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?

Reports (NL): What’s new at #event13? Veel inspiratie, weinig tools

Event is het jaarlijks verzamelplatform van alle takken uit de evenementenbranche. Op 27 en 28 maart kwamen ze weer allemaal bij elkaar in de Utrechtse Jaarbeurs. Daar mocht een stand van HCIBS natuurlijk niet ontbreken. Onder meer omdat we ook erg benieuwd waren wat de beurs aan nieuwe tools en innovaties te bieden had.

Met op scherp gezette oren bezochten we de programmaonderdelen over deze onderwerpen. Vervolgens gingen we op bezoek bij andere exposanten om de technische status quo van Event13 in kaart te brengen.

Event trends voor 2013 en hybride evenementen

Een van de meest inspirerende onderdelen van het programma was de presentatie van Julius Solaris, marketing professional en drijvende kracht achter de Event Manager Blog, over tien event trends voor 2013. Een uur lang beschreef de Italiaan 10 inspirerende ideeën voor slimme event marketing, grotere impact en betere ROI. Hoe kan ik van te voren bepalen of er voldoende draagvlak is voor mijn evenement? Hoe vind ik sponsoren? Hoe kan ik bereiken dat mijn event buiten het fysieke evenement verder leeft?

130328 131013 01 Reports (NL): Whats new at #event13? Veel inspiratie, weinig tools by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)

Voor elke van deze vragen kon Solaris een slimme oplossing laten zien. Aan het einde van zijn presentatie koos het publiek voor twee favorieten:

  1. Smart badges, een nieuwe vorm van een badge waarmee de bezoeker zijn belevenissen op het event met zijn social media vrienden kan delen.
  2. Crowdsourced speakers, de mogelijkheid om het publiek sprekers voor je event te laten kiezen of hun spreektijd te beïnvloeden doormiddel van tools als TimeVote.


Niet minder inspirerend was ook de presentatie van Gerrit Heijkoop over hybride evenmenten. Het idee om evenementen toegangelijk te maken voor een virtueel publiek is in het afgelopen jaar populair geworden.

130327 132903 01 Reports (NL): Whats new at #event13? Veel inspiratie, weinig tools by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)

Uit een peiling tijdens Heijkoop’s presentatie bleek dat meer mensen een hybride aanpak overwegen dan vorig jaar. Driekwartier lang besteede Heijkoop aandacht aan de voordelen van hybride evenementen en gaf (technische) tips voor een goede internetverbinding, geluids en videokwaliteit.

Weinig nieuws op de vloer

Waar het programma in de zalen veel inspiratie te bieden had, liep de beursvloer zelf een beetje achter. Voor de liefhebber van slimme tools en innovatie was er tussen de stands weinig te vinden. Hier onze persoonlijke highlights:

Event Pay Card – makkelijker betalen

Betalen op evenementen blijft een lastig probleem. Bezoekers lopen niet graag met veel geld in hun zakken en niemand staat graag in de rij om consumptiemunten te kopen. Voor de organisator is het tellen van het geld of de munten en vervelende klus.

passen Event Paycard Reports (NL): Whats new at #event13? Veel inspiratie, weinig tools by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)

De Event Pay Card, een digitaal betalingssysteem, zou dit probleem kunnen oplossen. Het systeem werkt net als de chipknip: de bezoeker krijgt een pas die hij kan opladen met saldo. Vervolgens kan hij alle betalingen op het evenement met deze pas verrichten. Alle transacties zijn op ieder moment inzichtelijk. Het risico op fraude is volgens de producenten minimaal. Conclusie: een handige tool om het betalen op evenementen makkelijker te maken.

Sendsteps – Send2Stage

Begin van dit jaar won Sendsteps de FRESH Award in de categorie ‘Best Meeting Tool’. Nu, tijdens Event13 maakten meerdere sprekers, waaronder ook Solaris en Heijkoop, gebruik van deze PowerPoint plugin om meningen in het publiek te peilen. Mensen uit het publiek kunnen per SMS, web of tweet vragen, opmerkingen of het antwoord op een meerkeuzevraag naar de spreker op het podium sturen.

