Friday Oct 30, 2009

Audience - NY09 - Nov 5th and 6th

Audience is a conference aimed at those who recognise the need to reach engage and influence audiences of all kinds, an investigation into how this is changing, and a look at how technology has in the past and is now, through new media tools and the social web, changing audience participation and interaction.

The  speakers range from large traditional media organisations with Dan Farber of CBS, though the recording industry with Warner Bros. Music CTO Ethan Kaplan, advertising with Crayon’s Joe Jaffe, HR and internal audiences with Frank Roche of iFractal and new media players like Mike Arrington of TechCrunch and Jason Calacanis of Mahalo, not to mention Musicians like Adam & Mia and the inimitable Andrew Keen of “Cult of the Amateur” fame with more being added all the time.

Engaging on November 6th in the Hudson Theatre, one of New York’s oldest playhouses. We felt it was appropriate to hold a conference that was about Audience in a place that was specifically designed for one.

If you’re interested in meeting with a diverse and eclectic crowd and have a goal of understanding how the methods used to reach engage and influence audiences have changed and are changing as we speak and the possible future direction of these things then please do head along. They’d be delighted to have you.

More Details below and also a SPECIAL OFFER for SSE members - $50 discount - use the code  sunstartup and go here to get your tickets now

Wednesday Oct 28, 2009

The Sixty-Second Startup Digest


Busy entrepreneurs need to stay on top of all the latest startup information, but who has the time? Here's a look at what went on around blogosphere and in the news last week, in case you missed it.

Are advisory boards a good or bad idea for startups? Entrepreneur-turned-VC Mark Suster says that depends on your goals.

All the advice from startup industry analysts who recommend entrepreneurs consider starting new green-tech business aren't just spouting rhetoric. Finance mogul George Soros recently committed a whopping $1 billion to the clean-tech startup sector.

Do you have trouble balancing work and home life? Do you love the art of the deal? Are you addicted to pursuing the next big opportunity? You may be an entre-holic.

Some startups don't need barrels of money to get off the ground. If you're a U.S.-based business looking for a micro-loan, there's a good chance Kiva.org can help.

Startups looking to raise capital sometimes hire finders to help them out. If this is something you're considering, “We can’t find investors on our own� isn't a good enough reason to go this route.

Flickr image courtesy of angermann.

How to Pitch a Potential Investor

Scary. Nerve-wracking. Exciting. Game changing. There are several ways to describe what it's like to pitch to a venture capitalist (VC) or angel investor, but boring typically isn't one of them. Considering the possibilities that go along with an large influx of cash, the experience of pitching a VC is both invigorating and anxiety-ridden at the same time. Here are six ways to make the job a little easier.[Read More]

Tuesday Oct 20, 2009

Sun Startup Essentials Masterclass - 12 November

[insert header]
STARTUP ESSENTIALS sun.com/startups - Marketing - SSE Startup Masterclass
Thursday 15th October Time 6pm til 20:30

Brand strategy is one of the most fraught areas of marketing, though also one of the most important. As a Startup it's often the element that gets left behind and not really identified. But how can you tell an investor what business you are in, if you don't really know yourself? It's a vital step in creating the company identity.

The key point is you can’t have a strategy without a clear objective. Restating a goal is not strategy, execution is not strategy, and tactics are not strategy. This masterclass will demonstrate why a strategic approach to brand management can play a crucial role in defining a strong, winning identity for your company.

What does this mean ?

When you're talking to investors, you'll be able to clearly articulate who your market is, describe how talking and listening to your customers will better equip you to target your audience and take your message out, in these tough economic times.
Register Now
Why should I attend this masterclass?
Because you will learn to define:
what business are we REALLY in?
in that context, what's our positioning?
who are our key stakeholders? Which are most important at this stage?
can we crisply define and communicate the compelling value we offer?
what are our core and secondary value propositions?
having established all the above, are we able - in plain language and briefly - to communicate our differentiated and powerful branding to clients, partners, media and investors?
Register Now
Hear from Michael Bayler, a senior consultant and published author, specialising in consumer-led marketing and innovation. Mike has a wealth of experience speaking on current issues such as post-Internet brand strategy, consumer culture, digital marketing, and branded entertainment. Having advised some of the world’s leading brands, media companies and international stars, including Nokia, Diageo, Telefonica, Bacardi Global Brands, Sky, BT, Sony BMG, Sony ATV, Ogilvy & Mather, Robbie Williams, Dido and Simon Cowell, Mike know's his stuff!

