The UKâ€™s leading innovation magazine for start-ups, innovators and small businesses Issue 3 May 2014
Putting a Value on Sweat Equity Five Ways to Hotwire Your Kickstarter Campaign The Science Behind Successful Start-Ups
#Learn #Connect #Grow with other #Dreamers #Thinkers #Doers
‘Will be using your mag in my business lessons out here in Oman.’ (@lotsofTs). ‘It’s a fantastic and inspiring read.’ (@ MollyCoddleChil). ‘Just discovered The Crowd ’Zine, it’s pretty cool!’ (@EduLighthouse). ‘Read The Crowd ’Zine. The U.K.’s only Innovation Magazine for Dreamers, Thinkers and Doers.’ (@ brightonhovebiz). ‘Love flipping and reading The Crowd ’Zine.’ (@Jurisu). ‘Congratulations on the new magazine. Excellent idea, and much needed’. (Maxine H.). ‘It’s a fantastic read, full of great facts!’ (@Gradvert). ‘Great magazine! Inspiring stories and pleased to be a part of this new venture. Well done.’ (@JollyScrummy).
THANKS TO just want to be more innovative entrepreneurs.’ (@ali_golds). ‘Congratulations on a great 1 edition. A lot of interesting stories!’ ALL OUR READERS! ‘Fabulous new magazine for students, businesses and those who st
(Ian G.). ‘Congratulations on the magazine. It looks really great!’ (Rebecca K.). ‘Captivating and thought provoking. An essential read for entrepreneurs, researchers and investors. Strongly recommend.’ (David P.). ‘A great little magazine packed with good relevant content - I look forward to the next issue.’ (Lorraine N.). ‘Love this.’ (Will C.). Great article and a lovely magazine :) Well done! (I2S Group). ‘I really appreciated your magazine because it exactly goes in the right direction: to different targets
but with a thing in common that is entrepreneurship mentality.’ (Debora F.). ‘Love the new ’zine!’ (Erika W.). ‘Congratulations on a great launch. Hope it goes from strength to strength’ (Chris L.). ‘Absolutely fantastic!!! Congratulations! The layout, the 2 diverse content, everything. Very impressed’. (Jessica H.) ...
WHAT’S INSIDE? People 6 Starting up Artspace Brighton 10 I am Startacus. Are you? 16 Cookbooks, cookery courses, and a coffee shop with a twist... 18 Diary of a rather different placement (Part 3)
Innovation 20 Fair IP terms - the key to open innovation 24 I spy... 28 Eight ways to encourage your team to become more innovative 32 Putting a value on sweat equity
34 The science behind successful start-ups 40 Five ways to hotwire your Kickstarter campaign 42 Stuck 45 A closer look at... The impact vs. effort matrix
48 Focus - how to get a following on Twitter 50 PPC, SEO, WTF? A guide to marketing jargon 52 Five free online resources to help you capture and develop your ideas
54 All work and no play? 55 Take a break...
46 Phil Burrowes
64 No problem! 65 Useful links
Acknowledgments: A big thank you to all our guest contributors, and a special thanks to Pam Murphy, once again, for all her proofreading, valuable support, and advice. Front cover photo: Street Art in Portugalete, Euskadi, Spain. © Laurence Moracchini 2014. - Whilst the greatest care is taken to ensure that the information in the magazine is correct, neither the publisher nor its editorial contributors can accept liability to any party for loss or damage caused by errors, inaccuracies or omissions. - The opinions expressed in The Crowd ’Zine and affiliated domains are not necessarily the views of The Crowd ’Zine, but those of individual contributors. - No part for this magazine, including the advertisements within it, may be reproduced, in part or in whole, without the express permission of the Editor. - Unless otherwise stated, all content (not including adverts and advertorials) is copyright of The Ideas People 2014. 3
HELLO READERS! Innovation really is relevant to everyone! It’s applicable to every enterprise – no matter what industry. In this issue of The Crowd ’Zine, we have tried to reflect that notion, and you will find out from a range of start-ups, innovators and small businesses, how they are all doing something different with impact – in their companies of varying ages and industries. The overall aim of The Crowd ’Zine is to inspire, inform and equip our readers with the skills and know-how to innovate more effectively in their businesses, work and lives, and Issue 3 is no exception! Packed with thought-provoking interviews, articles and tools, in this issue, you will read about creative practitioners, Abi Jones and Kit Man, who are making a difference to the lives of adults with mental health issues, and will also hear from food entrepreneur, Kate Guindi, about her experience developing The Cookshelf – a coffee shop with an educational twist. If you feel you have lost your creative edge, don’t panic, as you can benefit from the great advice of David Cox, author of Creative Thinking for Dummies. And, if you are in need of funding, check out Paul Grant’s top tips on how to hotwire your Kickstarter campaign, and don’t forget to visit the Useful Links pages for more information about funding and business support. As our longest issue yet, Issue 3 is bursting with the inspiration, information and tools which any start-up, innovator or entrepreneur needs to innovate, change and grow. With articles crowdsourced from start-ups, small businesses and innovation specialists, The Crowd ’Zine is made possible thanks to all our fantastic contributors and advertisers. We would like to thank everyone who has helped turn Issue 3 into a reality. Enjoy reading it, and please share with other dreamers, thinkers and doers! Clare Griffiths Editor P.S. #letstalk Join in the conversation via Twitter @TheCrowdZine and Facebook facebook.com/TheCrowdZine It would be great to hear from you! Do you want to be a guest contributor? Email: email@example.com
Published by: The Ideas People, theideaspeople.co.uk Editor: Clare Griffiths Creative Director: Laurence Moracchini Ad sales: firstname.lastname@example.org and 07952 914937 Office: The Ideas People, 179 Seaside, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN22 7NP, UK. 4
people STARTING UP ARTSPACE BRIGHTON With Abi Jones and Kit Man
Abi and Kit began studying at The Arts University Bournemouth in 2006. Abi undertook a Fine Art degree, whilst Kit studied an Animation degree. Surprisingly, their paths never crossed during their time there, and it was not until November 2011, when they both applied for the position of Workshop Facilitator at an arts and mental health project, Limited Editions, that they finally met. Unable to decide between the pair, the organisation employed them jointly, with Abi facilitating workshops in the mornings, and Kit in the afternoons. It was not long before they decided to work alongside each other, volunteering two days a week.
The Crowd ’Zine team recently met up with Abi and Kit, to find out what it has been like starting up their own community project.
When Limited Editions lost its funding in March 2013, Kit and Abi chose to use their knowledge and experience to set up their own community arts practice, Artspace Brighton. Founded in July 2013, Artspace Brighton specialises in offering arts workshops and studio placements for adults with mental health issues.
Abi: It’s about having created a shared understanding. We agreed a long time ago not to be afraid of those confrontations and conversations. Have them, and have them out! It really helps me that Kit enjoys conversations so much. Kit seems to actively seek out debate! I’ve always been somebody that, by my nature, avoids
It’s great to meet a start-up team. What’s it like working together, and how do you make decisions? Abi: We debate. But it’s lively, good, encouraging debate! Kit: Whenever we have a discussion, we know where we are heading, and we will get to an agreement. We will normally come up with an answer which we are both very happy with.
Abi: Because we hadn’t set up an organisation before, we had no way of knowing how long it would take. So, the goal posts kept moving, and the start date kept changing. We got very frustrated by that, and felt that we were failing in some way. What we were actually doing, was trying to be really thorough, and do everything properly. In the end, we just had to accept that it was going to take as long as it was going to take.
Kit: In any kind of partnership, being allowed to ask questions, and to have that debate, is very important. Abi: We realised that our partnership is going to affect, or could affect, our members, so it is important in that respect to have a good working relationship. It’s our responsibility to the people we work with. It’s also one of the building blocks of our organisation – our partnership. It’s important that for every decision we make, and every time that we move forwards with something, that we understand the shared vision. We don’t always start out with the same vision, but we discuss it until we find something that we can move forwards with.
Kit: For me, it was the added complexities of it all. The challenge was not necessarily running the organisation itself, but running the organisation and everything else you have in your life. That’s when it gets complex. That’s what I foresaw, but when you are actually in it, you suddenly realise doing this requires a lot of yourself. And being prepared to give a lot of yourself. What lessons have you learnt whilst developing Artspace Brighton? Abi: That you can’t possibly know how to do something that you have never done before. You just have to be completely willing to ask for help. Constantly. I would say to any start-ups, ‘Don’t be afraid to ask’! Get as many different opinions as possible, and then decide on which one fits you best.
Kit: I think that we just work well together. In any start-up, you’ve got to find the right people. You might find really talented, amazing people, but honestly, if you don’t get along with them, the relationship’s not going to last very long at all. Who’s responsible for what? Abi: We separate tasks, and then trust each other to get on with them. We both work really hard, and never let each other down. The way I see it is, I deal with the funding bids and getting the money in. Then, once the money is in, Kit deals with all the legal stuff, organising the money, and keeping track of it. We decided on our strong points, and then just separated the tasks.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
confrontations. Obviously, however, in a partnership you need to have everything aired in order to reach an agreement.
Kit: I think, for me, the biggest lesson has been communication. I think it is more complicated than we realise, in our daily lives – when talking to friends, family, or when running a business. Communication
is so important. I think communication is why Abi and I work so well together. I don’t think we have had any issues at all, and I think that is down to communication.
conversations that the studio is a beneficial place to be and that we are making an impact. Kit: Some people might think, ‘You need to have all these people in, and have all these projects going, and art exhibitions’, but for me, having a member tell you, ‘This is really good for me, this is really beneficial’ is an achievement in itself. That single conversation, that moment when someone approaches you, and being open about it, that’s what it’s all about.
