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http://www.techcityuk.com/entrepreneurs_festival/

I recently speed mentored at RichMix, Shoreditch, London on the first day of this event, pulled together admirably for UK Government (Trade & Industry), by SpringBoard.com.

I met several different online start-ups, from a wide variety of International/European businesses and sectors, but sadly none of the winners below, on the day I was there.

Entrepreneurs Festival Awards

Best Pitch - PlayMob

Most Creative - Physical Pixels

Most Disruptive Tech - Blottr

Best Technology - Inspiring.Travel

Most Promising Business - Kusiri

Rockstar Entrepreneur - Rate that Curry

Overall Entrepreneur of the Festival - Ovelin

Here’s a plug for some of those that I met:

http://www.Twainit.com - Social qualitative research presented by Twain Liu

http://www.wellbeinginthecity.me - off/online London based well being community run by Scot Claire Beegan

www.e-signus.com - Innovative banking security smart card from Las Palmas in the Canary Islands, presented by Fernando de a Puente

http://www.imbarco.com- CRM for small businesses presented by Fabrizio Bartolini from Italy

http://www.viap.tv - Product Placement interactive technology presented by UK based French Man Julien Mignonac

http://www.internavenue.com - digital milk round idea presented by Founder/CEO Dupsy Abiola

http://www.upd8ted.com - Upselling every event in the world in real time, presented by Stella English

http://www.4d3studio.com - Online animation studio presented by Victor Marrero from Tenerife

http://www.leemail.me Personal editing/security tool to add or remove email addresses in your inbox, presented by London based New Yorker Lee Morgenroth.

http://www.fantastec.fi - Cool online games for under 5’s with an educational emphasis linked to national early learning curriculum presented by Founder Juha Vaisanen from Finland

Also, without web addresses:

Aleksey Vesleovsky from Russia, presented his business in artificial design ideas for web printing.

Canadian banking and online security expert Douglas Ferguson, who I hope will help e-signus.com!

Diogo Horta e Costa from Lisbon, Managing Partner in Biodroid Entertainment, talked about his consumer and corporate games business.

So many overseas players looking to bring their expertise to London, and some great home grown ideas too. Looking forward to reviewing these with other mentors at the proposed catch up event in early 2012.

In this emerging multi screen world - who controls who?

£35.00 seemed reasonable to hear about technology convergence development between TV, devices and social media. I knew the audience would be primarily drawn from the tech development sector, as it was held at Innovation Warehouse in Smithfield, London, a new digital start up hub. I did not recognise any TV people that I know. Tony Fish of MashUp* did a good job playing Devils Advocate.

The Speakers were:

Anthony Rose - Co-Founder and COO of Zeebox - www.zeebox.com

Anthony was previously responsible for iPlayer development for the BBC and worked on the YouView project. The development and broadcasting community is keen to see what he comes up with. He has spoken at various conferences this year, and I was pleased to meet him and hear about his work. Anthony's business is due to launch an innovative service this autumn. The free zeebox app automatically syncs your iPad, phone or computer with your TV, shares your viewing and shows you what your friends are watching in real time. You can connect and chat around any TV programme, interact with live shows and get more info about any person, thing or topic on air. You can even buy anything on screen with a single click. We call this "augmented TV".

David Bloom - Commercial Director of IP Vision - www.ipvision-uk.tv

Owners of Fetchtv.com, www.fetchtv.co.uk. An additional set top box offering consumers on demand options, BBC iPlayer access and distribution of some Sky services.

Tom Weiss - CEO of TV Genius

A TV recommendation engine, a personalised, digital TV/Radio times

The discussion was about who owns who in a multi device world. First run broadcast material (also plus channels and first re-runs), remains a very valuable commodity, with TV audiences ever stronger. Broadcasters are firmly in control of TV screens. But who owns who on second devices, tablets, mobiles etc? Again, so long as the rights are in place, and the distribution deals are well negotiated, I cannot see how content owners cannot win out on time shifted viewing and personal scheduling of their content. But others, like all the Panel member companies, will build up subscription revenue streams from their new services, maybe ad revenue too, particularly as social ad revenue grows, but others like FaceBook, Google +, Twitter etc will do well here.

I'm sure that Advertisers and their Agencies are reassessing engagement during ad breaks now that some consumers are multi tasking with tablets and mobiles at the same time. Consumers are savvy about fast forwarding through recorded content. I would seriously look at reducing ad minutage/sponsorship idents in prime time, recoup losses by increasing prices, and create even more relevant ad breaks for consumers to engage with, plus work on new innovative interactive options for Advertisers on 2nd screens.

