SW Mexico City Startup NuFlick Set to Press Play

Nuflick is a crowd distribution platform for filmmakers. Movies are free through social interactions and viewers actively support creators. By experimenting with different features we are trying to create an interesting experience for the viewer. It’s not just about watching movies, it’s about sharing, socializing and empowering creators.

We focus in finding a sustainable way to distribute films, short films and web series through a community of supporters, similar to Kickstarter but for projects that are already finished.

Six months ago we found ourselves in Startup Weekend Mexico City (the first edition in our country!). At the beginning we saw ourselves as a service for independent filmmakers to upload their movies to a video on demand rental platform, where their followers, film fans and everyone interested could rent quality entertaining movies which don’t get the attention or distribution of mainstream entertainment.

Startup Weekend helped us discover we were ready to jump into the startup train. Through the weekend we gave everything we could and more, we developed a product concept, art concept, business model and a working prototype. We ran through thousands of numbers, templates, lines of code and hours practicing our sales pitch.

All that effort was worth it, we won first place… It was not the idea, it was the execution. We made the delivery expected from passionate people who love what they’re doing. We worked as a startup.

The next couple of days after Startup Weekend changed our lives, we wanted to continue working on the project because we all saw potential in it. Some decided to continue with their life priorities, some of us decided to quit our jobs and make NuFlick our new life priority.

MexicanVC, a Silicon Valley Seed Fund for Mexican Internet Startups, approached us with the intention to invest in us. It was all happening so fast, we couldn’t hesitate, we said yes. The decision wasn’t an easy one, it took us some time to figure out how and why, but the support and encouragement from friends, family and mentors made us understand that we could make it happen.

We have traveled a short but intense journey that looks and feels promising, we have already set up the screen, the sound, made some popcorn, turned the lights out and we’ve settled ourselves in the sofa. We are now ready to press play to a movie about a startup that is trying to change the world (or at least film distribution).








Young Entrepreneurs: Enter The Next Teen Tycoon Contest by VerticalResponse

VerticalResponse is accepting applications now through February 6th from teen entrepreneurs (ages 13-18).  Young entrepreneurs with their own businesses or a great business idea are encouraged to submit a 2 minute video for a chance to win seed cash and other great prizes.  For more information, and to enter, head over to the contest website: http://www.verticalresponse.com/teentycoon.








Congrats to the Startup Weekend Startups Participating in the 2012 Joyful Frog Digital Incubator Bootcamp

Four of the twelve startups accepted to the Joyful Frog Digital Incubator in Singapore were founded at Startup Weekend events!  Congratulations to Fill8 from Startup Weekend Bangkok, Hobby Mash from Startup Weekend Manila, and Flocations from Startup Weekend Singapore, and Jobs Bolega from Startup Weekend Guragon.

 

For more information on the teams, Joyful Frog Digital Incubator, and the 2012 JFDI bootcamp program, head over to http://bootcamp.jfdi.asia.








Why Mobile Matters: An Interview With Crosswalk’s Tom McLeod

Tomorrow the Startup Weekend Bay Area Mobile edition kicks off at the AT&T Foundry.  While tickets to the event are sold out, those of us unable to attend in person can still get great insights about the mobile industry as well as learn about the activity and energy of the event by following the SW Bay Area blog.

In preparation for this week’s Startup Weekend Bay Area “Mobile,” I had the express pleasure of “talking shop” with one of the Weekend’s mentors, Tom McLeod.  In addition to being a music aficionado of sorts (he started the media production company MTerrace Inc. and the DC based record label Heavy Syndication), Tom is President and Co-Founder of Imaginary Feet, a web and mobile app idea factory. The company’s latest development is Crosswalk – a new website bringing social to the mobile app experience.

AS: When did you first experience the “entrepreneur bug”? What was your first endeavor?

TM: My first endeavor was actually selling snap bracelets in 4th grade. I partnered with a kid who could draw names using bubble letters and we made custom snap bracelets with our fellow students names on them. My mom was my first angel investor buying us a 30pack of neon bracelets to get our business off the ground.

