Wednesday Oct 28, 2009

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]

Saturday Oct 17, 2009

Twitter Devnest 5

Tuesday November 10th 6.00 PM till late

Sun CBC London

Tickets are free and are available here:

Tuesday 10th November at Sun Microsystems’ Customer Briefing Centre in London. 6pm for pizza and beer kindly provided by Sun Microsystems Startup Essentials team. The event will be developer and startup-centric with the content best suited to people who are already developing applications on top of Twitter or who intend to start building a Twitter application in the near future. At 9pm we head down to the pub conveniently located directly underneath the briefing centre.

Nest Building

    \* What next for devnest? What we can do in between meetings, to foster community, to lobby for governance, and to build great products and services (Angus Fox, Multizone Limited, @nuxnix)

140 second demo/presentation

Show and tell, 140 seconds countdown. Dont go over!

    \* @ollieparsley - Hootmonitor
    \* @benoitx -
    \* @rem - Snapbird

      Sign up on the night or DM @nuxnix to secure your slot

A special Guest industry luminary in person or via hi tech real time high definition conferencing

    \* We could tell you who, but we’d be lying..

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


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

Join us in celebrating the launch of 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 - , 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, 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 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

Tuesday Sep 29, 2009

FOWA - Come and get your helloapp code....

Sun Startup Essentials and Carsonified bring you only the best ..... FREE workshops again - be quick

Free Workshops at Future of Web Apps 2009

Wednesday 30th September - Wallacespace, St Pancras

We are delighted to be able to offer you a choice of four free workshops at
FOWA London this year, available for FOWA and Dev Day London attendees.
There will only be 40 seats per workshop so please confirm early not to miss
out. Please only confirm if you can 100% make it otherwise others will miss
out.[Read More]

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.

Monday Sep 07, 2009

Manchester Twestival - September 10th - Sponsored by Sun Startup Essentials

Its that time of the year, Twestival - and this year its time to get down to Manchester.


Plans for the night itself

Looks like things are shaping up nicely for MancTwester Local on Sept 10th at House9 Bar. I reckon it will be a top night. This is what’s in store to help raise money for St Ann’s Hospice

6.30 - 7.00            Arrive and drinks

7.00 - 8 30            Auction  (Prizes include - Dual Signed Hurst & Peters England 1966 Anniversary Shirt, Nintendo Wii,  high quality alcohol and makeup)

8.30 – 9.00           Magic acts around the tables courtesy of Magic Man Clive

9.00 – 9.30           Tim Bradbury - Manchester comedian fresh from the Comedy Store.

9.30                      DJ Marv Speakman on the wheels of steel

Come along and make Manchester part of the global phenonema that is Twestival.

So I need you to push this out to all the small businesses, peeps in Manchester and make it happen.

Thursday Aug 27, 2009

Friends of #140conf London Cocktail Party

Special thanks to Sun Startup Essentials who is our event sponsor. The event offers a chance to catch up with #140conf creator and casting director Jeff Keni Pulver. Jeff will be giving a talk about "The State of NOW" and will moderate the discussion. While attending the cocktail party, you might want to take a moment and pitch him on why you should be a "Character" and/or speaker at his upcoming #140conf London event on November 17th.


Sun Microsystems Ltd. / Regis House
45 King William Street
London, UK EC4R 9AN

6.00 PM till late

Wednesday Aug 12, 2009

Are VCs Investing in Twitter Focused Business Models?

White Paper

So far $23.3 Million Has Flown to Twitter Based Startups. Is This Just the Beginning of the Twitter-based Second Economy? What is to come? Twitter, the well funded startup, has amassed $55 million from various angels and VCs, and $23.27 million has flown to 11 Twitter-based startups from a variety of angel investors and venture capital firms.

This report takes a look at the investment activity with startups whose core functionality/capability is centered on Twitter to understand the types of Twitter-related startups being funded, the amounts of funding, the investors backing them, as well as overall trends and implications for such startups going forward.

