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A startup CEO’s tips for wooing investors

This is the 12th article in a continuing series chronicling the growth path of Screach, a startup based in Newcastle upon Tyne in England’s North East. Screach is an interactive digital media platform that allows users to create real-time, two-way interactive experiences between a smart device (through the Screach app) and any content, on any screen or just within the mobile device itself. We invite your feedback.

By John Hill and Leo Valiquette

Investment. It’s big news in the startup world. Sites such as TechCrunch and The Next Web are full of stories about how much a company has raised and what it wants to do with it. But if you’re set on putting together a round for your business, you’ve got to think about more than just passing around the tin.

There are mountains of articles out there about what investors are looking for, and how to have those conversations, so have a look around and get an idea of how to go about it the right way.

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From courting Hollywood’s A-list to navigating the Chinese New Year

This is the 11th article in a continuing series chronicling the growth path of Screach, a startup based in Newcastle upon Tyne in England’s North East. Screach is an interactive digital media platform that allows users to create real-time, two-way interactive experiences between a smart device (through the Screach app) and any content, on any screen or just within the mobile device itself. We invite your feedback.

By Leo Valiquette and John Hill

Growing a startup is all about establishing and managing relationships. There are the relationships that open doors and create opportunity. And then there are the more pedestrian ones involved with the day-to-day processes that get product to customers.

Relationships in both categories gave the Screach team plenty of reason to lose sleep over the past couple of months. The first was a pitch opportunity for CEO Paul Rawlings that made the hairs stand up on the back of his neck. The second was the potentially disruptive hiccup presented by the Chinese New Year.

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‘Put away the cozy image of the little old lady knitting a sweater for the grandkids’

By Alexandra Reid

This is a story about a 70-year-old woman who wants nothing to do with social media but is doing it anyway, inspired by an article I read on ReadWriteWeb last week, “Why boomers won’t release their grip on technology.”

Please let me first point out that I know she is not of the Boomer generation. I’ll get to that later.

According to the article’s author, Brian Proffitt, we need to “Put away the cozy image of the little old lady knitting a sweater for the grandkids, or the distinguished gentlemen playing chess in a park, because the newest elder generation is not going to sit quietly in a rocking chair.”

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May roundup: What does it take to bring technology to market?

By Alexandra Reid

As usual, we covered a lot of ground last month on our blog. We wrote about the Startup Canada launch, introduced a new “born global” startup concept, discussed the future of accelerators, and explored how the Canadian university ‘innovation gap’ is more illusory than real. We championed the Montreal startup scene, envisioned what Ottawa should do to support entrepreneurship at home, and warned that VCs can sometimes be detrimental to young companies. These topics merely scratch the surface of our coverage.

In case you missed any of our posts, here’s a handy roundup:

May 2: Check your baggage at the door by Leo Valiquette

May 14: How to make better inventions: Part 1 by David French

May 22: How to make better inventions: Part 2 by David French

May 28: The ‘born global’ disruption by Tony Bailetti

May 29: Picking up the pieces from an R&D misadventure by Leo Valiquette

And on a related note…

In addition to our series, our associates and guest bloggers were also busy writing on a great range of topics. Here are our other posts from May, as ranked by the enthusiasm of our readers:

May 8: Anything they can do you can do better: Competing in social media by Alexandra Reid

May 9: How I learned to stop worrying and love a blank page by Leo Valiquette

May 23: The worst small business social media marketing advice I’ve ever heard by Alexandra Reid

May 31: Canadian university ‘innovation gap’ more illusory than real: Kurman by Francis Moran

May 3: Lessons in entrepreneurship from the Startup Canada launch by Alexandra Reid

May 24: Montreal startup scene continues to rock by Francis Moran

May 15: Managing client expectations throughout an outsourced social media marketing program by Alexandra Reid

May 7: Five old school mistakes creeping into digital and social media planning by Rob Woyzbun

May 30: The future of startup accelerators by Ben Yoskovitz

May 16: The root of all evil by Leo Valiquette

May 18: Dealing with children and sensitive information online by Alexandra Reid

May 1: Why startups should build social media communities before they launch by Alexandra Reid

May 11: Three interesting developments in modern journalism by Francis Moran

Image: marcie scudder

 

Five old school mistakes creeping into digital and social media planning

Editor’s note:

This is the inaugural post by Rob Woyzbun, whose work in marketing and broader business strategy I have admired for years. We get together periodically to share war stories, discuss strategy and generally commiserate on the sorry state of technology marketing. We always part with an expressed desire to find some way to work together and it is my hope that having persuaded Rob to become a regular contributor here is just the start of some stellar collaborations.

– Francis Moran

By Rob Woyzbun

The near-ubiquitous availability and always-on nature of the internet has changed how consumers learn about, consider and make decisions regarding almost everything — purchases, politics and even the causes they support.  We live in a world where Marshall McLuhan’s prophetic claim that “the medium is the message” is true — in ways even he might not have considered (See: Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man; 1964).

Ironically, while the proliferation of paid, owned and shared media channels has created limitless opportunities for innovative thinking and tactics, marketers still drag old-school errors into this brave new world. In our media research and planning practice, we see companies continue to make the same avoidable, costly mistakes.

Here’s our top five list of old-school mistakes creeping into the digital and social media arena, and some ideas on how to avoid them:

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Recent Comments

  • Francis Moran : I'm so glad to see you warming to this idea, Luc. Not that you were ever one of those mindless critics who automatically opposed the proposal; you were properly skeptical and demanding that it contain more of what folks like you and I believed was necessary for success. Looks like the city is listening.

  • Luc Lalande : Hi Francis, thank you for the steady and keen eye on the development of this important project for the City. I share your view that open spaces in the building’s design will be critical components for encouraging spontaneous interactions between people. Integrating such spaces in the Innovation Complex sends the right signals to the community-at-large and not just the local startup ecosystem: everyone is welcomed! With respect to Patti’s comments about the arts sector, it would be worth bringing back to light that the Hintonburg-Mechanicsville area has emerged as the first Arts District in the City of Ottawa, housing many artist studios, performing arts studios, and media groups. While the 7 Bayview located Innovation Complex may cater to the entrepreneurial set, there is still considerable property on these lands that could, one day, be developed and capitalize on the area’s sizable artistic community. But perhaps the open spaces at the Innovation Complex can be equally accommodating for anyone who embraces creativity and entrepreneurship: artists and innovators alike.

  • How can we foster culture of entrepreneurship? | Waterloo Innovation Summit : [...] Velocity also provides hands-on workshops for anyone at the University to learn about becoming a successful entrepreneur, and awards over $300,000 per year through the Velocity Fund to promising early startups, to help launch their success financially. We keep finding really good problems that are worthy of solving and that we think we’d be good at solving. - Mike Kirkup, Director of Velocity and Student Innovation Waterloo’s Velocity accelerator is 5, and growing fast [...]

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