[insert footer]

Friday Oct 16, 2009

Hatchery - 12th November NY - Are you Serious

Hatchery opens its doors to a fast paced New York style pitch event.

Hatchery style honesty. In ways others may be too polite to share. It will be what you need to hear about your startup covering marketing, finance, technology, business, presentation.....

This has been the Hatchery Dry Run process initiated to all Hatchery companies chosen for the main event. We are opening to everyone.

Review committee:
David Blumenstein - Managing Partner, Hatchery
Jay Levy - Principal, Zelkova Ventures
Bill Reinisch - XIV River Consulting
Scott Gingold - CEO, Power Feedback

What's the point?
1. A chance to pitch at the main event
2. Pitching practice
3. Honest feedback about your company

SIGN UP HERE

Enternships the Launch and we have tickets for Sun Startup Essential Members (FREE ONES)

Join us in celebrating the launch of Enternships.com during Global Entrepreneurship Week in style with the company of 900 entrepreneurs / SME's / investors / advisors / press / entrepreneurial students and graduates for a night of mingling with mojitos, speed networking, live entertainment (magicians, a cuban band, cocktail mixology lessons, Salsa lessons, Top DJs + more...) all until the early hours of the morning. You'll even leave with your very own Enternships goody bag!

The Sun Startup Essentials team and supporters will be running mini masterclasses on marketing, sales channels and brand strategy throughout the day, not as exciting as magicians but will help your business grow.


It's taking place from 7pm (until 2am) on Tuesday 17th November  at Floridita, 100 Wardour Street, London W1F 0TN. Tickets are normally £20 (those magicians don't grow on trees, you know) but for the first 100 Sun Startup Essential members its FREE, yes I said FREE indeed.

If you would like to go then sign up here for a ticket - http://enternships.eventbrite.com/ , if you are a SSE member you will get your FREE code in the newsletter next week so wait till then and the whole Startup Essentials team will be there to greet you and say hi.

Future of Web Apps London 09 - The outcomes


Sun's Startup Essentials team was hosting a Chillout lounge  at the Future of Web Apps
London, where 750 attendees from across the globe came to hear the  founders of digg and winelibrary
inform people on how to build a multi million startup and make sure it is marketed well.

Amongst all this information digest, the SSE team were talking, informing and hosting our own talks
to the attendees Matt Hosanee gave a talk alongside James Proud form Giglocator on scaling your
startup on a bootstrapped financial model, and myself Stewart Towsend gave a talk on SSE in general
and how we have helped tweetmeme grow from a 2 person company to over 10 employees and 85% growth
month on month.

For a flavour of the event, check out to see how busy the Sun area got go HERE

And if you want to know what people had to say about it go HERE



Wednesday Sep 30, 2009

FOWA - Top Tips to get the best from the event


So you are attending the Future of Web Apps in London this year and you realise this the biggest event in the UK, and has so many great people attending that you want to meet, sessions to hear intersting speakers and of course the party !!!!

What do you do to maximise the 48 hours of your life that could help your startup, help you make some great introductions and well just learn some new radical interesting content that inspires you to create your own company.

So from years of experience Stew's Top Tips

1. Plan Plan Plan Plan -

Do not turn up hoping that you will do all that you think you can do in your head. Thnk who do I want to meet ? How can I get to meet them ? Are they in demand so do I need to book time ahead to meet them ? This is so important, that you plan ahead as those two days fly by and you lose track of time and then bang its gone.

