Angel Investment Network’s Weekly Twitter Roundup

Angel Investment News:

Business Plans & Pitching:

Fund Raising:

Marketing & Social Media:

Start-Up & Entrepreneurship:

To stay updated, come follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/angel__network or register for our blog at https://www.angelinvestmentnetwork.netwp-login.php?action=register.

Read anything interesting? Feel free to add links to any articles or resources you’d like to share with the angel community.

Or are you looking to raise funding?  Send me a summary of your project at mike@angelinvestmentnetwork.co.uk and we’ll try to help.

First ever Imperial Startup Weekend a huge success

Angel Investment Network were delighted to be involved as both judges and mentors at the first ever Imperial Startup Weekend, which saw 65 budding Entrepreneurs assemble in the basement of Skempton Building, Imperial College. A total of 10 teams worked on new business ideas for 54 hours in a frenzy of customer validation, business model planning, coding and design.

Here is some info from Stuart Brameld, Event Director about the companies and teams at the event:

1. Giglist (Winners)

Team Members: Tomasz Nguyen, Phil Thomas, Sahil Chugani

Giglist is the website all music festival lovers have been waiting for. It gives festivalgoers the ability to hear every artist in the line-up of any festival, all within the simplicity of one site. Users can then create and share giglists with friends.

Giglist takes festival playlists and artists, organises them neatly into stagelists and interfaces with Soundcloud enabling users to play individual tracks or whole stage lists.

The team had some great conversations with mentors from GoSquared and The Angel Investment Network before getting down to work. Tomasz used the same frameworks as Pinterest along with various APIs to provide the required functionality and, on a mission to have a working prototype by the time the team pitched to the judges, was still coding during the final presentations.

A number of the judges expressed a keen interest in the business and Giglist are already in discussion with music industry professionals about licensing and taking their product to market.

A number of the judges expressed a keen interest in the business and Giglist are already in discussion with music industry professionals about licensing and taking their product to market. You can follow their progress on the Giglist landing page giglist.it  and on twitter@mygiglist.

2. ShopMyBlog (Runners Up)

With a relatively large team comprising 7 people including ideator Emma Walker, ShopMyBlog set out to devise a revolutionary experience to easily and effectively monetise the blogging world.

The team created a unique solution not reliant on the traditional advertising methods widely used today and had a working prototype by the Sunday evening final. More information is available at shopmyblog.com and on Twitter @ShopMyBlog.

3. Fair Helper (3rd Place)

After a strong initial pitch by ideator Franco Leoni, the Fair Helper team formed to find a unique solution to remove the hassle and cost of visiting trade shows. The idea was based on a problem Franco himself had experienced earlier in the year.

Fair Helper enables interaction between business people who lack the time and money to attend trade fairs or expos outside of their country, and local students who want to earn extra money and learn more about business. Students are equipped with the latest technologies, enabling real-time video conferencing, which provides an experience similar to that of visiting in person.

The Fair Helper team performed an impressive amount of market validation over the weekend, visiting a number of trade shows and events to glean real-world customer feedback.

For more information contact info@fairhelper.com or visit their website www.fairhelper.co.uk.

4. Blacklist

Founded by ideator Val Lefebvre, Blacklist is a digital megaphone, enabling inidividuals to blacklist brands or products they have had a bad experience with. The teams vision is to bring more transparency between consumers and brands, enabling increasingly aligned interactions.

Anyone with a web-enabled device can go to blacklist.co and check-out, browse or search what’s happening with consumer reactions on brands, products and services.

The team used tools and technologies including Photoshop, Fireworks, backbonejs, jquery mobile, HTML5 and CSS3.

To learn more visit this online demo available here. You can also follow the team on TwitterFacebook and Tumblr.

5. Yini

Yini is a photo sharing app with a focus on online privacy allowing to feel confident about protecting the content they share. Yini app is a platform providing a variety of social features on a range of existing storage solutions such as Dropbox, Google Drive or the users own server.  It allows users to share media online with unparalleled confidence and security.

An iPhone minimum viable product (MVP) was developed using Dropbox, Python and Objective-C which provided sharing and commenting features. The prototype was built on Dropbox and utilised existing shared folders and data security.

For more information view the team’s presentation slides and check out their website at  yini.co.

