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Can corporations innovate like startups?

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We are mostly giving bits of advice to startups in our blog, thanks to our experience that we gained seeing the lifespan and mentoring hundreds of startups in our programs or events. Even if we are trying to change the mindset of our corporate friends with those events, in the end, they are still working for corporates.

As I was writing this blog while watching Top Gear on my 2nd screen, I can say that while a startup is like a Caparo T1 which has twice the power-to-weight ratio of the Bugatti Veyron, but completely untamed. On the other hand, a corporation is like 18-wheeler; powerful with more control, yet slow. But can that truck let go of its wagon to get more agility? Not quite.

caparo t1
Believe it or not: This thing is street-legal.

As Hackquarters, our team has a corporate background, so we can easily tell that we understand what you need to go through in a corporate environment. We know about some of the obvious problems in most of the corporations.

Fear of rejection in corporate “battlefield”

While we use those fancy words a lot in our startup environment, it’s hard to be innovative or disruptive in a corporate hierarchy. Usually, innovation is “commanded” from the top to the bottom in corporations, yet our experience shows that it starts from the bottom to the top. But we have “brave warriors” within the corporations that we work with, who fight for innovation within the company and luckily they have the support to make mistakes for the better good.

“I love my job, more than you do”

In a corporate environment, most people have their own agenda for keeping their job, appear successful (even if they suck) or gaining promotion. They are usually not brave enough to take responsibility within the company to create space for innovation. They have “What if I fail?” in their mind and they don’t want to lose their ground for possible future opportunities.

Trust issues within the company

Most corporations want to keep their privacy. They list lots of unnecessary things as confidential. When you want to sign an agreement with a corporation, there will be at least a few “confidentiality” clauses within the contract and this also applies to their employees. In some companies, even information exchange between some departments is limited (and I worked for one of those companies. Can’t tell the name; it’s confidential).

When it comes to innovation, things do change a bit, but in the end, you still can only see the top of the iceberg only. So when someone from the lower levels of hierarchy tries to do something new, he/she can hit an invisible wall (like the ones in old racing games like Need For Speed).

Turnover rates in managerial positions

It’s not like the 70s or 80s when people work for a single factory for 40 years until they retire. According to research, %21 of millennials change their job almost every year and 60% of them are looking to change their jobs. Thanks to them, it’s no different on managerial positions. And this situation affects innovation possibilities on corporations.

Assume that you have a great, supporting manager who appreciates your efforts on innovation, but in the middle of a great project he lands another job and leaves your company. The new manager is not very fond of innovative projects and he doesn’t want to risk his new position. There goes your effort, right into the trash bin of ideas.

Vanity metrics FTW!

As corporations usually can’t move as a whole, turnover rates in lower positions or managerial positions hinder the progress toward innovation.

Costly and risky experiments are a NO NO

As an entrepreneur, usually you don’t have much to lose, because you already know that less than 10% of startups “succeed” and this number is lower in entrepreneurs below 45. You can experiment, you can try new things that even it’s idiotic to some people. But it’s OK, you don’t lose much if you fail, and if you hit rock bottom, you can just insert another coin to start from the beginning. As a corporation, this is not applicable.

Corporations can try new things, but if they fail, they may lose a lot of money, which makes investors very unhappy and sometimes even causes the corporation to go bankrupt.

When a startup builds their plan, they can take a high risk – high reward path. If they succeed, they enter that 10% we mentioned before. A corporation, on the other hand, doesn’t take high risk unless its absolutely necessary.

Is innovation “impossible” in established corporations?

If the answer was “Yes“, we would be looking for another business. But most of the corporations are trying to handle innovation on their own, and 84% of them just spend money without any results at all. In fact, their expectations were neither met nor exceeded and the gap between expectation and meeting were so enormous, so it was considered a failure. Corporations cannibalize innovation (without guidance).

Here’s our secret. We push the secret INNOVATE button.

It is said that “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, but the most adaptable”. Corporations can’t adapt as fast as a startup. When a startup feels like “blockchain is sexy“, they can integrate blockchain into their model. But for a corporation, this operation needs lots of research, lots of manpower and lots of approvals. When they are ready to adapt, usually it is no longer “sexy”. It is just like my example at the beginning: Caparo T1 vs 18-wheeler.

