12 Dec 2011

Write Up: Mobile Monday 28th November 2011 “Sunshine beaks through the clouds for Start-Ups and SMEs?”


Kindly supported by
ICT KTN
In its second event of November, MobileMonday London focussed on growth opportunities and support for SMEs and Start-Ups. The formal part of the meeting was followed by networking for VCs, angel investors, accelerators and companies looking for support.


John Spindler, CEO of Capital Enterprise set the scene with his presentation below, before chairing a panel discussion on what the opportunities he described would mean to SMEs and Start-Ups.

Presentation at MobileMonday London 2011-11-28 John Spindler

The panel was:

  • James Mawson, Founder and Editor, Global Corporate Venturing,
  • Ben Whitaker, CEO, Masabi,
  • Anthony Clarke, Chair of the British Business Angel Association (BBAA),
  • Frederic Lardieg from Vodafone Ventures,
  • Jamie Finn from Telefonica Digital. 



What do you expect or would you like to see the Chancellor include in the next day’s Budget to encourage SMEs?
Anthony expected the government to match existing Angel syndicates on new investment, though this was limited to poorer boroughs, and would like to see mentors get tax breaks for working with SMEs. James F would like to see the first round of investment funded by government to “seed” SMEs, allowing investors to concentrate on growth. Ben agreed he would like to see the government taking the risk in the earlier stage, so that banks were not the only or main source of initial investment. James M wanted to see easier access for SMEs to programmes for growth investment, and Frederic also wanted to see easier access to seed fund grants, with VC funds focusing on core investment, and Anthony noted that the Federation of Small Businesses statistics showed support for SMEs was much smaller than those for big business. Audience suggestions included tax reductions for start-ups, additional corporation tax reductions for SMEs, incentives for the hiring of the first few employees within a business, and a reduced threshold for business rates for small business making the transition from home-based to business premises.


How did the panel rate the attractiveness of the mobile market in the UK currently?
James F thought the UK market had a lot of scope, especially for an HTML ecosystem which was virtually empty at the moment. James M thought that the UK and Europe may currently have less of an innovation ecosystem than in the US. Ben agreed that although there was lots of talk there was less actually happening, his opinion was that companies needed to bring solid plans and prototypes to the table for entrepreneurs and investors rather than just ideas, a lot of mobile ideas were also more likely to appeal to angels rather than VCs. Anthony noted VC investors were looking for scalable mobile businesses, in the order of 20 times return rather that the 2-3 times return more common in purely mobile app ventures. Frederic however did think the UK was an attractive market especially in the mobile space and had seen significant returns from companies in this area.


What advice did the panel have for application developers seeking investment?
Ben emphasised picking the right investor for your specific business which may not necessarily be a VC but instead EIS or grants, also look realistically at the returns, for example based on number of products and whether there was ongoing service attached to the service. Frederic agreed that a scalable business was essential for VCs so there might be opportunities in developing a platform around a product, or adding data collection as a service. Anthony noted that angel investors were looking for an order of 10 times growth over 5-7 years, he noted that in 2010 750million Euros were invested in seed investment, but SMEs needed a convincing bus plan. James F has personally invested in core apps businesses and could see potential in this area. Ben also noted that generally focusing and maturing in a core business was important, so peripheral activities should be de-emphasised, and the pitch should concentrate on return value rather than being overly technical. James M thought that corporate funding sometimes offered more opportunities than VCs especially at the seed stage, as corporates could benefit from the ideas and R&D initiatives, not just the direct financial returns.

An audience member questioned whether it was more important to get the volume of users or the product business model secured first? The panel thought there were possibilities in both approaches, and also noted the US model for big investors need a business model plan which showed the longer term returns and service opportunities – a lot of the US investors were now looking for investment opportunities in the UK and Europe, which was positive as statistics showed the US has invested around 5 times as much as the whole of Europe in this space.


Only 2% of SMEs applying for VC funding get it, what’s going wrong?
Frederic thought the reason was often that applications were not for scalable businesses (even if they were successfully running in other ways), however he noted that VCs cumulatively have invested more than 2% overall. Anthony pointed out that getting past the gatekeeper was often the initial issue, as companies chose the wrong investment types for the wrong targets, either too much or too little, or for lifestyle businesses not suitable for equity finance. Ben noted the common 3 step plan to IPO model touted in Silicon Valley was not always suitable for different types of businesses, so different approaches based on longer term growth may be more appropriate, it was important to match the investment with your particular business. Finally John noted the business plan should be based on evidence of a business model based on real research and demos.


What are most common mistakes made by Start-Ups looking for investment?
Frederic thought getting together a full management team including technical and business experts was important (there are events where these matches could be made if you didn’t already have the full team). James F emphasised focusing on a key area especially for limited sized teams, Ben agreed with concentrating your pitch on core products and services and also noted the need for complementary team members, as well as being concise in your pitch. Anthony thought there were lots of common mistakes, such as not showing a personal commitment to the business (e.g. personal investment of money or time), asking for product development investment rather than doing the front-end work to have a working prototype developed and some sales committed before asking for investment, and realistic valuations of the business.
The issue of trust and openness was also brought up, Frederic also thought that investors wanted a trusted environment so be as open as possible, and James M agreed but noted entrepreneurs needed to be able to balance trust with managing threats. The panel generally agreed noting that asking for NDAs was not considered beneficial, being completely open was also useful to getting your product known within the investment community.

The panel considered some questions from the audience:
What was the best order for investment criteria? A business plan, getting the users and then planning for growth was one approach. How do you balance the optimistic returns required by investors with realistic valuations? This could be achieved by basing projections on realistic costs and the likelihood of growth, but ultimately solving real business needs may produce ambitious numbers. Was it a good idea to file patentable innovations before being too open? Being able to show patents applied for could be useful it would feed into market validation, but ultimately real users were more important. Was “sweat equity” also important to demonstrate for Start-Ups? It was important to demonstrate this commitment in addition to or instead of financial commitment depending on your circumstances.

John asked the panel to sum up their advice to companies looking for growth investment. James M emphasised that in addition to VC funding, entrepreneurs needed to consider all investment opportunities in the wider world including Angels, corporate and individuals. Ben noted Masabi was actively seeking entrepreneur talent and technology so talk to them! Anthony summed up his advice as stay positive as there was money available, do the research and find out which areas are popular with investors. Frederic rallied the audience to keep doing what they were doing and encouraged them to speak to Vodafone Ventures who were always happy to help innovators. James F agreed that the entrepreneurs who succeed where the ones who kept trying!

With the session over, Jo Rabin thanked the panel, the chair, the MoMoLo volunteer team and the event sponsors ICT KTN.

