This is a guest post from Mary Carty, a participant in IGAP 1. We in Enterprise Ireland are delighted to announce that they we are planning to run a further Internet Growth Acceleration Programme in Quarter 4 of 2012.
Participating in iGap 1 changed everything. From working with Sean Ellis, Oren Michels, Justin Knecht, Cathy Winston and Brian Caulfield many things become abundantly clear and you find yourself becoming an evangelist about lean startup, customer development and most of all, being passionate about your customers.
As well as applying what I have learned to my own company, I have been blogging about bringing this thinking to the arts and cultural sector. From this, I have been invited to mentor on Growing Pains, a business development programme for 12 Danish and Swedish female Transmedia producers. Held over six months, participants will engage in modules on developing new services, financing, media training, sales, presentation skills, business development and investment. In May, they will take part in Nordic Game, one of the largest game conferences in Europe.
Image (c) http://www.stranger.no with thanks
Growing pains came from a report investigating the barriers facing Transmedia producers when seeking government support in Scandinavia. The researchers looked at funding, management and financing among others. Research found that male and female producers site similar needs for support access to funding, mentorship, investment, networking etc. It showed that more women than men apply for government funding from this sector, yet very few of them are successful.
When looking at risk taking for example, it observed that on average, men take bigger risks with significantly larger losses, should the enterprise not work out. Men also look for larger revenue deals than women. Whereas, females are less risk averse, with often a more sustainable company over the lifetime of that enterprise. Many female producers felt they needed more knowledge and training before making the leap into business, while men on the other hand, threw themselves into the enterprise.
While these findings are not new; proportionately more men successfully accessing support and being more open to risk taking; it does point to a specific need when developing enterprise development programmes for women. Why such a large proportion of women do not succeed in accessing public supports is worth examining. Putting mechanisms in place to deal with specific skills gaps is crucial to the future success and development of these entrepreneurs.
It is also important to look at risk, how women view risk when starting a business and to challenge these perceptions. Motivation and perception are very necessary ingredients when starting out, as these motivations may differ significantly from person to person and between males and females. In understanding, supporting and challenging these issues, skills gaps and perceptions, programmes like Growing Pains will help build pathways to success for female entrepreneurs everywhere.
Why is a programme like this so necessary for Transmedia right now? Digital production and distribution has made old value chains, distribution and business models obsolete. This is a great challenge for the public support system. At the same time, this new disruptive technology is the keystone for Transmedia producers’ success; to strengthen their entrepreneurial skills, to thinking beyond public project financing, in developing and exploiting brands and being innovative in finding alternate sources of funding.
The measure of success for any new programme is the traction and buzz it gains. And Growing Pains is no different, as applications to this first programme were well over subscribed. This shows there is a definite need for programmes like this and I know that it will prove to be a valuable contribution to these entrepreneurs’ success.
I am extremely fortunate to be working with two visionary leaders in this field; Cecilie Stranger-Thorsen who devised the programme and Angeli Sjöström process and implementation coach. Both Cecilie and Angeli bring the best thinking and an in-depth knowledge of this field together and I’m looking forward to learning lots from them. The Growing Pains programme is funded under the EU Regional Development Fund in partnership with Nordic Game Resources.
This is a guest post from Andrea of BatCat Games, who is also involved in putting together the Dublin GameCraft event. For more news follow Andrea on Twitter @RoundCrisis. More on what EI is doing in Ireland with the Games and Software Companies is here.
On Febraury 25th 2012, a collection of hobbyist, student, independent and professional game developers will be placed together in a room in DIT and gently coaxed into a game development frenzy. There will be sweat, there will be tears, there will most likely be zombies, and after eight hours of intensely profound game development acrobatics, there will be games.
Dublin Gamecraft is a single-day game jam event that has been put together to encourage Irish game developers to gather in one place in order to create a game from scratch in just eight hours. Choice of platform, development tools, and team size is completely unrestricted. Use whatever you’re most comfortable with. Teams are allowed and encouraged, and can even be created on the day, although this will cut into your game development time. This is a bring-your-own-hardware event.
After exactly eight hours, you can submit your masterpiece to our panel of industry experts, who will come up with a list of their favourite entries. We hope to have some fantastic prizes for the best games, including, but not limited to, the respect and admiration of your peers. Breakfast and lunch will also be provided courtesy of our generous sponsors, Open Emotion Studios, JetBrains and Swrve.
If you don’t want to create a game on the day, come along just for the networking. You might gain some new contacts, or learn a new trick or two.
We’re really excited about this event. There’s a real buzz around the game development scene in Ireland recently, which is evident in the large number of registrations we’ve received already. We hope that game jams like this one can help our burgeoning local industry into the global limelight. Hope to see you all there.
This is a guest post from Teresa Dillon of the Science Gallery, Dublin. Teresa is looking for good Irish Software and Service Companies to take part in ‘Hack the City’ – an exhibition running from June to September. It could be a great showcase for your new App, Service, Mashup or Startup, with potential funding available to help you realise the concept for the event.
Currently more than half of the world’s population lives in towns and cities. This trend is expected to continue. Between 2025-2030 of the approximate 8 billion people who will live in the world 5 billion will live in cities. Yet the majority of our city infrastructures are based on inherited historical layouts and systems.