It is more than 10 years since digital TV launched in the UK, and my service provider, Sky EPG is looking rather dated. In my house, with big sports fans, Sky is essential. The SkyPlus service was a step forward, but has not kept up with consumer demand, for example limitations on watching a third programme whilst 2 others are being recorded on the living room TV, and woe betide the person who deletes an item to make space to record what they want to view, as storage is limited! So loads of room for improvement, which might come from Broadcasters, after all it was the BBC who brought us the iPlayer, and Sky that has brought so much innovation over the past 20 years, or perhaps it will be that new Broadcaster, Google?

The discussion touched on Google's intention to move their tanks further from the digital market (13% share of global advertising 2011), into the 46% share of global advertising that TV currently enjoys (source Carat). Google are extending their assets further with the recent launch of User friendly Google+, their social product. Search was not considered to be a suitable tool for finding content, as consumers are more likely to be put off by not finding what they want, hence the development of services like ZeeBox, but I'm sure that Google is working on something similar.

Tess Alps, CEO of ThinkBox, the central marketing body for commercial TV in the UK, is right to be wary of "Greeks bearing gifts" with regard to her recent open letter to Eric Schmidt CEO of Google, http://bit.ly/nAxEjV. From no fault of their own, except their superior technical genius, Google does tend to marginalise partners. I once worked for Ask.com, then Google's largest global search partner, later on trumped by AOL. Both partner organisations now have a much smaller share of their respective markets, but still revenue growth through their Google partnerships. Google have signalled their intention to become a original content producer, (they are already a Broadcaster via YouTube). They have the expertise to design access tools to update the entire ecosystem, that's if innovators like ZeeBox and others are not run away successes first.

The latest TV Wall technology was mentioned, as this was unveiled at IBC in Amsterdam recently. It's certainly created quite a buzz.

IBC: Wall-sized displays suggest higher-def TV

I don't think there were any conclusions drawn from the event, but I enjoyed the discussion about existing and upcoming disruption, and hope that they follow this up in a few months time.

“Understanding Social Marketing”

I attended a presentation on social marketing, featuring:

  • Comufy, a enterprise social marketing business that I have advised,
  • Agillic, a technology company, (previously unknown to me) providing marketing communication tools to reach consumers across multiple online & offline channels
  • eConsultancy, the Online research business.

There seemed to be a lot of Brand Marketers and Agencies in the audience. Last week I was involved in a discussion with a senior digital manager from the Greater London Authority, so I wondered if anyone from the public sector was invited along today. Post the summer riots, significant consideration of social marketing issues is underway in the public sector, and it would be great for them to find out about companies like Comufy, Agillic and others, and to consider their tools as part of their social communications strategy. Great opportunities exist in the public sector too for social marketing tech businesses.

First off, Jake Hird of eConsultancy set the scene with research, followed by Phil Mohr CEO of Comufy, and then Turlough Martin, MD Agillic.

Social Marketing offers 3 things:

  • A Listening Platform
  • Interaction
  • A Sales Channel

All of this provides data. Data is the new oil, but to be put to good use it needs refining and to be processed, and for that to happen you need businesses like Comufy and Agillic. These two companies are collaborating by combining Comufy’s targeted social marketing tools into Agillic’s data rich streams from multiple channels. Comufy requires consumers to opt in just once, to allow brands to communicate personally with them on a broadcast, segmented, but importantly an individual targeted relevant basis, offering dynamic content and incentives like prize draws, VIP Clubs, discounts etc., from brands in return. It provides trackable links so ROI is easily available, and it allows for e-commerce prompts for abandoned baskets and reminders on interested items.

It also provides a rich stream of customer data back to Marketers, from the information supplied by users via their Facebook and other profiles. Agillic have offered a free trial for Marketers, to test out the Agillic Online services for up selling and cross selling. The end game is a dashboard joining all interactive channels together, both online and offline, with fast communication of consumer feedback across all interested data points up to reaction to stock prices. Ambitious perhaps, given how many companies and organisations still do not integrate social information, but at the other end of the spectrum sophisticated consumers expect marketers to join up the dots and ensure that all their consumer communications are relevant and targeted today. In the bar afterwards, this was certainly the view of Agency people I talked to, from their brand clients. Innovation means staying close to customer feedback.

