Posted by Tattletech on Nov 14, 2011 in networking
, Smart folks
, Women entrepreneurs
The front page story of this month’s edition of Olivia Magazine, is all about the importance of networking. Olivia, a Finnish monthly for women striving for a well-rounded life, decided to focus on networking, and specifically why it is important for women. For expertise in this area, they turned to friend and contributor for Tattletech, Hanna Manninen, who dropped some knowledge.
In the article, Hanna shares some advice on networking and its real life application. In one anecdote, she talks about meeting with a young woman who sent her an application, not to hire her but rather to mentor her entrance into the PR industry. Hanna stresses the importance of sharing, urges that we should not be afraid of it, and suggests that with less fear of idea theft and more outstretched hands of support, one can succeed in business while simultaneously paying success forward.
Putting forth another example of this spirit of mutual success, the article also includes a story about Future Female, a network for women working in ICT or interested in technology, co-founded be Hanna, Krista Järvinen and Annikki Laine in October 2009.
Hanna concludes that younger generations of women are less jealous of each other and embrace change more than older generations, which is good because women are still a minority when it comes to power and authority do each other a disservice getting mired in competition.
It’s often easy to lose sight of the fundamentals behind networking since it has (1) become so much more immediate and transparent in the social media age (2) remained a business buzz-word for decades. However, networking is at its core the promise of mutually-implied success, a partnership of convenience perhaps, but still a partnership. We would all do well to focus less on competition and remember that people are involved at all levels of business, and therefor the most important part of networking is helping people and being open to help from others.
The November issue of Olivia is now available from kiosks, book and grocery stores across Finland.
At the end of September (28-30th), the key players of Nordic digital media head to southern Finland and the city of Tampere for their annual get-together. For three days they enjoy a selection of seminars, academic sessions and competitions. What sets MindTrek a part from your usual digital media or startup events is its unique combination of commerce, science, research and citizens guaranteeing lively conversations.
One of this year’s interesting picks from the conference program is track titled War Stories: Future Female. Speakers include Julie Meyer and Karima Serageldin from Ariadne Capital, Ulla-Maaria Engeström from ThingLink and Katri Lietsala from Gemilo. This track is hosted by Krista Järvinen, who is one of the co-founders of Future Female, a network for women working in ICT. Goal of War Stories track is to share experiences of running your own business or building services from female entrepreneur’s perspective.
MindTrek is also a great place to meet cool Finnish stratups. Many of which will be participating in the event competitions. The main competition, MindTrek Launchpad, will award the most innovative and promising Finnish digital media companies with prize packages totalling 20 000 €. Winners will also get access to internationalization and growth services provided by MindTrek partners.
The event organisers are expecting 800 visitors this year marking the 15th edition of MindTrek.
- Hanna Manninen
You can follow Hanna on Twitter @HannaManna
Mike Martin from eCommerce Times wrote an article about President Obama’s new Start up America initiative that examined the program’s impact. And at the same time, Steve Case was out stumping in BusinessWeek about its not just “start ups” but “speed ups”.
ink Communications founder, Jennifer Hicks was referenced in the article by the reporter on her opinions on the initiative. [this is the complete Q & A which was excerpted in the article here]
eCommerce Times: Working with start up companies, what do you think of this initiative? Is it needed? Or is it a gimmick?
Jennifer Hicks: As a niche global PR agency that works with start ups around the world, we think it is a great idea. In many ways, Europe has been doing this on a country by country level with their incubator programs through the governments with small seed funds that provide both cash and resources. Silicon Valley is purely driven by the next big thing, but this program is a good way to continue to foster and grow the entrepreneurial spirit not just with start ups but with small companies with revenue that also need to push into regional or international markets.
The more global a company can be from birth the better. Finland is a great example of a country that despite its small GDP, puts a large amount funding, both private and public, into innovation programs for start ups or small companies across ICT, Clean tech, Life Sciences and eHealth.
ECT: Lots of tech giants have signed on. What might that say about it?
JH: I think that tech giants today are struggling to find their relevance with innovation. I mean to say that the standard methodology is to just acquire and absorb, but what if they have the opportunity to foster and incubate without a tie back to their own company? I think the world is global and tech giants still search for that next big thing. Microsoft invested a lot in outside vendors to bring Kinect to life and that investment for the first Kinect boxes came from a start up out of Israel that supplied the natural interface technology. So I think that in many ways, they need the agility and innovative thinking that comes out of start ups.
ECT: The Obama Administration has been criticized for being unfriendly to business, and for having too few business people in its ranks. Do you think this foundation will help raise awareness — a key public relations endeavor — in the Administration about the needs and importance of entrepreneurship?