130328 123448 01 Reports (NL): Whats new at #event13? Veel inspiratie, weinig tools by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)

Sendsteps is een fijne tool om het publiek tijdens de sessie een iets actievere rol te geven en meer te betrekken. Belangrijk: de spreker moet de tool met een duidelijke doelstelling gebruiken en ook op opmerkingen vanuit het publiek ingaan, anders heeft het geen meerwaarde.

Qusax – Social Media Marketing

Natuurlijk waren we heel erg benieuwd naar het bedrijf dat aan Social Media marketing doet en we werden aangenaam verrast. Qusax produceert ondermeer de ‘smart badges’ die Solaris tijdens zijn trend-presentatie noemde. Ze maken tools en apparaten, die fysieke evenementen met sociale online netwerken kunnen verbinden. Een voorbeeld is de RFID-scanner waarmee bezoekers hun fotos van het event of hun locatie op facebook kunnen delen. Dit doen ze met behulp van een RFID-tag in de vorm van een sleutelhanger, pasje of armbandje waarin hun facebook-gegevens opgeslagen zijn. Even voor de scanner houden – en de gewenste content wordt meteen in je netwerk geplaatst.

qusax social Media marketing Reports (NL): Whats new at #event13? Veel inspiratie, weinig tools by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)

Veel meer aan innovatie had Event13 dit jaar helaas niet te bieden. Wij vinden dat daar aankomend jaar verandering in mag komen. Mogelijkheden zijn er genoeg. Ben jij misschien die creatieve geest die ze voor 2014 verder gaat ontwikkelen?

Social Media for events: interview with Eventplanner.TV

Check out this highly engaging episode of Eventplanner.TV about Social Media for events. Watch untill the end, where Gerrit shares Donald’s concept of “Some to Some” communication for the first time.


Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, … Everybody is talking about it, but how many event organizers actually succeed in using social media? How many of them make money with it? Gerrit Heijkoop knows all the secrets of using social media successfully for your event.

How Can I Be Social – A Social Media Checklist for your next conference or event at #EMEC13, Montreux

Gerrit Heijkoop and Donald Roos will take you on a journey that will grow your confidence in how to approach new social technologies when organizing your next meeting or event.

View in external player (Silverlight): http://bit.ly/HCIBSEmec13

07 How Can I Be Social   A Social Media Checklist for your next conference or event at #EMEC13, Montreux by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)

You can see and download the slides of this session right here:

3 Smart Social Media Lessons – from our own experience at IMEX

Three learnings from the @IMEXSocialTeam reporting from #IMEX12 in Frankfurt

During the IMEX in Frankfurt show in May, the “IMEX Social Team” reported live from the show floor. Our objective was to provide a participant’s perspective in real-time to the rest of the world and to help people with all their questions about social media so they could join the conversation online. In this post we share some of our key learnings for the use of Social Media at live events.

1. Make a connection between online and offline

From a cynical perspective, one could choose to view Twitter as a place where ‘people have a conversation with themselves, hoping that someone will respond’.  A more optimistic perspective sees the platform as a great opportunity to make potentially valuable new connections.  In practice during IMEX this meant the social team scanned the #IMEX12 timeline in order to identify people who were tweeting from the show floor and then we went to look them up and make a personal connection!

“Excuse me Melissa, you have been Tweeting at us, right?!” After a first look of surprise, we were always greeted with a big smile. “Yes indeed! How nice to meet you in real life!”.  Of course this usually led to a ‘photo opportunity’, which then resulted in a tweet, and often a re-tweet quickly thereafter.

Imex Social team Frankfurt 2012 meets Melissa in real life  3 Smart Social Media Lessons   from our own experience at IMEX by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)We believe it is vital to make a connection between the online and offline worlds at live events. Whether with a personal ‘lookup’ like we did, with a Tweetup Drink like the #EUventprofs community did, or with a physical ‘Tweetingpoint’, often supplied by the organiser. It is often the perfect – and the only – way to make online networking relevant to the offline networking goals and ambitions of a live event.