What’s your biggest achievement to date? Abi: We won the Santander University of Brighton Enterprise Awards! That was the biggest one! Kit: It might sound quite pessimistic, but I wasn’t sure other people would believe in what we were doing. And in believing that the service we had was worthwhile. I knew it myself – I had no doubts at all. But you never know what other people are thinking.
Over the next 12 months, Abi and Kit plan to expand their services, and run Artspace Brighton on a full-time basis. They are particularly interested in making new connections and forming new partnerships with other organisations working with adults with mental health issues. They would also welcome any donations of art materials! If you would like to get in touch, or find out more about Artspace Brighton:
Abi: The award we received was on the strength of the idea, too. We hadn’t opened at the time when we won. We needed the money to open. So, to be told that your idea was worth giving money to, wasn’t just helpful in a practical sense, but also monumental for our self-confidence and self-belief. That was a really big achievement for us. In terms of achievement for the members, or one particular member of the practice, we know through
Email: email@example.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/Artspace.B Twitter: @ArtspaceBtn
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To sign up email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 0777 581 7284
I AM STARTACUS. ARE YOU? With Alastair Cameron
1. I thought ‘TheEmployable’ community was a fantastic initiative, and was really excited when you launched the Startacus platform back in 2012. In one sentence, how would you describe Startacus?
3. Who else is in the Startacus family? And what are their roles? There’s myself and my co-founder Leigh, then we have Eoin, who writes content and is our Social Media champ, and more recently, we have a new addition to the team in the form of Philip, who is dealing with all things tech, and is on a mission to develop the site further and improve the user experience.
Startacus – The self start society – is the online home for enterprising individuals and ideas. 2. How did you come up with the idea for Startacus?
4. Since you have launched, you’ve built some really practical innovations for your service users, including the ideas toolkit, and the collaborative community section on the Startacus website. Can you tell us a bit more about these ideas, and why you decided to innovate in these areas?
Well, speaking of TheEmployable, that site came about as a result of redundancy. At that same time we had gone to see an enterprise agency about starting a business, and found that all the support we could receive was based on (it seemed anyway) ticking boxes, meeting certain criteria without the idea, or the potential of the idea, even being discussed. We came out of that meeting with an idea that became Startacus.
Well, the support available for the idea maker and early-stage start-up is not uniform across the UK and Ireland. If I, with nine years’ business experience, faced that apathy when meeting with 10
What has surprised me the most? Perhaps that everyone (well most people) including your competitor, are happy to help you. Less aggressive perhaps than the more established business sector.
an enterprise agency, then, what of the inexperienced business person, graduate, or ‘wannapreneur’, who faces those barriers? How many potential start-ups are put off by the very spaces and places which are meant to support and nurture ideas? How many of those spaces and places actually act as barriers to the very ideas that they should be supporting to help grow? That’s what we are trying to develop with Startacus – to help people with ideas, irrespective of their location.
7. It seems that you are never short of an idea, and Startacus seems to be going from strength to strength. What is your long-term vision for Startacus? We want to be the facilitation space for the whole idea, start-up, and business ecosystem – connecting all those dots together along the way.
5. What is the biggest challenge you have faced yet whilst growing Startacus? How did you overcome that challenge?
8. Finally, what are your three top tips for our readers who are in the process of setting up their own venture?
Having a non-technical background, it was hard to make the often immediate changes we would have liked to have made to the site, to develop and evolve at a speedy pace. In terms of overcoming that challenge – simple, we recruited someone specifically to do that role!
- Work out your customers’ pain. - Make something that offers a solution to that pain. - Take advice and experience, but also value the strength of your own conviction.
6. Starting and growing a business can take you on many unanticipated twists and turns. What is the biggest lesson you have learnt so far? And what has surprised you most?
If you would like to become a part of the Startacus family, visit their website at www.startacus.net to join their online community and access their super-handy resources.
Biggest lesson? Well, perhaps, working for yourself compared to working for a company, you learn that making mistakes is just an opportunity to make changes and change direction, whereas when you work for someone else, you don’t sometimes get that luxury!
You can also find out more information about TheEmployable at: www.theemployable.com
...It’s all about organic and the taste
Hot Chilli and Lime Jelly ...perfect with baked Camembert
At Jolly Scrummy we make awardwinning organic savoury preserves. Our savoury herb jellies are made from organic ingredients sourced locally to Ashdown Forest in East Sussex. There are two main rules for our products – they must be organic and they have to taste jolly scrummy…
Buy online at www.jollyscrummy.co.uk 12
START-UP LOAN HELPS COMPANY’S WORK IN EMERGING AND DEVELOPING COUNTRIES By the Let’s Do Business Group team
A fledging enterprise based in South East England is making its mark in developing countries around the globe.
Epven is the management consultancy arm, working with multi-national food companies, investors and nongovernmental organisations at an international level.
Epven was set up 18 months ago to create and support commercially-viable projects of social benefit to emerging economies, with particular focus in East Africa, Central America and South East Asia.
Value for Women Ltd is the firm’s social enterprise, aimed at helping women get involved in business.
Although based in Sevenoaks in Kent, the business – founded by Managing Director Tim Chambers and Partners Michele Bruni, Rebecca Fries and Norman Sarria – also has offices in London, Italy, Mexico, the US and Nicaragua. The operation is split into three distinct areas:
The third branch of the business is !nspiraFarms, which is running a pilot project of small-scale agriculture processing centres to help African farmers add value to their produce. It is thanks in part to a £8,000 Government-funded Start-Up Loan 13
that !nspiraFarms has been able to undertake research and development into new technologies for this pilot, which is expected to lead to direct sales in the future. The loan has also allowed Epven more flexibility with cash flow. The Start-Up Loan Scheme gives lowcost funding and mentoring support to entrepreneurs with a viable business proposition and is open to those aged 18 and over. It gives a helping hand to newly-formed businesses by offering loans of around £7,500 with flexible payback terms, dedicated mentoring, and a host of other business benefits. The Start-Up Loan Scheme is run across South East England by the Let’s Do Business Group.
For more information on the Start-Up Loan Scheme visit: www.LetsStartup.co.uk Call the Start-Up Loans team on 0844 943 2988 or email email@example.com for an information pack.
Tim Chambers says the terms of the Start-Up Loan were hugely beneficial to his young company compared to those offered by a high street bank, and the funds helped support the expansion of his core team to nine people. ‘The Start-Up Loan had fewer restrictions than loans from commercial banks and the affordability of it was great, giving us additional flexibility in our cash flow,’ he said. Keir Dellar, Head of Projects at the Let’s Do Business Group, said: ‘We were
impressed with the business plan put forward by Tim Chambers of Epven and were pleased to offer financial support through the Start-Up Loan Scheme.’
For further details about Epven visit: www.epven.com or email: firstname.lastname@example.org Alternatively, ring the Epven team on 07738 684 012.
Do you have a business idea, but need funding and support to kick-start your business? Access low-cost funding and mentoring with a Start Up Loan from Let’s Do Business. Amy Barker, Monks & Co Clothing
Lucas Meader, YapnCut
The Let’s Do Business Group and their team of mentors have helped to start over 500 businesses since 2012. If you’re based in the south east of England, aged 18 or over and have a business idea that you want to turn into a real success, we want to hear from you!
Call 0844 9432988 email@example.com www.LetsStartup.co.uk Start Up Loans is a government initiative to help young businesses with funding and mentoring.
“The support and mentoring was second-tonone and without a doubt my business wouldn’t be the success it is now without their help. The support and guidance from my mentor was probably more valuable than the loan itself!” Start Up Loans client
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COOKBOOKS, COOKERY COURSES, AND A COFFEE SHOP WITH A TWIST... By Kate Guindi
If you are a foodie like me, then you will love The Cookshelf! Feeling very much like a home away from home, The Cookshelf is packed with inspiring cookbooks, tantalising spices, beautifully painted furniture, and professional kitchen appliances that I can only dream of having! Not only that, the concept of The Cookshelf is itself innovative. If I had to describe it, I would say The Cookshelf is a fantastic combination of a bookshop, a cafĂŠ, and a cookery school! I think it is that unique mix which makes The Cookshelf stand out from the crowd.
Here, Kate Guindi tells us a bit more about The Cookshelf and her start-up journey to date. 1. How did you come up with the idea for The Cookshelf? The CookshelfÂ was originally based on one of my favourite shops, Books for Cooks, in Notting Hill, which is a wonderful haven of all things wordy, pictorial and culinary. After holding cooking demonstrations and events, the idea grew from there, and we ended up installing a cookery school for eight people, where we host cookery courses, using the wealth of experienced cookery tutors that live and work in the Eastbourne area. From that idea came the concept of having a small coffee shop where our customers could enjoy the very best in local produce. In 2013 we were 16
experience and advice.
2. What has been your greatest achievement to date?
Don’t waste money – do the research. I think we could have been wiser with our marketing budget. It is all too easy to be sucked in by a salesman’s enthusiastic pitch, but I have learned to say ‘No’. Do the market research, and ask questions, before making any decisions.
6. What has been your biggest lesson learnt since starting up?
Our biggest achievement has been getting the funding, at a time when banks were just not lending – especially to small start-ups. It may sound boring, but the amount of work that went into the market research, writing the business plan, and pitching to over eight banks was considerable.
7. What is your vision for The Cookshelf? Our vision is to perfect how we run our cookery classes, and to have a successful and busy café business too. We would eventually like to see The Cookshelf in other towns in East Sussex, such as Alfriston and Lewes, expanding The Cookshelf, but keeping it as a lovely, local place where people can enjoy great classes and tasty food.
3. What do you enjoy most about running The Cookshelf? The people! I will never tire of the look on someone’s face when they produce something amazing in a class, and are in disbelief that they actually achieved what they set out to do. It is, quite simply, priceless.