In the Q & A, issues of security arose. With so much data going through one system, this is an area of great sensitivity, with some financial businesses regarding social data not to be compliant with their “risk” code. Upcoming change in EU cookie legislation was also discussed, with mixed views of whether this would have a negative impact or not. Consensus from the discussion yesterday is that there is time to consider this, as it is over a year until this change will take place. However, a participant working on this, recommended careful consideration of T’s & C’s now to avoid problems down the line. Lovely to see Claire Paterson, Managing Partner of Proximity London, a former colleague, at this event.

The Preview Theatre at The Charlotte Street Hotel is a great venue. I’m sure they will sort out the technical hitches that occurred, and I look forward to going back there again.

Launch 48 held a fantastic conference in June this year in London. I highly recommend it next year, a mini Ted in London, a big picture view of new trends.

I attended the first of 2 days, and I am delighted that they have posted up the videos of the event today, so that I can catch up on missing presentations.

Of the sessions I did attend I can recommend Rory Sutherland of Ogilvy, Parag Khanna, and Stephen Shakespeare

http://launch48.com/videos/

Following the recently published report by Professor Hargreaves, commissioned by Prime Minister, David Cameron, http://www.coadec.com, held a panel/debate session last night to review the straightforward and complex recommendations.

This was ably managed by Jeff rom COADEC, and he succeeded in lining up a well balanced panel of Entrepreneurs, Politicians, and Professor Hargreaves himself. Audience participation was animated and engaged. The main recommendation, the establishment of a copyright exchange that enables sellers and buyers of rights to interact easily sounds too good to be true, and such a good idea. Some commentators were concerned about losing control over their content. A main take away for me is that in return for acquiring copyright, legally, you are ceding your content to the public, so, rights are difficult to control anyway. The recommendations are predicted to deliver 0.3-0.6% increase in GDP annually, so bring them on as soon as possible!

I look forward to following this through into law. A special project that I am sharing with my own Law student and digital rights expert, Luke O'Reilly.

Recently I was asked to consider contributing to a "Master/MistressClass" on Developing Online Sales for a major publisher. This has kicked off my thought processes regarding matching up my current knowledge from working with new businesses at the leading edge with my prior knowledge of sales strategy, and the process of feeding into budgetary planning and corporate objectives.

So, what should I consider and how much would this bottom up information feed into corporate objectives, or are these clearly set already?

Here's my very first scope to cascade down from:-

People

User Behaviour - who is doing what, when, how, where etc and how do individual publisher audiences compare?

Customers - Consumer and Commercial - How well are they served? What sort of data exists and how is this managed by senior management to measure the efficiency of the business?

Employees - Who is responsible for new fast growing sectors? New roles/structures/teams?

Suppliers/Partners - Are they keeping up? Are their processes up to date? What is the scope for new ones?

What sort of Leaders are there?

Revenue

Forecasts for total Advertising & Marketing growth for 3-5 years (Important note that it's not just ad revenue to consider, as several sectors fall outside of markets measured (Email; Games; E-commerce; Apps; etc).

Comparison to existing publisher performance

Competitive Landscape - What's happening amongst the competition now and likely in the next 3-5 years

What are reasonable objectives and revenue/share targets in all sectors, and what innovation is required to achieve them?

Can costs be minimised without compromising service levels

Process

The Operational Landscape

What should a state of the art sales process be in 2012

Is it modular and flexible, or fixed and tied into key suppliers on long contracts

Where are there cross overs with other parties

What can be outsourced?

Thanks to Paul Dowling and Monica of Dreamstake for organising a positive event this week, and to Ved Sen for his excellent management of the discussion. The atmosphere was relaxed, collaborative and supportive.

I think the idea of continuing this particular discussion is great, as we just got started!

For instance, we did not discuss what sort of Government incentives would be desirable/reasonable, and the time is right NOW to put forward idas before The Budget in March. Politicians listen to other forums like Mumsnet, so it's in our interest to make forums like Dreamscape work.

We are all very lucky in London and the South East, as was mentioned on Tues night, it is a great communications centre. In fact, it has one up on Silcon Valley with both the financial and commercial businesses in one workable location, whereas Tech/Creative is largely on the West Coast with Finance/Commercial on the East Coast USA, with two separate silos. We could do some great things in the UK with our connected community, and this is an area of focus for me.

However, there is a danger of further polarisation if other areas of the UK, which desperately need new industries to replace declining public expenditure, are left out, providing an even greater lack of balance in the overall economy.

