Last weekend I was Speaker & Jury-Member at StartUp Live “From Idea to Product in 54 Hours” in Zagreb, Croatia. I met lots of passionate entrepreneurs and developers and enjoyed discussing their business ideas.
I also hold a speech about “Seven Digital Trends to Watch” and explained major trends in the digital landscape by showcasing benchmark StartUps in each space. Here you’ll find a croatian article about my speech: http://www.24sata.hr/
7 Digital Trends to Watch
- Human User Interface
- Next Generation Mobile
- Breaking Web Barriers
- Social Everything
- Holistic Service
- Merging Offline & Online
- Smart API
Chancellor Angela Merkel invited 175 CEOs of StartUps, Investors and Entrepreneurs to Berlin. It was a pleasure to be part of this event and it was a good first step to connect politics with the dynamic internet economy.
Here is my german review:
Merkel trifft Deutsche Internet StartUps
Great Video Summary of the event:
Finally, Facebook is updating it’s search functionality with “Graph Search”.
Facts: Facebook currently has more than a billion users with more than a trillion connections. And there are more than 240 billion fotos published on facebook.
Graph Search is a new way for you to find people, photos, places and interests that are most relevant to you on Facebook. Technically it is a high-speed contextual discovery engine.
Graph Search will help you instantly find others, learn more about them and make connections, explore photos, quickly find places like local attractions and restaurants, and learn about common interests like music, movies, books and more. All results are unique based on the strength of relationships and connections.
“It is not web search,” Zuckerberg says.
Graph Search and web search are completely different. Web search is designed to take a set of keywords (for example: “music industry”) and provide the best possible results that match those keywords.
With Graph Search you combine phrases (for example: “my friends in Los Angeles who like Justin Timberlake”) to get that set of people, places, photos or other content that’s been shared on Facebook.
Facebook is taking privacy more serious
Another big difference of Facebook Graph Search is that every piece of content on Facebook has its own audience, and most content isn’t public. Facebook built Graph Search from the start with privacy in mind, and it respects the privacy and audience of each piece of content on Facebook. It makes finding new things much easier, but you can only see what you could already view elsewhere on Facebook.
We are getting close to the launch of our new private online community.
Best of All Worlds in the coming weeks. I wanted to make sure you received your invitation.
As you may know, Louise and I founded aSmallWorld in early 2004, a pioneer in online communities. After we left the company several years ago, we began designing and building a new, useful and relevant social network – an alternative to what currently dominates social media.
We will launch Best of All Worlds (boaw.com) with an iPhone app in the coming weeks, followed shortly by a full web version.
Best of All Worlds will enable us to navigate and leverage the collective intelligence of the trusted and relevant few, rather than the wisdom of the crowd. It will be a fun and useful tool for our social and professional lives by providing trusted information among top influencers and connectors worldwide – in an intimate and private online environment.
This is an exciting opportunities for all Web Developers who would like to become Co-Founders aka. Founding Employee at a well-funded new startup based in Europe (Munich / Zurich).
We are currently looking for an
Head of Product:
Advanced Web Developer & Facebook Application Developer – Software Developer, UI Developer, Software Engineer, UI Engineer,
I you are a social media addict and passionate about building scalable web platforms this might be something for you. Furthermore you would be one of the first employees and you will have the opportunity to become co-founder while getting a secured full-time salary.
What You Will Be Doing!
You will be part of our small group where everyone is part of the creative process. You will not only oversee software development, but also aspects of platform and product management. The perfect candidate is creative yet pragmatic, comfortable multitasking yet able to focus on a problem, and a fast learner.
What we are looking for!
- Significant experience in building and launching strong (high-traffic) web applications.
- Experience with one or more database solutions MySQL, Postgresql, MongoDB etc.
- Integrating features with various third-party APIs, including Facebook Graph API
- Fluent in one or more OO or scripting languages like Java, PHP, Python, Perl.
- Grails or Ruby on Rails know-how.
- A strong interest in social media and social networks, with some exposure to the technology/concepts behind them.
- Excellent communication and documentation skills, with the ability to consistently contribute creative ideas.
What’s in it for you!?
- Be part in an exciting new Startup.
- Excellent Compensation & Salary.
- Co-Founder Shares & stock offerings.
This position is open as of 3/17/2011.
Job Position: Munich, Germany.
Please send us your CV, LinkedIn/XING Profile and Links to your recent projects.
Apply here info (at) aheadoftime (dot) de
“Welcome to the worlds most influential media forum”, said HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco at the beginning of the Monaco Media Forum 2010. Indeed the event is not only inspirational, but is also bringing together the a very influential group of people in the media business. During the almost three days, I met founders, entrepreneurs, investors but also executives of the big media companies. Here are some key trends reflected in my video interviews….
