Crowdfunding news: The launch of SellanApp and a worthwhile breast cancer book

With the launch of SellanApp this week, The Netherlands is becoming a hub of crowdfunding expertise in Europe. There is an interesting set of specialized players that can compete with the best known site Kickstarter in several fields. Whether you want to make a book (TenPages), an app (SellanApp), a game (Gambitious), a general company or project (Symbid), a movie (Cinecrowd) or a TV show (EU1) , there is a Dutch company helping you. In this article we explain some of the differences between the platforms and why you should invest.

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How to move from university course to a real company: the story of Innabox

The company Innabox was formed when five students met at an entrepreneurship course at the University of Amsterdam. As part of the course, they formed a team, designed a product and pitched their company at the course final event in July 2012. Unlike other teams, they did not put their company on hold at the end of the course, but continued to launch their product and are now working on the second release. In this interview we talk to Thom Rietberg (COO) and Tobias de Graaf  (CEO) about how they moved from course to real company.

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NewVenture 2013 schedule: submit your business idea before October 22nd

NewVenture is a yearly business plan competition in the Netherlands, and the deadline for the first round is on October 22. So if you have an idea and the time to make a 2 page description, go to the NewVenture website and submit the idea. You can also enter with an existing company, as long as you started less than two years ago. Entering this event can be a great starter, but please read on before you enter to know some of the Caveat of competitions.

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Kickstarter makes changes in response to crowd funding execution risks

On September 20th 2012, Kickstarter announced a few rule changes on their weblog in an article ‘Kickstarter is not a store‘. The changes are meant to enforce that Kickstarter is not a place where you buy products that are finished, but a place where you can back exciting projects with an element of risk and adventure. What is the motivation behind these changes, how are they received, and how will other crowdfunding platforms respond?

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How to start a semiconductor company: the story of GreenPeak

Launching a hardware innovation such as a real electronics product is said to be harder than launching a software product or service. But how much time, effort and money is really needed? We asked these questions to a veteran in the wireless communications world: Cees Links is CEO of GreenPeak, a ‘fabless’ semiconductor company headquartered in Utrecht. Cees was involved in the invention of Wi-Fi, and with Green Peak he is now making chips for low power ‘ZigBee’ communication. Continue reading

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Congrats to Peerby for 2nd place in Postcode Lottery Green Challenge

Congratulations to Peerby, the Amsterdam based company for borrowing items from your neighbours. This weekend they presented their company in New York at the postcode lottery green challenge as part of the Clinton Global Initiative. They ended up joined second place. Hopefully the prize money and publicity of this contest helps Peerby expand their services. Continue reading

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An introduction to startup valuation by example

A few years ago the TV show Dragon’s Den allowed people to showcase their invention and ask a panel of investors for money. One of the most entertaining aspects of the show was valuation: at the end of their presentation, people had to tell the panel how much money they wanted (e.g. € 100.000) , and what percentages of shares or profit they were willing to share (e.g. 10%). Any viewer and the panelists would quickly compute from this the implied value of the enterprise after the investment (€ 1.000.000 in the example, since 10% of € 1 million is € 100.000). The implied values varied greatly for no apparent reasons, making valuation look like a magic art or just a guessing and bluffing game. Is this also true in the real world?

I am often asked to help people with startup valuation. I do so by discussing the available structured approaches to company valuation, some of which can also be used for startups. Since I am not aware of any complete guides specifically for startup valuation, I decided to explain some of the basics around startup valuation in this article. Continue reading

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Updates on Innabox, SellanApp, Favour.it

The summer is coming to an end and this means that several companies are now launching their product or service. Here are a few updates on what new things one can see at Innabox, SellanApp, Favour.it and some highlights from Y-combinator.

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Promote your business: put it on the map (updated)

Put your startup on the map – literally

Made in Amsterdam is the name of a new website that show you where startup companies are in Amsterdam. The initiative was started by Mick Niepoth and Edo van Royen. There is no profit motivation. I guess the goal is simply to help companies connect to each other and to show the world that Amsterdam is also a good location for startups. Indeed, while funding around Amsterdam is harder to get than in Silicon Valley, it is a lot easier and cheaper to find good developers in The Netherlands. Continue reading

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Beauty, care or people: cast your vote at the Marie Claire Starters award

Marie Claire, a magazine aimed at young women, published their shortlist for their annual starters-award. They have chosen three women-led startup companies that each have an innovative product. You can find the announcement here and from this page you can also vote for one of the three companies. 

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