Exhibitor demand is high for the second annual CES Asia after a successful inaugural event in May, 2015; more than 100 exhibitors are already currently confirmed for CES Asia 2016, already exceeding the size of the original show floor. Notable companies early to sign in this curated exhibit space include: Audio-Technica, Continental Automotive Holding, Gibson Brands, IBM, Monster, SAIC-GM/OnStar, Scosche, Twitter, Volkswagen and Voxx.
“Exhibiting at CES Asia is an opportunity for both global and local companies to expand market share and increase profits in this critical market, especially important in times of economic volatility,” said Karen Chupka, senior vice president, CES and corporate business strategy. “Companies that haven’t established themselves in the Asian market can leverage CES Asia to catapult into this emerging hotbed.”
The expansion from two halls to four will create a dynamic show floor of more than 40,000 gross (20,000+ net) square meters of exhibit space. In order to qualify for space, exhibitors are subject to a highly selective application process and must be considered innovative and produce a branded product.
CES Asia brings together some of the most influential companies and thought leaders together in one location, allowing executives to see future trends and make business decisions. For 2016, the show expects more than 30,000 attendees, including 1,000 press and 350 exhibiting companies showcasing innovation across 14 product categories.
Audit numbers for the 2015 CES Asia show 28,682 attendees and 1,389 media over 21,875 gross square meters (9,525 net square meters) of exhibit space. With nearly 15 percent of attendees coming from outside of mainland China, the three-day event was a global celebration of technology geared towards the Asian market which featured high-level keynote speakers and included 52 conference sessions and 212 exhibiting companies from 16 countries. All of CES Asia’s show demographics and statistics are verified by a third party, independent audit, certified by the Exhibition and Event Industry Audit Commission (EEIAC). The full CES Asia Audit Summary will be available in October 2015.
Influential brands come to CES Asia to launch new products into the Asian market. From tech powerhouses to innovative startups, manufacturers, developers and suppliers showcase new products and create strong business relationships with new and existing industries.
For questions about exhibiting at CES Asia, contact Brian Moon at bmoon@CE.org or +1 703-907-4351.
About CEA: The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the technology trade association representing the $285 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry. More than 2,000 companies enjoy the benefits of CEA membership, including legislative and regulatory advocacy, market research, technical training and education, industry promotion, standards development and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA also owns and produces CES – The Global Stage for Innovation. All profits from CES are reinvested into CEA’s industry services. Find CEA online at CE.org and InnovationMovement.com.
About CES Asia: Owned and produced by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)® and co-produced by Intex, CES Asia is the premier event for the consumer technology industry, showcasing the full breadth and depth of the innovation value-chain in the Asian marketplace. Key global businesses come to this new event to grow and reinforce their brand by showcasing the latest products and technologies to CE industry executives, foreign buyers, international media and a limited number of consumers from China. Attendees have exclusive access to some of the largest brands from China and around the world, while celebrating the innovation that defines the CE industry.
About Intex: Intex is the sub joint venture company of CCPIT (China Council for the Promotion of International Trade) Shanghai, which started 1992. Intex is a prominent producer of international tradeshows in China, owning venues in Shanghai, and managing various exhibition venues outside of Shanghai. Intex Shanghai is the vice chairman of SCEIA, the Deputy Director of CAEC and the member of UFI. As the first venue management company that imported the first level pattern of management and experience in Shanghai, it is jointly invested by Shanghai Hongqiao E&T Development Zone United Development Co., Ltd., Council for the Promotion of International Trade Shanghai and Istithmar P&O Estates FZE. Intex was the first international exhibition center passing ISO9001 quality certification in China and has a stand-out reputation in the domestic exhibition industry.
• CES Unveiled Paris
October 21, 2015, Paris, France
• CEA Innovate!
November 8-10, 2015, New York, NY
• CE Hall of Fame Dinner
November 9, 2015, New York, NY
• CES Unveiled New York
November 10, 2015, New York, NY
• CES Unveiled Las Vegas
January 4, 2016, Las Vegas, NV
• CES 2016
January 6-9, 2016, Las Vegas, NV
• CEA Winter Break
March 21-24, 2016, Park City, UT
• CES Asia 2016
May 11-13, 2016, Shanghai, China
People in tech often compliment each other on their ‘hustle.’ As I understand it, complimenting someone’s hustle is analogous to congratulating them for their tendency to get sh*t done. Apparently ‘hustle’ is what the kids are calling a ‘work ethic’ these days.
