Posted: April 30th, 2012 | Author: StartupsHK | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments Off
You just heard that Facebook paid $1 billion for mobile-photo app Instagram? Well most of you know that Facebook is going all in with mobile as recentlyt witnessed in Hong Kong with the Facebook Mobile Hack day.
Wilfred Yau and Louis Lor Jr are going to share what happened during the Facebook mobile hack event, direction of Facebook on mobile, trend of using Open Graph and how it helps, plus their general experience to be part of the hack and WINNING the event with their mobile hack.
As usual for all Startup Monday's, the talk will be held at BootHK, 19/f, 231 Queen's Road East at 7:30pm. Entry is free, and is BYOB.
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Posted: April 30th, 2012 | Author: beSUCCESS | Filed under: Funding | Comments Off
This is a guest post by Soumitra Sharma who is part of the Investments Team at IDG Ventures India, a US$ 150 million venturecapital fund focused on investing in Indian technology and technology-enabled businesses. This has been cross-posted from popular Indian startup media platform YourStory.in.
The title sounds awkward, doesn’t it? Look up the Internet, and you will find hundreds of articles (including some by yours truly) about elevator pitches, how to reach out to VCs, how to trace them in events, most effective ways to get introductions to VCs etc. And you can’t blame authors for writing on these topics – early stage risk capital is scarce and with a handful of top-tier global VCs controlling most of it, it’s no surprise that entrepreneurs end up doing most of the chasing.
The truth, however, is that VCs need quality deals as much as quality entrepreneurs need venture money. And that’s exactly the reason why VC investment professionals meet 2-3 entrepreneurs a day, attend event after event, and spend majority of their non-sleeping hours networking. With VC-backable startups being few and far between, they want to ensure that when the next Facebook or Google comes along, their fund gets to have the first look at the deal.
Keeping this in perspective, instead of spending numerous hours (and marketing dollars, in some cases) on conventional channels such as TiE events, NASSCOM Awards etc., ventures should consider establishing presence in the following key mediums quality VCs use to source deals.
- Industry-specific offline events – most top-tier VCs develop industry specific theses based on comprehensive research, brain-storming and analysis. The Investment Professionals then go out into the market, trying to source deals that fit these theses. More often than not, the best VCs would be found prowling in specialized events dedicated to specific industries such as cloud, mobile, healthcare, medical devices, clean technology etc. A venture can gain real quality time and mindshare of a VC in these events as these platforms tend to be less crowded, and usually have a relevant and focused group of attendees.
- Quality publications such as Economic Times, Business Standard, Forbes and Fortune – with several media houses of varying qualities mushrooming all over India, VCs are very careful about what they read and what information they trust while evaluating deals and sectors. Getting quality coverage in reputed, well-established platforms such as Economic Times, Business Standard, Forbes, Fortune etc. ensures that any VC reading them will take your venture seriously, and an in-bound query from them is almost certain. This is also because these media houses have a reputation at stake and generally follow high standards of curation for ventures covered by them.
- Innovation-driven and technology-focused media platforms such as MIT Technology Review, TED etc. – Again, not because VCs read the MIT-TR regularly or attend all TED sessions across the world. But, visibility on these platforms assures you of ripple coverage in reputed publications and digital media across the world. These would then be referred to by VCs for deal sourcing. Why VCs would give more importance to this nature of coverage over others is because platforms such as MIT-TR and TED champion game-changing technologies and innovators, and will never compromise on this spirit.
- International research and commercialization grants – VCs routinely scan the list of international research grant recipients, especially those given by reputed entities such as DST-Lockheed Martin, governments of various developed countries, technology majors such as Google, Microsoft etc. More often than not, the recipients would start receiving multiple VC inbounds just after the grant announcement in the media. These grants and awards give multiple positive signals to VCs – disruption, innovation, intellectual property creation, externally validated quality etc.
