Tuesday Feb 10, 2009

Webmission 09 - Is it a year since webmission 08 already. Apply now

I had the honour of attending and supporting webmission last year, and it was just a phenomenal event and week, that it blew me away in the energy and passion that James and Oli drove for these startups, I have also had the pleasure of seeing the partnerships and relationships between the companies reap rewards over the year, with Huddle demonstrating the reward of attending by gaining a global partneship with linkedin.

So not long till the next webmission and the deadline is closing, so what is happening this year then ?


Web Mission 09 Now Open for Entrants!

March 28 - April 3 2009, San Francisco

Web Mission 09 is open for entrants! Last year we took 20 UK Web 2.0 companies to San Francisco to explore new opportunities for growth with key people in Silicon Valley. In 2009 we’re following the same format but with one key difference, in 2009 we’re particularly interested in Enterprise 2.0 companies. Enterprise 2.0 covers companies which are offering web 2.0 tools and applications for use in business environments. Also known as enterprise social software, it covers technologies that enable users in the enterprise to share and collaborate within their networks.

The trip itself will be a blend of organised activities from a casual brunch with US Enterprise Web entrepreneurs through to a formal drinks reception at the UK Consul General’s private residence. There’ll be a day of Tech Corporate engagement, involving Oracle and a number of other well-known industry leaders, and a VC and press pitching day hosted by Orrick. There’ll be support to broker and set up a multitude of business-critical one-to-one meetings and opportunities to visit companies in Silicon Valley, from start ups to high growth success stories. It is designed to coincide with Web2.0Expo, so there will be time to drop into that, meet more of the press, and do more business. We’re formalising this year’s agenda now - as an indication, an outline of last year’s agenda can be found on the website.

The application process is open to companies all over the UK and – hot off the press – the closing date for applications has been extended for a week to midday on Wednesday 11 February. The entries will be filtered by UKTI, and individuals who have agreed to feed into that process include Mike Butcher from TechCrunch, David Rajan from Oracle, Chris Grew from Orrick, Dr Zoe Lock from Technology Strategy Board and entrepreneur Doug Richard. They will be looking at the organisation’s market potential, technology, traction, go to market strategy, management team and commercial viability.

Here’s what some of WebMission’s supporters said last year:

“The Web Mission represents an amazing opportunity for the best of entrepreneurial UK talent to visit Silicon Valley, and learn for themselves the differences that make the US a breeding ground for innovation and more importantly successful execution of ideas. With a spark of inspiration the UK has every opportunity to replicate that success on UK soil.”
Michael Birch, founder, Bebo

What the Web Mission provides:

  • Facilitated meetings with key local investors
  • The chance to attend Web 2.0 Expo
  • Meet and mingle with key Silicon Valley movers and shakers relevant to your organisation and growth plans
  • Discuss your business with leading journalists
  • Spend quality time with like-minded people in the web scene
  • Explore how to succeed in the US market

Entrant requirements:

  • Be an Enterprise 2.0 company. Enterprise 2.0 covers companies which are offering web 2.0 tools and applications for use in business environments. Also known as enterprise social software, it covers technologies that enable users in the enterprise to share and collaborate within their networks. Web Mission 09 is only considering companies which are clearly offering their services for use in a business environment
  • Be innovative. As Tim O’Reilly says when he talks about Enterprise 2.0 to businesses, “turn your IT department inside out - or wait for some innovative startup to do it for you.”
  • Be headquartered in the UK
  • Have 2 years trading history, or failing that, compelling early-stage fast-track potential
  • Able to provide references from key sponsors/industry players
  • Able to demonstrate some commitment to sustainable business practices (eg, positive environmental, social or economic outputs)
  • Be ready to do business in the US OR potentially attractive to US investor

The registration site is here: www.webmission.co.uk

TechFluff TV - Twestival massive

This week TechFluff.TV (Startup Essentials is the main sponsor) talks to Amanda Rose, the organiser of Global Twestival, about the prospect of Twitter’s biggest event yet; a frog pitches on an escalator and the founders of WAYN answer your questions.

Friday Jan 30, 2009

Techfluff.tv Episode 7

Obama may have hogged the mainstream headlines last week but there was plenty going on in the tech world for us to cover. We looked at the continuing rise of Spotify, the new twitter app. tweetdeck and put your questions to the expert on Chinese web space, Shakil Khan.

