Episode 7: Jon Ferrara Explains Building Relationships As An Entrepreneur PT2

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Part 2 of our interview with Jon Ferrara, CEO of Nimble, and successful entrepreneur best known for being of GoldMine Software Corp, one of the early pioneers in the Sales Force Automation (SFA) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software categories for Small to Medium sized Businesses (SMBs).

In this episode, we really dive into growing your company, disruption, growth hacking and leveraging social networking to determine influencers and connect with them. Towards the end we also talk about building startup teams and how to leverage relationship building to find the right investors for your startup.

Jon tells great stories about how he has grown multiple companies, gain investors and clients that are truly inspiring. Beyond just anacedotes, he shares how to build systems which enable entrepreneurs to organize and deal with the pressure of owning a business.

Key advice to entrepreneurs

“Follow up and follow through. Not following up is the biggest cause of failure in business”. Jon Ferrara

How To Learn More About Jon

Twitter: @Jon_Ferrara

Episode 6: Jon Ferrara Explains How To Build Your Startup Without Marketing Capital (Part 1)

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Jon Ferrara is an American entrepreneur and the founder of Nimble LLC, his most recent venture. Ferrara is best known as the co-founder of GoldMine Software Corp, one of the early pioneers in the Sales Force Automation (SFA) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software categories for Small to Medium sized Businesses (SMBs).

Our conversation with Jon covered so much great insight into success we turned decided to create two episodes. In part one, he talks about:

  • Growing your startup without marketing capital
  • Importance of relationship building
  • Gaining income and investment capital
  • Long term sales logic
  • What is social selling

Importance of relationship building

Jon had lots of great quotes but one that epitomized importance of social selling and relationship building came from Mae West: “Out of sight is out of mind, and out of mind is out of money honey!”

Insight into the startup journey

Just like so many entrepreneurs Jon got frustrated with sales options in his early days, decided to jump ship and get started on his own with Goldmine which revolutionized the CRM concept. Built, grew, sold and is now on to doing the same with Nimble.

John and Ledge hear this story in every interview. The urge to start is so overwhelming that we just can’t help chasing down that idea and starting a company! Leave us a comment if you’ve ever felt that way and followed it. If you haven’t followed the feeling, why not?

What is social selling?

Jon explains the growth of the internet and its use in sales and business development over the past 20 years, with amazing insight into how social selling has become the new way to grow companies, build relationships and achieve success as an entrepreneur. We also discuss how social media is becoming common place and will likely begin to fade into a standard business practice from today’s “hype”.

How to get in touch

Make sure you follow Jon on Twitter and check out Nimble, a fantastic platform that enables you to manage all your social platforms in one place from a business perspective.

Sneaky ways social media could hurt your career

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Baltimore Startup: BeerGivr Lets You Send A Beer To Friends Through Your Phone


Back in March we reported that Maryland’s Governor Martin O’Malley was holding a new breed of startup pitch contest. O’Malley held his contest on Pinterest.. BeerGivr, a Baltimore based startup, was the first place winner in the bootstrapped category.

UMBC graduate, Sean Kennedy, is the founder of this innovative, social gift giving startup. As you can probably see from the name, BeerGivr is all about spreading the love via phone in the form of a beer.

BeerGivr isn’t a about virtual beers, drinking emoticons or meme’s featuring that guy from Dolseces, no its about giving your friends or family members ice cole beer, or other libations if they so choose.

So how does it work?

Well if you can’t make it t the afterwork social or your college buddy’s 30th birthday party you can go to BeerGivr’s website, enter your friend phone number, and pay via PayPal for an actual beer. If your friend is drinking at a participating bar or restart ant that establishment then receives the payment. If they’re not drinking at a participating restaurant your friend can redeem that value via PayPal themselves.

Our good friend Molly at inthecapital.com reports that Kennedy is the sole founder and the company’s only full time employee. He has enlisted the help of two friends but right now the brunt of the work falls on Kennedy.

The idea for BeerGivr came after Kennedy graduated from UMBC. He immediately took a job that required him to travel a lot and network with business people he may not likely see again, at least for a while. The traveling was two fold, Kennedy would miss social gatherings back home, and he met some cool people he wanted to stay friends with.

