5 Common Fears Successful Entrepreneurs Need To Overcome

businessman nervously facing an obstacle challenge

With anything in life, you need to overcome your fears if you want to be successful. Letting your fears get the better of you will make it close to impossible to chase your dreams.

Here are examples of fears that an entrepreneur will often face when building a business.

1. Criticism or rejection

People are often afraid of pursuing their dreams or a business venture out of fear of being criticizedthat their ideas will be rejected even by their family or friends. Some fear that others will see them as a weird or crazy person.

You might have been told that what you are planning would be too risky and would never work. This fear can can be so debilitating that it can even prevent people from trying something new or even taking the next step.

Everything starts with you. You need to start believing in your talents first before you can make others believe in you and your business. Instead of worrying about the negative things that people might think of saying, think instead about what they would say if you succeeded in your pursuit.

If people think you are crazy, then accept it. Keep in mind that it is the people with “crazy” ideas who end up changing the world.

2. Debt or bankruptcy

Some people stay in their jobs and don’t go into business out of fear that their decisions would land them in the poorhouse. There is a basis for this fear. Starting a business requires capital and finding funding can be difficult.

If you find it hard to build capital or convince people to invest in the venture, you can try saving up for some of the capital needed to start your business. The amount may not be enough to pay for everything, but it should be enough to get you started or try out some of your ideas.

3. Offending others

Some people are indecisive out of fear that others will see them as being too self-confident or arrogant. This is especially true when it comes to marketing or promoting the brand.

However, being audacious is often important if you want to become a successful entrepreneur. You have to be confident enough in expressing your ideas, in promoting your brand and what you have to offer. Advertising is a necessity in building a successful business. If you don’t do it, no one will know about your brand or what you can do for people.

4. Looking stupid

We sometimes don’t do things out of fear of looking foolish in front of other people. Have faith in your abilities and the decisions that you make. What you decide to do allows you to test your skills and become better, whether it is in terms of speaking in front of a crowd, making movies, leading a team, or something else.

Regardless of whether you made the right or wrong decision, there is something you can learn from the experience. The worst thing you can do is to not do anything at all. It may make you feel safe, but it also prevents you from growing and developing your skills.

5. Success

You may be surprised to find that there are entrepreneurs who fear success. Success is something we all yearn for when we build a business. So why would people fear becoming successful?

We have this notion that building a business is extremely difficult. On the flip side, what if it’s easier than you’ve been led to believe? Imagine opening the doors of your bakeshop for the first time and seeing a long line of people waiting to get inside.

Some entrepreneurs fear that they will be unable to handle the demands of running and maintaining a booming business. There are other businesspeople who feel that their success will alienate them from their friends and colleagues.

Operating a thriving business is what most entrepreneurs aim for. At some point, you may feel alone, but it comes with the territory of becoming the best in your field. Always strive to improve yourself and your business. Your business’ success will not just affect you but can also affect how your industry grows and develops.

Everyone has fears. Entrepreneurs are no different. Knowing how to face your fears and overcome them can help you create a business that is successful.


Serial Entrepreneur and Business Strategist Henri Hazougi is the managing Director/Partner of Business Setup Consultants DMCC. The company offers a broad range of expertise in corporate services assisting companies and entrepreneurs in setting up and expanding their business in the UAE.


The How What and Why of Starting an Online Business in Singapore

startup-photos (10)

With everyone steadily moving towards the world of Digital everything, it is no surprise that there have been a rise of online businesses being set up in Singapore. With the rise of technology and also, unfortunately, the rise of costs associated with maintaining a physical business in Singapore, owners are now turning to the online world.

Aside from reduced costs, online businesses are a much easier way for individuals to set up shop, keeping overhead costs low and profits high. E-commerce is one of the up and coming markets in the industry and one that is certainly extremely promising. and it is certainly extremely promising. In today’s article, we bring to you The How, What and Why of Starting an Online Business in Singapore. Read on to find out more.

Quality Hosting Is Key

Before you can embark on running your online business, you will also need to ensure that you have purchased quality WordPress hosting. Hosting can truly make or break a website. If your host or their hosting plan is unreliable, you are setting yourself up for a lot of problems down the line.

Research, Plan and Get Writing

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither were any businesses. The first step in your journey is to structure a good business plan. Research into what the market needs at this point of time, and try to cater to said needs. There is no point in catering to a need that has already been met. Market research is crucial, and can assist you in building the stepping stones of your business. Research can give you a thorough idea on how successful your business will be or if you will need to alter and fine tune things in order to be the best version of yourself, on this this case, your business. Only the best version of the business should be advertised to the world!

Now, there is no point in planning everything in your head –  you need to put it down on paper. This is to ensure that you don’t forget anything, and so you can show your investors or business partners what you actually mean. You can use visuals, you can write an essay or make diagrams – just make sure that everything has been penned down and is kept safely! This is called your working plan of action and will eventually be turned into the blueprints for your ecommerce business.

Time To Get Started

Now that you have your business plan, blueprints and web hosting in order, it’s time to enter the playing field. Of course, with each country comes different laws. Singapore is no different. Below we will look a little deeper into some of the laws in Singapore which you will need to familiarize yourself and abide with.

Funding and Financial Assistance

The Singaporean government is always trying to ensure that the nation’s economy stays stabilized and prosperous, and thus tries to ensure that all businesses manage to stay afloat and succeed. When it comes to registering your business, setting your website on and so forth, things can start to get expensive and frustrating. Thankfully there are ways around this with government funding and financial assistance.

Business Loans

Most of us would probably be familiar with the age old business loan. The plus side of a bank loan is that you will always remain the sole owner of your business. However, on the flip side, you will also forever be indebted to your lender and be free of debt once it is fully paid off. In an instance where things do not take off, you are putting yourself at risk. With regards to bank loans, it is something you need to take time to ponder over thoroughly in order to ensure that your credit is secure and not tarnished.