2. Add a personal touch

We were quite amazed that no less than 40% of our messages were ‘re-tweeted’. This gave us a much larger reach, compared to the 137 followers we collected in the five days we were active. We really made an effort to add a photo and someone’s @username to almost every message which gave a strong incentive to the re-tweeter. This tactic alone, although requiring a bit more work and attention to detail, seemed to be almost a guaranteed recipe for a ‘re-tweet’. Why? Because people love to be in the spotlight!

Imex Social Team Frankfurt 2012 with Ray Bloom  3 Smart Social Media Lessons   from our own experience at IMEX by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)And they want to tell their friends about it. Have you ever been mentioned in a newspaper when you were a kid? I bet you saved that clipping and showed it to your parents, grandparents, neighbours and classmates didn’t you? For now that principle still seems to hold in the Social Media arena. Our tip: next time you write up a Social Media message, try to add a personal touch to it and see what difference it makes.

3. Integrate with other media

Twitter and live events are made for each other. Due to the fact that all updates are public, it makes it really easy to connect with people at the same event, whether you’ve met them before or not. However, Twitter has a drawback: it still only reaches a minority of your total audience. That is why we strongly believe in integration with other media such as print and e-mail, which are accessible to everyone.

Adding a selection of ‘user generated content’ to your existing editorial media is a reward for the crowd that is already tweeting about your event (see previous learning). And at the same time it will show those who are not yet participating in the online conversation that there is some good stuff going on.  And of course, the more people tweeting about your event, the more exposure and reach you (and your sponsors!) can enjoy.

Imex Social Team Frankfurt 2012  3 Smart Social Media Lessons   from our own experience at IMEX by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)You’ll be able to see the @IMEXSocialTeam in action again at IMEX America in Las Vegas from October 9th – 11th where we’ll be sponsored by MEXICO.  Don’t forget to send a tweet to @IMEXSocialTeam once you get there. We’ll do our best to find you on the show floor!

[NL] Social media op evenementen: interview met Eventbranche.nl op Event12

“Het integreren van social media op evenementen. Eindelijk praktische toepasssingen! Een gesprek met Gerrit Heijkoop van de Social Media Helpdesk.”

Productie credits: Media Centrum Hilversum

HCIBS on air: how Social Media generate value for events

In May 2012 Gerrit Heijkoop visited IMEX in Frankfurt as part of the IMEX Social Team. Ruud Janssen talked to him about way in which Social Media can generate value for events.

Your questions and comments are welcome!

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


Ruud Janssen: Hi, good afternoon and welcome back to IMEX tv. A familiar face, Gerrit Heijkoop. Now, something is happening in the cloud there, isn’t there?

Heijkoop: There is something new in the cloud. This is the official shirt of the IMEX social team. Follow on Twitter at via @imexsocialteam. And we are here in two functions, we are reporting live from the show floor doing meets and tweets, sharing pictures with people who cannot attend or want to look back later at what it was like. And we are also physically on the show floor helping people with their questions about Twitter, social media, this #IMEX 12. What is it? What happens if I do something with that?

Janssen: OK, so when you look at what is coming out of that and what you are putting into that what is the buzz conversation? What are the three topics that you see addressed?

Heijkoop: Well, up until now it is mainly the excitement that the show is starting. I mean we are only like four or five hours on the ways. So a lot of people buzzing on my way to IMEX Frankfort, now walking in, the show has started, looking really nice. It is pre show excitement, mainly. And we are throwing in some nice pictures. We covered the opening address, we covered some fun education sessions, and well I guess we are starting today.

Janssen: Let me ask you, where do you get your inspiration for doing some of the stuff that you do with your business?

Heijkoop: Well, for me I guess it is quite a unique perspective. Because as I told, I am on the show floor to help other people getting started. And I really love that, like the people who have this kind of a cold water fear. “Ooh, Twitter. Ooh, online. Ooh, social media. Why should I do that? Oh man, I prefer face to face meetings.” And just having that conversation, showing the other side, showing the potential benefits. But also really practical, showing them how it is done and why it is so much fun and then the reward with the smile on their face. Like, “oh this is cool. Oh, I see a tweet of that. I know him is he on Twitter too?”

