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Good Morning! Today at Digital Shoreditch is all about startups and funding, and will be jampacked full of fantastic new start ups pitching their ideas to try and make a break in today’s fast moving digital industry.
Highlights of the day will include a presentation by Marcus Stuttard from the London Stock Exchange this afternoon at 15:20, giving us an insight into the markets. This couldn’t be more topical with the current furore over Facebook’s entry to NASDAQ last week, which has seen its value drop by 20% in the first four days of trading. This will be followed by a talk with Jeff Lynn, founder of Seedrs, an online platform that can help start ups raise capital quickly through crowd funding.
Our team of reporters have their ears open to catch all the best ideas coming out of DS12′s big top, so stay with us throughout the day and follow our Twitter feed at the hashtag #dscity
16:30 We will be back tomorrow to report on Day 5 – Identity – Thanks for reading!
16:15 Stories from our team of reporters here at DS12 are flying in!
Sarah Collins tells us more about Night Zoo Keeper, a digital platform allowing children to express their creativity.
Catalina Albeanu talked to Leonardo Castellanos about the London City Incubator - a virtual environment where he brings interns with different backgrounds together to work on life projects.
And David Martin found out about a new augmented reality app – Hackney Hear.
15:54 Stuttard winds up the session by saying the most important thing about the markets and crowd funding platforms is to get startups exposure – anything so they are not alone in the big wide world.
15:50 Stuttart has joined Lynn on stage for questions. He says that going public too early can be dangerous – it is important for startups to have access to many different forms of funding.
15:41 He uses Eduardo Saverin, co-founder of Facebook, as an example that finding one successful startup can bring massive rewards. He has invested in many less successful businesses since Facebook, but it is just the one that has brought him the big returns. Lynn also stresses that tax breaks of up to 78% really make investing worth it and less risky.
15:40 Lynn says startups do well because they can easily adapt to changes in the market – more tricky for an established business.
15:36 There are many reasons to invest in startups – you can make big money if you find a success. It is also fun to be a “dragon”, says Lynn. He just showed us a video of Steve Jobs pitching the iPad to BBC’s Dragons Den. Very funny.
15:30 Lynn says that an issue new platforms often face is getting consent from hundreds of their investors. With this form of crowd funding, this problem is eradicated.
15:29 Seedrs allows investors to give startups anything from £10 to £150,000 for equity in the company.
15:27 Lynn says they set out to give startups access to investors. He says that the stage businesses that use Seedrs are at are often too early in their development for angels to get involved.
15:25 Next up is Jeff Lynn from Seedrs – an online platform that can help businesses raise money through crowdfunding.
Lynn says they are similar to Kickstarter – but with equity rather than non-monetary rewards.
15:23 Raising capital helps increase turnover and allows companies to innovate and expand. Stuttart has winded up his speech because of the heat, but we will be chasing him down for even more advice on how the stock market can help tech startups grow.
15:21 Most businesses on the market have a value of £5million to £1billion, after which they often move onto one of the other markets.
15:17 Floating on the market doesn’t just bring capital, but also increases exposure of your business. He says companies on AIM don’t just make money through their IPO – they continue to make money – £4.5billion made by companies on AIM last year.
15:15 Studdard says LSE is pretty unique in offering a range of different markets – from the FTSE 100 to AIM. One of their main aims is to be central in growing the economy.
15:00 Marcus Stuttard is the head of the AIM market – the most successful growth market in the world. Since its launch in 1995, over 3000 companies from across the globe have chosen to join AIM. He’s going to be giving todays attendees advice on how getting onto a public market can really help them grow.
14:40 While we’re getting reading for this afternoon’s speeches on the London Stock Exchange and crowd funding, here is a final pitch from Lalah-Simone Springer:
3D Solar Social Player
Ever hear a song that you were just dying to share, but couldn’t be bothered to go through the rigmarole of copy-pasting the link into your favourite social networking site?
That’s where 3D Solar Social Player comes in.
It’s a platform where you can share books, music or whatever media you fancy with your friends, while the programme builds up an emotional profile, adding interactivity to tracks without altering the original.
14:30 Some more startup pitches from David Martin:
The way we listen to music is changing all the time. The music industry is realising that it has got to change as well. LiveMusicStage.com might just be the next big revolution on the horizon.
LiveMusicStage.com live streams events and exclusive performances, so fans can experience a live gig happening on the other side of the globe while sitting comfortably in their living rooms. But this new platform might also provide musicians with a cost-efficient way of performing to their loyal fanbase.