8. What would you recommend to our readers who are considering setting up their own café or cookery school?
4. Innovation in business is all about doing something different with impact. What positive changes have you made in your business?
Don’t! You’ll be my competition! 9. Is there anything you would like our readers to do, to support you along The Cookshelf journey?
We decided to explore using the café’s premises for events, such as our Supper Club evenings, where we have a chance to showcase our tutors’ talents and skills. These evenings are great fun, and we are now also hosting hen and stag parties, children’s parties, adult birthday parties, and even a small wedding reception.
Give us your feedback. It is essential. We need to be listening and evolving all the time, even if we don’t always want to hear it. It is an old cliché, but if you have enjoyed an experience at The Cookshelf, tell your friends, and if you haven’t, let us know.
5. Who do you use as a sounding board when you’re exploring new ideas to test at The Cookshelf? I am a great believer in asking my peers. I have many contacts in my area, in retail, and in business in general. I am never shy of asking. People are usually more than happy to share any knowledge,
lucky to find our premises in North Street, Eastbourne, and immediately knew that the small yet perfectly-formed premises were ideal for us.
To find out more about The Cookshelf, please visit www.thecookshelf.co.uk and follow @TheCookshelfltd for updates on cookery courses, Supper Clubs, and tantalising top tips. 17
DIARY OF A RATHER DIFFERENT PLACEMENT (Part 3) By the Greedy Gull Studios team
Matej Navara gives an update on the progress of Greedy Gulls Studio, an independent development studio created as a third-year university industrial placement.
the foremost being sourcing the initial opportunities, as well as handling everchanging requirements from clients and catering to both their needs and our own. In order to find contract work I believe it has been most effective simply to be proactive within our industry and community. Despite still being a young startup, we believe that having a public presence at events or in publications will have beneficial long-term gains. We are often approached by people who have heard about us and are interested in what we do. This is very rewarding for us as a team, since it shows that even at our developmental stage in the venture we can make an impression which prompts potential clients to approach us.
So as our first year of trading progresses, we are learning more about what it takes to operate as an independent enterprise, with all the advantages and disadvantages that come along with that. Often, we find things that initially seem relatively simple take a lot longer than expected, but this is all part of the learning experience of starting any venture. As we progress, we better understand the capabilities of us as individuals and of our team. Recently, we have focused on becoming more economically viable as a company, by trying to shift focus to outsourced contract work, at the same time as maintaining our own projects as a representation of our company branding and promotion of our collective skills. Contract work is new to us and comes with a whole new range of challenges,
Working on client projects is a far cry from in-house development. With our own projects the design, implementation and marketing decisions ultimately fall on us, which allows for a range of creative freedom but also some degree of chaos. With client projects, it is good to have
that may arise within that time. As with any young start-up, the future is often unexpected but always exciting, and we look forward to whatever flights the Greedy Gulls will embark on next. Keep up to date with the latest news and developments on the official website, as well as all our respective social media outlets.
Currently we are working on our individual projects that we hope to progress into cross-platform mobile releases in the next few months. This is in parallel with any contractual work
more structure and constraints to work within, with input from the clients to ensure everyone is satisfied. We find having more defined constraints forces us to be more innovative in our approach, which in turn creates a higher quality product that meets the expectations of the project. It is a great opportunity to work within other industries, and it ensures we continuously change for the better.
FAIR IP TERMS - THE KEY TO OPEN INNOVATION By Maxine J Horn
Intellectual property (IP) issues have plagued the open innovation (OI) environment, where there are two predominant and opposing schools of thought:
by the lack of differentiation between consumer communities encouraged to engage in the submission of open innovation ideas, and the professionals who earn their living from idea generation and problem-solving.
1. Corporations running open innovation activities have favoured open source and lax IP terms when drawing ideas from creators. 2. The vast majority of creators, who earn their income from creating, selling and licensing creations, content and innovations, want ethical, easy and low-cost IP terms, and to be remunerated fast. It is obvious why these views exist and it demonstrates that a compromise must be reached if mutual benefits are to be gained. Some corporations take a bullish approach to ideas acquisition as a matter of convenience and it could be argued that ideas alone hold no value until they are commercialised. Creators on the other hand may be outside their comfort zone when dealing with IP issues and the value of their work; as a result they often find themselves in a weak negotiating position. The waters have also been muddied
Corporations’ in-house teams and their external PR and marketing consultancies brainstorm open innovation challenges and spend considerable sums investing in the OI team, marketing and PR campaigns, the obligatory web portal, brand and marketing materials, online advertising and social media campaigns. These are predominantly designed to attract the time and attention of talented creators and secure their participation in the OI activity – but for whose benefit? Despite significant investment in all other areas of the OI activity, corporations and their PR and marketing consultants often play fast and loose with creators’ IP, and, apart from potential ‘slap on the back’ PR, there is a tendency to offer low or no reward to those submitting winning ideas, concepts and solutions. 15 minutes of media fame and some free product might satisfy those in the consumer community who do not earn a living from innovation or creativity,
Reducing Corporate Risk
but it is hardly motivational or rewarding for those creators that do.
Whilst it has happened to highprofile crowdfunding portals such as Kickstarter, there have been few if any reported IP disputes resulting directly from OI activity where a submission has been claimed as an IP rip-off. However, as with crowdsourcing and crowdfunding activities, it is a risk, and could only to be a matter of time before an IP dispute occurs.
And whilst innovators and creators may not be first and foremost motivated by money, and whilst their egos can be massaged by publicity accolades, their serious participation in OI cannot be relied upon when weak and imbalanced IP terms exist. The best solutions held by those with sector knowledge and professional problem-solving expertise are unlikely to be submitted to an unrewarded OI activity that leaves their IP exposed and places them in the same category as amateurs, hobbyists and consumers. As a result, corporations who invest significant sums in the OI set-up costs, marketing, PR and administration without paying attention to fair and appropriate reward could find themselves faced with mediocre results at best.
Ideas alone cannot be protected, but their execution can â€“ whether registered or not. Governments around the world are calling on the private sector to create safe IP environments fit for the digital age. As a result new IP models are emerging. Some new models take the side of the corporate or institutional need at the expense of the creator, and others vice
ÂŠ Helder Almeida 2014
versa. Some focus on easier patent protection such as www.innvolve.com; some on copyright like Safe Creative, or ACID (Anti Copying in Design) marketplace for unregistered and registered designs; or there are digital IP pioneers like Creative Barcode who concentrate on early-stage protection that enables creators to attribute and protect their concepts before traditional mechanisms such as patent, trademark and registered designs can be utilised. Creative Barcode is the only IP model specifically designed for co-creation and open innovation that I am aware of; it protects the interests of corporations and creators equally. Creators submitting an IP-tagged concept into an OI activity legally warrant to the corporation that the concept is original in execution and theirs to submit. Conversely, the corporation warrants to the creator not to use the IP-tagged concept in any manner without the consent of the creator. It’s simple, it works internationally and it has never been breached. It is endorsed by the British Library IP Centre and its users are supported by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). Ten tips for non-complex open innovation intellectual property terms 1. Differentiate between consumer and professional communities. 2. Place respect for intellectual property at the heart of the OI planning process.
5. Do not make IP terms complex. 6. All IP statements, processes and materials should be written in layman’s terms. 7. All team members should be briefed on intellectual property and have a good understanding of the IP terms underpinning the OI activity. 8. Consider fair rewards, credit to the original source and an early IP buy-out fee. 9. Play fair. Don’t be bullish just because you can. 10. Fair and trusted IP terms increase the quality of submissions. If intellectual property terms were portrayed in a positive rather than negative and combative manner, brand owners would be in a position to excite nations of innovators, creators and entrepreneurs – whether individuals, micro businesses or SMEs– and ignite a resurgence of innovation activity. Quality submissions would be enhanced and respectful early IP buy-outs or partnerships would free the corporation to proceed without hindrance, and enable the innovator to move on to the next concept. This may come across as a utopia, but IP really can be as simple as this with an adjustment of mindset, balance, trust-based terms of engagement, and a same-side rather than ‘them and us’ negotiation.
3• Protect both parties’ interests with balance, trust and ethics at the core. 4. Ensure participants ‘authenticate’
their entries with a simple but legally robust statement or process, such as Creative Barcode.
What corporation wouldn’t wish to be
Website: www.creativebarcode.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Maxine Horn is Co-Founder and Director of Creative Barcode. Between 2006 and 2011 she was a member of the UKIPO B2B Strategy Group and was actively
involved in the IP Intellectual Property Review headed up by Ian Hargreaves and latterly Richard Hooper, since the review was launched by David Cameron in November 2010. Maxine initiated the Creative Barcode concept and hand-picked the cocreation team in 2009 which led to its launch.
IP Rights > http://c-b.me/2wk
known for innovation, trust, fairness and honesty?
Spotted by The Crowd ’Zine team In Issue 2, The Crowd ’Zine team featured Give Me Tap – a UK-based social enterprise which is providing potable water for African communities. For every water bottle purchased in the UK, Give Me Tap customers gain free access to tap water from a network of shops and cafes, whilst helping one person access clean drinking water in Africa. For this issue, we are going to continue with the African theme, and shout out about IT Skills 4 Rural Kenya (ITS4RK). Founded in 2005 by Kenyan-born Edward Kibosek, IT Skills 4 Rural Kenya is an award-winning UK-based charity which collects functional computers donated by businesses and organisations in the South East of England. After carrying out any necessary maintenance work, the charity then ships out the computers to rural communities in Kenya, where they are used in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) initiatives which the charity sets up. These initiatives are all
community-owned rural hubs which act as valuable information resources and mobilisation centres, as well as advocacy and awareness-raising spaces, for the whole community. The idea for the charity came about as a result of a practical learning exercise which Edward participated in during his studies at the University of Brighton. During visits to several schools across East Sussex, Edward saw first hand the amount of learning resources, including computers, that were put at the disposal of young pupils. This was a stark reminder of the lack of the same facilities in his local primary school, in the village of Kibugat. Since its inception, ITS4RK has sought to establish itself as a capacitybuilding organisation, providing equal opportunities to rural communities in Kenya, through access to affordable ICT facilities and training – with the hope of bridging the ever-widening digital divide between rural and urban Kenyan
Photo courtesy of Nikko Tanui, Standard Newspaper
77-year-old Zephaniah Rotich from Kibugat ICT Centre is not letting age become a barrier to learning IT Skills in Kibugat ICT Centre
empowerment and development.