I did not catch the name of the first Welsh speaker, who has demonstrated he has the "midas touch" with regard to his repeated success with start ups both in the UK and USA. But I would love to hear more from him, he had so much expertise to offer. Peter from Holland's personal experience of his acceleration programme in Silicon Valley was also very interesting. Although I am quite well informed on the start up/entrepreneurial sector, I was unaware of the programme that he took part in beforehand, and would like to know more.

Jeannine Athas, who comes from California, offered practical advice on how things work in The Valley, which was put to good use in the session itself, through everyone introducing themselves and explaining their interest in the evening.

Plenty of food for thought and action to take forward.

Thanks

At the top of the Centre Point building, there is a great venue called Paramount, where the TechCrunch Europa Awards were held last Friday. It's only their 2nd year. There I was thinking I was late arriving onto the scene, but obviously not at all. I arrived into a room with a great vibe, mostly full of guys, with a few pioneering women, working with UK/European Start Ups. The evening progressed quite quickly through to the awards. I've been working as a Mentor this year, and I noted several Seedcamp winners in the Europa nominations/winners, (Erply/Brainient/PatientKnowsBest/Codility/Seedcamp itself too), but also many new businesses I was unaware of from other Investment stables like White Bear Yard (Flattr). Pleased that a UK company won the Grand Prix (Moshi Monsters/Mind Candy), because there is so much talented competition from elsewhere in Europe, well displayed by SoundCloud who won the music award, amongst others. In my own specialist sphere, digital marketing, CognitiveMatch scooped the advertising/marketing tech award. There was even an award for best service to Start Up's, won by Bootlaw, an award that I would like to be nominated for sometime ahead. Mike Butcher, Editor of TechCrunch, shows great leadership in his promotion of the UK/European Start Up/Entrepreneurial sector. I missed out on the food, but made some great new contacts. I enjoyed reviewing it all online yesterday, studying the companies involved further. It's a great way of assessing what's going on, and having immersed myself in by attending, I feel that I am more involved.

Attended this event at the Light Box in Chiswick last night. Bit of a struggle for me to get out there and find location, slightly nervous of walking around this area in the dark at this time of year, but was glad that things started late and I did not miss anything.

Big crowd, grabbed a glass of wine (but no food, was starving after a long day beforehand in central London), got going by chatting with two friendly attendees, Levi Russell who runs Zonerider and Matt Sneddon at Ciklum, en route across the room to say hi to Kevin Farrar, who I have met before at IBM SmartCamp. We did'nt have long to talk before the evening started proper with Speaker presentations. Procedures were very well managed by the excellent Mistress of Ceremonies, Monika Gierszewska. All the Speakers were splendid, although there were a lot of them, and the audience had the stand throughout which was uncomfortable. Maybe, 3 Speakers would have been the optimum number to allow for time for networking/travelling etc. However, I hung on in there for Steve of Dreamstake to conclude since they were the Hosts for the evening, and he did have some solid advice to offer, and I am interested in how Dreamstake is rolling out, but I did not like his bathroom joke.

Rob Moffat, of Balderston Capital, with very impressive cast iron academic and professional credentials, presented the perspecitive of institutional investors. I'm did not get a chance to talk to him about my work with Google, as a customer whilst working for Ask.com.

Inma Martinez, of Stradbroke Advisors, presentation, a la Steve Jobs, was a wonderful story, and very entertaining and educative. She also knew her audience and made the laugh. I loved her feedback on the unusual businesses that had succeeded (later she mentioned the Finnish dolly/clothing fetish amongst 8 year old girls). I looked for Inma at the end, as I wanted to say hello, and that I have a mutual contact, Colette Ballou of Ballou PR, specialists in tech start ups.

Glenn Shoosmith and Lucien Tamowski were both fantastic representations of innovative UK Entrepreneurs. Full of youthful confidence, and advice to offer from the hard school of knocks from successfully launching their respective businesses Bookingbug.com and BraveNewTalent.com. They were inspiring, and generated a very positive vibe around the room, just what everyone needs now.

At the end just time for a quick hello to Lucien (sorry to miss Glenn though, as I wanted to mention my mutual contact, Duncan Dunlop of Oodle), Kevin Farrar, and thanks to Paul Dowling of Dreamstake for his efforts, before dashing off in slight trepidation towards the overground in South Acton, 20 mins walk, and onto WestHamspstead and home in St. Albans, Herts, by 11.00pm thanks to lovely Husband who picked me up from the station. Hit the toaster and fridge as soon as I got in!

