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Putting your assumptions to the test

This is the fourth article in a continuing monthly series chronicling the growth path of Screenreach Interactive, a startup based in Newcastle upon Tyne in England’s North East. Screenreach’s flagship product, 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 Francis Moran and Leo Valiquette

In our last post, we looked at Screenreach Interactive’s recent inroads in the radio and television industries, including its appearance on Popular U.K. television program The Gadget Show at Radio Festival, Europe’s top radio industry event, and its new “experience” for long-running U.K. current affairs program Dispatches.

But making a splash at major industry events and with high profile clients demands one thing – a compelling product. But a compelling product can’t be developed in a vacuum; it must address a clear market demand. As we have emphasized time and again on this blog, marketing and product development must work together from the get go. To quote guest commentator Ronald Weissman, “Great companies constantly test the market, for validation and feedback.”

The team at Screenreach has taken this to heart. With a new version of the Screach app expected to launch in February, every effort is being made to solicit input from beta testers and prospective users. In this post, we’ll look at how Screenreach approaches the beta testing process, what third-party tools it has found to make life easier and the lessons it continues to learn along the way.

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Online communities: the value for startups

 By Alexandra Reid

As a community manager, I admit I am rather biased when it comes to explaining the value of online communities, so I promise to do my best to be both balanced and accurate as I weigh their merits and demerits. If you’re reading this post, you’ve likely already heard the hoopla about how bustling and engaged online communities can be valuable for businesses. What you may not know is how they can be specifically beneficial to you, the entrepreneur in the ever-crucial stages of developing a startup when budgets are low and time is precious.

A common misconception that many people have about social media is that it is free. Sure, the platforms on their own don’t cost a nickel. But if the intention is to use them for business, they require a considerable level of resources, especially human resources required to develop a strategy and then to carry out online activities. You need to have a crystal-clear understanding of your goals and the processes through which you will achieve those goals for your investment in social media to be worthwhile. Trust me, social media is no light undertaking to be considered in passing. Do not idly throw this position on someone who already has 10 other responsibilities just because he or she has a Twitter account. Someone with a firm grasp on how to plan social media activities to achieve business goals should be in charge of building online communities to ensure you do not waste your valuable time, energy, money and reputation on a trial-and-error approach.

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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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