This London Startup Is Cookies For The Real World

PresenceOrb, London startup,startup,startup interviewWe’re not about to tell you the story of the latest spin on the All American Cookie Company, the Great Cookie or even Mrs. Fields. PresenceOrb is a startup based in London and they’ve developed a “virtual cookie” for the real world.

I’m hoping that it’s not too far reaching to expect readers of nibletz.com, the voice of startups everywhere else, to know what cookies are, at least in the internet sense of the word. Taking it back to internet 101 for those of you not in the know, cookies are the little tidbits of information transmitted from you, across the internet to other websites that help determine what you need to know.

It’s how the adservers on nibletz.com know to offer you an ad for kayak.com when the last website you visited was US Airways, that kind of thing.

Unarguably, having some kind of offline version of this very important tool would be amazing. Imagine if everyone that shopped at Old Navy went through some magic door that left some kind of radioactive film on you so that when you went to Abercrombie & Fitch, you could get some kind of message that says, “Come Back To Old Navy we’ll give you a discount right now”.

OK so it’s not that freaky, nor futuristic. However, PresenceOrb is that useful.  The only thing you need to bring in the store with you to make this magic work is your smartphone.

Using the PresenceOrb app and your smartphone, if you walk into a business in the program your phone is “marked” or “noted” now that business can market to you in the best way possible. Using a profile you’ve completed and information locally at said business establishment, you’ll get relative, passive advertisements that may seem a little cray cray but actually it’s kind of fascinating.

For the sake of understanding, on the company’s video they show a customer with PresenceOrb activated on their phone. The customer walks into two different car dealerships, a Volkswagen dealer not using PresenceOrb and a Porsche dealer that is.

After taking a test drive at both dealerships the user ends up taking some time to think about it. Low and behold, he drives past a digital billboard also equipped with PresenceOrb and the billboard offers him a special price on that particular Porsche. Voila, it’s an offer the user can’t refuse and bam he’s driving a brand new Porsche.

When you dissect this form of targeted advertising it’s actually pretty amazing. The potential for real world advertising to be affected this way could lead to billions of dollars in sales.

We got a chance to talk with Thomas Sheppard the brilliant man behind this startup, check out the interview below.

What is Presenceorb?

PresenceOrb is the cookie for the real world. POB allows retailers to cookie consumers as they visit brick and mortar stores. Retails gain analytics previously only seen in the online realm, Footfall, Bounce rate, return customers, new customers, linger time …. the list goes on. With this information and via our expanding advertising partner network retailers can then action these analytics by targeting consumers on the street through such outlets as digital out of home billboards.

Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds?

Thomas is the founder of Presence aware tech. He has worked as an engineer in banking producing financial markets software as well as for a number of technology companies producing consumer software for desktop and mobile for the past 11 years. Presence aware tech additionally has a North American partner company who provide development resource and are additionally POB’s largest customer.

Where are you based?

Presence aware tech is based within the Cisco office in North Greenwich, London. Having recently been awarded the Raptor SME grant for which Cisco is a key backer.

sneakersWhat’s the startup scene/culture like where you’re based?

The culture is fantastic. We are surrounded by like minded companies (Oprillo, AMBX, Lamppost, Prod designs, Crowd Vision) the majority of whom are also current or previous Raptor grant winners. We collaborate, disagree, challenge and encourage one another.It’s the sort of environment where you can lift your head and hear conversations covering twenty different industries.

How did you come up with the idea for Presenceorb?

Presence Orb was originally intended as a security device. After a startled wake-up at two am one night our founder thought someone was in his home. Thankfully it was just a bad dream which had forced him awake however it got him thinking. How could a home owner detect if someone was in the home, not just movement but be able to “cookie” someone and see if they where supposed to be present or not. From there he began to research how that could be done and then things got interesting. Thomas then went on to form Presence aware tech, we produced a prototype and pivoted our focus from security to analytics. We are now 8 months further on and the path from then to now has been astounding.

Why now?

The market is ready, hardware is now cheaper to make. People are familiar with the concept of cookies and the adjoining technology is available. In short the market has come to meet our vision.

What problem does Presenceorb solve?

Presence Orb levels the playing field between physical and online retailers. For years online retailers have had analytics software and marketing which has allowed them to analyse consumer wants, needs and actions. Online retailers can then adjust to these findings very quickly. Physical retailers have been hampered by an inability to gain such rapid feedback. Typical collection methods such as surveys, in store spotters and analysis took months if not more to conduct and collate. With Presence Orb retailers can gain these analytics instantly similar to Google analytics but for the brick and mortar stores.

Who are your competition?

There are others in this space doing similar things and we are aware of them however we don’t overly concern ourselves with competition. We have a vision and direction as to how we believe our product should function what features it should include and how we are going to do that. We can only concentrate on our own game, we leave everyone else to concentrate on there’s and the results will come out in the end.

And what’s your secret sauce?

It’s no secret that good people make great products. We make sure that our people have the drive to produce something truly amazing. It’s no secret it’s just what makes us produce a quality product is a desire to do exactly that.

Are you bootstrapped or funded?