Plenty of food for thought today from all that was presented last night, and some new connections to follow up on, I wish there had been time to make more. I look forward to reviewing the video material on the Dreamstake.net platform. I will go along to the next one, if they will have me!

This week I have been involved in an inspiring project with Irene Bejenke Walsh, who runs MessageLab, a training business that is specialist is providing expertise on how to approach the investment community for funding for new businesses/ideas.

I collaborated with MessageLab on Monday as part of a mini biz school week, devised with London base of Wieden & Kennedy, a leading creatively led agency who work with Nike, Nokia, Honda, and The Guardian amongst other leading UK Marketing businesses. They have designed a schedule of training sessions for their employees, offering a supportive environment to encourage them to develop their own entrepreneurial ideas. Later this week, the W+K Entrepreneurs will present their biz ideas at a "speed pitching" event.

My part in this exercise was to introduce a concept as a tool for use this week for "Idea Validation". I introduced The Business Model Canvas, with 9 Building Blocks of consideration to scope out the validity of new business ideas.

The business model canvas is the first part of Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder & Yves Pigneur, and 470 crowd sourced practitioners from 45 countries. It was recommended to me by Leonardo Camiciotti who was a fellow mentor in my group at mini Seedcamp London this past summer. Leo is working in Turin, Italy, developing new tech start ups businesses with Top.ix.org, and I am increasingly involved with this work in London.

I went cold turkey at Wieden & Kennedy on a new idea I am validating called Grassrootstars.com, a community/platform to match up new businesses with multiple mentors. I am exploring the need and willingness of established businesses to open their doors to selected new business ideas, all currently from the digital marketing/tech sector. I'm interested in the area prior to investment when businesses really need help to acquire customers. If successful, Grassrootstars.com will be a pre-investment filter for Financiers and perhaps a fund as well. I am field testing it this week with both established and new businesses to test out my idea. More later.............

.foxnetworks.com 21st Century Growth Ad Monsters Adaptly.com adconion Agillic amazon andiamo.io AOL apps aQuantive Ask.com astia.org BallouPR BBC Online behavioural science Bladerston Capital blog-ola Bloggers blogosphere BookingBug.com Bootlaw Brainient Brandcast Media BraveNewTalent.com BSkyB buddy.com Channel 4 Charlotte Street Hotel Ciklum City Am Claire Paterson COADEC Codility CognitiveMatch com comscore inc Comufy comufy.com Cowboy Ventures customers David Cameron digital Digital London digital marketing digital revolution dot.com bubble Doubleclick Dreamstake.net e-commerce Eagle Eye Ebay Email Eric Schmidt Erply EU cookie legislation everywoman.com Eyewonder Facebook FaceBook FCC Fetchtv.com Figaro Flattr Forrester Foursquare.com FT Games General Motors generator global economic crisis Google Google+ Group M hive.com http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smarter_Planet http://www.coadec.com/ Professor Hargreaves http://www.level39.co/ https://twitter.com/IBMSmartCamp Hulu i-level IAB IBC IBM SmartCamp independent Innovation Warehouse InSkin Media Inspire Conference IP IPvision-uk.tv ITV jelastic.com kinetise Launch 48 location targeting technology Luca Media magick.nu martin sorrell MashUP* Microsoft Mind Candy momit.com MoshiMonsters Multiple channels Naked Play Neo@Ogilvy nest.com Netflix Now For The Long Term Ogilvy online danger online sales Online T's & C's online video Oodle OpenX Orange Oxford Martin Commission for Future Generations Parag Khanna PatientKnowsBest people Policy Exchange; smart cities ; GLA; Catapault; Bristol Futures; UK Broadband: Camden Council; Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis Postmates process Propel London Proximity London PWC recession revenue Rory Sutherland secludit.com Seedcamp Shuttle Sky SkyPlus social marketing ROI social marketing systems social media Social networks socialbullguard.com Soundcloud Spotify Springboard.com Start Ups Stephen Shakespeare Stradbroke Advisors Sunday Times Tech Hub techallstars.com TechCity Techcrunch techcrunch Tess Alps The Europa awards ThinkBox Timesonline tiramizoo.com TV Genius Tweets Twitter Twitter.com Uber UCL; Sharing Economy; Love Home Swap; unknown unknowns; Uber.com; Airbnb.com; UK Trade & Industry Unanimis Unicorn Club upperstreet.com User behaviour VAST wakingapp.comClearreturns.com web security Webinar White Bear Yard wordpress WPP www.lucamedia.com/searching-for-unicorns Yieldex YouTube Zeebox Zeebox.com Zonerider