 2. Plan Plan Plan more

Think about what sessions you really really want to go and see, then use the ones that you don't wish to attend to network, mingle, and meet the people you really want to have a conversation with, arrange to go outside the venue if possible as to many distractions inside and you can get caught in many conversations. so where possible go outside and have that meeting/conversation,

3. Enjoy yourself but stay focused

It's so easy to get tied up in the meetings, sessions that you forget to have some fun, but even easier to get tied up in the fun element and not do any business thus have a balance, keep yourself allocated to time talking to people get to the point, agree an action and then move on FOWA isnt the place to have long drawn out conversations as you have to get a lot in those two days, so agree, swop details move on.....smile, have fun....

 4. Use your network, your friends network, the FOWA network

Ask around to find out a person you know to do that introduction, you can waste your two days to get to that one person then find out that Bob your friend went to school with them, thus part of planning put the word out you would love to meet XYZ who can help. FOWA is a friendly event and people there are great so try and think of ways to help them help you get that brief chat with someone quickly. Call in those favours and work around the network..

5. Lastly and this is the most crucial part. - READ CAREFULLY

I want you to party like you have never partied before, get some pictures of yourself in a silly hat, laughing and smiling and networking as FOWA is only once a year and if you miss out on meeting that person, hey there is next year........you have to roll in on the Friday looking rather worse for wear as then when you meet other people they don't feel so bad for being late for that meeting they booked with you, looking like they haven't been to bed and generally feeling that mutual pain, it bringers a much more lighthearted bond to the proceedings.

Oh and to help as well, come to The Sun Startup Essentials Chillout Lounge sign up for the Startup Newsletter and get your voucher, Friday morning turn up and we have some goodies, the FOWA emergency kit as put together by the team that will get your through the day.

See you all over the next two days @stewarttownsend


Monday Sep 28, 2009

Sun Startup Essentials - Masterclass - Marketing

STARTUP ESSENTIALS sun.com/startups - Marketing - SSE Startup Masterclass
Thursday 15th October Time 6pm til 20:30

Brand strategy is one of the most fraught areas of marketing, though also one of the most important. As a Startup it's often the element that gets left behind and not really identified. But how can you tell an investor what business you are in, if you don't really know yourself? It's a vital step in creating the company identity.

The key point is you can’t have a strategy without a clear objective. Restating a goal is not strategy, execution is not strategy, and tactics are not strategy. This masterclass will demonstrate why a strategic approach to brand management can play a crucial role in defining a strong, winning identity for your company.

What does this mean ?

When you're talking to investors, you'll be able to clearly articulate who your market is, describe how talking and listening to your customers will better equip you to target your audience and take your message out, in these tough economic times.
Register Now
Why should I attend this masterclass?
Because you will learn to define:
what business are we REALLY in?
in that context, what's our positioning?
who are our key stakeholders? Which are most important at this stage?
can we crisply define and communicate the compelling value we offer?
what are our core and secondary value propositions?
having established all the above, are we able - in plain language and briefly - to communicate our differentiated and powerful branding to clients, partners, media and investors?
Register Now
Hear from Michael Bayler, a senior consultant and published author, specialising in consumer-led marketing and innovation. Mike has a wealth of experience speaking on current issues such as post-Internet brand strategy, consumer culture, digital marketing, and branded entertainment. Having advised some of the world’s leading brands, media companies and international stars, including Nokia, Diageo, Telefonica, Bacardi Global Brands, Sky, BT, Sony BMG, Sony ATV, Ogilvy & Mather, Robbie Williams, Dido and Simon Cowell, Mike know's his stuff!

Thursday Sep 24, 2009

Elasticity and Efficiency for Private Clouds

This Sun BluePrints™ article provides an overview of Sun's VeriScale architecture. The article includes details of VeriScale's defining principals, underlying components, interactions, and advantages. Applicable real-world scenarios are also described.

