‘Social networks will help education to realise its true potential’ (Reid Hoffman ‘The Wired World in 2016’)


‘To get the most out of a highly connected digitalised world, you need platforms that emphasise personal interconnectivity…..In 2016 I believe the education world will embrace this fundamental lesson..’
We asked Ben Grech, Co founder of fast growing Uniplaces, to talk about the future of student accommodation, raising almost $30m in funding and using education as an online platform for other services!

Three trends are very likely to shape the future of education. We have seen them gain momentum the last few years, and they’re set to keep getting stronger: the number of students will keep increasing, they will use social media networks more and more, and will be increasingly mobile.

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Masabi’s New Shoreditch HQ has the wow factor!


Fresh from a new $12m funding round in December 2015, Masabi more than ever were ready to relocate to a new HQ.

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‘Increasing cross channel campaigns, improved customer experience and mobile engagement?…’ OpEd| Having raised over $7m we asked Stephen Upstone, CEO and founder of Loop Me, what 2016 may bring in terms of marketing and communication?!


Marketing in 2016 should focus on finding new solutions to the latest developments in consumer habits. Audiences don’t ‘go online’ anymore, they are constantly connected through their phones, tablets, and smart watches, on top of their desktop and laptop usage. Mobile devices are now used on average of almost three hours a day, significantly eclipsing time spent on desktop.

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With video sharing developing into a huge growth area, Gareth Capon, CEO of Grabyo talks funding, social media sports stars and global advertising.


My first memory of going to watch live sport was a trip to the Cardiff Arms Park Rugby stadium to watch the British and Irish Lions play a Rest of the World XV in a game to commemorate 100 years of the IRB (April 1986 – I was 9 years old). Wikipedia describes the game as “…marred by wet weather” which is pretty apt given the battering I got by the rain that night.

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‘The Blockchain will become our new signature’ (The Wired World in 2016). In their recent article Forde and Casey argue ‘Timestamped Bitcoin transactions can provide a path to data reliability’. We asked the founders of Shoreditch based Blockchain, Peter Smith and Nic Cary, if they agreed and about their journey so far!


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A lot of people are talking about the block chain these days. In its simplest form, the block chain is a database that stores a history of every bitcoin transaction that has ever taken place. It’s the core innovation of the bitcoin protocol and our company’s namesake. Once such a record is stored in the block chain, it can never be reversed. This makes it perfect for tracking records in a decentralised and immutable fashion. Not only is this system great for keeping track of who owns what, but it also has potential to transform digital identity, property rights, and more.

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‘As a chief executive “you don’t have to be a full time operator, you have to be a full time visionary” (Essam Abadir, Chief Executive of Aspire Ventures ,quoted FT 07.10.15) We asked 9 leading entrepreneurs if they agreed?


 

“This depends very much on the type of business you’re running and the level of maturity of the company. In a fast growing start-up, whilst being visionary is important, I think more emphasis needs to be put on putting in place the right processes and building the right team to fuel the growth. The vision is important to get all pieces to stick together and going in the same direction, but to actually grow your sales, you need an operator.”

Maxim BerglundLogo
Co-founder
StreetHub

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Founded in 2013, Yoyo are already one of Europe’s hottest fintech startups! Alain Falys,CEO, talks global ambition,mobile wallet’s in ‘closed environments’,QR codes,rewards and funding!


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We built Yoyo Wallet after talking to hundreds of retailers of all sizes. This is what we discovered: no one is addressing the retailer’s top 3 issues which are: Who is my customer? How do I create a personal engagement with my customer? How do I sell more?

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“Great companies can come from anywhere. We asked Carolina Brochado from the investment team at Atomico, what she looks for in future portfolio companies and how important the location of their headquarters is to potential investors.”


Now is probably the most exciting time ever to be a tech entrepreneur outside Silicon Valley. Ten years ago, it was not widely believed that tech companies could be successful if they were not located in the Valley. Many people assumed, and it was often true, that tech entrepreneurs would move their start-ups to California as soon as they could. But in the past decade, we have seen a fundamental and exciting shift around where tech companies are located. Using the $B valuation mark as a benchmark, we found that there are currently more billion-dollar companies created outside Silicon Valley, with approximately 120 of these having been founded since 2003 (65% of the global total).

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Luke Lang, co founder of Crowdcube , offers his 5 key tips for crowdfunding success!


Top 5 tips for a successful crowdfunding campaign

Luke Lang, co-founder of Crowdcube, offers his top tips for crowdfunding success.

1. Get the basics right

Making sure you have a sound business plan and robust financial forecasts seems like an obvious one but getting all the necessary paperwork in order should be more than just a tick-box exercise. A good starting point is a compelling pitch that provides a clear overview of the proposition, along with what makes the business unique, the potential market opportunity and the strategy for growth. Any investor will also want to know how and when they could see a return. Great business ideas and ambitious growth plans need to be supported with a clear and concise business plan – it may not be the decisive factor in securing investment but a poor plan could be the reason you don’t get it.

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Amanda Bradford,CEO of San Francisco based dating app ‘The League’ talks funding,expansion,elitism,curated communities and differentiating in a crowded marketplace!


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When I envisioned myself starting a company, I never dreamed it would be a dating app. First of all, the space is littered with graves of failed startups. Talk about a crowded space with a dearth of success stories! Second of all, dating sites, and the people that start them, are not particularly known for being ‘innovative’, and innovation is something I was determined to have present in any company I started or joined. Lastly, as any good consumer investor will tell you, doing anything in consumer mobile space is incredibly risky with essentially the lowest probability of success, and being a pragmatist, I would have preferred to derisk my venture by doing something in enterprise.

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