6 Secrets Of Mastering Facebook With A Start Up Budget

Hungry entrepreneur looking to make money online? Social media is probably your best bet when you’re just starting out. Cost-effective, with a minimal barrier to entry, and practically ubiquitous: social media marketing is a start up’s best friend. And when it comes to social media: Facebook is the BIG one. There are ecommerce brands that literally wouldn’t exist without the power of a good Facebook ad.

Facebook can make or break your start up’s marketing strategy, so it is important that you’re prepared. Don’t be tempted to throw money away with meaningless Facebook ads or videos that no one is reacting to. Instead, be sensible and stick to the ‘3R’ rule. Make your content regular, make it relevant, and make it right for your target audience. Read on to find out how.

Familiarize Yourself With Your Competition

The savvy marketer reviews what other people are doing, and makes it better. So, start with your competition on Facebook and see how the social platform is working out for them.

Look at other business Facebook pages and review their engagement strategies. What words and tactics are they using to get people to react? How are they balancing the ratio between visual content, video, and text? What words are triggering people to share their posts? Are they advertising their products and services? This initial research phase should help you set a sensible benchmark for your own Facebook marketing efforts, as well as give you some much needed inspiration for your own content strategy.

Think about what else you’re competing against on Facebook: people’s friends and family, and a funny video they’ve just been tagged in. Your content should emulate native Facebook updates, rather than blatant advertisement and promotion. One easy way to cut through the social media noise: humor. Whether it’s witty wordplay, or a wacky video, being funny on Facebook is a sure-fire way to get a reaction.

Share Your Message Effectively

What’s the point of your Facebook page? What are people going to get out of following you? Nail these two value propositions, and you will find it a lot easier to promote your brand on Facebook. You should always start with a clear idea of how you are going to provide value, and then live up to that promise in your posts. A Facebook strategy that is devoid of any real messaging will fail to take off and inspire people.

How to find your online tribe on Facebook? It is worth joining Facebook groups that allow you to post freely about your business, encouraging others to give you feedback. This is also your opportunity to directly communicate with potential customers, and get people excited about your start up journey. Be sure to join relevant Facebook groups, as otherwise you can end up wasting time on false leads and angering local communities. You also need to take community rules very seriously – if you anger a moderator, you may get barred from a group.

Put Yourself In Your Customers’ Shoes

What does your audience want to see, read, hear, learn, and watch? Why are they here?

So many start ups get their marketing strategy wrong because they’re too involved with their own services and products, forgetting to put their customers first.

When planning out your social media calendar, follow the natural rhythm of people’s lives. What’s making them sit up and take note at this time of year? What events or milestones are they planning for? What sort of content is going to help them make the most of their time, or help them kick back and put their feet up?

Facebook buyer personas can help you plan content more effectively, ensuring that your content is 100% targeted at the right people, and that you aren’t wasting any budget. Use these buyer personas to plan out your seasonal engagement strategy.

Use Insights To Feed Your Content Strategy

Your Facebook page is useless without content, so schedule new posts weeks in advance to ensure the page remains active. It is a good idea to keep a record of which posts so well, so that you can continue to grow your brand’s voice in the right direction. Image and video-based marketing is very effective on Facebook; customers scrolling down their feed tend look at images rather than text, so make sure your content is varied and visual.

Facebook gives you easy to decipher information on the effectiveness of your posts through Facebook Insights, which is accessible at the top menu on your Facebook page. Only you and your staff members can access this information, which will inform you on how many viewed your post, how many liked and commented, etc. (They also give advertisers a whole ton of data on ad campaign reach). Use all this free data to your advantage to weed out the type of content that isn’t doing you any favors.

Master the Facebook Algorithm

One of the biggest secrets behind mastering Facebook is learning how its algorithm works. Facebook no longer shares every post to every follower, so you need to diverse a strategy that allows customers to receive your messages in the most cost-effective way. This is when the ‘3Rs’ become important:

Create Regular Posts

Keep to a post schedule where you are posting at specific peak times when your audience is most likely to be on social media. Don’t let your page become neglected during the busy season.

Keep It Relevant & Engaging

If your customers do not interact with your posts, Facebook is more likely to regard your page as spam and limit your page’s reach. Make sure your content is relevant to your customer base, and that there are clear calls to action to encourage engagement.

Make it Right For The Audience

Make sure each and every post is fit for your target audience, and that you have a good balance between informative and commercial content.

Invest in Facebook Ads

Facebook adverts are a start up’s best friend, and Facebook advertising is easy enough for anyone to have a go at.

 

The best thing about Facebook as an advertising platform is its powerful customer data machine that allows you to get granular with audience targeting, right down to people’s niche interests and neighborhoods.