8 Dec 2011

Vodafone Smart Accessibility Awards 2011 - Winners Announced

The winners of the Vodafone Smart Accessibility Awards finals have been announced at the Vodafone Developer site - each of four category winners takes home an impressive €50,000 . Best of all, perhaps, is that the Vodafone Foundation has announced that they will run the awards again next year.

You'll find coverage of the awards and of the event over at The Guardian as well as at MoMoLo regular Simon Rockman's FussFreePhones blog as well as his ZDNet blog.

Congrats to the winners and kudos to Vodafone for holding the awards.

21 Nov 2011

You're invited to the Vodafone Smart Accessibility Awards Finals, 5th December, Brussels




Awards Night
5 December 2011, 17.30hrs, Arsenal
Chaussée de Wavre 950, 1040 – Brussels

In June 2011, Vodafone Foundation, together with AGE Platform Europe and the European Disability Forum, launched a unique initiative challenging developers to design mobile applications to improve the lives of ageing people and people with disabilities.

The results have been inspiring and we will be selecting four winning applications.

But what ideas did they come up with? Join us for the awards ceremony!

Keynotes speeches:

Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda
Vittorio Colao, CEO of Vodafone Group
Anne-Sophie Parent, Secretary General of AGE Platform Europe
Rodolfo Cattani, Secretary & Chair of the ICT Expert Group, European Disability Forum

--
Followed by reception & buffet dinner

RSVP by 29 November by replying to cindy.dekoninck@vodafone.com

The event will be held in English with translation into sign language.



13 Nov 2011

Write Up: Mobile Monday London – Now we are Six ... 6th Anniversary Celebration – 7 November 2011

Many thanks to Viji Pathy of Mokaadu for her round up of our 6th Anniversary (67th) event, as follows.

Chair
Martyn Warwick, TelecomTV

Speakers
Mark Curtis, Fjord (and formerly Flirtomatic)
Mike Short, Telefonica Europe (and current IET President)
David Wood, Accenture (and formerly Symbian and Psion)
Russell Buckley, Eagle Eye Solutions(and formerly AdMob)

Martyn asked the panel to introduce themselves and highlight what they saw as the biggest or most surprising change over the last 6 years, and what they thought might be the “next big thing” over the coming years.
  • Mike was most surprised at the recent Microsoft/Nokia collaboration which would have seemed unlikely 6years ago, he also thought the arrival of the iPhone had been the biggest change, which had created new services and industries around mobile.
  • Russell thought the biggest change was the growth of mobile advertising which was very small 6 years ago, and now a huge industry dominated by Google. This had allowed many new and smaller players to enter a market that used to be available only by collaborating with network operators or directly monetising solutions. He predicted the next big area for mobile solutions was mobile payments,but this is moving rapidly so interested parties need to act fast.
  • David thought the decline of previous industry giants such as Nokia and Motorola was the biggest shock, the biggest innovation had been the growth of the iPad which proved smartphone technology could be used on different types of devices. Any innovation which could become used in every day technology could prove the next big thing.
  • Mark thought the biggest innovation had been the vertically integrated system introduced by Apple which fully integrated devices,services and billing. The future could see the growth of the Kindle Fire backed by a similar system from Amazon and others like it.

Martyn then posed some questions to the panel.


Will the massive pace of change continue and even accelerate?

Mike thought yes with mobile subscribers expected to double from 3bn and the volume of traffic increasing through M2M interaction as well. The growth of the mobile internet would also push services even into new sectors such as health, automotive and energy. David agreed that there would be greater supply as more users subscribed and more companies entered the market with wider global influence. There would also be greater demand as smartphone technology was combined with other technology such as sensors, which could provide many innovations in fields such as health care. There would be increased complexity moving forward,but the players who met this challenge could do well. Russell agreed that the pace of change would only accelerate, especially in the developing world, even in currently closed regimes as more information became accessible. Mark also agreed yes but pointed out some potential roadblocks; increased complexity and fragmentation,lack of app discovery and optimisations, and the user experience,especially as we moved into an “Internet of Things”.


Would AI really take off?

Russell pointed out that AI projects had in the past proved challenging and been abandoned, the concept of “Technological Singularity”proposed ever increasing AI developments but ones which were hard to predict. David argued that there had been huge AI advances even in the last few years, such as the auto-detection of facial expressions by camera software, and the huge optimised datasets used by Google which could predict a users’ searches, these could become more personalised in time as devices and networks became more able to predict a user’s interests; how users felt about this might vary. Mike wanted more public data available in the public domain in order to encourage innovation using this data. Mark noted that there was still some way to go in AI matching the subtle understanding of human communication, so building the human element into the UX is key to the growth of AI.


Is the trend of new companies emerging and big companies declining in this industry going to continue?

Mike thought this was likely as global companies competed and sector specialists moved into mobile as the industry expanded to different sectors. Large companies have the advantage of reach and scale, but partnering with smaller specialists was key,especially in the emerging markets. Mark noted that resellers and retailers might have less of a role, he thought companies utilising location based services still had more potential, especially utilising spatial graphs. David agreed this trend would continue as established companies sometimes found adapting to disruptive technologies an unattractive proposition until they were over taken by more innovative companies. Russell agreed, as an example many retailers in particular had not embraced mobile digital marketing as part of their in-store strategy, whereas consumers were starting to use their mobile in-store.

The panel then considered questions from the audience.

Are the deeply embedded players like Google, Facebook, eBay etc too difficult to unseat due to their role in creating the service infrastructure?

Mark thought it would be hard but not impossible, especially looking at the controlling players in the past such as Microsoft, who have had to reinvent themselves to stay in the mobile market. Russell thought not,especially if they didn’t embrace mobile fully.


Is trust important in mobile, and if so who did the panel trust?

Mike thought most user relied on trusted brands they already knew, even if they were not currently in a particular mobile space. But Russell thought trust could be established very quickly for new brands entering the industry, looking at how quickly companies like eBay and Amazon had established online trust. David pointed out that trust depended on both character and competence, and it could be lost as easily as gained so companies had to work hard at continually building trust from their users.


Can network operators move beyond an utility provider role?

Mike thought they could as long as they moved beyond their core role operating networks, for example,Telefonica has been looking at several different mobile initiatives around sectors like health and M2M businesses. David noted that this question was a common one over the last few years, he thought some operators would transform themselves and innovate to make this move,others may not, however successful operators still needed to concentrate on providing the essential network infrastructure.

Martyn posed some additional questions to the panel.


How should the industry handle privacy issues for users, are we witnessing the death of privacy?

