14 Free Online Tools to Boost Your Creative Business and Entrepreneurial Ideas

Gerrit Heijkoop Speaker Global Entrepreneurship Congress Moscow 3 14 Free Online Tools to Boost Your Creative Business and Entrepreneurial Ideas by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)

This list of tools was presented in a seminar by Gerrit Heijkoop at the World Summit of Creative Industries, as part of the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Moscow, March 2014. Gerrit was part of a session called “Creative industries: New points of Growth on the World Business-map”.

His 20-minute contribution was titled “Why stay local, if you can go global?” in which he showed how easy it has become to source, finance and market a business from anywhere to any market nowadays. It was basically a “rollercoaster through his webbrowser”.

[slideshare id=32574274&doc=whystaylocalifyoucangoglobal-hcibs-gec2014-140321060207-phpapp01]

He made the policymakers, investors and entrepreneurs in the room think about what this means for all their initiatives that put resources into creating ‘Innovative Cities, Entrepreneurial Hubs, etc’. How they need to change their entrepreneurial ecosystems to accommodate this.

This is the list of tools he presented:

Inspiration: feed yourself fresh ideas

1. Trendwatching.com

Established in 2002, trendwatching.com is an independent and opinionated trend firm, scanning the globe for the most promising consumer trends, insights and related hands-on business ideas.

Pricing:  FREE monthly newsletter with trend summary.
Premium Service: $179,00 /month for more in depth analysis and broader access.



2. Springwise.com

Springwise, helped by a network of 17,000 spotters, scans the globe for smart new business ideas, delivering immediate inspiration to entrepreneurial minds.

Pricing: FREE sign up to their daily and weekly newsletters and browse the last 30 days worth of content. Premium service: full access to 5.000+ idea database for €39,99 once or €319,99/year.



3. Behance.net

Leading online platform to showcase & discover creative work. The creative world updates their work in one place to broadcast it widely and efficiently. Companies explore the work and access talent on a global scale.

Pricing: Free


Gerrit Heijkoop Speaker Global Entrepreneurship Congress Moscow 1 14 Free Online Tools to Boost Your Creative Business and Entrepreneurial Ideas by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)


Finance: tap into a global crowd of investors

4. Kickstarter.com

Kickstarter is a new way to fund creative projects.  A vibrant ecosystem where backers join creators to bring new things to life. Friends, fans, and inspired strangers have pledged $1 Billion to projects on Kickstarter, funding everything from homemade postcards to Oscar-winning documentaries.

Pricing: Only if a project is successfully funded, a 5% fee is applied to the funds collected.



5. Indiegogo.com

At Indiegogo you’ll find a welcoming, supportive community that embraces collaboration, fearlessness and authenticity. You provide the passion, they’ll provide industry leading tools and support to help you promote your campaign and raise funds quickly, easily and securely.

Pricing: It’s free to sign up, to create a campaign, and to contribute to a campaign. When your campaign raises funds, Indiegogo charges a 9.0% fee on the funds you raise. If you reach your goal, you get 5.0% back, for an overall fee of 4.0%.



6. Kiva.org

A non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Leveraging the internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions, Kiva lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world.

Pricing: free for lenders. Fee for borrowers depends on local partner




Resources: getting things done with the help of a global workforce

7. PeoplePerHour.com

PeoplePerHour is a website that connects small businesses with freelance workers from across the internet to help them complete small projects quickly and affordably. Categories of projects: IT/Programming, Marketing/Sales, Design, Admin/Secretarial, Writing/Translation, Accounting/Legal, Video, Photo & Audio.

Pricing:  Depends on the service ordered



8. Fiverr.com

Fiverr.com is a website that people can use to buy or sell services for the flat rate of $5. A variety of small services typically is offered by freelance contractors, such as writing, graphic design, and programming. Fiverr brings in revenue by taking a 20% commission from each sale that is made through their platform.

Pricing: range between US$ 5.00 to US$ 500.00, depending on the service ordered.



9. Usabilityhub.com

UsabilityHub is a collection of an online usability tests, including the world famous Five Second Test, the platform is powered by an awesome community of designers, developers and testers.

Pricing: Do tests to earn responses. Or buy one of their plans in all sizes, monthly or annually. Change or cancel any time. Every plan features unlimited tests, and can earn Karma Points for additional responses.




Collaborate: get your global team to work together smoothly

10. Google Hangouts

Bring your conversations to life with this free videoconferencing service; even group video calls for free. Connect with friends across computers, Android and Apple devices. Work on documents at the same time.

Pricing: not applicable



11. Dropbox.com

Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and share them easily. Dropbox was founded by two MIT students tired of emailing files to themselves to work from more than one computer. 