 

Here are some start up Facebook advertising tips:

 

  1. Experiment with ad copy, especially your CTA (call to action): it can have a big impact on campaign success
  2. Test different campaigns with the same audience to get a feel for your ideal messaging
  3. Video adverts tend to be more successful, so don’t be afraid to shoot one yourself
  4. Ad sequences that build up a story over time tend to be more compelling than basic ‘sales announcements’
  5. You need to constantly monitor the revenue generated through Facebook ads, and don’t be afraid to pause a campaign that isn’t doing much for you.

Making money through Facebook isn’t rocket science. Like all the other digital platforms available to you, you need to make sure that you measure results effectively. Use all the data that’s coming through to you in order to keep your social media team accountable, and don’t shy away from questioning Facebook ROI.

Victoria Greene: Brand Marketing Consultant

I’m a content marketing extraordinaire, and I enjoy nothing more than helping brands expand their reach to meet new business goals. I spend my time dreaming up effective content strategies and I just love being instrumental in the success of brands of all shapes and sizes.

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6 ways entrepreneurship and startups are going to make you richer tomorrow

I have been mentoring several startups, working with big businesses and interviewing successful entrepreneurs and consultants and I have been able to see with my own eyes how entrepreneurship and startups help people become more successful in life, in their career and ultimately better off.

1 – The skills you acquire are bankable! 

Learn the skills to survive in today’s world. The World Economic Forum predicts in one of their articles that the top 3 skills most in demand by 2020 will be a) complex problem solving, b) critical thinking and c) creativity which are all skills you acquire when you go through an entrepreneurial journey. The rest of the skills are also those of an entrepreneur. If you ask me, according to this report, an entrepreneurial profile is the employee profile of tomorrow. Right?

2 – Your skills will brand you and differentiate you from the other hundreds or thousands of candidates that are seeking the same job as you

Brand yourself as a leader and doer. When you work on a good idea that has the potential to disrupt a market you have a high chance to get noticed by those bigger companies that are trying themselves to develop similar technology. This also gives you an opportunity to network with C-level executives and managers from these companies but from a business manager to business manager perspective. Sometimes, these bigger companies can have a harder time than you develop such solutions because of internal politics, the lack of creativity of certain 9-5 employees, etc. A manager or executive of such a company might see you as a good fit to lead such projects internally and offer you a job, much better paid than if you had found it through the usual job-hunting process which can sometimes be a little unfair and look more at past experience versus capabilities. All in all you may end up with a higher paid job but also a job that you like (and that has no price – ask those who are miserable in their jobs).

Since I am talking here about job hunting let me share with you a cool startup we have been helping called Jobgator. They are developing a great solution to help you sharpen your resume in case you want to increase your chances when looking for a job, if you decide to do so the traditional way. Their solution will definitely help make your resume stand out.

Buy this book $103 – You understand value and wealth creation better and can apply it to your own life to build your wealth

Managing your life is like running a business. Managing a business is no easy task. You need to create and add value, have the discipline to be able to deliver this value efficiently, effectively and systematically to your customers. More importantly you have to manage the operations to be profitable. You learn about the concept of return on investment, etc. These management skills you acquire are totally applicable to your life and will help you create more wealth, have respect for money and avoid waste. You start thinking of savings as profit and when you have enough profit you automatically think about investing this profit to create more value and more profit. As an entrepreneur you learn that the goal is not only to work hard for money but ultimately to make that money work hard for you!

4 – An additional stream of revenue coming into your bank account

More money never hurts, right? If you are what is called an extrapreneur (i.e. you work on your startup in parallel with your job) and if you are able to sell your products or services you will earn additional revenue on top of your salary. If you are able to automate this stream of revenue fully by leveraging technology and through hiring others you will have created a money-making machine for you! This is called the Mastermind Principle by Napoleon Hill – Look it up…Interesting concept!

FULL ONLINE TRAINING ON ENTREPRENEURSHIP
5 – Understanding the startup landscape and having a network within the startup ecosystem will help you identify the companies to work for to maximize your chance of return on investment…

You will be able to find and work for companies that are raw diamonds. When this happens and you get some stock options for a start-up and if the company takes off to become the next Google or Facebook you can simply become a millionaire or at least a hundred thousandaire. As an entrepreneur, you will be in the front seat of the latest, emerging startups which gives you an edge for you to be able to target working for companies that are in rapid growth mode. Being employee number 4, 50 or even 100 in a company that ends up with billions in revenue and tens of thousands employees can yield a huge payoff.

Finally, if your startup venture works out: you’ll be rich!

