Bonnier Accelerator opens up adminssions

The *Bonnier Accelerator program opens up it’s second year of admissions. I would like to as an Alumni of the program to encourage everyone with a business idea or app idea to apply for the program.

Upon acceptance the program allows you to develop you idea with Bonniers corporate team as well as input from startup lecturers is a tailored program.

You can now book a spot at the Bonnier Accelerator kickoff breakfast March 4! First come, first served.

* Bonnier is Sweden’s and Scandinavia’s largest publishing house, and are also behind Toca Boca and many more interesting digital ventures.

Rollin on the startup Bus.

Yesterday i steppen on the rolling startup bus, filled with north european entrepreneurs from Copenhagen to Paris (London bus was unfortunately cancelled) on my way to LeWeb in Paris. On tuesday approximately 40 pitches will take place at LeWeb. I joined the StartitUp Team.

StartitUp.com TV is a production company producing a docu-series about startup bus, aiming broadcast in the US during spring 2013. Team: Tommy Talley @tommysTV, Thom van der Veen, Heidi Harman, @heidiharman

Some more info here:
Nya Affarer – Busprenorer pa startup bus
VikingBus
Rockstart – Vikingbus journey to le web kick starts today
Trendsonline – Vikingbus hits the road to Le Web

I ♥ WebFest #webfestme

I am just back after spending a few brilliant days at the WebFest in Montenegro where I was invited by the host .me registy, CEO Predrag Lesic, after meeting in London at the SeedHack (SeedCamps financial hackathon) where I had won second place with the Saving app I am developing earlier this spring. We we had a chat about GeekGirlMeetup.com and I was later invited to speak at the WebFest 2012 about the international project that is now in Swede, Denmark, Mexico, London, Hong-Kong and from last week, Berlin,  aiming to create more female rolde-models in the startup scene.

WebFest 2012 delivered a wonderful line-up of startup and internet speakers – Intelligent, heart-full and enlightening talks. WebFest was a few days of pure excellence in Montenegro, with national and international speakers like Brian Wong (Kiip.me) and Ryan Wong (About.me) and Ruth Barr (seoMoz) as well as the local movers from the region Dejan Nikolić (Njuz.net aka The regiobal the Onion)Ivan Brezak Brkan (Netokracija).

Taking place at the Montenegro riviera, it was truly like the theme suggested – a webFest – A web conference to note in your calendar for next year. Here are some of the goodness i picked up:

Speaker Brian Wong – Kiip
Brian Wong shook us up properly with his reckless, endless energy and wild at heart talk about his startup Kiip.me.

The 21 year old Mr Wong finished college at 21, worked for Digg where he describes “being fired because he sucked at his job” after 4 months. Luckily he already had an idea, about a moment based advertising system targeting games, that would allow users that be rewarded for leveling up also getting freebies from advertisers, and advertisers only pay on collected freebies. Brian, bought Kiip.me and provides game developers with a system they can implement in between levels that allows players to get freebies when they level-up. The concept that generates over a 140 000  moments per month and growing has got be called genius as it is indeed revolutionizing the ad system.

Brian says, “Out of all the shit we have done as a human nation, from rocket launches to moon-landing, we have invented is a annoying banner that we place close to the important buttons on a n app. You should not pay to get rid of banners. As an (ad) industry you should understand you fugged if people are paying to make you go away.”

Brian continues: “Instead we created great moments of leveling up, instead of banners, we would give these moments of winning, where you already feel great even better by winning a freebie. We only work with big brands to give away trusted rewards.

We want to avoid the painful situation of the old advertising fake-win, when you get some thing free for an entry in an iPhone competition, all you do is sell your soul and end up giving away your credit-card number. Who wants that? We work with cost per engagement, with redeemed freebies. 75 cent which leaves about 50 cent to 1 dollar per redeemed action for the game makers. Its a win for everyone.

No one loves ad companies, we wanted to create something that people loved.”

Brian on entrepreneurship – I love being young, reckless, having endless energy operate properly after 40 hours with no sleep. You should abuse your body now – it’s the only time you can. It’s only age, it’s just a number. Being wild at heart is the most important thing, even older people under 40 who are wild at heart can and should inspire others.
You don’t wake up and say I’m going to being entrepreneur. I played Counterstrike when i was a kid, it made me a better designer, I had perfect mouse precision. I ripped psd, (no twelve year old can pay for psd), then started doing design for others. I was doing something i was wired to do, also the world is constructed that what i do will help the world economy so there something for me to.

If you are starting a company to be entrepreneur, that’s wrong. Take what you know and create some value. Thats entrepreneurship.