AS: What lessons did you learn from that experience and how has it affected your decision making process now?

TM: I think it was probably the first basic understanding of supply and demand, supply chain economics, and that working with a partner is hard, especially when they’re the talent!

AS: What inspires you about entrepreneurship and innovation?

TM: I like problem solving, even when the problems are small. Entrepreneurship is all about problem solving. No one ever made a product that didn’t attempt to make an improvement in the way humans relate to the world around them. I’m always inspired by the way different minds solve the dilemmas of the world.

AS: What are 3 “hot trends” in tech that you think will be getting attention in 2012?

TM:

1. Nearfield Communications

2. Mobile apps taking a larger role in media right next to books, movies, and TV.

3. Streaming everything.

 AS: The upcoming SWBAY event focuses on mobile…what are your thoughts on this exploding industry?

 TM: It’s the way we’re heading right now as a collective entity. The freedom to have your data, personal connections, and communications with you at all times levels the playing field for everyone. If 2011 was the engagement 2012 will be the bachelor party, wedding, and honeymoon.

AS: In your opinion, why does mobile matter?

 TM: Freedom. Mobile means information everywhere for anyone. It’s not just about the devices, it’s about the infrastructure that gets built around it. Longer batteries, Internet everywhere, constant data access…these make it easier for everyone to do more then check movie times. They can find refugee camps, healthier food options, and cheat at scrabble. All extremely important.

AS: The upcoming SWBAY event focuses on mobile…what are your thoughts on this exploding industry?

 TM: It’s the way we’re heading right now as a collective entity. The freedom to have your data, personal connections, and communications with you at all times levels the playing field for everyone. If 2011 was the engagement 2012 will be the bachelor party, wedding, and honeymoon.

 AS: Of course we have to ask…what mobile devices do you use? iPad, iPhone, Android?

TM: Love my iPad, iPhone, and my Original Kindle.

 

Interviewed by: Ahmed Siddiqui, Coordinator, Startup Weekend Bay Area

To connect with Tom or Crosswalk, check out:

http://www.crosswa.lk

http://www.facebook.com/crosswalkapp

http://www.twitter.com/crosswalkapp

About Crosswalk

Crosswalk (www.Crosswa.lk) is the best tool to discover the iPhone apps that are most important to you, and your network. Friends, colleagues, and influencers let you know what apps they are using, and help you have a richer mobile experience.

About Tom McLeod

Tom McLeod is President and Co-Founder of Imaginary Feet, a web and mobile app idea factory. At Imaginary Feet, Tom oversees the direction of the company and their seven successful applications and services for work and play, with a particular focus on the company’s latest development Crosswalk – the new website bringing social to the mobile app experience.

Prior to Imaginary Feet, Tom started the media production company MTerrace Inc. and the DC based record label Heavy Syndication. For these companies he served as Founder and CEO where he was responsible for the daily operations, client relations, and much of the functional creative and technical work. Tom graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Audio Technology and a minor in Computer Science from American University. His many interests include classic films, basketball, and making mixtapes for his daily commute.








5 Steps to Start and Fund a Social Good Enterprise

Many people find it attractive to start projects that work toward the good of the less fortunate. Social good enterprises raise money to help others, and you can become involved with your own efforts to build and fund an enterprise. Here are 5 things Maris suggest that you do in order to be more effective in your efforts:

1. Start with Your Passions

When starting a social good enterprise, you need to look for something that interests you. Find a cause that resonates with you and your values. You want to be able to bring your passion to your work. Otherwise, you might not be able to keep things moving. Any start up requires hard work, long days and even longer nights. If you aren’t involved with something that you are interested in, chances are that you won’t stick with it, and it will peter out.

Plus, your enthusiasm is obvious when you are involved with something you are passionate about. If you want to raise funds for your social good enterprise, you need to be emotionally invested. Donors can sense your dedication, and they’ll be more willing to give.

