Google I/O and Global Entrepreneurship

My eyes were glued to the Keynote presentation. I quickly scanned the room as Google made more announcements about their global Android expansion, most people appeared disengaged, waiting to hear more about products that would affect them immediately. Android One, a smart phone that would use less cell data with faster speeds for spotty third world networks struck an empty chord with the crowd. However, I grew excited about the possibilities this would bring to areas that lacked true access to the grid.

Mobile GrowthGoogle is truly trying to encroach their software and technology in developing countries to help inspire innovation, by providing as many assets as they can, so individuals can help themselves become entrepreneurs. Many pockets of the world have yet to reach their full potential, areas such as Indian, Indonesia, and the Philippines are experiencing intense mobile growth. Google is ready to take these regions by storm and help individuals modernize their countries with the help of their tech and software. Let’s start by examining Google’s strategy in these developing countries and how one person can become an entrepreneur with just a phone in their hand.

Over 1.2 Billion phones are expected to ship to developing countries within the next year, the majority of which will be Androids. Not surprising considering the cost of an Android is extraordinarily cheap compared to an iPhone. Possession of a smartphone is still considered a luxury in rural areas, where ten percent of a person’s income goes to the phone itself. The technological needs are so great in these areas there are reported businesses where individuals race over to nearby towns with electricity to simply charge phones.

Google’s release of Android One is but a stepping-stone, the software giant also announced changes to its features allowing Maps and Youtube to work offline. Thereby diminishing cell data usage for impoverished users, many of which still rely on SMS. Imagine poor farmers saving videos on agricultural upkeep without economic detriment, or refugees crossing foreign lands using offline Maps to safely guide them to their asylum. The kicker here is that Google and Android will go one step further and give the entrepreneur an online market place and the educational tools necessary to succeed in the global market.

Android Nano Degree, and the Cloud Test lab were also announced at Google I/O. The ramifications of which are enormous. Individuals who aspire to be developers can take a Nano Degree course for $200 dollars online and pursue scholarships if they lack the economic resources. This is an enormous push for online education especially in areas that lack access to human resources that can teach these valuable skills. While the Cloud Test lab allows full-fledged developers to test their apps, without having the device on hand or even phones allowed in the country! The costs in savings are enormous in resource strapped areas.

Google also announced the creation of Developer pages, were people can view apps by person, similar to a market place where people can walk around and see what is laid out virtually by stand. Well what about marketing? Have no fear. Google also announced the Universal App campaign that will automatize the marketing for home made apps. Imagine new developers across the globe creating apps for their people, because access has become easier and supportive. A girl in Indonesia can purchase an Android One phone, take the Nano Degree course online, and within a few months test her app idea in the Cloud Test Lab. If she is successful she can create her own Developer page and have Google market the app for her. Just within the course of a year, she can become an entrepreneur.

Android OneAs much as Silicon Valley continues to praise itself for innovation, very few companies have managed to create substantial change in developing worlds. Change has to come from within. You can create an amazing app in a first world country and transfer it over to a third world, but basic access, resource constraints, and cultural obstruction continue to hinder expansion. Android and Google will pave the way for more and more entrepreneurs across the world to enter the digital global arena in their own terms. If you are someone who lives in a developing country it is worth your time and money to invest in the Android/Google ecosystem. The technology, support, and resources are now available to use and implement. Go change the world. Your world.








The Roadblocks to Success

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After waiting an hour and a half in line for the Google I/O Keynote speech I managed to find a seat. I took a big bite out of the breakfast muffin I picked up on my way in when I noticed a man pointing at the empty seat next to me. My face light up and I smiled and nodded answering his implicit question. We exchanged pleasantries and he introduced himself as John Absmeier, Director of Delphi labs.

If you haven’t heard of Delphi, you will now. Delphi is an automotive supplier that builds safer, greener, and more connected automotive technology. You may have heard about the self-driving car that successfully drove from San Francisco to New York. That was Delphi, not Google, or Mercedes, nor even Tesla! We spoke in depth about the fears individuals had with self-driving cars.

“You have to understand that when Apple was set to release the first smart-phone, people were not too keen on the idea. They asked why do we even need it?” John said. The iPhone revolutionized the world. It changed how we communicated with each other, how we worked, and how we viewed our own lives. Now we can’t imagine a world without our smartphone. The entire Google Keynote rested on the theme of a mobile world. He was right, most people can’t visual the need or necessity of a new technology without it existing first.

Thus, entrepreneurs are the rare birds that can visualize a new world and help bring their ideas from their inner world to the real world. However, the response most entrepreneurs hear is a two-letter word, “No.” The word itself creates dismay and can oftentimes destroy the spirit within. However, John was correct in saying that just because someone says no, it does not mean you should just stop the car. You are on to something; a good leader takes the critique and keeps improving their product until you hear the golden words, “Yes.”