Bootstrapped and proud. We would take funding when it’s needed but at the moment we can survive on our own resources and steam. We don’t charge for the hardware which can meet initial ourlay is high but our SAAS business model then takes over and will allow us to grow as we bring on more customers.

What are some milestones you’ve achieved?

We’ve recently been announced as Digital innovation finalists in the advertising space at Digital shoreditch London. We are one of 21 companies presenting in the final for 7 awards. This was a hugely proud moment for us.

To be accepted onto the Raptor SME program run in part by Cisco was another huge milestone for us. This fueled a number of conversations that without which we might never have begun or had the good fortune to be part of.

Our first enterprise level trial was another amazing milestone. We have deployed within a household recognizable location and it blows our mind every time we walk into the location to think …. we’re deployed here.

Our second enterprise level trial with a global chain…. i’ll say no more.

Honestly there are loads of milestones that as a team we are exceptionally proud of but our main focus is our product and perhaps the biggest milestone was our first customer feedback from a small Cafe in North Yorkshire telling us there takings are heading north in no small part because of Presence Orb they knew where to focus there marketing spend. That’s when we knew our product was making a difference.

What’s your next milestone?

Taking on the Digital Innovations final on May 20th. We want to wow the crowd with whats possible. And we will.

Who are some of your mentors and business role models?

We are in an incredibly privileged position to have not only people as mentors but also companies. Cisco provide us with one to one mentors and also business units will email from time to time giving advice. We are really thankful for that. We have advisers in the advertising space and even companies who have installed our product who we view as mentors. They provide feedback on what they like and don’t like so much about POB and ultimately that’s the best feedback and direction we can ask for.

Where can people find out more and what is your Twitter username?

presenceorb.com  Twitter @presenceorb

Now see how this Wisconsin startup puts checkins in the real world!

EEBOTHDiscount

New Zealand Startup Accelerator, Lightning Lab, Attracts $3 Million In Follow On Funding

Lightning Lab, New Zealand accelerator, Startup,Follow On Funding Lightning Lab, the only New Zealand based startup accelerator that is part of the Global Accelerator Network, held their demo day early this month  in Wellington. Now in it’s third year, Lightning Lab is a partnership between a group of private professional investors, the science and innovation arm of New Zealand’s Ministry of Business and Creative HQ a coworking and incubation hub in New Zealand.

The nine startups that participated in the 12 week program were:

Publons: a platform for crowd-sourced peer-review of academic articles, where academics build reputation for their contributions.  It provides an alternative to the extremely slow, expensive, and closed status quo that hasn’t changed in 300 years.

WIP: a beautifully simple video workflow platform that lets you watch, share and comment on your work-in-progress videos, so you get better feedback faster.

KidsGoMobile: a startup developing a software service to help parents teach their children to become responsible users of their first smartphone. This tool will notify parents if their child engages in potentially risky activity on their phone and gives them tips on how to resolve it.

Teamisto: a startup changing the way sports clubs raise money by generating new streams of sponsorship revenue.

Expander: A cloud-based tracking and analytics platform that gives manufacturers a weapon to fight back against counterfeits, while connecting them to consumers and procuring valuable data in emerging markets.

Adeez: a startup that provides a specialist mobile marketing solution which enables brands and marketing agencies to improve their ROI with mobile campaigns.

LearnKO delivers online learning programs to English language organisations in Asia. We do this by harnessing the talent of Australasian tutors and delivering this via an online classroom to English language organisations.

Promoki a social media gaming platform for photo and video contests

Questo: a startup using game mechanics in real world activities to increase family engagement for organizations.

Their demo day drew 140 investors from across the country and while they haven’t said which of the nine startups received follow on funding stuff.co.nz reports that $3 million dollars in follow on funding has been committed and details will be released shortly.

“Watching Lightning Lab in action was incredible. These results are what makes it worthwhile for the companies which grow out of weeks of hard work, for the investors and mentors who support them, and for the other entrepreneurs who see it and are inspired into action, turning their own ideas into great startup companies going global from downunder.”    Tui Te Hau the CEO of Creative HQ said.

You can find out more about Lightning Lab at lightninglab.co.nz

Now check out Startup America joins forces with Startup Weekend for UpGlobal

Designers You’re Going To Love This Madrid Startup, Concept Inbox

ConceptInbox,Madrid startup,startup interviewThe best designers in the world hate having to deal with technology. As crazy as that sounds they want to create things and design things. They don’t have the time to worry about how to share it.

Now a lot of designers, at least the good ones, know that they need clients and need good relationships with them. In many ways good designers need these same personal traits that web developers have. But outside of that, great designers should be tasked with great design.

It’s that premise, and of course simplicity, that’s inspired Oscar del Rio, Miguel Angel Gaton, and Yesica Gonzalez, three entrepreneurs based in Madrid, to create “Concept Inbox”.

“As a designer, all you have to do is send your designs by email to an address that we provide, and automatically this will generate a workspace where your client and you will be able to interact quickly and easily. With Concept inbox, you can manage all your design projects with a single tool therefore avoiding distractions, and focusing on what really matters which is getting quick approval and saving time and money.”  del Rio told nibletz.com in an interview.

Check out the rest of our interview with del Rio below:

What is Concept Inbox?