The Other Option, Government Funding

One of the perks of starting your online business in Singapore the fact that the government has been extremely hands on when it comes to new startups and are always on the search for new opportunities. There are a number of initiatives that allow start-ups and specific industry businesses to access government funding. Some of the perks will include grants, business incubator schemers, and tax incentives.

Next Step, Incorporating Your Business

Once you have finances set up, the next step is incorporating your business. Business incorporation is extremely important because when you register your business, you will need to decide on your business structure. The structure you choose will then be a gauge or measure for your taxes, how much you are liable to pay and will also determine how you are supposed to run your business.

The most common business structure chosen is to incorporate a private limited company. This has numerous advantages and it will assist in helping your company rise at a quicker pace. The registration process is simple and only takes up to a day to complete.

Finally, Gather Your Arsenal

Last but not least, it’s time to gather your arsenal. This is a step that will rely heavily on the service or product you are planning to sell and is not as simple as it seems. There are a few infrastructural things need to be sorted in order to ensure the diligent sale and delivery of items and services to your customers. Choosing the correct infrastructure will reduce your workload and benefit your business by leaps and miles.

So, what are some of the infrastructures that you need?

Website Development

You will need to ensure that along with your reliable web host, you have a great domain name, and proper design and development for your website. Your website is essentially your online space, and you want it to look as good as a physical store would.


The best way to ensure you get as much traffic to your website as possible is to create consistent, quality content and dip your toes in online marketing and social media advertising. Starting Instagram, Google Plus, Facebook and Twitter pages are also a fantastic, cost-free way of marketing your products and services. People can also leave you reviews on these platforms, ensuring that everyone knows how great your products and services are.


Lastly, bookkeeping. Finances need to be handled with a great deal of care, and can be managed on your own or by hiring a professional, which is what we would advise doing. Even when hiring a professional, always remember to play it safe and still check the finances yourself make sure they all balance out at the end of the day. Keeping on the ball ensures no disasters occur in the future.


We hope that this article has been useful in educating you about the steps you need to take when starting up an online business in Singapore.

3 Keys for Running a Cohesive Global Business Team in a Virtual Work Environment


Virtual collaboration has become a pillar of today’s workplace, often involving workforces that extend across international borders. The number of companies that use an entirely virtual business model grew from 26 in 2014 to 125 in 2016, the latest FlexJobs annual update reveals. Organizations with multinational operations are over twice as likely as U.S.-based operations to use virtual teams, SHRM reports.

But managing a transnational workforce can be challenging. Approximately half of companies that use virtual teams find team building and managing time differences can be obstacles, SHRM’s research shows. The majority of virtual teams struggle to meet their goals and satisfy their clients due to difficulties with virtual communication and collaboration technology, Harvard Business Review says.

Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to address these issues. Here are three strategies you can implement to help make your global business team run more smoothly in a virtual workplace environment.

Use Telepresence Tools to Promote Face-to-Face Interaction

Lack of face-to-face interaction is one of the biggest challenges for managing virtual teams. Interacting with managers and coworkers exclusively on a computer or smartphone can discourage worker engagement. Employees who work only remotely have the lowest engagement rates with their jobs, a Gallup poll found.

You can compensate for lack of physical presence by using virtual office tools to make your workers feel closer to your company. Unified communications solutions that include video chat and web conferencing capability allow your workers to see each other as well as share visual aids so that everyone is looking at the same thing. Schedule regular video meetings to make face-to-face interaction part of your workplace routine.

Take Steps to Bridge Time Differences

Another major obstacle for global virtual teams is dealing with time zone differences. When your managers and workers are operating on schedules eight or 12 or more hours apart, keeping projects on time and meeting deadlines can be a hurdle.

To get your workforce on the same page chronologically, let employees know your expectations before you hire them. Establish what work hours are, and use time tracking tools to log billable hours if needed. In some cases, team members in one or both locations may need to shift schedules. If your team can’t be on the same schedule, one way to handle this is to have periodic five-minute check-ins at a time when parties on both ends of the conversation can be present.

Build Trust With Virtual Team Building Exercises

Reduced face-to-face interaction makes building trust a challenge in a virtual work environment. The lack of physical presence makes it vital to take proactive steps to promote trust between workers, managers and coworkers.

Allowing team members opportunities to socialize remotely can help build trust. Holding periodic meetings to share personal updates, creating online discussion groups and sending group emails are a few ways to do this. Encouraging team members to play each other in online games is another strategy. Another idea is having virtual coffee meetings where each team member goes to their local coffee shop before logging in for a group video conversation.

Indian Startup Price-Hunt Is Helping Indian Consumers Shop The Best Price

Price-Hunt, Indian startup, startup interview

A new Indian startup called Price-Hunt is hoping to become the go-to destination for Indian consumers to find the best price on products. Once most consumers have found the product they are looking for, the next thing they do is shop by price. Obviously if you’re comparing apples to apples, like for instance a specific laptop model by a specific manufacturer, the final decision is going to be price.

Price-Hunt offers price based search results on anything from consumer electronics to the latest fashions.

“But search at price-hunt.com is not limited by categories and one can find anything here that is available at online stores. Its main aim is to make Indian consumers aware of price variation for products in India and make it possible for him/her to save money through price comparison,” Anupam Khurana, the startup,s co-founder told us an in interview.

Check out the rest of the interview below.

What is your startup called?


What does your company do?

Price-Hunt.com is a real time price search engine which searches and delivers the best prices across various online stores in India. Price-Hunt showcases wide product range from various categories like Consumer Electronic goods, Mobiles, Digital cameras, LCD TVs, home appliances, clothing and apparels, shoes, watches, jewellery and much more. But search at price-hunt.com is not limited by categories and one can find anything here that is available at online stores. Its main aim is to make Indian Consumers aware of price variation for products in India and make it possible for him/her to save money through price comparison.

Who are the founders, and what are their backgrounds

Price-Hunt.com is founded by Anupam Khurana and Palka Khurana.