What is Cloud computing - this video explains it all beautifully.

Confused about the term "Cloud Computing"? Want to be "with the times" when you talk about new technology buzzwords? This video boils down a section of Cloud Computing, that of Cloud Infrastructure...

Soundcloud up and running on Sun servers, Solaris and a mixed architecture.


So Sun is great at making clever hardware and software, glue it together and it works, but its our partners that deliver and deploy this, so Ive been working with Every City since last summer, they are a Startup Essential member, and have moved to a Sun/Solaris infrastructure through their own decision. What really makes a difference is their personal focus, by being part of the community, they understand the pain points and how to solve the problems that exist, and this shines through so much with SoundCloud. So a big massive thanks to Every City for listening, and deploying a solution that is flying, at a price point the startup can afford and also buying the beer for startups as well..

Thursday Jan 29, 2009

Spotify - Beta Invites

So who wants a FREE beta invite to Spotify ?

Based in the UK ? A company less than 6 years old ? Join Startup Essentials today and put the ref SPOTIFY in and Ill send you an invite once you are approved.

Thats it.

Develop an iphone app with no code experience - 11th February London

Sun, MySQL & Servoy presentation

Did you know you can create an iphone application in minutes with no programming required?

Attend this seminar and learn how to, using Servoy technology.

Sun, MySQL and Servoy will be holding a joint presentation at the Sun Customer Briefing Centre in London. The afternoon will start with a buffet lunch and includes sales, technical and commercial briefings.

Servoy's CEO, Jan Aleman, will be presenting on Servoy 4.1, Servoy vs .Net and the iPhone instant Application Developer. The Cognition Group will discuss how they Quadrupled profits with the help of a Servoy application, and a Director of CCGT will explain how software developers and their clients can claim £'000's in Tax Refunds through a little known Government programme.

Invest just one afternoon at this FREE seminar to learn how to develop and monetise desktop, web and iPhone applications quickly and efficiently with Servoy and Sun technology.

Register Now

Nick Halstead quote

Nick Halstead on Sun Startup Essentials

13:00 Registration & Buffet
14:00 Graham Greensall: Servoy UK
14:05 Stewart Townsend: Sun Startup Essentials/Cloud Computing
14:30 Jan Aleman: CEO Servoy
15:00 Cognition Group: 'how we quadrupled profits with Servoy & MySQL'
15:20 Break
15:40 MySQL Presentation - Roadmap/Scaling/Licensing
16:10 Servoy - demo of Servoy 4.1 & iPhone application builder
16:40 Paul Dowling CCGT - Tax refunds
17:00 Questions & Close

Sun will present their Startup Essentials program (open to any UK business less than 6 years old, with less than 150 employees), and the new Sun SaaS hosting packages. A MySQL representative will cover the MySQL roadmap, licensing and scaling issues.

Nick Halstead on Sun Startup Essentials

What is Servoy?
Fast. Flexible. Sexy. SaaS.

Servoy is a cross-platform application development and deployment environment used to create and deploy applications. Servoy consists of a powerful GUI designer, is fully event-driven and scriptable through JavaScript to help you build and deploy your applications much faster than traditional development environments.

For Developers:
Developers can build front-ends to databases in minutes -- without having to write any SQL code, even when combining data from multiple sources. Servoy is based on industry standards - there are no proprietary technologies or languages to learn.

For ISVs and Vertical Market Products:
Rewrite quickly in this standards based Rapid Application Development Tool (RAD). Lower your costs with our zero deployment environment. Open up markets with no recoding - to Linux, Windows, Mac. Deploy seamlessly to the web, handhelds, mobile units.

Sun, MySQL & Servoy presentation
11th February 2009, 13:00 - 17:30
Sun Microsystems Ltd, London, EC4R 9AN

Register now

If you have any questions or feedback, please send a message to ukcampaigns@sun.com

Thank you
Sun Microsystems

Monday Jan 26, 2009

7110 Storage wins PC Pro recommended.

Sun Storage 7110 Unified Storage System [PC Pro]
COMPANY: Sun Microsystems
RATING: ISSUE: 174  DATE: Jan 09

Verdict: The 7110 is the storage host with the most since it offers NAS and IP SAN support - all as standard.

