Tuesday Dec 22, 2009

Huddle looking to recruit in UK and US

Huddle is a startup based in the good old UK that is growing, thriving and expanding so if you want to work somewhere fun and do some great stuff go and apply now...

We are always looking for passionate, ambitious and talented people to work at our HQ in London Bridge, London, UK. If you think you can bring value to our team, please send an up-to-date CV and a covering letter explaining why you’d rock our world to jobs[at]huddle.net

For all of our roles we’re looking for people with a genuine passion for Web 2.0, the desire to work in a fast-paced start-up environment and share in the excitement of growing a global online business.

Who we are looking for now?


What Huddle’s like:

  • Cool bunch: talented developers, passionate customer support, hard-hitting sales and brilliant marketing
  • Relaxed, but hard working: incredible things get done amid great music and pizza deliveries – see what we’re listening to here
  • Involved and responsible: whether it’s writing blog posts or cleaning a coffee machine; there are no community managers here
  • We listen, we care: no idea is a bad idea (unless it’s plain stupid, of course!)
  • At the bleeding edge: Industry-leading agile development processes using the latest web technologies
  • Serious about building a thriving start-up community: monthly start-up DrinkTank and mentoring sessions
  • Highly regarded: regularly featured in Web 2.0 blogs (Techcrunch, Mashable, GigaOm) and traditional media (The Guardian, The Telegraph, Financial Times)

Why work at Huddle?

Huddle Life

  • Bermondsey Street location: lots of cool coffee shops, pubs, bars and restaurants
  • Monday breakfasts: warm ciabattas and foccacias from the bakery next door, bagels, croissants, pain au chocolat, cereals, fresh fruit, juice etc.
  • Weekly organic fruit delivery
  • Super-duper coffee machine: grinds beans! has a milk fridge! makes cappuccinos!
  • Friday evening is beer o’clock
  • Relaxation area with table football and Wii games
  • Regular team pub and pizza outings

Monday Dec 21, 2009

Last.fm - How do they stream all that data ?

Last.fm is a great case of a Sun Startup Essential customer starting off two years ago by discussing their architecture, and how could Sun help them as a startup, well two years down the line we have saved them money, reduced their output and helped them scale beyond boundaries they didnt think feasible, Mike Brodbelt explains their latest success using SSD's to stream to a new audience, XBOX LIVE.

The music streaming architecture at Last.fm is an area of our infrastructure that has been scaling steadily for some time. The final stage of delivering streams to users fetches the raw mp3 data from a MogileFS distributed file system before passing it through our audio streaming software, which handles the actual audio serving. There are two main considerations with this streaming system: physical disk capacity, and raw IO throughput. The number of random IO operations a storage system can support has a big effect on how many users we can serve from it, so this number (IOPS) is a metric we’re very interested in. The disk capacity of the cluster has effectively ceased being a problem with the capacities available from newer SATA drives, so our biggest concern is having enough IO performance across the cluster to serve all our concurrent users. To put some numbers on this, a single 7200rpm SATA drive can produce enough IOPS to serve around 300 concurrent connections.

[Read More]

Monday Dec 14, 2009

7 Twitter Dos and Don'ts Every Startup Should Know

Twitter is the prototypical social network, the name on everybody's tongue, and the core of a successful social media presence. Knowing how to build your following -- and avoid the potential pitfalls -- is key to turning your tweets into traffic.

If there is one secret to Twitter success, it's be yourself. It's also the one that far too many businesses miss, much to their detriment. There are a multitude of places where being your business is the best way to make a good impression, but Twitter isn't one of them. Twitter is a lot like a small town, and has to be treated as such.

Many businesses treat Twitter as just one more place to broadcast. Like a website, a newsletter, or an ad in the local newspaper, business owners think of Twitter as somewhere to get their message out to as many people as possible. Twitter users aren't like website visitors or newspaper readers -- they are using Twitter to network, not receive one-way messages. Failing to interact is surefire suicide for your Twitter presence.

So what should you do?

[Read More]

LeWeb Picks Most Promising Startups in Europe

Each year, the LeWeb startup contest brings together the best of Europe's startup community to decide which will be named the crème de la crème.

The competition, which was co-organized by TechCrunch Europe, took place in Paris this week, boasting some 135 entries to vie for the LeWeb gold. The sixteen finalists, each of which took part in a Q&A session and a Demopod presentation, included the Shutl e-commerce platform, task.ly to-do manager, friendbinder social networking service, and Mendeley research management suite.