The overall aim of ITS4RK is to enrich the lives of the people in rural villages in Kenya, through its 3Es model, by:
In 2007, ITS4RK started with two pilot projects in the communities of Kibugat, in the Rift Valley, and Antubochiu, in the Eastern Provinces. The charity’s work has been welcomed by the United Nations and the Kenyan Government, who have both asked ITS4RK to continue and expand its work. With the ambitious vision and tenacity of Edward and his team, ITS4RK has already succeeded in setting up 16 ICT centres across four provinces in Kenya.
• Equipping the villages with the supply of recycled computers through their ‘Computers for Kenya Scheme’; • Educating the people in these villages through a volunteer-led ‘train-thetrainer’ capacity-building scheme; • Empowering rural enterprises through access to technologydriven opportunities, making rural Kenyan villages centres for economic
Kibugat women in Enterprise learning useful tips on how to use IT Skills for financial record keeping 25
Photo courtesy of Nikko Tanui, Standard Newspaper
Edward has ambitious plans for ITS4RK. His inspiring vision for the charity is to establish over 195 ‘Mtandao Viganjani’
(Swahili for ‘Internet on the thumb’) ICT initiatives across an impressive 47 counties in Kenya! In order to achieve this goal, Edward has calculated that the charity will need 20,000 computers and 1,000 volunteers. The end result will be to create ICT-driven opportunities for approximately 2,000,000 Kenyans. Edward is well on the way to realise his vision. Recently, his work has attracted the attention of Kenya’s top leaders, including both the President of the Republic of Kenya, H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta, and the Kericho County Governor, H.E. Professor Paul Kiprono Chepkwony. In August 2013, Professor Chepkwony went to visit ITS4RK in person, to acquaint himself with the work of the charity, and sign a funding partnership agreement with ITS4RK. This five-year partnership project will enable Edward to oversee
Kenya’s ambitious project of providing IT equipment to every primary school pupil in Kericho County. We sincerely hope that Edward and team are able to achieve their goal of developing 195 ICT initiatives, and wish them all the best along their ITS4RK journey! If you would like to find out more about the exciting work of ITS4RK, or to see how you and your company can support the charity, please visit: Website: www.itskills4ruralkenya.org Facebook: ITS4RK Twitter: @ITs4rK
Photo courtesy of Nikko Tanui, Standard Newspaper
innovation Both young and the old taking advantage of affordable ICT lessons to learn vital skills to meet their IT needs.
EIGHT WAYS TO ENCOURAGE YOUR TEAM TO BECOME MORE INNOVATIVE By Clare Griffiths
of your overall strategy to build your competitive advantage, improve the way you do business, and enhance your profitability. Whilst innovative firms – those using innovation to differentiate their products and services from the competition – are on average twice as profitable as other firms (Tidd, Bessant and Pavitt, 2001), they also have happier and more engaged staff. In the words of the leadership theorist John Adair, ‘Interest leads to ideas. In turn, recognition of ideas by management leads to more job interest, greater involvement and deeper commitment’ (2009, p. 12).
1. Make sure your whole team understands what ‘innovation’ means. Innovation means different things to different people. There is no point even thinking about embarking on any kind of an innovation strategy before you and your colleagues have actually agreed on a common definition of the term. It should be one which everyone can understand and relate to. If you are in need of some inspiration, you could always use my favourite definition, which happens to be a really short one too! In The Little Black Book of Innovation, Scott Anthony (2012) defines innovation in merely five words as, ‘something different that has impact’. However you decide to go about finding a definition of the term, make sure you include all your team members, if feasible. This stands you in good stead for when you actually go on to innovate, as innovation is most effective and meaningful when everyone contributes to the process.
3. Make sure that there are systems in place to collect and manage your colleague’s ideas. Innovation doesn’t happen by accident. It is a planned, intentional process of idea management. I would argue that there are five stages of innovation, during which you and your team should: 1. Ideate 2. Explore 3. Commit 4. Test 5. Measure As a team leader, manager, or director, it is your responsibility to create and monitor systems which encourage and support your colleagues to generate and submit ideas for innovation. Whilst some organisations use traditional suggestion boxes or electronic staff surveys, others use more elaborate idea management systems, such as Wazoku’s Idea Spotlight software, for running one-off idea generation campaigns,
2. Be clear why you want to innovate. Don’t innovate for the sake of it. Innovation should be something which your company does regularly, as part 28
in every innovation. Therefore, rather than fearing failure, embrace it, and learn from it. Of course, if something is not working, stop it before it gains momentum, and try to work out what went wrong, and what could be done differently to improve it.
6. Create an internal eco-system which encourages and supports innovation. According to John Adair (2009), flexibility is the key to the truly innovative organisation. If you are to expect your colleagues to innovate, it is essential that you create an internal environment conducive to innovation. Ideally you should develop a workplace where different teams and departments can communicate easily with each other. Whilst you may not always be able to remove physical barriers or distances between teams, you should try to organise, wherever possible, opportunities for colleagues to exchange ideas and build collaborative projects – either face-to-face or online. Most importantly, you should encourage and enable your employees to communicate vertically, as well as laterally. Regardless of the hierarchical structure of your organisation, colleagues should be able to communicate with each other easily. This, in turn, will allow colleagues to make decisions quickly, and will empower the company as a whole to make, and respond to, changes more swiftly.
4. Incentivise and reward innovation. There are mixed opinions and ongoing debates about whether financial incentives actually motivate employees. Research, such as that by management professor Kenneth Kovach (2001), has contributed to those debates, and has helped highlight that employees regard ‘interesting work’, rather than financial rewards, as being their biggest motivator. Undoubtedly your company will have its own policies and ethical guidelines about whether staff can be remunerated for their ideas and innovation efforts. But however you decide to acknowledge staff for their innovative work, it is worth bearing in mind that you should reward their efforts to innovate, rather than the final output of the innovation itself. Staff should be encouraged to experiment, even if the outcome is different to what was originally intended. 5. Learn from your mistakes. Accept risk and learn from it. Creative thinking and innovative working requires freedom. If you limit your staff in their efforts to innovate, it is likely that this behaviour will impact negatively on their work. Whilst you may feel out of control, innovation specialists recommend that you give your team the space and time to ideate, research, and reflect – individually and as a group. Most importantly, recognise and accept that there is an element of risk
as well as capturing colleagues’ ideas on a continuous basis. Whatever your budget, there will be ways in which you can introduce new, formal systems to start capturing and analysing your team’s ideas. It’s important to remember, however, that innovation is all about turning ideas into action. So you will need to make sure that there are systems and decision-making processes in place to evaluate and select those ideas which you want to commit to making a reality.
7. Equip your staff with the right skills to innovate in the workplace. Effective innovation management requires certain skills, and these change throughout the five-stage process of innovation. The Conference Board for Canada has recently researched the skills, attitudes and behaviours needed by employers and employees to contribute to an organization’s innovation performance. As part of this research, the organisation has produced a really 29
useful document highlighting those skills, entitled Innovation Skills Profile 2.0. This document can serve as a reference to identify which skills are required for innovative working, and the accompanying, free tool, entitled the General Innovation Skills Aptitude Test 2.0 (GISAT), can be used to help you and your employees identify your own innovation capacities and any potential skills gaps. The good news, for business owners and managers, is that these skills can be learnt. Therefore, if required, you can provide in-house, tailormade training in order to enhance the innovation skills of your colleagues. 8. Lead to innovate. Innovation is very much action-oriented. In short, innovation = ideas + action + impact. So, if you want your team to think more creatively and act more innovatively, quite simply, you should lead by example.
About Clare Clare Griffiths is Director of The Ideas People, a smart social enterprise which develops the innovation skills and capacity of todayâ€™s and tomorrowâ€™s workforce through practical training, tools and fun learning experiences. Please visit www.theideaspeople. co.uk for more information about their training courses and approach. Useful reading Adair, J. (2009), Leadership for Innovation: How to organise team creativity and harvest ideas, London: Kogan Page.
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PUTTING A VALUE ON SWEAT EQUITY By Martin Brassell
to leave a founder so short of equity that they lack the commitment and energy to make the climb. However, the risk climate dictates that this is a buyer’s market at present, in which any valuation is bound to be subjected to close scrutiny, and therefore needs to be as objective and well-evidenced as possible. How does sweat get expressed? Generally as a factor or multiple of the salary that the entrepreneur(s) would be earning if they were in some notionally equivalent employment (or still in a previous job). The more senior time and energy put into an opportunity, the more it should be worth, and this method quantifies it – right?
Martin Brassell, CEO of Inngot, considers how founders can realise value from their hard work in a pre-start context. There are many areas in which the expectations of investors and entrepreneurs seeking investment differ. One of the areas that often proves hardest to resolve is the question of valuation, especially if a business is yet to generate first revenues.
Sorry – wrong, on a number of counts. To begin with, this approach assumes that hard cash and theoretical cash are equivalent in value. In reality, there is always an exchange rate in action. Sometimes this works in the founders’ interests, if they manage to get an opportunity to a point where it clearly has vastly more value than the time they have expended on it would indicate. But on other occasions, the investor is being expected to put in new cash to realise an opportunity that the theoretical cash has failed to deliver on its own. They will understandably take the view that their ‘real’ money is more risky and should attract a premium.