Concept inbox is a powerful, straightforward, and extremely easy to use tool for designers, to improve interaction with their clients, in order to get feedback, and quick approval on their designs.

In layman’s terms, how does it work? (In other words how would you explain it to your grandmother)

As a designer, all you have to do is send your designs by email to an address that we provide, and automatically this will generate a workspace where your client and you will be able to interact quickly and easily.

With Concept inbox, you can manage all your design projects with a single tool therefore avoiding distractions, and focusing on what really matters which is getting quick approval and saving time and money.

Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds?

Oscar del Rio (CEO): Studied Music (Bassoon / Piano) and Software development. Microstrategy Business Intelligence certified. 7 years experience working on design / development areas and 3 years as an entrepreneur. Started 2 companies, 1 success, 1 fail (this is third)  and collaborate with others as an advisor / mentor

Miguel Angel Gatón (CMO): Computer Sciences Engineer, Master degree in Marketing. 5 yrs experience (Michelin) as Media Planner and Online Marketing manager. Co-founded 3 companies.

Yesica González (CFO): Computer Sciences Engineer, Master degree in Finances. Co-founded 3 companies.

Where are you based?

Madrid, Spain

What’s the startup scene/culture like where you’re based?

Madrid startup community is growing every day. We have great startup accelerators, tons of events and an extensive network of mentors

How did you come up with the idea for Concept Inbox?

Concept inbox is made by designers, for designers. We really love design, but it also can be very stressful …The questions, last minute changes, misunderstandings, endless calls and interruptions that can cause setbacks on deadlines.We suffered this for years, so we tried to simplify it. Concept inbox is as simple as sending an email.

How did you come up with the name?

The name came up thinking we’d like to have an unique tool with all the incoming feedback from our customers about our concepts / designs. Like an email inbox but with no penis enlargement or viagra messages and that stuff.

What problem does Concept Inbox solve?

Concept inbox provides an easy workspace to use, where designers can share designs with clients, get feedback from them and get approval faster, avoiding endless calls and misunderstandings that cause delays on deadlines

What’s your secret sauce?

We are focused on providing tools to drastically save time to both designer / agency and customer. Now we are developing the new version of the platform which includes some of that new tools.

Are you bootstrapped or funded?

We have received 40k € from Telefonica’s accelerator Way

What are some milestones you’ve achieved?

We’ve been up and running from September 2012, and we already have over 3000 designers from 17 countries using the tool.

Concept inbox was selected as one of the TOP50 Startups at Pioneers Festival, Vienna.

Also we were chosen from 450+ startups to participate in Wayra Madrid acceleration programme.

What’s your next milestone?

We are working hard to launch a new version of Concept inbox in two months.

Who are some of your mentors and business role models?

Since the beginning of the project we had the support of many different mentors, from serial entrepreneurs to multinational professionals with extensive experience.

They have helped us to look at the big picture and see things from other points of view.

What’s next for Concept Inbox?

We’re about to launch the new version and also looking for funding to let more people to know our service.

Where can people find out more?

 See the mobile email startup we like better than mailbox.

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Spanish Startup Moodyo Is A Smarter Social Shopping Community

Moodyo,Spanish startup,TechCrunch Disrupt,Social ShoppingSpanish startup Moodyo is growing itself in the Spanish countryside away from big metropolitan areas like Madrid and Barcelona. In the town of Seville, where Moodyo was born, there are less than 10 active tech startups, making talent and capital extremely hard to find. That didn’t stop Javier Padilla though.

At a time in Spain where they unemployment rate is a whopping 26% Padilla went ahead and quit his job and with $120,000 dollars of his own money, embarked on creating a social shopping site. Others have attempted to bridge a social network with on and offline shopping but Padilla insists that Moodyo has it right.

Others in Spain must have agreed because he was able to raise $600,000 last November. Now he plans to expand his startup based on three simple ideas; I want it, I Have it and I love this, by opening up an office in New York. Padilla tells nibletz.com that they’ve spent the better part of a month, staying in New York after presenting in the Startup Alley at TechCrunch Disrupt. They’ve started forming relationships in the New York startup scene and with New York based investors.

But they weren’t alone, especially at Disrupt. That’s where we saw both Styloola and 3 Other Things, also international startups testing the waters of on and offline shopping.

We got a chance to catch up with Padilla check out our interview below.

What is your startup, what does it do?

Our startup is Moodyo. It’s a social shopping network that really connects the dots between consumers, vendors, brands and trendsetters. We’ve created a system where users can find the right people to follow based on their personal taste, and brands/shops can use Moodyo Insights to track the behavior of potential customers -in a non-intrusive way…- and send them targeted offers and discounts.

Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds?

Javier Padilla, CEO and Co-Founder and Alex Guerra, CTO and Co-Founder.

Javier Padilla has a deep background in the Internet business. He’s a designer and coder that started building websites in 1997. In the last 16 years he has developed more than a hundred sites for companies and individuals. He co-founded in 2006 El Desmarque (http://www.eldesmarque.com), a network of news sites that has around 80.000 unique visitors each day in Spain and is profitable. He also directed the IT department of ABC (http://www.abcdesevilla.es) for 5 years (2006-2011). ABC is the third largest online news site of Spain. Javier loves music and plays drums and the electric guitar in his spare time.

