Archive for the ‘Support’ Category

I’m at Startup Weekend London and have joined a team called Gameippy! We’re trying to build a startup in one weekend and could do with some support in terms of feedback, twitter follows (@gameippy) and facebook ‘likes’.  I’ll be posting updates on Startupcafe and on our twitter throughout the weekend – any feedback or messages of support will be gratefully received!

Gameippy.com is a portal where consumers can find fun games to play to win discounts and prizes from their favourite brands!

It is also a platform for brands to engage innovatively with consumers and deliver promotions through mobile games.

Why should brands use our platform as opposed to only their website?

  • For exposure to a greater audience than just those that would normally visit their websites
  • To cultivate goodwill with customers by engaging with them in a fun and rewarding way
  • Players will be able to share the games they like with their friends
  • Players can rate games resulting in rankings that show companies how they are performing
  • Companies will be able to ‘feature’ their games

Wanted: we need some feedback from companies, and agencies who are responsible for delivering campaigns for big brands.  Please spend 60 seconds to answer a few questions:


Thanks folks!  🙂

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There is still a week left if you would like your web or mobile-based startup to apply to Springboard London, a start-up accelerator programme that offers seed capital, office space, a community of entrepreneurs as well as introductions to investors and mentors.

For 13 weeks you will be put through your paces whilst receiving intensive mentoring and business support.  The programme will culminate in an Investor Day where you’ll get to strut your stuff in front of venture capitalists and angel investors.

2011 saw Springboard support startups such as Tastebuds.fm, a music-taste based dating site, apiary.io which helps companies build web APIs quickly and (more…)

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The Art of the Cold Email

We all have to do it at some point… yep, it’s the cold email. Whether you’re going to a new trade show, or you’re looking for investment, you have to send that initial email. I’m not exactly an expert when it comes to cold emailing, so I thought I would ask the internet, and dug up a really interesting template from Thomas Korte – an angel based in San Fran:

  • Who are you and where are you located?
    Hi Thomas,
    I am a engineering student at MIT, I will graduate in 2010 and ….
  • How do you know me or who introduced you?
    … I saw your presentation about “social search developments at Google” when you visited MIT in 2007….
  • Why are you writing to me? What is your idea/ product/ vision/ company?
    This is your elevator pitch – do yourself a favor and spend $9 on the Pitching Hacks book.
    … Inspired by your presentation, I started to work on a product that aggregates a user social graph (FB, LN, Friendfeed), analyzes the content of posts to determine the users subject knowledge and uses that information to rank users for specific subjects. So, imagine you need to plan a wedding: You just login to FB and find your friend most likely to be helpful with weddings. Your friend might not even be aware that he/she is the most knowledgeable person you know about the subject matter in your social graph …. (more…)

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This is a guest post by Graham Mainds who is part of Edinburgh City Libraries. In this guest post, Graham highlights all the resources you can get access to when you’re starting your business.

It’s made of plastic, you keep it in your purse or wallet and it could mean the difference between your startup failing and succeeding. What is it? A library card. And you can enjoy the benefits without ever setting foot in a library.

Libraries have always had a key role in enabling investment and growth in our city, and we’re always looking at new and innovative ways of providing the information businesses need to succeed. (more…)

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Nurturing startups in the North East of England, The Difference Engine is an awesome new incubator programme ready to hear from Scottish entrepreneurs. They’ve made it through the first incubation round with nine cool digital companies supported, and now’s the time to secure a spot in the second batch (apply by 23rd July)! We absolutely loved The Difference Engine at Edinburgh TechMeetup this week, and their announcement is below with application details:

The mentor-lead accelerator program, The Difference Engine, started earlier this year, has opened applications for its second programme. Successful applicants will earn themselves £20k of seed capital and a place on an intensive 13 week mentoring programme (20 September – 17 December, 2010), in exchange for an 8% equity share. (more…)

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This week, we’re very lucky to have Alex Ogilvie – a well-known figure around the University – as a guest blogger. Having been on “best exhibition stand” judging panels, we thought Alex would be perfectly placed to offer up tips to anyone exhibiting at the upcoming EIE 10 event on 12th May. You can check out Alex’s business at Webwise Business, and the Objective Associates blog that he runs.

1995 was the first time we ever exhibited at a conference/trade show. A bit of a disaster really – completely unprepared – we must have looked like the Beverly Hillbillies. Strangely though we won a huge order on the back of the show – which just goes to show, that sometimes it’s all about turning up rather than having the best football boots.

Trade shows don’t guarantee new or indeed any business, but if you’re a virgin exhibitionist how do you get the most out of a trade show? Shows come in all shapes and sizes so do a bit of research first – nonetheless here are some things that we have done over the years to try and get a return:


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Got a problem you’d like to share?  Why not let us soothe you with an opinion or two, StartupCafe-style?  Being an entrepreneur can be lonely at times – you’ve got to keep your self-belief and motivation when those around you succumb to doubt or don’t quite ‘get’ your vision.  Let us be an online shoulder to cry on.  Perhaps you’ve just started working for a small start-up and find it’s not quite what you expected…tell us about it and we’ll see what nuggets of wisdom we can share.

Problems may range from the serious:  “So I’ve finally got customers but can’t seem to extract money out of them for services/goods provided.  How can I get them to pay without damaging the relationships I’ve worked hard to build?”  to the deliciously absurd: “My boss thinks he’s a hamster and I’m concerned about the impact that this is going to have on our company…should I raise this as an agenda item in the next team meeting?” (more…)

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icassSo you’ve got a product. You want to commercialise it but don’t know what your rights are regarding your intellectual property (IP)?

The Innovators Counselling and Advisory Service for Scotland (ICASS) is an independent organisation funded by the Scottish Government to provide a free, impartial and confidential service to businesses regarding their IP. Accroding to their website, they are strictly an advisory service. (more…)

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john_logie_bairdThis evening, Jessica, Thomas and I were at the launch of the 2009 John Logie Baird awards.  The short version: the JLB awards are for entrepreneurs with an innovative product with commercial potential. The long version: the word “awards” is quite mis-leading, as it seems like the winners have a whole bundle of support in helping to realise their idea/product into commercial success. From the launch speech, there were roughly 440 applicants last year, with something near 250 through the process.  Last year’s top Young Innovators were StartupCafe favorites Fraser Doherty (Superjam) and Amanda Jones & James Brown (RedButtonDesign). (more…)

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Scottish Institute for EnterpriseEvery year, the Scottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE) places a few keen students in every higher education institution in Scotland to discuss and promote entrepreneurship amongst the student community. The 40ish strong team markets the services and events offered by the Universities and SIE such as mentoring, workshops, competitions, talks, and other seminars. (more…)

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