Mark thought we were but mainly because users were embracing the removal of privacy boundaries, though there was a difference between trusted networks and the wider cyberspace. Russell also agreed that the new generation viewed privacy in a completely different way from older generations. David noted that “Mark Zuckerberg’s Law” of social sharing that users shared twice as much information every year, mainly because they saw benefits in being connected in this way. But Mike noted that the young people he had spoken to were also concerned about identity management and control online, they valued away to protect themselves with adequate privacy controls. Audience members had a range of opinions questioning whether privacy really was not an issue for most users or agreeing younger generations saw something desirable in sharing everything, though having to “opt out” of no privacy could be an issue for some people, also noting from a technical point of view once material is online it is available to anyone who can view it in the public domain, as viewers have effectively downloaded their own copy, education on this was important to making informed decisions. The panel agreed that there were still issues as some users shared everything and others opted out of social networking completely, and noted that even government ministers often did not understand the nature of the internet and their ability to control it.


What is happening with Location, has it fulfilled its potential?

Russell thought that location based services were still not doing so, especially as the location information needed to be used as part of a more contextualised service. Mike disagreed saying that location could serve as the basis for everything on mobile and personalised location services would increase. David noted that some companies like Tom Tom had done very well in the navigation field, and there was potential for applications in large buildings and complexes. Mark noted that the convergence of location and time, with services such as check in, for new applications in this area.


Has the breakthrough in device form factors such as tablets made a difference?

Mark agreed,especially now that different human interactions such as gestures and swiping were possible to incorporate into applications such as Flirtomatic’s. David also noted that after iPhone had already broken the rules of smartphones at the time with its large screen,the iPad and other tablets were increasing this trend for form factor variety, in the future there might be flexible bendy screens,keyboards which could be rolled up etc. Mike also agreed that we talked of devices rather than phones these days, and this could include medical devices, wearable devices etc in the future, so form factors would only multiply.


What do the panel think about the current “Mobile Patent Wars”?

Russell thought that the patent issue was becoming a problem, especially when companies did not know whether a technology they had developed might be the subject of a patent action, defensive patenting was becoming increasingly common. David agreed that no one would design the patent system as it currently is, where patents are sought for very obvious things and defensive patenting is common, it should be improved but vested interests had to agree this. Mike said solutions were being proposed like the EC mediating between companies with opposing claims.


The last 6 years have seen a huge improvement in dealing with green issues by the mobile industry, will this trend continue?

Mike thought the increasing cost of networks had been a driver in implementing cleaner solutions for base stations using renewable energy and improving recharging units for networks. Telefonica have adopted an eco-rating scheme, partly in response to customer queries. Russell noted his company’s business was based on replacing paper with digital coupons. David pointed out that in addition to the energy used by the network infrastructure,phone battery life was also an issue, and innovations in recharging via kinetic motion and sunlight would bring improvements here which would also be beneficial to users.


The final question was around the status of the mobile web with the impact of connectivity, capacity and content issues?

David disagreed noting the iPhone proved successful by focusing on the browsing experience at a time when the browser was only considered one of many applications, and the advent of HTML5 is also improving the mobile web. Russell noted AdMob had done well focusing on mobile web solutions and that mobile web browsing has now overtaken desktop browsing. Mark also agreed and thought the “live” experience available on mobile web could be superior to native apps. Mike pointed out that mobile web would continue to become more significant as the emerging markets with their huge numbers of subscribers became more and more important in the debate. The panel also thought that increasingly the mobile web would be funded by advertising, especially personalised ads, and mobile would soon become the biggest medium for advertising.

8 Nov 2011

Nov 28th: Sunshine breaks through the clouds for Start-Ups and SMEs?


As winter settles upon us, it looks as though the are some positive signs of a change in climate for SMEs and Start-Ups. If you're an SME, a Start-Up, or thinking that you should be, this is a must-attend event in which we'll survey what's coming up in 2012 and a great opportunity for investors, companies and the support network to meet and mingle.

MobileMonday London and our lovely friends over at ICT KTN are co-promoting this event in which John Spindler CEO of Capital Enterprise will introduce us to those trends and lead a panel discussion what what it means to SMEs and Start-Ups.  

Among the topics we'll be covering: 
  • The government funded "Coaching for High Growth SMEs
  • A preview of the changes to Enterprise Investment Scheme rules that are intended to stimulate investment (these will be announced in the Chancellor's Autumn Statement on the 29th Nov)
  • Arrival of US Investors in the UK with different investment criteria than our native community of investors
  • The Goldman Sachs and UCL supported "10,000 Small Businesses" accelerator programme as well as the launch of several other new acceleration programmes and accompanying seed funds

Our panel, led by John,  will represent the various parties involved. Confirmed so far:


James Mawson - Founder and Editor of Global Corporate Venturing
Anthony Clarke - Chair of the British Business Angel Association
Frederic Lardieg - Vodafone Ventures

James Finn - Telefonica Digital
Ben Whitaker - CEO Masabi


We're inviting a range of angel investors, VCs and accelerators to attend and contribute from the floor as well as meet and do business in the networking session that follows. 
It does seem as though this is a most exciting time for businesses - let's set the scene for a really positive 2012!

As usual the venue is CBI Conference Centre at Centre Point. Please use the entrance at street level. Nearest tubes are Tottenham Court Road (Central Line definitely, Northern Line should re-open Monday).

The event is free to attend, please RSVP at – http://momolo-2011-11-28.eventbrite.com RSVP is required. Please note that we're using Evenbrite now, and not our site at momolo.org, which is entering well-deserved retirement.

Agenda:

6.00 pm Doors open
6.30 pm Welcome and introductions
6.35 pm Panel session
8.00 pm Drinks and networking 
9.30 pm Doors close

1 Nov 2011

Winners: Competition for Places on UK Stand at MWC Barcelona

Many congratulations to the winners of places on the UK stand at Barcelona in last night's competition held at the CBI Conference Centre at Centre Point - supported by the ICT Knowledge Transfer Network.

I thought it a very close-fought competition with extremely worthy entries among the losers, however only four could be selected and those four were:

Carbon Hero with Carbon Diem - track your organisation's or your personal carbon footprint on the move

Mobilize Systems with Mobilize - a mobile loyalty and CRM platform

Geonovo - Personal GPS safety alarms for lone workers and telecare

Sub10Systems - Millimetre wave wireless Ethernet bridges

You can read the full entrant line up on our event announcement. As I mentioned I thought it was very close fought, with all the entrants completing their 3 minute elevator pitch exactly on time.

Good luck in Barcelona to the worthy winners!

