How to market your business like Star Wars

Every month, over 500.000 new businesses are started. It seems like a big number, but keep in mind that 30% of those businesses will go under within 2 years. Half of them will close their doors for good before they even hit five years. The odds are against you. But what if I told you that the best practical business advice comes from the most unlikely source – the show business? Star Wars, to be more exact!

In this guest post, Sorin Amzu from Evonomix explores 9 actionable tactics you can use to market your business, using insights from Star Wars. Invited to browse through these tactics you are!

Mendeley: from start to exit, then growing again

Several million dollars in VC funding… 200 employees… A global research network with 4+ million users… 2500+ advisors all around the globe… An exit… This is a story of Mendeley in a nutshell and, at a first glance, it is the dream of any tech founder out there. And still, there’s always the untold version of any success story: the dark side, the difficult moments, the struggles. Jan Reichelt, Co-Founder & Manging Director of Mendeley, took the stage last November at How to Web Conference 2015, to present the inside story of the company and the emotional rollercoaster they faced from the beginning until the exit and beyond.

Entrepreneur at heart, Jan has spent his professional career in tech startups, professional information services and digital media. After working as an advisor to the supervisory board of SAP, he started Mendeley in London and grew it into one of the hottest education technology startups worldwide. The company was acquired in 2013 by RELX Group (formerly Reed Elsevier), Europe’s largest media company, and Jan has been working on the successful integration and he’s been executing the company’s vision of building a global research collaboration platform ever since.

Raising VC money: advice from both sides of the table

If you get to the stage where you need VC funding, you should be proud of yourself: this is something not many companies achieve, and it’s a proof that you did things right. However, raising VC money may come in as a challenge, particularly for inexperienced startup founders, and it’s no easy task to find the right VC fund, close the deal and successfully manage the relationship afterwards.

When is the right moment to start looking for VC funding? What are VCs actually searching for? What’s the process and how should you tackle the negotiations? How can you further work together with the VC to develop and support a common vision for your company? Florin Cornianu & Tudor Bastea, the Co-Founders of 123ContactForm, found the answer to these questions and many others while closing a deal with 3TS Capital. Last November they took the stage at How to Web Conference together with Daniel Lynch, Managing Partner, 3TS Capital, to share the lessons learnt from both sides of the table.

5 Useful Apps for Freelancers & Entrepreneurs

It takes a great deal of motivation to start your own business and get your ideas out there. The same holds true if you’re freelancing. You’ve got full control over your time, and this means that you’ve got to be organized and productive to get stuff done on time and quality. It’s no easy task to do, and this guest blog post outlines a couple of apps that may help you out in the process.

Both entrepreneurs and freelancers are known to be non-conformists, people who follow their instincts and avoid dogma. There are lots of challenges they face along their way, and one of the biggest is having enough time to tackle all the issues that arise, to focus on what’s important and be productive all along the way. And here’s where modern technology comes to play.

How to design great hardware outside Silicon Valley

Design like you’re designing parts for airplanes. Design for efficiency, for reliability and timelessness. Design locally, manufacture and deliver globally. Integrate. Make your software and cloud speak the language of your apps. This is the story of Bitdefender BOX, a model great engineers and designers can apply in their work. A story that has been openly shared on the main stage of How to Web Conference 2015 by Dan Berte, UX Manager, Bitdefender, the mastermind behind BOX.

Dan is an experienced product guy in both entrepreneurial and corporate environments. Along with his team at Bitdefender, he designed and built Bitdefender BOX, a revolutionary device that protects everything connected to the Internet. On an aggressive schedule, Dan and his team were responsible for user experience, app design, industrial design, 3D modeling, prototyping of enclosures, power supplies, accessories and packaging. And they successfully did it, with no previous hardware product design experience, as they also did when designing the award winning Bitdefender’s PC, Mac and Android security lines for millions of customers.

12 Useful Chrome Extensions for Web Developers & Designers

Google Chrome is a powerful web browser that’s made even better by its abilities to make use of extensions. These extensions can add more functionalities to the browser, going beyond just being able to look up website to the point that Chrome can do about anything you’d expect to do in other software applications. If you’re a web developer or designer looking to use Chrome at its best, check out the Chrome extensions outlined in this guest post!

Depending on what you tend to do in Chrome, there are different extensions available that can help you with just about anything. Check them out here and use them to turn Chrome into a veritable web development test bench.

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