Anupam Khurana is B.E. (Mechanical) from Delhi College of Engineering with 10 years experience in software and business development.

Palka Khurana is B.E.(Instrumentation) from Delhi Institute of technology with 8 years experience in Marketing and sales management.


Where are you based?

We are based in Gurgaon (Haryana), India.


What’s the startup scene like where you are based?

Our target consumer is online shoppers of all age groups. With online shopping gaining popularity day by day, Price-Hunt was launched with a vision to simplify and enhance online shopping. It revolves about the idea of presenting a one stop search for all online shopping. We We hope to meet our goals and targets soon.

What problem do you solve?

Price-Hunt.com is an online price search engine with real time search as a distinguishing feature. Price search is not limited to any product and current coverage is stores in India. Price-Hunt.com also features current deals and offers for a single click experience. It will change the way people buy products online. One will not have to go to and store individually to check prices and buy products. the one point access to all shopping needs online will be price-hunt.com.

Why now?

Online shopping is gaining momentum and has bright future prospects with an increasing number of people opting to do shopping from the convenience of their home or office. Once keen to shop online, the traditional way is to browse each of the various online stores and order the product from the stores offering the best price (of course with a name and reputation for being good). This takes a lot of time defeating the purpose of time saving in online shopping and one still might miss a store offering a better price and end up buying the product at a higher price. Thus we came up with an idea of providing one click search for all stores so that the shopper finds the best price/deal immediately comparing offerings from the different stores for the product searched. This led us to the idea to develop price-hunt.

What are some of the milestones your startup has already reached?

The company uses generic search engine route to get visitors to the site. We also use social media to provide personalized deals to consumers. Price-hunt.com has an average visitor count of about 900 and we are building up on that. We have just started and will go a long way.

What are your next milestones?

Mobile version of the site is under development. It will be an adaptation of the desktop version to the mobile with reduced features. We also plan an andriod application for the mobile users in very near future. We also plan to launch the Android application of the site very soon.

Where can people find out more? Any social media links you want to share?





Is This Brazilian Startup The YouTube Of Books?

WidBook, Brazilian startup, startup interview

The publishing industry is ripe for a disruption, and many of them. The traditional music industry where we used to buy records, tapes, and CD’s has been all but replaced by digital media. Many predicted that books would always be safe. People love the touch, the feel, and the smell of actual books.

Now Borders is gone, Barnes and Noble has shut down many of their stores, and the mom and pop shops are drying up. It’s unfortunate for readers. But just like in the music industry, it leaves a gaping hole for disruption. Everything from distribution, to consumption, to the publishing of digital books is all open terrain for the right startups.

One Memphis startup, Screwpulp,  is well on their way to disrupting the self publishing model with their unique platform that calls for feedback in exchange for free books.

Brazilian startup Widbook is a digital collaborative reading and writing platform where authors can improve their writing, publish books online for free, and solicit feedback and work together with fellow members. It was launched in June 2012 and was instantly described by Mashable as “The Youtube of Books.” The platform recently reached a milestone 30,000 members and has over 1,100 published books with thousands being written.

We got a chance to talk with the team behind Widbook, check out the interview below.

Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds?

FLAVIO AGUIAR Co-founder and CEO at Widbook

Early career

• Founded Digitale.XY2 digital agency, a company headquartered in Campinas and São Paulo that has for 10 years worked with the planning of digital marketing, digital presence and consultancy.

• Was head of the merging process with Attitude Global group, one of the biggest commutation groups in the world.

• Has worked in the software development market as system analyst and participated in the official process of implementation and assessment of the CMMi methodology.

• MBA in Strategic & Economic Business Management from Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV) and Ohio University in the U.S.


Co-founder and COO at Widbook

Early career

• Founded Digitale.XY2 digital agency, company headquartered in Campinas and São Paulo that has for 10 years worked with the planning of digital marketing, digital presence and consultancy.

• Was ahead of the merging process with Attitude Global group, one of the biggest commutation groups in the world.

• He has been one of the directors of APADi – Associação Paulista das Agências Digitais (São Paulo Association of Digital Agencies) since 2010.

• MBA in Strategic & Economic Business Management from Fundação GetúlioVargas (FGV) and Ohio University in the U.S.


Co-founder and CTO at Widbook

Early career

• More than 13 years of experience as web developer and project manager

• Was the chief systems architect of e-Commerce of Fnac Brasil (fnac.com.br) and was responsible for its entire system development and support team.

• He participated in the official process of implementation and assessment of the CMMi methodology and was responsible for the study and implementation of several other technologies in others companies.

What’s the startup scene like in Brazil?

The company is based in Brazil, but plans a move to the U.S. in the future. The platform is virtual and has a presence in over 200 countries worldwide (with 60 percent of its users from the U.S.). The startup scene in Brazil is fairly new compared to the U.S. but it’s growing quickly. The government is starting to offer programs to support startups and lots of well-known events, like TED Global and the MIT Global Startup Workshop, are coming to Brazil.

What problem do you solve?

The publishing industry receives hundreds of thousands of manuscripts/book submissions each year and only a small fraction are reviewed, and even fewer accepted. Widbook offers members the opportunity to bypass the publishing house and publish their work quickly easily (while also getting valuable feedback from other members).

Why now?

The ebook industry is positioned to expand beyond the print book market by 2017 (driving $8.2 billion in sales by then). Widbook wants to offer more than just a platform for self-publishing; it wants to be the place where people go to read and write ebooks for free and collaborate and network with other members.

What are some of the milestones your startup has already reached?

Dec. 2012 – Investments secured by W7 Brazil Capital

Feb. 2013 – Widbook 2.0 released

May 2013 – Widbook team attended NYC’s Book Expo America

June 2013 – Widbook CEO attended START Series event START SF (an invite-only gathering of 150 early stage startups and entrepreneurs)

July 2013 – 30,000 members reached

What are your next milestones?

