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. Wearing headphones at a concert is music to your ears with this app

By Richard Trenholm

Digest: Music
Curator: Katie Chase

An app that lets me wear headphones at live music events to improve my listening experience. Um, what? Read More

More from this reading list: http://eepurl.com/bS3pgf


2. How This Power Mom Disrupted the $121 Billion Skin Care Industry From Her Kitchen

By Maisie Devine

Digest: Women Entrepreneurship
Curators: Babs Lee & Lilibeth Gangas

Meet Funlayo Alabi. She needed a natural and effective solution for her son’s eczema. So she turned a tried-and-true West African remedy with shea butter, in her kitchen, into a skin care company. Her bootstrapped company is positioned to make $300 million by 2020. Read More

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


3. Outside the Box – Netflix and the future of television

By Ken Auletta

Digest: Corporate Innovation
Curators: Carie Davis & Shane Reiser

A fresh look at Netflix’s journey, Blockbuster’s demise and the future of television. (long but great read) Read More

More from this reading list: http://eepurl.com/bSX7GT


4. Dudley the duck gets a 3D Printed foot

By Mark Prigg

Digest: 3D Printing
Curator: Dilanka

Dudley the duckling takes his first steps on a 3D printed leg – after losing his own in a fight with a chicken. Read More

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


5. Storytelling Techniques from 2016 Oscar Nominees—What Content Marketers Can Learn

By Taylor Holland

Digest: Press & Storytelling
Curator: Claire Topalian

“The most important element of any story—the audience. The device and the length are irrelevant to the story, which is a central concept that content marketing has embraced more than anyone.” Read More

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


Sign up for these or other Startup Digest reading lists, here.

5 Hot Tips For Pitching Your Startup To The Press

I’m Managing Editor of the UP Global blog. I receive countless emails from eager entrepreneurs wanting to get their story in front of our global audience. I wish I could help every startup craft their unique and subtly-branded pitch but the work-load (as for most editors) is just too high.

Unless you’re being interviewed and covered by the BBC – editors don’t have time to develop a story for you. That’s your job.

I don’t ever want to see a press release! Seriously, NO.


1) The key to getting your startup in the press is by telling an original story. That’s it. You don’t need a fictitious plot or made-up characters – just a little creativity and some writing chops. If you don’t have writing chops, find someone who does.

HOT TIP: Hit up your friends who majored in English, Marketing, or Journalism. Ask them to help brainstorm, write, or edit.

2) Once you’ve identified a person who can write effectively – research the blog, magazine or publication you’d like to place your story in. Take note of the articles they publish. Are they running advertorials written for and by companies? Of course not – because as Tech Crunch puts so eloquently – it’s gross and come on, you know it’s gross.


It’s up to you to find the balance between your business interests and a reasonable discussion of topics that are also relevant to everybody else.

HOT TIP: Tie your product update, thought-leadership, or announcement to something happening NOW in the news. This tie-in will give your story an urgency that editors can’t ignore.

If you can answer YES to one of the following questions – you are in business. 

  1. Does this story complement a trend being covered by current media outlets? Why a war and shrinking economy cant stop Syrian innovation.
  2. Does this story affect people? Women Entrepreneurs: Making the world a better place one startup at a time.
  3. Is this story a first? Is this story about something new? Oakland’s First Black Male Achievement Event A Success.
  4. Is this something that hasn’t been written about by up Global before? From Active Duty to Civilian Life: Entrepreneurship is the Path, Startup Weekend is the Vehicle.
  5. Is the location of the story controversial or newsworthy in any way? An Update From Our Friends In Kiev, Ukranie.
  6. Does this story involve someone of local prominence? Startup Weekend Announces Board of Directors and Launches Startup Foundation.
  7. Does this story have a hero? Lessons from Ugly Outfitters: Making Ugly and Everyday Brand.
  8. Can this story be written in list format and provided as a resource? 10 Tips from Female Founders.
  9. Does this story include digital media? (Video, Podcast, Audio, Infographic) From Hobby to a Business: The Reality (comic)

3) Now, you’ve found an ‘angle’ that presents something new, relevant and interesting. You don’t have to write the entire story… yet! Create a pitch – a short ‘intro’ to what the story will be about. Don’t bring your personal motivations (i.e. your trendy startup) into it. Email the editor with all the information presented concisely. Seriously, keep it short! No one has time to read a 5-paragraph history on you and your company.