6. Data Sherpa

Founded by John Sandall, Data Sherpa is an online set of tools that help users to explore, visualise and analyse data, providing deep insight and statistical testing. Aimed at those who have data but have limited knowledge of statistics, Data Sherpa guides the user through the process of extracting meaning from data and drilling down to what’s really going on.

With James Gill (GoSquared) as one of the mentors, the team benefited from his advice and support, with technical conversation focusing on the pros and cons of utilising frameworks and library’s such as D3.jsSquare, the Rickshaw framework and Pandas. The team built a prototype with Django and Python while using bootstrap for the front-end. For more information visit Data Sherpa

7. Tripbook

How much time does it take to plan a multi-destination trip? Planning such trips isn’t easy and the team’s research indicated the process can take up to 48 hours, with many chosing to just pay a travel agent to plan the trip for them.

Tripbook comprises a mix of developers, designers and MBA students, including ideator Karan Gajwani, all of whom love travelling. Over the weekend the team built a platform that, given a set of cities, will calculate the cheapest and most time efficient route, together with prices and transport options.

With an example of 5 cities the algorithm analyses 120 possible routes and compares prices and journey lengths. In gathering data the platform talks to various APIs and scrapes website data to add intelligence to the results. The team is now working to improve accuracy of the algorithm while making the site more user friendly through integrations with Facebook, Foursquare and Twitter.

You can follow the team’s progress on blog.tripminded.com and contact them through info@tripminded.com.

8. Path

Founded by Chris Edson, Path set out to solve the problem of managing diabetes with the team having a wide-range of expertise and experience in the field.

There are currently over 3 million people in the UK living with diabetes which, if not managed correctly, can result in a variety of life-threatening complications.

Dealing with these complications costs the NHS around £8 billion every year. However, if the disease is managed correctly, these complications can be significantly reduced and, in some cases, completely avoided.

Path is working to design a web and mobile self-management platform for diabetics to take control of their disease, reducing the footprint that diabetes puts on their life and ensuring they’re taking the necessary steps to stay healthy. The team is also planning to utilise various products currently on the market to assist in managing exercise, bloody sugar and other health indicators. The application is unique in utilising user data to predict future complications that may arise through poor management of the condition.

Keep up to date with Path at https://ourpath.co, take their diabetes survey and view their Prezi presentation from the final pitch. For more information contact chris@ourpath.co.

 

Save

Angel Investment Network’s Weekly Funding Roundup

Here’s a roundup of some of the recent seed-stage and angel deals from around the world:

  • clypd, the interactive television and video ad exchange, has closed a $3.2 million Series A investment round
  • SoMoLend, a debt-based crowdfunding platform, has closed $2.18M seed stage funding
  • MyPermissions, an easy way to control and clean up web and mobile apps that access personal data, has raised $1 million financing
  • Gridtential Energy, a startup aiming to improve storage performance of standard lead-acid batteries, raises $1M seed funding
  • Adcade, a mobile advertising platform focused on interaction, has raised over $1.5M seed funding led by ff Venture Capital
  • Scoot & Doodle, a real time, social creativity platform where friends and classmates get creative together, closes $2.25M seed funding
  • Slate Science has closed $1.1M angel funding for its tablet apps that help children learn science, technology, engineering & math
  • Matterport, a developer of 3D scanning technology, has raised $5.6 million in Series A financing
  • Marketing automation software firm SalesFUSION has raised $1 million Series A venture capital funding
  • Delhi-based startup Playcez has closed seed funding for an events discovery app for Indian users
  • Tracx, a powerful social media management system to analyze, measure, engage & monetize the social web, has closed $3.5M Series B funding
  • Sproutkin, a San Francisco, CA-based subscription service for children’s books, raises $1m in seed funding
  • MacuLogix, a startup focused on early detection and tracking of age-related macular degeneration, has raised $3.6M Series A funding
  • InvestmentYogi, a personal finance portal that helps Indians manage their investments, taxes and finances, raises ~$500K angel funding
  • Dobleas, a global mobile marketing platform offering a Real-Time Bidding solution, has closed $5.4M Series B funding
  • Beebrite, a startup that designs games and tools to improve brain performance and productivity, raises €200k seed funding
  • Festicket, a unique online service that lets people book a full package for music festivals, lands $680,000 seed funding
  • Startupi, a site covering the Brazilian startup scene, has raised $300,000 seed funding
  • Catchpoint Systems, a provider of innovative web and infrastructure monitoring solutions, has closed $3.2M series A financing
  • Enterprise storage company SwiftStack has raised $6.1 million in Series A funding led by Mayfield Fund
  • Warply, a mobile marketing as a service startup, has secured $500,000 in seed funding
  • iCoolhunt, an Italy-based gamified photo-sharing platform for crowdsourcing trend spotting, has raised €500k seed funding
  • 500Friends, the social loyalty solution for e-commerce retailers, has raised $5 million in Series B funding