Entrepreneurship can be a huge source of wealth helping you achieve the freedom and lifestyle you desire. According to a CNN Money and a Boston Consulting group (BCG) report on global wealth “new wealth is also created by things like entrepreneurship, new businesses, investing”. Watch the CNN money video on the BCG report. If your idea is great and you have the experience, knowledge and team to take it to reality you may create a very successful tech startup which could result in you making tons of money.  Imagine your startup making millions of dollars, worth billions in valuation, etc. Oh, and I said IF your startup venture works out. The reason I said this is because failure rates are pretty high. The reasons these rates are high is because people underestimate the knowledge and experience needed. They don’t have the right mindset or cannot find the team or funding to take off. The good news is that it is exactly what Startupsinnovation aims to provide. We help accelerate knowledge, products and teams. If you have an idea that you want to launch,. just contact us and let’s get started!

And as Einstein used to say “If you can imagine it, it’s already real”.

Hope you enjoyed this article let us know what you think, please comment and share.

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How to Successfully Sell Products And Services Online and possibly reach millions!

Setting up an online store is one thing, but running a successful and sustainable business is a whole other ball game. From finding a profitable niche, to social media marketing, this article will help you establish an online business that will go from strength to strength. If you’re in need of a little inspiration, check out our video content of entrepreneurs around the world sharing their experiences and trade secrets.

Find a profitable niche and serve a clear target audience

Finding a profitable niche for your product offering or service is the first step toward success in setting up an online business. Here are some useful things for you to consider:

  • Defining an audience would be a good place to start. The more specific you can get in terms of demographics, buying habits, and interests, the better. Choosing an audience that you can relate to can make this process easier, as you can get into their mindset more, so start looking close to home
  • Now you should start to identify the problems that your niche audience need to solve. You can do this by researching any challenges, pain points, aspirations, and desires that they have. What are they looking for in life? What do they want to achieve with their careers? How do they form relationships? Start on social media and Quora for an insight into popular community topics. Other options include niche forums, how to websites, relevant blogs and Google Trends data. Thorough keyword research using KeywordTool.io and Google Adwords will also offer a valuable insight into your audience’s search queries, lifting a lid on their habits
  • Collating all this data should allow you to create a well-rounded buyer persona. This is essentially a profile of your target audience, which you should revisit frequently and base your future business decisions on
  • Competition isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but you should do a thorough analysis of a any online competition before charging ahead in a niche. Knowledge is the key to getting your store to stand out from the crowd
  • Last but not least, you should head over to Clickbank.com, the largest affiliate retailer of products on the net, to search for products in your niche and see which ones are worth selling. You should look out for the Gravity number that takes into account the number of affiliates who have sold one unit in the past 7 days – the more people selling, the more profitable the niche is likely to be (but beware of signs of over-saturation)

Pushed for time? No sweat. Try an easy ecommerce solution

If you want to get your online store up and running fast with minimal work, you should consider subscribing to an ecommerce platform, rather than commissioning a custom developed site. Of course, for some startups, custom makes sense — but only pay for features and functionalities that support business growth and take you up to your MVP.

When it comes to easy online store setup that doesn’t need too much planning, many of the market-leading ecommerce SaaS products offer free trials, so that you can get a good feel for the product before putting your eggs in one basket.

Here are a few things worth looking out for:

  • The platform should offer a range of professional free themes, with a couple viable options for you. Free themes are perfect for first time online entrepreneurs and those on a budget. Check out the themes on offer before subscribing, as otherwise you may end up wasting money on unnecessarily customization
  • 24-hour support and community forums are invaluable for first-time entrepreneurs and the less techy business owner. This support can help you whenever you encounter problems with the platform, and even give sold advice for growth hacks and ways to boost your conversions. It’s always nice to network and meet with other startups and ecommerce brands, so try to go for ecommerce technology that fosters that
  • Select a payment plan that works for your budget. Look for opportunities to pay smaller monthly amounts rather than giving  a percentage of each transaction, especially if you are expecting to grow quickly. Shopify is a great platform for starting a online store with this in mind, with a range of payment plans available. If you already have a WordPress site, the WooCommerce plugin will be a good option as it can easily transform a WordPress site into a store
  • Marketplaces are a great place to sell for ambitious entrepreneurs who want to grow revenue quickly, as you get access to a huge customer base from day one. Whether you go exclusively marketplace, or set up something a little more multichannel, make sure you adapt your strategy accordingly.  If you’re looking to sell on Amazon, here are three important points to remember when producing your product listings.

Invest in social media to boost your sales

  credit: pixabay

Social media is the modern marketer’s dream. It’s a relatively inexpensive, and sometimes even free, way to showcase online brands of all shapes and sizes.

Social media planning? Refer to your buyer persona again and review the information you hold on your target audience. Ultimately, your brand needs to be posting where your target audience is. Bear in mind that the day of the social media demographic has been and gone – users now frequent multiple social networks at once for different purposes. Nowadays, it’s more important that you are active across many platforms, but posting the right kind of content on each one.