Whatever you want to call it, success in startups boils down to a bias towards action and a machine-like calibration for efficacy: only the fast and the smart survive.
This Darwinian law has created an insatiable appetite in the market for SaaS solutions designed to facilitate startup hustle. Founders must have polymathic expertise in both their market and their industry. The latter compels you to understand what tools exist to improve your effectiveness and your speed to market. Not enough startups treat the process with the intellectual rigour it demands…it’s no surprise then that most startups fail.
With Dublin Startup Weekend less than three weeks away, Gravity Centres, asked me to compile an overview of some of my favourite bootstrapping tools to help the teams get an early leg up on their competition.
Using tools to help you work faster and smarter at Startup Weekend is a very good idea, but trying them out for the first time at Startup Weekend? Notsomuch. Most of the tools mentioned below have free tiers and free trials, allowing you to familiarize yourself with the product in advance and add significant value to your startup weekend projects.
To add a narrative element to what would otherwise be just a list of products, I’ve included a brief case study of a micro-project that I undertook a few weeks ago. Using only online tools, a lowly non-techie like myself was able to land at #5 on the HackerNews homepage within 20 mins of launch, become the most popular story of the day on the Next Web, and get hunted to Product Hunt within 2 hours.
So, use your 3 weeks wisely teams, and we look forward to complimenting you on your hustle at the finish line!
Startup Tools Case Study
Plz Don’t Hunt Me Yet
I’m intrigued by the idea of building ‘faux’ products in aid of your real commercial effort. I’ve heard this marketing technique also referred to as “Come for X, Stay for Y”. This could be a book, a tool, or a toy — anything that through a related or unrelated product, draws attention to your main gig.
With this in mind, I decided to see if I could build something in fewer than 4 hours, and with less than 20 bucks, with the ultimate goal of eventually being listed on Product Hunt. From this experimental question, the Plz Don’t Hunt Me Yet Badges were born.
Do the badges look a bit hokey? For sure.
But, did they fulfil the brief and get my primary product thousands of hits and dozens of beta signups? You betcha.
Briefly, the tools I used for PDHMY were:
- Tumblr: Free website hosting.
- Microsoft Word: To design mockups of each of the badges.
- Fiverr: I took my MS Word mockups and paid a designer $5 on Fiverr to convert each into hi-res image files.
- Typeform: I added a customized, embeddable Typeform to collect submission information from each lead.
- Canva: Used to design all my marketing and social network visuals.
- Buffer: To drip tweets over a week at strategic times of day.
- Rapportive: to quickly evaluate each new lead in terms of value and influence.
TL;DR: I spent 3.5 hours and $16.50 on the PDHMY experiment. My primary product — Tapir — is still in pre-launch, so we haven’t done any marketing yet. Since our existing site traffic was so low, the PDHMY attention made a huge impact (see below). The project was also buckets of fun.
And now for the more complete list of tools…A quick heads up, that you can’t build a list like this without making some subjective value judgments. At the end of the day, I’m a Mac, not a PC; a Stripe, not a Braintree; a Buffer, not a Hootsuite…you get the idea. Other options exist and I encourage you to tweet us your faves.
Multi-Purpose & General Bootstrapping Tools
- Product Hunt (Free) — Product Hunt is a startup kingmaker. Being listed on the PH homepage guarantees fame, fortune, and success. Well, maybe not the last two, but it does promise unprecedented attention for small startups. Read the comments when other products launch to find useful and common critiques that should be addressed in your own products. Suss out the best pre-launch marketing tactics and be inspired by the ingenuity of other makers. And if you need a specific tool for a job, PH should be your first port of call. It’s become a useful compendium of SaaS products, often with exclusive discounts applied for Product Hunters. Hiten Shah has also compiled a particularly good collection of free tools for startups.
- GrowthHackers (Free) — regardless of the startup bravado we exude, none of us are pros. By definition, startups must operate under conditions of extreme uncertainty. How well do you understand your market? How aware are you of effective growth tactics, theories, and methodologies? Learn from your peers, eliminate some uncertainty, and get your butt to GrowthHackers.
- Intercom (Free Plan & Free Trial) — Hometown heroes Intercom allow startups to send targeted email and in-app messages, triggered by time or behaviour. Once you become familiar with Intercom’s telltale question mark icon, you’ll notice their widget across the internet in the bottom righthand screen of your favourite startups. And for goodness sake, make sure that you’re following the Intercom blog.