To download this FULL REPORT go HERE now.

Thursday Jul 23, 2009

Tomorrows Web - A conference by Young People for the Young People of tomorrow

August 8th - London - More Details and Tickets HERE

The Tomorrow's Web Conference brings youth and technology together in London on August 8th. It's the first of it's kind to hit the UK and is already set to be a truly unique and exciting event, with over 9 hours worth of planned speakers, panels and startup pitches, you can see why.

Learn from the entrepreneurs and innovators of tomorrow, find out what they're thinking about current and future topics on the web. Sun Startup Essentials is the key sponsor of this event because we believe that the next wave of true technology shifts and changes is coming through the schools and universities as we speak, these young people will change our lifes, how we interact and solve problems in a different manner.

So take time to come and hear what has to be said, debate and interact and add your thoughts to this great conference.

Wednesday Jun 24, 2009

100 Tips, Tools, and Resources for Twitter Research

Directories and People

Expand your network and locate specific tweeters using these directories.

  1. Twitterholic: Find out who the most popular Twitter users are at any given moment.
  2. Social Brand Index: Use this directory to find competitors and potential clients on Twitter.
  3. WeFollow: This directory categorizers users by tagging.
  4. Twellow: Twellow is a popular people directory for Twitter users. Search by location, friends, followers, keyword or by category.
  5. Who Should I Follow?: Let this tool help you find new friends on Twitter.
  6. Tracking Twitter: Discover which Twitter feeds are the most popular in media, entertainment and consumer products.
  7. Just Tweet It: Find people to follow by clicking on industry categories like education, domainers, aviation, filmmakers and more.
  8. twibs: With twibs, you can look up businesses who tweet.
  9. twittervision: Find random tweeters whose conversations pop up on a Google map.
  10. Twemes: Twemes is another word for hashtags, and this site follows popular subject matter and keywords.
  11. Tweeter Tags: Declare your tweets by tagging yourself on this site. Then, find other like-minded users to follow and research.
  12. Twitter Fan Wiki: This research source finds conversations, non-person Twitterers, feature requests, fakers, media and more.
  13. TwitterPacks: Find people according to their "pack" or interest group, like coaching, baby boomers, or organizing experts.
  14. Twubble: With Twubble, you can find more friends and popular Twitter users.
  15. GovTwit: Find Twitter names for government agencies and people here.


Search for keywords, buzzed-about topics and more to direct your attention to the conversations that matter.

  1. Twitter Search: Twitter’s official search page looks for keywords in current conversations.
  2. Tweet Scan: Search Twitter conversations by category or keyword.
  3. TwitterScoop: Find friends, search buzz-worthy topics, and more.
  4. Tweet Volume: Find out if the subjects you’re searching for are popping up in Twitter conversations or are yesterday’s news.
  5. Tweetmeme: Tweetmeme is a social bookmarking site for popular Twitter conversations.
  6. Twitterment: This simplified search engine brings up conversations for all kinds of keywords.
  7. Twitter Forge: Twitter Forge in TwitTown has 10 different directories and search tools.
  8. Tweet Congress: Use Tweet Congress to find tweets from Congressmen and women.
  9. LegalBirds: LegalBirds is a Twitter directory for the legal crowd.
  10. Geofollow: Add yourself, update your Twitter feed and search for others on this site.
  11. Twitterectory: Twitterectory features a search engine, tag cloud and directory of Twitter profiles.


Keep your notes, replies, surveys and research organized so that all your hard work isn’t lost forever.

  1. Twhirl: This social software platform connects to Twitter, displays notifications of new messages, shortens URLs, cross-posts updates to other sites and more.
  2. Twitter Karma: Quickly paginate through your friends listing. Sort alphabetically or by another system so that it’s easier to view your friends.
  3. Tweet Clouds: View your tweets as a word cloud.
  4. Twitter Notes: Take and tag notes from Twitter using this tool.
  5. My Tweeple: Better organize all your friends and followers with this tool.
  6. Foamee: Keep up with who owes who how many drinks with this tool.
  7. Twitterator: This script will help you stay organized while monitoring groups of people.
  8. GroupTweet: Privately tweet with your project group members using GroupTweet.
  9. Twickie: Archive and organize Twitter response threads here.

