Archive for the ‘Internet’ Category

The Hatchery: Rearranging the puzzle for young companies

November 5, 2015

(Excerpted from  Lynn Robbin’s article originally published at princetoninfo.com)

Yao Huang’s TED Talk begins with a simple decree: If you don’t like the way the table is set, upset the table. That’s just what Huang did when she founded the Hatchery, a New York venture collaboration forum focusing on cooperation over competition. (Online at hatchery.vc)

The company works mostly with data-driven startups geared for business-to-business sales.With many business ventures in the New York area, organizations often work against each other, Huang says. The Hatchery is breaking this mold by fostering an environment in which innovation can thrive. As a result, it forges bonds with entrepreneurs and investors who trust them as an impartial forum.Huang says she changes up the process of getting investor funding for startups by finding a customer first. When she and her team find a customer who agrees to buy the product, they build a team around that who then builds the product. The completed product triggers new customers, revenues, and investors, which lead to sales, a marketing team, and a full operations staff.

“We rearrange the puzzle pieces to make it a little easier and bring on a lot more people to help,” Huang says. “We start the process with a clear path to revenue.”

The Hatchery, which collaborates with universities, is open to new ideas and research to help data scientists and young engineers build companies, Huang says.

Founded in 2007, the Hatchery has helped more than 350 early stage companies through various phases of maturity with a focus on product, business, revenue, and funding. The Hatchery was built on the principle that all technology companies have the right to access business experts and leading-edge information. It works with startups from ideation, development, sales, and funding to exit. The Hatchery works closely with foreign consulates and trade and investment offices of countries from all over the world. “You can think of us as a cofounder,” Huang says.

Their services include several components, including pitch presentations, funding, and technology. Pitch presentation includes working with presenters to understand what they have to say and how best to say it. Funding is working with the company in answering initial important questions. Are you fundable? Is your company scalable, poised for growth, or a lifestyle company? The technology aspect is all about providing technology solutions based on the startup company’s needs.

The Hatchery Incubator is where the work gets done. It develops new companies or projects by bringing together the startups, partnering companies, and investors. Scientificidly and Media Stealth focus on data analytics, Fintech Stealth and Humabi focus on finance; and Predictabe.ly focuses on media and publishing.

As mentioned earlier, the initial goal is to find the first customer, then other early customers, and then build a pipeline for future customers. The startup founders are united with serial entrepreneurs, senior engineers, and data scientists. The Incubator works with the startup team to build the product using domain experts at the beginning to ensure good product-market fit and managing the technology development. Working with a network of investors, the Hatchery supplies funding for the project.

The Hatchery’s goal for its startup companies is to line it up with wants and needs of companies interested in acquisition. With its influencer network of more than 20 advisors from portfolio companies, professionals offer guidance based on their expertise and the needs of the Startup founder.

The Hatchery offers about 50 events each year aimed to connect startups with investors and experts in their field.

  • Are You Serious?: A tough, fast-paced pitching event including presentation, Q&A, and delivery. Pitchers can expect honest responses about their start-up on marketing, finance, technology, business, and presentation. This event is not just a product demonstration. Think of this process as an experience of tough love where you will learn your strengths and weaknesses.“You might get your face slapped, but if you are headed down the wrong path, wouldn’t you want to know this early on so you can take steps to prevent failure? “ asks Huang. “After this event, pitchers come back and thank us, especially if they were going down the wrong road.”
  • The Gauntlet: focuses on particular “hot” vertical markets such as digital media, gaming, financial services, and others. The process involves presentation, grilling from the panel, and audience Q&A.
  • Hatch Match: Investor and entrepreneurs gatherings. Entrepreneurs can sign up for five-minute, one-on-one meetings with investors and partake in general networking.
  • Live @Hatchery: A speaker series in a fireside chat environment. Features the “hard to reach guys” who will cover topics you aren’t likely to find from a Google search.
  • Wonder Women: A curated gathering of successful women supporting the success of each other.In addition to her role at the Hatchery, Huang is a partner in Pereg Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm. She is advisor and deal maker to the governments of 10 countries throughout North America, Europe, and Asia assisting foreign technology companies in their expansion to the U.S. market.

Huang was named by Forbes as one of 11 women at the center of New York’s digital scene, by Beta Beat as one of 25 Women Driving New York’s Tech Scene, and as one of Techweek’s 100 most influential tech leaders. She also traveled with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Indonesia in 2011 as a member of the U.S. State Department Global Entrepreneurship Program Delegation. Huang’s work has been featured in Fortune, Inc Magazine, Reuters, and at TED-X, Broadway, and other media.

As someone who is passionate about giving a hand up to women, children, and the disadvantaged, she heads a project called Win4Causes, a for-profit venture creating positive social impacts worldwide. Some examples include building preschools, providing HIV medicines, providing scholarship funds and reducing homelessness.

“Everyone thinks you can plan your life, but I don’t think you can do that. Things change,” says Huang.

“Whatever you want to do, do it. Don’t do something just for money. If you’re young, take risks. Do something more than be part of our consumerism society. If you are living in Princeton or studying at the university, you are privileged to be comfortable and educated. You have a responsibility to do something more, something that can give meaning to the lives of others.”

