30 Sept 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)



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28 Sept 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 Sept 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 Sept 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 Sept 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 Sept 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