2. Start Small

Don’t expect to bring in $1 million over the course of a single weekend. Think about what you can accomplish now, and build on that. Ask for small donations to accomplish one small task. Even if it’s asking for $10 from your friends and family to help you put together hygiene kits, that small action can get you started in your enterprise. As you accomplish the small tasks, you will find yourself able to raise more money, and your visible efforts will bring in more donations from others so that you can start accomplishing loftier goals.

3. Define Your Purpose

Your social good enterprise should be identifiable. There should be a purpose to your efforts. Figure out what you want to accomplish, and then articulate it to others. Your efforts should focus on that purpose. Don’t just brand yourself as a “non-profit” organization. Instead, use active language to define your purpose, and to help guide your actions. Not only will your purpose keep you on track, but it will also let others see what you are doing. Being able to clearly define what you do will encourage others to donate, and will aid in fundraising efforts.

4. Be Involved in Your Community

Don’t forget to be involved in your community. You can raise grassroots support in your local community, as well as provide help to others in your community. Starting with a solid base is important, and it will help you meet others. People are interested in donating their time and their money to social good enterprises when they can see the effects. Show some effect in your community first, and then branch out to other geographic areas.

5. Leverage Your Networks

One of the best ways to get the word out about your social good enterprise is to leverage your networks. Use Facebook, Twitter and other online social media to make connections and spread the word. You can also use your offline networks as well. Look for ways to involve your networks in fundraising, and you see things start to take off and snow ball. The power of networking can also put you in touch with advisers and others who can help your effort succeed.

Bottom Line

If you want to do good by starting an enterprise designed to help people, you have to start small and leverage your network. It’s hard work, but if you focus on something that’s important to you, define your purpose and recognize that you will have better success if you start small, you will find yourself growing at a fine pace and doing a great deal of good.

This guest post is written by Lior Levin, a marketing consultant for a css company and, who also consults for a company that provides to do list applications for businesses and individuals.








High-Impact Entrepreneurship: Start Local but Plan to be Global

Part of a series: Ten Rules for Becoming a High-Impact Entrepreneur

The following post is from an upcoming study by Endeavor’s Center for High-Impact Entrepreneurship (C-HIE) on key success strategies for start-ups. The study is based on interviews with 55 High-Impact Endeavor Entrepreneurs from 11 countries. In honor of Global Entrepreneurship Week, we’re sharing five of our favorite “Rules for Becoming a High-Impact Entrepreneur” from this study, with input from some wise Endeavor friends. The full report will be available soon.

Today’s most admired startups – the Facebooks, Googles and LinkedIns of the world – are global companies that started in local markets. Let’s take Facebook as an example. Zuckerberg started Facebook on a very local level, testing out the original concept at Harvard College. Over time, Facebook grew nationally and then globally. Today, Facebook has more than 800 million active users, more than 75% of whom live outside of the United States.

Reid Hoffman, Endeavor Global Board Member and Founder & Executive Chairman of LinkedIn, spoke about why it’s important to “start local but plan to be global” at the 2011 Endeavor Entrepreneur Summit.

“You might as well shoot for something large because you can still end up with something smaller. And part of the reason this is a rule of entrepreneurship is because if you don’t start out aiming for the big game, you almost never can get there. It’s gotta be, ‘How can I have a global impact?’ I think all high-impact companies basically have to think globally in nature these days because of the way that the market ecosystem is going. You go, ‘okay, how do I play onto that stage?’ ….One of the biggest challenges is how to build something really strong with a local focus and then participate on the global stage. For example, we launched LinkedIn with thirteen countries on the list and I think we got to the full list within four months, because as each person complained that their country wasn’t on the list, we added it in.”

Research completed by Endeavor’s Center for High-Impact Entrepreneurship suggests that the most successful entrepreneurs started local but planned to be global.

Among the best entrepreneurs interviewed – those whose companies have grown at an average rate of 20% or greater over the last three years –74% focused on succeeding locally at first, in order to perfect the fundamental aspects of their business model, but they aspired to be global, and designed their business in a way that would allow them to expand globally in the future.