- BetaList (Free) — How do you get beta users before you’ve even finished building your product? You join the likes of Pintrest, IFTTT, and Fab, by getting featured on BetaList before you launch. While you likely won’t have enough time during Startup Weekend to submit — expedited posting takes 72 hours — BetaList is an excellent resource for startups looking to design compelling landing pages. In fact, Marc (BetaList founder and one of the SW Dublin remote mentors) has compiled this handy document outlining How to Build a Successful Beta Landing Page.
- Typeform (Free Plan) — Boiled down, a lot of product development involves forms in one ‘form’ or another (pun verymuch intended).
From customer research, to onboarding, to payment and satisfaction surveys, forms are often the medium through which we connect with our audience.
So, why the heck did we ever settle for ugly, janky forms? Typeform is the form you need, when you need it, looking beautiful and asking awesomely.
Product Management & Communication
- Slack (Free Plan) — Slack may be the fastest growing enterprise app in history and it’s certainly one of the fastest startups to reach a billion dollar valuation. That last designation might be arbitrary as f*ck, but these superlatives arise from the product’s extreme utility as a team communication tool. I have a theory that a number of enterprises could forgo their silly corporate innovation programs, instead adopting Slack to achieve a better ROI. For oft-dispersed startup teams, operating across multiple time zones and functional areas, Slack is on a mission “to make your working life simpler, more pleasant, and more productive.”
- Trello (Free Plan) — Self-described as “the free, flexible, and visual way to organize anything with anyone,” Trello is many things to many people. Personally, I use Trello as a bookmarking tool, to track and sort online sources I want to come back to later, and ideas I want to blog about. Professionally, my co-founder and I use Trello as a project management tool to track each stage and milestone of Tapir’s development. I’ve also been toying with the idea of creating a Trello board to track and sort all of our beta user feedback.
- Peek User Testing (Free) — Peek provides free five minute user experience videos with real people from the interwebs. The current wait time for a video review is 2–3 days, though they sometimes arrive in only a few hours. Peek is a fun way to get a fresh perspective on your product. Just remember to take it with a grain of salt — it’s only the opinion of one person.
- Canva (Free — 1$) — I just recently learned that Guy Kawasaki is the Chief Evangelist at Canva. Makes sense, given how brilliant Canva is. Engagement rates skyrocket when you combine visual elements with your social networking content. Canva has the tools and templates you need to make it look like a professional was involved. Their ‘design school’ blog is also a terrific resource for those of us with questionable design aesthetics.
- Keynote (Free) — Getting an idea out of your head and communicating it to others is a vital step in the early validation stages of an MVP. If you’re familiar with the Google Ventures 5-Day Design Sprint, you know that Day 4 is devoted to creating a super-realistic prototype in just eight hours. While apps like InVision exist for solely this purpose, bootstrappers may also be drawn to the unconventional use of Keynote. Check out the GV guide to using the “world’s best prototyping tool.”
- Stock Up (Free) — Sure, you need to work fast, but as David Cancel says, “Ship It, but don’t Ship Shit.” There’s no excuse for startups to use terrible stock photos (let’s leave that to the big corporates). StockUp aggregates and makes searchable hundreds of free stock photo assets…free to use as you see fit.
- Fiverr ($5+ but get a free gig using this referral link) — Let me preface this tool with the age-old adage, “You get what you pay for.” Fiverr has a pretty simple pitch: get things done for $5 (though some tasks cost more). Suffice to say, buyer beware, but for simple rote tasks lacking in creativity, I’m down with Fiverr (and eventually you get used to all of the designers calling you ‘dear’).
Payments, Sales & Marketing
- Stripe (Fee per charge) — Stripe is web and mobile payments. So simple, so smart, so sexy. How many other APIs can you say that about? Stripe is unapologetically a tool built by developers for developers, combining functionality with intellectualism in a heady digital mix that’s difficult not to find appealing. Stripe understands that it’s god — not the devil — in the details. (And sure, their Irish origins make them even more likeable.)
- SlideBean (Free Plan) — Creating your Startup Weekend pitch deck is finicky and time-consuming. Why not give some thought to outsourcing the design elements to SlideBean. In addition to the option to start with a blank canvas, SlideBean offers pre-designed templates including the “3 Minute Startup Pitch” and a “10 Slide Investor Deck.” For inspiration, you can take a look at 10 SlideBean pitch decks from the most recent 500 Startups Demo Day.