Corporations need “startup-like” mind to innovate their current processes, and this is possible with collaboration. Partnership with a startup is a win-win for both parties. A startup can gain opportunities such as market access, workforce, resources and visibility from corporations, while corporations can gain agility, endless new ideas, willingness to take risks and potential high growth.

But how?

Solution: Inbound Open Innovation Projects

As we stated before: Corporations cannibalize innovation. But also, “All generalizations are false, including this one” as Mark Twain said. As Hackquarters, we are working with the few that chooses inbound open innovation as their way to keep pace with the new generation.

Inbound Open Innovation is a way of collaboration that corporations choose to include external resources into their own processes. Managing innovation effectively means rethinking corporations as a whole and usually problems are invisible from the inside. In Turkish, we have a saying “… you need a third eye” and this fits perfectly to this situation. Even if you believe that you are a digital, innovative company, you can not see what you are doing wrong. Hackquarters is the third eye.

Grants4Apps program that we are proud of!

In short, there is a growing culture of innovation and raising awareness of the need to review corporations as a whole, review processes with a view to seize opportunities for innovation, absorb knowledge and increase the engagement from all levels within the corporation. One of the most basic obstacles to moving forward on the road to innovation is whether or not employees within the corporation are aware of the challenges. Because if they’re not aware of the challenges they won’t get involved in the solution. Basic awareness about those challenges is probably the key indicator of how well the process will do.

As Hackquarters we provided lots of startup engagament to corporations such as Isbank, Bayer, Here and many more. If you need guidance on your way to true innovation, we would always love to have a cup of coffee and chat about what we can accomplish together.

e-Residency for Startups & entrepreneurs: Am I to be an Estonian from now on?

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If you are reading this blog, I can easly assume that you are already experienced in startup scene, one way or another. The most basic explanation of a startup is usually “solution to a problem”. We tell that “being a startup is not about your revenue or size of your company” and there are countless examples to bigger startups like Uber, Slack, Airbnb. In a way, we can call Estonia “a startup” with their e-Residency initiative.

In 2014, Estonia started accepting e-residency chance for startups all around the world. E-Residents gained the chance to work within Europen Union by establishing a digital company in Estonia, without a physical office or an individual in Estonia. If you apply and get accepted for the program, you receive a physical Estonian government-issued digital ID and start your program from anywhere in the world. But one important note: you DO NOT become an Estonian (therefore EU) citizen with e-residency, you only get the right to start a company.

e-residency-startup-estonia
Even if Estonia has less than 2 million population, they are using digital IDs since 2000.

e-Residency Opportunities

E-Residency gives great new opportunities, as you now have a company within EU borders. You can gain access to the banking system or international payment service provider, sign your documents safely and digitally, have easy access to EU market, work within EU laws and last but not least you will have an EU company which removes some trust issues (especially when compared to developing countries).

To apply for e-residency in Estonia, you just need your local government-issued ID, passport, photo, credit card and a letter of motivation for your application. Then you need to pay 100€ and wait for 6 to 8 weeks for background check. After that, you will be notified via e-mail and if you get accepted as an e-resident, you can get your ID from the nearest Estonian consulate.

Your digital ID is the way you can get into anything related to Estonia: from starting your company, to paying your taxes later on. Estonian ID cards can be plugged directly into a computer through an e-reader that connects to the USB port. The ID card holder then simply enters their unique pin codes to either authenticate their identity or digitally sign. Even if Estonia has less than 2 million population, they are using digital IDs since 2000.

estonia

I started my company. What now?

Even if you don’t need a physical office, you still need an adress within Estonia to start your company. And as most of the things in your way can be handled digitally in Estonia, that problem is easy to solve, too. There are services like LeapIn, which provides services you need for your digital company in Estonia. Starting at 60€ monthly, you can get a bank account in Estonia, accounting, taxing and compliance help.

