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Entries in startups (8)

Sunday
Feb012009

#scs09 Swiss startup camp Basel

[gallery] I promised to take you to the Swiss startup camp in Basel this weekend. The day kicked off with a really excellent keynote talk/interview of Suhas Gopinath CEO and president of Globals Inc a multi-million dollar international company that he started at the age of fourteen without any money in India and took global. His truly inspirational story of how he used his pocket money to fund his first proposals in business at his local internet cafe because did not even have access to a computer had everyone enthralled. Suhas Gopinath born in Bangalore, started his company at 14yrs old in 2000. He founded in San Jose California as the law did not allow him to set up in India. His story was trully inspirational. I asked him in question time where he got the guts from to approach and even take on big business at that young age, and he answered he had the courage of a young man who took the chance because no wasn't an option. Mr Gopinath was announced as the Young Global Leader for 2008-2009 by the World Economic Forum Davos. In this position he would be involved in development programs around the world, and would be studying leadership at Harvard University. He is the youngest Young Global leader in WEF history. WATCH THE VIDEO OF HIS INTERVIEW at #scs09. Watch FB video Startups networking at the event Startups then gave their pitches and then presented in sessions on different subjects of which I was one, and I presented on "Personal Branding The face of your company". Successful Start-ups from 2008 were present Wuala, Poken and Amazee all of whom I wrote about as startups here, attended the event. Poken did great business selling their poken for eveyone to connect with. Tech Bloggers were in attendance and will no doubt blog on the event. Many Tweets were sent from the event #scs09 on Twitter. It was a productive day with Nicolas Berg of Red Alpine who I interviewed here on wisequeen.com and other startup Angel investors presenting on what angel investors want from startups. Many meetings and much networking took place. The food and facilities were great, as was the wifi. People came from all over Switzerland, myself from Italy and some from nereby Germany. Thanks to all the sponsors and to Amazee, Sun microsystems and Amiando for the organization. Leave a comment or ask a question. Donna Jackson Social Communications Specialist.
Thursday
Nov272008