The iOS app is in the works and set to be released soon (Android app is already available for download), and we hope to be at 50,000 members in the very near future.

Where can people find out more?


Widbook on Facebook

 Read this: How to nail your next VC Pitch


Berlin Startup Tame Launches First Context Search Engine For Twitter

Tame, Berlin startup, tame.it, Twitter, social media startup

Twitter is a treasure trove of content. We actually source quite a bit of startup news and new startups from everywhere else using Twitter. The problem is, until now there was no great way to do a contextual search. You can use the Twitter search tool built into Twitter and most of the good third party Twitter apps, but they fall short when looking for context. For example, a search for accelerator brings up tweets about car parts and incubator talks about babies.

The team behind Berlin startup Tame have been tirelessly working on solving that problem. They want to make it easier for people to find what they’re looking for on Twitter. That can be tough when at peak loads there can be 300,000 tweets per minute.

The company has launched their product today at tame.it. We got a chance to talk with them, check out the interview below.

What does your startup do?

Tame is the first context search engine for Twitter delivering relevant content around a specific topic in real-time. Aimed at journalists, PRs, marketers and politicians, Tame analyses content from Twitter, sifting through the huge amounts of noise to find exactly what is relevant.

Who are the founders, and what are their backgrounds?

Frederik Fischer is founder and CEO of Tame. Fischer has five years of professional experience as a staff and freelance journalist for TV, radio, online and print.

Arno Dirlam is founder and CTO of Tame. The developer guy!

Torsten Müller is founder and CMO of Tame. He has three years professional experience as freelance journalist for online and print including the German Press Agency dpa, stern.de, Zeit Online.

Where are you based?

Berlin, Germany

What’s the startup scene like where you are based?

Berlin is a perfect place to start a business. It may be over-hyped, but we find that the scene is indeed very active, people help out each other a lot and are very open. Since the city is attractive for living, many people from Europe or beyond flock into it which helps creating international teams with a global approach from the start, which we think is important. We came to Berlin with not much more than an idea and thanks to the Humboldt University’s spin-off team and many others we could get Tame off the ground in a bit more than a year.

What problem do you solve?

Tame aims to address information overload on Twitter. Nearly every user follows more people than they can manage. At peak times, more than 300,000 tweets are sent out per minute, hence people miss a lot of important content. Professionals working with social media need to identify relevant topics, users and content quickly. A solution to ‘Tame’ the social web is needed.

Why now?

In 2011, Google stopped indexing Twitter and has since left a gap in filtering real-time information. Twitter has continued to grow and has a global impact as not only an alternative, but often primary news source (think of Arab spring). Our mission is to tame the wealth of real-time information in social networks so as to empower people to make sense of the world.

What are some of the milestones your startup has already reached?

We got an initial € 94k ($125,725) funding from the German Federal Ministry of Technology and Economics (BWMi) in 2012

Tame has secured € 250k ($334,375) from a crowd-investing campaign with Companisto

A product already used by thousands of journalists and PRs, first paying customers and first cooperations with outlets

We won a spot in the Germany Silicon Valley Accelerator (also by BMWi) and will be working from San Francisco from October on for at least 3 months.

What are your next milestones?

rolling out more features for Tame including a refinement of our Algorithm that will improve the results by ie filtering out spam on Twitter

starting our global launch by entering the US market from October onward

looking in to the possibility of including more real-time information services

Where can people find out more? Any social media links you want to share?

People can find out everything they need at tame.it. We’re also on Twitter – https://twitter.com/tame_it – and Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/tameapp.




Jordanian Woman Builds Top-Notch Foodie Site

Jordanian startup, woman owned startup, startup interviewNadia Shomali started her company for the same reasons a lot of entrepreneurs do. She had a problem and built her own solution. She originally intended to only use the site herself and share it with her friends. She had no idea how many other people needed a food collection site! As the popularity grew among her friends and acquaintances, Shomali realized she may have a business on her hands.

Foodlve.com is a fully integrated site for foodies. Shomali describes it as merging all the most important features:

  • Google for food
  • Pinterest for food
  • Tumblr for food
  • Store for food…
  • All in one account.

On the Oasis500 website, the company says they “provide the opportunity to learn, add, and promote everything about food in a fun and interactive environment. Our users have access to informative articles, interesting recipes, engaging videos, and so much more.”


Shomali at Oasis500 training

Drawing on 12 years of experience in web design, development, and marketing, Shomali built the original version herself. Now, she leads at team of 9 as they continue to improve and market the site.

Although Shomali started foodlve.com on her own, she credits Amman-based incubator Oasis500 with much of her team’s success.

“Through Oasis500 we could get the angel investments, the support, and the weekly mentorship meetings that helped to create a very strong business model,” she says.

Oasis500 is the first early stage/seed investment company in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region. They hold boot camps around the region and invite the most promising companies to incubate at their Amman headquarters. The invitation includes capital, access to other angels, and mentoring. The company big vision is to launch 500 startups in the MENA region in the next 5 years.

Foodlve.com is one of those companies. Four months into their incubation, they’ve brought on additional investment from Leap Ventures. Shomali was also very proud to share that in those 4 months, they’ve also reached 4 million page views a month.

We talk about female entrepreneurs a lot at Nibletz. I was curious to know if starting up as a woman in a predominantly Muslim country was any different than a woman starting up in the US.

When I asked, though, Shomali–who is a Christian–had answers very similar to the women I’ve talked to stateside: It’s challenging to start up as a mother (she has twin 3-year-old girls), but her husband and family are very supportive. That answer could have been taken from one of my own on the subject!

Shomali and her team aren’t slowing down, though. With the growing popularity of their current site, they are looking to launch a new one called karazak.com. The version of foodlve.com will focus on the Middle East only, and Shomali describes it as an Arabic Pinterest.

There is a growing wave of entrepreneurship in the MENA region. With woman like Nadia Shomali and the foodlve.com team, the future is looking bright.

Check out foodlve.com and, if you speak Arabic, the new karazak.com, which is coming soon.