Read more business articles by Lynn Robbins on http://www.webandofficeworks.com/articles.html

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Earn trust through social media

March 16, 2015

Luck is on the side of small business owners who want to build a strong online presences, says Samantha Hardcastle, an online marketing consultant and owner of Amore Social. Small businesses don’t need a million-dollar budget and a 15-person team to manage their marketing. But it takes more than luck to create a successful strategy that employs the best combination of social media tools for their specific needs.

Social media marketing is a form of inbound marketing, an approach based on earning a person’s interest and trust rather than buying it. “Make sure the message you’re putting out there has a call to action,” Hardcastle says. The action can be anything that prompts a customer to participate, perhaps sign up for an e-newsletter or a service, download a file, join a group, watch a video, join a webinar, get a free gift, or access an article with useful information.

Content marketing in the form of articles or long blog posts is really big right now, she says. It is a way to earn the trust of your audience by showing them that you understand their needs and interests.

Hardcastle, for example, has posted a blog on her website: “Six ingredients for successful online marketing.” What prompted the article, she says, was an experience in baking cookies. “If you mismeasure one ingredient, your dessert will be a miserable fail. This got me thinking, that baking is very similar to online marketing! If you don’t implement all of the following, your social media campaign will most likely fail,” she says. The first ingredient for a strong campaign, she says, is being able to define your desired outcome:

Ingredient 1: Strong goals: What are you looking to accomplish with social media and online marketing? Please don’t go into social media blind, without any expectations. Here are some very general ideas of what you can do:

Social media can generate more business exposure, increase traffic and improve search rankings, improve relationships and awareness amongst current customers, and find you qualified leads. But social media can’t replace traditional marketing, guarantee sales, deliver results overnight, or be a short term solution.

Once you determine your general goals, you can go on to create more specific goals and figure out what social networks are best to accomplish these goals.

Ingredients 2-6 include consistent branding; time and commitment; original content; loyal customers; and the means for measuring goals.

Social media marketing is long term, she says. You are building relationships with customers, and if they are happy with your service or product, they are likely to recommend you to friends.

“Social media isn’t a fad, it’s here to stay,” Hardcastle says.

Adapted from When a Tweet Hits Your Eye: U.S.1.

Just Found Out about free listings with Green Resources New Jersey

January 1, 2012

Just found out that Green Resources New Jersey is compiling a Green directory and offering free listings in its publication through the month of January.

A listing includes your name and logo, address and phone number; your mission statement or purpose, and a brief description of your offerings.

A few of their clients include: Martindale’s Natural Market, Springfield, PA; Green Hospitality, Failte, Ireland; Historical Society of Princeton, NJ; and Fernbrook Farms, Chesterfield, NJ.

To learn how to enter your company or organization, visit the Green Resources New Jersey website.

Getting more work done

December 31, 2010

Jason Fried doesn’t like business meetings. Why? Because, he says, “Meetings are places to go to talk about things you’re supposed to be doing later.”  The problem with this process is that it disrupts work flow. If you’re in the midst of a creative or logical endeavor, you must interrupt your course of action, however productive it may be, to attend the meeting.

What Fried does like is uninterrupted blocks of time.  Having an entire morning or afternoon dedicated to the project at hand gives you time to settle in and focus your energy on getting the job done. Too often, a person who spends his or her day in a business office ends up with, not a work day, but work minutes.

 That’s why work doesn’t happen at work, argued Fried in a presentation so titled, given to a TED audience this past October on the Ted.com website.

 In addition to formal meetings, there are other interruptions such as mandatory lunches, informal sessions, phone calls, etc. 

 Solutions for Managers
For a manager desiring more productivity, one obvious solution is to allow people to work from home, at least on a part-time basis.

 For work done at the office, Fried suggests:
– Cut back on the number of formal meetings. Fried claims that managers would probably be surprised to learn how many meetings are not necessary.
–  Make use of collaborative software, email, and messaging systems so people can share ideas and tasks without the need for everyone to assemble in one particular place for a set time period.
– Have a “no talk” day or a “no talk” morning at least once a month. The intent is for everyone to have a period of time to just work on his or her project without interruption. 

The best gift a manager can give a worker is a block of uninterrupted time, insists Fried. His final comment: “I think it’ll pay off in the end.”

To listen to Fried’s presentation, visit the TED website, Jason Fried: Why work doesn’t happen at work.

This blog is an excerpt from Getting More Work Done published on WebAndOfficeWorks.com

Back to Wisdom2

June 16, 2010

Videos and highlights from the Wisdom2.0 Conference are now available. The event, which took place April 30-May 2, challenges us to use technology in ways that support the well-being of ourselves and our communities.

See the dialogues and presentations from panelists from Google, Twitter, Upaya Zen Center, Facebook, and other organizations at www.wisdom2summit.com .

 An introduction to the conference was posted on this blog March 30, 2010.

Driving the social web and advancing the social good: Socialbrite.org

May 16, 2010

This website explores the use of technology as a means improve lives.

