Our 5 Favorite Startup Digest Reading List Articles From Last Week

5 hand-picked articles from across the Startup Digest Reading Lists. Sign up to receive great weekly content on various topics from expert curators.


1. Beyoncé Wants to Change the Conversation

By Tamar Gottesman

Digest: Music
Curator: Katie Chase

So much to learn from Beyoncé about how to lead in the manner of your choosing. Read More

More from this reading list: http://eepurl.com/bXoC5r


2. How to give and receive better feedback as a remote team

By Kate Kendall

Digest: Startup
Curators: Zubin Chagpar & Chris McCann

“We’ve set up a round-robin schedule where each person schedules two calls per month with two different team members. That way, we have a dedicated time to catch up with another member of the team who you might not otherwise chat with outside of daily work tasks.” Read More

More from this reading list: http://eepurl.com/bXhopf


3. Forget Apple vs the FBI: WhatsApp Just Switched On Encryption For A Billion People

By Cade Metz

Digest: Mobile
Curator: Edith Yeung

The company employs only about 50 engineers. And it took a team of only 15 of them to bring encryption to the company’s one billion users—a tiny, technologically empowered group of individuals engaging in a new form of asymmetrical resistance to authority, standing up not only to the US government, but all governments. Read More

More from this reading list: http://eepurl.com/bXhC7P


4. Why No Dining App Is the ‘Airbnb of Food’ (Yet)

By Tove Danovich

Digest: Product
Curators: Sophie-Charlotte Moatti & Reza Ladchartabi

Apps promoting social dining experiences beyond restaurants seem ripe for the “sharing economy.” So why aren’t they dominating the market? Read More

More from this reading list: http://eepurl.com/bXg-Nn


5. OLO – The First Ever Smartphone 3D Printer

By OLO, Kickstarter

Digest: 3D Printing
Curator: Dilanka

This is a very neat Kickstarter that is doing incredibly well. It’s a tiny 3D Printer that involves your smartphone. It seems to be really well designed. Despite the fact that most 3D Printer Kickstarters have failed, I am always excited to see new and innovative projects. Read More

More from this reading list: http://eepurl.com/bXf1nn


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Meet our #swCPH mentors: Willi Wu

Willi is one of the two founders at Robocat. With his background in computer science Willi works as a lead developer at this Danish software studio, which is focused on building unique applications for iOS platform.

Willi Wu- Robocat

In the past Robocat has developed several successful weather related apps. On top of that, the company had also built a largely successful Kickstarter campaign in 2013 for the small innovative electrical device they designed called Thermodo.


Willi himself already has an experience as a mentor at previous Startup Weekend Copenhagen and will be ready to share his experience, insights and valuable knowledge with participants at the upcoming one. We are looking forward to meeting Willi. You might too if you get your tickets now.

Startup Success: The Cell Phone Case To Protect Your Brain

ABC recently reported that the average person checks their phone 150 times per day, not to mention the other 15 hours per day it sits in your pocket. It’s also nothing new that cell phones emit Electromagnetic Fields/Radiation (EMF/EMR) when it’s glued to the side of our heads more than 22 times per day.


The American Cancer Society, studying the effects of electromagnetic radiation, has found some evidence of a direct link between cellphone usage and tumors in the brain and ear. The possible risk of cell phone exposure continues to be researched using strong study methods, especially with regard to use by children and longer-term use.

SafeSleeve, a startup based in California, is currently crowdfunding an anti-radiation wallet case for smartphones that protects the delicate brain from harmful waves of radiation. SafeSleeve’s two founders, Cary Subel and Alaey Kumar, initially launched their company with a protective laptop case. After witnessing fellow University students sitting for hours in the library with their laptops glued to their laps, the two Engineering graduates of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo knew something needed to be done.

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 2.26.18 PM

“As Electromagnetic Radiation awareness heightens, the need for SafeSleeve protection continues to grow for students, expecting moms, families, businessmen, or any consistent laptop user,” Subel says.

Research shows that the effects of radiation from smartphones can be even more harmful in youth and teens due to thinner skull bones, which allow for greater exposure of cell phone radiation to the brain.

Dr. Sunjay Gupta of CNN has done several segments on this issue and warns that the government rules and regulations regarding EMR exposure are based on either out-dated data or on questionable studies performed by the manufacturers of the devices. Hence, there are thousands of doctors and scientists from around the world pushing for change.

A giant veil has been pulled over the eyes of the general public. We are the guinea pigs in a long-term experiment that appears to be headed towards disaster, similar to the introduction of cigarettes just a few decades ago.

Even though the risks of cellphone usage are becoming more publicized…cellphones are not going anywhere.