The article addresses the following topics:

  • Requirements of a Scalable Datacenter" describes the requirements that are addressed by the VeriScale architecture.
  • VeriScale Architecture Overview" describes the automation layer and functional components of the VeriScale architecture.
  • Project OpenSolaris™ Dynamic Service Containers (OpenSolaris DSC)" describes the components of OpenSolaris DSC that are used by the VeriScale architecture.
  • Service Delivery Network (SDN) Architecture and VeriScale Automation" describes how the SDN architecture is used to implement the VeriScale automation requirements.
  • Network Optimization Through Distribution" describes how the VeriScale architecture can be used to distribute and optimize application deployment and load-balancing.
  • Proof of Concept for the VeriScale Architecture" describes a proof-ofconcept (POC) that was implemented to verify the feasibility and utility of the VeriScale architecture.
  • The VeriScale-Enabled Business Process" describes how the Veriscale architecture concepts can be applied to business processes in a software intensive enterprise.
DOWNLOAD HERE NOW

Tuesday Sep 22, 2009

Events oh boy do we have Events - Discounts for all - Roll up Roll up

Are you a Sun Startup Essential member ? If not sign up now as discounts on tickets and members only webinars coming your way.

As you will see on the blog we have a listing of events that we are supporting, co hosting, sponsoring, attending or just chilling at, would you like to attend these events ? Would you like a discount on the ticket price ?

Mashup Events -"Investment Opportunities in Digital" - 29th September London - 50% off Demo Slot - Two passes to event

The Next Women - Darwinian Business : Survival of the Fittest - 20% discount - 7th October - London

Media 140 - London - Everything you wanted to know about Brands - 15% discount - 26th October

The 140 Characters Conference  - Exploring "The State of NOW" - 12% Discount - 17th November - London

So do you want the discount codes ? Email me Stewart Townsend sun.com or @stewarttownsend and as long as you are a Startup Essential member Ill send them direct to you.

Ill be at all these events and more.

Random Codes

www.a4uexpo.com  -  discount code of SPKD10



Wednesday Sep 16, 2009

How Corporate Lawyers built a fan club.

This morning I presented on Networking - How to work a crowd to women @ sun Europe, I really enjoyed it and it gave me a chance to sit back and reflect on what we have done with Sun as a brand externally and the whole Startup Essentials programme, how it has grown and actually driven new customers and revenue back to Sun.

Later in the day I was having a conversation about social media and how Im starting a Masters course in this area and talking about communities, how they are built,  but from  a corporate brand view and how they can change the perception of their industry or how they approach a new audience.

What struck me is how two corporate lawyers came into the startup scene blind, suited and fluted and have won the hearts of minds of so many companies, startups and gained new friends, if you don't know Danvers and Barry you haven't lived, throw away your image of lawyers as these guys break that totally but still are devout proffessionals to the legal trade, helping so many startups with general information they do not oversell and then to top it off they deliver a monthly session called Bootlaw that is free and has great pizza and beer to boot.

I tend not to shout about people if I truly don't believe in what they are doing, but these two guys help truly support the community, they listen intently and act upon their actions and provide information and support to a wide audience, but what they have done so sincerely is give their organisation a sustainable brand outside of legal images one of true gentlemen wishing to help and if that means at some stage it means some business for Winston and Strawn, then even better.

So how have they done this ?

\* Initially done their research on the events in London to attend, where the crowd is at.

\* Attended these events and spoke to people, listened to them and understood what the crowd requires and is looking for

\* Moved onto sponsoring some of the more high profile events, they are the lawyers for huddle and thus sponosored there meetup and leveraged that fact to get the startup to promote them out and do introductions.

\* Setup their own event, once a month bringing an audience to them and educating them for a few hours on facts that they want to hear about from a legal perspective.

\* No hard sell, honest approach and open.

\* Introduced people to each other, see if mutual help can be given (They have done this numerous times for me, which has resulted in a great customer reference Music Metric )

\* Had fun doing this, and made it fun to be around them.

\* Supported the community whole heartedly and sincerely as much as possible.


This is a great test scenario of how to successfully build yourself business in a community that has perceptions of your brand or sector, showing that with time and effort a great new revenue stream can be built in an area of business that you would think was to hard to break into.