Alex Guerra is a Software Engineer with a great knowledge of Java and other related technologies. He worked for several years developing big websites for corporative clients in Spain.

Alex and Javier worked together for 2 years before they decided to quit from their jobs and start a new career with Moodyo in 2011.

Where are you based?

We are now based in Europe (Spain), but in the summer a part of the team will move to New York. We’ve spent a month now in the City looking for partners, investors and we’ve got an amazing feedback from them.

What is the startup culture like where you are based?

Well, honestly there’s no startup culture in Seville (the city where Moodyo born). There are like two or three startups in the city and a 99% of the people doesn’t know what the word “Startup” means. It’s hard to raise a company there. And it’s more difficult to raise money so we’re very happy about having closed our first round of funding back in November 2012.

In Madrid or Barcelona is different. There’s a new ecosystem of startup companies and some investors with an interesting background. In Spain we have some recent successful companies that have been acquired by the big ones. Amazon acquired BuyVIP two years ago and Telefonica did the same with Tuenti.

What problem does your startup solve?

The platform solves many problems. First, you get recommendations from people you really trust. That’s important because we’re not uploading a bunch of products that we want you to buy but, instead, users with a taste like yours are uploading things that you may like. As we have a follow/unfollow system, all the info received by the user via email, via Moodyo or via other social networks is filtered. Also trendsetters have the chance to build a community of loyal fans and shops don’t expend money on spamming users with the wrong offer. As a result, the user finally gets the product that he needs at the best price/location and shops/brands don’t spend money spamming people with offers that they will never use.

What is one challenge that you’ve overcome in the startup process?

The unemployment rate has reached 26% in Spain. There are more than 6 million people without a job (a 26% of the active population). That’s crazy. And that means that there’s a little chance for entrepreneurs to get money from banks and people around you (family, friends and fools, the famous “3 F’s”) are out of money. So you really need to have an interesting product to convince someone to invest in your project. The first thing I did was to quit my job and put $120.000 from my pocket. Everything I had. Then I tried to find the best people around and fortunately I created an amazing team.

What are some of the milestones your startup has achieved?

We won the Tech Media Europe award in February 2011. That was important because we didn’t have the product in those days and some investors validated our idea. Then we joined the Mola Incubator from Spanish entrepreneur Enrique Dubois who gave us some interesting advices. In November 2012 we closed our first round of funding ($600.000). From January 2013 the network started to grow steadily. Three weeks ago we opened the first shop inside Moodyo and we’re already processing orders everyday. So getting the famous “traction” is our last milestone.

What are your next milestones?

Getting a big amount of active users to be seen as a real opportunity for investors is the first one. We’ll do it because we’re already growing in every way. Moving to New York is also mandatory for us now from my point of view. We’re working on both things at the same time. The mobile app, that will be launched in June will help us because it’s a real tool for shopping.

Who are your mentors and role models?

Well, my first role model is my father. He taught me to work 24 hours a day if you want to succeed. Then Jeff Bezos is a big inspiration and a role model for me. I totally agree with him about how important is the team. It’s the most important thing. If you have a committed and smart team then you have a 50% of the job done. The idea is important, of course, but there are a thousand ideas that died because they didn’t have a team to support them.

What are some of the advantages/disadvantages growing your startup outside of Silicon Valley.

It’s very hard to create a new concept and spread it. When we started to talk to others about “Social Shopping” three years ago in Spain it was like… “Social…what?”. Then the media and blogs outside our country are very hard to reach. If you’re not in New York or The Valley you don’t have the chance to reach to the big ones. Now we’re starting to do it. Nibletz is one of the first sites where we’ll be featured outside Spain (and we’re very happy about that :-)). In Spain we’ve been featured in the most important blogs and newspaper.

What’s next for your startup?

Growing, growing and growing. Then we want to find new partners in United States. In Spain we have 36 pending requests to join us with a shop inside Moodyo.

Where can people find out more, and what is your Twitter username?

We have a blog > http://blog.moodyo.com

We’ve been recently featured in El Pais (sorry, it’s in Spanish. It’s the largest newspaper in Spain) > http://tecnologia.elpais.com/tecnologia/2013/04/22/actualidad/1366654572_098303.html

Moodyo Twitter account > http://twitter.com/moodyo

Check out more than 40 other startup stories from TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013 here at nibletz.com

EEBOTHDiscount

Milan Startup Styloola Helps People Share Their Passion About Fashion

Styloola,Milan startup,TechCrunch DisruptImagine you’re a fashionista or a somewhat high profile fashion blogger and you have say 100,000 twitter followers and a very popular blog. Well how would that boutique store you just walked into know you’re there? That’s just one of the problems the founders of Milan based startup Styloola hope to fix.

Their social platform allows fashionistas and those who just love good fashion, to sync up over the things they love.

It’s like Pinterest for fashion, on crack with a purpose. You can upload your favorite fashions, pin fashions from others and even curate your own collection. Styloola can then share your collections with designers and boutiques to make owning your favorite fashions a reality.

Styloola also has a checkin twist that allows users to check in to their favorite fashions and stores.

