New year, new career seems to be the big driver for recruitment companies at the start of the year. However, this year you could start a company and in turn a new career. Dublin startup weekend will be taking place this year in the Google HQ on Barrow Street. The event spans 54 hours and will take place the weekend of the 2nd of March. You will take a concept from the idea stage, to development and present it to your peers.
Last year I was sceptical about paying an event, I was unsure what I could gain or if it is worth it. I can say wholeheartedly that the event last year was fantastic. It helped to develop skills, network and meet up with people in the vibrant startup community. You will work as part of team to develop an idea into a prototype over 54 hours, a mix of skills will be required to do this: developers, business ideas, presenters and graphic designers. Furthering mentoring will be offered to the winners of the startup weekend, this will give the additional support to bring the idea to fruition.
There are a mix of mentors, developers, business dev, graphic designers, entrepreneurs and people in various industries who will be there on the day. They can help develop your ideas into hopefully a fully fledged company.
One of the biggest issues I find is that people are unable to network with people who can help implement an idea, this event is perfect - if you have an idea but don't know people with the technical nous to execute your idea. The technical expertise will cover everything from iOS development, Android development, Web development to graphic designers and much more.
Startup Weekend Website
Startup Weekend Dublin Twitter
Startup Weekend Facebook
Wednesday, 29 February 2012
(these are some thoughts I had on the way back to the Ireland)
To say the Barcelona Mobile World Congress is massive is a complete understatement. My feet we not prepared for the walking that I did.
What can we learn from an event of that size. There are many players, but the market is open to new applications, that offer a unique addition to the traditional phone services, and data usage.
The main that struck me is how there is no clear winner in the convergence from web to mobile web. Apple has the lead with iPhone, but it seems that Nokia and Microsoft's partnership will bare fruit in the future, as will the Motorolla and Google Android link. There is so much these players can do, and with Sony Mobile it shows that the future is fast moving.
What for RIM, and Blackberry no big partnerships and from my view, an App market so that they can, not because they really want to, more a have too.
From the Irish side, I was amazed by how many mobile services companies we have developed and how they are prospering in this market. With the App market growing, there seems to be a very good reason for sidetracking the web and developing almost solely mobile products.
Companies like BoxPay with its mobile payment platform used the MWC 2012 to launch for Android and also to announce its increased scope for vendors.
All in all an exciting time for the Irish Mobile tech scene. We are covering the Dublin Startup Weekend this weeken and it will be interesting to see what is created over the weekend.
Posted by C OConnor at 10:00
Tuesday, 28 February 2012
Sometimes it is the simplest ideas that make the real crossover into mainstream. When you see an Irish startup doing it and selling itself to the world at the MWC 2012 it shows you that the simplest ideas can be the best.
So what does 'ezetop' do well using a web interface it enables you to top up love ones mobile phones while they are abroad, or away from a pay station.
Monday, 27 February 2012
SpeechStorm Launches Mobile Customer Experience Management Applications at Mobile World Congress
Where frustration once ruled, customer care at your fingertips delivers a more satisfying customer experience and reduces calls to contact centres by 60%
Mobile World Congress, Barcelona, 27 February, 2012 – Leading Customer Experience Management (CEM) application company, SpeechStorm, will be launching its Mobile CEM applications at MWC 2012, and will be showcasing this new approach in the provision of customer self-service and contact on the ‘Northern Ireland Smart At Work’ stand,1E67 in Hall 1.
SpeechStorm Mobile CEM for iPhone and Android helps organisations reduce call volumes, make more efficient use of resources and improve customer experience by combining effective self-service and a unique way of managing interaction with the contact centre.
SpeechStorm Mobile CEM includes a range of out-of-the-box applications for common self-service functions, which, studies show, account for up to 60% of calls to contact centres. Providing customers with the information they require at their fingertips reduces the need for them to call the contact centre, resulting in significant savings for the organisation.
For more complex queries, SpeechStorm Mobile CEM manages the interaction to save time and effort for both the customer and the organisation. Customers are offered a choice of text chat or phone contact, with a countdown display indicating the next available agent. Customers can choose to connect and wait, request a call-back, or choose an available timeslot for a call, with the option to leave supporting information about their query. This enables the contact centre to allocate the best resource to respond to the customer’s query, prepare for the call and deal with it more efficiently.
The initial range of SpeechStorm Mobile CEM applications includes contact centre interaction management, as well as account information, order enquiries, store location, credit card and direct debit payments. Applications can be customised with colour and images to match the organisation’s brand and are fully configurable through a web-based portal to meet the specific needs of banks, telecoms operators, retailers and utilities.