Sun's new Unified Storage System (USS) portfolio aims to hit the competition hard, as these appliances come with everything included, so no optional extras. Here, we examine the entry-level 7110 - and it's something special. Sun claims the 7000 family is the world's first open storage solution, as all the appliances run OpenSolaris. This brings a heap of standard features to the table with support for CIFS, NFS, HTTP, FTP, NDMP and iSCSI - so you have full NAS and IP SAN functions.

This storage unit is available in Startup Essentials at startup prices today.

Read the FULL article HERE,

Friday Jan 23, 2009

Techfluff TV Episode 6

The latest edition of Techfluff TV is live now, and sponsored by Startup Essentials. I think it was my hat that forced Hermione to use the beach scene :-))

We’ve gone all exotic on you this week, broadcasting from one of the most idyllic places on the planet. Also, we bring you the latest in the Yelp vs Qype saga, watch an ‘interesting’ take on the start-up pitch and put your questions to top entrepreneur Alex Hoye of Seedcamp.

UK Startups - Accept it, failure is good

Startups in the UK are always under pressure, to succeed, whilst in the US failure means something different, just get on with it and try again. Ive highlighted this video from Honda, that shows Failure is something we should all learn from and move forward, I never failed it just didnt work 10,000 times is the classic statement from Eddison.

So UK startups and EMEA startups, go out, strive to be the best and accept failure and your mistakes as it will make your business more successful over time.

Thursday Jan 22, 2009

Do you struggle to get a group of people to agree about a meeting time ?

What is Doodle ?

Doodle makes it easy to find a date and time for a group event. Doodle is a free online coordination tool which requires neither registration nor software installation. On the following pages you can find more about Doodle.

It is just so simple, you will find individuals using Doodle as well as corporations, we use it inside Sun to organise groups together for calls and meetings, it just works and those lovely guys are a Startup Essential member and use Java and MySQL heavily to make the application scale.

Start using Doodle today, it is so simple its beautiful.

Realtime Social Web - its here now - Event in London 29th Jan

Theme: ‘Realtime Social Web’ – to explore and debate the realtime social web.

What is it ?

What is the value & why should I care ?

Where is it going ?

Location and Date : London January 29th 6.00 - 9.00


The Real-Time Web Will Become Critical for News and Information Discovery

Delayed news will no longer be acceptable for early adopters, who will gravitate to the quickest sources of news, wherever they may be. As tools like Twitter Search and FriendFeed real-time offer people to rapidly broadcast their updates, reactions and news with true immediacy, a segment of the population will adopt these real-time sources and favor them ahead of delayed or filtered engines, including RSS, and of course, edited mass media. At the same time, while many of us early adopters may be fairly noisy about this development, we will remain in the significant minority, even as the mainstream becomes more aware of these options.

Go here to register now

The world is listening

Ive been using online social media tools now for over 18 months - 24 months, in various forms and guises essentially I have been communicating to the outside world what my thoughts and feelings are on a daily basis. This has now become a matter of habit around updating random strangers what my movements are, where Im at, showing them pictures of the location, if Im having fun, what Im eating, really a micro view into my life and work to show them ME as a person.

When Im actively blogging, twittering, updating my status feeds, this is giving an insight into my daily routines, who Im talking to, who I know and Im associated with, and enables people to build up a character profile around me and understand a little bit more of who Iam and how I would react to marketing and messages, but also enables me to talk about my passions and promote my job.

What we all need to think about though is this, the world is listening, and recording these transcripts and they are held and stored away for a period of time, most likely indefinitely. So what ? Well, as you go through life, you may succeed in certain aspirations but you are leaving a trail and without thinking, comments and thoughts, that well may change over time, but you are leaving a digital footprint of your character across the data stores that are simple and easy to find.

Well who cares about what I say ?

You should, everything you say and react to leaves a comment or feedback that enables people, potential job prospectors, competitors or your customers to see what you have shouted about in public, thus if you have been critical of your competitor in public, or potential employeer it could be brought against you and reduce your chances of winning a customer or new job.

The Information Shift.

It used to be that people kept their personal thoughts to themselves and maybe aired some of them on occasion in public, now these thoughts are being aired to a global audience with a lack of thinking about the impact or reaction, and how they information will be used and stored for reference. The days of a diary and personal log, seem to have gone, these are now online repositories stored in disparaged silos, most of the time, that can be indexed and brought together to build a profile of that person, if I search for Stewart Townsend I will find numerous references from multiple feeds that then needs to be filtered.

Evidence of how this can affect you.