He decided that buying someone a beer from afar was a good idea and got to working on a prototype. Now he’s recruiting participating bars and restaurants and watching his Maryland based users accumulate. Of course after Maryland adopts to the new technology BeerGivr will expand.

Baltimore is turning into a tech hub especially in the mobile space with cool ideas like BeerGivr and ParkingPanda. ParkingPanda allows you to book parking spaces in Baltimore and Washington DC in advance in a similar way to hotels.com.


For more on BeerGivr click here

Check out this cool video on BeerGivr at the source link inthecapital.com

We are on a sneaker strapped, nationwide, startup road trip and need your helpq

Foursquare 5.0 Brings Complete Redesign, Available For Android And iOS


The completely redesigned, new version of Foursquare that we have been hearing about for so long is finally here today–and it is awesome. Foursquare is still Foursquare. Meaning you still check-in, you still can explore, you still compete for mayorships with your friends and complete strangers. However, the way Foursquare goes about this puts a bigger emphasis on finding you new things to do.

It all starts with the design. As soon as you open the app for Android, you will notice that it has the brand new ICS themed layout that we’re starting to see with more and more apps. In the iOS version, the same idea is present only in the standard row of tabs on the bottom of the screen. In the same direction that both Facebook and Google+ have gone, Foursquare is also enlarging all of the photos in the app, making it a more visual experience than ever. This works hand-in-hand with the new Facebook Timeline integration, which inevitably makes Foursquare look like a native part of Timeline when posts are viewed on Facebook. The whole thing just feels like that “modern social network” that all of the top social giants seem to be heading towards these days.

The Explore feature now remembers the places that you often go and the places you mark as a favorite, and suggests them to you. For example, right now my Foursquare app knows that it is Thursday afternoon, so it reads “Suggestions for Thursday afternoon.” Under that line, it shows a lot of my favorite lunch places, starting with Chipotle Mexican Grill. And to be honest, I could go for some Chipotle right now, which is exactly the reaction that Foursquare was looking for with their new app.

You can view your stats in a beautiful new grid layout, that shows your friends, check-ins, mayorships, and trophies as well. It looks really good, and is definitely the best Foursquare experience yet. In my opinion, this update is exactly what Foursquare needed to renew its novelty feel, keep users coming back, and bring back users that have parted ways. Grab the update for Android in the link below, and the update for iOS is available at the iTunes link below.

Play Store link

iTunes link

Interview With New York Startup Spark Rebel

Social discovery is one of the hottest online and mobile crazes right now. There are social discovery sites for everything from restaurants, events, people, things, food and fashion. Spark Rebel is an amazing blend of social and discovery revolving around fashion that real women are wearing today. Sure it’s nice to be able to shop the top tier boutiques in Chelsea, Manhattan and Rodeo drive and Spark Rebel does have feature some high fashion, but the thick of this social discovery site for fashion is what everyday women are working to work, out on the town or for a relaxing evening.

As people’s lives got busier and busier and they began to take to online shopping over in store shopping, an entirely new way to discover things popped up. The problem with traditional online shopping sites is that you’re seeing what the stores want you to see. You’re seeing the fashions that the buyers are seeing and not necessarily what everyone’s wearing.

Then, you go about your busy day and see that awesome outfit a woman is wearing at Starbucks or you see a must have dress on a woman in the elevator with you, and then you never see it again.

Spark Rebel uses a mixture of social, discovery and recommendation to bring the hottest trends and fashions to their users.

Spark Rebel was born out of site for teenage girls, which is a segment even harder to curate than traditional women’s wear.  We got a chance to interview Spark Rebel. Check out that interview after the break

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Ukraine Startup: activegift, Never Get The Wrong Gift Again

After reading the headline you’re probably thinking that this Ukraine startup is just another gift registry platform, nope! If you had to give activegift some kind of label, a reverse gift registry may be your best bet.

Co-Founders Artem Sukhoroslov and Max Krylov have created a gift platform that insures you don’t get someone the wrong gift.

Here’s how it works:

Say your birthday, bar mitzvah or Christmas is coming up. You would sign up for activegift and let your friends and family know you have an account there. From there your friends would sign up too. After they sign up they would think of gifts they want to get for you. activegift then anonymizes the gift ideas and sends them back to the recipient.  The recipient then gives the gifts a thumbs up or thumbs down.

The recipient can thumb up or thumb down multiple gifts so that they don’t automatically know everything they’re going to receive.