After you handle all the “digital paperwork” for you company, you can start doing business asap. E-residents pay 20% income tax and it can also be done digitally with your ID.

For now, Estonia is the only country in the world that accepts e-residents, so there is no alternative unfortunately.

More Info about e-Residency in Estonia

Further reading: e-Residency whitepaper

Further reading: Why e-Residency is popular with Turkish entrepreneurs

Credit: Burak Büyükdemir @ Startup Istanbul 2018

Take Off Istanbul Startup Summit: Great Startups and Great Panels

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Take Off Istanbul Startup Summit was the biggest free startup festival in the world. Thanks to our friends at Turkey Technology Team and Invest in Turkey, we were prepared for hordes of startups arriving at Istanbul.

We have received more than 2000 applications for Take Off Istanbul Startup Summit, from more than 80 different countries, all around the world. The event took place within Teknofest Istanbul Aerospace and Technology Festival, which is also a one of a kind event in its own category. For that reason, Teknofest and Take Off took place in Istanbul’s new, huge airport, which is set for official opening on Republic Day, October 29th.

Sonic boom, drones, rockets…

The new tower at the new airport, which symbolizes a tulip.

Teknofest was a great event by itself, as there were loads of activities such as rocket competitions, drone races, hackathons, great shows by world-famous Turkish Air Force and even a race between fastest vehicles in the world: F-16 fighter jet, a passenger jet, sports cars, F1 racing car and a racing motorcycle driven by world-champion Turkish driver and now a member of parliament, Kenan Sofuoğlu, who eventually win the race.

In 4 days of Teknofest, hundreds of thousands of people visited the new airport. As for Take Off Istanbul, that was a great opportunity to let people know about the startup ecosystem, as most of the visiting public were students from various age groups.

Landings before “Take Off”

Ironically, rather than waiting for “Take Off” we were expecting landings the night before. As you can guess, organizing a startup event may look like it’s all about startups, investor meetings, pitches, presentations and so on, we were also trying to handle hotel transfers, startups landing at different airports and different landing times throughout the day. We did our best to communicate with all startups to get them to their hotels comfortably.

Even if all of Hackquarters stayed awake almost all night, our day started around 5 am on the first day of Take Off Istanbul Startup Summit. We went to the hotel that our international guests were staying, Grand Cevahir Şişli, and made sure that all startups are in the shuttle buses early in the day. And some members of Hackquarters were in the new airport during that time to make sure that everything is working in 3 Take Off stages.

Starting with Great Startups and Great Panels

As I mentioned before, we handpicked 200 startups from well over 2000 applications from more than 80 different countries. Most of the startups we invited to the event has surprised us in a positive way, as there were great presentations. Our time limit was 5 minutes per startup, and our startups delivered great information in that short period. We had three different stages on the first day for Energy & Environmental, Logistics & Space & Defence and Health & Wellness. 40 startups presented in each category and after the lunch break, we had 3 panels for each relative industry with participation from worldwide professionals. (You can always find more info about our panelists and keynote speakers on our official Take Off Istanbul Startup Summit website.)

We also found some time to talk to our participants during lunch break and after presentations while we were waiting for shuttle buses to the hotel. That’s when we felt like we did a great job gathering a lot of people from different countries and various verticals in the same place.

More Panels, More Startups

While we had 3 stages on day 1, we planned as 2 stages for the remaining two verticals and 1 stage for Seedstars Istanbul, which is a part of Seedstars World.

Just like the first day, our participating startups presented their businesses to our jury in Education and Agriculture & Food stages. Each startup had 5 minutes for their pitch. We had 2 great panels with valuable professionals from relative area sharing their ideas and discussing the future of each related industry.

In our third stage for day 2, Seedstars Istanbul participants pitched their startups for a chance to attend Seedstars World and many more great awards. Stroma Vision, Limantepe Tech – ImageRAD and Piri Guide were the winners of Seedstars Istanbul 2018. You can find more about participating startups and winners in Seedstars Istanbul website.