26 Oct 2011

Now we are Six. MoMoLo Celebrates its 6th Anniversary on 7th Nov


Wiping a small tear from my eye as I write this, I'm thinking back to the first event we held at the Vodafone offices in The Strand on the 7th Nov 2005 and the 70-odd (really) events we have held since. The mobile industry has come an awfully long way since then - so it seems appropriate for us to look back over that period, and to look forward to what's coming next.

Helping us do so, and trying not to overdo the A A Milne references, but not really succeeding:

Martyn Warwick (aka Christopher Robin) from TelecomTV (who just celebrated 10 years) will chair the panel, which will consist of long time friends of MoMoLo from Pooh Corner, Mike Short (Telefonica and current IET President), David Wood (Accenture and of Symbian and Psion fame), Russell Buckley (Eagle Eye Solutions, aka the AdMob man) and Mark Curtis (Fjord, themselves 10, the man who made Mobile Social work in the form of Flirtomatic).

Between them they'll have plenty to say about what's been happening in the Hundred Acre Wood over the last six years, and while leaning on the rail of the bridge will offer opinions on which of the upcoming Poohsticks will emerge first. We may have a little competition for who is Tigger and who is Eeyore ... I'm expecting plenty of lively input from you, the audience!

As usual the venue is CBI Conference Centre at Centre Point. Please use the entrance at street level. Nearest tubes are Tottenham Court Road (Central Line only – Northern Line exit is closed at the moment) and Leicester Square (Northern and Piccadilly Lines).

The event is free to attend, please RSVP at http://momolo.org/event.jsp?eventid=117– RSVP is required

Agenda:

6.00 pm Doors open
6.30 pm Welcome and introductions
6.35 pm Panel session
8.00 pm Drinks and networking courtesy of our lovely sponsors (see below)
9.30 pm - Doors close

Sponsors:


Hailo


Hailo the Black Cab app, is a London technology startup backed by a founder of Skype (Atomico Ventures) and Wellington Partners. Use Hailo to hail a black cab wherever you are with two taps on your smartphone and pay cash or card with no charges above the meter.

Over the past 9 months, they've raised $3M and built up a fleet of nearly 2,000 registered drivers who are now ready to start picking you up. Hailo is offering exclusive beta invites to Mobile Monday members - sign up now.

The team includes a founder of eCourier, Jay Bregman, and three London licensed taxi drivers. They are launching in London in November and in other major cities around the world in 2012. They work together at an uber-cool office on a boat moored on the Thames - and are hiring aggressively so please check out their job vacancies.


UCL Advances

Many thanks to UCL Advances for their support. Make sure to check out their 10,000 Small Businesses programme, "A New Training and Growth Programme for London’s Most Promising Small Businesses".

There's one more introductory session on the 2nd Nov at The Trampery. Online applications will be open till 12th December.

19 Oct 2011

Forum Oxford, Power of One and MEX - Special Offers for MoMo London Members

There's no shortage of mobile and tech related conferences these days but three of those that are likely to be of special interest to MoMo London people are coming up shortly - and they all have special deals.

Also details to follow on our (as usual) free to attend MoMoLo "Now we are Six" Birthday Party on Monday 7th November . Christopher Robin will be chairing the panel of Poo, Tigger, Eeyore and Kanga on the highlights of the last 6 years and what is to come in the Hundred Acre Wood!

Those events, in calendar order:



Friday 28th October: ForumOxford: Mobile Apps and Technologies Conference, Oxford

This year's conference focuses on Mobile Commerce, NFC payments and the Mobile Web

Details: http://www.conted.ox.ac.uk/H600-23

Register: Use https://www.conted.ox.ac.uk/account/registration/index.php?id=O11C812H6J to attend for £200 instead of the usual £295


Friday 11th November: Power of One, Battersea Power Station

Power of One is a day for developers and entrepreneurs to get together and celebrate how much the individual can achieve in today's tech industry.

Details: http://p0wer0f1.com

Register: http://www.amiando.com/p0wer0f1.html Use code MOMO for a 20% discount on the £99 + VAT fee.

You could get to pitch your company to the assembled crowd http://p0wer0f1.posterous.com/want-to-speak-at-power-of-one


Wednesday 30th Nov - Thursday 1st Dec: MEX, London

The 10th MEX on the future of mobile user experience. 100 creative thinkers will work together over 2 days focused on 7 curated Pathways, ranging from multi-touchpoint design to new forms of mobile interaction.

Details: http://pmn.co.uk/mex/

Continuing a long tradition of MEX and MoMoLo, individuals and early stage start-ups who wouldn't otherwise have the budget to attend MEX can apply for one of the fully supported MEX Scholarship places. The deadline for applications is Tuesday, 25th October

Scholarship: http://pmn.co.uk/mex/scholarships09m.shtml

If you don't qualify for a scholarship place there's also a limited number of two-for-one places available on a first-come-first-served basis.

Register: http://pmn.co.uk/mex/register.shtml


12 Oct 2011

31st October - Final of competition for places on UK Stand at Mobile World Congress 2012


For the fourth year we're really happy to be hosting the final of this competition on behalf of ICT KTN (http://www.ictktn.org.uk). It will take place on Monday the 31st October at our usual venue - the CBI Conference Centre at Centre Point.

The prizes: Spaces on the UKTI stand at Mobile World Congress 2012. Winners at the London event last year were Masabi, Deltenna and Private Planet.

Twelve companies have been chosen from the initial entries. Each company will have 3 minutes in which to present their ideas (without using PowerPoint) and the judges then have the opportunity to ask questions. The finalists are listed below - some familiar MoMoLo faces among them, good luck to them all!

Timings: Doors open at 6.00 for a 6.30 start, and the competition will consist of lightning pitches by the 12 short listed contestants, followed by a buffet supper and networking.

Registration is free but is required at http://ictktn.co/tinc?key=d95cAHGK&formname=mwc_31_Oct (note this is not the MoMoLo registration Web site!)

Agenda:

6.00 Doors Open

6.30 Competition Starts - Lightning pitches and judges' questions.

8.00 Break for supper, networking and announcement of winners

9.30 Close


Oh, and "Save the Date" - we'll be celebrating being 6 years old on 7th November! Details later ...