- Industry-specific recognitions/ awards given by credible entities – there has been mammoth degradation in the quality of entrepreneurship awards in India. It’s routine to find award winners shutting shop one year after winning the award (talk about sustainable growth as a criteria!). Having said that, there are still a bunch of awards/ recognitions which are credible and mostly industry-specific. VCs tend to respect these awards and also the award winners, with winning ventures usually becoming the target of active VC interest. The question is – how to judge the credibility of these awards? Some criteria that entrepreneurs could look at include post-award operating and financing track-records of past winners, reputation of awarding entity and jury, whether the event scale is national or international etc. As a rule of thumb, industry-specific recognitions given by either a corporate entity that is a market leader in the space (and therefore, understands the business and technology) or reputed global foundations, academic institutions, governments and international media houses would generally be more credible than others.
- Credible social media coverage (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogs) – All VCs are active on social media, especially Twitter and LinkedIn for professional reasons. The best and most credible way to catch a VC’s attention is to have some-one from his trusted network (preferably another VC!) blog, tweet or post an update about your venture. Even better if an ‘influencer’ in the eco system, such as a serial entrepreneur, a large tech company CEO or a rock-star angel investor, can spread the word about your venture in the digital world.
This list wouldn’t be complete without a special mention for grassroots entrepreneurship platforms such as YourStory, Sankalp etc., which help uncover hidden pan-India entrepreneurial gems at an early stage, and provide them with much needed visibility. These would typically be an entrepreneur’s starting point when access to the earlier mentioned channels looks difficult. So, don’t forget to engage with them.
To conclude, VCs have limited bandwidth, and therefore focus on select deal sourcing channels that provide maximum bang-for-the-buck for them, and help them routinely discover ventures that can be potentially funded. Instead of schmoozing with disinterested VCs at large TiE events or wasting time in filling out applications for non-credible awards, entrepreneurs would do well to consciously create a presence in critical VC deal sourcing channels. And then, watch the in-bound interest flow in!
Soumitra Sharma is part of the Investments Team at IDG Ventures India, a US$ 150 million venture capital fund focused on investing in Indian technology and technology-enabled businesses. Its India portfolio consists of 19 companies – Agile Financial Technologies, Apalya, Aujas Networks, ConnectM, eShakti, FirstCry, iCreate Software, iProf India, iViz Techno Solutions, Manthan Systems, Myntra, Ozone Media, Perfint, Sourcebits Technologies, Valyoo Technologies, Vserve, Zivame, 3D Solid Compression and Kreeda. The fund is part of IDG Ventures, a global network of technology venture funds with over US$6 billion under management, over 220 investee companies and 10 offices across Asia and North America. If you would like to discuss your venture or business plan, or simply bounce off any ideas, Soumitra can be reached at email@example.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @soumitra_sharma.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this column are strictly personal, and not those of any organization/institution the author is or has been a part of, nor is made in any official capacity of such organization/institution, unless explicitly stated otherwise. None of the information, views and opinions in the column should be construed as business or legal advice.
This post is cross-posted from YourStory.in
Posted: April 30th, 2012 | Author: Chiho Komoriya | Filed under: Celsys, QUMARION, technology, VSMedia | Comments Off
Celsys [J] have begun to recruit the first pre-users of “QUMARION,” [J] a 3DCG data input device.
“QUMARION” is a human shaped device with joints developed from 2009 by the teamwork of Softether, Celsys, and Pipian, a venture business company launched by The University of Electro-Communications. It can capture the doll’s poses at specific moments by the sensors in its joints, and you can create animation or still images using intuitive 3DCG operation. Before its product launch, they’re going to carry out an “advance preview” to be able to test QUMARION one step ahead of its release. Advance preview users will be delivered QUMARION itself along with its related software and actually be able to try out making a piece of work using QUMARION. Also, pre-users who clear certain conditions will be given the complete QUMARION package as a reward. From now information about advance preview users will be announced at some point on the official product site.
Translation authorized by VSMedia
Human Form 3D Input Device QUMARION Ready For Pre-Users
Posted: April 30th, 2012 | Author: dailylicious! | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments Off
“Any company that isn’t primarily delivering its service via mobile five years from now will probably be irrelevant.”