The service also promises an interactive experience between fans and musician. But can you only request songs, or can you also tweet the lead singer, urging them to smash their guitar and jump into the drum set? I want to know!
Night Zoo Keeper
The idea behind Night Zoo Keeper reverses the traditional idea of children as simply consumers of content and gives them the opportunity to do the creative work themselves. After all, kids have more creative imaginations then any of us do.
Kids can draw magical animals on phones and tablets, upload them to the website and write the accompanying story.
But Night Zoo Keeper also offers a number of teaching resources as well, to both schools and parents, helping teach children to read and write. And because Night Zoo Keeper is all digital, kids and continue writing and drawing their adventures once they get home from school, too.
13:40 Sarah Collins reports on a new platform for novelists:
Yvonne Biggins pitches her startup Movellas. It’s a website that’s a combination of social networking and publishing. Young authors can post their novels or writing on the website and other users can read it and give their feedback (just like what Dickens did).
One of the top authors on the site got over 30,000 hits. It’s a different way of social networking that allows users to engage in intelligent conversations about their own work.
And a new “dating site” to connect businesspeople for lunch:
Hungry? Want to meet a new business partner? How about the online world? Everyone’s social networking on linkedin to promote themselves in the business world. So how about combining the two and getting a website that lets you meet up with people in the area to talk about business over lunch? Getlunched.com is a new website which is allowing people to do just that – and they’re looking for investment to take their business to the States.
13:25 Lalah-Simone Springer has some more great pitches coming from the stage:
Keeping people connected
How do families arrange events when the kids leave home, or even worse, the country? Gift buying can be even worse – sending links to Amazon products is essentially a demand.
That’s where Family Fridge comes in. It’s a private place where people can update contact lists and buy gifts – direct from the website.
There’s nothing like Family Fridge in the UK. It was even featured on Channel 4 programme Home of the Future as the slightly sci-fi way future families kept connected.
Company save with coupons?
With shows like Extreme Couponing on TV and the economic downturn, coupons are now big business.
But what consumers don’t realise is that it costs companies a huge amount to make and process them – it can cost up to £1.50 to make a coupon which saves just 50p!
By using Sparkle Coupon Services, companies could save up £200million, using a cloud service which will stream the coupons direct to their customers – saving huge amounts of wastage in the process.
13:10 One of the interesting ways people are connecting are using these notes:
The idea is that if an investor is interested, they’ll pass a few of these notes onto one of the startups pitching today. A nice idea, but I’m sure they’d prefer the real stuff!
13:00 Catalina Albeanu and Rosemary Nankabirwa have just filed this story on PixelPin, a way of using pictures instead of long text passwords. An interesting concept which creator Brian Taylor hopes will attract investors in the Big Top today.
12:45 David Martin reports:
Zondle seeks to make education more fun and accessible for young children by throwing gaming and social networking into the mix.
The website and application empowers teachers, parents and students themselves to create games that cater exactly to the learning experiences they are seeking.
After launching last year, Zondle already boasts up to 70,000 registered users, increasing at a rate of roughly 500 people per day.
Augmented reality seeks to change the way we look at the world. That much we know. But can it also change the way we hear it?
According to Matt Hill, pitching Hackney Hear, it sure can. In fact, the future of augmented reality is indeed audio.
With Hackney Hear, an application that triggers audio based on your location, the listener can hear up to 400 different stories as they walk through the area. These include the 1980s squatting scene and gang etiquette.
The people behind the application have also partnered with Sony as a community partner, training a new generation of podcasters in Hackney
Seek and Adore
Seek and Adore seeks to fill two voids in the fashion industry. It offers a platform for designers looking for their big break and offers consumers new and unique clothing they would struggle to find anywhere else.
How? By simply bridging the gap between designer and consumer.
The website lets you, the consumer, meet the makers. Designers are profiled, interviewed and filmed as they create.
Although still in its infancy, Hatty Fawcett, the site’s creator, hopes that with the right investment, it caters to over 100,000 up-and-coming designers.
12:35 Lalah Simone-Springer has some more:
Accessing conversation power
Chatterbox is a young company that has studied social networks to find out how to access a hidden goldmine for brands – conversations.
When something is a hot topic, it can seem like everyone’s talking about it. It’s all over the wall, or the feed. But when businesses want to access this information, they find that much of it amounts to: “Yeah, I like that too.”