‘Sweat equity’ is the delightful term coined to describe the value to be placed on the efforts expended to bring an opportunity to the point of realisation. At the point when a business is first presented to independent investors, rather than a more receptive first audience of ‘friends and family’, entrepreneurs will often attempt to place a financial value on their labours. From their viewpoint, this is a perfectly reasonable thing to do: after all, no-one doubts that bringing an innovative idea to market involves a lot of perspiration as well as inspiration. Any investor worth having knows that the road to success is generally a steep one, and likely to require a good deal more sweat to be expended. He or she also understands that it is counter-productive
Even if a pound-for-pound calculation were appropriate, an investor has no way of auditing the amount of time that has actually been invested, or knowing whether the salary sacrifice implied is real or not. Certainly, people do sometimes jump out of highly-paid jobs to create new ventures, but on
any such orders are likely to have been secured based on capabilities that are underpinned by intellectual property and similar rights.
some level, the saying that ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ is generally applicable to entrepreneurial motivation as well as to the innovations themselves. And there is a more fundamental problem, which is the underlying premise that cost is equivalent to value.
The more comprehensive an inventory of assets a business can produce, the better its prospects of attracting favourable attention, and the more likely it is that an investor will see that there is something of value at the heart of it. The present day value of those assets can then be extrapolated from the scale of the opportunity they enable a company to realise, and the length of time it will take for an investor’s new money to enable that opportunity to start to be realised. This comes down to having a credible and well-drafted business plan, in which risks and how they can be mitigated are given proper consideration.
Plainly, it’s not. The fact that it costs one company twice as much as another to produce a given widget does not translate into twice as much value that the market can see. To take a less obvious example, many endeavours involve going down a number of what prove to be blind alleys. This creates ‘negative know-how’ – understanding what doesn’t work. It has some value, but clearly not as much as actually discovering the ‘secret sauce’. To present a more compelling case requires a focus on what a pre-startup has actually been able to deliver to date. This involves consideration of assets, and since few start-ups are well enough funded to invest much in tangible ones, it inevitably comes down to the value that an investor can see in the opportunity and the company’s capacity to realise it based on first, the quality of the team (if there is one) and second, the quality of the approach embodied in its intangible assets.
So the secret of expressing the value of sweat is simple: don’t focus on how much time you’ve spent – instead, show what you have been able to do with it. Companies who look after and use their intellectual property grow faster, create more jobs, and are worth more. Profiling and valuing your intellectual property with Inngot is the ideal way to get to grips with what you own and find out what it’s worth. For more information about how Inngot can benefit your business visit:
An investor needs to see how the sweat invested by founders has translated into assets that create income, ‘freedom to operate’ and/or ‘barriers to entry’. Not all these assets are equal, and the type most highly prized will generally be firm orders, often in short supply. However,
www.inngot.com and follow @inngot © Inngot 2014
THE SCIENCE BEHIND SUCCESSFUL START-UPS By Chris Locke If you could predict a start-up’s chance of success based on how hard they work, then we would have a nation of Bransons, Zuckerbergs and Elon Musks. However, the reality is that 90% of start-ups fail within 12 months.
5. Build, measure & learn These principles enable start-ups to identify which activities drive value, and which waste time, effort and money. How does it work? A lean start-up applies the five lean principles across all stages of the business, and follows the process outlined in the diagram.
Of that 90%, 80% fail because they Build become too focused on the product, A start-up needs to be able to build rather than the market. The their product or service rapidly consequence of this is that time, on the basis of their initial money and energy Ideas idea, with their target are spent on the market, and create wrong activities, a minimum viable wasting time and Learn Build product (MVP). destroying value. The MVP has the core features of the So how do you product/service, and increase the chances will test assumptions of a start-up being as well as the successful? Data Product central customer The answer could experience behind be to adopt a Lean the idea. Start-up approach. Measure Zappos is an example of What is Lean Start-up? this approach. The co-founder It is an approach and methodology of Zappos created an MVP which developed by Eric Ries in 2008, and tested the main assumption behind used by companies such as Dropbox, Zappos – that people would be prepared Facebook, and Twitter. Lean start-up is to shop for and purchase shoes on the built around five core principles: internet. Instead of building a website, purchasing stock and storing inventory, 1. Entrepreneurship is everywhere he went into local shoe retailer’s, took photos of the shoes, posted them online 2. Entrepreneurship is management and waited to see if customers would buy them. When they did, he would 3. Validated learning purchase the shoes from the store, pack them, and send them to the customers. 4. Innovation accounting Whilst this model and approach is not 34
Optimisation (SEO), Google AdWords and sponsored adverts.
sustainable, it provides the opportunity to quickly test assumptions around your business model, and uncover valuable insights into your customers.
The result was a cost-per-customeracquisition of between $288–338 per customer for a $99 product. From this experiment they were able to identify that switching from traditional marketing to viral, using word of mouth, incentivising referrals with free space, and introducing shared folders would be a game-changing pivot. Within 14 months, they had grown their user base from 100,000 users to 4,000,000. Today, they are now a company valued at $10bn.
Measure When you launch an MVP, you need to have a set of clearly defined and relevant metrics so that when you collect data, you are able to measure the performance of the experiment against the original metrics. Dave McClure of 500 Startups delivers a very entertaining presentation on AARRR Pirate Metrics (http://vimeo. com/83962056) which provides a framework that start-ups can use. The output of putting metrics in place is that you will begin to harvest data about your customers, and how they are using your product or service. From this, you are able to see how that aligns to the assumptions you made within your original hypothesis. Learn The analysis of the data gives the potential to learn a lot of information about your customers and how they are using the product. At this point, you will be able to see whether the results require you to pivot away from your original strategy, or persevere with it. If a pivot is required, then the data is used to develop a new hypothesis and a new experiment, aligned to your vision, from which you revise and release a second iteration of the MVP to test the market again.
How do I get started? If you are thinking of applying a Lean Start-up approach, I would suggest the following resources to develop a deeper understanding: Useful reading Ries, E. (2011), The Lean Start-Up, London: Penguin. Krug, S. (2006), Don’t Make Me Think, Berkeley: New Riders. Website: www.theleanstartup.com www.straegyzer.com Twitter: @ericries @davemcclure @leanstartup Blog: MVP in action
About Chris Chris Locke is the founder of StartUp Republic. Its mission is to get students graduating debt-free, helping them build kickass start-ups, by developing the skills, The iteration and pivot doesn’t have to be networks and opportunity to raise seed around the product, it can be around any capital. aspect of the business. A great example of this is Dropbox, the cloud-based platform that allows individuals and companies to store documents, photos and other multimedia assets online. At launch, in 2008, they went down a traditional marketing route of Search Engine 35
HOW TO BEAT THE MAJOR RETAIL BRANDS AT THEIR OWN GAME By the shop4pop team What’s the difference between the marketing budget of a national retail chain and a small independent retailer? Yes, a lot. But what’s the difference between actually marketing these businesses? Not a lot, in terms of the challenges they have to face. Challenges such as...
to overcome these challenges. They have the budget to achieve this, and to achieve it quickly. A considerable amount of this budget – tens of thousands per month – is spent on in-store advertising, also known as POP (Point of Purchase). How do the major brands benefit from POP?
• How to make their brand relevant to the local community • How to influence customers to visit and buy in their shops • How to advertise their deals and offers in-store • How to get their prices right in each of their shop locations
Major retailers can fill their shops with eye-catching themed advertising materials such as window graphics, printed window displays, hanging banners and display units. They use seasonal events such as Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Back-to-School as opportunities to improve their sales.
For the major retailer, building trust with customers through developing a strong and easily recognisable brand is the way advertorial
Their in-store promotions are designed to coordinate their key sales message in 36
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We have created shop4pop to bring our award winning point of purchase products to independent retailers through online printing, so you can get the professional quality in-store advertising that the big brands have, at a price that fits your budget. Our in-store advertising bundle deals are a great cost effective way to kit out your business with high quality point of sale products for under ÂŁ300. Bundle deals include a mixture of the items above and are available for specific business sectors (Fashion Retail, Leisure & Gym, Salons & Beauty, Florists & Gift Boutiques) as well as a General Retail bundle for all business types. Order your printed advertising online today, and start selling more.
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branded, colour coordinated styles right from the window through to the products on display.
site in a shopping centre, it would cost you at least £150 per month just to rent the space. Your design, artwork and production costs would be in addition to this. So utilising your ‘owned’ prime advertising space is an extremely costeffective way to get your brand in front of your customers.
They recognise that their shop window is a wonderful advertising medium that comes included in their weekly rent. It’s literally their window of opportunity and they use it to entice customers to step into their shops by showcasing their latest product ranges and special offers, or reminding them about upcoming events – both seasonal and local.
Once your customers have stepped inside your shop, you must ensure the theme and messages continue throughout the shopper journey, from your aisles and shelves through to your sales counter. This can be achieved through the effective use of POP.
As the old saying goes, you have to spend money to make money. But can a smaller business like yours afford to implement such high-quality, designed and printed POP advertising when you are most likely operating on a fraction of a major retailer’s marketing budget? Yes, it can...
How can your brand get POP? The shop4pop website has been specifically developed to address this challenge. The site allows your local, independently-owned shop to customise professionally-designed templates with your own sales promotions, order online and receive delivery of your POP advertising within days. Not only this, but your whole shop can be dressed in themed POP with your own brand and sales messages for under £300.
How can your brand benefit from POP? In the same way that the major retailers overcome the challenges above by building trust with their customers through branding, smaller retailers can use their locality to achieve this. When it comes to customer loyalty and building a reputation by word of mouth, the local shop is always at an advantage. Personal service and a convenient location all work in your favour.