There one of a handful of startups that we saw at TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013 that actually understand how to effectively bridge online and offline commerce. 3 Other Things also has a great social approach to drive traffic to brick and mortar stores.

The company received an angel round of funding last fall and officially launched the next phase of Styloola at TechCrunch Disrupt two weeks ago. Check out our video interview below and for more info visit Styloola.com

Over 50 more startup stories from TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013 can be found here at nibletz.com

DisruptVJ

 

Indian Startup 3 Other Things Is Bridging The Gap Between Online and Offline Retail

3Otherthings,Dubai startup,startups,TechCrunch Disrupt

UPDATE: 10:23am 5/14/2013

At TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013 two weeks ago we got to spend some time with Minoj Shinde one of the three co-founders of 3 Other Things. Their Mumbai based startup is tackling the bridge between off-line and online shopping experiences, a nut many startups here and overseas are hoping to crack.

The divide between online and offline retail is much larger than we, as consumers in the United States, are led to believe. For instance, in India, where 3 Other Things is based, the divide is 97% off-line retail. In the U.S. it’s actually a whopping 80% offline retail. For retailers to be extremely effective, to drive more traffic to their brick and mortar sites, and their websites, they need to consider both customer subsets. Something that Shinde has been observing over the last 14 years.

By combining the powers of a social network, with a “wish list” feature and customer profile, retailers in the lifestyle, clothing and home decor categories will have one resource to work from that provides a robust snapshot of their customer base. Not only that but 3 Other Things will provide retailers with true customer data with the things that the customer wants and not just algorithmic fluff.

Shinde says that 3 Other Things really comes in handy in non urban centralized areas. For example, some of the stores his family likes to shop at are nearly an hour away from their home. Naturally, investing the time and money into traveling to the store just to find they are out of what they are looking for is a big turn off.

3 Other Things allows users to create a wish list of the products that they actually like. The user can than let the individual retailers know an approximate time of when they will be in their store and the store can come back and say whether or not they have that inventory. Unlike other systems in a similar space, a store clerk using 3 Other Things will physically find or locate an item to insure it’s correct, providing for another level of customer service, that’s often recognized by repeat business.

The social network portion of 3 other things allows likeminded users to share ideas and tips. For instance I like t-shirts with cool designs on them, while Shinde prefers more business casual dressier shirts. I can tell Shinde, using 3 other things, that I saw the perfect shirt for him at a specific retailer and then he can add that shirt to his wish list. The retailer can then market to both of us more effectively.

In the video below with Shinde, we talk a bit about Mumbai’s up and coming startup scene. Watch the video and check out the next disruption in off-line/online retail.

Now check out these other 35 startup stories from TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013.

DisruptVJ 

New TLD’s Are Making It A Jungle Out There, For That There’s Prague Startup Jungle Navigator

Jungle Navigator,Prague startup,Czech startup,startup,startup interviewLast year ICANN and the powers that be with the internets announced that we were finally going to get some more “Top Level Domains” (TLD’s). For those not quite sure a TLD is an extension like .com, .co, .net etc.

Companies across the globe paid outrageous application fees in hopes that their top level domain names would be selected. The TLD’s applied for ranged anywhere form .llc and .corp to .porn.

As these new TLD’s come online there is room for a new category of startup to navigate through the jungle of TLD’s. In fact the founder of Portland startup AboutUs, has founded Top Level Design (yes also TLD) to hopefully become a registrar for several new TLD’s including one’s the company owns like .blog, .gay, .photography and .wiki.

Mirek Sekera, a Microsoft technologies programmer turned entrepreneur and startup founder in Prague has created Jungle Navigator to help people access information about the new TLD’s and connect them to what they need to get going. Jungle Navigator hopes to provide one stop access to everything related to these new TLDs. New top level domains are big money, in fact, as Sekera points out in an interview, some of the applications for these new TLD’s were upwards of $180,000. That’s just to apply.

We got a chance to talk with Sekera, check out the Czech entrepreneurs interview below.