Brians thoughts about anyone who is not in Silicon Valley.
You are not as entitled. Graduated graduate from Stanford with an ‘I deserve attitude’ is not very pleasant and it doesn’t mean they produce anything better. The ones that don’t believe deserve anything you try extra hard.
European startup economy has grown as you have revenue, user experience, basic but follow these principles as a european plan. Never mind the short cutters that build for three years with investment with out revenue, just never mind. Make money. Its been two years. I’ve have had at least 100 friends that have started companies and then they pick up and leave to go home. The ones that came there for the right reasons, you need to know it (your reason), if you know it you will succeed!

Here are #1 & #9 out of his points he talked about later, about building successful services.

Existing pattern of behavior #1 What do they(the users) already do? Where do you go when your really drunk?  McDonalds. People are already playing games, look at the the fuel band, it allows you to track your quantified self. Tracking what you are already doing. Karma, recently quietly acquired by Facebook, its similar to similarly to Wrapp, its a gifting app. I had a look at what people already do, and tried making that simple. When are people engaging in your product? Try to make an app that humans like, after all the user is a human being. Apple for example do this do this really well.

Build a story #9 Montenegro has a great story. With you creating good companies what you can do is amazing stories, they have to be shared, a thats how people relate to you, with a good story. You care about bringing the spotlight back. How to craft that story. How do we make it human. It all starts with Love.

Ryan Freitas (About.me)
Ryan Frietas is a previous UI/UX guy who has now moved to product after starting the About.me startup that recently got acquired by AOL.

Ruth Barr on SEO (SeoMoz)
Ruth Barr from SeoMoz gave a great talk on SEO, some affirmative (produce good constant and don’t bother with trix – the search engines will figure it out), and a lot of new info that i felt I can implement and use directly. This techy lady has the gift of gab, and a brilliant sense of humor. Slides provided here.

Startup Competition.
Seeing the regions present and deliver in the startup competition was a pleasure, as there is talent and ambition the region, it was a pleasure seeing the region come together support the winners with the startup competition, sending the winners to New York for 4 moths. Prizes are always going to be important as we do indeed need to reward and encourage the ambitious young entrepreneurs that work focused and ambitiously.

Thanks to
Also not to forget I am so thank for for the Webfest team for providing such a friendly and inviting culture at the WebFest as well being excellent hosts. I cant have asked for a more welcoming stay 🙂

Extra thanks to
Extra thanks for eminent company making my stay a wonderful experience to remember Predrag Lesic, Natasha, Masa Dickson, Mikele Neylon, Brian Wong, Ruth Barr, Ryan Freitas, Kelly, Ze Fontainhas.

The small stuff that makes the difference
Another thing that came to mind is the wifi quality. It’s given that if you have a web conference participants will expect to have wifi. Kraven/demands/ expectations of the wifi rises as web-conference participants usually have two devices, (phone and lap-top) so the wifi will be strained and if you can get in extra access points to support the quality every will be happy. The Splendid Conference Center delivered perfect wifi.
Wifi Points: 5/5.

Web Fest.ME is the largest regional Internet festival dedicated to the promotion and advancement of Internet and society in general. Web Fest .ME consists of on-line competition for the best website/web project and conference that brings together the world best-known experts from all areas of the web industry.

And then we went for a swim in the Adriatic sea

Finding new ways to give with Charity API’s

I recently started working on an autumn project with the the amazing team at TheGivingLab, an R&D department at a charity aiming to find new ways of giving with Charity API’s, a project funded by NESTA amongst others.

When it’s a given that chuggers (charity muggers) hasseling you on the street for a signup doesn’t really work, and neither does starving babies on posters, we need to go further than choosing between several old-fashioned ideas of giving, making place for contemporary ideas.

By early 2013 we aim to have 5 launched ideas proving that charity API’s is the way to go and we are inviting developers, designers, UI/UX and idea-creators to a series of Hack Days we are running this autumn.
We aiming to hack together asquirky and loving ideas as possible like last week we already worked with Windows8 Code Weekend and Dev4Good, read more about the ideas here.

TheGivingLab has 3 more hack days coming up this autumn, here are the confirmed ones:

  • Mark 13+14th of October in you calendar. Eventbrite - GeekGirlMeetup Hackathon with The Giving Lab
  • Games 4 Good, with TIGA (International Gaming Association) at Birmingham University 17+18th of November.
  • TheGivingLab Charity Hack days at GoogleCampus on the 24+25th of November. The Theme is #holidayHack Eventbrite - TheGivingLAB - Hackdays 24+25th of November

Links to the previous and already hosted Hackathons:


GeekGirlMeetup Stockholm – Beautiful Data

I am proud to host the seventh GeekGirlMeetup in Stockholm, Sweden on the 26+27th of May 2012. We have space for 250 women, 3 strands, Creative Business, Just epic and Social Business. As the theme Beautiful Data suggests, we will be digging into a lot of visualisations and understanding how to use graph databases and APi´s.

With talks like Ellen Sundh’s (Society46) “The Sound of football”, Caroline Dahl (Oxford) “Visualising Molecular Proteins” and much more, the days will be spent well, stretching what is possible to do with technology today.