Hungarian Startup Brickflow Curates Stories, Easily, Through Your Social Media

Brickflow, Hungarian startup,startup interview

Stringing together content to tell a story isn’t anything new, but the tools we are using these days to tell stories are getting newer every day. A big story is now told through a series of smaller stories, typically in 15 second videos, 6 second videos or 140 characters or less. Yes I’m speaking of Twitter, Vine, and the new Instagram with video.

There are a lot of people telling stories through Vine. We’ve even used Vine to do six second startup pitches. Now, with video on Instagram people are using that as a tool. In fact New York investor, and wine aficionado Gary Vaynerchuck has started an agency representing the best of the micro-videoers.

But what about the millions of others who want to make something more than just a few microbursts and updates? People would surely love to use their content to tell stories on a grander scale, right?

That’s what Hungarian startup (yes there are startups in Hungary), Brickflow is doing with social media.  They hope to open their playful story creation tool up for global public beta later this month. We got  a chance to talk with Mihaly Borbely, one of the cofounders of Brickflow. Check out the interview below.



Who are the founders, and what are their backgrounds?

Brickflow has three founders.

Mihaly Borbely has a background in market research, and also has experience in photography and web technologies. Peter Langmar has a background in photography, but changed his track and studied business and communications. He researched the impact of social media on our cultural behaviour and worked for a Harvard University founded startup incubator in Paris. Tamas Kokeny has worked as a developer for years and participated in the development of sites like Superglued before he joined Brickflow. He gained key experience at the well-recognized Hungarian startup, Prezi.

Where are you based?

We are from Budapest, Hungary, but we’ve been living in several places over the last one year. As startup founders we have to be flexible and ready to move anywhere, if an opportunity arises. We moved to Tallinn, Estonia, to join the Startup Wise Guys accelerator. Currently we are working in Santiago, as part of the Start-Up Chile program. We’ll stay here until September, then we’ll move back to Europe. Our future goal is to focus our business development and marketing efforts to the US.

What’s the startup scene like where you are based?

Estonia is a great place to be for startups. Innovation seems to be deeply rooted in the everyday life of the country. There’s an active startup scene in Tallinn, with lots of events going on. Being in Santiago is also an awesome experience, since we work together with a huge community of Start-Up Chile participants from all over the world. But our home city, Budapest is awakening and also has its own startup community, which is growing at a speed we’ve never seen before. Each place has its own strengths.

What problem do you solve?

There is no tool for playful curated storytelling:

Curation tools only let you create just another linear feed. Storytelling tools are too complicated. If bloggers want to add a visual narrative to a post, they have no easy way to do it. There is no way to connect short videos as a story, or present content from different sources as one coherent visual narrative.

Why now?

Curated storytelling is a form of communication that is here to stay. But content is getting shorter, more visual, and taking place in real-time. Hashtags are becoming mainstream. Vine and Instagram are widely popular. This is a totally new form of self-expression: a few seconds of square-shaped video, low-res snapshots, 140 characters of text.

The tool which connects these sources into curated stories must have a format, workflow, and user experience that fit perfectly into this new world. Nobody else on the market is focusing on visual storytelling with such an approach. Moreover, we aggregate social media content based on hashtag, which makes the workflow much more simple.


What are some of the milestones your startup has already reached?

We started with a successful crowdfunding campaign, been through the Startup Wise Guys accelerator, and the Startup Chile program. We are currently in private Beta, but our early adopters already made thousands of stories with Brickflow. We already have paying customers as well, using Brickflow for marketing purposes.


What are your next milestones?

The public Beta will be launched in July.

We are raising $250.000 seed investment, for which we already have 75% in soft commitments, but of course we are still looking for potential investors.


Where can people find out more? Any social media links you want to share?

Brickflow can be found on any of the following platforms:

facebook.com/brickflow twitter.com/brickflow   blog.brickflow.com

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Polish Startup Nearbox Wins Google For Entrepreneurs Trip To Chicago!

nearbox, Polish Startup, Chicago TechWeek, Google For Entrepreneurs

Google For Entrepreneurs hosted a contest in Poland and brought over a few startups to show off their stuff at Chicago TechWeek. Nearbox was one of those startups.

Nearbox is a social network of sorts, where you follow places rather than people. Each place has an online billboard where they can post messages, videos, and texts. It’s a great way to communicate with customers, friends, and even neighbors.  They call it a “virtual mailbox,” where the place can leave a message.

In nearbox every place is a community, and anyone can join that community’s place. It’s a communication tool that brings the discussion to a hyperlocal level.

With Nearbox the person who’s administering the place can interact with that place’s community any way they want. Are you having a house party? You can send out the invite. Is your place a restaurant? Use Nearbox to post your food specials. Is your place a bar or tavern? You can post your drink specials or entertainment schedule. But more than just a bulletin board, Nearbox allows you to interact with everyone in your place’s community.

Schools, neighborhoods, businesses, and even rec centers can have a place on Nearbox, facilitating community involvement.

In addition to winning the Google for Entrepreneurs contest, the startup, which just launched a few months ago, has also won awards from T-Mobile , InternetBeta 2012, and Innovation Nest. They also closed a small $25,000 round which was plenty to get the idea off the ground.

They launched in Poland and plan to expand globally this year.

Check out our interview with nearbox below and for more info visit nearbox.pl

Check out these other startup stories from Chicago TechWeek.


British Startup FutureYear Is Twitter For The Future

futureyear, British startup,startup interviewSo when I first heard about FutureYear and how they billed themselves as “Twitter For The Future,” I had to take a step back and actually check it out. They weren’t implying that they were the next Twitter, but rather a social network for things that haven’t happened yet.

I poked around a bit and found out that the social network combines birthdays, events, and even forward-thinking historical tidbits about that particular day. Users are posting about graduating from college, holidays, starting vacations, and even startup events. Unlike Facebook it takes a microblogging approach to this information, and other users can join in the conversation.