National brands encounter problems with compliance, often with up to 30% of their POP advertising never getting used, due to shop staff not understanding how to assemble the items. At shop4pop we eradicate this problem, by providing clear online instructions and how-to videos showing how to assemble it easily in seconds. Our blog will help you make the most of your POP, with hints and tips on the best products for your business, and where to place your advertising for maximum return.
Useful knowledge of the local market is something you have at your fingertips, whereas the national brands have to invest a lot of time and money into it. Taking advantage of this position is something that local businesses should do when considering new products and services, special offers, and ways to promote them to their customers. Using the physical space you have available is also key. By way of comparison, if you were to place a poster advertising your business into a poster advertorial
So, if you’d like to beat the major brands at their own game, have a look at www.shop4pop.com today. 38
FIVE WAYS TO HOTWIRE YOUR KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN By Paul Grant
Crowdfunding is changing the way ideas can be funded. There are many routes to crowdfunding but one of the most popular is using a reward site that gives a series of ‘rewards’ in return for pledges. The more you pledge, the bigger the reward.
STORY. Use the classic movie formula: the likable hero (you) encounters a problem and struggles with it, but using great skill and persistence finds a world-changing (or at least an interesting) solution. Remember to close your video with a call to action. WHY should they donate money to your campaign? 2. Dip your toe in the water Test the water by sending a message to your supporters, customers, and friends. It could be a casual email just asking what they would be prepared to donate in return for a series of rewards, and how much. The founders of Escape the City needed a hefty £500k investment and, using this approach, they received proposed pledges of more than £5m. They knew then that the amount they were aiming to raise was realistic – and when they launched their campaign they were fully funded within just eight days. Once you have tested the appetite for your campaign, and can see the potential response, you’ll be able to make a judgement on the amount you can realistically raise.
One of the most successful campaigns of this kind is Pebble Smart Watch™ which raised over $10m on the funding platform Kickstarter by offering anyone that pledged more than $99 a chance to receive one of the first Pebble Smart watches as they rolled off the production line. However, it’s estimated that around 60% of crowdfunders do not meet their monetary goal. It’s not as easy as it looks to secure crowdfunding but if you do your homework and take the right approach, the chances for success for your bright idea are high.
3. Get your marketing plan sorted before you launch
Here are my top five tips to help you launch your own successful crowdfunding campaign:
The key to any crowdfunding campaign is to build momentum. You’ll have a massive advantage if you can plan a series of blog posts, press releases, website updates and live events during the campaign so there’s no let-up in activity. The biggest reason why Kickstarter campaigns fail is because the entrepreneur thinks their job is done when the video is uploaded and their campaign is live. Flash forward two weeks, when they realise that nothing is happening and they need to actively
1. Create an emotionally-charged video The video pitch is your shop window and if it doesn’t trigger the right feelings in your potential investors then you’ll severely hamper your chances of getting your campaign funded. Ultimately you need their emotional buy-in before the money flows in. They need to feel that they know YOU as a person and your 40
4. Don’t be shy I was chatting to an entrepreneur recently who failed to raise the funds they needed on their Kickstarter campaign. It didn’t take long to realise why they weren’t successful. They felt that they didn’t want to bother their personal contacts with what they were doing, and so they missed out on a critical boost within the first few days of launching their campaign and never gained the support from others that didn’t know them. The way the crowd sees it, if the entrepreneur can’t get buy-in from their own friends, family and fans, why should they get involved? 5. Get the bloggers on board After you’ve got your family, friends and fans active in supporting you, get some support from key bloggers who have huge circles of influence. I’ve seen
a whole campaign turn round after just one short post by a popular blogger. Do your research in advance and draw up a wishlist of 50 bloggers that could write about your campaign with a link to your pitch. Contact them early, be human, be friendly and polite, tell them your story and ask if they would mind supporting you.
market their pitch, and by then it’s often too late – momentum has been lost.
About Paul Paul Grant is an experienced entrepreneur, business coach and speaker who is also the founder of The Funding Game, which runs a monthly workshop at the British Library called How to Find the Right Investors. For a free report offering 110 resources for start-ups visit: http://bit.ly/110resources Email: email@example.com Twitter: @thefundinggame
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STUCK By David Cox As a creativity consultant I engage regularly with creative professionals – designers, advertising agencies, branding specialists, architects and people from other related disciplines – handling the issues they encounter in their work.
his game with an international reputation – described them to me as his ‘Snakes in the studio’, a vivid phrase which stayed in my mind. So what are these venomous snakes, and why are they so threatening? Well, three of them rear their heads when you’re stressed, stale or stuck. Being stressed is inimical to creative thought, as well as being bad for your health. It’s a big topic, and one every creative individual would do well to be aware of. Feeling stale is one of those counterproductive states that can creep up on you, almost without you noticing. And the third big snake, which is the focus of this article, is being stuck.
In the course of my activities I encounter all kinds of problems that interfere with the creative process, and there are some recurring themes that seem to affect most creative individuals at one time or another in their professional lives. A designer client – someone at the top of
Unless you are exceptionally productive you’ll know about being stuck. It can happen at any time, often when you least 42
you’ll often find that your ever-efficient subconscious has conveniently provided a solution.
Before you begin – this is the dreaded ‘blank sheet of paper’. Scott Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and many other great writers recorded their fear and dread of this daunting challenge.
Do something – This route involves committing your conscious mind to a rich alternative path. This might be where you do your accounts, or re-write the marketing plan – rigorous, logical, leftbrain sequences that are as far away from creativity as it’s possible to get. Once again, you’re tricking your brain so that the conscious part is fully occupied. Meanwhile, your devious and everresourceful subconscious mind is busy rebelling.
need it in your life. Regardless of your professional history, you can become stuck:
During the process – it was all going so well, then you lost your way… Near the end – the goal is in sight but like the frog in the fable, each jump gets you nearer the bank of the pond, but never quite there.
Do anything – Here you take a radically different approach. If you’re sporty, go for a jog, a swim, a ride, or at least a long walk where you feel your body moving, breathe the air and smell the flowers. The purpose here is to move from purely cerebral work to somaticallyfocused and other whole-body activity. It’s difficult to remain alert to multisensory experiences. Your brain struggles with the immediate situation, throwing up all sorts of sensory diversions, some of which may take your imagination in unexpected directions.
It just didn’t work out – John Lennon famously dismissed some of his best work this way – it didn’t match his vision, however good others thought it was. Being stuck is ugly in so many ways – dispiriting, humiliating, frustrating, ruinous to self-esteem. So what can you do about becoming stuck? Here are three effective ways to vanquish those snakes in your studio: Do nothing – Yes, nothing. Stop what you’re doing and disengage. Have a break – make a drink, do something unchallenging like Sudoku, a crossword or planning your shopping list. Anything other than the work in hand. Some individuals ritually sharpen all their pencils or clean their palette and brushes. Doodle, or take a powernap. It really doesn’t matter as long as it doesn’t involve your creative brain. Psychologically, this process works because you can’t just switch off – this is cerebral sleight of hand, where you fool your ever-resourceful cognitive functions into a false sense of security, and allow the mind to change gear for a short time while it re-calibrates. During this time,
I liken getting stuck to the common cold – it only happens to others, until you catch it. Then it’s the only thing that matters and you have to cure it before you can live again. In my coaching and workshops I give my clients a Top Ten list of smarter creative thinking apps and books, remedies if you like, so they have a powerful armoury of tools for optimum performance. On the topic of being stuck, my favourite app is available via www.unstuck.com through Appstore, and in book form (Unstuck, published by Portfolio), by Keith Yamashita and Sandra Spataro. There are frequent updates and I recommend the 43
app or the book. I particularly like the way they recognise the surprise and shock that often accompany ‘writers block’ and other freeze states, and provide instant unlocking solutions every sufferer will value.
a clinical psychologist before turning to marketing, when he founded the UK’s first youth marketing consultancy. He recently published Creative Thinking for Dummies (Wiley).
Remember, getting stuck is a natural part of the creative process, so keep it in proportion and learn from the experience. Becoming unstuck is a manifestation of your creative ability – so celebrate it. About David David Cox is a creative business consultant who, since the 1970s, has created, acquired and sold numerous successful businesses. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and the RSA, as well as a Chartered Practitioner of neuro-linguistic programming. David began his education in fine art, where he cultivated his interest in creativity. He also trained as
Calling all illustrators and photographers! If you fancy seeing your work online, get in touch! firstname.lastname@example.org
By The Crowd ’Zine team If you are one of those people who is never short of an idea, or you work in a role supporting other people to evaluate their ideas, then it can often be difficult to work out which ideas to pursue, which to drop, and which to explore further. Whilst some form of a business plan or feasibility study will help you to evaluate whether a specific idea is commercially viable, a quick tool to compare ideas at the early stage of the innovation process is the Impact vs. Effort Matrix.
This simple tool consists of four quadrants which sit along two different axes – ranging from low impact to high impact, and low effort to high effort. If you are faced with a number of ideas, and are not sure which to work on further, simply analyse each one in terms of potential impact (e.g. on your business, customers, or market) and the effort required to implement the idea. You can use this matrix on your own, or with your team, as a visual decision-making tool. If you are working on your own, just scribble down the matrix and plot your ideas directly onto your notepad. If you are in a group setting, however, you may find it easier to draw a larger version of the matrix on some flipchart paper, and use sticky notes to capture and map out your colleagues’ ideas.
Whilst some of you may be familiar with this matrix (often referred to as the Impact vs. Ease of Implementation Matrix) in the context of customerled product improvement, this handy two-by-two matrix can also be used for prioritising ideas in a wider context.
