Tuesday Jan 05, 2010

Mini Seedcamp - Zagreb

Mini Seedcamp Zagreb is a one day event aiming to connect the 20 best web-tech, mobile and software talent with some of the leading entrepreneurs, developers, and experts from the European tech ecosystem.

We will be bringing together 20 of the region's best seed stage tech start-ups with experienced entrepreneurs, investors, and developers from the Balkans and all over Europe to participate in a day of intense mentoring, panel discussions and presentations at the excellent Croatian Chamber of Economy.

Seedcamp has previously seen some great teams from the region such as Zemanta from Slovenia, Brainient and UberVU from Romania, and Shoutem from Croatia who have all been Seedcamp Week Finalists. While we strongly encourage strong startups from Croatia and its neighbouring countries from Slovenia and Turkey to Greece, Bulgaria and Hungary and Romania to apply, our open door policy means that any startup from accross the EMEA and beyond can apply.

[Read More]

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

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.

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]

Wednesday Dec 02, 2009

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.


Speakers

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]

Monday Nov 23, 2009

How can Sun Startup Essentials help you ? Small Business, Startup we can help you

Sun Startup Essentials - How can Sun Microsystems help you ? from stewart townsend on Vimeo.

Learn how Sun Startup Essentials can help you if you are a company less than 6 years old, with 150 employees or less.

Friday Nov 13, 2009

Marketing Masterclass - The Slides and feedback

What an evening of discussion and education on Brand, Michael Bayler gave an amazingly energetic hours talk on brand and how important it is to be clear about your brand strategy before you do anything else.  The video of this event will be available in a few weeks time and thus all Sun Startup Essential members who couldn't make the event can watch the material and gain an insight into this wonderful evening.[Read More]

Thursday Nov 05, 2009

A big Hand for your business ideas

Sun Startup Essentials - A big hand for your business ideas from stewart townsend on Vimeo.

How can Sun Startup Essentials help you? Watch this and see how Sun can help your small business with its Sun Startup Essentials programme http://sun.com/startups

BTW, this cool video was created by the community for the Sun Startup Essentials contest that Zooppa.com ran earlier this year. 

Tuesday Nov 03, 2009

SmallBizPod - The untapped resource for Small Businesses Globally

SmallBizPod is a podcast, blog, news and community site for small businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs. This is how it all happened.

Back in March 2005, Alex Bellinger became one of only a handful of people in the UK to start podcasting.

Looking around for a subject he realised there were no British-based podcasts on business. Since he had just set up his own business and had spent many years focusing on the small business sector, a podcast on entrepreneurship seemed like a good way to go.

SmallBizPod was born. The podcast, blog and website now attract tens of thousands of listeners and readers a month from all over the world.

Inspire, Inform, Entertain

From the start SmallBizPod has been there to inspire, to inform, and to be fun to listen to and read as well. I think thanks to some wonderful contributors and interviewees, it's achieved just that.

Over time, the site has grown to become one of the most visited sites for SMEs in the UK. It's also developed into a wonderful free audio resource to provide inspiration and advice from business people with real experience and real insight.

Take the time to listen to some inspiring interviews from some renowned people on subjects such as marketing, business advice, funding and many more, the beauty is that these are free and really insighful and great to hear that not just you in that Startup boat alone.

Visit http://www.smallbizpod.co.uk/  now and keep an update on the latest podcasts.

Also if you really love what you hear and see then Vote for them in the European Podcast Awards -

Monday Nov 02, 2009

CMS - Startup in a Box ?

Free and open source content management systems (CMS) like Drupal and Joomla have given entrepreneurs everywhere an opportunity to bootstrap their concepts quickly and effectively. What's the difference between them, and which one is right for you? Let's take a look.

Joomla - This CMS is very popular and freely available as an open source software package. It can be used to design Web sites, community portals, online magazines, corporate intranets, and even e-commerce sites. Out of the box, users can build data reporting tools, inventory control systems, product catalogs, business directories, and more. You don't need to be a technology whiz, however, to use Joomla. To get a feel for how easy it is, try this interactive online demo.

Mambo - Another open source option on the playing field is Mambo, a CMS with Web- and server-based installation options. Its template system means there's no complicated coding required but, because it's open source software, you can customize, tweak, and get as technical as you want. Mambo handles media content like images and video exceptionally well, and has a robust content publication scheduling feature to help keep your site fresh and updated around the clock.

Drupal - This open source content management system made headlines recently when it was announced that the White House uses Drupal to power WhiteHouse.gov. The basic package is loaded with tools to create all kinds of terrific Web sites and portals, but when you include the free add-on modules things really get interesting. Use Drupal to create e-commerce sites, podcasts, newsletters, picture galleries, forums, message boards, and more.

concrete5 - For many startups, an online presence is mainly about branding and selling your company's message. When that's the case, many entrepreneurs wish they could find a CMS that's meant for marketing. Concrete5 may be just the ticket. Designed for "regular people," not developers, concrete5 makes setting up a Web site as easy as sending an email. Down-to-earth editing tools make it possible for someone with no developer experience to build and edit a quality Web site in minutes. That's a terrific bonus, since most startups don't have extra cash lying around to spring for a professional Web designer.

Most open source content management systems have the same basic capabilities and features, and mainly vary in level of difficulty to set up and use. The easiest way to determine which CMS is best for you is to try their online demos and play around a little bit to get a feel for which one best matches your computer skill level. No matter which one you choose, each project has a healthy community of developers and users at the ready to help you get set up and troubleshoot along the way.

Flickr image courtesy of Marco Belluci.

Originally posted at http://blogs.sun.com/sun4startups/entry/cms_startup_in_a_box1

Sun Startup Essentials - Breakfast Briefing


...The CRASH you haven't seen yet...

This time we go behind the scenes of the worst financial calamity that flooded our TV screens last Christmas...


What lessons have we learned? 

What do you do when your whole world has SUDDENLY collapsed, the rug has been pulled out from under you, the regulators are circling and the media spotlight is focused on you?

We are doing business in unpredictable times - impacted by the collapse of the financial systems.  And experts are predicting another down surge...

How do you lead your team, your employees, shareholders and family who are all looking to you for inspiration?

As we get closer to the 1st anniversary of one of the darkest winters the finance markets had ever seen, we bring to you our next breakfast...[Read More]

Friday Oct 30, 2009

Media140 - Guest Post write up from Sarah Blow


The other day I was one of the lucky few with the opportunity to attend the Media140 Branding event over at RIBA in London.  The event was aimed at media professionals and the majority of the audience were PR agencies and branding professionals.


Having spoken to a number of the attendees I would have to say there were as many experts in the audience with interesting things to say on Branding, building a brand and representing the brand on Twitter and related tools as there were on stage.   The content that was provided on the stage was only a small part of what was actually shared and the #media140 twitter stream provided a raft of additional conversation and content. 

So what came up at the event... And what did not... Here's a few of my notes:

[Read More]

Startup Weekend - London Nov 20-22nd

Startup Weekend London - Sun Startup Essential Members Discount Tickets 25% off - A special startup weekend, 54 hour startup event that provides the resourcs and incentives for individuals and teams to go from idea to launch. Find out more now and read up on all the aspects of the weekend HERE

But first please check out the exciting news :

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

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