Wisequeen Interview with Nicolas Berg- Swiss tech Guru

Well I promised you an interview with Nicolas Berg from Redalpine venture partners who has been behind many successful startups in Switzerland and is now widening his start up net. So here goes. 1. Where is your home town? Gstaad, Switzerland 2. Where are you living now? In Solothurn, Switzerland. 2b. What are you doing now? I co-founded Redalpine Venture Partners with partners in August 2007 to invest in highly scalable European start-ups. It’s one of the few venture funds that focuses on the finance gap («valley of death») of investments in the range of €200k to €2m. 3. What were you doing before this? Since 1984 I have been a serial entrepreneur. I initiated eight start-ups, among others the financial platform borsalino.ch in 1998 and sold it to Switzerland’s leading publisher Ringier in 2000. Since that trade-sale I spent seven years as a full-time angel investor investing in 16 start-ups such as Genevalogic or XING, the leading European platform for business networking that went public 2006. 3b. So you have been an entrepreneur from the start? No, in between I checked out how it is to work as an employee: 1986-87 I was working as a sales coach in Norway, 1989-90 as a part-time human resources lecturer at the University of Berne, 1992-98 as an editor for a daily newspaper. 4.What did you study after school? 1980-85 I studied law and business administration in Berne. At the same time I competed in alpine ski races with the Swiss university team, travelled for three months in the USA, supported political activities of social democrats and a green party, and I started my first company that sold PCs, software and networks. 5. What did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to become an architect, a painter, a writer of screenplays or a theatre director. 6. Tell me how your present company came about? After seven years as a full time business angel I searched for a better business model to fill the European early-stage finance gap. Together with my closest co-investors we had several successful exits with half a dozen «disruptive» companies but we were stressed due to no regular income, and we often lost time for syndicating with other investors. By starting Redalpine we wanted to create a new mix by combining best practices of professional angels (speed & gut feeling) and VC funds (investment power & coherent investment process). 7. Explain Redalpine Venture Partners to me? As serial entrepreneurs and investors Redalpine’s partners have a strong network. It provides a deal-flow of more than 1000 early-stage business plans annually. We select about 20-30 truly talented entrepreneurs with a disruptive and scalable business model that seem to fit best in our pro-active investment strategy. Then we discuss how we might achieve success together. We end up with about eight investments p.a. – some as a lead investor – negotiating deal terms & active member of the board –, some as a co-investor –leveraging our network by door opening. The investment goal is always to sell the company within two to five years and realising a two-digit valuation multiple. 7b. Who invested in Redalpine? We are three full-time investment managers and at the same time General Partners (GP) of the fund. The GP is the biggest investor, but we also raised funds from three dozen successful entrepreneurs and financiers in six European countries. These Limited Partners add a lot of value by leveraging our capital and network. 8. What is your vision for it? We want to be the most successful European early-stage high-tech fund by 2014. If we achieve a high profit we will also have continued to contribute to the creation of thousands of new jobs. And the disruptive technologies of our portfolio will improve the health of the over-all economy. 9. What would you like to do next? Redalpine II. Maybe it will again finance ICT and science based companies, maybe we will go for green technologies. Personally I would like to do more sports or become what I originally wanted to be: a screenplay writer or director. 10. What does your family think of your job? My kids (9 and 11) tell friends that Nicolas is working in the Internet and that he «buys» companies cheap and sells expensive. They like that I now am more often at home than during my days as a dotcom founder. When I say no to some of the «investments» they propose they suggest: «You better go and find a job with a real salary, man!» 11. What are you most proud of professionally? I am most proud of a few good stories as a journalist. And I am proud of some of my start-ups that changed the way of doing things such as social networking, recruitment fairs, speed executive search, super-learning or premedical coaching. The top exit with borsalino.ch was nice as well because I suddenly had enough money to build a house and to learn the profession of a full-time venture investor. 12. Which book are you reading at the moment? On my bedside locker you will find half a dozen Norwegian, Swedish and Danish detective novels, a biography on German-Sicilian Emperor Frederick II von Staufen (1208-1250) and a book from last year that predicts the financial crisis. 13. What other profession would you like to try. To become a professional athlete I should be a little younger. So I have to go for actor, movie director, novel writer or painter. Interview copyright Wisequeen - link to it yes, Digg it here steal copy? No. Donna Jackson Social Communications Specialist. So what do you think ? Do the Swiss Tech start-ups rival Silicon valley? Is Switzerland the new Silicon valley? Let's debate this with intense debate. Tell us what you think - comment above .
Monday
Sep222008

Interview with Sky Sister Studio -innovative startups

I've been writing on startups and entrepreneurs initiatives on wise queen this year and met Nina Pilar who started her own business with Sky Sister studio. Here is my interview with her. The thing that always strikes me with interviewing startups and business owners, struck me again on this occasion. What makes a business bloom and grow from that planted seed? Innovative thinking, not taking no for an answer, having a passion for what you invision and want and the courage and commitment to see it through. These are the qualities I always see whenever I talk to entrepreneurs. Visit Nina's great site and be inspired to use her for your business launch and image. She's also recently started a blog which is sure to be an interesting initative. I particularly enjoyed her post on making the recession irrelevant Sky Sister Studio is featured as most glamourous biz on startup nation visit and vote Interview with Nina Where is your home town? Raised in Newark, NJ (Brick City!!) Where are you living now? I recently relocated (back!) to Newark; I lived out of state for about seven years. What were you doing before Sky Sister Studio? I was in college, studying Airport Management and Flight Operations. What did you study after school? During and after college, I studied Graphic and Web Design. What did you want to be when you grew up? I’ve always wanted to be a pilot. I would usually pair flying with other things (I want to be a pilot and a dentist, a pilot and a doctor, etc.) In the end I finally decided to become a professional pilot. Tell me how Sky Sister Studio came about? Sky Sister Studio was the result of a lack of jobs in the region where I studied. I’ve always liked to draw, and I learned how to apply technology to this. Over time I learned HTML and some of the higher level programming languages. I realized I couldn’t learn them all alone – the one -woman operation wasn’t working at a certain point, so I hired a team I refer to as my “SkyCrew.” Explain Sky Sister Studio to me. Sky Sister Studio is a full service design house that helps Innovators tell their stories. We make branding, campaigns, and other creative media simple and chic. We take your brand and make it visual. We like to take the tech and show how everyone can apply it in their business. How can authors promote their work at minimum cost and maximum effectiveness? How can a community leader stay connected to everyone, hold successful events, and communicate with as many interested people as possible? An online presence, social media skills, and beautiful and logical design are the necessary combination – and that’s what Sky Sister Studio provides. What is your vision for Sky Sister Studio? I would like Sky Sister Studio to solve even more problems than it currently does. At this point, the technologies available are numerous to say the least! We are working to provide new applications that solve real problems and make online communications, buying, selling, and other activities enjoyable and fast! What would you like to do next? In addition to growing Sky Sister Studio, I am working on the last ratings needed to fly professionally. And, I am happy to say that I’m in the process of launching a community initiative for my hometown called Let’s Barter Up (letsbarterup.org) - Newark’s premiere Green-conscious barter organization. What does your family think of your job? They are incredibly supportive, and they always have been. They find it ironic that I’ve had this business for over two years because growing up I completely shunned the idea of having my own business! I didn’t think it was for me! What are you most proud of professionally? I’m happy with where I am taking the business and the community project. I am really excited about the opportunity to help my community in ways that can provide an immediate benefit. I guess what I’m saying is that I am realizing a dream to become a social entrepreneur. It’s an awesome feeling. Which book are you reading at the moment? Some book about Web 2.0 project management and workflow…ooh how exciting ? I’m really more into reading articles online right now due to time constraints; my Bloglines list is incredibly long! What other profession would you like to try? Flying, design, and community – that sums up my interests! Cate to comment on how you started, or how someone insprired you? leave your comment below Wisequeen.
Wednesday
Sep032008