Let’s use self-driving cars as an example, most people have initial fears with self-driving cars, but John takes those fears seriously and works to improve the process and design of his product to qualm any negative association with his work. Keep going until those no’s became yeses. If one can see the world John imagines and endeavors toward you would be just as excited as he was. No more drunk drivers taking innocent lives. Less traffic and more time spent on leisure. Older folk and disabled individuals reacquiring the freedom of the open road, no longer held to whim of their bodies. Less accidents on the road caused by sleep deprived individuals. A safer, efficient, and happier world.

People are always going to say no, if you are truly up to the task you can push past those obstacles and lead the world with your new creations. This is how success is accomplished, and how full grown companies such as Delphi continue to innovate and push towards a better tomorrow, despite the negative setbacks. Continue with your idea, even if the road ahead is tough. No does not mean stop.








White Paper 2.0: ¿Cómo se ve el emprendimiento en Latinoamérica?

En septiembre de 2014, UP Global en conjunto con Google for Entrepreneurs, lanzó el White Paper, anunciando 5 ingredientes que ayudan al fomento de un ecosistema de innovación y startups. En este documento, se ofrece un esquema de trabajo y lenguaje común para las comunidades de emprendimiento alrededor del mundo. La publicación resalta cinco ingredientes críticos que soportan a los ecosistemas prósperos de emprendimiento: talento, densidad, cultura, capital y ambiente regulatorio.

En Latinoamérica buscamos lanzar la versión 2.0 de este proyecto a finales de 2015; teniendo en cuenta las ciudades principales de Latinoamérica e incluyendo diferentes tipos de mercado en la región, hemos estado trabajando en conjunto con Google Latinoamérica para el análisis de problemas y soluciones en la región dentro de los cinco pilares.

La semana pasada, se llevó a cabo el primer workshop de la Ciudad de México en WRK, espacio de co-working anfitrión de la oficina regional de UP Global. Dentro de este taller, tuvimos la participación de representantes de la comunidad de emprendimiento, instituciones universitarias y de apoyo al emprendimiento, inversionistas, aceleradoras, gobierno, y más.

La dinámica, liderada por Leticia Gasca, de Fuckup Nights, tuvo un gran resultado; se obtuvieron los principales problemas de cada pilar en la primera parte del taller y durante la segunda se crearon grupos de trabajo para generar soluciones a esos problemas específicos.

Este proyecto, que ha llevado a cabo sesiones en otras 5 ciudades latinas, incluyendo Bogotá, Buenos Aires, San José de Costa Rica, Lima y Guatemala, se realizará además en Guayaquil, Guadalajara, Medellín, Viña del Mar y Santo Domingo; y continuará con una serie de Hangouts y Mesas Redondas en las que se discutirán las soluciones para así crear un segundo documento enfocado en la región.

Para más información acerca del White Paper 2.0, sigue a UP Latam en redes sociales. Twitter, Facebook y LinkedIn.








After 54 hours at #SWDub, the winners are…

After 54 hours of brainstorming, building teams, talking to mentors and coaches, listening in speakers, munching Domino pizza, and gulping cans of Red Bull, 10 teams took the stage to showcase their ideas and MVPs.

SEE: 10 tips from mentors at the #SWDub

The teams sure didn’t make the jobs easy for the Judges as the ideas and pitches were nothing short of amazing, especially looking at the fact that all transpired in one weekend. Every team was a winner and the journey only begins but for now here are those that went home with accolades.

Alicia had not plan to pitch at Startup Weekend but got on the stage in the last minute to pitch her idea. Against all odds she came off the most entrepreneurial participant as selected by the judges.

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In 3rd place was BeHabit – an app that looks to help parent turn their kid’s good behaviour into positive habit. Not only was the team led by one of the yougest participants at the weekend, it gave an impressive pitch that had the judges nodding and applauding.

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Perhaps the people’s choice, Baffle came in 2nd place. The platform is one that allows users sell items but in a raffle-type setup.

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Ladies and gentlemen, the team the wears the crown as winners of the November edition of Startup Weekend Dublin is Gift Me! Not only was the team lead by a female entrepreneur, it was one of the 3 startups ideas to actually make a sale and generate revenue.

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There you have it folks. Dublin has a new champion but the road doesn’t end here. Go forth and do exploit – building connections, validating ideas, acquiring customers, and changing the world.

Missed out on any of the action? Check out the daily recaps here and here. Don’t forget to check out the Global Startup Battle, Startup Hiking‘s next day out, and the Christmas party for Startups – SUXMAS.

