give your startup some publicity – TechCrunch Europe goes out to a high caliber network of entrepreneurs, investors and tech industry professional all over Europe and beyond and gets thousands of hits a week.

Why do we do an elevator pitch? Well the whole idea behind it is that an an entrepreneur you should be able to clearly and consisly communicate what your company does in 30 seconds- any longer and the idea is too complex or you’re in danger of trying to do too many things.

The term is typically used in the context of an entrepreneur pitching an idea to a venture capitalist or angel investor to receive funding. Venture capitalists often judge the quality of an idea and team on the basis of the quality of its elevator pitch, and will ask entrepreneurs for the elevator pitches to quickly weed out bad ideas and weak teams.

Basically if you got in an elevator and realised there was a big wig investor standing next to you with a big wad of cash would you be able to persuade him your idea was shit hot and get him to hand over the cash?

If the asnwer is yes and you wanna have a pop, comment and leave your company name or mail me: hermioneway@newspepper.com

Here’s the competition so far:

Winkball.com

and last week’s JobFact.com

And you thought a web company couldn’t last this long: Bango.com’s 10 year-old birthday party

Remember 10 years ago when the web didn’t really exist? Remember 10 years ago when the mobile web definitely didn’t’ exist?! Right- well that’s when Bango.com started making mobile software for the web. And now they’ve grown into a company of 40 employees with clients all over the world! Bango.com currently make analytic and mobile billing systems for their clients. Last week we were at Bango’s 10 year-old birthday party- here’s the results and a word from Ray Anderson- CEO and  big cheese -one of the founders who is still at the company now.

Who said web companies couldn’t have longevity?! Bango not only for-sore the web would go mobile all those years ago but they are also still big players in the game.

MyNameIsE- Solving the business card issue

Our correspondet from Amsterdam -Isabelle -visits startup MyNameIsE who thinks they’ve come up with the solution to swapping business cards electronically- God knows I need the app as I have a mountain of business cards. I’m not too keen on the hardware necklace for general consumers because I don’t think they’ll get the critical mass needed for it to work, but I do think it works well for conferences.

Isabelle asks ‘What’s the difference between you and Poken,’ here’s what she has to say:

On Friday 2 October I went to meet Renato and talk to him about this highly successful startup MyNameIsE who provide a service enabling people to connect to share and connect their online identities with others they meet in the real world. It’s like swapping your business card electronically while also sharing your professional and social networks as well as your gaming avatars.

Wading in on the nude debate

There has been much debate over the London Nude tech Calender – 12 guys, 12 girls doing a Calender Girls style nude Calender to raise money for Take Heart India.

The following is largely in response to this article:
http://tinyurl.com/yfos2e4

This is getting ridiculous. Think it’s time I waded in the debate. I haven’t done so yet because, quite frankly, I have more important things to do with my time and energy, like working on the relaunch of my company, than trying to justify actions that clearly don’t need justifying.

Hell, if I’d listened to all the people that had told me ‘no’ or ‘you can’t that’ or paid attention to people ‘bitching’ then I wouldn’t have achieved half the things I’ve achieved. Part of being an entrepreneur is about taking risks and as Alicia quite rightly says pushing boundaries. I understand from experience that if you do something differently people will react- it’s human nature, people are adverse to change. Constructive debate is good, but the debate surrounding the calendar is becoming a personal attack on all involved.

Get a grip: We don’t live in the 18th Century- You’d see more sexual suggestiveness in Madonna’s latest music video or in a copy of the latest Cosmopolitan magazine. These are people/publications that a vast majority of young females aspire to be like/read as standard media. If you’ve got beef with us going nude in a tasteful and dignified manor for charity then maybe you should be directing your beef at our explicit society as a whole.

Secondly, Eileen and Rebecca- you’ve set yourselves double standards in focusing on the women in the calendar. Hello? Has everyone forgotten that there are 12 men doing the calendar as well? So let me get this straight – If you had it your way you’d just have 12 men posing nude and not the women as ‘it could be detrimental to their business reputation’ and not the mens’? If the answer is yes then you yourselves are discriminating against women – Of course I agree that women are more susceptible to criticism, but if we accept this position and never challenge it, it will remain the status quo.

Faisal in saying there are ‘other ways to raise money for charity’ you are also discounting all the money raised by the original Calendar Girls for Cancer research and also the many ‘copy’ nude calendars which have collectively raised thousands for charities all over the world- are you saying they’d have raised more money doing a walk? I don’t think so. Eileen, Faisal- If you think being in tech we could have come up with something more ‘innovative’ -then why don’t you come up with something ‘original’ yourself and organise the whole thing? Go on, do it, I double dare you.

I believe the Internet is a catalyst for changing the way people are doing business. The stuffy, corporate mindset is shifting to a more personal one. Social media is a prime example of people wanting to connect on a human level- the views of those opposing the calendar seem to be stuck in the old corporate mindset. I envisage (and hope) that in the future this mindset will be lost and people wanting to write their own rules in business will be able to do so without having to waste time dealing with unfounded prejudice.