Check out this article for a roundup of the social networks that matter, what sets them apart from the rest, and resources to help you hit the nail on the head with your social advertising.

What matters the most on social for a growing brand is to mix experimentation with business goals. Explore different options and experiment with content formats, but always keep the eye on the ball. In the early days, you can’t justify spending loads of time on social if you’re not seeing a steady stream of social referrals, sales, and customer engagement.

Just remember that the key to all this is to properly research your target audience and your niche to ensure that you will generate adequate sales and be able to operate at a comfortable profit margin. Good luck!

Victoria Greene: Brand Marketing Consultant

My work is a labor of love: I get to collaborate with inspiring people and businesses from around the world. I help set them on the road to success by producing effective content marketing and social media strategies.

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Record a short video to support us…

Dear startupsinnovation community superstar,

We’d like you to help us inspire others follow your journey and learn from your own perspective. Would you mind recording a short video selfie with your phone in which you cover the following key points:

  • Present yourself and the /startup/idea you are currently working on?
  • Tell us how you found startupsinnovation and how it helped you?
  • As an entrepreneur, what is one of the biggest challenges you face?
  • Your recommendations to others who are thinking to take the entrepreneurial route?
  • One additional thing of your choice…(Favorites song that motivates you, a quote, an experience you had that changed your life a shout out etc.)

The video all together should be less than 2 minutes.

We would like to use these short videos on our social media (facebook) and website to help others see examples of cool and driven individuals like you that follow or work with us at startupsinnovation. This is also as a good way for an entrepreneur to spread the word a little further about what he is working on and increase also his following and network.

Check out the facebook page (and make sure to like it!)

Thanks,

Alistair

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May 2017: TOP Resources for early stage entrepreneurs: Let’s go!

 

Discover the top resources we have for you to take your idea to reality!

The “question box”: Ask a question / get an answer!

Starting your entrepreneurial journey comes with tons of questions! The good news is that we probably have the answers! Feel free to use our contact form to ask any questions and we will respond. There is a high chance that we have content we can direct you to  to help out! Contact us here

FREE audio and video content with top entrepreneurs!

    • Top Jay Samit EXCLUSIVE interview: Get introduced to today’s opportunities available to entrepreneurs.

  • Check out all our other insightful interviews with innovation experts: Bernard Kress (Microsoft HoloLens ex-Google Glass Executive, serial entrepreneur), Chris Kalaboukis (Silicon Valley Innovation consultant who worked for top brands), Gary Jinks (Silicon Valley startup mentor) and more…

Access the FREE replay here now

Articles, research from our bloggers and guest bloggers!

We are extremely excited to have several guest bloggers from across the globe helping us provide more content and perspectives that can help early stage entrepreneurs better understand what it takes to succeed launching an idea to market, ongoing changes and opportunities for them…

Access our latest articles and posts here

Our signature “Alpha” Training:

We are very proud to be able to offer a very cool and complete training on startups, entrepreneurship and innovation that we developped as a result of a lot of hard work, hands-on experience and research, interviews etc.

Book your seat asap and we guarantee that we will equip you with the latest, hottest knowledge there is for you to be able to take your ideas to reality! Our training is perfect for start-up entrepreneurs and for big business employees who wish to better understand what business is really about.  All the content here

Startupsinnovation training

A unique e-book we wrote while in the Silicon Valley!

In case you want to have a sample and glimpse of what we will cover in the training. Read our e-book here.

It explains all the key steps to take an idea to reality: Create your pitch, network, funding strategies, inspiration and more…

 Your first team! We’ve got you covered!

Launching an idea cannot be done alone. To help you get the support you need we’ve put together a list of selected people and organization that can team up with you in the early stage of your entrepreneurial journey to accelerate your progress and augment your chances.

Don’t look any further to find a software developer, graphic designer, legal advice, funding strategy execution, mentors, questions…We’ve got you covered!

Check out a sample of the teams we have in our network

A top book selection that will light up the entrepreneur in you!

We came across several books that we believe are must reads for any entrepreneur or innovator who wish to be more successful in the field.

Check our book selection here

Check our book selection here

And lot’s and lot’s of inspiration!

Connect in our newsletter and receive your periodic dose of insights and motivation. Entrepreneurship can be hard but we will make it easier for you, more fun and boost your energy level even further to make the impossible happen!

Hope you will enjoy these resources and will share with your entrepreneur, creative friends

PLEASE SHARE TO YOUR BEST FRIENDS YOU WANT TO SEE SUCCEED

(Or to those you are fed up hearing them come up with ideas never executing!)

 

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Innovation Mastery secrets from San Francisco based Innovator!