“To start, we first asked ourselves, what do people love about their smart phones,” Subel says. “ The answer turned out to be convenience, ease-of-use, multi-functionality, and personalizing and protecting it with a nice case.”

Subel knew his team had to design something that not only maintained, but also improved all these elements. What they came up with is SafeSleeve for smartphones.

The integrated military-grade shielding material in the front flap deflects and absorbs radiation emitted by your phone to greatly reduce your exposure. It’s so easy to use, functional, sleek and affordable that it’s a no brainer compared to conventional cases.

“Last year, we launched a heat and radiation shielding laptop case called SafeSleeve for Laptop,” Subel says. “The response was overwhelmingly positive, we fulfilled orders from over 30 countries worldwide and we received many requests to make a cell phone case.

Subel and Kumar have spent almost 3 years developing their anti-radiation smartphone case and – with cellphone radiation awareness increasing – the timing is just right. Check out SafeSleeve’s kickstarter and donate now! With a pledge of $35 or more you will receive an iPhone 5/5S, or Galaxy S5 Early Bird Special case in your choice of size and color! This package will retail for over $55.

Start Your Kickstarter Project Right

This post was written by Sarah Collins. Sarah and her husband founded a startup, and they love to blog about business tips on the side.

Since the crowdfunding concept was introduced in the early 2000s, people have been experimenting with ways to use it. Kickstarter, the premier crowdfunding site, started in 2009, and paved the way for many to fund their passions. In 2012, Kickstarter successfully funded more than 18,000 projects for a total of $319 million. From all of those crowdfunding campaigns, we can begin to see what makes a campaign successful.

Find a Problem and Fix It

Some of the most successful crowdfunding campaigns on Kickstarter are where someone has identified an annoying problem and offered an elegant solution. You’ll see this often in the campaigns with a technology focus.

Pressy was a Kickstarter project focused on a device that plugs into a smartphone and creates a small button you can program. Push the button once and the camera app appears. Push it twice or three times and different apps appear, depending on how you set it up. This eliminates the multiple steps that it takes do a particular function on the phone, such as take a photo. Push the Pressy button, and the camera app comes up ready to take a picture.

This was an elegant solution to a problem, and people flocked to it. The original funding goal was $40,000. They made more than $622,000 dollars in their campaign with more than 25 thousand backers.

You don’t get your funding until the campaign has completed, so you’ll need a source of funds to continue working on your project and acquire all of the perks. To keep as much of your cash on hand, some of the best business credit cards for your company give you twice as many points when you advertise in select media. Keep your finances organized with invoicing software and processing apps and devices for mobile payments or donations. Keep detailed records so you can track your progress. This can help you continue making progress while the crowdfunding campaign is proceeding. Backers want to see you’re so passionate about your project that you will make it happen no matter what.

Why This Campaign Worked

The sponsors were full of energy which came through in their video. They acknowledged their backers with praise and kept them informed of their progress. A successful campaign is only achieved by interacting with your supporters. The Pressy team did that throughout the project.

Build Support Around a Cause

The Grenada Goat Dairy School Project was a Kickstarter campaign to fund the training of farmers in poor areas of Grenada. They would learn how to run a dairy farm that produced milk and cheese. The project partnered with St. Patrick’s Anglican Public School and was aimed at youth development. This project brings major economic benefits to a poor nation, and it teaches the youth such things as farm management, animal husbandry and livestock genetics.

This campaign’s original goal was $55,000 and received more than $63,000 for their Kickstarter efforts. They had 368 backers. While these totals are substantially lower than the Pressy campaign, this is the typical outcome. Project sponsors make an estimate of what they need and target for that.

Why This Campaign Worked

The sponsors of the Goat Dairy Project knew their audience and their backers. They knew that Kickstarter was the type of platform they would seek out. Their project description targeted those people who had a passion for education, youth development and sustainable farming practices. Knowing your audience and delivering your message to them on the right platform is another key to a successful campaign.

Tap Into an Existing Fan Base

Professional photographer Clark James Mishler created a Kickstarter campaign to promote his new book “Portrait Alaska.” This book accompanies his exhibition currently at the Anchorage Museum. The book and exhibition focus on the people of Alaska and their cultural diversity. He has a large following of people who have seen and appreciate his work. Starting in January 2010, Mr. Mishler posted a portrait each day making it the longest running blog of its kind. His campaign goal was $38,000, and he made a little over that. He had 386 backers.

Why This Campaign Worked

Social networking is another key to crowdfunding. That is where your “crowd” comes from. Start building your audience way before your campaign starts and keep in touch with them through blog posts and project updates. You use your social networks to drive people to your Kickstarter project.

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