Take Off takes over main stage

Day 3 of Take Off Istanbul Summit was a joy for all of us. There was only one main stage for Take Off Istanbul Startup Summit, which has a bigger capacity then our previous stages. And that was the point: we were expecting attendance from curious enthusiasts who want to listen to great keynote speeches, panels that include government officials, directors from leading companies of the region, VCs, directors of accelerators and more.

We started the day with an inspiring speech from Selçuk Bayraktar, CTO of Baykar and Head of Board of Trustees of Turkey Technology Team. Then our panel on “The Role of Governments and International Organizations in Empowering Youth Entrepreneurship towards Sustainable Growth” started with attendance from valuable professionals such as Arda Ermut (President of Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey) and H.E. Amb. Elshad Iskandarov (President of Islamic Conference Youth Forum for Dialogue and Cooperation).

… when we hear the president is coming to Take Off Istanbul stage.

Near the lunch break, we heard that President of the Republic of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, will present awards to the winners of Take Off Istanbul Startup Summit, himself (Later we learned that those were just rumours).  After the lunch break break, the main stage of Take Off Istanbul was at full speed with wonderful keynote speeches by Kamran Elahian and Amr Awadallah. Unfortunately, due to our delayed programme, keynote speech of our valuable friend, Darius Moeini was canceled.

After keynote speeches, “Corporate Companies Inspiring Innovation” panel has started with the attendance of Kaan Terzioğlu (CEO of Turkcell) and Paul Doany (CEO of Turk Telekom). Again, due to our strict schedule, we merged 2 panels of “Venture Capitalists Predicting the Future” and “Startup Accelerators Disrupting Success” into one big panel.

After we completed our program, it was time to introduce winners of Take Off Istanbul Startup Summit to the audience. Our winners (which we will tell more about each in another blog post) got announced by Haluk Bayraktar (CEO of Baykar, Member of Board of Trustees of Turkey Technology Team), Selçuk Bayraktar (CTO of Baykar and Head of Board of Trustees of Turkey Technology Team) and M. Fatih Kacır (Deputy Minister of Industry and Technology, Republic of Turkey).

Geographically a bridge between Europe, Asia and Africa? Much more than that.

Some of our participants were pretty surprised to find that many startups gathered in Istanbul for a global startup event as currently, Istanbul is just a “promising” startup country. Recently there were a few huge (in Turkish standards) investments and exits happened in Turkish startup scene, but that was just the tip of the iceberg.

As Hackquarters, we aim to make Istanbul a hub for not only EMEA startup scene but also global startup scene as well. And we are not doing this just for the love of our country. Turkey is currently a land of opportunities where startup related expenses are almost free, compared to cities in our region. There is a huge room for growth in Istanbul with startup awareness increasing among students, corporations and public as well.

With Take Off Startup Summit, we were addressing the “Take Off” of startups involving in our event, but also we hope that this will be a “Take Off” for Turkish startup scene in general as well. With great opportunities such as the ones we mentioned before and government incentives, a lot of international startups are opening their Istanbul offices. And we are hoping to lure more and more startups to Istanbul.

Thank You! And we mean it!

We would like to thank every startup, speaker, panelist, investor, VC, corporate professional and people within startup scene who did generously devoted their precious time to Take Off Istanbul Startup Summit and honored us with their presence in Istanbul. We did our best to provide a great experience in Istanbul with valuable help from our friends here at Hackquarters, Turkey Technology Team and Invest in Turkey.

We will share winners of each category in separate posts. Keep following Hackquarters on our social media channels!

See you again next year!

5 Must-Have Applications and Services For Startups

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Start-ups and small businesses often maintain a group of less than 10 people to manage the entire business. This is when these 5 applications come in handy. If you’re interested in finding out how you can be effective at what you do and spend less time on things that don’t bring value to you or your business, then read on because this article is for you.

Trello

Trello is an application that is available for free. It can be accessed through the web or your Android or iPhone. Trello lets you keep tasks and projects organized. If you’re handling a small group of people, Trello helps you assign tasks and monitor deadlines. You can attach files, add a checklist and view all project developments at a glance. Since it is accessible via phone, it helps you stay updated regardless of where you are. Any updates can also be shared in real time. Say goodbye to unnecessary progress related meetings that take up most of your time.