Competitors:

Geonovo (Telecare) http://www.geonovo.com

Sub10 Systems (Point to Point Microwave) http://www.sub10systems.com

The Geography Collective's Mission: Explore (Exploration) http://www.thegoegraphycollective.com

TheAppside.com (Business Intelligence) http://www.theappside.com

Teez.me (Physical/Virtual World) http://www.teez.me

Lumi Mobile (Audience interaction) http://www.lumimobile.com

Mobilize (Mobile loyalty card) http://mobilize-systems.com

Carbon Hero's Carbon Diem (Carbon footprint) http://www.carbondiem.com

Apsmart's MPme (App Music) http://apsmart.mobi

Overlay Media’s Context Engine (Context based personalisation) http://www.overlaymedia.com

Mailsuite (Mobile Mail and Data Compression) http://mailsuite.com

Ribot's Threedomphone (Accessibility) http://www.ribot.co.uk

10 Oct 2011

UCL Course: Making Money from Mobile Apps


Taking your first App from Idea to App store


We're delighted to be supporting UCL with the second "Making Money from Mobile Apps" course - to be held on Monday and Wednesday Evenings 19th Oct - 14th Dec over at the UCL Campus.

The couse is targetted at entrepreneurs who are not necessarily developers to find out what's involved with conceiving, creating and launching an app.

The course starts on Wednesday week 19th Oct, and there is a seriously discounted price of GBP 320 which covers the entire 9 sessions.

Find out more over at the course Web site.

3 Oct 2011

Mobile Monday is supporting Movember… will you?

 

I just spotted this on the global Mobile Monday website and thought I should share with you. The annual Movember campaign is gearing up and Mobile Monday is thrilled to support this fantastically Fun – and – Worthy cause. Check details below and get your training pants on to Grow a Mo in Movember! You can see the full article here http://www.mobilemonday.net/09/2011/mobile-monday-movember-mobro-smiles.html

ABOUT MOVEMBER
The idea for Movember was sparked in 2003 over a few beers in Melbourne, Australia. The guys behind it joked about 80’s fashion and decided it was time to bring the moustache back. In order to justify their Mos (Australian slang for moustache), they used their new looks to raise money for prostate cancer research… never dreaming that facial hair would ultimately lead to a global movement that would get men talking about a taboo subject – their health.

A Mo Bro starts Movember – the month formerly known as November – clean shaven, and grows a moustache all month long, garnering support from friends and family in the form of donations. What’s more, a Mo Bro is a walking billboard for the cause as his new look opens the door for him to talk about cancers affecting men – making the moustache a symbol, much like the pink ribbon is for breast cancer. Each Movember culminates in a Gala Partè in major cities around the globe where Mo Bros dress up to match their Mo, channelling the likes of Tom Selleck, Gandhi and Ron Burgandy, vying for the ultimate accolade: Man of Movember.

While growing a Mo is left to the guys, Mo Sistas (women who support their guys) form an important part of Movember by recruiting Mo Bros, helping to raise funds and attending Movember events. In the UK, this is Movember United Kingdom – The Prostate Cancer Charity. This is happening all over the world, so check the MoMo Global website for details of your local Movember initiative http://www.mobilemonday.net/09/2011/mobile-monday-movember-mobro-smiles.html.

As a Mo Sista I look forward to supporting the Mo Bros next month - although I’m not so sure I’m looking forward to the accompanying fashions… Winking smile



30 Sep 2011

The Europas are back!

The Europas, the European Tech Startup Awards, supported by TechCrunch Europe, are here again and open for entries until 7 October 2011.

Last year there was a month of online voting by the European tech startup industry for the finalists, where over 33,000 votes were cast and over 350 people joined the cream of Europe’s startups, VCs and entrepreneurs at a huge awards event.

This year, I’m told it's getting bigger to get the community even more involved, create an even bigger event, and find the best startups in Europe! You can enter here and tickets are here.

The Europas will be identifying the hottest tech startups in Europe right now, taking hundreds of entries, sifting through them with a large advisory board and then submitting the picks to a public vote which the entire industry can participate in. The results will then be merged to find the winners.

You can enter here. (Please read the instructions in full).

TechCrunch Europe / The Europas 2010 Final Cut from Newspepper on Vimeo.

To enter The Europas your startup must have been launched within the last 2 years (from September 2009). If your startup has received external funding, then it can ONLY be a Seed or Series A round of funding. Startups that have taken Series B rounds and beyond are NOT eligible to enter. Entrants can come from the “EMEA” region (Europe, Middle East and Africa). Entries must be in by Friday 7 October.

The Awards Ceremony will take place on Thursday, November 17 at the Carbon Bar in London’s West End. Tickets are here. It’s a cool modern bar and you’ll be joined by 450 of the crème de la crème of Europe’s tech startup and venture capital scene. There will be drink, food and we’ll be able to party ALL night.

The Categories

Best Education, Recruitment and Jobs Startup

Best Commerce, Finance or Payments Startup

Best Business or Enterprise Startup

Best Advertising or Marketing Tech Startup

Best Transport or Travel Startup

Best European Startup Programme

Best Startup Tool For Startups

Best Mobile or Apps Startup

Best Sport or Leisure Startup

Best Entertainment, Audio or Video Startup

Best Gaming or Social Games Startup

Best Culture (Fashion, Art, Music) Startup

Best Social Platform or Networking Startup

Best Service Provider to Startups

Best Startup Founder / Co-Founders

Best VC of the Year

Best Exit in 2011

Best Angel or Seed Investor of the Year

Best Startup Advisor/Mentor of the Year

The Europas Grand Prix 2011 (chosen by Judges)

LEAD SPONSORS:

UNRULY MEDIA

Reaching an audience of 725 million monthly unique users, Unruly distributes video and rich media formats across platforms including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, premium publisher sites, influential blogs and mobile applications. Unruly’s mission is simple: to deliver the most awesome social video campaigns on the planet. Unruly uses its proprietary ad tech platform RAMP (Real-time Amplification and Measurement Platform) to identify the brand & content advocates that start conversations & fully trackable social metrics (measuring awareness, attention, advocacy & action) to deliver the desired brand engagement. Our outreach programme ensures we can reach a client’s target audience, however mass or niche.

Partners:

TechCity Investment Organisation

TCIO was set up by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) and is designed to help the existing cluster of tech-digital and creative companies flourish. Tech City stretches out from the financial heart of the City of London to Stratford and the Olympic Park in East London, and is the fastest growing technology cluster in Europe. The TCIO team is a unique combination of experienced entrepreneurs and UKTI business specialists. Their role is to help existing companies succeed, as well as attract global business, entrepreneurs and high-value investment to the digital capital of Europe. For more information, visit www.techcityuk.com or www.ukti.gov.uk/techcity or follow us @techcityuk on twitter.