Science Gallery’s 2012 flagship exhibition and festival Hack the City will rethink our cities from the ground up through the spirit and philosophy of the hacker ethos – to bend, mash-up, tweak and cannibalise our city systems, to create possibilities, illustrate visionary thinking and demonstrate real-world examples for sustainable urban futures. It will capitalize on Dublin city’s history, legacy, population and infrastructure, transforming the city itself into a nimble “playground” and live urban hack lab.
We’re looking for proposals for experiments, exhibits, events, apps, mashups and visualisations which go beyond Science Gallery in to the city of Dublin and even connect multiple cities globally. Potential venue partnerships include The Ark, Temple Bar, Dublin and international partnerships with ZER01 in San Jose, California. We are especially interested in (more…)
This is a guest post from Amy Neale, Marketing and Programme Manager at the National Digital Research Centre (NDRC).
We at NDRC (National Digital Research Centre) have just announced that we are now open for applications to LaunchPad. This investment programme is open for applications from digital start-ups from Ireland and internationally, and 15 start-ups will be selected to work with us for a 3 month period starting 13th February 2012. During this time we provide these 2 or 3 man bands with a hands-on, intensive mentoring programme; weekly workshops and networking opportunities with experts; as well as the all important investment of up to €20,000 per project. The three months will culminate with NDRC’s ‘LiftOff’ competition, taking place in May 2012 where the start-ups will present to a room of investors and compete for access to a follow on investment prize fund.
We were delighted earlier in 2011 to be ranked in the ‘Top 10 EU Accelerators’ by the Kauffman Fellows, and – along with Enterprise Ireland’s iGap programme – we have been nominated for Best European Accelerator at The Europas 2011. NDRC LaunchPad is producing award winning startups such as Redeem&Get and Hit the Road, and developing technology entrepreneurs with early stage innovative digital start-ups. We invest in and collaborate with early stage start-ups to establish market focused, technically excellent and profitable ventures.
In 2010–2011 NDRC mentored, trained and developed 39 entrepreneurs, and has to date secured €4.8 million in commercial investment for technologies and start-ups. Just ten days ago, NDRC-backed start-up Redeem&Get won the Spark of Genius Award, giving them access to an ACT Venture Capital term sheet worth €100k. This year NDRC received a record 81 applications for 15 places on the current LaunchPad Programme, with Irish, European and North American start-ups participating.
If you are interested in NDRC LaunchPad, come along to our open evening to meet the team, ask questions and find out everything you need to know about the accelerator programme, before the application deadline of 16th December. This informal evening will be held on Thursday, the 1st of December, and will start at 6.30pm and will run to 8.30pm. It will take place in NDRC’s ‘Digital Exchange’ building on Crane Street, Dublin 8 – please register your details here.
To apply for a place on NDRC LaunchPad visit www.ndrc.ie/launchpad; deadline for receipt of applications is 5pm on the 16th December 2011.
NDRC LAUNCHPAD CLOSING DATE 5pm 16th December 2011
NDRC LAUNCHPAD PROGRAMME START 13th February 2012
Over the last 2 years 29 companies, 58 promoters have completed iGAP. We in Enterprise Ireland believe that IGAP is a brilliant and innovative internet start up programme. More importantly so do the participants…..
In an Internet based startup? You should apply for iGAP.
Ronan Skehill co-founder of Cauwill. www.cauwill.com
“I know many such management training and incubation programmes exist, we were on LEAP which was good for us at the time, but iGAP is different because it focuses specifically on the needs of internet businesses. Over a period of seven months, six modules were led by international lean start-up and customer development experts such as Eric Ries, Scott Rafer, Paul O’Dea , Justin Knecth, Sean Ellis and Oren Michels .Over the programme they addressed issues such as lean startup theory, product market fit, monetisation strategies, internet customer acquisition, business development using APIs, etc. Here is a quick synopsis of the content covered by the speakers………http://www.ronanskehill.com/2011/02/05/in-a-startup-you-should-apply-for-igap/#comments
In a Games based startup? You should apply for iGAP.
Steven Collins, Swrve, www.swrve.com
“The iGAP program is an excellent opportunity to both network with a peer group of companies all experiencing many of the same challenges as you, and to hear from some of the world’s leading speakers on building companies and products. The speaker lineup was second to none, with lots of opportunities for interaction and feedback and to build connections. The program itself is very well structured, with lectures, group sessions and mentors and a great curriculum. It presented me with the perfect opportunity to reflect on my own startup and to put the spotlight on our processes for customer discovery, product design and business strategy. I can’t recommend the IGAP program highly enough to anybody building an internet or games industry company and lucky enough to be offered a place.
In a Business 2 Business internet startup? You should apply for iGAP.
Connor Murphy, Datahug, www.datahug.com
“iGAP is one word…. ‘mandatory’. If you want to accelerate your web business and compete globally then you NEED to be on iGAP. If you want to learn from Silicon Valley insiders and world class thought leaders then you NEED to be on iGAP. If you want to collaborate and learn from a brilliant peer group then you NEED to be on iGAP.”