Slack

Slack is an application that lets you chat and send private or direct messages. It’s also available for free, can be used from a web browser or from your Android or iPhone. If you’re working on different projects, you can easily create channels and send/receive chats simultaneously throughout the day. What’s even better is that it integrates with applications you might already use such as Google Drive and Trello. Everything is searchable in Slack which makes communication a lot easier.

HelloSign

When you manage a business, you’ll be surprised with the number of documents you will need to sign on throughout the week. Imagine loads of paperwork filing on top of your desk and the time it’ll take to go through each document to sign, scan and then send back to the sender. HelloSign helps you out by letting you create an electronic signature. There’s no need to download and print any files, no need to leave Gmail, and take less than 30 seconds to complete.

Zapier

Zapier is all about automation. Avoid having to do the same things time and time again. Zapier connects with apps that you normally use and allows you to create triggers that would initiate the start of a workflow. With just a few clicks, you can create workflows that happen automatically once set up. It links your systems together, removes redundancy and drives efficiency in your everyday tasks.

Google Drive

Did you just finish a report you’ve worked on for 3 hours but then clicked on exit without saving the document? It happens to almost everyone. You won’t have to worry about a thing when you have Google Drive in place. Google Drive lets you work with spreadsheets, slides or documents. It saves files in real time so you don’t need to worry if you’ve accidentally closed a file without saving. Everything is accessible from a cloud service so never worry about forgetting where you’ve saved files again.

Running a business is not a walk in the park. Make use of your time wisely and take advantage of tools such as these 5 applications to make your life easier. Work smart and take control.

You can track changes on any website with Obserwise by Datapare

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Datapare is one of the services that we love, and also one of the services that has their logo placed on Hackquarters main page. Datapare is a competitive intelligence platform that helps to monitor your market competitors.

Obserwise is a new service from Datapare, which is completely free for casual users. What Obserwise does is, as its’ name says, that it “wisely observes” and tracks changes on a webpage you specify.

Track your competitors for free

After you click on their website, you need to copy & paste the URL of the webpage that you want to track. Then Obserwise creates an image of the webpage so that you can choose the area of the webpage that you want to track. And there are endless possibilities on how you can use Obserwise.

For example, I’m using Obserwise to track top posts in a subreddit. Whenever monthly top posts change in r/cryptocurrency, Obserwise sees the change and reports me via email. You can track discounts on a certain item in an online store. You can track new job opportunities in your dream company, from their HR page. You can even track your competitors so that whenever they launch a new campaign, you get notified almost instantly.

Obserwise is completely free for casual users, and fairly cheap even if you want to use it professionally. You can get more info and use Obserwise by Datapare completely free on their website.

Hackquarters Pioneers’ta Girişimci Olmak

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Her gün birçok insan “Girişimci olmak nedir, nasıl olunur?” vb sorulara cevap arıyorlar. Öncelikle şunu söyleyebilirim ki bu soruların cevaplarını Hackquarters Pioneers programına katılana kadar ben de bilmiyordum. Bu program sayesinde girişim dünyasıyla tanışıp, birçok girişimcinin başarı ve başarısızlık öykülerini dinleyip, bunun nasıl bir süreç olduğunu öğrendim. Ben de sizlere bu öğrendiklerimi, kendimde deneyimlemiş biri olarak, anlatmaya çalışacağım.

Teknoloji büyük bir hızla ilerliyor. Bu zenginlikte neredeyse olmayan bir şey yok. Peki burada nasıl bir fark yaratabilirsiniz? Cevap çok basit: Fikirlerinizle.

Bana göre girişimci olmak yaratıcı olmaktır. Bir yerde insanların ihtiyaç duyduğuna cevap vermektir. Güncel olmaktır; insanların eskiden yaptıklarına değil, şimdi yaptıkları ve gelecekte yapacaklarına odaklanmaktır. Zaten bu ikisi birleştiğinde girişimci olmamanız neredeyse imkansız.