UKTI

UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is the Government Department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. We also help overseas companies bring their high quality investment to the UK’s economy – acknowledged as Europe’s best place from which to succeed in global business. UKTI offers expertise and contacts through its extensive network of specialists in the UK, and in British embassies and other diplomatic offices around the world. We provide companies with the tools they require to be competitive on the world stage. For more information on UKTI, visit www.ukti.gov.uk or telephone +44 (0)20 7215 8000. For latest press releases, visit the online newsroom at www.ukti.gov.uk/media.

Co-Sponsors

Loveclients

The Search Marketing industry is plagued with big promises, and very little return so when describing an SEO Company, you don't often think 'Reliable', 'Transparent' and 'Affordable'. Not unless you're referring to LoveClients that is. With 24x7-365 live client service (we literally never close) - LoveClients offers transparently-priced seo packages and re-brandable white label seo outsourcing for designers, agencies and their clients.  Structuring our client sites to be deemed contextually relevant, and building authority in their niche - LoveClients works to deliver more targeted visitors, more often. There is no 'magic' to SEO, just well planned strategy & solid execution. With offices in London, Vancouver & Riga we take advantage of the differences in timezone, to offer a true 24x7-365 service offering. Visit LoveClients & initiate a Live Chat for a Free site evaluation, a team of experts is available to answer your queries in real time.

TechHub

TechHub (@TechHub on Twitter) is a community of entrepreneurs, startups, and developers. Just 10 seconds walk from Old Street tube station, TechHub offers easy access to London’s main technology cluster and is in close proximity to its financial heart. In addition to the affordable permanent desk space, fast wireless connection, large member-based co-working area, meeting rooms for hire and conference/event space for up to 200 people, TechHub offers a great community of like-minded individuals that believe in the power of their businesses to change the world. Members come from all over the world and use TechHub as a base when they’re in London. Great perks are also available to members in the form of discounts at bars, restaurants, cafes and hotels in the area. The facilities at TechHub include over 60 permanent desk spaces for monthly hire and loads of co-working space for over 50 people. Meeting rooms for hire are discounted to members and include A/V, wi-fi, whiteboards, kitchen facilities and printing. Permanent desk spaces come with wi-fi/wired data, locker space, personal keys, power and a mailing address. Email Miguel@techhub.comto join our mailing list detailing all our amazing events.

28 Sep 2011

MDA Annual Market Analyst Event–19 Oct at City University

Just a quick note to let you know that our friends at the ICT KTN are supporting the Mobile Data Association's annual Market Analysts event on Wednesday 19th October at City University. They'll be looking at key trends in mobile around data consumption, phone and tablet usage and mobile publishing and have some insightful analysts lined-up to speak as well as opportunities for networking.

It is free to attend to MDA members and also ICT KTN members and it's free to join the ICT KTN - https://ktn.innovateuk.org/web/ictktn

Full details, agenda, link to registration form etc at http://themda.org/index.php?view=details&id=89%3Afuture-signals--where-next-for-mobile-data&option=com_eventlist&Itemid=85



23 Sep 2011

Upcoming accessibility workshops: London, Belfast and Manchester

smart accessibility 2011 fb imageAs you may already be aware the Vodafone Foundation has set up the Smart Accessibility Awards which Mobile Monday London is actively supporting. These awards are to celebrate apps that help people in four key areas: Social participation, independent living, mobility and well-being. They are free to enter and there is a prize fund of ?200,000. The awards are now open for entries until 15 October 2011 so you have a month to go.

ict ktn logoAs part of this initiative, we've teamed up with the ICT KTN and Vodafone Foundation Smart Accessibility Awards to bring you a series of half-day workshop looking specifically at this area. The goal of the workshops is to inspire and enable app developers and entrepreneurs to create useful tools for people who have visual, aural, cognitive or other impairments by helping you understand and empathize what life is like for people in this situation. This empathy and understanding is created by bringing together app developers, entrepreneurs and accessibility advocates and people with impairments to exchange information, and allowing developers to experience simulations of being impaired.

App developers who have had the opportunity to experience as directly as possible, first or second-hand, what it means to live with specific impairments, and have been put in touch with the larger community around accessibility, create more effective apps to better the quality of life for everyone. The result not only helps people with major disabilities, but also people with minor or temporary impairments, for example due to ageing or illness.

The format of the workshops will be discussion based with different speakers and contributors to reflect the local scene. Plenty of time will be allowed for discussion and networking and refreshments will be provided. These are different in style to our usual sessions and are more informal and much smaller to allow us to go more in-depth into the topic area.

We ran a successful workshop in Edinburgh last Friday and you can read about it here. There you’ll also find some useful links to the speakers and further resources.

We have two workshops happening on Monday 26 September in the afternoon in London at The IET and Belfast at The Black Box. Free to sign up and still a few places left if you’d like to attend.

We also have a workshop happening in Manchester on 5 October and registration has just opened for that.

You can also follow and track all the events on lanyrd:

Edinburgh http://lanyrd.com/2011/mobile-monday-edinburgh-accessibility-workshop/

London http://lanyrd.com/2011/mobile-monday-london-accessibility-workshop/

Belfast  http://lanyrd.com/2011/mobile-monday-belfast-accessibility-workshop/

Manchester http://lanyrd.com/2011/mobile-monday-manchester-accessibility-workshop/

A big thank you to all our speakers and fellow Mobile Monday chapter organisers for their support. And of course a big thank you to Vodafone Foundation Smart Accessibility Awards and ICT KTN for helping us make these workshops happen.



18 Sep 2011

Upcoming UKTI Webinars: The India Opportunity–Semiconductors, Low Carbon and E-health

I’ve just had this in from our friends at the UKTI about some free webinars they’re holding in October to alert UK companies to opportunities in the Indian market. So spread the word amongst your tech friends in the UK so they can take advantage. After all, the tech wave is moving East not West…

The Indian market presents significant opportunities for UK companies in the technology sector. Next month (October 2011), UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is running a series of seminars with expert speakers from India outlining the market opportunities in:

  • Semiconductors: Tuesday 4th October 2011
  • Green technology (low carbon): Tuesday 18th October 2011
  • E-healthcare: Tuesday 25th October 2011

*Semiconductors – 4th October 2011

Along with our partner, the India Semiconductor Association (ISA), this webinar will explore the scope for UK semiconductor companies in the Indian electronics industry – which is expected to grow to over US$ 400 billion by 2020. The webinar will be led by Mr. Venugopal Puvvada, senior director of engineering at QUALCOMM’s Bangalore design centre, who has almost 20 years history within India’s semiconductor sector, having previously been with Texas Instruments.

Mr. Puvvada will outline the growth of the chip design industry in India and the semiconductor ecosystem, talk about the talent pool and innovation in low power wireless semiconductor design in India, and highlight some of the gaps that need to be addressed to achieve the demand in the Indian electronics industry.