Publishing, especially the News Business, will never be the same anymore. Newspapers are struggling to understand the digital age and to re-structure their old-business into a thriving new-business. It seems that The Huffington Post found a way to be profitable and successful during these times of change. The Huffington Post is one of the most read Online Newspapers in USA and has an active community, with over one million comments made on the site each month. Eric Hippeau, CEO of The Huffington Post, said that “people have lost trust in general (government, toyota, tiger woods), now companies build trust via social media. 2/3 of #HuffPost is unique and self created content, 1/3 is curated & aggregated news. News wants to be free. You can’t put that genie back in the bottle”. He adds “…we will never charge for content…reason…there is a much bigger advertising market.”
Cloud Computing and the development of low cost netbooks aka cloudbooks is driving the global internet business. On the forefront of this development is Jolicloud, a startup developing a Cloud OS, founded and lead by Tariq Krim.
Mobile Gaming and Social Media together are creating new opportunities for App Developers, but also for Game Developers. Interview with Andrej Nabergoj, CEO of Outfit7, one of the leading Gaming Development Company.
Console Gaming gets a new dimension with X-Box 360 Kinect. Interview with Bella Acharya, Director Microsoft Advertising and responsible for XBox 360 Kinect.
The World Economic Forum has announced the Technology Pioneers 2011. 31 companies have been named Technology Pioneers. I met Rodolfo Lara Torres who is in charge of the Technology Pioneer Program a few times and posted an interview in 2009.
This year a few New Media and Web companies are listed aswell, e.g. foursquare, Knewton, Layar, Scribd, and Spotify. However, Cleantech is dominating the Pioneer List. Here are the WEF Technology Pioneers 2010:
Digital Lumens, USA
Digital Lumens integrates LEDs, networking and software into a single “smart” system that promises improved efficiency, control and operational oversight of lighting at industrial facilities. The system can reduce customers’ lighting-related energy use by up to 90%.
Ecovative Design, USA
Ecovative’s vision is to grow sustainable products that directly replace plastics. Its products require far less energy to create, can be grown from many different regional feedstocks and can be composted without processing in backyards and gardens.
Ferrate Treatment Technologies, USA
Ferrate Treatment Technologies (FTT) makes a patented reactor small enough to fit into the back of a pick-up truck that can disinfect up to 20 million gallons of water a day and do the job more cheaply than harmful chemicals or competing technologies. The ferrator strips electrons from liquid iron to make ferrate; the most powerful, multi- purpose environmentally-friendly water and wastewater treatment chemical known.
Flexoresearch Group, Thailand
Flexoresearch has developed a series of novel blended enzymes that recovers pulp/fibre from laminated paper waste, such as milk cartons, and uses it to replace the virgin pulp now used to make new paper. The recovered pulp/fibre can also be used in building materials and to make vehicle brake pads for the automotive industry.
Novacem, United Kingdom
The cement industry alone is responsible for 5% of man-made CO2 emissions and, up until now, has not had low-carbon solutions to deploy at scale. Enter Novacem, which has developed a new type of cement which absorbs more CO2 than it emits during production.
On-Ramp Wireless, USA
On-Ramp Wireless’s Ultra-Link Processing (ULP) System enables the low-power monitoring and control applications used in smart grids, industrial sensing and location tracking.
OPOWER has designed a behaviour-based, energy- efficiency program that helps utilities motivate their customers to save energy.
Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies, Canada
Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies has developed a new generation of wastewater treatment systems that not only helps treatment plants run more efficiently but also solves major environmental issues and provides a new revenue stream for municipalities: commercial fertilizer.
Quintas Renewable Energy Solutions, Nigeria
Founded by a physician dismayed at the loss of life when power outages occur during childbirth and surgical operations, Quintas develops inverters specially designed to meet the challenges that poor and erratic power generation and distribution pose to people in Nigeria whose businesses and daily activities require continuous power supply.
Water scarcity is one of the biggest issues facing the world. There is not only not enough clean drinking water to go around, the world loses much of what it does have through leaks in ageing water networks. More than four and a half billion gallons of water are lost in transit every day in the United States, according to the US Geological Survey, and 25% to 35% of water is lost every year worldwide, according to the World Bank. This is where TaKaDu comes in. It is tackling the multibillion dollar problem by bringing a smart grid approach to the water sector.