HOT TIP: Don’t write the entire article just yet. The editor might have another angle that would work better for the publication. Be open to changes and feedback.

4) Along with your pitch, include 4-5 headlines the editor can salivate over. According to “The Father of Advertising”, David Ogilvy – on the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. You should begin and end every article with the question: “Would this make me want to read on?”


HOT TIP: Write down 10 headlines. Present the best 4.

Here’s a simple headline-writing formula: Number or Trigger word + Adjective + Keyword + Promise (SEE EXAMPLE HERE)

5) Make sure you have available media – videos, images, podcasts, playlists, whatever – ready to go. Interesting, large photos can enhance your story dramatically! Include them in your pitch email.

HOT TIP: Any thought, example, or person in your story you can enhance via images – do it.

If you don’t hear back – follow up 3 days later.  After that, take a hint and pitch something different.

Speaking of…do you have a story UP Global would be interested in? Email me (Lauren@up.co) with YOUR pitch.



Your Weekly Roundup: 10/28 – 11/1

Innovation Story of the Week:

Easy Taxi Lands $7M From iMENA To Expand In The Middle East.


Rocket Internet and iMENA Holding have announced that they will partner together to launch mobile app Easy Taxi in the Middle East and North Africa.  $7 million represents the largest funding so far for a mobile app business in the region. In July, Easy Taxi received $10 million from Africa Internet Holding (AIH), a joint venture between Rocket Internet and AIH’s 35% owner Millicom, a telecoms operator. The two investors had previously invested $15 million in Easy Taxi in June in order to expand Easy Taxi in Latin America.”

Below is everything you’ve missed this week in the UP community: 

President Obama taps UP Global to support new entrepreneurs globally

“The government may be shut down. But you can’t extinguish the entrepreneurial fire that easy. In video remarks at the 4th Annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia today, President Barack Obama stressed the importance of entrepreneurship and he singled out Seattle non-profit UP Global (best known for its Startup Weekend events) to help carry the flame forward.”

Egyptian SW Team Eventtus (2011) Goes Premium with Vodafone Investment

“After meeting at Startup Weekend Cairo in 2011, the founders of event organizing platform Eventtus launched their startup in late 2011, quickly enabling event listings around the globe. Now they have just secured their first round of funding at EGP 1.2 million (US $174,145) from Vodafone Ventures Egypt and Cairo Angels, which they hope to use to begin formal marketing, launch a new monetization strategy, and expand their reach across the region and the globe.”

UP Global’s Marc Nager: ‘There’s no one way to build a company’

As the CEO of UP Global, Nager coordinates Startup Weekend and a number of other non-profit projects all designed to make entrepreneurship possible by connecting people and technologies, and helping innovation happen. In this episode of Nextcast, Nager tells his secret for maintaining a work-life balance, and shares his best tips for making it as a successful entrepreneur.

The AWS Report – Marc Nager Talks About Startup Weekend

I spoke with Marc Nager to learn more about Startup Weekend and how they answer the question, “where do you go when you have a great idea” He was me through the 54 hours of the weekend (which starts on Wednesday in some countries culminating in the stimulated investor pitch, and tells me about his new project, StartupDigest.

The Future of School, One Piece at a Time: Startup Weekend EDU and 4.0 Schools

“The iterative, fast-paced nature of what 4.0 and Startup Weekend are doing reframes the debate about how to make school better. Instead of huge, risky bets rooted more in politics and theory, our approach is to get as many curious people as we can iterating their way forward – together. Step by step. Around and around the loop – build it, share it, get feedback, tweak it or throw it out and go again. This is a radical shift in mindset, one that reflects the way kids will need to engage with the world, and one that educators everywhere need to embrace, too.”