junglenav-ssWhat is Jungle Navigator?
It is a portal on new domain name extensions (new generic top-level domains – new gTLDs) which were recently introduced by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers – the organization that controls all the TLDs).
Jungle Navigator’s purpose is to provide information about those new gTLDs. It is available at http://www.junglenavigator.com/ .
The portal is operated through my company Glueo, s.r.o., which I set-up couple of years ago because of my previous project, which wasn’t successful.
In layman’s terms, how does it work? (In other words how would you explain it to your grandmother)
The website is all about domains. Domain is the leftmost part of a web page address, for http://twitter.com/junglenavigator the domain name is twitter.com. The second-level domain is twitter. The top-level domain is .com.
At the time, there is a TLD for each country (country code top level domain – ccTLD) like .us for United States or .uk for United Kingdom.
There is also about 20 generic top level domains (gTLDs), the most common are .com, .net or .org.
The situation about the gTLDs is going to change dramatically: ICANN (the organization that manages all the TLDs) recently introduced  a program that allows any company or organization to come up with their own gTLD.
In the mid of 2012, ICANN revealed more than thousand such domains that almost two thousands companies and organizations applied for. They came with their company names (.google, .microsoft or .canon), city names (.nyc or .barcelona) or just common words like .blog, .app, .free or even .lol or .wtf. It is expected that the company-name gTLDs (brand gTLDs) will remain closed while most of the others will be open for (second-level domain) registration soon.
Jungle Navigator is a website that aims to help people to orientate in this jungle of the new gTLDs. It focuses to people and companies who do not want miss an opportunity to catch the best (second level) domains under the new gTLDs.
It provides information about them like:
– categorization and search;
– syndicated gTLD news from tech blogs and web-zines;
– information about pre-registration;
– general gTLD information and related links;
– discussion.
Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds?
Currently, it is just one-man show, operated by me, Miroslav Sekera, I am a Microsoft technologies programmer (.Net,C#,SQL) with about 10 years of experience and also have some graphic-design skills.
I have friends annoyed with their jobs and I hope I will take some as co-founders soon :-)
Where are you based?
In Prague, capital city of the Czech Republic, famous for architecture and beer with very good quality/price ratio :-)
What’s the startup scene/culture like where you’re based?
There were opened some nice incubators and accelerators in the couple of the last years.
My company is member of one – Czech Technical University’s incubator called Inovacentrum.
Quite often there are startup or startup friendly conferences, workshops or “movie nights”. Recently I was on BarCamp Prague conference (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barcamp).
If you are any kind of startup person, go to Prague, everyone will want to talk to you as most people here want to be global and get in touch with anyone from outside of the Czech Republic.
How did you come up with the idea for Jungle Navigator?
I have read about the new gTLDs last year, and realized this is a big thing. Big companies like Google are investing huge money and effort into it. Cost for one gTLD application is $185k, and that’s just the beginning (they have other expenses like infrastructure, etc…).
I thought there will be required some place which will provide easy and simple access to all the related and required info, so I created the website.
Why now?
It’s just the highest time – this year, first gTLDs are expected to be operable – first startups will be launching with the domain names ending with the new gTLDs, and first corporations will be switching their websites to their corporate gTLDs. Then IMHO the big rush is going to come and Jungle Navigator must be ready to this.
Who are your competition?
There is one really handy encyclopedia, called ICANNWiki at http://icannwiki.com/ , which (among others) also provides info about almost each new gTLD. I’m not really sure if it is competition, I am massively linking it from my website :-)
Another interesting site is .nxt http://dot-nxt.com/
When listing other new gTLD information resources, I should not omit the official ICANN’s site dedicated to the new gTLDs at http://newgtlds.icann.org/
All the mentioned sites are targeted to domain name experts – while Jungle Navigator tries to provide information to anyone.
And what’s your secret sauce?
I try to watch what the others are saying and doing, but doing things my way.
I am fully aware that it is a cliche, but in my opinion, there many people around startups that are “cargo-cult followers” (http://techcrunch.com/2009/11/01/avoiding-the-cargo-cult-and-getting-the-trans-atlantic-startup-model-right/), they are just doing things because they saw other successful people doing it. And they think they only need to mimic them to be successful as well.
People asked me why I don’t make the homepage a bit simpler. They said: “Look at Google, how their homepage is simple. And they are a hundred-billion dollar company”. Why there is so much stuff on your homepage? Google was, IMHO, successful because of the pagerank, not because of the simplicity of homepage. I am saying that because I remember when I started to use Google instead of AltaVista – because it was giving far better results. Perhaps even their oversimplified homepage is just their kind of style, part of their brand’s “personality” for which people remembers them – I don’t know. Or perhaps it is really better for most of their users.
I am just saying I don’t understand why also my homepage should be that simple. I put there quite a lot of information so that users can see most without clicking.
On the other hand, I don’t insist on that style of homepage. Once I have a reason (perhaps some kind of A/B testing) the homepage should look different, I would think about changing it.
Are you bootstrapped or funded?
Bootstrapped. Working from quite old desktop PC and my biggest expenses are food & coffee, I probably spend more than other people on that :-) But not too much more :-)
What are some milestones you’ve achieved?
– I have managed to get my project up and running.
– On Twitter, Jungle Navigator has some nice followers from the industry, like people from ICANN and also registries (operators) of new or classic TLDs.
What’s your next milestone?
Currently, my product is quite ready, now I need to let people know about it.
In the terms of the product development, I would need to do some usability testing – to find out what kind and what structure of information people need.
Who are some of your mentors and business role models?
Lately, I read book called “Unsinkable Entrepreneur” from Irish entrepreneur Enda O’Coinneen who is currently living in Prague. He is convinced that the entrepreneurship is kind of art, rather than science. I share such opinion.  I don’t believe that success in business can be algorithmized and replicated without putting something else into it.
In the book Enda also writes about his grand-grand-father who went to Alaska in 19th century when there was a gold rush. He noticed that the most successful people there weren’t only the most lucky gold-diggers, but also people who were selling equipment and providing services to the gold-diggers. That’s the approach I like – when there is a kind of some hype or rush, it’s good to be part of it, but it’s also good to start thinking if there isn’t something better to do than the most obvious thing everyone else does.
Where can people find out more and what is your Twitter username?
Jungle Navigator homepage: http://www.junglenavigator.com/
Frequently asked questions: http://www.junglenavigator.com/faq/
Jungle Navigator’s Twitter: http://twitter.com/junglenavigator

What the hell is sneaker strapping?