Tendril helps both consumers and utilities manage energy consumption. Its smart grid technology helps utilities achieve better load balance. And, the company’s technology, a software-as-a-service model, provides a two-way communication link between energy utilities and their customers, giving consumers more specific information about their energy use.
Topell Energy, Netherlands
Topell Energy has developed a highly efficient method of making solid biofuel from woody biomass, a process known as torrefaction. Torrefaction of biomass cuts transportation costs and renders the conversion of biomass into power and heat more efficient. Torrefied biomass is an environmentally-friendly and practical alternative to fossil coal.
Transonic Combustion, USA
Transonic Combustion makes a fuel injection system that offers automotive manufacturers a near-term, cost- effective solution to vastly improve fuel economy of new cars and trucks, and help meet stringent emissions regulations.
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES AND NEW MEDIA
Aster Data, USA
Companies are now amassing terabytes and even petabytes of data. As volumes explode, traditional databases have become bottlenecks, hampering corporations from getting deep insights into consumer behaviour, real-time fraud analysis and patterns and trends that could improve their business. Aster Data, founded by three PhD students at Stanford University, is helping companies overcome this challenge by providing an innovative new technology to store and rapidly analyse huge volumes of data.
Atlassian builds software to help technical teams collaborate more effectively. The company, which has made seven acquisitions in the last eight years, raised an additional US$ 60 million in venture capital in July 2010. It has over 20,000 paying customers in 134 countries, including Facebook, Oracle, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, major investment banks and Formula One teams.
Foursquare is a popular online service combining location, gaming and social networking that lets people “check in” and report their location to help find friends or tips about the place they are visiting.
GetJar is the second largest apps store, after Apple’s. The company’s key point of difference is its open market approach, which allows it to deliver applications to telephone across all major platforms such as Android, Blackberry, Windows Mobile, iPhone and Symbian. It offers more than 70,000 mobile applications to consumers in more than 200 countries. The company has so far generated more than 1 billion application downloads.
Education is beginning its Internet moment. Within 10 years all educational textbooks are expected to be digital, delivered through powerful e-readers. Students everywhere will be able to take accredited Web-video classes led by some of the world’s best teachers. Knewton’s mission is to bring data mining to this transition, by offering analytic tools for teachers and adapting concepts to the way individual students learn.
Fancy knowing what the Berlin Wall looked like before it fell? Thanks to Layar you can, by simply pointing your mobile phone at the location. The company helps people better understand context through an emerging mass medium called augmented reality.
NetQuin Mobile, People’s Republic of China
Today’s smart phones are tiny computers, complete with operating systems, storage and wireless access to company’s internal networks, making them an enticing target for hackers and Internet criminals. That is where NetQin Mobile comes in. Based on a cloud security platform, the company delivers mobile security services, including anti-virus, anti-spam, privacy protection, data backup and restoration, and online virus scan to 51.5 million users worldwide. The company controls 68% of the market in China for mobile security – it is the only provider of anti-spamming service to China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile operator ? but some 30% of its user base is outside of China.
The Domain Name System (DNS) is a 25-year-old crucial part of the Internet’s infrastructure, which encompasses the routing system used to transfer data, such as e-mails. OpenDNS’ mission is to push control of the DNS to the periphery, enabling consumers and network administrators to secure their networks from online threats, reduce costs and enforce Internet use policies without the use of software or costly appliances.
ReputationDefender specializes in helping consumers and business shape how they are seen online. It sells different security products on a monthly subscription basis, allowing consumers and businesses to monitor information about themselves across the Web, bury undesirable information and promote vetted content to the top of research results.
John Adler, Founder of 2008 Technology Pioneer Accuray and inventor of the CyberKnife, encountered a lot of barriers to publishing one of his papers in a medical journal. The peer review process and glacial pace were frustrating. Adler realized that what he really wanted was to quickly make his paper accessible to as many people as possible. Adler’s complaints led his son Trip and his classmate from Harvard to create Scribd, a Web 2.0 document-sharing site that aims to make it easy for anyone to publish original work on the Web and find a readership.
In the last decade, the time from company formation to initial public offering has extended from five to 10 years, leaving employees, founders and venture capitalists with limited means to get liquidity in the interim. SecondMarket gives the marketplace an alternative
to going public or selling companies. It is the world’s largest centralized marketplace and auction platform for trading illiquid financial assets that cannot be traded in the public markets.
Spotify, United Kingdom
Spotify, founded by European serial entrepreneur Daniel Ek, is a digital music service that works across multiple hardware platforms, offering music fans an alternative to the two other main options now available: Apple’s iTunes and piracy. It has rapidly grown from a small Swedish music service to an international company with 7 million users across six European countries, generating more revenue for rights holders than Apple iTunes in some territories.