Co-host Mike Butcher wrote on TechCrunch Europe that "it was nice to fit in startups that were broadly related to the realtime theme. It was great also to see the Le Web startup event veer back to its roots as a venue for very early stage, rough and ready startups, as well as a launch-pad for more fully-formed plays that have literally launched for the first time at this event." The site live-blogged the event, and provided profiles of each of the finalists.

Of the three winners, two are social networking-related startups - a reminder, perhaps, of the importance of the medium - while the third provides management options for the cloud computing market. That entry, the Dublin-based CloudSplit, took bronze in the competition with its CloudSplit Cost Counter, which promises analytics of a company's cloud computing resources in real-time along with spending alerts and even automated cut-offs to keep costs under control. The service, which is currently seeking $2 million in venture capital, just entered private beta.

The silver prize went to Tigerlily, a Facebook management application for "media groups, large brands and their agencies and marketers." The service, which offers both free and paid versions, allows users to manage their Facebook pages, run sweepstakes, import content from other social media sites, and interact with other users. The paid version provides additional branding options as well as statistics, specialty widgets, professional support services. Despite having launched just days before the competition, Tigerlily claims some 500 users already, though it is only available in the French market at the present time. The Paris-based company has plans to expand into other European markets in the coming months.

Gold-winner Stribe offers a different form of social networking tool: private-label networks themselves. As Butcher described it, "site administrators can copy and paste a bit of javascript, and hey presto, they have a customizable, freely branded social network for their sites." Separating it from some of its competitors is the ability for cross-community interaction, leaving users free to participate in multiple Stribe-based networks. Like Tigerlily, Stribe offers free and paid versions - it will also be providing the obligatory developer application programming interface. Stribe, which launched in September with $600,000 in funding, is in open beta, and maintains offices in Paris and Silicon Valley.

Cmypitch Live - Sun Startup Essentials Sponsored Event

London and Dublin last week. 70-plus investors, 14 companies pitching, €2.72m sought in Ireland. £2.5m sought in London. cmypitch Live bore witness to some excellent early stage businesses seeking finance.

From an expanding salad bar chain to an invention to reduce heating bills. And from eco-friendly scooters to an ambitious digital publishing proposition. There were some strong contenders for the hearts, minds, wallets and purses of the investors in the room.

There was also the small matter of dealing with the inquisition from our esteemed investor panels, tasked with coaxing out the key details and selecting their 'most investible' businesses on the nights. Each company had three minutes to make their case, followed by three minutes of questioning from what we'll call the 'Dragons' for simplicity's sake, and finally three minutes of open questions from the floor.

Hosting a One day investor ready course on the Friday followed by the investor pitching on the Monday works out brilliant for all the entrants and attendees, with the Sun Startup Essentials HQ full on both days with investors such as PROfounders Capital's Sean Seton-Rogers, Banner Corp chairman and angel investor Rod Banner, Octopus Ventures' Alliot Cole, Flutter.com founder and head of a £50m Rothschild family-backed fund Tim Levene, and ex-head of Associated Northcliffe Digital Andy Hart, who recently created £10m intellectual property-focused fund Kratos IP and Entrepreneurs from such companies as Bravenewtalent and icreateshoes, some great minds and money in one building.

It is a real credit to cmypitch how are educating entrepreneurs in becoming investor ready, thus they are then ready to pitch professionally and in a manner that suits the investment community, and they can really drill down into the companies and make a quick decision as by being educated the startups give the investor all the information required in a concise and focused manner. If you haven't been to a cmypitch event, you must attend the investor ready one day course, and sign up quickly for the next one as we had to increase the space required for the last one !!!!

This is the type of activity the Sun Startup Essentials EMEA team helps support, promote and attend in order to keep the UK startup scene moving, thriving and funded, so if you want to know more about what happened on the day and who won, then go to the STORY HERE

 If you want to attend or be part of this next year, then sign up to SSE at http://sun.com/startups NOW

Wednesday Dec 09, 2009

Tweetminster - New Search Engine - A great #sunstartupessentials customer

Tweetminster, the media utility that connects people to UK politics has recently launched Tweetminster Search– a sentiment engine to measure the pulse of UK politics in real time.

Tweetminster Search is a new way to find, interact with and make sense of information that matters.

The search engine shows users how people feel about the issues of the day - as expressed through the thousands of messages posted to Twitter by politicians, news sources, journalists and the public.  Tweetminster Search works in real time, it shows what people think now, and tracks how their sentiment has changed over time.