The gift purchaser then gets informed that the recipient has completed their activegift list and with a push of a button they can purchase the gift right there online.  See insurance that you will never again buy the wrong gift.

We talk to Artem and Max about activegift and starting up in the Ukraine. Check out the video from TechCrunch Disrupt NY’s Startup Alley, below:

Portland Startup: Chifpify Raises $1.3 Million For It’s Twitter Commerce Platform

Imagine if one of your favorite online retailers was having a sale on a new cashmere sweater that you’ve been wanting forever. Imagine if they tweeted that sweater and all you had to do was reply to the tweet with the word “Buy” and in three days you’d have that sweater delivered to your home? Well that’s becoming a reality thanks to Portland Oregon startup Chirpify.

Chirphify’s founder and CEO Chris Teso, who started the company as “Sell Simply” plans on making buying things on Twitter that easy. “Everybody is trying to become that ubiquitous wallet,” Teso told website oregonlive.com.

It works pretty much as I described it above. A Twitter user registers both their Twitter and Paypal accounts with Chirpify. A Chirpify merchant solicits a sale on twitter for example “Red Cashmere Sweater $19.99 delivered” and those with Chirpify accounts can simply reply with “buy” and the transaction is initiated.  Chirpify takes a small percentage from the vendor for facilitating the transaction.

Are people using it? Yes, in fact Nestle has been using it to sell PowerBars on Twitter. Teso is hoping to attract independent musicians who could sell downloads via Twitter to their Twitter followers.

Chirpify’s $1.3 Million dollar investment was led by Voyager Capital and included Ryan Holmes, Hootsuite’s CEO. Private investor Geoff Entress, BuddyTV CEO Andy Liu and Rudy Gadre a former Facebook executive participated as well. Angel investors with TIE Oregon also participated. Oregonlive reports that Portland incubator UpStart Labs provided Chirpify with an earlier backing of $50,000.

Find out more about Chirpify here 

Nibletz is the voice of startups everywhere else, check out these new stories

We’re on a sneaker strapped road trip, check it out and support us here

Source: OregonLive

Austin Startup: Kampfire.co Lets You Play Drinking Games Miles Apart

There’s an interesting new startup in Austin Texas. The startup, called Kampfire.co is hoping to bring together friends, family members and others to socially play drinking games across the internet, enabling both social and video.  Of course the startup is only open to those 21 and over.

Co-Founder Joe Wallen told Nibletz.com that this idea came about because friends and family members after college sometimes want to get together for fun, adult socializing. He talked about how you could play beer pong with a buddy who may have been shipped off for the military (off duty of course), or frat brothers who’ve moved away could get together for an evening of fun and games, via the internet.

Now we’re not talking about avatars or animation we’re talking about a real video enabled platform to set up drinking games and play in remote locations.

We told you this was interesting.  We spoke to Wallen a little more in-depth about it:

What is Kampfire.com?

The main product will be online gaming/social network, with an online store. This creates not only a forum for sponsors to market their products, but also to market our own line of apparel and merchandise. The targeted consumers are anyone, worldwide, who plays any of the drinking games offered on the website. We will not, however, be confined to cyberspace. The monthly and yearly tournaments can be held live, College vs. College, military branch vs. military branch, and tours are just a few of the other areas that will bring sponsors and new growth. Others are sure to follow once they see the billion dollar industry that we have created.

More after the break
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Chicago’s Lightbank Invests In Santa Monica Startup LifeCrowd

LifeCrowd is a Santa Monica based social startup that helps consumers participate in social events in their city. Lifecrowd users can browse activities ranging from a night full of board games, to rock climbing, band jamming, and wine tasting. They can then invite friends to join in the activities.

They’re different from other sites like Meetup.  Meetup lets anyone create groups centered around one focus. LifeCrowd offers all kinds of singular events which strangers can join in on, and in effect be more social. LifeCrowd users create the events but LifeCrowd curates them to make sure only the best events show up.

This $5 million dollar round of financing was led by Chicago’s LightBank and included Bullpen Capital, Baroda Ventures and Prism VentureWorks. As part of the round Lightbank partner Paul Lee will join LifeCrowd’s board of directors. Lightbank is a venture firm formed by Groupon co-founders Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell.