Like Twitter, FutureYear users post in 140 characters or less in what they call “Sparks.” A spark can also include a location tag or a photo.

We got a chance to talk with FutureYear cofounder Nick Howland. Check out our interview below.


What is your startup called? 

FutureYear http://futureyear.com

What does your company do? 

FutureYear is a social network focused purely on the future tense of the lives of people, celebrities, and brands. As the name suggests, we focus on the year ahead, the next 365 days. The best way to describe us is ‘Twitter for the future’ – ‘What’s happening this year…’

Who are the founders, and what are their backgrounds:

Nick Howland, CEO, is a web development and marketing specialist who has been involved in setting up several online businesses. Nick has been responsible for the product development strategy, website development, marketing and branding of the website.


Kevin Griffiths is degree and master’s degree qualified and has for the past 11 years has run software and technology companies working in various sectors and with large blue-chip organisations.


Gavin Donlon has founded and owns several Internet businesses. Gavin has a strong vision for the product and adds value to the features and usability of the site.


Gary Aston has spent the past 30 years working in the technology sector and has tremendous expertise in software development, collecting, storing, manipulating, and reporting on huge volumes of data.

Where are you based?

Newcastle-under-Lyme, England, UK

What problem do you solve? 

Discover what your friends, inspirational people and favourite brands have planned for the next day, week, month, or year. Immerse yourself with what’s happening around the world, or get involved locally, all on a particular day in the future year. Our aim is to make the future more open and data rich, so that people can make informed decisions on what to do in their future.

Why now? 

There is a gap in social networking that we recognised in late 2010. Facebook focuses on the past, connecting past friends made and memories. Twitter is all about now, what’s happening now. Foursquare is about location discovery in the present, now. Our focus is to fill the gap in the social spectrum, FutureYear’s focus is on the future.

What are some of the milestones your startup has already reached?

We’re now in version 0.3 of our beta launch. Our site uses responsive design and can be accessed from any device – desktop, mobile, or tablet. Having launched only a few weeks ago we already have a growing and engaged userbase of 700 users from around the world.

What are your next milestones?

To release native iOS and Android apps and to grow our userbase internationally.

Where can people find out more? Any social media links you want to share?

Website – http://futureyear.com

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/futureyear

Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/futureyear

Tumblr – http://futureyear.tumblr.com/


This 22 year old entrepreneur moved from New York to London and then raised 1 million pounds.


Cultivate,Collaborate, Innovate With Nigerian Startup Insp-i

Insp-I, Nigerian startup,startup,startup interview

When I was first contacted by Kingsley Otoide about his Nigerian startup Insp-I, I was a little skeptical. We’ve all received 100s of emails, typically credited to Nigeria, saying we could easily make 2, 5, and $20 million dollars by helping someone move some absurd amount of money to a bank in the US. Luckily for me Otoide had a great sense of humor and an even better idea.

That idea is a startup called Insp-I.

Through several overseas phone calls and Skype sessions, I learned that Otoide’s startup is about ideas. It’s not an idea marketplace though. Insp-I is a social network for ideas where someone can cultivate, collaborate, and innovate on an idea they have but may not have the resources to flush out.

Say you had a brilliant idea to try something different that you thought was the treatment for cancer. You’ve done enough research to know you’re on track, but you’re not a doctor nor a scientist. Insp-I wants to be the global place where you can take that idea, find people you think would be useful to help build out that idea, and pitch it to them. The next step after that is to collaborate and get the conversation going.

Otoide and his cofounder Kelechi Iheanacho envision a social networking platform where no idea is a bad idea. Sure we say that all the time, but what often makes a bad idea bad is the inability to follow through. By connecting the thinkers with the doers and vice versa, you create serendipity, and real innovation can get done.

Otoide and Iheanacho see their platform as a place where people with a good idea can share it with someone who can execute or help brainstorm it. Then, that same user can turn around and brainstorm or build someone else’s idea.

We got a chance to interview Otoide about this new idea for a new social network. Check out that interview below.

What is your startup called?


What does your company do?

Insp-i is the world’s first social network purpose-built for democratizing and engineering disruptive innovations.

In 2008, a 16-year-old Danish high school student thought to herself, “What if we made ozone in the lab and used it as a personal protective coating to help prevent skin cancer?”

Obviously, she lacked the domain expertise required to develop the idea. Fortunately, she got the opportunity to discuss her idea with a Nobel scientist. The eventual result of a series of interactions was Buckyozun, a product that gives 99.99% protection against all UV-radiation and has a large market potential in about 14 industries- including, the space industry.

Now, imagine what benefits yet await mankind if we proactively got domain experts in the various fields of human endeavor to rub minds with non-experts (e.g., domain experts from other fields, grassroots innovators in Africa or Asia, shop floor employees, students, etc). Simply put, the possibilities are limitless.

Who are the founders, and what are their backgrounds


Kingsley Otoide
He studied medicine at the University of Nigeria before becoming a global marketing associate for Invent Resources, Inc.(IR), a US company founded by four top US scientists/inventors one of which is Dr. Richard Pavelle, the President. Through his effort, IR’s GTL technology was reviewed by some leading corporations (e.g. BP, Sasol, Lurgi, etc) and venture capitalists (e.g. Vinod Khosla).

Kelechi Iheanacho
He is the ‘silent founder’ because he is an officer and engineer with the Nigerian Navy.
Earlier, the founders built an Execution Risk Management (ERM) software for which a Nigerian patent number RP 15584 was granted.

Where are you based?

Lagos, Nigeria.

What problem do you solve?