Vortex Engineering, India
Vortex Engineering develops automatic teller machines for rural environments, adapting them to run on lower amounts of power and to dispense soiled banknotes.
LIFE SCIENCES AND HEALTH
Adimab was founded by two of the world’s leading yeast biotechnologists, Dartmouth’s Tillman Gerngross and Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Dane Wittrup, with the goal of significantly speeding up the drug discovery process while improving the overall quality of therapeutics. The two professors have built an antibody discovery and optimization platform that is broadly applicable to all disease and can be accessed by the entire pharmaceutical industry.
Ion Torrent, USA
Ion Torrent is pioneering a radically faster and cheaper approach to gene sequencing by marrying simple chemistry to powerful, proven semiconductor technology. The company is the third headed by Rothberg to be named a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer. Rothberg is credited with inventing massively parallel sequencing. His team at 454 and the Baylor Genome Center was the first to make public the sequence of
an individual human genome. He is also credited with initiating the Neanderthal Genome Project with Svante Paabo.
Medicine in Need (MEND), South Africa
Millions of people in the developing world die needlessly each year because of infectious diseases such as TB, HIV and malaria that could otherwise be prevented or treated. Medicine in Need (MEND) aims to ensure the world’s poorest people get access to effective, life-saving drugs and vaccines by reformulating existing products to make them more suitable to administer in developing countries and by assuring that new discoveries in these areas yield sustainable products that can be commercialized.
Molecular Partners, Switzerland
Molecular Partners is working on novel medicines based on designed ankyrin repeat proteins (DARPins), a promising class of non-immunoglobulin proteins that can offer advantages over antibodies in drug discovery and drug development.
Despite major advances in treating depression, nearly 30% of patients do not benefit from drug therapy and more than one-half report side effects that lead to non-compliance with medication such as sexual dysfunction, weight gain and sleep disorders. Neuronetics has developed the NeuroStar Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Therapy System, which uses magnetic field pulses to stimulate nerve cells in an area of the brain that is linked to depression. This stimulation increases brain activity and releases neurotransmitters which are known to elevate mood. The treatment is typically administered daily over four to six weeks to patients who have not responded to traditional treatments; it is free of systemic side effects.
Ever wondered what companies Google bought during the last couple for years. There is a complete list of acquisitions by Google on Wikipedia, but I also like the following Infographic “Tracking Google’s Acquisitions”.
Glam Media is a distributed media network comprised of both Glam-owned-and-operated properties and a publisher network of 450+ lifestyle websites and blogs. Glam Media aims to bring high-quality print content to the online medium, instead of the usual online trend of having print magazine-lite content. The Glam Media network also includes a slew of fashion websites, blogs and magazines.
Founder Samir Arora wants to gear the site’s online advertising towards the female market in the same way that traditional print has. Glam Media is working with publishers, content owners and media companies to reach readers in effective ways. Glam officially launched in September 2005 at Fashion Week, New York and quickly grew from there. After signing a partnership with AOL in October, Glam created the Glam Network consisting of style websites and blogs later that year. Since then, Glam has partnered with the women’s magazine Cosmopolitan, signed a content syndication deal with the Hearst Corporation, and completed a multi-year advertising deal with Google. With more than 53 million unique monthly visitors, Glam Media, Inc. is clearly proving itself as a leader in the online industry for women’s lifestyle and fashion.
Would you use a digital business card? The participants at the Abu Dhabi Media Summit 2010 did. During the two day conference the participants where getting used to connect their digital business cards, called “Poken”, instead of exchanging printed address cards. In the following interview Stéphane Doutriaux, founder of the innovative Social Business Card company, explains the technology and gives you some insights about the company.
Poken is a technology that utilizes a proprietary Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to allow the exchange of online social networking data between two keychain accessories. It is a perfect tool for Events and Conferences. Each person involved in the exchange must have his or her own poken. The primary information exchanged via the poken is a ‘social business card’, a digital replacement for a physical business card. By touching two devices together, a unique ID is exchanged that links to contact information on the Poken website. Contact information acquired by use of the poken can be uploaded to the poken website using a built-in USB connector.
In addition to the contact information found on a typical business card, links to users’ social networks can also be added. Examples include Twitter, Facebook, StudiVZ, LinkedIn and 40+ other social networks. Users of the Poken website can use a ‘social dashboard’ to manage, and interact with their contacts. Pokens are used for social networking, personal identification and as a device for loyalty programs. Bloggers and social media addicts have taken it up for networking event such as tweet-ups. Corporations such as BMW and IBM use pokens at their conferences, to enhance interaction with the conference attendees and to facilitate business networking.