In this post we are bringing to you some really insightful content, about how you can master innovation in your organization, from extraordinary San Francisco innovation influencer Chris Kalaboukis and author of book Innovation Mastery. Chris Kalaboukis is an entrepreneur and founder/CEO of Hellofuture a full stack software development and innovation consultancy company. He holds hundreds of patents under his belt and helps enterprises run and deploy innovation programs. Chris, is immensely knowledgeable and a futurist thinker who is also the host of his own blog/vlog Thinkfuture. Below you will find a unique playlist of his videos where he explains how to up your innovation game. We also included the interview we had the honor to do with him in 2016 and a link to his book in case you’d like to further your understanding of innovation even more.

Go big or go home!

Innovation mastery videos series playlist: A must watch video series if you want to up your innovation game!

Chris covers many of the topics he has documented in his book innovation mastery. (link at the bottom of page in case you are interested).

Our interview of Chris Kalaboukis on everything innovation. 

His book: Innovation Mastery

For the price of two cups of coffee you’ll gain all the knowledge you need to become the savvy innovation leader in your organization!

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April 2017: Think big or go home, Networking Apps, Richard Branson’s poem, Israel, Australia…

What’s in this newsletter… 

  • News from startupsinnovation:
    • Continuing to unearth Boston’s entrepreneurs and innovators through our Alpha Training
    • Talked the Astropreneurship and medicine in Space Hackathon at Harvard University
  • Quotes to inspire yourself and your team more:
    • What Mark Roberge (Revenue Officer at Hubspot) said at Harvard Spark 2016
  • Interesting VC investment activity in Boston:
    • VentureApp (Whatsapp/Linkedin for entrepreneurs) receives another $4M in funding from Boston VC Firm Accomplice.
  • Innovator’s tip:
    • Think big or go home says guest post author this month. Guest Post by Chris Kalaboukis
  • Market shift / interesting disruptive trend:
    • Innovation getting bigger in outback Australia – Guest Post by Dr Louise Teo
    • Road trip in Israelite Innovation ecosystem: 5 Top startups – Guest Post by Patricio Julian Gerpe
  • Networking opportunities & events:
    • Discover the Shapr (Networking) app to meet inspiring people and shape your life.
  • A dose of fun:
    • Richard Branson wrote a poem for entrepreneurs

Newsletter:

News from startupsinnovation…

Quick talk at the Astropreneurship and Medicine in space Hackathon @Harvard

First of all, a big thank you to the Quantly team for inviting us at their annual hackathon. The event was very well organized at the Harvard Science center in Cambridge. It was a two day event sponsored by many partners. The event included several talks aimed to help scientists, astrophysicists / entrepreneurs as they were working on their ideas. Startupsinnovation was one of the talks and we covered several topics, excerpts from our training, in front of a group of entrepreneurs from the event (Business models, networking and answered questions).

At the end of the two days a judge panel voted for the top ideas. For more (Pictures, winners, sponsors etc.) visit directly the event site here

Few pics from the Hackathon:

Continuing to unearth Boston’s entrepreneurs and innovators through our Alpha Training

In March 2017, we’ve continued to take entrepreneurs through our content in our all day sessions with them. The feedback we have been receiving is very encouraging. (See for yourself the comments posted here at the bottom of our Alpha Training page).

The Alpha training is probably one of the best content available right now in Boston. We developed it using years of business experience, a year in the Silicon Valley topped up by quality research as well as serial entrepreneurs interview. At the end of the training you will receive a certificate of completion and our companion e-book. More importantly, you’ll have all the knowledge you need to thrive in the tech (r)evolution era and help you take ideas to reality limiting the pain and time.

Few pics from workshops with Boston entrepreneurs.

Check out all the details and book a seat here

A special thanks to Health Innovators for sharing their space with us to enable these.

Today’s quote to inspire yourself and your team more…

Mark Roberge Source: Hubspot.com

Start with the problem. Don’t start with the technology and then look for  problem to home the technology”

Mark Roberge (Former Chief Revenue Officer – Hubspot)

Quote from a talk he gave at Harvard University – Spark 2016. A good reminder to entrepreneurs. Be very clear on the problems you want to solve first. We can’t repeat this enough. If you are not clear about the problems you are resolving, it’s difficult to explain the value you create with your solution…

VC investment activity in Boston…

VC Firm named Accomplice funds VentureApp second round ($4M). An app for entrepreneurs…

  

What it is: VentureApp (Whatsapp/Linkedin for entrepreneurs) receives another $4M in funding from early stage Boston VC Firm Accomplice

Why it’s important: Designed for professionals in the innovation economy, VentureApp makes it easy to chat with your closest business contacts and connect with new partners. It helps grow your professional network without email inbox overload.