Many thanks to our global and local sponsors, Google for Entrepreneurs, DotCo, Amazon Web Service, Bank of Ireland, Holvi, Tom Crean’s, Dominos Pizza, Burritos & Blues, Red Bull, and FCR Media. Also grateful for our mentors, speakers, coaches, volunteers, and the ever amazing attendees.

It’s been an awesome experience for me and hope it’s been nothing less for you too.

@NubiKay signing out.
#SWDub
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10 ideas to be pitched at the #SWDub Finals

It’s the final day at the November edition of Startup Weekend Dublin and the clock gets closer and closer to the 54-hour mark.

SEE: #SWDUb recap from the first and second day.

Starting from 15 ideas, teams have pivoted, rebranded, closed shop, joined forces and here are the final 10 to pitch at the #SWDub Finals.

10. Baffle is an on-line raffling platform, Done-Deal style.

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9. Utripia wants to customize your perfect trip
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8. Elected allows voters better learn and engage with politicians

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7. Cajou connects home cooks with guests around a city

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6. Behabit is a parenting aid to turn good behaviour into habits

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5. Find Me helps you stay connected to your pet wirelessly

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4. Cooler is all about real-time, geo-located, targeted promotions

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3. Yes! Buddy Fitness is your motivation mate

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2. Gift Me is a fun efficient way crowdfund presents that your friends will love

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1. O! Seppe is an interactive, tailored, cost effective staff induction solution

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All the best to all the teams pitching. Follow @SWDub for live updates from the finals and tweet us your favourite ideas using the hashtag #SWDub.








10 tips from mentors at the #SWDub

Startup Weekend Dublin attracts a very high calibre of coaches and mentors with expertise and background in design, business, and technology. We reached out to 10 of them for tips and here’s what they said.

10. Don’t ask prospective customers if they will use your product. They almost always say Yes. Instead, ask about their experience, find the pain points and see if what you offer is really a solution – Louise Caldwell

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9. Co-Creation is very important when it comes to execution – David Tighe

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8. Never be afraid to ask – Lisa Domican

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7. Always remember to know nothing – Conor Nolan

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6. Tell a story, goddammit – Ed Fidgeon Kavanagh

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5. Have a killer tagline – Chico Charlesworth

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4. Kill every bias and expectations; and when it comes to coding, less is more – Adrian Mihai

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3. People are lazy and will keep doing the same thing, so build software that’d help them do things efficiently –  Ian Lucey

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2. Forget about the tech today and just focus on the consumer’s needs – Alex Beregszaszi

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1. Focus on one thing and keep it simple – Paul Watson & Serena Fistch

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All Photos credits to Compfight CC








Startup Weekend Volos: Metavallon is coming with Prizes!

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Metavallon is a model social enterprise that empowers and accelerates startups at the very early stages. Through its three-stage program (Τhe LabThe Accelerator, and The Hub), Metavallon seeks to motivate talented individuals, expose them to experienced entrepreneurs, experts and investors, and provide them with the necessary resources to start their own high impact businesses. Its mission is to uplift the endeavors of active entrepreneurial spirits around the world and generate a powerful venturing movement in Greece and beyond.

Connect with Metavallon on the social media FacebookTwitterPinterestLinkedinInstagramGoogle+ and/or check out thecompany blog for some nice stories.








Startup Weekend Volos: Yiannis Giokas as a Speaker!

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Yiannis is a serial entrepreneur with over 7 years’ experience in the High-Tech and Security Industries. Prior founding Crypteia Networks, he has been active in the fields of Telecommunications, Network Optimization and Security enabling Telecom Operators to optimize their networks, expand their added value services and enhance their customers’ experience. He holds a B.Sc. in Electronics Engineering and an M.B.A. from Athens University of Economics & Business.







Startup Weekend Volos: Start Tech Ventures is also our Sponsor!

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StartTech Ventures is the investment & incubation arm of the Materializing Innovation Group, having three divisions: Seed Fund, Incubator and Business Angel Network. StartTech capitalizes the experience gained out of starting Virtual Trip, the first successful student start-up in Greece, spinning out more than 10 high-tech companies via investing 4.5 MEur and creating a next generation start-up accelerator via introducing the “Entrepreneurial Ecosystem” concept.








Startup Weekend Volos: Microsoft as a Platinum Sponsor

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SPECIAL PRIZES FROM MICROSOFT!

  1. Free Bizspark Software (www.bizspark.com). Software worth of  10,000 euro
  2. 150 euro free cloud resources (azure) a month and access to Microsoft’s global         startup community
  3. mentoring sessions and aquaintance with the startups that Microsoft incubates
  4. Evaluation for admission in Microsoft’s incubation programms that allows the team to be hosted in Microsoft’s incubator for 6 months and more…