THE NEW DORK – Entrepreneur State of Mind (Jay-Z ft Alicia Keys Spoof)
If the Twitter Management is not inventing advertising on Twitter.com the users just do it themselves.
Twitter users inetgrating advertisements in their stream of updates have begun adopting new standards for disclosure.
Many ads are now being marked with tags — “#spon” for sponsored tweets, “#paid” or “#samp” for those who received sample products — based on guidelines released Thursday by the Word of Mouth Marketing Assn. (WOMMA). The new instructions are a response to the Federal Trade Commission’s call for more explicit disclosure from bloggers.
Interview with Lukasz Gadowski, Partner of Team Europe Ventures, Founder of Spreadshirt and creator of Gruenderszene at LeWeb’08.
I asked him about this key-predictions for 2009 and he said:
- there will be a lot of great new startups during this economic down-turn
- a lot of cool startups will need to find ways to exists
- and existing trends will keep growing: Software as a Service, Cloud Computing, Mobile will take of this year.
Lukasz said “Germany is a great place to start a company”… so let’s get going.
The World Economic Forum selects a few companies to become Technology Pioneers.
I met Rodolfo Lara Torres, Head of Technology and Knowledge Integration at the World Economic Forum, at Le Web 2008 in Paris and talked with him about the latest developments at WEF.
Tech Pioneer are those companies who are working on technologies and innovation that have the potential to change the world. The WEF screens the market worldwide to find the most innovative companies and selects around 30 companies every year to become Tech Pioneer. The WEF started in 1999, so this year it is the 10th edition of the Award.
The main criteria for the Tech Pioneers are
1. Innovation: Is the technology new?
2. Impact: Which impact will this technology have on business and society?
3. Sustainability: Will the company exist in the long-term, too?
4. Not a Member of the WEF already.
The award winners will be integrated in the activities of the World Economic Forum and will be invited to events, such as the Annual Meeting in Davos.
Rodolfo explains a lot of very innovative companies come from emerging markets like India, Africa or China.
He also sees a major Trend of the combination of Health and Technology, like chips inserted into your body.
And by the way, Google won the award in 2001.
The World Economic Forum has announced 34 visionary companies selected as Technology Pioneers 2009 for their accomplishments as innovators of the highest calibre, and whose technologies will have a deep impact on business and society.
I met Gary Vaynerchuk at Le Web in Paris last week and he gave a “little bit of thunder to the crowd”.
Gary is founder and host of Winelibrary TV. He reaches over 80.000 Viewers daily, has over 25.000 Twitter Followers and his keynotes are watched on Youtube hundreds of thousand times.
Gary talked about Authenticity, Community and Branding. He believes that 2008 and 2009 is so different than 2006/07, the world is changing and there a lot of opportunities out there if you know how to leverage the tools and the community. And Gary really cares about his community, which is one of his key-success factors.
This year he got over 50 offers of television deals in the United States, published his first book and did a lot of speaking engagements. He love building brands or repositioning brands like the brand of his dad’s liquor store or his personal brand. From his point of view it is more challenging and fun to work with the followers like MySpace or Yahoo, rather then to work with the leaders like facebook or Google.
His recommendation for you is simple
“Do it. Have business model. And care for your audience and clients.”
Here you can watch the Video Interview:
Calvin Lui, CEO of Tumri, is talking about new opportunities for Online Advertising. Tumri is already serving over one billion impressions per month. They are currently only active in USA, but will expand to Europe and Asia this year.
One key advantage of Tumri is that “the platform delivers highly relevant advertising messages to consumers while lowering creative production costs and timelines.”
Here is the Video, filmed a the MMF 2008.
Minfo is the leading mobile / wireless search platform in China. Alvin Wang Graylin is the CEO and Co-Founder of Minfo. They started four years ago and have already reached over 13 million users. They have just signed a cooperation with China Telecom to be the exclusive mobile search and mobile advertising provider. This will give Minfo access to over 350 million China Telecom subscribers, over 100 million with mobile internet access.
Alvin told me about the differences to Internet-based search and how the satisfy the mobile users. Mobile Search is not entering one keyword and get a list of links back, it is more about answering one question. Minfo is offering SMS-based and Mobile Internet based services. Searches via mobile web are taking around 50% of all searches (and 50% via SMS), but is increasing rapidly. They developed a semantic search method and support several languages.
Here is the Video Interview filmed at the Monaco Media Forum 2008:
Blog by Monty C. M. Metzger *monty.de.