home office freelancing, eagle or turkey?

In these times of greater flexibility, many desire to work at home. Some giant companies have been started in a garage somewhere like microsoft and yahoo and grew to giants, while others just make a freelancer a living, and some are simply dismal failures. Is there a special kind of person who can work freelance from a home office without a boss cracking the whip? Are some of us destined to always drive 50km to work and sit in an open plan office with a boss watching us from his corner glass-walled office for ever? In previous posts I've interviewed hot new start ups and  I asked what you would do with 20,000 seed money to work on your own business. I've asked this question of many people and it's surprising how few really have a clear vision or dream of what they want. They can tell you what they don't want, but can't sketch out their desired future. Can You? Here's a great competition you can enter. I'll be interviewing one of the contestants here. so watch this space. What work do you do as a freelancer? write, design, sell, manage? How do you keep yourself motivated and on target? Do you hang around with turkeys or eagles? Do you use use others success to motivate you or depress you? SUBSCRIBE TO THIS BLOG AND GET THE LATEST CLICK HERE Wisequeen's Home office
Friday
Aug082008

Another Swiss startup, this time in Wine

Heres another intervew from Zurich startups, this time about wine tech with Fabienne Steiner of a new start up in Europe, winecellarbook.com Now some of you may know I'm passionate about wine,and collect it. Please click on the link to go to my highly popular and rated wine blog! Wine Where is your home town? Lucerne Where are you living now? Zurich, since 8 years, my new hometown! What were you doing before Winebook? I worked in Marketing and Sales for such Companies as IBM. After that I started my own start-up during the work for Blogwerk of famous Peter Hogenkamp. What did you study after school? Marketing What did you want to be when you grew up? No joke: a lawyer. I still think I would have ambitions. But would also going crazy about all the injustice in our world. Tell me how winebook came about? Wincellarbook was an idea to make more out of our hobby. After some time we didnt have a clue what we find in our winecellar nor what we thought about the tasted wines some time ago. Therefore we had to find a solution ! And our friends have always been asking for advice, so the solution had to be online for them to look up. Explain winebook to me. Write tasting notes for you and your friends and find every wine which you ever did taste. Manage your winecellar with our winecellarbook.com and find your wine in oue hugge database. More tools will be online soon. What is your vision for Winebook? To get a really big wine community J but really big! What would you like to do next? I have lots of dreams, in business as well. But first I have to bring forward winecellarbook. What do your family think of your job? That I am a bit crazy to give up a „secure“ job. Personally I think nothing is secure in our world an definetly not a job as an employee. What are you most proud of professionally? To cut of boundaries. My goal is to do what I like to do and not to service people I dont like only for money. Which book are you reading at the moment? The kiterunner from Khaled Hosseini. Despite working online all the time I am crazy about books since I was a child! What other profession would you like to try? Helping other people to be successful in their lives, however they they define successful, it can be everything. Fabienne Steiner - winecellarbook.com