Selected / proposed by: Startupsinnovation team

Innovator’s tip: 

Think big or go home! Guest Post by influencer & Innovator Chris Kalaboukis (Silicon Valley)

What is the post about: The mindset to have with regards to risk taking and innovation

Why it is important: Innovating implies risk. To make progress you need to take some risk

Who is it best suited for: Entrepreneurs, Intrapreneurs

Read here

VIP Guest author:

Chris Kalaboukis is the co-founder of helloFUTURE, a foresight, innovation, and patent development consultancy in the Silicon Valley. A visionary disruptive innovator and prolific inventor, he is named on 60+ patents in the internet, social networking, and fintech space. An experienced technologist and coder, he has architected, developed, and launched a multitude of apps, both web, and mobile. A serial entrepreneur, he has helmed several startups from inception to launch. Recently, he has been specializing in the development of innovative new products and services via innovation, patent and foresight programs for financial services, technology, media, and retail/e-commerce companies, from startups to enterprises. He has authored several books on innovation and the future and blogs and podcasts at thinkfuture.com.

Market shift / interesting disruptive trend:

Discover top 5 startups from the Silicon Wadi (Israel) to watch out for. 

 

 

 

 

 

What is the post about: 5 high-tech Start-Ups from the Israeli entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Why it is important: Emerging markets are important for global entrepreneurs as these economies are becoming new players in the global business sphere.

Who is it best suited for: Global Entrepreneurs, Intrapreneurs, Business developers, Agents.

Contributing guest author:

Patricio Julian Gerpe, is an Argentine 24-years-old high-tech entrepreneur, TEDx speaker, coder, digital nomad & business student who is currently living in London. He is specially interested in AI technologies and emerging economies. He is also co-founder of the Argentine Artificial Intelligence Community called “IAAR” . 

Discover Australia’s outback tech (r)evolution. A post offered by Dr Louise Teo (Startupsinnovation guest blogger)

What is the post about: What we can learn from Innovation and tech programs in rural and regional Queensland, Australia. 

Why it is important: Innovation isn’t limited to the major capital cities, whether in the States or Australia. By spotlighting some of the local initiatives in rural Queensland, a state known for its abundant natural resources and the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef, readers can learn how innovation begins at home, whereever they are. 

Who is it best suited for: Anyone interested in global entrepreneurship and innovation, and readers curious
about Australia.

Read here

About the guest author

Louise Teo is a medical doctor and writer who founded themedicalstartup.com, a site dedicated to medical entrepreneurship and innovation. She is also the News Editor for the Journal of Mobile Technology in Medicine (journalmtm.com) and is based between Melbourne and rural Queensland. She is passionate about local innovation being a global interest.

Networking opportunity & events:

Discover the Shapr (Networking) app to meet inspiring people and shape your life.

What it is?

Shapr is a cool app that enables you to network and meet other professionals or entrepreneurs looking to network.

Why it’s important?

Shapr makes it easier for you to connect with new people who may be able to help you with your start-up project. As an entrepreneur, having a complete network is mission critical. It’s sometimes through the most unexpected connections that the biggest opportunities appear…In some cases, simply grabbing a coffee can turn out to become the next big thing…

A dose of fun: 

Richard Branson’s poem to entrepreneurs

Sir Richard Branson Source: Wikicommons

Richard Branson’s poem for entrepreneurs…

The road to success is paved with tests,
So you’ve got to believe in yourself above the rest.

Dream big, and let your passion shine,
If you don’t, you won’t end up with a dime.

Challenge the status quo, disrupt the market and say YES!
And remember that innovation is an endless quest.

Read the full poem here

 

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Spotlight: The Tech Revolution in Regional Australia, and Opportunities for Future Growth

What is the post about: What we can learn from Innovation and tech programs in rural and regional Queensland, Australia. 

Why it is important: Innovation isn’t limited to the major capital cities, whether in the States or Australia. By spotlighting some of the local initiatives in rural Queensland, a state known for its abundant natural resources and the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef, readers can learn how innovation begins at home, whereever they are. 

Who is it best suited for: Anyone interested in global entrepreneurship and innovation, and readers curious about Australia. 

About the guest author

Louise Teo is a medical doctor and writer who founded themedicalstartup.com, a site dedicated to medical entrepreneurship and innovation. She is also the News Editor for the Journal of Mobile Technology in Medicine (journalmtm.com) and is based between Melbourne and rural Queensland. She is passionate about local innovation being a global interest.