Janssen: So let me ask you, I tend to remember things like when I first signed on, or who motivated me to create my profile on LinkedIn. Like my first touch points to who pointed something out to me. You pointed Path out to me for instance. And I remember those things, right? That is a very powerful connection to make isn’t it?

Heijkoop: Yeah, it is really, and I am going to repeat myself in this chair, but it is really about what I call dare to give. So it is so much fun to share your knowledge, to share your vision, and to help other people to take those little steps that I’ve been able to make already. And I don’t say that I know all the answers, I mean I’m in real time experimenting as well with all this stuff. But that is fun to share and to learn and really practical tips and tricks. But also on a very fundamental conceptual level the fact that for the first time ever communication is no longer about push. You know, this whole online technology social media is about pull. And you can see that by the fact that it is about liking and following. So if I don’t like your brand, if I don’t follow your brand you are not on my attention. And that requires a whole different approach. It’s not about putting the image out there, the branding, sending the message repeating. But it is about making a true connection and I find that very interesting…


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

HCIBS on air: how to get started on Social Media

In November 2011 Gerrit Heijkoop visited EIBTM in Barcelona. For Samuel Smith he presented some helpful to tips for getting started on Social Media. Learn about listening, helping each other and #Daretoask.

Your questions and comments are welcome!

Watch full length video at: http://vimeo.com/32956202

Sam Smith: Now I live in the United States. I used to live in Europe, now I’m living in the United States. Networking is much different in the United States than it is in Europe. Help me understand. What can the folks at home do to get ready for a social networking mindset online? Is there kind of a three tips, or an easy thing that we can do, or is it going to be a hard evolution that we have to go through?

Gerrit Heijkoop: Well, it might be hard. But I think I can boil it down to three important tips.
If you say the objective is not to gather as much followers, or listeners, but the objectives, or the metric, that we’re trying to score on is conversations, then I think the first key to starting a conversation, a relevant conversation, is listening.

Sam: Yep.

Gerrit: That should be fairly easy. That should mean just go on these profiles. Get your profiles up. Don’t do anything. Just find the people who are on there that you already know. Throw your email addresses at it and Twitter will tell you who of your connections are on Twitter. Facebook does the same. LinkedIn does the same. Just start listening to what these people are talking about, what their topics are, what their issues are, what their questions are. Very easy.

Sam: Right. Real quick, though. Hold on, this listening thing. Let’s just be real clear for the folks at home because…
I’ve been tweeting for a couple years now and I’ve sent over 6000 tweets. I forget what it was like that first time I sent that first tweet. Is your advice to send tweets? When should you do that first tweet? Do you listen in all the social networks the same way?

Gerrit Heijkoop: The starting on Twitter phase is a bit awkward. [further transcript at Twitter video]

Step two is, if you listen and you see questions, start answering them. In the Netherlands, we have a very, very famous or Twitter thing going on, it’s called #daretoask (#durftevragen). It’s actually a hashtag, it’s very famous.
It started with a few guys who noticed. Networking is very strong, there’s a lot of social capital around you, a lot of knowledge, a lot of connections. But your network cannot help you if you don’t ask what you need. If you don’t make explicit that you’re looking for a specific venue, or that you’re struggling with a specific challenge, or that you want more information or how to get started with hybrid events, if you don’t tweet that, people won’t be able to help you.

Sam Smith: You mean, they can’t read your mind digitally?

Gerrit: Exactly. Still, they cannot read your mind as they cannot in real life, they cannot online, either. I was brought up in a little farmer’s village, and I got a little farmer’s knowledge there. That says, you cannot harvest before you sow. If we go online freshly new and we start asking questions, there’s little chance that we get a lot of answers, because the people out there are not just there sitting ready to answer your questions.
You should start sowing by answering questions yourself, and that’s why there’s the connection with the listening. If you listen keenly on questions in your network, and you start to answer them, and that’s what I then call, as a parallel to the #daretoask, that’s what I call Dare to Give.

Then, you start creating value for your network, you start to become a valuable person in your network, and people are hardwired to repay you.


Thank you for watching: Sharing is caring!
Let us know what you think via Twitter
http://twitter.com/samueljsmith – Samuel Smith
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 Samuel Smith at EIBTM Barcelona?
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
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