SpeechStorm’s CEO and co-founder, Oliver Lennon, said, “With the SpeechStorm Mobile CEM, we’re applying what we’ve learnt in managing phone-based contact and self-service for organisations like Sky, Comet and Dixons, to create a mobile experience that benefits both customers and the contact centre. As a customer, there is nothing worse than waiting on hold. SpeechStorm Mobile CEM takes away that frustration by giving customers the information they need at their fingertips, reducing the need to call and allowing them make informed decisions about the best time to contact.
“Despite the huge numbers of apps available, very few address customer service in a meaningful way. SpeechStorm offers organisations both effective self-service out-of-the-box, and ensures a smooth transition from app to contact centre for a truly integrated customer service experience.”
Well as my first time to the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, I felt that I should write a piece about how the Irish Mobile industry was represented, and marketed. I also was interested to see how the big companies showed their new products and services.
My first thought was how large the event was, it shows how the mobile industry has really hit its true main stream potential. Where the two parts of computer use and mobile use was split, the convergence has been rapid and mesmerising.
Upon stumbling on to the Enterprise Ireland stand with its 16 companies being represented, including Feedhenry and dotMobi it is good to see how Enterprise Ireland get's the benefit for the small tech companies in this burgeoning market. It is the reason why Ireland is seen by many as a hub for tech in Europe.
The most important thing to remember is also that its not just convergence anymore that interests the big players its also the major networks and platforms eyeing for the moment that they can become the top dog.
It is difficult to take it all in, especially when you see how big players like Sony with its new rebrand of Sony Mobile spending so much money on these events to make an impact that you wonder how the little companies can make an impact, well its with clever PR, effective government support and bringing together a stand like the Enterprise Ireland stand, to make Ireland stand out.
My only negative note is of course from the Northern Ireland side. I could only find ( the only Belfast listed SpeechStorm tech co, so far on our StartupZone.ie site) being represented from the NI side. Now I may have missed the others, but this to me is another indication of the inactive nature that seems to have dominated InvestNI, Enterprise Ireland puts it to shame.
Surely we can do better at promoting the many tech companies in Northern Ireland in shows like this.
Sunday, 26 February 2012
Vator Splash has become one of the must-attend high-tech events, where promising startups are discovered, lessons from prominent founders are learned, views from blue-chip venture capitalists are heard - and wine is continually served.
Save the date: This June 7, 2012 between 4 pm and 11 pm, Splash LA will be back and held at the Highlands Hollywood. Our Early-Bird tickets are nearly sold out. Get them now before they sell out or expire tonight at midnight. Register here.
If you want to participate in the competition or know someone who is interested in competing for the 10 spots and the opportunity to win fame, glory, bragging rights and a lot of cool prizes, join the competition here. It's free to enter.
We're still getting our speaker lineup together. But at the moment, our keynote speakers include top LA-based entrepreneurs: Scott Painter, CEO and founder of TrueCar, which has raised some $250 million in funding and could go IPO this year, Matt Coffin, who founded Lowermybills, which was sold to Experian for $300 million. Listen to these entrepreneurs share their successes and failures on their journey to building their successful businesses.
Our VC speakers and judges include Neal Hansch (Rustic Canyon Partners), Jed Katz (Javelin Venture Partners), Nate Redmond (Rustic Canyon Partners, Paul Bricault (Amplify), Mike Jones (co-founder Science, former CEO of MySpace), Adam Huie (Hatch Labs), Erik Rannala (Mucker Labs), Sam Tellar (Launchpad), Tom McInerney (entrepreneur and angel investor) and Ezra Roizen (Ackrell Capital).
We hope to see you at Splash LA this June.
Remember, get your Early-bird tickets before they sell out, or expire midnight tonight! The demo tables (at the early-bird rate of $350 - including three admission tickets - are the best deals. But they won't last!!!!).
Vator Splash LA is hosted by award-winning journalist Bambi Francisco, founder and CEO of Vator. Investors from top VC firms, such as Andreessen Horowitz, Anthem Venture Partners, Arizona Bay, August Capital, AngelPad, Alsop Louie, Bessemer, Blue Run Ventrues, Blumberg, Bullpen, Canaan, Claremont, CMEA, Crosslink Capital, Crosscut Ventures, DFJ, FirstMark, First Round, Founders Fund, Granite VC, Greycroft, Greylock, Google Ventures, Hummer Winblad, Industry Ventures, Intel Capital, IVP, Jafco Ventures, Javelin Venture Partners, Khosla Ventures, Lightspeed, Madrona Venture Group, Mayfield, Mission Ventures, NEA, North Bridge, Norwest, NYC Seed, OpenView Partners, Polaris, Redpoint Ventures, RRE, Scale, Shasta, SoftTech VC, SV Angels, TechStars, VantagePoint, Venrock, Walden VC, and 500 Startups, and more are attending or have attended the Splash events..
Where: The Highlands Hollywood
When: June 7, 2012
Time: 4 pm to 11 pm