So a salute to Danvers and Barry, an amazing reference on how to build a community within a community and change the perception of your brand by following the basic principlesof just listening and engaging, being a part of the community not sat on the outside blowing hot air but most of all being yourself but acting as a responsible advocate for your organisation.

In case you missed it,they had a guest post on Techcrunch a few weeks ago, giving their views on the concept of the standardised term sheet which gives you an idea of the reach they now have by getting a significant amount of exposure on Techcrunch Europe.


Tuesday Sep 08, 2009

Media 140 - Brands - London - Sponsored by Sun Startup Essentials


Everything a brand needs to know about twitter and real-time social media\*


\* but was afraid to ask


Media140 London

We explore the effects of twitter and real-time social media on agencies, marketers and brands, looking at how platforms such as Twitter, Flickr, Facebook and AudioBoo are disrupting, challenging and changing traditional media and advertising. Focusing on customer engagement, how to make sustainable profits and build loyal communities.

In partnership with Contagious, Revolution and IAB the event will bring together brand strategy, creatives, ad agencies, media planners, media buyers, PR agencies and publishers to share and understand the disruptive impacts of real time social media on their industry.

We have a veritable collection of industry speakers including Tom Bedecarre, Gareth Jones, Jess Greenwood, Lloyd Salmons, George Nimeh, Robin Grant and Amelia Torode amongst others...


More details here with speaker line up and how to grab a ticket, also are you a Sun Startup Essential Member then grab a 15% discount now, email me for the discount code.

Tuesday Sep 01, 2009

Refer A Startup - Want to win a weekend away at the Marriot and get some Firebox vouchers for helping your friends

Sun Startup Essentials - Refer-A-Startup
Sun Startup Essentials - Refer-A-Startup
 
  • Do you know any Startup companies who are looking to purchase IT hardware/storage, MySQL or training?
  • Do you want to make sure they get the best deal and work with a large global vendor who can help them get off the ground running?
  • Would you like to be rewarded for your great advice, when they place their first order?

Yes? Then Refer-A-Startup is the promotion for you...

Deep Discounts

 

What do I have to do?

  • Get your Startup friend, customer or associate to sign up for Sun Startup Essentials programme, to benefit from heavily discounted IT hardware/storage (x86 servers from £260), MySQL licences or Java/Web Development Training and more
  • In the 'Refer ID' field, ask them to enter your email address.
Sun Startup Essentials
  What's it worth?
Once they spend £500 or above in one order from Sun Startup Essentials, you will receive a Firebox voucher up to £100!\*
  !Plus a December prize draw for all referrers & referral companies, to win a weekend at a luxury Marriott Hotel!
Hotel voucher would make an excellent Christmas pressie!
Sponsored by Weboo.Biz
Weboo logo
  It's as easy as that! See what nifty, technology, gadgets, games etc you can by from Firebox...
Firebox.com
  If you have any questions or feedback, please send a message to Stewart.Townsend@Sun.COM

Thank you
Sun Microsystems
Sun Startup Essentials


\* Terms & conditions

The promotion is for one voucher per new customer, not per order;
A referral into the SSE programme who places multiple orders, will not result in multiple vouchers.
Refer ten new companies/people, who all place orders over £500, will equal ten vouchers.
The voucher value depends on their purchase;
Orders for Rack Servers/Workstations, Software, Training = £50 voucher. Orders including any Storage 7000 range = £100
This promotion is only applicable to EMEA, but limited to sterling and dollar vouchers.
Referrals can only be for companies in countries where Sun Startup Essential programme exists.
Hotel voucher covers accommodation only and no other expenses.
Prize draw will take place on 3rd December 2009.

Referrals to the SSE promgramme will need to fit the following criteria to apply:

- have been in business for 6 years or less
- have a maximum of 150 employees, including any affiliates
- be based in a country where the Sun Startup Essentials Programme is available
- have a verifiable company presence (company name, street address [no post office boxes allowed], etc.)

© 2009 Sun Microsystems, Inc. All rights reserved. For information on Sun's trademarks see: http://www.sun.com/suntrademarks

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