To get regular updates, come follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/angel__network or register for our blog at https://www.angelinvestmentnetwork.netwp-login.php?action=register.

Have you managed to raise capital for your company?  We always love to hear from entrepreneurs who manage to get funded.

Or are you looking to raise funding?  Send me a summary of your project at mike@angelinvestmentnetwork.co.uk and we’ll try to help.

Angel Investment Network’s Weekly Twitter Roundup

Angel Investment News: 

Business Plans & Pitching:

Fund Raising:

Marketing & Social Media:

Start-Up & Entrepreneurship:

To stay updated, come follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/angel__network or register for our blog at https://www.angelinvestmentnetwork.netwp-login.php?action=register.

Read anything interesting? Feel free to add links to any articles or resources you’d like to share with the angel community.

Or are you looking to raise funding?  Send me a summary of your project at mike@angelinvestmentnetwork.co.uk and we’ll try to help.

Seizing Singapore’s Advantage as a Gateway to Asia

Dubbed as the ‘Asian Century’, the economic growth of Asia is seeing no signs of distress. China and India are not the only stars of this sparkling economic skyscape but smaller economies are emerging as the rising starlets. The economic might of Asia is growing in mammoth proportion; it is both a destination and a source of investments. The upward trajectory of Asian economy is unperturbed by the turbulence in the west and this is evident from the increased FDI inflows into the Asian economies. Closer scrutiny of the FDI inflows reveals that China is loosing steam and ASEAN is closing in on the race for FDI. South East Asia’s share of the global FDI inflow has risen to 7.6% almost close to the 8.1% share of China, the largest FDI recipient globally.

For global companies and entrepreneurs that are keen to explore and get into the investment opportunities in Asian economies, Singapore has become the ideal gateway and a preferred jurisdiction to establish a holding company. Following is a snapshot of the key merits of Singapore as a gateway to Asia.

Extensive double-tax treaty network

Singapore boasts of an extensive Double Tax Agreement (DTA) network, to date 70 DTAs have been established with key trading partners. Such a network is extremely important when investing in foreign jurisdictions as it prevents double taxation of income and paves way for a reduced tax burden in the form of lowered withholding taxes and preferential tax treatments. Single tier taxation system prevails in Singapore therefore dividends at the hands of the shareholders are not subjected to taxes.

Attractive tax regime

Singapore has an attractive tax regime, with a headline corporate tax of 17% and a progressive personal tax rate capped at 20% (above S $320,000) that is charged on a territorial basis. In addition regional head quarter tax concession scheme, sector specific tax concessions and zero tax for capital gains and dividends attract international conglomerates as well as foreign SMEs.

100% ownership allowed

Singapore allows 100% foreign ownership, except for a few primary sectors (such as insurance, banking, media etc.); therefore a foreign company may establish a Singapore Limited Liability Company also known as a subsidiary company in Singapore and retain 100% of the shareholding. Such local subsidiary companies are entitled to most of the tax concessions and privileges similar to that of a local company. Foreign companies can also establish Branch Offices and Representative Offices depending upon what suits them better for their expansion plans. It must be noted that Singapore boasts of one of the world’s fastest company startup process.

Strong IP framework

Companies operating in high-tech sectors and new age industries gravitate to Singapore to harbor their R&D assets because of the republic’s robust Intellectual Property (IP) rights regime. As ITIF demonstrated in its report The Global Innovation Policy Index, Singapore offers top-tier IP protections similar to those in other developed countries and has strengthened them in recent years. This is in stark contrast to most other Asian countries that lack any serious respect for international IP laws. For example, the piracy rate for software is over 85 percent in Indonesia, 80 percent in Vietnam, and 70 percent in Thailand.