Semiconductor sector snapshot - The Indian semiconductor design industry, comprised of VLSI design, board design and embedded software companies, has design companies clustered around Bangalore, Delhi/Noida, Hyderabad, Chennai, with presence also in Pune, Ahmedabad and Goa. All the global top ten fabless design companies have India operations and 17 of the top 25 semiconductor companies have a strong presence in the country.

Are you a UK Company Interested in this Free Webinar? Please contact: Raj at raj.ganesh@fco.gov.uk

Note: Attendees at this webinar will also get a chance to learn how they can take advantage of a market visit to coincide with the Indian industry’s flagship annual event, the ISA Vision Summit 2012 taking place in February 2012.

*Green technology (low carbon) – 18th October 2011

This webinar, presented by UKTI in conjunction with our partner E&Y, looks at the scope for UK technology companies addressing low carbon solutions for public and private sectors.

The environmental technologies market in India is estimated at approximately $9 billion per year – with an annual growth rate of 15%. The Indian Government has initiated many new projects for improving environmental conditions and reducing pollution ($12.4 billion is reserved for improvement of waste management, development of urban areas, water and sanitation, etc., in 63 cities across the nation). The booming Indian economy, rapid industrialization, and urbanization have all contributed to severe environmental damage which creates opportunities for UK firms that can offer technology solutions to these challenges.

Are you a UK Company interested in this Free Webinar? Please contact: Deepika at deepika.sekhar@fco.gov.uk

*E-healthcare – Tuesday 25th October 2011

This webinar is focused on the E-healthcare market in India and highlights the scope for UK companies, and the current scenario with respect to Government policies and challenges.

India is characterized by low penetration of healthcare services where 90% of secondary and tertiary healthcare facilities is in cities and towns – away from rural India where 68% of population lives; and primary health care facilities for rural population are highly inadequate. Despite several initiatives by Government and private sector, the rural and remote areas continue to suffer from absence of quality healthcare.

A significant proportion of patients in remote locations could be successfully managed locally with advice/ guidance from specialists/ super-specialists in cities, without having to travel to the specialists. There are huge opportunities in setting up of telemedicine networks across the country especially in hardware, software, connectivity and information exchange.

Our speakers include Dr. Jawahar Shah, Managing Director of Mind Technologies, and Apollo Hospital’s Dr K Ganapathy, as well as Mr. Sampath Kumar from Sankar Nethralaya.

Are you a UK company interested in this Free Webinar? Please contact: Revanti at revanti.wadhwa@fco.gov.uk



14 Sep 2011

Accessibility Workshop in Edinburgh–Friday 16 September

Some of you who know me know that I’m putting together some accessibility workshops on behalf of Mobile Monday London, The Vodafone Foundation Smart Accessibility Awards and ICT KTN. Well, the first one is this Friday in Edinburgh with our friends at Mobile Monday Edinburgh. And I’m really excited about it.

Accessibility really isn’t my area, although it’s becoming increasingly important to me and many of those around me. Both my parents are partially deaf and my mother’s eyesight is failing her. Despite their agility and good health bearing in mind their age, there are so many things I take for granted that I know in years to come, I just won’t be able to manage. In the same way my Mum is frustrated that she can’t thread a needle easily or manage to read a newspaper, I expect in the future I’ll be frustrated that I can’t type at speed, that I can’t manipulate a touchscreen or access my digital files to watch TV/listen to music/interact with the world. TV viewing is already a more complex operation than before and all the things I’m used to now may become just too difficult unless we start thinking about accessibility now.

The more I’ve looked into this area, the more I realise that accessibility issues have to enter the mainstream and have to be everyone’s area. This is not a niche consideration. Nor is it a nice to have any more.  This is certainly a business consideration. I think it’s 10% of the UK have some kind of disability and about 40% of the population are classified as elderly, that’s an awful lot of people that we may, unwittingly, be excluding. But it’s also a human consideration. We should be helping each other as best we can and surely technology is one of the ways to do that? I for one, am hoping to come away with some top tips and some inspiration of how this accessibility jigsaw puzzle fits together and how it can and needs to be applied day to day.

So, if you’re in Edinburgh on Friday, and fancy joining me and the Mobile Monday Edinburgh crew to chat with some other people about this area and how it relates to mobile apps and services, then come and join us. Registration is open here and it’s FREE to attend. The agenda is a good one with a mix of demos, discussion and presentations. We kick off at 3pm and we’ll finish around 6.30pm with drinks and networking afterwards.

The presenters will be:

* Jonathan Anderson of Vodafone will tell us about their Smart Accessibility Awards

* Ian Osborne of ICT KTN , @ianfosborne, will speak briefly about what ICT KTN is and how they can support businesses interested in this area.

* Kate Ho of Interface3, @kateho, will share some thoughts on how multi-user multi-touch interfaces can be used to help people with particular challenges.

* Dr Nava Tintarev on the How was School Today Project http://howwasschooltoday.computing.dundee.ac.uk/. Nava will describe the functionality of a (partially mobile-based) system which helps children who have severe cognitive impairments and have trouble speaking, talk about their day at school.  She will also highlight some of the challenges of developing this sort of system, and share her experiences of deployment in a special needs school.

* Gary McFarlane of Access4AllApps on the business case for accessibility. Assist Mi, their first app which launches next month, is the first mobile LBS services to offer comprehensive access to disability-related information and services for people on the move helping you find disabled parking spots and virtual booking capability. You can also request and book assistance and services from a wide range of places including restaurants, cafes, hotels, cinemas and more.

* Alison Smith of Pesky People, @peskypeople & @alisonvsmith, will tell us about her personal experience with disability and digital and share with us the background, research and insight that went into building Go Genie.

* Anthony Ashbrook of Mobile Acuity, @anthonyashbrook, will show a brief demo of their "What Can Is That?" prototype - helping visually impaired people to shop and cook independently.

* Matthew Aylett of Cereproc will show off some of their mobile voice generation technology, and talk about the work they have done in recreating the voices of people who have lost them due to illness - in particular Roger Ebert.

The event is being held at Inspace, 1 Crichton Street, Edinburgh EH8 9AB. There is wheelchair access and we will have a BSL sign interpreter available for some of the sessions.

Further workshops will be happening this month in London and Belfast (26 September) and Manchester (tbc).



2 Sep 2011

Competition for Free Places on the UKTI Stand at MWC 2012, Barcelona


We're really pleased to be working once again with UKTI and ICT KTN on the competition for free places on the UKTI stand at Mobile World Congress 2012.