When Endeavor Colombia Entrepreneur Lilian Simbaqueba founded LiSim in 1996, she knew she would have to expand beyond Colombia to be high-impact.

Initially, LiSim had plenty of business opportunities in Colombia, so Lilian decided to focus first on building a very strong business in the local market. When the financial crisis hit Colombia, however, risk to LiSim’s core business increased substantially. Lilian decided the time was ripe to expand internationally. One of LiSim’s existing clients had a bank in Ecuador – creating a natural link to a new market. After Ecuador, LiSim’s geographic expansion continued, mostly by “pulling” from existing contacts and clients. ACCION International brought LiSim to Peru and Bolivia, and the World Bank to Egypt and South Africa. Throughout the expansion process Lilian had to make small adjustments to the model, but the core business model she’d perfected in Colombia has remained the same. Today LiSim operates in 20 countries.

Republished with permission from Endeavor Global.








SW Portland Tell It In 10 Helps Organize Online Photo Clutter

As the photo sharing space continues to grow at exponential rates, Startup Weekend alum Tell it in 10 steps up to the plate with a solution to all the clutter. Their website lets users search through all of the photos they’ve uploaded across multiple social networks using keywords just as if they were performing a Google search and then curate and share short photo stories.

The company formed during the October 2011 Startup Weekend in Portland, Oregon and just three months later, the company, led by Founder and CEO Eli Rubel announced that they would be sending out their first round of Alpha invitations to the platform.

“Every day it seems as though a new app is released making it easier to quickly upload our photos to the social network of our choosing,” Rubel said. Our images are scattered all over the web and people are over-sharing. Just as Twitter restricted users to 140 characters, Tell it in 10 provides a platform for users to curate meaningful stories in batches of ten from images aggregated across all of their social networks. We are creating a community of de-cluttered visual storytelling.”

If you weren’t all ready on the invite list, you can request an invite from their homepage and Rubel says it won’t be too long before they send out their next wave of codes.

To get an invite to Tell it in 10’s alpha launch, head over to their website: www.tellitin10.com.








Since You Can't Know Everything, the Right Team Makes All the Difference

Startup Weekend: At Startup Weekend, we always emphasize the importance of the team—above even the importance of the startup idea.  Have you found this to be true with TranscribeMe?  How do you know when someone is the right fit for your team?

Alexei Dunayev: I absolutely believe that having the right team is the key to success in an early stage startup. There is a lot to be said for having positive energy in a company, and the makeup of the team needs to consider that. We know someone is the right fit for the team when they have a passion for the business, ideas on how to develop it, and believe that it has a great chance to succeed. At Startup Weekend, we were able to attract a top-tier team to gauge the customer demand and at the same time put together a profitable business model of how to solve it.

SW: As a tag-along question: what do you look for when building a team?  Clearly, the individuals themselves are extremely important but how do you know when someone is a good cultural fit as well?  How were you able to do this given the time and resource constraints of Startup Weekend?

AD: At Startup Weekend we brought together the marketing and operations teams, and after winning the weekend, also expanded the technology side of the business. The structure of Startup Weekend is great, as it lets the people who are most interested in the idea to work on it, and also gives people an opportunity to stay on past the weekend, or not. We agreed amongst ourselves that we are there for 54 hours with a single goal to build a business and win the weekend, and then would decide on how to continue after the weekend was over. I’m glad to say that out of 7 people on our team, 5 decided to stay with the venture and are now integral team members.

SW: You’ve been both an attendee and a mentor at Startup Weekend events, which people often think as sitting at opposite ends of the spectrum.  In your experience, how are these roles complimentary?

AD: They are quite different roles. There is a lot less pressure when you are a mentor, and so you are able to step back and think about problems from a different viewpoint with the luxury of time. It’s interesting to be a participant also, mostly because of the energy of the team and the buzz of working something really special. These roles are indeed at the opposite ends of the spectrum, but nevertheless the spectrum itself is really the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the city where Startup Weekend is being held, so there is lots of opportunity for collaboration.