That’s where Chatterbox comes in. The company, now in beta testing, find information that other analytics companies seem to miss – analysing conversations, not just the explicit mentions.
Making investors invest
Dominic Fiore from Fitz and Law offers his top tips from to get investment for your start-up. One of the most important things in creating a successful business is having a sustainable, viable business model.
Of course, it’s great to have big dreams, but if they‘re not backed up with realistic statistics which take pay attention the competition, investors will not be interested. Another thing that turns off investors is a lack of awareness of what your company brings to the table. Be aware of your assets, unique selling point and what you can give.
And when it comes to the amount of your company to be given away? Fiore simply said: “Obviously, as little as possible.” People wanting to start a business often do not consider that asking family and friends to help is just as useful as getting it from a bank – and the lack of interest is a relief, too.
Here’s the run down.
- Know your competition
- Have a sustainable business model
- Know what you expectations – and what you bring
- Make sure your team is solid
- KEEP. IT. SIMPLE.
12:25 Sarah Collins brings us a round up of some of this mornings pitches:
Phoster: Hunt Cool and Prosper
Do you think internet shopping is getting a bit boring? Why not make it more fun, turn it into a game?
Well that’s just what startup Phoster are doing. They are taking the online and offline worlds and connecting them in a playful game. Users take photos in the offline world of something they desire, then the online world creates links to these products, gaining points for doing so. Vaughn Blake pitched this company today at Digital Shoreditch. He said that they were “creating an environment where competition is encouraged and awarded.”
The digital world is interactive, everything on the internet is clickable, or at least – nearly everything is.
Videos aren’t quite there yet, which is what starter wireWAX are doing. They turn the passive pixels of videos into interactive links. Float your mouse over someone’s top and you can see where it’s from and who created it. wireWAX adds clickable hotspots to videos. Already Ripcurl, Nike and Tommy Hilfiger are using them. Steve pitched his company to Digital Shoreditch. He said: “Video as a medium has remained passive, a lean back experience. It’s the last asset that isn’t really truly digital.”
They’re looking to break the mould and let the world click on everything.
Breaking the Fourth Wall.
Alfred Hitchcock broke out of theatre to the new media of his time. Film. But what is the new media of today?
Julian Mccrea, of the Doctor Who generation sat back and asked himself. “What would Alfred Hitchcock tell today? I don’t think it would be a film.”
That the new media, he believes, is immersive entertainment. It’s premium content, which costs more than films or games. Instead of the person having to go out and find the content, the content comes to them. The entertainment judges a person’s emotion and changes the story based on that.
They’ve partnered up with CISCO and a team of thriller writers to try and involve their audiences in a tailor made experience.
12:15 Tooth says that the European Union should be bringing in tax break schemes across the continent from 2014, which she hopes will increase the number of angel groups investing in startups and make it easier for new companies to find investors.
12:07 An audience member asks how often the panel come across a profitable startup – Sage says he wouldn’t class it as a startup if it is already making profit. He says revenues are important in proving interest in your product, but they look more at the future potential and development opportunity.
11:59 Pajree is talking about the importance of events like today and groups including London Business Angels for finding investors. Sage agrees that networking events are great for meeting people face to face to spread the word of what you’re doing.
11:52 Jenny Tooth says that getting an angel investor in at an early stage – even just when you have a prototype product – can be crucial. She says with current tax breaks, more and more angel investors will be willing to help a startup to get off the ground.
11:50 Anil Pajree is talking about his investment in Shazam, the music identifying mobile application. He says that the capital required to launch a successful digital business is one tenth of what it was a decade ago.
11:47 Scott Sage says it is important in a pitch to tell a story – get your core highlights straight. Give your three to four strongest selling points. Address your own hesitations so you don’t appear naïve to investors. Tell investors what you want them to take from each section of your presentation. It is important to have a good flow through your presentation – it has to all stick. Don’t come across as awkward and boring, and be passionate about what you are selling.
11:45 Jason Ball says not to believe your own hype too much. You don’t need to move to San Francisco to be a success, it is better to stay here in Europe to raise some capital before getting too big for your boots.