Socialbrite hosts a directory of over 100 nonprofits and public benefit groups who use media to further their causes. A casual sampling includes All for Good, a search engine that allows users to find volunteer options in the geographical region of their choice; BetterWorldBooks, a group that raises money for literacy initiatives by collecting and selling books online; eduFire, an online classroom connecting students and instructors worldwide; and Zerofootprint, a group that helps companies and individuals reduce their carbon footprint through webinars and interactive educational tools.

Founded by J.D. Lasica, the site’s mission is to “… drive the social Web and advance the social good.” The Videos and Tutorials page shows viewers how to best use Web 2.0 technologies including Twitter, Facebook, mobile devices, blogs, and more. A recent story on Socialbrite looks into iPad’s potential for nonprofits.

Visit Socialbrite.org.

Wisdom2.0

March 30, 2010

A call for Geeks and Gurus:  The Wisdom2.0 conference takes place April 30-May 2, Silicon Valley, California.

Is it possible to use online and mobile technologies with mindfulness, meaning, and wisdom? Soren Gordhamer thinks it is. What’s more, he’s hosting a three-day event dedicated to this topic.

At this conference, technologists will mingle with Zen practitioners, yoga teachers, life coaches, nonprofits, and neuroscientists. Attendees can participate in several discussions and speaker presentations.  Based on the preliminary schedule, here are a few titles:

Managing the Stream: Living Consciously and Effectively in a Connected World, presented by panelists from Google, Twitter, Upaya Zen Center, and Facebook.

Mindfulness and the Brain, presented by neuroscientist Philippe Goldin, PhD.

Post-Modern Practice: Awareness and Wisdom in the Age of Technology, presented by a panelists from Facebook, Google, Sounds True, and Yoga Journal.

Producing Attention, Consuming Awareness, presented by Twitter’s Greg Pass.

Wisdom Teachings in the Internet Age, presented by panelists from Sounds True, Huffington Post, Intent.com, SpiritualityAndPractice.com, and The Mindful Child.

Lessons in Social Media, presented by Whole Foods.

Technology for Good.

For more information on the Wisdom2.0 conference visit wisdom2summit.com where you’ll find the complete schedule, speaker and sponsor bios, and links to the conference pages on Twitter and Facebook.

To hear an interview with author and conference host Soren Gordhamer, visit the podcast archives page at Sounds True, Insights at the Edge.

Reprinted from WebAndOfficeWorks.com

The Carrotmob is coming!

March 15, 2010

Businesses are getting mobbed. And they’re glad. Carrotmob rewards socially responsible companies with new sales and publicity.

The organization describes itself as “a type of consumer activism in which businesses compete at how socially responsible they can be.” When a company is chosen as a winner, the “mob” shows up and spends lots of money on its products. What’s more, the store gets good press.

The Carrotmob has been focusing on environmental issues but founder Brent Schulkin is open to taking on other causes.

Learn more about Carrotmob’s mission, watch videos of past events, and find out about upcoming events worldwide at www.carrotmob.com.

Learn more about other groups working for a cause at webandofficeworks.com

Websites with a Green Mission

March 7, 2010

If you are looking for websites providing environmental news, research, and viewpoints, you can find thousands of them by doing an online search.

Many web sites use interactive tools and social media that allow visitors to participate in learning activities.

At the No Impact Project, visitors are challenged to take a “one week carbon cleanse.” If you sign up, you’ll join a group of people for a seven-day experiment. Each day focuses on a particular topic and actions you will take to reduce your carbon footprint. For example, one day focuses on not buy anything except absolute necessities, another day focuses on not creating trash, etc. At the end of each day, you post a blog or video log and share it with friends and communities.

The website’s mission, as the No Impact Man and website founder Colin Beavan puts it, is to show viewers how each of us can “make a better place to live for ourselves and everyone else ….” If you want to learn more about the challenge, visit No Impact Project.

Visit the Repower America Wall to watch video clips made by individuals and to add your own video. When you visit the site, you’ll see a wall of photos. As you scroll over each photo it enlarges and, in most cases, includes a camera icon that you use to view the video clip.

If you want to see a message from a particular person, use the Search icon at the bottom of the screen. You’ll have several options. You can search by a person’s name, by most recent or most popular posts. The search box also includes an interactive US map where you can view participants from the state of your choice.

To submit your own video or comments, click on the Add Your Voice arrow.

Visit Repower America Wall.

To learn about other interactive green websites, read the complete article at www.webandofficeworks.com/greenwebsites.

Featured Website: ipl2.org

February 20, 2010

Free tools for your business or website

The Special Collections link at the ipl2 website devotes an  entire section to web technologies. Here you’ll find over 90 links to products  and solutions to enhance your website or business. Most products are offered at  no charge with options to upgrade for a fee.

A few of my favorites:
– Wordle: Design a word cloud graphic with your keywords.
– Slide Rocket: Create slide shows for your website.
– Screen Toaster: Give a tour of your website by recording screen activity.

To learn more and get links to these tools,
visit www.WebAndOfficeworks.com.