I would recommend you to get a ticket for the two days (they are free, but you pay for your own lunch, 200kr) and its free for highschool students. It is however an event for women and girls only.

Thank you all dear co-workers, speakers and sponsors for making this happen, we love doing this with you. Looking forward to seeing you.

Originate ads 250 000 SEK during Startup weekend

GGM11 Game On.

Startup Sweden and Originate throw a ‘Startup Weekend’ event this weekend (Dec. 2-4).  They  just added a grand prize of a 250000 SEK investment in the form of development time!

They would really love to have more women entrepreneurs at the event, as they’re rather underrepresented right now. Girls and women, geeks of the industry, hope to see you there! People who don’t have a team yet are welcome too!

More info can be found at http://weekend.startupsweden.com/ or they can email me at garrett.dunham@originate.com.

London calling + SkrivaPå = Scrive.com

. I’ve moved to London.

. I´ve joined the Stockholm based startup SkrivaPå.se to internationalize the service with the new name Scrive, opening up the London Office, yet we are still a highly boot-strapped, lean start-up developing in Haskell. SkrivaPå & Scrive.com do digital signatures for contracts and legal-papers.

I first met lead-developer Gracjan Polak, while presenting my last startups RunAlong API at Disruptive Code conference in Stockholm autumn 2010 (post from Programmable web). The Startup community is Sweden is a close knitted newtork and we know eachother, and here was this new guy asking excellent questions, who was he?
Gracjan Polak, the Polish technical co-founder of SkrivaPå, introduced me to the Swedish founder and Stockholm School of Economics student Lukas Duczko. We ended up talking all evening about API´s, scrum, web-strategy, and how to manage distributed teams and other fellow founders startup-issues.

As we continued talking  about business and strategy during autum 2010 and spring 2011. To make a long story short, i moved to London, the UK working on opening up the RunAlong.se API publicly, and letting go of that for a bit. Lucas was fast to ask me to join SkrivaPå, after all the discussions i knew the product well, understood the business model and had no doubt when i said yes to working with this garage startup.

The fun part that i discover what it is like working with a highly effective distrubuted team. Scrive has 3 people working in Sweden, 3 in Poland, 3 in London, one in Turkey, and one travelling. We have things like the Tibetan Patches, pieces of code that our developer Eric Normand wrote in Tibet and Xian, and pushed up to the dev server when accessing wifi in the Himalayas. How wonderful insn’t that. Let me put it this way, i feel like I work for the most modern startup i can ever imagine, giving co-workes and co-owners freedom to do what they love.

As part of my work with Scrive i can also continue my work with GeekGirlMeetup.com, an un-conferance about web, code and startups aiming to create more female role-models in tech, new networks for women in tech and active knowledge exchange. Conclusion, Scrive gives GeekGirlMeetup.com an active sponsorship, it’s the first of the organisations sort.

Ideas know no borders

Nobel prize winner Muhammad Yunus vistits Stockholm, Sweden today to give a talk om his new book “Social Entrepreneurship”. Mohammad is known for his work with Grameen Bank that he was awarded the Nobel prize in peace for. Grameen Banc loans money to female entrepreneurs, due to their capability of paying back and using the profit to invest in their kids education, and reinvesting in the company with aims to take them out of poverty. Today he gave a broader talk on Social entreprenreurship and how ideas spread.

“Social entrepreneurship isn’t taking 10% of a comapnies profit and giving it to charity or a festival you want to be closely associated with even if it could be a good idea, thats profiling. Social Entrepreneurship is is making business in a way where an idea that benefits the world, validates return on investement”, Mohammad says.

A question raised was how can Swedish companies become better att social entrepreneurship? Take a part of your % that you use for CSR and and invest them in a fond with the soul aim to develop the companies good ideas, social ideas with aims to make money.

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“Good ideas know no borders.”- Mohammad Yunus.

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Live stream part one, Live stream Part two (above)

More about Yunus from Wikipedia:

Muhammad Yunus (Bengali: মুহাম্মদ ইউনূস; born 28 June 1940) is a Bangladeshi social entrepreneur, banker, economist and civil society leader who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for founding the Grameen Bank and pioneering the concepts of microcredit and microfinance. These loans are given to entrepreneurs too poor to qua…
Information from Wikipedia/DBpedia, article

Week 3-5 Andman Islands & Nicobar, a working studio


It’s not everyday you have a friend from school, that buys land, on the Andman islands, located in the Bengal Bay, planning to start a working studio. So when your asked to do the digital strategy, you say yes, pack your bag and check out the premises.

And there i was thinking i should be able to work from there. Well, the satelite internet has a lot left to wish for, and i barley managed to finish the assignments i was already working on, so there we go, yes theres a need for a propper working studio in paradise. Paradise works!