- HARO (Free) — HARO, or Help A Reporter Out, is a mailing list that connects journalists looking for expertise with credible news sources. Email comes 3 times a day with time-sensitive requests for sources from diverse media outlets including Forbes, Fast Company, USA Today, and theNew York Times. Startups can use HARO to potentially garner international exposure by offering their domain expertise in topics like business, HR, travel, and lifestyle.
- Buffer (Free Plan) — Buffer is awesome (literally). As a startup, content is important, but devoting unnecessary hours to the administration of your social presence before your product is even built? Get a life. Buffer allows you to load up your tweets in advance and have them fired out atthe most strategic times throughout the week. I also, highly recommend the Buffer Chrome extension, allowing you to add content to your buffer queue directly from your browser.
- Rapportive (Free) — Rapportive shows you details about your contacts, right inside your Gmail inbox. I use Reportive to quickly evaluate beta list signups, to identify who is worth responding to immediately or tagging as a VIP. As an added bonus, it also helps you to discern when seemingly personal emails, might actually be part of a larger marketing campaign.
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
9. Co-Creation is very important when it comes to execution – David Tighe
8. Never be afraid to ask – Lisa Domican
7. Always remember to know nothing – Conor Nolan
6. Tell a story, goddammit – Ed Fidgeon Kavanagh
5. Have a killer tagline – Chico Charlesworth
4. Kill every bias and expectations; and when it comes to coding, less is more – Adrian Mihai
3. People are lazy and will keep doing the same thing, so build software that’d help them do things efficiently – Ian Lucey
2. Forget about the tech today and just focus on the consumer’s needs – Alex Beregszaszi
1. Focus on one thing and keep it simple – Paul Watson & Serena Fistch
All Photos credits to Compfight CC
November sure is a special time of year! Not only did President Obama officially declare it National Entrepreneurship Month, but the largest startup competition in the world, Global Startup Battle (GSB), is just nine days away! Taking place November 14-23rd, GSB 2014 marks the first time education entrepreneurs will have their own track within the competition to showcase their latest and greatest innovations. Titled Education, Empowered Track, nine of the biggest players in the edtech industry will be joining the public to determine the most promising new edtech startup of the competition.
The Largest Startup Competition in the World
Every year during Global Entrepreneurship Week, UP Global, gives entrepreneurs in over 250 cities around the world the opportunity to compete for prizes designed to help them move their startup forward. The competition is called Global Startup Battle (GSB), and past and present partners include Google, Coca Cola, Amazon, Sprint, Bigcommerce, and more. With over 30,000 people taking part this year, it will easily be our biggest GSB ever! Check out last year’s winners, as well as the GSB 2013 infographic, and be sure to visit the website to find out more about what you can expect from GSB this year.
The Education, Empowered Track is GSB’s First Education-Focused Contest
This year, Education Entrepreneurs and General Assembly are proud to be co-hosting the first ever Education, Empowered Track within GSB. Thousands of people at 10 Startup Weekend Education (SWEDU) events and over 200 general Startup Weekend events will be participating, and we expect more than 300 teams to be building solutions for education over the span of just 10 days. Ideas will be judged on four categories: Education Impact, User Experience, Execution, and Validation. (See here for full judging criteria). If you’re feeling disappointed by the current education offerings, have an idea to make things better, or want to contribute to the movement to innovate and improve education, then participating in the Education, Empowered Track is a great step for you to take.
Powerhouse Sponsors, Judges, and Prize Packages are Included
This year, we’re excited to announce that General Assembly is the official sponsor of the Education, Empowered Track. As one of the largest and most successful education organization’s in the world, General Assembly is excited to work with education entrepreneurs during GSB to improve the way people learn, increase access to education, and ensure that everyone is empowered to be a thinker and maker.
The Judges are also incredible! New Schools Venture Fund, Pearson Affordable Learning Fund, Edsurge, Class Dojo, and the Institute for Global and Online Education have all joined General Assembly to ensure participants get the opportunity to showcase their products to some of the biggest influencers in the space of education innovation. (See the full list of judges here).
$20,000 USD in General Assembly Courses, $5,000 USD Living Stipend, One-on-One Mentoring Sessions, 40 Hours of Support, Legal Startup Kit, and Social Media Super Powers. This is the current prize package, and there’s still more coming in every week! Organizations are eager to reward the brightest minds coming together to improve education, so be sure to check back before November 14th to see what awesome prizes are added!