It’s a story about a PR account executive/vice president named James Andrews from Ketchum in Atlanta who flew to Memphis to visit FedEx, one of the agency’s biggest clients. Andrews’ mission was to — now, this is important — talk with the corporate communications people at FedEx about social media.

Upon landing in Memphis, Andrews posted this message on the popular social media, mini-blogging service, Twitter, that’s widely followed by business people worldwide:

    “True confession but I’m in one of those towns where I scratch my head and say, ‘I would die if I had to live here.’”

 So in the old world, this would have been Andrews thoughts as he landed to himself, but he felt the need to broadcast these views to an audience on impulse, the backlash was swift and quick. But what this shows, and is lost sometimes, we have to remember that the World is Listening and what we say is being recored, can be reused and could have some come back so you have to think about your actions as a person and also if you are representing a company what the implications could be against them as well.

We all have an identity and character, and this is being broadcast on a live stage using social media, so be careful about what you say and do, as it will ripple across the globe and using the crowdsource theme reach a destination that you didnt intend it to , also it could get interepreted incorrectly as well, due to limited wordage.

If you want to know more about the FedEx story, go here.

Wednesday Jan 21, 2009

You looking to recruit high class developer ? one that worked on iplayer.....

Are you looking to outsource some of that development work ?

Are you unable to get the correct skills or person to finish that project off ?

 Well a good friend of mine, who I can vouch for, is available at present and has the following background and skills.

- 10 years of development experience, have worked in BBC iPlayer, eBay product development, Many Startups in UK, USA
- Development using PHP5, Zend Framework, PHP Dcotrine (ORM), JQuery, Smarty, MySQL, Memcached
- Database modeling, Schema/Table Designs, SQL Query development
- Expert in managing the complete Development- Integration -Live life cycle of product development
- Capable of developing application from web tier to backend

- Development using Java 5, Spring, Hibernate, Web services (I was involved in BBC iPlayer product development)
- Have developed products in media, Social Networking, insurance service, betting, telecom service delivery domains

- Hands on in UML, Class diagrams, Requirement analysis, scrum planning
- Proficient in Development and maintenance of products on Solaris, Linux

Contact me directly stewart.townsend(at)sun.com and Ill do an introduction for you.

28th Jan Manchester (6 pm start) - Thriving as a Tech StartUp in an UpStart economy - Beating the economic blues

"Thriving as a Tech StartUp in an UpStart economy - Beating the economic blues", the first Northern StartUp 2.0 event of 2009 will be held on 28th Jan 08 at Howarth Clark Whitehill, Manchester, UK. Visit http://www.nwstartup20.co.uk/jan09 to purchase a ticket.

2009 series of events will start with a lighthearted subject. Discussing how tech companies can survive, reposition and emerge as champions ready for exit when the economic turnaround takes place in 24 to 36 months from now.

It all started with sub-prime mortgages followed by prestigious banks going under worldwide resulting in low liquidity and economic contraction. Large companies are cutting down costs and headcounts with significant hits on R&D. In most cases all R&D spend has been frozen or cancelled. This is a great time for tech startups to innovate, prove concepts and be there strong when the economy recovers.

Whilst the last three years saw the emergence of web 2.0 startups with no clear focus on revenue generation, the current economic climate is forcing these startups to think otherwise. The startups with the right strategy will emerge, grow and have the opportunity to acquire struggling startups.

The doors open at 6pm. We are fortunate to welcome a number of new speakers:

1. Mike Butcher - editor of TechCrunch UK, the ultimate authority on tech startup news in the UK and Ireland - Mike will be staying overnight in Manchester, so come prepared with your 60s if you want coverage on TechCrunch
2. James Brocket - CEO of Calibreone, the company that produces quarterly review of tech investments. See their reports at http://www.edocr.com/tags/calibreone
3. Ed French - Venture Capitalist at Rising Stars. Ed will speak on the impact to venture capital and what he is looking for in
4. Neil Parkin - Business Link North West. Large chunk of government funding will be channelled through BusinessLink/NWDA



1. Sponsor this event for £500.00+VAT
2. Startup4Slaughter - would you like this slot (cost £50 + VAT for two people)
3. Speaker: Tech founder/CEO - tell us your story if you had to drastically change your strategy to suit the credit squeeze


Connecting the Startup Essentials community with all the events, information and resources required for them to grow and scale.


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