JH: All change requires time, but I do think that any initiative a government or administration can take to back innovation will only help the country in the long term. When you think about change in terms of technology, we should be looking at investment into technology that feeds the sectors most likely to affect us in the long run – health, clean tech, services – and the application of innovation into those markets will, over time, affect citizens and how they interact with their environment, their health care providers and the businesses they interact with.
Posted by Tattletech on Dec 18, 2010 in What makes good news
, Women entrepreneurs
A great replay of why PR doesn’t work anymore. If you have 57 minutes, start at slide 14 and sit back and remember, its not the news its the story. Tell the story.
We got lucky and had a chance to talk to Vanessa Vigar, a 20-year marketing and communications veteran from the technology media & telecommunications sector and new partner at ink Communications. She gave us the low-down on her vision of what public relations should be about in the tech world we live in today and tomorrow. — JLH
Vigar: I’m into day 17 at ink now and after putting on a pair of high heels to fit in with those ladies and joining this virtual team, I had a chance to think about how the role of a PR agency has changed and continues to change. Here are some of my observations.
- It’s even more about the journalist than ever. As papers and magazines battle to reinvent and survive, those creating the content are becoming media channels in their own right and carry the weight (or not) rather than just the editor.
- Your business network is as big an asset as is your media relationships. If you boast to be “in” the industry, companies are increasingly turning to their PR folks to match-make and make new connections. How good is your LinkedIn profile?
- It’s going 360 and virtual. Small to medium organistations, would rather have one commnications agency then several. It’s rare to find one strong in the multiple deciplines of PR, marketing and promotion, but in a shameless plug for ink, some of us get it! Companies are (thank goodness) growing wearty of bloated expenses, mark-ups and covering the overhead costs of their ageny in their fees. Welcome the virutal agency. Pay for what you get is our mantra!
- Video is becoming increasingly prominent across all media. From reading to watching WIRED on your iPad, understanding what works on camera is a valuable PR asset.
- Location really does not matter. Tap into the skills where they are, rather than where you are… you have Skype right?
- Of course, somethings never change. Bad PR still gives the industry a bad reputation, whereas bad journalism is commonplace. Liquid lunches still sell stories and (some) big companeis still seek comfort in the big agency network. Come on, prove me wrong!
There was a trade show going on in Barcelona – did you know that? Or did you just think Mobile World Congress was five days and nights of cocktail parties. We actually it is both. During the day, Mobile World Congress this year put in a grown up face and decided to do some work and companies actually figured out they can do some business there. Some of the same ridiculous nonsense went on -all the big names had big announcements and hogged the spotlight, the increasing convergence of celebrity and tech, obsessed mobile geeks spewing industry stats and glares if you aren’t using an iPhone. But if you were someone with a brain and dug past all of the shiny stuff, you would have seen that the real news was tucked away in several places including the country Pavilions, the Augmented Reality Showcase and App Pavilions – where innovation was percolating. The AR show illustrated that there is more than one company out there with good AR ideas, the App Pavilion gave us one place to look at a variety of apps not only for fun but that help the planet and the Pavilions were a great place to see country by country innovation. The best things we saw were these companies:
- Powerkiss – A Finnish start up led by a Maija Itkonen who decided that cables and wires really suck so she decided what better way to charge your mobile device than to build a device in to furniture. We call this lifestyle mobile tech and we love it. Ciara Byne of Venturebeat had the chance to talk to them at MWC and reported their plans here. And Maija has agreed to a TattleTech Hot seat so look for that coming up soon.
- Alcosystems – We have covered them before in the top 5 start ups to watch, but in reality, they are beyond where normal web 2.0 start ups are. This a lifestyle and health mobile device that we think will really affect many people around the world. Monitor your own blood alcohol content -the uses are far reaching. Mobile Health is new business in Mobile technology, read here for more.
- Myfc - More innovation out of Sweden, and this time along the lines of green tech – a portable fuel cell to be used in current and emerging markets like Africa. Mike Butcher, TechCrunch Europe did a great interview with the CEO at MWC about the fuel cells and their uses. This is the space to watch – emerging markets and renewable energy sources for the mobile market.
- TAT – also known at the Astonishing Tribe. The design mobile user interfaces but blend aesthetics and technology together – like mobile face detection and recognition with PolarRose’s FaceLib. Very cool stuff – pushing the envelope to more intuitive UIs including aesthetic augmented reality.
- PuddingMedia – Sure a mobile ad network but completely focused on APAC. We think SUPER smart because this is where the next wave of the whole mobile revolution is coming from. Check them out, they are very nice people and focused on creating and delivering this platform in a very specific way to this market.