Pricing: Basic: FREE, 2GB+ capacity. Pro: $9,99/month, 100GB+



12. WeTransfer.com

WeTransfer is an online file-transferring platform, which basically means that you send it, we transfer. There’s no hassle. No stress. No charge.

Pricing: Basic: FREE, 2GB+ files. Plus: $10,00/month, 10GB+ files and branded transfer page.


Gerrit Heijkoop Speaker Global Entrepreneurship Congress Moscow 2 14 Free Online Tools to Boost Your Creative Business and Entrepreneurial Ideas by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)


Education: get smarter by leveraging a global education

13. Coursera.org

Coursera is an education platform that partners with top universities and organizations worldwide, to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free.

Pricing: FREE



14. Entrepreneur.com

Entrepreneur.com is one of the many blogs and online magazines for the latest insights and information that assist you with every aspect of business management, from marketing to money, sales, human resources, and more.

Pricing: FREE



What do you think we are missing?

HCIBS on air: opportunities and obstacles of hybrid events

In May 2012 Gerrit Heijkoop visited IMEX in Frankfurt as part of the IMEX Social Team. Ruud Janssen interviewed him about inspiring conferences and the evolution of hybrid events.

Your questions and comments are welcome!

Watch full length video at: http://vimeo.com/42823708

Ruud Janssen: What level of patience do meeting and event organizers need to have when they strategize that this is an important component of their communication? How much time should they give it in the user adoption of their group, for it to actually come to a purposeful business investment, backslash that the community starts getting built? How much time does that take, do you think?

Gerrit Heijkoop: I would say as a rule of thumb at least three rounds of your event or cycle. If you have an annual event, that’s three years. If you have a biannual, that’s six years, but you could do little stuff in between to improve that. If you have a monthly event it could be three months. It starts with what I call top management commitment, so as an organizer and as the executive level of an organizing committee or association, really standing behind this and adapting this and saying we are going to do this, we believe in this and we’ll lead the way.

Even while it’s only 5, or 10, or 15% of our audience participating. That could be like 10 tweets. You feel like, “Oh my God, is this paying off ever?” Now if you come to the second cycle, you obviously have the first 10 or 15 people who did it last time, and you have built up some evidence.

You have hopefully collected some cases, some nice stories about what happened last time. For example, for me personally, I was traveling here by train, I was tweeting in the train, obviously, to Roel Frissen, who was going by plane. We had a thing like, “Let’s race, who’s here earlier? Plane or train?”

Janssen: It’s like a Top Gear show or something, right?

Heijkoop: Exactly. It was like that. Then, two ladies who were in the train as well picked up, because they were both following us. We were like, “Oh you’re in the train as well. Let’s do a tweetup.” So we had this spontaneous tweet up in the train, in the bistro, I had a nice cup of coffee, and that worked out really well. I can’t tell you the end of the story yet, and I can’t tell you, well, I made so much business out of that, but these are the little seeds that make it grow. To go back to the cycle for the event organizer, so next event, you start celebrating the stuff that happened at the first event and that will make more people will catch on.

You need to grow that critical mass, and let’s be honest at this time the social media add ups are still a minority. It’s anywhere between 10 and 40% of your audience. That’s a minority

Janssen: But is the minority the movers and shakers, and those that are the innovators? Or is it the minority that’s just addicted to gadgets, technology and trying anything that’s new?

Heijkoop: Well, if you look at that curve, and obviously we all know the adoption curve is an S curve. Let’s say it took about five years to get to this either 10 or 30%. It’s not going to take another five years to gain the next 30. We all feel it.

Janssen: So now is the time.

Heijkoop: Now is the time to jump in.

Janssen: It’s not too late?

Heijkoop: It’s not too late at all, but within one or two years you will be at 60%. Then all of a sudden, if you’re not joining the conversation online, you are becoming the minority. You are missing out on stuff.

Janssen: You will be overwhelmed potentially,


Thank you for watching: Sharing is caring!
Let us know what you think via Twitter
http://twitter.com/ruudwjanssen – Ruud Janssen
http://twitter.com/gheijkoop – Gerrit Heijkoop

http://twitter.com/HCIBS – How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)

or join the conversation on Facebook: http://facebook.com/hcibs

Want to see more?

more videos from the interview with Ruud Janssen at IMEX Frankfurt?
more videos about the use of Social Media at conferences & events?

check http://www.HCIBS.TV

video credits:

ABBIT Meeting Support – http://www.abbit.eu

sponsors of video booth
LONDON & Partners
Meetings Review International
Meeting Support Institute

“River Flow” by unknown artist

The power of Social Media for Events at #FRESH12, Copenhagen

Recorded at Fresh12 in Copenhagen, Denmark. For the Meeting Support Institute (MSI) with the kind support from Abbit Meeting Support.

See for more info about this conference (and more video’s with Gerrit!): http://www.thefreshconference.com