Yesterday, I had a wonderful meeting with Rob Ross who is a natural techy, developer, and entrepreneur.
His creation — an app for the iPad inspired by his daughter. WishPop allows kids to create wish lists and thank yous to help their “grown ups” know what to buy them!
And Rob did all the right things:
1. First, he got a first class team. While the team was only 8 people, he had experience from Nickelodean, Disney, National Geographic Kids, Game Designers from Ramps, and Acclaim Entertainment. This drove an incredible design.
2. Second, he knew his “client’s” pain points. His own daughter served as a chief requirement giver and her 15 BFFs gave constant and consistent feedback.
3. And finally, he learned and pivoted. He noted that the technical platform that he chose to build on didn’t allow flexibility. He has since switched over to a developer platform Xamarin.
I love this app and the story!
I’m thrilled to announce that Rosie is the winner of the SmartCamp Cambridge event!
Rosie is a leading SaaS provider of predictive online and mobile shopping applications to local merchants. Their solution is aimed at improving the grocery store shopping experience by predicting the grocery items shoppers need before they run out, at the lowest price from local grocers and online retailers.
What does their solution do for grocery retailers? Rosie provides e-commerce, delivery opportunities, and deep data services. And for consumers, Rosie enables them to shop online for their favorite local stores for delivery or in-store pickup. No more running up and down the aisles looking for what you need! Rosie provides it in a mobile app!
And here’s another tidbit about Rosie: they’re focused on diversity with a workforce that is 50% women! Now that’s an ingredient for success!
Have you noticed the new energy around Entrepreneurship?
For instance, Shark Tank is one of the most popular family shows. Families are teaching their kids about the potential and the feasibility of changing the world.
We now have Restaurant Start-up and even Walmart is running a “entrepreneur” event to gather new products for its US stores.
And more women are also joining the trend …. did you know that nearly 20% of angels invested in women-led businesses — the percentage grew more than 40% from the previous year, according to the Center of Venture Research.
Why is this the case?
1. There is more access to capital and it costs less to start a business. With new technologies like cloud, the cost to begin a start up is less, and areas like social enable businesses to market like the large companies for less.
2. There is more “hope” now in the economy that in the past few years. Yes, CNBC says we are in the period of overjoy, there are signs that our economy is improving — it’s a good time to start a business.
3. Corporate America isn’t fulfilling the “need to show value” and to “change the world.” To attract and retain the best employees, companies should be more proactive and willing to invest in their workers’ future. Many believe they have to create their own company to get that culture.
4. Mentoring abounds. I see IBM offering business and technology mentoring. Virgin is focused on mentoring in the UK and the list goes on. Mentoring provides confidence to get started!
5. Support is pervasive. Unlike in the past, support for start-ups exists in networking groups, meetups, and beyond. For example, for women entrepreneurs, some groups are National Association of Women Business Owners, Women’s Toolbox, PBWC, WITI, and Women 2.0.
I love this time of Entrepreneur Energy and know 2014 will truly be the Year of the Entrepreneur!
Are you ready to accelerate your startup? Click here to access the IBM Alpha Zone: A Bluemix Garage!
Have questions? Check out our FAQ here!
Didn’t register for this semester? Click here to apply (Second semester registration starts October 2014).
We have more exciting news coming from SmartCamps in Africa and Europe!
Last week, we had SmartCamps in Milan, Lille and Nairobi. And at each location, the local entrepreneurial ecosystem was engaged and participated!
Congratulations to Social Bullgard (Italy), Seclud-IT (France) and Digital Vision East Africa (Nairobi)!
Social Bullgard gathers and structures social media content to help companies react quickly to requests and opportunities, as well as avoid and manage crisis efficiently.
Seclud-IT’s solution, Elastic Security, brings to cloud infrastructure providers the ability to provide on-demand computing resources to their customers, without compromising with security.
Digital Vision East Africa’s solution, Chamasoft, is a simple to use web and mobile application that automates all activities in an investment group. Their solution also promotes transparency and accountability within investment groups.
What an impressive list of startups! And all that just from last week! There are more to come, as our SmartCamps are happening around the world. Find out more about a SmartCamp near you!
IBM SmartCamp season has begun, and we’ve already had some great SmartCamp events in Austin, Chicago, and Prague!
Earlier this week, we held a SmartCamp event in New York with a focus on Watson-related solutions. The winner was Yosko!
With their mobile-based solutions, Yosko provides access to the electronic medical records, facilitates exchanges between physicians, and improves care team communication. Sounds like a great Watson for Healthcare solution!
As I said, SmartCamps are just getting started! Want to participate? Want to attend one? Check out our schedule of upcoming SmartCamps!
Two winners for SmartCamp Austin 2014 were selected yesterday: a nearly unanimous popular vote from the public audience for BeehiveID and a clear Mentors choice for eyeQ Insights.
Ground breaking new relationship through partnering with TechRanch.
Standing room only with 120+ attendees
Two winners selected: a nearly unanimous popular vote from the public audience for BeehiveID and a clear Mentors choice for eyeQ Insights.
The EcoD Designcamp Team joined for the grand finale !!!