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Anyone Can Participate
The GSB competition begins with a Startup Weekend event taking place during the 10-day span of GSB (November 14th-23rd). Dispersed throughout the world, these events welcome anyone and everyone to dabble in the world of entrepreneurship and work as a team to build an innovating new product and startup. Startup Weekend is known as the weekend-long experiential learning event that helps people turn their idea into a startup in less than 54 hours. The motto is No Talk, All Action, so if you have an idea that you want to pitch, or a desire to contribute your skills and ideas to an existing team, be sure to sign up to participate, before spots run out.
10 Startup Weekend Education (SWEDU) Events Are Taking Place During GSB
Anyone participating in a Startup Weekend event during GSB, who builds an edtech startup over the weekend, is eligible to participate in the Education, Empowered Track. It’s important to note that there are two types of Startup Weekend events: general Startup Weekend events are referred to as such, whereas Startup Weekend Education events are often times referred to as SWEDU. The elements that make a SWEDU event different from a Startup Weekend is that 25% of the participants are educators, all the Coaches and Judges at the event are experts in education and education technology, and all ideas being worked on over the weekend are specifically focused on solving an education problem. Both types of Startup Weekend events will be taking place during GSB, so irrespective of which type you sign up for, as long as you’re developing an education solution, you’re automatically eligible to participate in the Education, Empowered Track.
Here is a list of all GSB events, and below you’ll find the 10 events that are specifically SWEDUs.
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Education Entrepreneurship is Year-Round
Anyone who wants to innovate education gets a unique opportunity to participate in a Startup Weekend or SWEDU event during GSB and compete for awesome prizes and major international exposure! However, we want to make sure you know and understand that the opportunity to utilize entrepreneurship to solve problems in education is something you can do year-round. Education Entrepreneurs is the official community within UP Global that specifically focuses on leveraging entrepreneurship to improve education outcomes.
Recognizing that people aiming to innovate education face unique problems that require unique solutions, Education Entrepreneurs has created a suite of programs to specifically help education entrepreneurs along their journey. Programs include SWEDU, Startup Digest Education, bootcamps, meetups, resources, and a global network of Community Leaders who are eager to help. Located in all six major continents, Education Entrepreneurs makes it easy for anyone, anywhere to play an active role in shaping the future of education.
Learn more about the Education, Empowered Track
Check out what else is going on at Global Startup Battle
Follow all the Education, Empowered action on Twitter using hashtag #GSBedu
Got questions? Email EducationEntrepreneurs@up.co
Every year, I have the privilege of engaging with thousands of people around the world, as they embark on a unique journey to develop their very first startup. In this day and age, it’s no secret that launching a startup is one of the most arduous undertakings one can pursue. As a former startup founder, I know all too well how difficult the path of innovation, product market fit, team cohesion, and scaling can be. However, as a former startup founder, I also know that it can be an incredibly worthwhile and life-altering adventure, if you let it be.
Rather than publish another “Crap! This is really freakin’ hard!” article emphasizing how not-fun and not-easy entrepreneurship is, I decided to take a different approach. Below are eight quotes and tidbits of wisdom to help entrepreneurs approach their journey with a bit more optimism and perspective. And trust me, you’re going to need it.
Startups Are Worthwhile
You have to remember that startups are a worthwhile pursuit. It’s going to be an incredibly hard undertaking, but it’s totally worth it! The opportunity to solve long-standing and far-reaching problems, create things that never were, make a massive impact, positively change lives, and push our society forward. The possibilities are endless and the experience is priceless.
Appreciate the Process
Be patient people – with yourself and with others. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and in order for you to build the company of your dreams, you’re going to need to become the person that is capable of leading such a company, and that takes time. Some things happen when you want them to, and some things happen when they’re supposed to. Learn to trust the process.
Always Do Your Best
Yes, things aren’t always going to go smoothly. Yes, you may be questioning where you are right now, but do remember that it is critical you give your all to what this moment right now is requiring. You never know which experience may be that big break, so treat them all as though something great can come of it. Expect that good things will happen, and align your actions to be ready to receive them.
Invest in Relationships
A startup is a business, and a business is operated by people, and in order for your business to succeed, you have to be good at enlisting, investing in, and supporting others in their own personal journeys. There is no one who’s gotten to where they are on their own, so turn down that Beyonce “Me, Myself, and I” track, and go out and invest in building great relationships.
