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Co-founders in Shanghai #2

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We just had our second co-founder matching meetup in Shanghai, hosted by our awesome host Nik. Thank you!

About 20 awesome wantrepreneurs and serial entrepreneurs joined this exclusive event and shared their projects and experiences.

We met up at Jingan park, with the early birds having a walk in the park, after which we had ourselves some coffee at a shop nearby.

After a relaxed and laid-back meetup at the coffee shop where we all got the chance to know each other better, it was time for some serious brainstorming and professional discussions in the conference room.

The suggestions, connections and insider information we gained was priceless. Make sure not to miss our next meetup. And remember to signup online to find a co-founder 24/7 and be among the first to receive an invitation for our third matching event in Shanghai.

Filed under co-founders startups shanghai china

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How do you rationalize design choices to non-designers?

The other day I read this question on Quora and I felt like I should write an answer. So I took like 10 min to write an answer. Actually a very short answer but apparently it was well received. That’s why I decided to go a bit more into details about this here.

How do you rationalize design choices to non-designers?

The short answer is: simply explain what the benefit of the design/UX change will be. This is the essence. Why, you ask? Because by doing so you can give rationale, so that people will understand better.

It’s a bit similar to how you would (or should) treat children. They ask questions. They want to learn. You don’t help them by just giving them an annoyed ‘because it is like this’. Give rationale. ‘Why can’t I have dessert before dinner, daddy?’ - ‘Because then you would already be full and wouldn’t be able to eat the healthy part of the meal.’ See, easy.

It works like this with almost anything else. And design is no exception. So, for design rationales could be:

  • It takes less clicks for the user to reach his goal.
  • Benchmarking has shown that positioning element x at place y is common and the user therefore doesn’t need to learn new behavior.
  • A/B testing has shown better click-through rate.
  • User testing has proven that the change makes task n easier for the users.

What will often happen, is that somebody else - often a product guy or dev, or even another designer - will come with a counter proposal. And often - especially in a review meeting, etc. - they will simply say what solution comes to their mind in this very moment (yes, the first thought often is the right one but some well invested hours of thinking about something can go a long way and in the end… well, this is a topic for another blog post).

What I usually do is thinking the counter-proposal through - right in this moment. Just go through it in your mind, step by step. I also consider edge cases.

So, think it through, then point out flaws, which will lead to problems or user frustration. Show that their proposal is a worse solution for the problem at hand. Be diplomatic though - remember it’s about great UX, which will in the end make the user happy and your product more successful.

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2nd Co-Founder Meetup in Lagos

The first Founder2be event that was held in Lagos and Africa on the 11th of August 2013 was obviously a big hit as reflected in the response to the second event on the 24th of November. The first event was fully booked in 5 days, after 3 days, you couldn’t get a ticket for the second event. The first event was over booked by 100% and even though the capacity of the second event was increased by 40%, it was still overbooked by 120%. Those fortunate enough to get a ticket made for an amazing crowd as witnessed by in the event’s pictures.

So, how do you increase your chances of getting a ticket for the next event? Easy: just join the co-founder community online and be the first to get an invite next time.

Kicking off at 4PM at the Oriental Hotels, Victoria Island, there were short 10 min talks by some invited guest speakers coming from various backgrounds ranging from legal to information technology-but all partial to business creation. The speakers were:

George Akomas jr, who amongst other things is a strategist, trainer, and entrepreneur partial to start-ups. He spoke on The Idea behind Ideas.

Dapo Adesanya, the Country Director, Innovation Institute (Nigeria), with over ten years experience in Business research, Innovation and Strategy, and having consulted across Europe, U.S. Singapore and Australia for some of the world’s top companies; including Virgin, Entrevo, Google, Coca-Cola, Tesco, IBM and UK Department for Business, Innovations and Skills, Dapo was a prize addition and spoke on Ideas, Strategy & Execution.

Akin Oyebode is a trained economist turned banking professional with a passion for social and economic development in Sub Saharan Africa. As Head SME Banking at Stanbic IBTC Bank, he’s responsible for designing and implementing the value proposition to help SME customers run and grow their businesses. He was responsible for the introduction of the bank’s SME Quick Loan product, through which over $37 Million has been disbursed to 3,000 businesses that hitherto would not have been able to access finance from banks. He spoke on The Power of Failure.

Osita Nwoye is the co-founder of Fonenode.com, a tool that helps web and mobile applications to communicate with telephone networks. He did a product demo and answered question from attendees on finding and working with a co-founder.  