Take Heart is a brill charity. If you think western entrepreneurs are something – you should see India’s entrepreneurs- they are incredibly resourceful and can make huge returns on a small amount of investment. Even though a waste of time, I hope this debate, if anything, draws more attention to the cause and in turn raises more money for Take Heart India.

Opportunity to sponsor Gaming conference Playful’09

Hi, we have another unmissable opportunity for some peeps in the tech industry to sponsor Playful’09 – a day of cross-disciplinary frocklin across the web, TV and gaming platforms. From the guys at Pixel-Lab, the conference covers anything from games, culture, playfulness, life, death, robots, films, books, cooks, baking, making, cricket, blogging and jogging!

The techfluff.tv team will be there with a professional camera crew, creating a buzz, interviewing participants and capturing all the action from the day.

We are currently looking for someone to jump on board and sponsor the video (potentially a software producer, phone manufacturer, recruitment company or media outlet).

As a sponsor you can attend Playful’09 as a mentor and participate. You will have a personal interview on camera and your logo will appear in the video. Any media sponsors/blogs/twitter associated with Playful’09, would have their logo on the site under ‘media sponsor’.

You will also be able to embed the videos on your website or YouTube Channel. The video will also be featured on the Playful’09 site, Techfluff.tv and our YouTube Channel – so plenty of branding reach.

This is an excellent opportunity to get involved with a rare mix of media and tech people from the web/TV/games world and recieve some exclusive media exposure within the tech and online industry. The event is less than a week away, so please email
hermioneway@newspepper.com ASAP if you are interested!

About Playful’09

When: Friday October 30 2009

Where: Conway Hall, London

Dubbed ‘A Day Of Cross Disciplinary Frolicking’, Playful ’09 has the most varied array of genius, featuring, as it does, talks from technology/media/games luminaries such as Russell Davies, Roo Reynolds, and Alice Taylor, with a focus on the way that Games, Play and Playfulness just MAKE THINGS BETTER.

James ‘Cooking With Booze’ Bridle will be there to tell everyone about his experiments mixing literature and technology in playful and engaging ways; Little Big Planet designer Rex Crowe will be bringing an Over Head Projector to demonstrate how fun customising characters can be; and Leila Johnston will be recounting her experience of creating Enemy of Chaos, a postmodern choose-your-own-adventure novel with an accompanying iPhone app, and explaining why you must never, ever, do it the way she did.

Website: www.thisisplayful.com

Liveblogging: #launch48 2009-Building a web app in 48 hours: The chosen six ideas

Today I’m at the funky PayPal offices in Richmond at Launch48- An event bringing together developers, marketers, entrepreneurs to build and launch a web app in 48 hours. The USA holds a similar event called Y Combinator.

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How it works: Over 100 people have signed up for the  two day workshop, last night (Friday) whoever had an idea pitched to the group – 33 people pitched in total and people voted the six best ideas based on a show of hands.

Here are those final six that groups of between 10 and 20 people are working on:

They will now work through tonight and tomorrow on turning their ideas into launchable companies, with the final pitch of their progress tomorrow (sunday) at 5pm.  Just a shout out to Newspepper’s sponsor Viadeo for facilitating us to be here:)

Come on European entrepreneurs, be confident and do The Doug!

We covered Doug Richard’s School for Startups at the British Library two weeks ago- the theme was based around PR and how to get your startup featured in a national newspaper. Doug interviewed Richard Tyler from The Telegraph on stage, who was honest and said it’s not always about the product but sometimes the story behind the product which gains the attention of a journalist.

What I really like about Doug is his straight forward, confident and brash style- he has a no bulls**t approach to business which I feel European entrepreneurs lack. Having lived in America, maybe his straight forward approach comes more naturally than us Brits who tend to be self deprecating. I just think life is too short to worry what people think about you or if your idea is good enough. Get out there, be confident, say if you’re good at something, if it fails, no problem, start the next thing until you succeed…or in other words do ‘the Doug’. You can get tickets to Doug’s next event ‘The Art of Securing Investment’ on the 18th November here http://findpitchclose.eventbrite.com

You can get special tickets here:

1. Main 8-hour event at the Royal Institution, with special guest speaker Brent Hoberman
http://www.eventbrite.com/event/443901722/techfluff

2. Live and interactive 90-minute webcast in the last part of the main event (whether Brent participates in this is TBC)
http://www.eventbrite.com/event/467210439/techfluff

How to raise finance- With BBC2′s Imran Hakim- iTeddy Founder

A couple of weeks ago we were at the Growth Investment event in Leicester where Imran Hakim, founder of the iTeddy which got funding on BBC2′s Dragon’s Den – In this video Imran shares his secrets and we hear from the delegates on what they learnt.