Ronan Perceval http: www.phorest.com
“The really great benefit for me has been the other companies taking part. We were a bit concerned because our company has been in business for longer, but actually the start-up companies on iGap has given us a new lease of life. We’ve started thinking more like a start up again and that’s given us a real focus. That alone has been great.
Hopefully we’ve been able to share some stuff back with other people on the programme as well.
One of the big benefits of iGap has shown in our marketing. I think it’s much more focused now. It’s the first year we have a proper marketing plan, and we’re analyzing the metrics so we’ll actually know for sure what’s working and what’s not.
All in all I think iGap is the best programme Enterprise Ireland has done. Why? Because it’s all practical. They seminar leaders are all guys who have done it.”
Brian Caulfield was the Programme Lead for the iGAP1/2.
“I have spent the last eight years as a venture capital and angel investor in technology companies. Prior to that, I was a technology entrepreneur for ten years. In those 18 years working in and with start-up companies I have become convinced that many entrepreneurs fail simply because they don’t have a clear vision of what their business really is…who their customers are; what their proposition for those customers is; how they are going to reach those customers; how they will make money from those customers. In a nutshell, they don’t have a clear strategy.
Getting to that clarity is essential for every business. That clarity enables you to prioritise tasks amidst the chaos of a start-up. It enables you to focus the team on what’s important. It enables you to articulate a clear and, hopefully, compelling investment opportunity to potential funders of the business.
Get your application in today! Online applications close on Friday 9th of September
This is a guest post from Amy Neale, Programme Manager at National Digital Research Centre (NDRC).
The National Digital Research Centre (NDRC) team is seeking companies with a passion for innovation to work together on joint venture projects with research partners, through our Catalyser investment programme.
Do you know of companies with a great idea for innovative digital products? The NDRC team is looking to support and invest in strong research-led ideas to create digital products and services.
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Through Catalyser, NDRC invests in good ideas, provides neutral spaces, and commits commercial expertise to create value from research. For details of what we offer, who we look for, what the program feels like, and how companies and researchers can join us, visit the website www.ndrc.ie/catalyser or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make contact with one of the team.
An example of an NDRC Catalyser joint venture:
Sean O’Sullivan, CEO Rococo Software Ltd, worked with NDRC and UCD to develop the LocalSocial platform. Sean said “With NDRC’s investment and expertise we were able to combine our deep market knowledge with an R&D concept to create an original export-driven product. We are now marketing the LocalSocial proximity platform, and have been able to target this at an international market based on a unique approach that NDRC enabled us to develop”
LocalSocial is a Proximity Service that enables developers to quickly and easily add proximity functionality to their applications and services. LocalSocial also gives end users of applications a simple way to manage and control how they interact with proximity-enabled applications, and to control and share information about themselves when they come in to contact with other people and businesses.
For more information on LocalSocial visit www.mylocalsocial.com
In early June a group of Enterprise Ireland media clients arrived in Annecy, France for MIFA, the biggest animation focused event in the world. They joined 7000 participants from 70 different countries for a series of conferences, screenings and presentations. These companies – including Kavaleer, Brown Bag Films, Cartoon Saloon and Monster Distributes – represent the best of Irish innovation, providing a broad range of animation styles for a number of different platforms.
Enterprise Ireland and the Irish Film Board hosted a reception for the Irish participants and their guests on Thursday evening. Brown Bag Films Chief Executive Cathal Gaffney delivered a keynote speech, followed by the launch of a new showreel, showcasing the best of Irish animation. The event was attended by over one hundred industry professionals, including international broadcasters, distributors and producers.
The week came to a fantastic end with the presentation of two prizes for EI clients. Enterprise Ireland client Boulder Media were awarded Best TV Production for “The Amazing World of Gumball- The Quest”, a European co production. Cartoon Saloon’s work on the animated feature “Santa’s Apprentice” also picked up a special UNICEF prize for “Animated programme which best highlights the goals of the Convention on the Rights of the Child”.
For more information on Irish companies in this space please see the Animation Ireland website. For details on how Enterprise Ireland can help, please contact Eimear O’Rourke or Eileen Bell.
We’ve had a lot of people asking when the winning proposals for Enterprise Ireland’s Internet and Games Fund would be announced; After much work by the people in applying, and within EI to pick out the best prospects, the winners have just been made public.
These are the successful 1st set of companies that applied for the fund. We hope to announce the 2nd set (Competitive Start Fund) as soon as the successful companies finish the T&C’s and due diligence.
Congratulations to all ten companies – the hard work is just beginning. If you weren’t successful, there is some consolation in the strength of the people that did win through.
The deadline for Enterprise Ireland’s Competitive Start Fund is the end of this week; Given that it’s a ‘lighter’ online process, you’ve still time to apply. Ray Walsh and I have had a lot of questions about how best to fill out the application, given that we are getting a lot of interest from companies in the Cloud, Enterprise, SaaS and Telco areas.
Adrian of Calom has a very good blogpost on his (successful) experience in applying for the EI Internet and Games fund in December. My own notes, based on going through the applications for the previous Games Fund are below.
Lessons learned (more…)