There was a surprise appearance by Tomi Davies, the convener of Lagos Angel Network -  an exclusive network of angel investors focused on supporting early stage start-ups in Lagos. He had emailed in that he wanted to come for this event and actually shared a few words before he left.

There was a high level of interaction between the participants and when it was time to network, the place came alive. Participants were asked to talk about their ideas and what they were looking for in a co-founder with people in their tables and after 10 minutes, tables were reshuffled. There was a lot of contributing and positive feedback around the tables as people bounced their ideas off others present.

The event came to an end around 8:30PM with a vote of thanks delivered by a member of the Entarado team, our ambassadors for Founder2be, and a lot of requests as to when the next event would hold.

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Houston Co-Founder Meetup

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The first Founder2be co-founder meet-up in Houston kicked off with a special student edition. The event happened at RED Labs, a startup accelerator for the University of Houston community.

At 6 pm, the room was packed with college students of different majors. It was not difficult breaking the ice, interaction started right away and small groups were formed. Students introduced themselves to as many people as they could, grabbed some food and joined in small groups. The house activity for the night was the 1-minute pitching session. The format of the activity was to discuss a problem in 20 seconds, their solution in 30 seconds and what qualities they are looking for in their co-founder in the remainder of the time.

Many business ideas were presented and one of the best parts of the event was that many students agreed that they came up with ideas for a start-up at the event; once they saw the atmosphere, ideas started rushing in.

After that, everyone engaged in free casual pitching. As the night grew older, smaller groups were formed, common grounds were found and co-founders were matching.

Stay tuned. The next co-founder finding event in Houston will come soon. Until then, you can always find a co-founder for your startup idea also online.

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Co-Founder Meetup Tallinn, Estonia

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The first co-founder finding event by Founder2be in Estonia was a huge success. We had around 25 people at the Garage48Hub co-working space in Tallinn: a mix of developers, designers and business/marketing folks.

The evening kicked off with lessons learned from Riina Einberg, general manager of ZeroTurnaround and a true team building pro. At least half of the audience seemed touched by what Riina had to say about “lonely-wolf”-type people - this seemed like a topic worthy of a separate workshops.

About a third of participants then chose to do a 1-min slideless pitch on their startup idea: we had everything from hi-tech electronics to a platform connecting artists to the business world. And the evening continued with semi-moderated speed dating, where people in groups of 3 introduced themselves to each other in 1-minute sessions. This fluently turned into the main part of the evening: good old networking. This continued for more than an hour and a group of 8 ended up having late dinner together in a nearby pub.

It’s too early too tell how many new partnerships got started, but good many people appeared to have good many good chats. A successful evening, then.

Big thanks to everyone for coming, to Garage48Hub for hosting us, to Riina Einberg for sharing her observations, to Veinisõber for providing social lubrication, and to our MC Andrus who organized the entire event.

If the topic of referral marketing tickles your fancy, you should get in touch with Andrus about Recoworks. This kick-ass referral marketing platform is looking for a partner-in-crime.

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Teaming up with Startup Weekend

Finding the right team is one of the most important factors for any successful startup. That’s why every Startup Weekend begins with participants forming teams to work on the ideas being pitched for the next 54h.

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We are now teaming up with Startup Weekend in Helsinki to get even more participants to join what will be an amazing weekend from Nov 22nd to 24th and turn ideas into projects and startups.

Attending a Startup Weekend is a great opportunity for anyone wanting to or even just thinking whether to start or join a startup. It’s an event you should not miss.

And now you can start looking for designers, developers, marketers and many others already in advance right on the Startup Weekend Helsinki website. See someone you’d like to have on your team? Invite him or her to attend the event with you.

Several of the ideas that started out at Startup Weekends already turned into successful startups with team members we helped put together. Déjàmor, for example, reached six figure revenues in less than a year.

Register for Startup Weekend Helsinki today. And invite someone else to come along.

PS We are supporting startup events all around the world. Add co-founder matching to your own website, contact us.

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App Partner: Idea Growr

Good ideas can strike anywhere, not only when you are focused on trying to come up with a solution to a problem. The best ideas come to own problems whenever and wherever you encounter them. That’s why we decided to partner with Idea Growr.

Idea Growr is a great app for Android devices, which lets you quickly capture an idea wherever you are and jot down notes as you keep thinking about them. And as your idea matures, you might want to turn it into a project or even a startup.