The CULTURES and DESIGNS of the better-known of the existing social networks are such that they do not proactively catalyze the interaction of people from diverse backgrounds (i.e. disciplines, industries, nationalities, ages, experiences, etc.) Rather, people tend to connect with other people just like themselves. As a consequence, opportunities for serendipity, new knowledge and breakthrough innovations are stifled.
What we offer is a social network with a CULTURE and DESIGN that encourage people of diverse backgrounds to freely interact in solving the world’s many problems. Imagine that, with each post or tweet you write, you could actually target only the person or persons you wanted to engage in conversation with. For example, with one post or tweet you want to rub minds with 2 doctors in Brazil, 3 physicists in China, and 4 veteran plumbers in India in one space as predetermined by you. And you can have as many of such conversation spaces as you wish and at the same time. That is what our social network aims to do- and much more.

Or think of it as some sort of online version of breakout sessions at a conference where all of the world’s 7 billion people are in attendance. And that each attendee has the power to choose the people he or she wants at his/her table at each session while there are no limits to the number of tables or session that each attendee can create.
As is well-known, breakout sessions are conversation spaces for inspiration and collision of ideas as well as opportunities for new knowledge and breakthrough innovations.

Why now?

There is no better time. We are at a critical time when the world is in dire need of new knowledge and breakthrough innovations that can help solve its many problems.


What are some of the milestones your startup has already reached?


Actually, we have been working on this project for the last 2 years. And we took all that time to validate the project idea with some of the world’s leading domain experts and innovation-focused institutions. Here is what some of them have been saying:
‘That is a wonderful idea. I have long shared that it is often from people outside a discipline that come up with the best innovative ideas!’
Clayton Christensen, Harvard professor and co-author of The Innovator’s DNA.
“It’s an intriguing idea. I think the core insight that networks like Facebook focus on connecting you to people you already know, rather than people with unexpected perspectives and insights is a valid one – indeed, it’s one of the core ideas of the book I’m publishing next year.”
Ethan Zuckerman, Director, Center for Civic Media, MIT.

‘I agree completely. Thanks for sharing!’
Jeff Dyer, BYU professor and co-author of The Innovator’s DNA.

‘I agree that putting together “beginners’ minds” with experienced people can yield great results. We discuss this in much more detail in the book When Sparks Fly, published by Harvard Publishing on the topic of group creativity.’
Dorothy Leonard, Harvard professor and co-author of When Sparks Fly.

‘Yes, I agree that the folks who work on the ground (on the factory floor, in the trenches, etc.) are often a terrific source of ideas and should be included in the conversation. The split between professionals and non-professionals is false and counterproductive. This was also one of the big insights of Japanese “lean” management and quality circles.’
AnnaLee (Anno) Saxenian, professor and Dean at UC Berkeley School of Information.

Also, we have got the following individuals as Advisors:


Beth Kolko

She is a professor in the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering at the University of Washington. She is also a Founder and CEO of Shift Labs, an engineering and manufacturing company.


Jason Fraser

He is a co-founder and principal at LUXr Incorporated, the lean user experience residency based in San Francisco, CA.


David Verba

He is a former director of technology for Adaptive Path; currently, CTO & Founder Halcyon Engineering.


Jenny E. Jung

She is the Global Partnership Director at Blackbox.vc based in Atherton, CA.


Dr. Clifford D. Conner

He is the author of A People’s History of Science: Miners, Midwives, and “Low Mechanicks.”

What are your next milestones?

We have built a prototype to demonstrate our raw idea. And we want people from all over the world to try it out and give us useful feedback. At the same time, we are looking to launch our company in the US to take advantage of the unique startup nourishment that can be found there.

Where can people find out more? Any social media links you want to share?

Please see our prototype www.insp-i.com, If you have a Twitter account, be sure to follow us @inspiglobal

Are “world changing” startups, really changing the world?


Microsoft Manager Heading To Baghdad For Their First Ever Startup Weekend

Othmane Rahmouni, Startup Weekend, Startup Weekend Baghdad. MicrosoftLast month when Startup Weekend and Startup America joined forces to launch UpGlobal, one of the big factors was expanding the Startup America vision across the globe. Startup Weekend holds 54 hour hackathon style events worldwide every weekend.  To date they’ve held over 600 events in 113 countries and 325 cities.   Now they are looking forward to the first Startup Weekend Baghdad.

Baghdad has been rebuilding for years and is still one of the most violent regions in the world. GeekWire reminds us that in May alone over 1000 civilians and security officials were killed. But that won’t stop entrepreneurs, designers and developers from coming together to startup.

The Baghdad event will start this Thursday June 27th (Friday in Baghdad) and continue for 54 hours.

Startup Weekend is no stranger to violence and they don’t let it interrupt their events. In countries facing war, violence, and even poverty, entrepreneurs escape by coming together, collaborating and working on companies. Even missile attacks last November in Israel couldn’t stop one of the largest Startup Weekend groups from pushing through.

During that Startup Weekend in Israel it wasn’t until the third missile alarm and a missile striking a building just 12 yards away that organizers finally caved in and postponed the event:

After the first missile alarm we didn’t change our minds and it was amazing to see everyone starting to carry tables and chairs into the safe zones (Shelters) inside the building just so they can keep on working on their projects. Sometimes, the entrepreneurial spirit can overcome fear. It was so inspiring to see how everyone are focused on what seems to be the most important thing at the moment – how to take their idea and make it into a successful venture.

But sometimes reality just hits you in the face. At about 8:30PM, after the third missile alarm and one rocket hitting a few dozen yards away from the building where we were hosted, we had to submit the safety order by the Israeli Army and the city’s representatives who told us to shut down and cancel the rest of the event.

The current in violence in Iraq is not stopping Othmane Rahmouni a senior product manager with Microsoft Advertising, from heading to the middle east to help advise and mentor the 200 participants.

Geekwire reports that Rahmouni is a volunteer with Mercy Corps an agency that has partnered with Startup Weekend to organize events in the developing world.

Find out more about Startup Weekend Baghdad here.

Team led by 14 year old ins Startup Wekend Tampa.


22-Year-Old New York Entrepreneur Launches EdTech Startup In London, Raises $1.7M

Mobento, UK startup, Venture Capital, Seed Round22-year-old Summer Murphy created a video library startup with access to thousands of curated educational videos on a variety of topics. Unlike many entrepreneurs, though, this native New Yorker decided that he wanted to see if his luck would fare better across the pond in the TechCity incubator in London.