High Impact Ideas worth pursuing now!
Ideas worth exploring now!
Ideas worth exploring later!
Ideas worth dropping now!
Low Impact Low Effort
A CLOSER LOOK AT... THE IMPACT VS. EFFORT MATRIX
USING VIDEO TO DEVELOP YOUR COMPANY’S COMPETITIVE EDGE By Brighton Video Production team
Brighton Video Production is an up-andcoming video company with fresh new ideas and creative spark, producing videos reaching a massive audience. Here they explain why using videos in your marketing campaigns is more important than ever before, whilst also sharing some top tips on how you can create a professional video for your business.
campaigns, and your communication strategies. They are a great way of showing your products and services in action, and can be accessed via any media device. Videos can be really helpful in explaining complex processes or technical products, and ‘how to’ videos, in particular, can be an effective alternative to lengthy instruction manuals. They are also really easy to share with customers, colleagues, and other key stakeholders. If you develop a video for your business, try to create one with ‘vox pops’ – testimonials from your customers or clients – as a customer’s endorsement is the next best thing to word-of-mouth marketing.
Did you know? Three former PayPal employees launched YouTube in February 2005, to enable people to share their videos. The company was snapped up by Google in early 2006, and YouTube now owns 64% of the UK online video market. YouTube is currently used in 61 countries worldwide, and surprisingly, 80% of viewers are outside the USA. Globally, six billion hours of video are watched every month, and 100 hours uploaded every minute!
What should a promotional video contain? A video promoting your business should contain a beginning, a middle and an end! After a short introduction, you should highlight your company’s skills and expertise, and then emphasise your unique selling point. You should address how your products and/or services benefit your customers, and explain how you can ease their ‘customer pain’. Ideally, you don’t want a video lasting more than two minutes. These days, people’s attention spans are very short. If you can, try and keep your video to under 90 seconds. At the end of the video, make sure you include a clear call to action, instructing the viewers to do something specific (such as visit your website, contact you, arrange a meeting, etc.).
Why is this relevant? Quite simply, videos can help you with your Search Engine Optimisation! If you want to improve your rankings on Google’s organic search lists, you will need to make sure your website is packed with videos embedded within it. First, you should create your company’s own YouTube channel (it’s free). Then, once you have developed some new videos featuring your business, or showing off your expertise, upload those onto your channel, before adding them as content on your website. As Google ‘likes’ websites with videos, slowly but surely, your Google rankings should improve.
What is needed to make a professional video? Whether you want to film a conference, your restaurant business, your wedding, a special outdoor event, or your training courses, our range of specialist equipment ensures that your
How else can videos benefit your business? Videos not only benefit your Search Engine Optimisation strategy, but also your user experience, your marketing advertorial
- Drive more traffic to your website - Boost your Google rankings - Demonstrate a product, service or
professional video will stand out from the crowd. Unlike amateur film-makers, we use industry-leading equipment, such as:
activity concisely - Illustrate and share your expertise - Give your business a personal face - Encourage clients to engage more with your brand
- Full HD video cameras (Panasonic, Canon and GoPro3)- Professional microphones- Studio lighting- Tripods, sliders, and a jib crane- A green screen studio- DJI Phantom Drone
Sounds great? Of course it does! So, whatever your budget or video requirements, please contact Brighton Video Production to find out how we can help you.
We also help you to script your video, and can add computer-generated imagery (CGI), special effects, and labels, when necessary. We use specialist editing software, and also use royalty-free music â€“ something that amateur film-makers do not always have access to.
So, just to be clear... Videos can benefit your business, brand, SEO, and marketing campaigns, enabling you to develop your competitive edge. Specifically, videos can help you:
Email: email@example.com Phone: +44 (0)7967 319036 or +44 (0)7835 878506
- Make your website more engaging 47
FOCUS - HOW TO GET A FOLLOWING ON TWITTER By Claire Culley The world of social media can be a daunting one, and with its importance in your marketing strategy increasing more than ever, it’s time to embrace retweets, hashtags and everything else in between. So, now you have a Twitter account and you’ve got your head around how it works, how do you actually use it to effectively promote your business? Well, the simple answer is: increase your followers. This, in turn, will increase awareness of your brand, which will then ultimately lead to more traffic to your website, more sales of your products, and more interaction with your customers. Sounds simple when you put it like that, doesn’t it?
articles you have read. Remember, it’s not always about promotion of your business. People will respond and interact with your account more if you are sharing information you think they will find interesting. • Follow similar people’s followers. Take some time to go through your competitors’ followers and follow them. Chances are, if they like your competitor, they will like you as well. • Embrace hashtags. Do some research and find out what the popular hashtags are for your type of business and use them when tweeting about news, products or links to your website. • Link up. Make sure all of your social media outlets are linked up. For example, have links to your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Mailchimp, etc. all easily accessible from your website. Also include your Twitter name and Facebook URL on all of your promotional material, including business cards and email signatures. • Respond to everyone that tweets or retweets you. It’s always nice to get a reply, and the more rapport you can build with your customers, the better.
Unfortunately, building up your followers can be frustrating and will take some time, but once you’ve got the hang of it, you’ll find you are attracting new potential customers every day.
• Run regular competitions, with the main focus being to get more followers.
Here are my top tips to build up your following:
• Do an #FF. #FollowFriday is the perfect opportunity to give someone • Have a recognisable Twitter name. you follow a piece of recognition. If Keep it simple, focused and relative to they are not already following you, it your business. may put you on their radar. If they do follow you, it may nudge them into #FF• Be conversational. Talk about current ing you back! affairs, things that make you laugh, cool websites you like, and interesting • A photo says a thousand words. 48
• Share and share alike! Be sure to help promote what your followers are doing as well. Become known as an expert or resource by helping others too. • Follow who you want to be followed by. They may not follow you back, but you’ll be able to keep an eye on their activity and interact with them. • Organise a Tweet Up. Why not organise a Tweet Up for your followers, or for a hashtag group you are involved in? Sure, Twitter is great, but nothing beats a conversation face-to-face over a cuppa. • Remain professional. Don’t be tempted to join in heated discussions, or
push your opinions onto others. If you are after more advice about your social media channels, please come along to one of my Super+Super talks. I also offer one-to-one tuition geared specifically to your business.
Attach a photo to your tweet. Twitter has recently reported that tweets that include photos receive the most interaction.
Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively just follow me on Twitter: @imcalledclaire Claire Culley – www.claireculley.com
PPC, SEO,WTF? A GUIDE TO MARKETING JARGON By Laura Evans
No matter what your position is within your company, it helps to have a basic understanding of marketing and how it can be applied to your organisation. But for some, especially those whose businesses were born of passion over a history of corporate experience, this opens up a foggy world of marketing abbreviations which easily become a quagmire of useless corporate speak. So we’re going to blast the mists away, and look at a few terms that can cause raised eyebrows. B2B/B2C – a solid contender for the crown of the buzzword bingo crew, B2B and B2C refer to the markets towards which you are targeting your sales and marketing efforts. You may be selling to businesses, therefore you are in the ‘Business to Business’ market (aka B2B). Or, you are selling to consumers, the man on the street, which would put you in the ‘Business to Consumer’ camp. Most products or businesses would find themselves sitting in either of these two areas, seldom both, although you should always consider that you are selling to people, even if you are B2B focussed. SEO – this term is short for ‘Search Engine Optimisation’ which is about getting your website to appear as close as possible to the top of search engine listings when certain keywords are searched for, e.g. ‘Sussex printers’. This visibility helps you to win business from people who are searching for your services online and may not know you as a provider otherwise.
Usually this activity targets Google, where the vast majority of searches are conducted. Beware of spammy emails that tell you they will get you to the top of listings. These are often scams which use methods that the search engines will later penalise you for using – something that is difficult and timely to reverse. Good SEO is a long-term, ongoing goal that will take work and attention to achieve, so beware of quick fixes that might involve shady activities. PPC – the one most likely to make people say ‘eh?’ PPC stands for ‘Pay Per Click’ and refers to online advertising where you might sponsor keywords in search engines (the ads that show up above and down the side of search results) or website banner advertising. Often you are charged on how many times the ad is clicked, hence pay per click, or sometimes cost per click (CPC). Sounds like something you need? Welcome to a whole new world of marketing abbreviations, such as CPM (cost per month), and CTR (click through rate), the percentage of ad viewers who clicked the ad. PR – although it may seem straightforward to a lot of people, I have been asked about this before. PR stands for ‘Public Relations’, and is about getting media coverage for your brand and products. Back in the day, this used to be about newspapers and magazines, but today it is just as much about online-only publications and blogs, and can include imaginative events and video activity too. UX – this is one you will be hearing from designers and developers as well as marketers. It means ‘User eXperience’, where the user is the person who is ultimately buying/using your website or product. Essentially, it is about
ROI – if you’ve worked in the corporate sector, you will have heard the term ROI or ‘Return On Investment’ bandied around a lot. Simply, what do you get out for the investment that you have put in? Ideally you would be in a position where your return on marketing activities outstrips your investment, although this is not always easy to show on activities such as social media or display advertising. The more nerve-wracking way to identify ROI in these areas is to stop the activity and measure how sales fall off.
the back of your diary. What matters is that it works for your budget and means your customers are getting the attention that they need in order for you to convert the business.
the experience that your design and functionality provides to that person. Is it easy to use? How does it make them feel? What is difficult and could be made easier so that they might buy more and do so more easily?