 

The Tech Revolution in Regional Australia, and Opportunities for Future Growth – by Dr Louise Teo

Picture by Louise Teo

There’s a tech revolution Down Under- and we have ideas on where the next opportunities will be. As a frequent city-hopper throughout Australia, we’ve noticed that the tech revolution isn’t solely limited to our most famous capital cities.
The rural towns dotting the 2300km expanse of the Great Barrier Reef have long been subject to “boom or bust” economic conditions in Australia. With the recent Australian mining sector downturn affecting once-bustling cities throughout Central and Northern Queensland, the time is ripe for entrepreneurialism to take place.
The Australian Federal Government’s Innovation Agenda has helped foster an environment for numerous innovation events. One such event coming up is Myriad, the global entrepreneurs’ conference to be held in Brisbane, Queensland’s capital, at the end of March. Bringing speakers from TechCrunch, Estonia, Western Europe and rural Queensland to the city, the event promises to help connect and inspire attendees as Australia’s answer to SXSW.
Myriad’s timing coincides with the World Science Festival, which will host Hack The Reef, the world’s first hackathon dedicated to the Great Barrier Reef. Held in Townsville, one of Northern Queensland’s largest Reef gateposts, Hack the Reef will bring participants together to brainstorm solutions for the Reef’s rapid bleaching crisis, with global warming sending water temperatures 1-2 degrees Celsius higher than usual and irreversibly bleaching the beautiful coral. Hack the Reef will send winners to Myriad, and help boost tech and entrepreneurial skills in a region not known for its Opera House or laneway coffee spots.

Picture by Louise Teo

Maker spaces and coworking centres have also opened up in Mackay, Cairns and Townsville. Startup Mackay is a hub for the sugar cane city and former mining hub now focusing on tourism. The Assisted Devices Hackathon will be held in Mackay, Toowoomba and Townsville later this year, with support from Advanced Manufacturing Queensland helping to re-energise Queensland manufacturing and engineering. theSPACE Cairns and Canvas Coworking in Toowoomba also host startup events and coworking space for locals and visitors.
Additionally, Australia’s largest corporate startup accelerator Slingshot has announced a presence in Cairns this year. It will dedicate funding and resources to projects focusing on travel, hospitality and entertainment in this city of 160,000 people which hosts international guests such as Elton John. Slingshot is known for running one of Australia’s largest health-tech accelerators, and currently has Australia’s first Human Resources Tech accelerator open for applications to be the next Freelancer or similar.
Finally, small business groups in these towns continue to host events for local startups and small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) alike. Small Biz Big Future has been held in Cairns for several years’ running, bringing together web developers, agricultural, marketing and legal experts in the region to deliver Top 3 Business Tips for attendees.

Picture by Louise Teo

Advance Queensland also completed a regional tour featuring 6 of Queensland’s most successful entrepreneurs, including Shark Tank Australia’s Steve Baxter and We Are Hunted’s Stephen Phillips, visiting ten rural cities to share their experiences with locals.
How else can regional towns pivot from existing business models and upskill in entrepreneurship? Currently, the options for rural business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs are to attend local events or education providers; otherwise, if they can afford it, to relocate to one of the capital cities. In our opinion, education shouldn’t be limited to local TAFE centres and universities, which are often costly and not suitable for time-poor owner-operators. It’s also worthwhile remembering that many small business owners are successful despite not completing school, or not having a strong tech culture within an Indigenous Australian community. Private tech skill educators such as General Assembly and Academy Xi are based in major capitals such as Melbourne and Sydney (with GA opening in Brisbane). These cities are doing their bit for entrepreneurship, but are becoming saturated with choice of events. Surely such schools could also aim to broaden their reach to rural areas by offering free or paid video access to classes and talks.
In times of crisis, there is a long-held resilience demonstrated by local farmers, retailers, and other small business owners, with communities devoted to buying local. Much can be learnt from business owners who have dealt with cyclones, droughts, banana plantation destruction and international trade adjustments. Perhaps a platform needs to be developed for giving these stalwart regional business owners a chance to share their lessons virtually with young and tech-savvy entrepreneurs across Australian cities. This could help introduce a new revenue stream to such business owners, in a valuable collaborative effort of Ideas Exchange.
It helps that Australia’s current Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, a former tech entrepreneur himself, has tried to shine a light upon regional innovation. Taking in rural Queensland towns such as Bundaberg and Rockhampton last year, Prime Minister Turnbull was impressed with technologies such as drones used by farmers for crop surveillance and pest control. As mentioned during his visit, it’s important to remember that entrepreneurs are not just city-based friends in T-shirts coding in a garage for fun. The real need for tech and entrepreneurial skills comes from those who are geographically isolated and time- and resource-poor.
Ongoing support for local businesses and education providers, whether rural or metropolitan, will continue to drive the future of Australian innovation. We’d be glad to hear your thoughts on this article and other ideas you may have.

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Spotlight: What is the Silicon Wadi? 5 Israeli Startups to watch.

What is the post about: 5 high-tech Start-Ups from the Israeli entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Why it is important: Emerging markets are important for global entrepreneurs as these economies are becoming new players in the global business sphere.