- WidespaceMobile – Also an ad network, but much like PuddingMedia, have been intensely targeted on the Scandinavian market and mastering that market. Talk to them, they don’t care that Google bought AdMob, they think its good for them and their numbers show it and their revenue too. They have the good fortune of working with Ericsson IPX which essentially lets them focus on the sale behind the click and maximizing where that ad its make the most revenue.
On the down side, the media coverage still focused on the big names only (shall we say big advertisers?) and in a feeding frienzy around their favorite topics related to the big boys -they were totally oblivious to other innovative companies that were floating around. Not one single media outlet covered the more than 10 country pavilions which was a shame because sometimes the best ideas start small with the exception of the Show daily which covered the Sweden Pavilion. Despite all of that, it was one of the best MWC that I have attended in the past 13 years. Yes, that was lucky 13.
Right. So some say that there aren’t enough female entrepreneurs out there. We say who cares, and it isn’t about volume (and yes gentleman, size does count), maybe females just want to create the perfect sustainable business so aren’t really into just hurling every cotton candy, augmented reality, turn magic beans into beanstalk scheme into the start up community. Which is why when we heard Helen Brown, Founder of Cat Walk Genius, present at the TechCrunch Christmas Crunch par-tay in London last year, we stopped and listened. Fashion. Check. Business model. Check. Helping others become entrepreneurs via grass roots micro investment. Check.
Tattletech: Your site CatWalk Genius strikes us as, well, genius! Are you now or have you in the past been a fashion designer? What was your inspiration for this venture?
Helen Brown: I don’t have a fashion background at all, no. I studied Psychology at university and then spent a career in financial services management – so I’ve always had an interest in consumer behavior.
As the internet started enabling much more interaction between people and brands, I knew I wanted to do something that got a traditional sector to be more engaging. Fashion turned out to hold the most opportunities for that, so Catwalk Genius was the result.
TT: The designers you promote do have some great clothes, but nothing for men. Do you see this as an area for expansion, or is men’s fashion too niche to bother with right now.
HB: Men’s fashion is huge, but it takes a lot of focused effort to get enough quality brands involved to make it worthwhile. It made sense to stick to the larger womens’ market in the early days, but we’ve definitely got boys in mind for the future.
TT: You must have had some great designers who bootstrapped themselves using your site. Tell us one of the best designer success stories, rags to riches and all that.
HB: We’re only now bringing the ‘crowd-funding’ aspect to the forefront of what we do, so we’ve still yet to have a designer hit the funding target. We’re planning to run our first full funding trial in the next few months, so let’s talk again in the summer!
TT: From an entrepreneurial viewpoint you look pretty successful – the company is owned by IQL Ltd in Dublin. Did you approach them or vice versa? Have any of them shopped on the site?
HB: IQL Ltd is us – all the directors were in Ireland a few years ago so it made sense to incorporate over there. We’re just in the process of setting up in the UK now, which will make it a bit easier to get to London Fashion Week!
TT: I won’t ask you to name names from the designers that you support, but in the “mainstream” world of catwalk fashion, what are some of your favorite old school design houses?
HB: I think I always appreciated the loveliness of the old classics like Chanel and Balmain, but my speed-education in fashion has seen me tickled by the likes of Hussein Chalayan, Gareth Pugh and Christopher Kane.
TT: The concept of crowd funding, along with crowd sourcing, independent/micro debt financing, etc., is a “channel” of the internet that is exploding with new interactive ideas. Do you see any hint of “community” on the web, or is it already too big for that – will personal interaction on the web be a thing of the past.
HB: I don’t think size limits the community possibilities – I expect there’ll be many smaller communities formed around niche interests rather than a few large ones.
It’s human nature to seek out personal interaction so I don’t see an end to that happening any time soon – but it’s up to tech companies to provide the kind of platforms that will facilitate meaningful exchanges about interesting content. If anything, I think the future will see more and more people coming together to pool their resources and create fascinating stuff. -- JLH
So Tattletech was on an island, Fåglarö!, Sweden, over the Midsummer holiday. We found ourselves at a three day Midsummer party with 33 international guests all staying in the same summer house, cooking, talking and drinking. In the midst of former Canadian Hedge Fund managers, seriel entrepreneurs, non profit fundraisers for Doctors without Borders and some Swedish racing sailors, we found Tiina Parviainen who just started LiviaConcept. Tech addict, avid interior designer and tyro business woman. I give you, Tiina, a bit of fun with a Fin.
TattleTech: What gave you the idea to start LiviaConcept?