- Keith Teare - TechCrunch co-founder who happens to be working on a mobile social network called Just.Me.
Posted: April 30th, 2012 | Author: dailylicious! | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments Off
Web 2.0 Is Over, All Hail the Age of Mobile
When Web 2.0 came about, people started wondering what is Web 30 going to be like. Well, Hamish McKenzie at PandoDaily argues that instead of Web 3.0, the successor of Web 2.0 is actually the age of mobile. Everything is being done or made to be done on mobile devices.
The move towards mobile from desktop computing seems clear since the onset of smartphones and in the last few years it’s only becoming much more obvious. Facebook isn’t even a decade old and it already has to turn its attention immediately to mobile platforms unless it wants to be overrun or placed into irrelevance by the even younger mobile companies. It’s part of the reason why it bought Instagram.
Google, despite having a large part in shaping today’s mobile industry is, relatively speaking, barely making any money out of its Android ecosystem because mobile ads are not as lucrative as full website ads while Apple is well, an anomaly. Few, perhaps no company, can be like Apple just yet, it’s just so unique. Perhaps because it was nearly decimated in the desktop computing wars in the 90s that it had an upper hand in shaping and eventually making a killing out of the mobile industry.
Mobile is the long-awaited disruptive technology that has finally made its mark. Mobile phones and tablets are so personal, so affordable, and therefore so ubiquitous, much more so than desktop computers, which is why companies that fail to embrace this will be left behind.
Posted: April 30th, 2012 | Author: dailylicious! | Filed under: tech | Comments Off
NY Times’ Nick Bilton looks at the trend of startups in Silicon Valley and discovers that VCs in the US tend to buy ideas instead of companies and more likely to tell startups to grow and build their audience or members ahead of generating actual revenue. The people he interviewed say this points to that dirty word in the Valley: bubble.
But is the US tech industry in a bubble? Chris Dixon argues otherwise with examples. He said that for a bubble to occur, valuations and investments need to be overvalued across the board. He also points out Apple, Google, and eBay as examples of large, perfectly healthy, publicly traded tech companies with so called bubble valuations. Funny thing is Apple is in fact famous for being undervalued despite skyrocketing stock price. Good discussions in the comments below Dixon’s post.
Posted: April 30th, 2012 | Author: Ario Tamat | Filed under: ario tamat, column, digital music, echo nest, Music, music labels, openEMI, Opinion, rethink music, Startups | Comments Off
On April 22-24, 2012, a conference aptly named Rethink Music was organized by the Berklee College of Music in Boston. They basically brought together professionals from all over the music industry – from media, from the music labels, from artist management, and even from technology companies like Youtube, Rhapsody and Echo Nest (you can look at the whole speaker roster here). But one of the most interesting things announced and discussed at Rethink Music, in my opinion, is OpenEMI.
The basic concept of OpenEMI is to provide access to startups who want to create music applications and services based on EMI’s music library – and if the app is interesting enough, EMI may partner with the startup to develop it further. You can either request for a access to a wide range of songs, or request deeper access to single artists with more audio, video and other content. This developer-friendly system is supported by Echo Nest, the company that also has a wider-range API for music applications that power services like Spotify’s Radio feature.
I won’t spend this entire column giving applause to OpenEMI, but obviously I’m impressed. A system like this will make sure EMI is able to support more creative ideas to expand the music industry from a recording product-selling industry into an experience-selling industry (via applications and services), but also make sure the startups and developers play by their rules as defined in the terms and conditions. I haven’t dived in to the T&C, but it differs per sandbox, but I’m confident it gives ample flexibility to the developers, or else the whole project would not make sense. But they key takeaway is this:
Applications or services that are created using EMI content should be commercial in that they should provide revenues for the partners involved; this includes you as a developer, along with The Echo Nest, EMI and other rights holders. This is the way you will be paid for your work. The business model is up to you, but make sure it is viable.
Sadly, this is still currently a one-label show, as the other 3 major labels don’t have anything like this at the moment, and I’m not sure what will happen once Universal Music’s purchase of EMI finally goes through. But imagine if something like this were to happen across music labels and music publishers, and for, at the least, the majority of artists and musicians?