More after the break
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Chicago Startup: iFindit Takes On Real Social Discovery

We’ve heard about hundreds of social discovery apps. You’re familiar with the type, punch in your account info for Foursquare, Twitter or Facebook and find people near you. That’s what we are used to when it comes to “social discovery”. Well there’s a relatively new startup out of Chicago that helps users connect with real their real “social” environment.

We’re not talking about finding new people who share the same interests as you. We’re talking about things like food, shelter and medical care.

Here’s how the founders of iFindit describe themselves on their web page:

The application aims to assist social workers, case managers, providers and residents.  iFindit was built to serve Chicagoans by providing quick information regarding access to food, shelter and medical care in their area.

More after the break
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Facebook’s Other Acquisition This Week: Tagtile

Now that we’ve all heard that Instagram’s $500 million valuation drove Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg into a frenzy because he had to have Instagram, it’s time to check out Facebook’s other acquisition this week. While Instagram looks like a pretty solid acquisition into the Facebook family, their other acquisition, Tagtile, may fit better with the Facebook business.

Tagtile is a company that allows you to walk into a store, and tap your phone against a special cube. When you do that, your phone shakes hands with the business. The business gives you discounts and special offers and your phone shares the information you allow it to, back to Tagtile, like your contact information, and a little more if you let it.

Business Insider suggests that the Tagtile deal was an acqui-hire. A posting on Tagtile’s website suggests that Tagtile won’t continue the way it has been once they join Facebook. This is similar to the Gowalla deal, not the Instagram deal. Zuckerberg quickly let people know that Instagram would function as is, for now. Gowalla on the other hand officially shut down during SXSW as the founders and team relocated to Palo Alto to work on Team Facebook.

Tagtile hasn’t said how many merchants they have using the Tagtile cube or how many users have downloaded the app however they did say that Tagtile will continue to work the way it has, again for now…

source: SAI

Las Vegas’s Newest Start-Up Tracky Debuts With A Huge Splash

Tracky is a new Las Vegas bred startup that allows users, both businesses and individuals, to collaborate and organize to-do lists, share files, delegate tasks and more project management functions. It’s like a Google Wave on steroids with a top notch social interface for many to be on the same page, working on the same project across the country and around the globe.

The startup led by CEO David Gosse and CMO Jennifer Gosse, held a media event and kick off party on Tuesday. The day started off with a press briefing at SuperNAP, a high tech data center that houses Tracky’s servers among others. According to 8newsnow Gosse briefed the press on the ins and outs of the Tracky application and the technology behind it.

Later that night the hobnobbing moved over to the mansion once owned by heavyweight champion Mike Tyson. While the party was absent of any loose tigers, hundreds of members of Vegas Tech showed out to support the Tracky Launch. Vegas Tech is a community of entrepreneurs, startups, developers, designers, marketers and “do-ers”.

While some other tech and startup communities proud themselves on competing with hot spots like Silicon Valley and New York, Las Vegas thrives on it’s own.

“There is an entrepreneurial boom taking place in Vegas, called Vegas Tech. More than 200 startups have recently formed in the valley and other businesses are migrating to Vegas from other cities like Silicon Valley, Seattle and Salt Lake. Rather than try to emulate these cities, Las Vegas is aiming to focus on being innovative collaborators that just get things done,” Tracky’s CMO Jennifer Gosse said in an interview with KLAS-TV.

Groupon Buys Social Shopping Start Up Mertado

After a bumpy road in IPO land Groupon is back to acquiring companies and expanding the base of their product line. Groupon is far and away the largest group deals site on the net. Groupon started as a local deals buy in site and since then has grown to a user base of 155 million users, 23 million of which are active participants.

Groupon recently launched a new concept called Groupon Goods that sells cameras, electronic and other goods to their user base. Now it looks like they are looking to expand their social presence.

Mertado lets consumers find and buy products through social networks like Facebook.

“Mertado has shown a great level of innovation in the social commerce space — for example, the launch of Mertado TV, combining lifestyle video content and product selection,” a Groupon spokeswoman told the Chicago Tribune. “We’re looking forward to leveraging the team’s expertise.”

“Groupon has been a pioneer in social commerce in many ways, and when we started talking with them, it became extremely clear that they shared the same set of values as us,” Mertado told users and investors on their website.

source: Chicago Tribune