Once entered a search term (eg. Iraq Inquiry) or up to three multiple terms (eg. Labour, Conservatives, Lib Dems) – users are provided with:

    \* The number of relevant tweets about the subject over time (frequency)
    \* How these tweets break down into positive, negative and neutral opinions (sentiment)
    \* How many people have been reached through tweets about the topic/s (visibility)
    \* The individuals with the most impact on the subject (influencers)
    \* Plus lots of related information - associated terms and issues, links to relevant URLs and a location breakdown for where the terms are being discussed the most.

Alongside terms, users can also analyse Twitter usernames or a combination of elements. For example one can analyse the correlation between a topic (e.g. Tax cuts) and user (EricPickles).

The search engine also allows users to view and filter the tweets behind the results by party, source, politician, time, and also uses Twitter Lists to display livestreams of tweets by MPs, PPCs and journalists, bloggers, news sources and key influencers.

Tweetminster Search is designed to only analyse relevant content which is what makes Tweetminster Search different.  The technology defines relevance by determining the originality (for example a tweet may generate many RTs, Tweetminster includes the original tweet in its analysis), influence and reach of a tweet - so it doesn’t try to analyse all of Twitter, but only the content it determines that matters.

Tweetminster Search is currently in beta. Alongside tuning its performance, we will be adding new features, including more granular control of the data, additional data and content sources and more advanced filters, plus will soon release an API to allow anyone to access, use and manipulate the raw data.

On Twitter: @AlbertoNardelli

Tweetminster is a Sun Startup Essential customer and is hosted at everycity on Sun hardware and the Solaris OS, to enable it to scale and give real time speed.

Monday Dec 07, 2009

Getapp launches now - Ex Sun Employees startups

We have just launched www.getapp.com and would like to have members of the Startup Essential Community as Beta users.

GetApp.com is a B2B vertical search engine for Enterprise Applications buyers and providers. It aims to be a very cost efficient lead generation tool for software and SaaS applications.

5 good reasons to consider it:

Your applications are listed for free
You reach out to a new global audience of active buyers
You get high quality traffic with improved conversion rate
You receive “sales ready” leads according to your criteria
You allow users to review your products (moderated)

Test us for free with zero risk at http://www.getapp.com .

By Signing up before end of December 09 you'll get 1 Month for Free of our Premium services.     

Friday Dec 04, 2009

Rummble - Another Great Sun Startup Essentials Customer

About Rummble

Rummble makes it as easy to find people and places nearby you’ll love. As a location based social search and discovery tool, Rummbles enables users to find personalised recommendations for a location very quickly. Instead of a traditional search, Rummble uses an algorithm that creates a personal ‘trust network’ for each user by calculating who they trust for different types of content. Rummble is built by a small but passionate team based in London, England. The award winning start-up was started by Founder and serial entrepreneur Andrew J Scott and CTO Clive Cox.

So whats the news then ?

[Read More]

Startup Weekend London

Startup Weekend, phew what a weekend it was !!!

58 hours where attendees were from varied backgrounds such as "developers, startup entrepreneurs,business managers, marketing peeps, graphic artists and more" but what they all did was build something that could be a business. The projects, all nine of them were completed over the weekend at Sun Startup Essentials HQ in London, where the attendees were fed and watered constantly to keep the brain and coding power going into the late night hours.

So with mentors and helpers a plenty, what did the attendees actually produce ?

If you want more information and to see where and when the next Startup Weekend is then go HERE now.

Intent Box
Shows your friends activities you are interested in so they might join you.


A decision-making tool. The service allows you to make choices using the factors that are important to you.

Took the Twilio challenge, gives you a phone call when a new group you might want to attend comes up on Meetup.com.

Customization of cars using diff materials (Vinyl, goil foil, leather)



Bookmarklet that shows carbon info for various companies / car models / products allowing you to make a more informed “green” decision.

A mystery project conceived over a bottle of vodka by team Austria.
(Who opted not to present, launch pending…)



Helping break bad habits and form healthier new ones by starting small.

Garage Sale


Take a picture of your stuff, slice it up and sell it faster.

Know Hive

An enterprise collaboration tool.

Wednesday Dec 02, 2009

Do friends make good business partners ?

When it comes to picking partners, many see their friends as the obvious choice to share in making your dreams into reality. Business isn't all sunny days, however, and the best way to weather the storms with your friendships intact is to start out with a good umbrella.