The energy of the tech startup industry could finally be channeled into the ailing recorded music business, expand music experience offerings, and move beyond the dominance of iTunes, of which even the music labels are complaining about (or on a local level, the dominance of telco-dependent services). The Music Industry Blog arges that music labels already take the venture capital role for musicians, so why not become VCs for startups?
Of course, this might not be simple for most music labels in the traditional sense – but it’s definitely doable for today’s generation of DIY musicians and independent artists. There should be a common point where musicians and artists can meet with developers and startups, and build something together – and make sure that there’s a significant music library that can be provided.
Music – and the Internet – is wide enough for everybody to create their own music and cater to their own fans, so an industry-wide collaboration to create a music innovation platform which developers can build on is something that will benefit the whole industry as well. I’m willing to be a bridge for both parties to make this happen – so, any takers?
Ario worked in the digital music industry in Indonesia from 2003 to 2010, and recently worked in the movie and TV industry in Vietnam. Keep up with him on Twitter at @barijoe or his blog on http://barijoe.wordpress.com
Posted: April 30th, 2012 | Author: dailylicious! | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments Off
Questions asked at a Y Combinator interview
Are you about to meet potential investors or backers? Do you think you got what it takes to answer their questions? Are you ready to be rejected? Tech Crunch has posted a collection of top questions asked during interviews at Y Combinator which were pulled from a web appthat you can access here if you feel like answering the questions yourself. If you do go to the web app, be prepared, you have 15 seconds to answer each question. Apparently that’s how long Paul Graham gives you before telling you you won’t make it if you fail to answer within that time.
Posted: April 30th, 2012 | Author: dailylicious! | Filed under: tech, woz | Comments Off
In a podcast with A New Domain, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak praises Windows Phone ahead of Android but still chooses iPhone as his main phone. Additional comments from Woz from the article:
I did give my opinion that the Windows 7P phone had superior visual appearance and operation cues that were also more attractive. In my opinion, it sets the mark for user interface. I would recommend it over my Android phones given that it doesn’t yet have the breadth of apps.
I surmise that Microsoft hired someone from Apple and put money into having a role in the UI and appearance of some key apps. I also surmised that Steve Jobs might have been reincarnated at MS due to a lot of what I see and feel with this phone making me think of a lot of great Apple things.
WPCentral has some quotes from the podcast.
Posted: April 30th, 2012 | Author: Joanna Yeo | Filed under: Companies, EssayTyper, Homework helper, Wikipedia | Comments Off
I remember the time when my teacher asked the class what invention we would come up with if anything was possible. The bummer of the class wanted to invent a ‘homework helper’ that will finish up the heap of assignments we all get from the teachers. I have to admit here, I’d really appreciate that invention.
Well, boys and girls who are currently in the midst of an exam crunch time, here’s a too-good-to-be-true solution for you! EssayTyper, a new online helper that has recently been highly raved by people on the social network (62K Facebook likes and 3,158 tweets as of writing) is the magic potion to completing essay assignments of ANY* topic with a breeze.
Using EssayTyper is as easy as 1, 2, 3:
1. Type in the topic of your assignment
2. Wait for EssayTyper to load and work the ‘magic’
3. Type away like a pro on your keyboard and watch your masterpiece being crafted in seconds!
An essay on 'Gulf War', as crafted by EssayTyper
Too good to be true? Yes, definitely. So, before you start using EssayTyper for all your homework assignments, I’d have to burst your bubble here. EssayTyper is simply a white-labeled wikipedia that draws its information and craft a faultless piece of essay topics found on wikipedia. (see image below) The tool bar on top of the word editor is also non-functional.
The same article on 'Gulf War' on Wikipedia
So kids, please don’t take EssayTyper to seriously. Even the auto-generated title, “Truly War? The Modern War: A normative Critique” doesn’t make much sense. Nevertheless, it’s a nicely done up website that has succeeded in amusing me time and time again.
Time to fool your friends with this secret solution!
*Any topic that can be found on Wikipedia.