Keep it “100”
Why do it, if it doesn’t serve who you truly are? Sure we all make concessions at times to fit in and be accepted, but it’s up to you to decide where you draw the line. Who am I, really? What do I sincerely want? Get clear on those answers and choose to pursue ventures and work in places that align to that. Afterall, what’s the point of being here, if you’re not at least going to allow yourself to fully enjoy it by being the person you really are.
Now that you’ve gained a bit of clarity on who you are (and also who you’re not), it’s time to act. There’s no point in knowing, if you’re not going to act on that knowledge, so buck up, speak words, and carry out actions that align to your authentic self.
This comes into play most when you start questioning your choices. Am I 100% sure this strategy will work? Am I positive this is the best person to hire? Am I sure this is the right investor to partner with? None of us can predict the future, but you can do your best to make a decision based off what information you have in this moment. Accept that there is only so much you can know at a given time, and trust in your decisions at that time.
Take Personal Responsibility
At one point or another, things are going to hit the fan – it’s called life and it happens to all of us (sorry I didn’t write the rules; I’m just a messenger). A competitor may beat you to the punch, launching a feature your team has been working on for several months, a personal emergency may arise that requires you to step away from work for longer than you’d ever want to, or a key team member may leave, deciding this is no longer the path they want to pursue. Whatever the situation, recognize the power you do have to decide how you react to that situation.
As an entrepreneur, it can often times feel as though building a business is a never-ending cycle of obstacles to overcome. Sure it can be seen this way, or it can be seen as continual opportunities for personal growth and expansion. How you see it is your decision to make. Ultimately, life happens to all of us; it’s how we react to life that differs.
Know of any more great quotes or advice that should be shared? Add them in the comments section below.
Harry Kalogirou studied Computer Science at the University of Piraeus and did his masters in Software Engineering at the University of Ioannina. He possesses a wide range of interests and experience, from web development and databases to operating system design and implementation to 3D accelerated graphics and high performance algorithms. Since 2010 he founded the company “nlogn” and has produced and published three successful and award winning video games, across 4 mobile platforms.
Directions for Direction: How Startup Weekend DC Helped Us Find Our Way to Landmark
Written and contributed by Stephanie Nguyen, co-founder and VP of Design of Silica Labs, and co-founder of Landmark | Twitter: @nguyenist
Photo source: Landmark Blog
Startup Weekend DC was my first DC tech event. In fact, I loved it so much I participated in 3 of them. Little did I know I would meet one of my now co-founders, Marvin, the lawyer, in line for free pizza. Startup Weekend DC #2 I met Antonio, the physicist. After winning that weekend and gaining some traction a few weeks later, so was born Silica Labs. We had the right team but needed to focus our vision. For a year and a half, we were completely bootstrapped and working with clients all over the world. We tried many different angles and realized the key was to ensure we were solving a real problem.
Fast forward a few months and we participated in Startup Weekend DC #3. The morning of the event because I was lost among a sea of ivory, beige and antique-white colored DC buildings. In hopes that the map showed my actual location, I relied heavily on following a wandering blue dot. It was this that made me realize we found a problem.
Enter Landmark, a navigation app that provides a more intuitive way to walk using the buildings and landmarks around you. “Go toward Dupont Circle Fountain. Take a left when you see the Starbucks. In 4 blocks, take a right at Chipotle on 19th Street.” This simple concept came to us after realizing how many people experienced this moment: You emerge from the metro and your app tells you to go Northwest. You hope you took the right turn out of the metro, only to find that your phone re-calibrated. The blue dot is off-track. You’re lost. You’re frustrated. You turn around, retrace your steps and begin again.
The time is ripe. Landmark wasn’t possible before today. Now, we have smartphones with cameras, geotagging capabilities, and mapping data sources. There are 350 million photos posted on Facebook and 16 billion photos shared on Instagram everyday. We can now use those beautiful photos of our cities to help people navigate.
As we continue to build Landmark, we rely heavily on the support of the community willing to take photos and share them with us. We would love your help in making navigation beautiful and intuitive. Sign up to be a part of our closed beta today at www.landmarkdirections.com and we will send you a link to download the app. For more information on why we built Landmark, check out this blog post and follow us @golandmark.
In retrospect, spending a weekend (or three) helps you really know people, test your boundaries, find co-founders and develop startup ideas. Startup Weekend DC gave us the space to come together as a team and grow.