Add-ons and Tools

Add these tools to your Twitter experience to make researching and indexing even easier.

  1. Twitt Poll: Create polls to find out what your Twitter friends think on a particular subject.
  2. Twitter Answers: Send out questions into the Twittersphere to get answers and opinions from your followers.
  3. Twitter Snipe: Use this tool to auto follow users based on your niche.
  4. TwitPic: Use TwitPic to share, browse and upload photos to Twitter.
  5. Trazzler Buzz: Use this tool to research deals and news for travel, museums, music and more.
  6. Twit Bear: Keep up with all the replies regarding a particular conversation or subject matter.
  7. Google Search with Twitter integration: This script combines the best of Twitter and Google.
  8. TBuzz: When surfing the web, discover each site’s tweet history.
  9. PicFog: Conduct a Twitter image search here.
  10. peekr: Check out Twitter backgrounds before opening up the whole page.
  11. Twitter Toolbar for Firefox: Download this toolbar to quickly access Twitter or your favorite Twitter feeds.


Let these guides help you become a master tweeter.

  1. Twitter as Target Market Research Tool: Find out how you can use Twitter to grow your business, attract clients and stand out.
  2. 33 Reasons to Use Twitter - a Guide to Finding Value in the Service!: Here you’ll get tips for using Twitter for business and personal gain.
  3. The Ultimate Guide for Everything Twitter: Learn how to set up a profile, find things to tweet about, decide when to tweet and more.
  4. Mastering Twitter in 10 Minutes or Less (Version 2): Quickly learn how to navigate Twitter with this download.
  5. Using Twitter ‘the Smart Way’: Get tips on choosing a user name and staying organized here.
  6. How to Search Twitter - the Advanced Guide: This guide outlines the steps needed to effectively use Twitter’s official search function.
  7. 6 Twitter Search Services Compared: This guide compares Twitter Search, Twazzup, Tweetzi, and other search tools.
  8. Twitter Research: Why and How to Do It: has tips for using Twitter for historical research and more.
  9. Using Twitter for Market Research: Grow your business by taking note of these research tips and tools.

Filters and Niche Search

Block out all the miscellaneous Twitter noise and use these tools to focus on the conversations and research you’re interested in.

  1. bkkeepr: This tracker keeps up with reading lists and more.
  2. FoodFeed: If you only want to research tweets related to what people are eating, head to this feed.
  3. Localtweeps: Filter tweets by zip code using this tool.
  4. Commuter Feed: View traffic reports for Houston, Boston, Detroit, Philadelphia, LA, New York and other top metro areas.
  5. Twitter Job Search: Research job openings here.
  6. Twitter filter: This Greasemonkey script lets you filter out any kind of annoying tweets.
  7. Omnee: Filter your list of people to research or follow by first checking this site. Omnee categorizes users by the ones with the most social capital, most reach, least centralized, and more.
  8. Stop the tweet spam! Two ways to filter Twitter into Facebook: Streamline your updates and social media research here.
  9. TwitZap: Keep your Twitter page open and active without having to refresh it.
  10. Cursebird: Keep track of the latest posts that contain curse words.


Analytics is a vital part of any research project. These tools will help you get the stats on your account, other users’ influence, trends, website popularity, and more.