Strategic Location with world-class infrastructure

Singapore is strategically located on the corridor of East and West and therefore commands superb connectivity with a superior flights network and frequency. Most of the commercial centers of the region are just a short flight away. As a transportation hub, Singapore’s Airport and Seaport have received several accolades, and these endorse the logistic efficiency of the island state, which has evolved into an important trading hub in the region.

Singapore is a modern, clean and extremely efficient country with an excellent infrastructure and world-class communications. It has a very cohesive social system that upholds the cultural values amidst its cosmopolitan outlook. Singapore’s top class educational system with several international schools and reputed universities having campuses here, vibrant social life, low crime rate, countless dining and entertainment options etc., make it a top choice among expatriates who admire high standards of living.  Singapore immigration policy welcomes highly qualified, experienced and skilled professionals and there are several relocation options available to them and their families in the form of Employment Pass, Entrepreneur Pass, Dependent Pass, etc.

Efficient enterprise ecosystem

The enterprise ecosystem is well developed for all the key sectors. As an international financial center most of the global financial institutions and foreign banks are represented in Singapore. Efficient and highly qualified and skilled foreign talent complements Singapore’s competent English speaking local workforce and together they have pushed up the productivity and are capable of tackling any challenges. The multi skilled, multi lingual ad multi cultural human capital of Singapore is commendable for its versatility.

Singapore’s legal system is efficient, transparent and is continuously evolving to remain relevant to the changing global political, social and economic situation. The judicial system largely embraced the British common law, however it is constantly reviewed and compared with the other mature legal systems globally and revised accordingly. Singapore’s courts, legal professionals and commercial jurisprudence have all gained a reputation for efficiency, integrity, neutrality and competence therefore when entering into contracts foreign companies, investors and other stakeholders increasingly choose Singapore as the preferred arbitration destination to resolve disputes.

In conclusion, Singapore incessantly punches above its weight and offers a host of strategic merits for commercial enterprises and investors seeking vantage jurisdictions to ride the Asian growth wave.

This is a guest post by Janus Corporate Solutions, a leading Singapore-based firm that provides comprehensive range of Singapore business incorporation, accounting, tax and immigration services to entrepreneurs and businesses worldwide.

Angel Investment Network’s Weekly Funding Roundup

Here’s a roundup of some of the recent seed-stage and angel deals from around the world:  

  • Plastiq, an online payments startup aimed at bringing credit card payments to industries which tend not to accept them, gets $6M funding
  • Enigma.io, a search and discovery platform for big public data that exposes billions of public records, has raised $1.1M seed funding
  • UpTo, whose mission is to turn your daily calendar into a social network, has raised $1.5M of seed funding
  • Rabbit, an app that allows you to watch videos, listen to music and share any type of content, raises $3.3 million seed funding
  • Red Hot Labs, the gaming development startup founded by two ex-Zynga engineers, has raised $1.5M seed funding
  • Julep Beauty, a new cosmetics brand and e-commerce platform, has raised $10.3M Series B financing led by Andreessen Horowitz
  • payasUgym, which allows people to use gyms and health clubs on a flexible basis, secures over £900,000 from Supremum Capital
  • Stitch Fix, a shopping platform bringing the world of personal styling to a new, more accessible market, closes $4.75M Series A funding
  • Personal.com, a startup that provides web and mobile storage for secure data sharing, has raised $8.16M Series B funding
  • EggZack, an automated local marketing system specially designed for small businesses, gets investment from Lehigh Valley Angel Investors
  • AlmaConnect, a product based company that helps connect institutes and alumni, has received $250,000 of angel funding
  • Sophia Search, the innovation leader in semantic content analysis, has closed $3.7M Series A funding
  • Famo.us, a Javascript rendering engine designed to bring serious performance to HTML5 based applications, has raised $4M Series A funding
  • LockerDome, a sports social media publishing platform that hosts over 1,500 networks, completes a $6 million Series A funding round
  • Workable, a provider of online hiring tools, has raised €600k seed funding led by Greek Openfund
  • GoEuro, an innovative travel platform that combines and compares rail, air, bus & car for European destinations, lands $4M seed funding
  • Songdrop, the online record player that allows you to play, store & share music you stream online, closes £100K seed funding
  • Armor, a cloud service provider that offers provide secure mobile access to enterprise data and applications, gets $2M seed funding
  • Epoxy, a startup developing tools for video makers and distributors, has raised $2 million
  • Pathjoy, a startup that makes it easy and affordable to have your home cleaned, has raised $1.7M seed funding
  • Taskbox, a hybrid email client and to-do list app, gets $600k seed funding from the Central Texas Angel Network
  • Appcore, a company that automates the business of cloud computing, announces $6M Series B funding
  • GlobeSherpa, a mobile ticketing service that allows consumers to buy tickets directly from mobile phones, lands $1.3M Series B funding
  • FindTheBest, the unbiased, data-driven comparison platform, has raised $11M Series B financing led by New World Ventures
  • MEETiiN, a Taipei-based startup and meeting management platform, has got an angel investment of USD 500,000
  • Contactually, which makes a lightweight CRM tool for email, has closed on $1 million seed funding
  • LIA, an enterprise mobile sales enablement platform that makes presenting to a customer as easy as using an iPod, lands $400,000 seed funding
  • Vistar Media, the first digital out of home programmatic media platform, has closed $1.5M seed funding
  • Discoverly, a startup building a social enterprise tool, has raised $750,000 in a seed round
  • Metaps, a Japanese startup that offers Android developers a platform to monetize their apps, has secured a JPY 1 billion Series B round