11:43 From our reporter Lalah on Twitter:
11:41 First up we have a panel discussion on early stage funding for businesses. On the stage we have Jenny Tooth, co-founder of London Business Angels, Jason Ball from Qualcomm Ventures, who work in the wireless communications industry, Scott Sage from DFJ Esprit and Anil Hansjee, an angel investor and advisor. They will be giving their tips on pitching and gaining success at an early stage. For those who are unfamiliar with the concept of angels, they are affluent individuals who provides capital for a startup, usually in exchange for ownership equity.
Looking for a job in the digital sector? We’re here at the third day of Digital Shoreditch, and today it’s all about jobs. Representatives from companies including Bloomberg, Financial Times, Mozilla and Milkround are here to share their knowledge and give jobseekers their advice on how to make a break in the digital industry.
Mentoring sessions, CV advice, portfolio reviews from some of the top creative studios in Shoreditch and a career fair, today has got it all. This page will be updated throughout the day with updates from our team of roving reporters, hunting down the top tips from employers so you don’t have to.
16:00 The workshops are done and the students are pouring out to go home and create their superstar CVs. That or enjoy today’s beautiful weather. We will be back tomorrow to cover CAPITAL – a day about startups and funding in today’s digital market. Good day!
15:33 Perhaps the oddest freebie of the day:
15:22 We’ve been catching up with some of those hunting for jobs today.
Bartek Odias is looking for a career in web programming. He has found today helpful for sprucing up his portfolio, and believes today’s fair will help him get the job he is looking for.
“It is important to show off a whole range of your talents, and to show off your latest work to how you are up to date with the latest tech developments,” he said.
Ting Ting Zhao’s background was in reserch, and was struggling to show off her work through a portfolio. Talking to employers today has given her the confidence and knowledge of how to show her talents through a portfolio.
14:20 Tahmina just talked to Emma Haslam from Red Market Media. She had these top tips to make sure that your CV stands out from the crowd:
- Make sure your CV isn’t garish – plain black and white will do.
- NO SPELLING MISTAKES – it’s the most common reason a CV is instantly rejected.
- Change your CV and cover letter to reflect the position you are applying for – one size doesn’t fit all.
Look out for a full write up of what she found out shortly.
13:30 We just talked to Unruly Media – the company behind popular viral adverts such as T-Mobile’s royal wedding flashmob, and Old Spice’s “Man Your Man Could Smell Like” They look for passionate, social, “A plus” candidates to join their team creating these stunning videos. They also have the best free cakes at the fair.
13.16 The careers day is well underway with people hovering around the stands waiting for their chance to engage with the companies and potential employers. Bloomberg, Milkround and Enternships are just some of the organisations here to provide advice, suggestions and support for people who want to get a job after graduation or those who want to change roles.
13.13 The Tech City area is much cooler than the tent, so all those who have been around the exhibitions and the careers stands can come in here and rest, work, network and collaborate.
13.08 – Our reporters at DS12 decided to re-use Hyper Island’s post-it notes from their interactive workshop and create an art installation around Cleide’s body.
Think of it as an idea personified! – Cleide
12:07 Hyper Island is now telling us how important it is to work hard – but play hard as well. They stress the importance of an environment where new ideas can be experimented without fear of failure. It is all about learning through experience, teamwork and networking.
12:00 Some of the post-its placed together are not such an obvious match. Spotify, for example, could help other brands with its knowledge of database creation – showing that unlikely collaborations can be useful.
11:55 The mash up has begun. Some interesting ideas are being discussed - Kindlegram, a mix of Amazon’s Kindle e-reader and popular photo platform Instagram. Another possibility is a mashup between Skype and Lovefilm, enabling users to watch films together online, even if they aren’t in the same room.
11:51: The wall is filling up…
11:50: From our reporter Cleide on Twitter:
11:44 Participants have been given a pile of post-it notes, and have been asked to cover the wall with names of technologies, apps and websites, no matter how obscure. They are then going to be “mashed up”.
11:40 We’re moving onto the idea of mashups – the word first used to describe two songs mixed together. The students leading the workshop say this term has now moved into technology and invention – a roll on deodorant is only possible due to ideas first used in the ballpoint pen.
11:34 The workshop has started – and everyone is on their feet. To work together, people first need to get to know each other. To break the ice, people are sharing what the first album they bought was. Some interesting choices, from the Spice Girls, to Ace of Base and Natalie Imbruglia.
11:10 Our first talk of the day is a workshop on mashing up different ways of being creative and generating ideas from Hyper Island. It will touch on how crowd sourcing and collaboration are key attributes of working in the digital industry. To get an idea of what they are about, check out this video.