Archive for the ‘startups’ category

Create Programme Deadline this Friday

July 25, 2007

If you’re thinking of applying to the Create Programme for Digital Media Entrepreneurs at Dun Laoghaire Institute for Art Design and Technology, the closing date is this Friday at 12pm.

The programme consists of 12 months training and mentorship of Digital Media startups, and includes:

  • Programme grant of €550 per month
  • 12 months customised training programme tailored towards the core business and management skills needed for starting up and managing a sustainable business
  • A dedicated location in IADT’s campus Incubation Centre – The Media Cube – equipped with broadband and phone connections
  • Access to Digital Media commercial and technical expertise from an expert panel of mentors and trainers

Further information from Helen Murphy, email: create AT iadt dot ie, or phone +353 (0) 1 2144644.

See also: Article in ENN

Safety in Startups

July 4, 2007

Frank Fullard points out that working for a large organisation is no longer a guarantee of job security – if indeed it ever really was. By contrast, most new jobs are being created in small businesses.

Since I left my old job in April, that company’s parent announced a global headcount reduction target of 10%. As of yet, the management of the Irish operation has not stated how they will meet this target.

I’m not saying that I am more secure in my employment now than I was in my old job. But I am in control and, as Frank points out, I’m learning the skills of entrepreneurship. Three months on, the initial success of Edgecast Media has exceeded what I had hoped for, but if for some reason it were to fail I don’t think I’d be sending my CV to MegaCorp Inc. Now that I’ve begun to develop my own resources as a business person, why would I get back in the back seat? I’m not knocking the corporate job – but I must admit that I’m pleasantly surprised at the unexpected peace of mind that comes with the knowledge that my success and my security are in my own hands.

What do I mean by this exactly? Well it’s simple. No job is safe, whether in a large multinational or in a small startup. But the non-entrepreneur who loses his job is faced with the worrying question: “Who will give me another job?” The entrepreneur, on the other hand, simply says: “Let’s try something else …”

The Importance of Working with People who Share your Vision

May 16, 2007

Aldagh McDonogh of Alternatives MarketingAldagh McDonogh and Sandra Lawler had an idea for a business.  With a background in marketing for large corporations, they took the plunge and started out working from home.

Seven years later, Alternatives Marketing is a highly successful business.  It’s an agency for matching marketing talent with specific contracts on a range of projects.  Their success has been recognised in recent months by their placement as finalists in the 2006 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and most recently they won the Image Magazine/ Sunday Times Entrepreneur of the Year 2007.

In this podcast (17MB, 30:04, MP3) Aldagh outlines their journey so far.  She talks about the importance of having a clear vision, understood by all involved, and of keeping the goals in sight.  She discusses the advantages of organic growth for retaining control.  And she looks forward to this Friday’s Irish Business Women’s conference in Westport, Co. Mayo.

There are still some places available for the Irish Business Women’s conference.  It’s a one day event with a networking social occasion the night before.  To register, visit ibwconference.com.

Edgecast Media Ltd are sponsors and official podcasters for this event.

Diary Of A Startup

April 11, 2007

Last week I left my “day-job” and became a full-time entrepreneur.   Months of conflict and job-juggling has come to an end and, once again, this website takes a new direction.

What started a year ago as an experiment in blogging in English, soon became an important platform for me to develop my ideas with the help of others.  That is still very important to me, and I intend to follow in the tradition of blogging entrepreneurs who continue to inspire me.

However, for the last few months I’ve been making unfair demands on this blog.  It’s a personal blog and, although it is about my business rather than about my private life, it is not a company website.  What I write here is of interest to colleagues, collaborators – and maybe even competitors.  Some of it is useful to customers – but not all of it.  Edgecast Media needs a site of its own.

Watch this space for further developments … and in the meantime: welcome to “Diary Of a Startup”!

Where to find Accounting Software for a Small Business

March 15, 2007

[UPDATE: In the original version of this post, I was incorrect in stating that SortMyBooks trial version has limited functionality.  Thanks to Aileen from Aisling Software for explaining it to me.]

I badly need a programme to do my books.  I assume there’s something  out there that will take my input regarding receipts, payments, purchases and sales and generate everything I need from invoices and statements to VAT returns?

SortMyBooks looks promising, and it’s designed for the Irish tax system.  It seems pricy at €390 including 1 year support, but it’s downloadable for free and it’s fully functional for a 30-day trial period before it has to be registered.  I’m currently evaluating it and I’ll report in a few weeks how I got on.

If it looks expensive at first, on closer inspection SortMyBooks is actually quite competitively priced.  It’s best known competitor, Sage Instant Accounts is advertised at €149, however, when support and delivery (on CD – no download available!) are taken into account it’s actually around €320.  And the trial version is little more than a “demo” – see comments below for further information.

(more…)