  1. TwitterCounter: Get stats for other users here.
  2. TweetStats: View Twitter feed stats in bar graph form.
  3. TwitterSpy: Keep an eye on the most recent tweets coming from a particular location.
  4. TweetBeep: TweetBeep alerts you via email when preferred conversations and keywords are tweeted.
  5. MyTweetMap: This tool displays tweets by location on a Google Map.
  6. SiteVolume: Find out how often a phrase, word or website is tweeted about.
  7. Tweetburner: Track URLs as they appear on Twitter.
  8. Twist: Twist lets you compare the stats for keywords, topics and more.
  9. Twitalyzer: Use Twitalzyer to discover the influence of different Twitter users.
  10. Twitstat Mobile: Look up analytics from your mobile phone using this tool.


Track trends, follows, conversations and people using these tools.

  1. tweet140: This tool tracks the length of your tweets.
  2. Twitt(url)y: Track popular URLs that appear on Twitter to find out what people are talking about.
  3. Does Follow: Organically expand your network by following people your friends follow.
  4. twAITer: Schedule tweets for a future release and track your overall feed here.
  5. Friend or Follow: Quickly double check who’s following you with this tool.
  6. Tracking Twitter: Track brands, celebrities, media and TV tweets using this tool.
  7. Twistori: Hover over an emotion like love, hate, think, believe, feel or wish and read the upcoming posts that incorporate that feeling.
  8. Tweetizen: Use Tweetizen to create groups and track stories and posts that are meaningful to you.
  9. Twitterfall: Filter trends or do a custom search to see upcoming posts in a free-fall format.


For better research through Twitter, follow these tips and suggestions.

  1. Tweet during peak hours: Many people are tuned in to Twitter during the work week and during work hours, so you’ll have a better chance of reaching your subjects then.
  2. Use a Twitter management tool: Use a tool like TweetDeck to easily organize your groups, updates and more, so that your research doesn’t get lost.
  3. Use Advanced Search: Try Twitter’s Advanced Search tool to find people, places, dates and more.
  4. Follow the competition: Market researchers should follow their competition on Twitter to learn about any deals or tricks they have going on.
  5. Tweet about what’s hot: Join buzzed-about conversations and stories and find a way to relate your project to the mix.
  6. Update your subjects: Keep your Twitter subjects up to date on your progress so that they know how they’ve helped you.
  7. Ask lots of questions: Keep asking questions through Twitter to get a broad range of responses from everyone who follows you.
  8. Use a variety of Twitter directories: You’ll encounter some repetition, but by using several different Twitter directories, you’ll also stumble across new people who can help you that you may have discounted at first.
  9. Follow experts: Follow the tweets of an expert in your field to get routed to sensible, quality information.
  10. Stay organized: It can be hard to keep up with all the tweets, replies and updates from everyone you’re following, so use groups, alerts and other tools to organize it all.
  11. Put it all into context: Tweetree displays your Twitter stream as a tree with all replies organized by context.
  12. Use different accounts: Don’t confuse your subjects or yourself by managing different research projects from a single account. Manage different accounts with a service like Hootsutie
  13. List your credentials: Don’t freak people out by asking for their information without providing your own credentials.
  14. Post a photo and your real name: People will be more likely to help you out if you present a valid name and photo.
  15. Conduct surveys: Use survey tools to find out how your followers feel about a particular subject.
  16. Back up your Twitter: Use a service like Tweetake to make sure your research and notations are safe.
Found this article at

Wednesday Jun 17, 2009

5 Things Sesame Street Can Teach You About Breakthrough Blogging

I came across this interesting article recently, comparing Sesame Street and blogging and I found the comparisons compelling and interesting indeed, so much so I would like to share it with you. In fact this site has some amazingly quick but interesting articles that may help you grow your prescence out on the internet and build a strong brand for your organisation.

They taught us about sharing and the letter Q. They taught us to jump rope in Spanish and how to count to 10. They taught us about life in the city, diversity, and the true love of a rubber ducky.

But did you know that Sesame Street actually has lots of lessons about how to be a better blogger?

There’s a reason Sesame Street is the longest-running children’s show in history. Actually, there are (at least) five reasons. And you can apply each of these to your blog, to create something that’s memorable, effective, and maybe even loved.

To read the full article go HERE


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


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