EEATTENDDEAL1

Thanks To Israeli Startup Webydo, Great Designers Don’t Need To Know Code

Webydo,Israeli startup,TechCrunch Disrupt,Startup InterviewSome of the best graphic designers in the world don’t know a lick about HTML, CSS, Javascript or anything else involved in web development. Unfortunately for many of those designers, their great work can be hacked up quickly when trying to fit the best designs into the limitations of the web.

Now, thanks to a startup based in both Israel and New Jersey, called Webydo, professional designers can create and manage cross platform websites without knowing one bit of code.

More than 38 million graphic designers currently working to create professional websites are enslaved to an old process that depends on handwritten code. This process is slow, expensive and cumbersome, marginalizing the designer’s role and preventing direct communication between designers and their clients. On the other hand, the DIY platforms offer only preformatted templates that are not suitable for professional web creation.

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Webydo solves this problem with a sophisticated DMS (Design Management System) that liberates designers from their dependency on handwritten code or limiting DIY templates. Using the company’s sophisticated online software, designers can bring any creative web design to life. With the click of a button, an advanced HTML website is published online including a friendly built-in CMS (Content Management System) for the website owner. No programming or technical knowledge is needed. With Webydo, DMS plus its CMS integrated system, designers can finally focus on the creative side of web design.

Behind the scenes, Webydo’s innovative code generator (US patent pending) automatically generates both a cross-platform HTML website updated to the latest industry standards and optimized for SEO, and a friendly built-in WYSIWYG CMS that enables the website owner to update the website content, independently.

Webydo is a community driven platform created for designers, by designers who know what they need from a SaaS product like this.

“In essence, Webydo is about unchaining millions of graphic designers from the rusty old ‘designer-programmer-client’ process of designing and managing websites,” said Shmulik Grizim, Webydo’s Co-Founder and CEO. “With Webydo’s powerful cloud platform designers can finally bring any web design to life, without writing code. Now, we want to share this technological innovation with the global design community.”

Webydo launched last week at TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013 and we got a chance to spend some time with Grizim. Check out the video interview below and for more information visit webydo.com

Now check out over 30 more startup stories from TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013

 

This Startup From The British Countryside Pays You To Search! [video][disrupt]

Qmee,British Startup,TechCrunch DisruptWe love talking to British entrepreneurs and founders, it’s just something about the way they say process that makes them seem so professional and articulate. The same goes for Jonathan Knight the cofounder and CEO at Qmee. Knight was quite animated when he told us that Qmee was based in Gloucester England, in the countryside where they have cows and hills, but very few tech startups.

So it was the perfect place for Knight and his co-founder Nick Sutton to launch an internet startup. What amazed me was the idea that these guys have come up with.

Qmee is a platform that pays you to search for stuff on the internet. It works with all of the big search engines like Google, Bing, Amazon, Ebay and Yahoo.

Once you install the browser plugin everything magically happens in the background. When you search for something that Qmee has advertisers for you will see an unobtrusive sidebar on the left side of your browser. This sidebar serves up relevant ads and alongside those ads is the amount that you’ll actually get paid for clicking through to the ad. Now this isn’t some kind of crazy deal where you only get paid if you agree to three offers that will set you back $1000 this is pretty simple, search, click, get paid.

One of the best parts about Qmee is that users can take their payments whenever they want. Payments accumulate in a “Qmee Piggybank”. You can look at your piggy bank balance anytime you want and see what you’ve made so far. Whether it be $80, $800 or 80 cents, you can have Qmee pay you via paypal whenever you would like.

Not bad for some guys from the British countryside right?

Check out our interview with Knight below and for more information visit Qmee.com

Here are over 25  great startup stories from TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013

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Brazilian Entrepreneur Leaves Finance World To Launch Art Startup [video][Disrupt]

NailOnWall,Brazilian Startup,startup interview,TechCrunch DisruptLuca Parise was working at a nice cush job in Sao Paulo Brazil for FRAM Capital, an investment management firm, when he decided to launch his own startup in the art world.

Nailonwall helps take the offline world of Latin American art and put it online for people around the world to find. But Parise doesn’t see it as a show and tell site by any means. He’s hoping to apply what he’s learned in the finance world to Nailonwall because “Art is a huge market and an investment opportunity”, he told us in an interview.

Parise hopes that by linking the Latin American art world to art collectors and investors globally artists’ works will become worth a lot more.  So in affect Nailonwall is an entire art marketplace rather than just a showing of art work from Latin America.

Parise hopes to bill $500,000 in commission from helping to facilitate the sale of the artwork on nailonwall, this year, according to Portugese site exame.com.

There are several art marketplace startups out there, but so far none that have focused on artwork in Latin America.

Check out our video interview with Parise below, and for more info visit nailonwall.com

We’ve got a ton more coverage of startups everywhere else, from TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013.

DisruptVJ

Clap On, Clap Off With Israeli Startup ClapTo [interview][disrupt]

ClapTo,Israeli startup,TechCrunch DisruptThe old lady in “The Clapper” commercials would be very proud of Israeli startup, ClapTo. We found them in the Israeli pavilion at TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013.