Google+: https://plus.google.com/app/ basic/112648200855228802235/ LinkedIn: http://uk.linkedin.com/in/lauraevans01/ Twitter: @lauraofbrighton
CRM – ‘Customer Relationship Management’ refers to the system that you use to manage your customers’ data. This could be a paid for, automated system (e.g. Salesforce), a detailed Excel spreadsheet, or even a list of names in
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FIVE FREE ONLINE RESOURCES TO HELP YOU CAPTURE AND DEVELOP YOUR IDEAS By The Crowd ’Zine team
1. Development, Impact and You DIY Toolkit has been designed specifically for development practitioners to invent, adopt or adapt ideas that can deliver better results. It’s quick to use, simple to apply, and designed to help busy people working in development. The toolkit draws on a study of many hundreds of tools, and Nesta picked the ones which practitioners found most useful. Even if you don’t work in social innovation and community development, we would argue that this toolkit will help you to explore and develop your ideas.
canvas templates according to what you are working on. Whilst they acknowledge that this is a very early stage prototype, we are sure that you are able to find a canvas template which suits your needs – wherever you are at in the business development process. http://canvanizer.com/ 4. Lean Canvas The Lean Canvas and accompanying ebook help you develop your own onepage business plan, respecting a lean start-up approach. The Lean Canvas is really handy for brainstorming possible business models, prioritising where to start, and tracking ongoing learning as you develop your business. The ebook acts as a step-by-step guide, showing you how to write down and develop your ideas using the Lean Canvas.
http://diytoolkit.org/ 2. The Happy Startup School Ebook and Start-Up Toolkit The Happy Startup School ebook covers four steps to a happy start-up: from passion, purpose and people, to profits. It’s the perfect introductory guide to building your own happy business. The toolkit will provide you with practical resources to get your business off the ground. It includes a Happy Startups Canvas to write up a one-page business plan, tools to create user personas, tons of ideas for testing your assumptions, as well as video clips, and a list of useful books to read whilst you are starting up.
http://leanstack.com/LeanCanvas.pdf 5. Hey Shenee And now for something different. The link below will take you to a free, fiveday branding workshop, rather than any kind of ebook or canvas. Once you have started reading Shenee’s posts, you can’t stop! In her words, she is, ‘THE branding expert for undeniably mindblowing, awe-inspiring (profitable) brands’. Her work is specifically aimed at aspiring entrepreneurs, but even if you are a more established business, there is bound to be something new for you to learn, which will help you grow your business. One thing we can be sure of, you are guaranteed to feel more energised, yo!
http://thehappystartupschool.com/ebook 3. Canvanizer The Canvanizer team are a Germanbased company who have created and adapted a selection of canvases which can be used online by start-ups and established businesses, to help entrepreneurs brainstorm and develop their ideas – either individually or as teams. You are able to choose different
with our practical training courses, you can...
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ALL WORK AND NO PLAY? By The Crowd ’Zine team
Write a short story containing five words or less. Tweet us your stories via @TheCrowdZine #shortstory Here’s one to get you started.
I didn’t see that coming.
TAKE A BREAK...
By The Crowd â€™Zine team What alternative uses can you think of for a plastic bottle? Share your ideas via @TheCrowdZine #plasticbottle.
gallery Phil Burrowes is an established professional portrait and commercial photographer based in Eastbourne, East Sussex. These images were taken as part of The Day in the Life Project for local barber Richard Haven, Grove Road, Eastbourne. Working to a fairly loose brief, Phil was tasked with producing images that were in keeping with the traditional nature of Richard’s business. Offering the classic gentleman’s treat of a ‘wet shave’, Richard wanted Phil to illustrate his unique business’s traditional values.
Phil photographs amazing family portraits and images that businesses find perfect for PR, websites and social media. For more details, please visit www.avantcommercial.com
By Jessica Hylands Life Coaching Jessica Hylands takes her regular look at some key issues facing new businesses. If you would like Jessica to answer your questions in the next issue, please email editor@thecrowdzine. co.uk with the details! Q: How do I decide on the best marketing plan for my business? Every business is different. Not only in terms of its products or services, but also because of the individuals involved. This being the case, it’s not possible to say that Method A suits this type of business and Method B suits the other. There will be some routes to market that are more suited to certain businesses, but it also depends on the aspirations of the business owner, and what they are trying to achieve. Is their aim to target a specialised niche market, or to ‘stack ‘em high and sell ‘em cheap’? Firstly, you need to establish who you want as a client or customer. Think specifically, for example, about their age, gender, geographical location, occupation, income bracket and so on. What sort of marketing would reach these people? Where do they go? What do they do? What do they read? If you try to reach everyone, it is likely that your advert, in whatever form, will catch the attention of no one. A marketing expert will do all the leg work for you, but if you decide to do it yourself, define your target market, and research it thoroughly to establish 64
how to reach it, before making any decisions or parting with any money. Q: I want to start a business and work for myself, but am unsure what sort of business to start. This can be a very tricky starting point and the first thing I would say is DO NOTHING. Do nothing until you have thoroughly thought through every option. Don’t start up a shop just because there is a really well priced unit available, or a hairdressing business because your friend’s aunt is all but giving one away. Your new business will be something that you will potentially work at for many years, so it should be something that you enjoy, and something that you are capable of doing well. To establish what this might be, ask yourself these questions: What do you enjoy doing? What are you good at? Do you like working with people? Are you better at making or selling things? Are you happier sitting at a computer, or being out and about? Do you have any capital to start the business? Of course, you can enlist help for areas in which you are weak, but I would suggest that a good starting point is to consider something around your own interests and capabilities. For a free chat on business coaching, please call Jessica Hylands on 01323 648819. For more information, visit www.jessicahylandslifecoaching.co.uk
By The Crowd’Zine team Business Support, Information and Guidance
www.enterprisenation.com – Enterprise Nation has developed a range of support services for small businesses, including an online network as well as training events. They also sell practical business books via their website. www.fredericksfoundation.org – The Fredericks Foundation is a charity which helps disadvantaged people to set up or expand their businesses. www.ideastap.com – Ideas Tap provides information and work opportunities for young people wanting to work in the creative industries. It also runs an ideas competition (with cash prizes) aimed at those who are setting up or running creative ventures. www.mymas.org – The Manufacturing Advisory Service provides manufacturing business support for companies based in England, helping them to improve and grow. www.princes-trust.org.uk/need_help/enterprise_programme.aspx – The Prince’s Trust provides business support for people aged 30 years and under. www.shell-livewire.org – Shell LiveWIRE is an online national business support organisation which runs a monthly ideas competition (with four cash prizes of £1000) for individuals aged 30 years and under. www.smarta.com – Smarta is an online business support network for start-ups, small business owners and entrepreneurs, providing a range of free practical guides, tools and informative videos. www.startacus.net – Startacus is an online support network for self-starters, with a handy online toolkit and platform to help individuals develop their ideas and collaborate with each other. www.prowess.org.uk Prowess 2.0 is an online service aimed at women in business, which has a blogging platform, as well as information about women-friendly business support. www.startupdonut.co.uk – Start-Up Donut provides free, online resources, advice and tools for those wanting to start a business. www.unltd.org.uk – UnLtd offers a range of support, funding and mentors for aspiring social entrepreneurs and established social enterprises. 65
Government Support Schemes www.gov.uk/browse/business – This website replaces the former Governmentfunded Business Link website. It provides up-to-date information for start-ups and small businesses. www.gov.uk/new-enterprise-allowance – The New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) offers job seekers a weekly allowance worth up to £1,274 over 26 weeks, and a loan of up to £1,000 to put towards start-up costs. www.growthaccelerator.com – Growth Accelerator links up small to medium-sized businesses (SME) with industry experts. The industry experts offer mentoring support to the business owners, and support the SMEs (with high-growth potential) to become investment-ready. www.startuploans.co.uk – Start-Up Loans is a Government-funded scheme to enable individuals to start and develop their own businesses.
Legal Issues www.companieshouse.gov.uk – Companies House is the governmental organisation that registers all new UK companies and can provide information on legal requirements associated with registering, dissolving, and the filing of accounts for limited liability companies and partnerships. www.hmrc.gov.uk – HM Revenue and Customs is the UK customs and tax department providing information for self-employed individuals and companies about tax, VAT, national insurance contributions and returns processes. www.ipo.gov.uk – The Intellectual Property Office is the official Government body responsible for granting intellectual property (IP) rights in the UK, including copyright, trademarks, design rights and patents.
Funding Databases www.j4bgrants.co.uk – j4b Grants is a searchable database which provides information on all the latest UK Government grants, European grants, and other sources of funding, to help businesses, social enterprises and charities start up and grow.
Crowdsource Funding Platforms www.crowdcube.com – Crowdcube is an equity-based crowdsource funding 66
www.indiegogo.com – Indiegogo is a reward-based crowdsource funding platform for individuals, groups and start-up companies who have ideas for new products, services, and community projects.
platform for high-growth ventures. The average investment is £140,000.
www.kickstarter.com – Kickstarter is probably the most well-known reward-based crowdsource funding platforms, originating in the USA, for individuals, groups and start-up companies who have ideas for new products, services, and community projects. www.pleasefund.us – Please Fund Us is a reward-based crowdsource funding website for creative practitioners seeking financial support for their projects. www.seedrs.com – Seedrs is an equity-based crowdsource funding platform for highgrowth ventures. The average investment is £150,000. www.sponsume.com – Sponsume is a reward-based crowdsource funding website for individuals, groups and start-up companies who have ideas for new products, services, and community projects.
Skill-Swapping and Favours www.swapaskill.com – A large community of people who want to trade skills and items from across the globe. www.horsesmouth.co.uk – A social network for informal mentoring, where everyone can share experiences and advice. www.fiverr.com – A website where people offer to carry out tasks for five dollars (such as marketing, graphic design etc.).
Online Networking www.linkedin.com – Arguably the most recognised professional online networking site for professionals, start-ups and established businesses.
Inspiration for Ideas www.springwise.com – Springwise is an ideas database with examples of some of the most innovative products, services and community projects from around the world.
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