Details of the competition and links to the entry forms are at the ICT KTN Web site. The deadline for entries is 30th September.

A short list of around a dozen companies will be chosen and will present at the final which will be held on Monday 31st October at the CBI Conference Centre, Centre Point where up to four winners will be chosen. Attendance at the event is free and we'll be announcing registration details closer to the date

24 Aug 2011

Fancy a free ticket to Update in Brighton on 5 September?

Update 25 August 2011: *Please note* All free tickets have now been allocated. You can still buy tickets at http://updateconf.com/. See some of you there!

Yes, that's right. We have some free tickets for Update up for grabs on a first-come, first-served basis courtesy of BrandPerfect http://brandperfect-tour.com/. The Brighton-based Update Conference is aimed at designers and developers working on or about to be working on mobile projects. Find out more about the conference here http://updateconf.com/

To request a free ticket, please email brandperfect@monotypeimaging.co.uk with MoMoLo Free Ticket in the subject header. If there are still free places left, you'll then be given a unique code and URL to use to claim your free ticket straight away. At the last count, there were 20 tickets available to the Mobile Monday London community...



23 Aug 2011

Accessibility workshops in September 2011 - Register your interest

Interested in attending one of our accessibility workshops in London, Manchester, Belfast or Edinburgh? If so, please register your interest here so that we can confirm details of location and dates where we don't have them yet and confirm your place where we do.

You can fill in the form by clicking this link to a google form https://spreadsheets.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dFpweVhJX2Z6OWtRbldQczUyX2ZPUWc6MQ

Or it is embedded below for you as well.

Accessibility Workshops ahoy! Speakers and contributors wanted!

smart accessibility 2011 fb imageict ktn logoAs you may already be aware, the lovely people at Vodafone Foundation have set up the Smart Accessibility Awards http://developer.vodafone.com/smartaccess2011/ which Mobile Monday London is actively supporting. To remind you quickly, these awards are to celebrate apps that help people in four key areas: Social participation, independent living, mobility and well-being.

As part of this initiative, we've teamed up with the ICT KTN http://www.ictktn.org.uk and Vodafone Foundation Smart Accessibility Awards to bring you 4 half-day workshops looking at this area specifically which will run in September. We'll be running workshops with our sister Mobile Monday chapters in London (date tbc), Manchester (w/c 19 September), Edinburgh (16 September) and Belfast (26 September). There will also be workshops in Amsterdam, Madrid and Berlin in September. And we need your help please.

The goal of the workshops is to inspire and enable application developers to create useful tools for people who have visual, aural, cognitive or other impairments by helping them understand and empathize what life is like for people in this situation. This empathy and understanding is created by bringing together developers and accessibility advocates and people with impairments to exchange information, and allowing developers to experience simulations of being impaired.

App developers who have had the opportunity to experience as directly as possible, first or second-hand, what it means to live with specific impairments, and have been put in touch with the larger community around accessibility, create more effective apps to better the quality of life for everyone. The result not only helps people with major disabilities, but also people with minor or temporary impairments, for example due to ageing or illness.

The format of the workshops will be discussion based and there will be technical people on hand to answer specific questions related to Android, but there will be different speakers and contributors to reflect the local scene. That means we're on the hunt for speakers and contributors who have something to share in this topic area. Perhaps you have an impairment yourself and can tell us what the implications are for your mobile and digital life? Or maybe you've done research in this area? Perhaps you have a mobile product or service and you can share that case study? Perhaps you understand the commercial opportunity that this represents? Or perhaps you work in a relevant third sector organisation and can bring some insight? Or maybe you're an Android expert who really understands this accessibility question?

If you'd like to contribute, or can recommend someone you think would be a great contributor, please get in touch with Helen Keegan.

Thanks in advance



4 Aug 2011

Vodafone Foundation Smart Accessibility Awards–now open for entries until midday 15 October 2011

smart accessibility 2011

Mobile Monday London is very pleased to be supporting the very first Vodafone Foundation Smart Accessibility Awards. This is a new global contest to promote the development of IT applications designed to improve the lives of those with disabilities and people that are older, to help them get more actively involved in society.

The programme is supported and co-organized by AGE Platform Europe, the European network of around 160 organisations of and for people aged 50+, and the European Disability Forum (EDF), the NGO that represents the interests of 80 million Europeans with disabilities.

Launched in Brussels, the competition will award the best smartphone application in four areas:

  • Social participation: refers to applications which help users to become more involved in today's society and help them benefit from using new technologies, whatever their age and/or capacity.   The aim is to help everyone to access the web and social media through smartphones.
  • Independent living: refers to applications which help users with everyday tasks such as washing or opening a door easily and safely so that they can live more independently
  • Mobility: refers to applications which enable users to travel freely and safely whatever kind of transport system they would like to use. It also refers to the use of GPS and locations apps which can help guide people in unfamiliar places.
  • Wellbeing: refers to applications which improve the users' health and overall feeling of wellbeing.

Entrants can compete for a share of the €200k prize fund until 15 October 2011 by submitting your entries on the site http://developer.vodafone.com/smartaccess2011/submit/

Entries will be judged on four things within each category –

  1. Effectiveness
  2. Availability and affordability
  3. User-friendliness, usability and accessibility
  4. Design for all

More about the selection criteria and process is here http://developer.vodafone.com/smartaccess2011/selection-process/ 

It is also worth noting that Vodafone recognises that confidentiality plays a huge part in any organisation. This is why Vodafone will ensure your entry is kept confidential and will not seek to own any IP (intellectual property) from your entry – which means that’s a no-strings cash prize.

  • All entries are confidential and will not be distributed outside of this competition.
  • Vodafone does not seek to own any  intellectual property in relation to entries for the Vodafone Foundation Smart Accessibility Awards.
  • Any applications submitted as part of the competition can be used by Vodafone for distribution, advertising and promotion in relation to the Vodafone Foundation Smart Accessibility Awards.
  • A working Android 2.2+ APK application file must be submitted.

Please do check the terms and conditions too http://developer.vodafone.com/smartaccess2011/legal/

So get those thinking caps on. Dust off your apps and get your entries in. All finalists will benefit from positive publicity as well as having a shot at the main prizes.

Also watch this space for some workshops and talks coming in August and September covering accessibility and design for mobile with impairment and disability in mind. We’ll also be adding more resources to the awards website over time and will be sharing things on twitter and Facebook too. A few likes on our Facebook page would be lovely too. 

And if you would like someone from Vodafone or one of the awards partners to come and speak on this topic at an event you’re running in the UK, Spain, The Netherlands or Germany, please get in touch.  

Good luck!