Shay Dadush, the founder of ClapTo, created the starutp after experiencing a real world problem that many workers face. Whether you work in a customer service center, data entry office, or coworking space, if you work with headphones on, communicating within the workplace can be a challenge.

“Sometimes you think someone wants you and they don’t, other times the boss wants you and you don’t hear them” Dadush told us at Disrupt. That’s why he created ClapTo.

ClapTo is a piece of software that fits ontop of your audio settings and listens for two claps in a row. If ClapTo hears the right claps then it quickly pauses whatever audio source you’re listening to so that you can hear what’s going on around you.  Now all Mr. Lumbergh would have to do is clap two times to cut your music off so he could ask you to work this Saturday.

Dadush tells us that ClapTo knows the difference between the clapping, and someone making a loud bang.

This seems kind of cool but if ClapTo builds massive scale what’s going to happen when 30 people in the office have it installed and someone claps. Tell us what you think of ClapTo in the comments below.

Here’s the video, you can find out more at clapto.com

Now check out what Ashton Kutcher said about Bitcoin at TechCrunch Disrupt

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This Berlin Startup Has A Great Idea But Is The US Patient Enough For It?

ParkTag,Berlin Startup,Startups,TechCrunch DisruptA startup from Berlin Germany called ParkTag came out to TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013 all decked out to draw attention to their startup. Parktag is a peer 2 peer social parking application.

Here’s how it works:

You’ve parked in a public parking spot and gone into your favorite restaurant for lunch. When you are getting ready to finish lunch you go to ParkTag and let the app know you’re about to leave your parking spot and where it is.

Someone who is in the area and needs the spot will see that your spot is coming available. They go to the spot and wait for  you to arrive and move out of the spot.

Once you pull out, they pull in, in what ParkTag calls the “Handoff”.

When the new person parks their car, they send you a thank you and voila they have a parking spot. Users can earn point by making the transactions as smooth as possible.

ParkTag is up and running in Europe where they say people love it. Things could be a lot different in Europe but I’m not sure that drivers in the U.S. have the patience to effectively use ParkTag. There’s a good chance that while you’re waiting for the spot you would block traffic and people would quickly become frustrated with you.

Without building immense scale people in the US aren’t going to understand that you reserved the spot via the app.

ParkTag doesn’t seem to have those problems in other countries. I’m very interested to see how it turns out if they do come to the US.

Check out the video interview and learn more about this great idea below.

Swedish Startup Offers Cable TV With No TV. Interview With Magine. [video][disrupt]

Magine,Swedish startup,cable tv,TechCrunch DisruptCompanies like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu have started making a dent in traditional cable tv consumption. More and more people, globally, are watching tv shows and movies on other screens like, laptops, mobile phones and tablets. This has caused most cable companies (especially in the US) to move to other sources for revenue like telephone lines and cable internet.

Hulu, Amazon, Netflix and other similar companies are offering shows and movies a la carte and on demand. You subscribe to one of these services for a nominal fee and you can access whatever programs you want to watch, when you want to watch them.  This model is working very well for many consumers, but the space as a whole is gearing up for another disruption.

There are some startups like, Jacksonville startup whata.tv, that are hoping to reinvent tv by allowing users to subscribe to one channel a la carte and get the entire programming from that channel in real time or on demand.  Many analysts have suggested that this kind of model is where tv is heading.

On the other hand, you have startups like Sweden’s Magine, which is a full fledged cable operator, delivering the same programming, and functionality as traditional cable companies, on multiple screens and with even more features.

Magine allows viewers to watch programs in real time or on demand, without the need for a dvr. Magine, of course allows you to watch the content on any connected device.

With the stranglehold that the US cable operators have, it’s not likely that Magine will ever find it’s way onto US soil, but people in Europe love the freedom that the service is giving them. Beta testers, including TechCrunch’s Frederic Lardinois, love Magine, and of course we see why.

Check out our interview with Simon at TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013, below.

Check out these other awesome startup stories from TechCrunch

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Brazilian Startup Peela Is Gift Cards On Steroids [video][disrupt]

Peela,Brazillian startup,startup interview,TechCrunch DisruptBrazilian startup Peela is getting some major traction in it’s native country. Peela is a reusable giftcard app and platform that allows users (buyers) to purchase physical or virtual gift cards that can be reloaded from the stores, restaurants and businesses that they were purchased for.

Peela patners with major merchants and vendors to offer the gift card, but more importantly, with reloadable gift cards, they offer a loyal customer. Perhaps your dad really loves the coffee shop he goes to every day, now everyone in the family can continually reload his card, it’s almost like a prepaid credit card for one place.

Peela has three main marketing channels, retail, e-commerce and businesses. So far it’s taking off, Peela’s Executive Director Guilherme  Coelho, showed us a map detailing Peela’s penetration across every city in Brazil.

They are looking to expand the platform and were part of the Brazilian pavilion at TechCrunch Disrupt NYC 2013. Check out our video interview with Coelho below and for more info you can visit them at peela.com.br

We’ve got much more from Disrupt check out our startup coverage here.