Her şeyin başı tabi ki de kendinize inanmak. Kim ne derse desin kendinize ve projenize inandığınız zaman sizi kimse durduramaz. Buna örnek vermek istersek Elon Musk olur. Mars’a gideceğim dediğinde kimse ona inanmamıştı. Şimdi de kendini ispatlamış biri olduğunu biliyoruz.

“Kendime inanıyorum, projeme de güveniyorum ee sonra?” dediğinizde bir ekip kurmanız gerekiyor. Ekip aslında bu işin en zor ve en önemli kısmı. Sizin projenize sizin gibi inanan kişileri toplamak zor ama en azından projenize severek destek olacak kişileri bulabilirsiniz. Daha çok tanıdığınız ve güvendiğiniz insanlardan bir ekip oluşturabilirsiniz. Ama burada dikkat etmeniz gereken bir şey var: Ekibinizdeki her kişinin, sizin projenizde işe yarayacak bir görevi üstlenmesi ve bunu yapabilmesi. Mesela bir mobil uygulama çıkartmak istiyorsunuz, elbet bir yazılımcı ve bir tasarımcı bulundurmalısınız. Yani aradığınız ve ihtiyaç duyduğunuz özelliklere sahip olan ekip arkadaşları bulmalısınız. Onları düzenli olarak kontrol etmelisiniz, deadline yani istediklerinizi yapmaları için belirli bir süre vermelisiniz. Sonuçta hedeflenen bir zaman olmazsa projeniz kolay kolay bitmez. Bunun dışında ekip içinde anlaşmazlıklar, yarı yolda bırakanlar ve işini yapmayanlar tabi ki de olacak. Ama ne olursa olsun sizin aynı istekle, yanınızda olanlarla ilerlemeniz gerekiyor.

“Fikir hazır, ekip hazır şimdi ne olacak?” diyorsanız, artık START butonuna basmanız gerektiğini bilmelisiniz. Herkese görevlerini verip, belirlediğiniz güne kadar yapmalarını beklemelisiniz. Onlara yeri geldiğinde yardım etmeli, düzenli bir şekilde kontrol etmelisiniz. Girişimci sadece fikriyle ön plana çıkana değil, lider ruhunu göstererek ekibi yürütebilene de denir.

Evet, görüldüğü üzere girişimci olmak sanıldığı kadar kolay değil. Girişimci olduktan sonra bir işi yürütmek de kolay değil. Ama ne olursa olsun burada önemli olan asla pes etmemek; çünkü girişimci bir ruh asla pes etmez. Siz de bu ruhu kendinizde taşıdığınızı düşünüyorsanız; kendinizi bireysel olarak daha çok eğitmenizi, hatta ekibinizi kurabileceğiniz insanlarla tanışmanızı sağlayacak Hackquarters Pioneers programına başvurmanızı şiddetle tavsiye ederim.

Sena Kahraman,
Hackquarters Pioneers Beta
Galatasaray Üniversitesi

Aksigorta Startup Challenge’da sigorta teknolojisi girişimleri yarıştı

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Aksigorta tarafından Hackquarters desteği ile düzenlenen Aksigorta Startup Challenge’da Insurtech, dijital sağlık ve teknoloji alanındaki 10 girişim, Aksigorta’nın üst düzey yöneticilerinin ve jüri üyelerinin beğenisine sunuldu.

Hackquarters kurucusu Kaan Akın’ın moderatörlüğünü yaptığı organizasyon, Aksigorta CIO’su Metin Demirel’in konuşması ile başladı. Her bir girişime, kendilerini anlatmaları için 5’er dakikalık süre verildi. Katılımcıların ilgisini çeken girişimler, sunumlarını bitirmelerinin ardından uzmanların sorularını yanıtladı.

Aksigorta, bundan 10 yıl sonrasında belki de insansız, otonom araçların çarpışmasındaki zararı hangi tarafın sigortasının karşılayacağını tartışıyor olacak. — Kaan Akın, Hackquarters Kurucusu

Sağlığınız kontrol altında: Vivoo

Sunum seansı sigorta arayışında olan kişilerle, en uygun sigorta teklifi veren uzmanları ücretsiz buluşturan Bi’Sigortacı ile başladı. Sahneye ikinci olarak Türkiye’de sağlıklı ve kaliteli yaşamı eğlenceli hale getirmeyi hedefleyen yaşam platformu Uplifers geldi. Uplifers’tan sonra ise sahne, idrar örneğinizden sağlık verilerinizi okuyarak size sağlıklı yaşam asistanlığı yapan Vivoo uygulaması, izleyicileri etkilemeyi başardı.