La semana pasada tuve la oportunidad de conocer una startup en San Francisco llamada Brigade. Lo único que se sabe hasta ahora de la misma es que nace de la necesidad de aprovechar el poder de la tecnología para fortalecer la democracia. El resto se mantiene en secreto ya que todavía faltan seis meses para el lanzamiento de su producto.
Algunas personas involucradas en ¨civic tech¨ predicen su fracaso basadas en las escasas o casi nulas experiencias de éxito de las startups que intentan fortalecer el compromiso cívico. Sin embargo Brigade cuenta con la ventaja de tener en su directorio a talentos de alto perfil como es el caso de Sean Parker (primer presidente de Facebook), además de contar con una inversión tres veces mayor a la que recibe cualquier startup del área en la misma etapa de desarrollo.
Según Matt Mahan – Director Ejecutivo de Brigade – la razón por la que decidió invertir su tiempo en solucionar problemas del sector público es debido a las inmensas oportunidades de impacto real que puede llegar a generar en la sociedad. El mismo explica que la tecnología ha ayudado a generar startups exitosas en varios sectores como el personal y profesional, donde se encuentran las plataformas sociales (Facebook, Twitter), de mensajería (Whatsapp), de comercio (Amazon), negocios en general o plataformas de alguna industria específica.
Por otro lado, en el Sector público o el ¨Sector olvidado¨ que comprende áreas como educación, caridad, ahorros, salud, elecciones y política entre otros, son pocas las startups que logran posicionarse como plataformas de millones o billones de usuarios y de grandes recaudaciones.
Lo que debe tener en cuenta una startup en el Sector Público para que sea exitosa y se desarrolle, según Matt Mahan, son los siguientes puntos:
1. Crear algo que las personas quieran o necesiten (y no algo que ¨deberían usar¨) a través de productos amigables y atractivos.
2. Tratar de entender los elementos ¨no tecnológicos¨ que influencian a las personas.
3. Intentar enfocarse y crear valor para el consumidor final.
El Sector Público es un sector poco explorado y las startups que se animen a insertarse en el mismo podrán tener oportunidades de crecimiento masivas si encuentran la manera de interesar y captar a los potenciales usuarios e inversionistas. Este es un reto que ha demostrado ser para nada fácil, pero que vale la pena intentarlo.
After a frantic 54 hours (one weekend) marathon, 20 teams prepared pitches in hopes of being chosen as the best Big Idea in fashion tech. Each had five minutes to deliver a deck to a panel of five judges. Winning this round advances the team to the Startup Weekend Fashion & Tech finals in Poland. The pressure at LIM College was real as organizers Pavan Bahl of OS Fashion and Andrew Young of Startup Weekend wrapped up last minute details to prepare for the moment we’d all been waiting for. Read on for the recap of the pitches, the judges’ feedback, and to see who took home First Prize.
Judges (from left to right)
David Freschman, CEO – FashInvest
Deanna Clark-Esposito, Partner – Fashion Compliance Law
Liz Bacelar Founder, President – Decoded Fashion
Kay Koplovitz, Founder – Springboard Enterprises
Jessica Mercedes Kirschner, Fashion Blogger
Christina Lila Wilson, Coordinator – New York Fashion Tech Lab (not pictured)
Privileged: Seeing an ever-rising need for on demand service and house calls, Privileged brings vetted beauty experts to your home to offer you beauty services. The app will match customers with stylists, based on the customers needs and availability.
Judges Feedback: “If you’re gonna do that, you better understand what you’re up against,” Liz Bacelar warned, referencing GlamSquad.
Pitches get shot down all the time – that is the nature of the process. For the NYC round, Privileged won the day. Which doesn’t mean that, no matter how hard one works and no matter how well-deserved the prize, when that Big Moment does come, the winner isn’t completely taken by surprise.
Privileged’s creator confessed to “pacing the street back and forth” nervously awaiting the results, only to walk back in after his team had been announced as the winner:
“This means so much,” he said, overwhelmed by the emotions of the moment. “I’ve been working jobs since I was 14 or 15 and have figured a lot of this out on my own…my business school was the streets.”
See the rest of the pitches + judges feedback in the gallery below.
This article was written by Sew Heidi, a fashion designer & educator and founder of Illustrator Stuff, an online marketplace for vector fashion downloads and originally appeared on AlleyWatch, a media property focused on entrepreneurship and startups.
Image credits: Spencer Kohn