Who is it best suited for: Global Entrepreneurs, Intrapreneurs, Business developers, Agents.

About the guest author:

Patricio Julian Gerpe, is an Argentine 24-years-old high-tech entrepreneur, TEDx speaker, coder, digital nomad & business student who is currently living in London. He is specially interested in AI technologies and emerging economies. He is also co-founder of the Argentine Artificial Intelligence Community called “IAAR” . 

 

In this article, I will explain what the so-called “Silicon Wadi” is and will introduce you 5 outstanding innovative start-ups from this
ecosystem. While taking part in an Argentine entrepreneurial program called “Innovation Experience”, I had the opportunity to meet some of the brains behind these start-ups.

First of all, the Silicon Wadi is an important technological hub located over the coastal plains of Tel Aviv and Gush Dan, including cities such as Ra’anana, Herzliya, Caesarea, Haifa as well as the cybersecurity hub Be’er Sheva, located 108 kilometres from Tel Aviv.
When I traveled to Israel I also found out that the country is a prominent emerging high-tech entrepreneurial hub with outstanding research and development. Despite its low population, military conflicts, and scarcity of natural resources, Israel appealed to me as a resilient country with a mature entrepreneurial ecosystem. Universities, the government, and business people are united to solve real-life problems.

In my opinion, these are the top 5 high-tech start-ups that stand out:

1) Ride On

The first Augmented Reality goggles for snow sports.  It can make snowboarding even cooler!

2) Temp Drop

Temp Drop is an IoT device that helps women to track and monitor their fertility. The founder is currently looking for sales partners around the world.

3) SuperSmart

Think Amazon GO sounds interesting? Well, it turns out it is nothing new. I highly recommend you keep an eye on Supersmart and forget about the lines at the supermarket.

4) Pillcam

A pill that has a camera inside used as a substitute for traditional invasive endoscopy methods.

5) Netafim: 

A sustainable smart drip and micro-irrigation service for agriculture.

 

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Go Big Or Go Home : Risk Taking Makes The Difference

What is the post about: The mindset to have with regards to risk taking and innovation

Why it is important: Innovating implies risk. To make progress you need to take some risk

Who is it best suited for: Entrepreneurs, Intrapreneurs

Guest author:

Chris Kalaboukis is the co-founder of helloFUTURE, a foresight, innovation, and patent development consultancy in the Silicon Valley. A visionary disruptive innovator and prolific inventor, he is named on 60+ patents in the internet, social networking, and fintech space. An experienced technologist and coder, he has architected, developed, and launched a multitude of apps, both web, and mobile. A serial entrepreneur, he has helmed several startups from inception to launch. Recently, he has been specializing in the development of innovative new products and services via innovation, patent and foresight programs for financial services, technology, media, and retail/e-commerce companies, from startups to enterprises. He has authored several books on innovation and the future and blogs and podcasts at thinkfuture.com.

One of the big differences between those who succeed and those who haven’t succeeded yet is the ability to take a risk. To leap into the unknown, and deal with the results. It’s often cited as one of the reasons why investors will not back entrepreneurs over the age of 35 – their potential for risk taking is lessened (personally I think that it more like they expect the entrepreneur to not have a life outside of the business and pour their entire lives into it – something that if you ask me, stifles innovation and serendipity which leads to new thinking) because of their age – that they have less stomach for it.

This is BS, if you ask me.

There is no specific age where your risk taking muscles just suddenly cease to function. The propensity for risk taking can be something that you are born with and runs throughout your life, something that you start off with and lose, or something you can build. It’s like a muscle we all have – sometimes its strong, sometimes it’s weak, and you need to work at it to make it stronger. But it’s not something you lose, unless you want to lose it.

I’m not saying that you can’t succeed without risk taking, but you have a much better chance of it if you do. The good thing about your risk taking muscle is that you don’t need to take huge risks in order to work it. You can start small – pushing slowly out of your comfort zone, then push to bigger and bigger risks, until you get you where you want to be.

There are a number of techniques that you can use in order to build up your risk taking muscle – one of the quickest ways to do it is to get yourself a coach or guide to push you there. As I said in an earlier post, you can bring someone in to push you out of your comfort zone, build up your risk taking muscle, then eventually, you will be able to tackle it on your own. Unlike physical training, where even if you do months and months or boot camp, you may fall back into your old habits, the mental coaching is more likely to stick.

Another method which seems to work for many is the “act like” model – where you put on a show – you act like you are already able to take the risk, and your outward self-pushes you enough in order to go ahead and take that risk.

Risk taking is at the core of success, it’s at the core of disruptive innovation, and it’s at the core of new breakthrough thinking. If you are not taking risks, then you have to ask yourself, am I really doing something innovative?

This post originally appeared on thinkfuture.com

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