Akıllı telefon ile kaza riski analizi: Drivebuddy

Satış ve kişisel sağlık konularından sonra bu sefer sahne, kaza anında acil durumu, ilgili kurumlara bildiren, aynı zamanda kullanıcıların araba kullanma alışkanlıklarını yorumlayarak risk analizi yapabilen Drivebuddy uygulamasına geldi. Drivebuddy’nin başarılı sunumundan sonra, kullanıcılarının beslenme alışkanlıklarını inceleyen ve onları motive edebilmek için elinden geleni yapıp sağlıklı bir yaşam vaat eden Diyetkolik’in sırası geldi. Hemen sonrasında da ürettikleri donanım ile sürüş anında şöförlerin yüz hatlarından dikkat durumlarını ölçebilen Stroma uygulamasının sunumu vardı.

Online iletişim platformu: Sigorta.io

Stroma’nın ardından ise sahneye Habit geldi. Habit ekibi, kişiye özel beslenme rutinleri ile insanların düzenli ilaç kullanmasını gerektiren pek çok hastalığın durdurulabileceğini, hatta geriletebileceğini anlattı. Sağlık alanındaki uygulamalar, bu sefer özellikle akciğerleriyle sorun yaşayan kişilere yönelik Spirohome ile devam etti. Spirohome, astım ve KOAH hastaları ya da akciğerinde sorun olduğunu düşünen kişilerin kendi sağlık durumlarını kendileri kontrol ve takip edebileceği spirometre ve destekleyen bir uygulama ile sunuluyor. Sonrasında ise sahne servis alanında hizmet veren online iletişim platformu Sigorta.io’nun sunumu ile renklendi. Kapanışı ise fizik tedavi uzmanlarının dijital olarak hastalara programlar oluşturabileceği ve takip edebileceği Vexrob yaptı.

Sunumların bitmesinin ardından hem izleyicilerin, hem de jürinin oyları sayıldı. Sonrasında ise Aksigorta Genel Müdürü Uğur Gülen’in eğlenceli konuşması ile en çok oy alan i̇lk 3 girişim açıklandı ve hediyeleri yine Aksigorta Genel Müdürü Uğur Gülen tarafından takdim edildi.

Jüri ve izleyici oylarıyla üçüncü sırayı Sigorta.io, ikinci sırayı ise Drivebuddy aldı. En çok oyu alarak, en beğenilen girişim ise özel donanım ve görsel tanımlama sistemleri ile idrar örneğinden kişinin sağlığıyla ilgili pek çok veriyi ortaya çıkartabilen Vivoo oldu.

Kurumsal İnovasyonun Kalbi

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How to do your own PR: DIY PR for startups

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WHAT’S YOUR STORY?

The main issue I’ve faced after starting in the startup is lack of news. No, of course, there was something happening all the time around me and us in general. But, was it worthy to be told? Would my story be interesting for media and readers? I had to invent, yes invent, dig to find something really catchy. Based on my previous experience, I know that the reason to make a PR can be sometimes really funny or strange, but it still works. You can sell the air, if someone wants to buy it.

So, if nothing newsworthy is happening around you, or you think that nothing newsworthy is happening around you, just invent it. You can brainstorm with your colleagues, one head is good, two heads better. And don’t bother about journalists. Most of them are not scary, and are hunting for the new stuff much more than you. The most attractive for them is finding something “NEW”. What a fine word?

For startups it is usually launch of product or new feature, with a lot of people to join the show. News about raising money and investment are very eye-catching as well. Everybody is counting somebody else’s money, right? Hiring new cool guy or expanding a team is a story, local, but still a story. Or joining event, especially well-known in Silicon Valley or in your sector, is really newsworthy. But still there is no rating or cure-all, so, make a list and move.