Growth Business UK reports that it has. Murphy’s startup Mobento has raised $1.7 million, which has been reported as the biggest investment for any education-focused tech startup in the UK. It’s also been reported that it was one of the biggest seed rounds of any UK tech startup.

Murphy told The Next Web that the company would use the money to grow the business and bring “educational technology up to speed with the advances made elsewhere in business, social networks, and mobile”.

When talking about the platform itself, Murphy told Growth Business UK : “It slots right into the behaviour and customs of contemporary students and is a democratising and liberating force within education because it enables the world’s best educators to reach out to students all over the world.”

New York has a thriving startup community, so relocating to London to launch Mobento was a testament to Tech City. “Mobento’s decision to base themselves here is further proof that Tech City is the ideal location to scale and grow a successful digital business. Quick access to Europe and our heritage of creativity and innovation make London attractive for digital media and tech companies. Whilst the blend of creativity and innovation that exists in East London with easy access to the financial centre of the City is also a major advantage,” Benjamin Southworth, deputy CEO of Tech City, said.

Check out Mobento at mobento.com

Check out this infographic, a programmer’s guide to getting hired by a startup


Belgium Startup Favebucket Is A New Way To Save, Share and Inspire

Favebucket, Belgium startup,startup interviewThe founders of Belgium startup Favebucket have been burning the midnight oil lately so that they can bestow upon the word a new way to save, share and inspire, any kind of web content in an all in one, feature packed, but extremely easy to use web app.

Going all the way back to the Netscape Navigator days, bookmarks (or favorites) have been a way to save your favorite web pages. As internet browsers evolved they made it easier to share. Truth be told, in my opinion, sharing is easiest on the mobile versions of Safari and Chrome, however all of the current major browsers support url sharing through a number of channels.

Well what if you only want to share an image, video, or social media update? Sure you can right click a photo and then pull it out of your saved photos and attach it to an email, and of course you can always “pin” it using Pinterest or any of it’s clones, but Favebucket takes it one step further, making it about 5 clicks easier.

Favebucket-saveWith Favebucket you simply use the bookmarklet on the content you want to save or share, add some tags to a quick pop up form and voila, it’s saved for your reference. If you want to share it, Favebucket allows you to quickly share it as well.

favebucket-faveboardAll of your faves, no matter what kind of web content they are, are saved to your Faveboard. You can go back to your Faveboard and decide if you want to heart it (making it a favorite fave), share it, go to it or see the details you saved about it. Sharing lets you share it directly from Favebucket (ala dropbox style), email it, share it through Twitter, Facebook or pin it on Pinterest.

While none of these ideas are new or earth shattering, bringing it all together as one, and making it so darn easy, is.

We got a chance to talk with the founders of Favebucket, check out the interview below.

seriousWhat is your startup, what does it do?

“Favebucket is the assistant that helps you to save, recollect and share your favorites online!”

Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds

CHRISTOPHE NOVALET: chief creative technology. hybrid guru between technology, user experience and design. loves guitars and good food. hates: web dev stupidity – noise & clutter. loves: creation – the web as we’ll make it – simplicity

MARCEL CRAMER: social media, online marketing, business development, guiding teams. more than 15 years of online expertise. innovative mind. hates: boxes & beaten paths – bad food – bad UX. loves: people – design – strategy. married. 2 daughters. a cooking aficionado

What is the startup culture like in Belgium?

It is a very open culture, obviously much smaller than US and still with a lot to learn.  Benelux startups need to get out in the open more and established business and venture partners should stimulate the entrepreneurs more and transfer knowledge and spirit. Reinvigoration would be welcomed by many.

What problem does your startup solve?

We assist people to manage the massive amounts of information coming to us every day. Making their life online easier and save them time and effort when trying to find, remember and share content.”in a world where information is created constantly, at lightning speed, where clutter is everywhere, you need a place to go where all your personal favorites are. information you want to keep, recollect, and use. Just for you.”

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

Keeping our heads together when the going got tough (thnx Billy Ocean). We have been creating and building what we just soft launched with our own time, sweat, effort, burning the midnight oil for months. And that is not easy, its a “make or break” test for a team. In that period you find if you fit together, if there is maximum trust and inspiration. And we found our modus, we got closer together, we actually did overcome.

What are some of the milestones your startup has achieved?

We as a team achieved many milestones. Big ones and smaller ones. The first one was the deciding moment to throw away the first version we built, and then the second. Another milestone was the soft launch some weeks ago and also setting up a larger team. We needed that and we made it. Not done growing yet by the way ;)

What are your next milestones

Mobile – Plug ins with partner (can’t disclose yet) – New teammates – Getting the needed investment in

Who are your mentors and role models?

Roles models is a strong word. We create our position based on a mix of what we learned from great brands and their forerunners but also look at people we have around us. People in the advisory board with entrepreneurial knowledge and all sorts of different skills. Also in our families, mothers who are the best operational managers, dads who are great thinkers and tinkers. Not just one example but many.

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

Being outside makes you want to prove more that you don’t need to be in a specific location as long as you are in the right market. It is about finding the right people, that is true, but we do not feel that being in the super heated center of all things “startup” is a good thing. It seems a very volatile culture with changing trends and a specific savoir faire that is not necessarily a good thing. People you hire might just leap away to the next big thing, the next “Meme”. That is not a fact in Europe. The bad thing is that the position investors and people take towards startups in Europe is held back. Less interest, lower investment levels and less specific knowledge in what you might call “typical Silicon Valley” ventures.

What’s next for your startup?

Keep  the audience in our market interested like we do now, tend to them, assist them. Find a good partner for advice, support, investment and business development experience.

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

favebucket.com  or on Twitter at @favebucket

This startup, Cabcents, applies the “Priceline model” to ground transportation.