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Based on our experience with literally thousands of ideas on Founder2be, we decided to contribute the “Idea To Startup” question pack to Idea Growr to help you consider some things you might want to think about as you develop your idea into a startup. The question pack is available for free inside the app. And since ideas often lead to wanting to team up with a co-founder, we are glad to be contributing co-founder matching to Idea Growr as well. Idea Growr is published by the Applits App Ideas Competition.

Become a Founder2be partner!
If you are providing a service that helps entrepreneurs, we’d love to hear from you. Apply to join Founder2be as a partner, reach the startup community and help co-founders and startups succeed.

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Montreal Co-Founders Meetup

Montreal’s first Founder2be co-founder meetup was a great success! :-)

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Notman House proved to be an ideal location. It is not only “the”
location most associated with entrepreneurship and startups in
Montreal, it’s also a beautiful space very well situated, near the
Sherbrooke / St-Laurent corner, always bustling with activity.

The event kicked off around 6:30pm, with most of the attendees on site
about 30 minutes later. The discussion was free and involved
ever-changing groups of people: Developers with existing
apps looking for a commercial partner, as well as people with past
experience in investment banking discussing their desire to either
join a project, or materialize their ideas with the help and
partnership of a technical co-founder.

The room’s activity was briefly interrupted so that everybody could
present themselves and their interests. This proved fruitful as new
groups emerged immediately after this short break — developers
talking to business folks, UX experts talking to startup entrepreneurs
looking for design and usability help, etc.

All in all, about two hours of discussion amongst the many groups provided for a wonderful opportunity to learn about a tiny fraction of Montreal’s busy startup life, and to meet a lot of wonderful, hard-working, enthusiastic people. Looking forward to the next one already.

Join us to be invited to the next event or to find a co-founder online.

Filed under co-founders startups montreal

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Shanghai Co-Founders Meetup

The first Founder2be co-founder matching event in Shanghai was held in Tianshan park this Sunday. Nik and his team did a great job hosting the event, our first outdoors event, too.

For all Shanghai entrepreneurs who did not have the chance to attend, read Nik’s summary of the first event and make sure to signup online and receive an invitation to the next one:

Not only did we have luck with the weather, we also attracted a great bunch of active attendees. I would like to thank all the people who came and took part in the event. You made all the planning and effort worth it.

We met up at 5pm in Tianshan Park, with some attendees dropping in later on. We also managed to attract a couple of China based incubators and people willing to invest in teams with great ideas. Two organizations offered us a place to hold our future events and the chance to use their channels to reach out to more people. Having a co-founder matching meeting while sitting on the grass might sound unorthodox, but it was the team’s idea and actually worked very well. You can consider that for your next Founder2be co-founder matching event in your city.

After a short presentation the organizers introduced Founder2be’s awesome platform to find a co-founder online and how it can help us on our path to entrepreneurship.

We had a great group of 25 people joining us which provided for a very friendly atmosphere where even the more shy of us had the chance to speak out and share their thoughts. There were people from a variety of industries and backgrounds present bringing with them a wealth of information and know-how.

I’m confident that our future events in Shanghai will be even more awesome. Please spread the word and take part in Founder2be’s activities. While the goal of today’s event was to find suitable co-founders and team members, we all made some new friends too. Friends who might be able to help us one way or another during the different phases of our entrepreneurial endeavors.

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Startup Night in Berlin

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A true first, the Startup Night introduces the startup scene to the general public in Berlin. Taking place on September 7th at Deutsche Telekom’s representative office, over 70 startups, chosen by an expert jury, will present their products and services. Visitors will have the opportunity to take a look behind the curtains of what startups are all about and get to know the faces of the Berlin startup scene first hand.

And there is more! The evening includes a panel discussion debating ‘Big vs. Small = Slow vs. Fast ?’ with Timotheus Höttges (next Chairman of the Board, Deutsche Telekom), Werner Vogels (CTO, Amazon Web Services), Jan Beckers (CEO, Hitfox), Jess Erickson (Founder, Berlin Geekettes) and Carsten Kollmus (CEO, joiz Tv). Musical entertainment is provided by Take Berlin and Elif.
 
Having the right co-founder is essential to any startup’s success. And Founder2be is excited to be partnering with Startup Night and power their co-founder matching service.

The Startup Night welcomes visitors of all ages and extends a special welcome to all smartphone enthusiasts, a particularly hot area for startups. The entrance fee at just 5€ per person is an absolute bargain. You can buy your ticket at the door or you can save the wait by getting your ticket online at www.startupnight.de/tickets in advance.

Get all the details for the entire night’s program online or download the Startup Night’s app for iPhone, iPad and Android.