If necessity is the mother of invention, then assumption is the wicked stepmother of doom. The most sure-fire way for a group of friends to become bitter enemies is to go into a partnership under the assumption that friendship conquers all. Friends, and business partners, are only human, and when cash and control enters the equation, friendship can quickly fall by the wayside. What, then, can be done about it?

[Read More]

Sproutup London Event

Event Details:

Date: Tuesday, December 8th 2009
Time: 6pm-9pm
Place:  Waterpoet Pub, London, England. Map here.
Cost: £15 - includes a copy of GaryVee's book, Crush It!
\*We are providing a limited number of media passes - to inquire please e-mail erin@sprouter.com.

Tickets here now

Event Format: Guest speaker & Networking

Sprout Up is an event for forward-thinking London area entrepreneurs to gather and mind-meld. A great chance for startups around the city to get friendly, discuss current trends, and network in a casual, open, and focused setting. Attendees will walk away with new insights, new connections and actionable ideas for their businesses.

Featuring charismatic entrepreneur, Gary Vaynerchuk, Sprout Up London is the official UK launch of his new book, Crush It!

Featured Speaker:


Gary Vaynerchuk, Author Crush it!

About Gary

Gary Vaynerchuk has captured attention with his pioneering, multi-faceted approach to personal branding and business. After primarily utilizing traditional advertising techniques to build his family’s local wine business into a national industry leader, Gary rapidly leveraged social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook to promote Wine Library TV, his video blog about wine. As his viewership swelled to over 80,000 a day, doors opened to a book deal, several national TV appearances, and a flurry of speaking engagements around the world. Gary’s dual identity as both business guru and wine guy has made him the “Social Media Sommelier.”

In addition to the Web 2.0 keynote, Gary’s remarks on personal branding, social media, and business atFOWA, Strategic Profits, and South By Southwest occasioned praise from established web denizens including Kathy Sierra and earned the admiration of countless bloggers and aspiring entrepreneurs.

Gary’s landmark seven-figure book deal with Harper Studio was featured in The Wall Street Journal

About Sprouter

Sprouter facilitates networking and collaboration between entrepreneurs globally. Providing a platform for users to connect with other innovators, entrepreneurs can expand their networks as well as discover and join events in their local areas, start discussions and follow topics of relevance to their business.

ChristmasCrunch - Techcrunch Xmas Party

The second annual TechCrunch Europe ChristmasCrunch combines our annual TechCrunch Europe meetup and Festive Christmas party, in one handy package. This year we’re basing it the hot theme of realtime streams and the event in London will also feature some of the hottest realtime startups in the world today.

The event will start with registration from 14.00 on December 15 for the seminar programme consisting of keynote presentation, panel discussions and startup pitches followed by TechCrunchPitch! Once the seminar programme has come to an end, it will turn into your very own startup Christmas party, with DJs and entertainment until late.


Iain Dodsworth (TweetDeck)
James Whittaker (TweeDeck)
Marco Kaiser (Seesmic)
Nick Halstead (CEO Tweetmeme)
Alberto Nardelli (Tweetminster)
William Fischer (Twitter Jobsearch)
Mario Menti (Twitterfeed)
Jennie Lees (Festbuzz)
Mark Rock (AudioBoo)
Eileen Burbidge (Ambient Sound Investments)
Roberto Bonanzinga (Balderton Capital)
David Maher Roberts (The Filter)
Daniel Tenner (Woobius)
Ian Hogarth (Songkick)

Sun Startup Essentials is a sponsor at the ChristmasCrunch and the team will be there to wish you a festive Xmas indeed.

If you want to find out more, then go here

Tuesday Dec 01, 2009

The Difference Engine - Early Stage Funding

The Difference Engine is a full time 16 week acceleration programme which combines investment capital of £20,000 (for 8% of the business) with mentoring, support and office accommodation with various other services provided by our partners.

At the conclusion of the programme the businesses will be expected to be investor ready, and will have to present their businesses and products to a group of venture capitalists and angel investors at a demo day.  The first programme will commence in February 2010 and will be run from Boho One located in Middlesbrough.

The Difference Engine is comparable to Y Combinator (Silicon Valley), TechStars (Boulder, Colorado & Boston, Massachusetts) and Seedcamp (London). Outside of London, this will be the first major acceleration programme to be set up in Europe, and clearly demonstrates our ambition to help aspiring digital entrepreneurs.

[Read More]

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


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