To get regular updates, come follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/angel__network or register for our blog at https://www.angelinvestmentnetwork.netwp-login.php?action=register.

Have you managed to raise capital for your company?  We always love to hear from entrepreneurs who manage to get funded.

Or are you looking to raise funding?  Send me a summary of your project at mike@angelinvestmentnetwork.co.uk and we’ll try to help.

 

Path to the Successful Marketing Plan Pitch

A successful business startup depends on the foundation that has been laid long before you start looking for investors. How are you going to market your product or service? If you are unable to explain why you think you’ll be able to attract clients or customers, your credibility will be lost and the likelihood that you’ll attract investors will be pretty slim.

Marketing

Who will want your products and services? Where are they located? Why will they want to do business with you? How will they find out about you?

All of these questions should be clearly answered before you begin your search for funding for your new business. Research your competitors and identify the types of consumers that they target and sell to. Examine their marketing techniques and note where you will improve their marketing message for your own company.

Create a Successful Marketing Plan

A marketing plan will be needed for a successful business startup. New plans, or tweaks to the existing plan will be needed as the business expands into new markets, for new products or services that will be provided by the company, or when new strategies are contemplated to fix existing problems.

The marketing plan is part of the business plan, which will be needed for each proposal that you pitch to the financial community.

All market plans should highlight a purpose and mission of the marketing department. A situational analysis, marketing strategy and objectives should be clearly stated. Define the marketing strategy and the objectives concisely and realistically. Include tactical programs. The marketing budget, performance analysis and implementation process of the marketing plan should be spelled out. Be sure to add a section on additional considerations.

Creating a successful marketing plan without understanding the basic principles of marketing is almost impossible. Unless you are willing to outsource the development of the plan, you will have to devote the time needed to learn the marketing basics. Whether you outsource the market plan or not, you will have to completely understand it and be confident in it before you attempt to pitch it.

Pitching your Marketing Plan

Crafting the marketing plan to complement your overall business plan is an important part of looking for financing, but it needs a good pitch to sell it. You have to convince people to take the time to pay attention to you and learn why you are a good investment risk. The best business and marketing plans won’t have a chance if you can’t find the startup money needed for a new venture.

You really can’t work on your marketing pitch until the business and marketing plans are complete. Then sum up your plans in a businesslike, yet interesting, way that will capture the attention of your audience and draw them into your presentation.

Encourage questions and be prepared to answer them with confidence and authority. If you are pitching to a group of people, a more formal pitch usually works best. In many cases a slide presentation will help you illustrate points of your marketing plan.

This is a guest post by Patrice Campbell, a successful freelance writer specializing in SEO and marketing. Working from Denver, CO, Campbell frequently contributes to sites such as DegreeJungle.com, and is co-owner of 3ContentWriters.