From the strategy point of view, think about the 3 major messages, your vision, how you will make a difference, how you intent to change the world. It might seem to be complicated, but first make a list of 10–15 keywords that are coming to your mind when you are thinking about your product. SAAS for…, mobile app to help…, new social app to improve….. You don’t have to build your all story on these messages, but they should be always your red line, implicit message coming under all your stories.

DESIGN YOUR PRESS RELEASE

Press release is still a classical version of sharing your story with media people. Think it is too old-fashioned? Don’t! Because most of the journalists are not too much into technology, so, just find the simplest way to grab their attention. It’s better that your pitch is not longer than one page, mapped and structured. So, let’s start:

Title: Someone Boosting Something

Sub-title: One sentence giving just more sense about your title

First paragraph: 5Ws. Don’t make sentences too long. First paragraph can be two-three sentences long, giving information about:

What is happening?

When it is happening?

Where it is happening?

Move with Who is it coming together? (it can be a target audience, early adopters, hackers, investors…)

And the reason Why it is happening?

 Second paragraph: Give more details. Version 1.0? New feature? If it is investment; then who is investing and what is the plan?

Third paragraph: Give a quote from CEO/Investor/Celebrity. Make it more motivational and impressive. Mention the trends, why these people are here, and the vision to change the world. When there is something coming from a real person, it’s always twice working.

Forth paragraph: brief info about the company, founded in, founded by, mission statement.

Final part: Give contacts of the spokesperson. Person who is ready to answer the questions. And mentions if they want to schedule an interview, they can always reach for you.

SELL THE STORY

Ok, let’s consider that your press release is ready. But first of all what we have to do, is to make a journalist open an attachment. Email that we are sending should be well-articulated, polite and positive. You should address directly to the journalist, mentioning that it might be interesting for him/her. Subject line should be short, with no personalisation, as you are writing to the person you know. The reason I recommend to craft a message properly is because this is the first thing the journalist will read. It should be maximum realistic, the same thing like proving that you are not a robot.

At the same time, press release is being used by journalists to cover the story. They might use dates, names, feature details. The tone of the article can be different depending on the type of news portal. When it comes to startups usually it is technology or economic section. If the press release is standard for everybody, mail message can be or should be different depending on the target audience. Make sure the journalist feels that you are addressing him personally, this is the main factor to pick-up your story.

BUILD RELATIONS

Before you send the shuttle into the open space, make a research. What are the news websites to cover your story. Technology websites, like TechCrunch, Mashable or FastCompany. Or sectorial and local publications, like gulfnews.com or webrazzi.com.

Important to screen who is writing on the topics related to your business, specialising in this area, your competitors etc. Make a list of journalists you are interested, and try to establish personal relations with them. Networking is a part of communications.

Sometimes mentioning “Exclusivity” is very impressive. Journalists want to be first covering something new, so, this tactic can be extremely useful. However, it is very important to mention about the time and the fact that the ‘prize’ goes to the first person contacting you and interested in covering your story.

CREATE A CLOSE CIRCLE

Congratulations! Your story was really cool and managed to grab attention. First of all, say “Thank you!” Short note is quite fine. However, you can invite the journalist for breakfast to warm it up, or for the next big event on your side. Small swags are really sweet. And remember, it’s not a bribe, you are just trying to convert him into your good will ambassador.

Think about what else you give to a journalist? Kind of press kit, your photo and a photo of your co-founders, brief bios, your company in numbers, or a tshirt. And, you can be sure, next time when this journalist will write about the sector, new trends and developments, he/she will definitely mention your product. Oh, what can be better, than the fact that somebody is making a reference about you or your product.

SNOWBALL IS ALL WE WANT!

Don’t be humble! Share publication via all your social media accounts, blog and website. It would be great to include the story in the mailing and share it with all investors, partners, customers and employees. You can split the story on several pieces and share parts of it every week or so.

And, you can be sure, that one post brings more. PR is like a snowball, after you had a good first shoot, it can create a really good echo of interest from the media side. Snowball effect is what we want!