SW: As you’ve progressed with TranscribeMe, you’ve found that both the industry and the problem you’re trying to solve are more complex than you’d initially realized. How have you educated yourself (and your team) on the unforeseen challenges/questions you’ve had to deal with?

AD: There is indeed a steep learning curve when stepping into a new industry, particularly one as sophisticated as the $50b/year transcription space. We have been actively seeking out research databases and information on the web to learn about the landscape of the industry, the competitors and partners, and technology at play. By having passionate and dedicated people on the team, we were able to efficiently collaborate in this learning process and share the learnings throughout the team. We also found people with specific domain expertise outside the team to draw in as advisors and supporters.

About TranscribeMe

TranscribeMe converts voice to text. We offer the world’s best platform to connect professional and casual transcribers with customers in the publishing, medical, legal and business markets using a smartphone platform integrated with crowd-sourced human transcribers.

Our customers use the TranscribeMe application on their smartphone to record meetings, interviews and dictation. The app sends the results to our servers, which process the audio files and then forward them to a crowd of transcribers. These transcribers are working on our best-in-class transcription platform, allowing them to maximize their accuracy and productivity. As a result, we are able satisfy our customers’ demand for an easy-to-use service, with 98%+ accuracy and a fast turnaround time.

The TranscribeMe team is  Alexei Dunayev, Greg Igor Feerer, Chirag Ahuja, Danijel Duvnjak, Helga Sonier, Reuben Metcalfe, Nick Goloborodko, Victor Obolonkin, Dmitry Istomin. Learn more at transcribeme.com.








Rover.com Raises $1.8 Million

This article was originally published on GeekWire.

Rover.com, the Seattle upstart that matches those seeking doggie care with nearby pet sitters, has raised $1.8 million, according to a SEC filing. The site, which launched last month, has an unusual history.

It was started by venture capitalist Greg Gottesman who pitched the idea at a Startup Weekend event in Seattle last year. Gottesman remains actively involved in the company, and Madrona Venture Group is the primary backer of the company.

Rover.com also recently recruited dog lover and former Microsoft advertising executive Aaron Easterly as CEO. Last month, Easterly told GeekWire that they planned to fill a niche between kennels and high-end doggie retreats.

“It is a big opportunity, and it is one of these incredibly large industries that is fundamentally broken,” he said. “Between kennels and private dog sitting, it is a $6.5 billion to $8 billion industry, just in the U.S. and it has a huge rate of dissatisfaction.”

Pet owners can choose whether they have a small, medium or large breed, and filter the results by pet care in the home of the sitter or the owner. Prices on the site, which is only available in Seattle at this time, range from $20 to $70 per night.

Madrona had previously invested $250,00o in the company, and at the time of the launch Easterly said they planned to raise more cash.

Today’s filing does not indicate other investors who are involved, but it does say the company could raise up to $4.3 million in the round.








SW Startup 520or90.com TechFlash Startup of the Week

This article was originally published on TechFlash.

Take 520 or I-90? It’s a tough decision to make these days, and one a new Seattle startup wants to help you make – or rather, wants to make for you. When tolling started on 520 at the end of December, many commuters found that they could turn to an app by startup 520or90.com to help them calculate the fastest or least expensive way to cross Lake Washington.

The idea was born of a Seattle Startup Weekend in November where founder Gabe Brown worked with Latika Kirtane, Karen Cheng, Shashi Shashidhar and five other team members to develop a functional app in 48 hours.

Brown, Kirtane, Cheng and Shashidhar – all of who still have day jobs in the tech industry – have remained with the startup, which they say is really about “community helping community” in the best way they know how – through technology.

Kirtane, a product manager at HTC, said thousands of commuters around the greater Seattle area are currently using the app. The app is available for both iPhones and Android phones and a Windows Phone version is on its way.

Read the full article here.