Tiina Parviainen: Livia Concept is a project that is under development and stands for my love for textiles, prints and interiors. Since quite young age I have been creating things – painting, sewing, crafting, later on decorating and hosting events, web design, renovating my home and programming. There was a long period of very theoretical engineering studies in my life, so since interior design is my biggest passions I owe it to myself to develop my skills in those areas.
TT: You are a programmer by trade, but how did you go from programming to creating an online interiors resource center, like Etsy?
TP: I don’t think it’s a great leap in any ways. I work with system development so I know what it takes to set up a an online marketplace like this. At the moment, I am busy with my interior design blog and I have just designed my first collection of pillows and am looking for producers, importers, etc. All of this is creative and technically challenging, but I also still have my day job as a programmer and in fact I’m just about to start in a new job as a project manager. There are 24 hours in a day after all, why not use them all!
TT: You are blond, highly intelligent and a technical genius — what do you feel are the biggest challenges you face as a female entrepreneur?
TP: I believe the biggest challenge is to believe in your “thing” and your skills. I have never experienced any real difficulties but because I grew up with self esteem. The only thing that I experience as negative and challenging is the fact that a young woman who is highly educated, skilled, straight forward and feminine is considered a threat by other women. That is sad. I tend to think that there is a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.
TT: You told me once that ‘creating’ is a lifestyle, can you expand on this and how it applies to LiviaConcept?
TP: Creating and creativity IS a lifestyle. Even if it’s hard for you to be creative you can never really shut down the creative brainwork, can you? It doesn’t really matter what type of creativity it is, for example a person can be extremely good at solving problems, that is creativity. Some people have it and other people don’t. The people who are creative are just that by nature and usually are so in many other aspects of their lives.
Posted by Tattletech on Mar 15, 2009 in Conferences
, Cool stuff
, Good things
, Intelligent Search
, New things
, Sexy tech guys
, Social Networking
, Start ups
, Web 2.0 stuff
, Women entrepreneurs
Tattletech was at Plugg last week in Brussels (that Robin Wauters puts on a good show) and it was one of the best events we have been to in a while. The agenda was superb, the speakers were excellent and the food was outstanding. The start up rally was fun with our audience participation paddles, but the majority of the start ups were not that compelling, with the exception of three that stood out WAY above the others. We are planning on having all three of them do a Tattletech Hot Seat in the coming weeks.
Here are the three companies we think you should keep your eyes on. (Plus one extra)
Jinni – Everything is changing so why not how we search for TV shows and movies. Long time IPTV industry veteran and former Oracle guy, Yosi Glick thinks its about time we re think how we search for movies. So enter Jinni. Tattltech saw a super secret demo of Jinni last fall at IBC and now the train is on the track as Jinni has brought its new search technology to the forefront. Blending both a social networking element with a more logical way to search for what you want to watch (a social search and recommendation engine), Jinni will change the way you think about searching for content. They will. Sign up for the beta online. Watch them, get on board now, this would be like missing the Skype train. Yes, I said that. A fantastic management team makes all the difference and Jinni has that.
Myngle - Learn a language online. Okay, so at first glance that may not sound innovative, but it is. It is because it connects you to the global marketplace where you are talking with folks that know that native language. Its interacting with them in a way you would normally if you knew a language, not the “phrases” that you normally go through in an old school language class. It’s e learning mixed with educational social networking and we think that this is one of the best ideas for applying elements of social networking today. Imagine the possibilities this could have on developing nations.
Global classroom, cultural exchange takes on a whole new meaning. Founder by Marina Togenetti and based in the Netherlands, this woman gives entrepreneur a whole new name. Winner of the Plugg Audience Choice awards and more than 20,000 users in seven months.
Softatutor – It is unfortunate that their site is only in German, but trust me when I say to you this CEO has his eye on the big picture. And like Myngle, Sofatutor is focusing on applying the elements of social networking to education. Sofatutor blends video with social interaction to create an online “tutor”. And the CEO, Stephan Bayer at Plugg 09 says that he wants tutors to get paid for their work – educational advocate. Nice. Not to mention the fact that if we did a Top 10 list of sexy tech guys at Plugg, he would be on it.
Now, also on our list is Nimbuzz who has won all sorts of awards and plans to become the gobal communications platform for IP-based communication between mobile devices and social media platforms. Watch for their upcoming Tattletech Hot Seat interview with Tobias Kemper. And rounding out the trip was the excellent conversation spent with two fantastic “personalities” we had the great pleasure of spending our breaks with – Nicolas Mertens (picture a young David Spade with the same sense of humor), The Next Web and Jeroen Mirck.
Posted by Tattletech on Jan 23, 2009 in What makes good news
, Women entrepreneurs
A woman takes over Intel. About time. You go Jane!