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”.

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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.

http://www.trendwatching.com

 

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.

http://www.springwise.com

 

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

http://www.behance.net

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.

https://www.kickstarter.com

 

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%.

http://www.indiegogo.com

 

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

http://www.kiva.org

 

 

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

http://www.peopleperhour.com

 

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.

http://www.fiverr.com

 

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.

https://usabilityhub.com

 

 

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

http://www.google.com/+/learnmore/hangouts

 

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+

https://www.dropbox.com

 

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.

https://www.WeTransfer.com

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

https://www.coursera.org

 

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

http://www.entrepreneur.com

 

What do you think we are missing?

How can I select the best app of 2013 for my event?

Everybody is talking about them. Everybody wants one. But many people struggle with how to choose the right one. We are talking about mobile event apps: an unstoppable hype of the event industry. On 16 May, the Event Manager Blog launched The Event App Bible: an impressive attempt to bring some clarity into the general confusion concerning event apps. The free eBook offers a great overview of the many possibilities out there, however without making an explicit recommendation for the best event app. We like to help you with that selection: we analysed all apps listed in The Event App Bible and chose our personal favourite.

06 How to select Best Event app 2013 How can I select the best app of 2013 for my event? by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)What should a good event app be?

In order to be of value to your event or conference, an event app should ‘mean’ the following to you:

  • The app should make our event experience more intensive by providing functions that cannot be replaced by non-tech solutions. That means the app should provide functionalities that simplify a user’s ‘event-experiencing-process’.

  • The app should create additional value by extending the lifetime of the event beyond the boundaries of the physical event. It should stimulate (potential) attendees to engage before and after the event.

  • The perfect event appp should benefit everyone involved: participants, sponsors and the event organizer.

What 7 features should my event app have?

Page 23 of the Event App Bible lists a myriad features and functions of event apps. Unfortunately most of them are not necessary or even useless for your event. What should a good event app in our opinion at least be able to do?

1. Easy to sign up and manage Registrations

This is the first step at any event or conference and, if badly organized, it can be messy and time-consuming. An app that let’s you register in a few clicks and helps the organizer to manage the registration process efficiently is very valuable.

2. Create a Personalized agenda

Most conferences offer a full programme. Give your attendees the ability to choose the sessions they are interested in and establish their personal conference agenda. The organizer receives valuable information about which session are going to be popular.

3. Exchange contact details through Badge Scanning

Networking is often at least one of the objectives of a conference or event. Now, what happens with all the collected business cards when you return to the office? A scanning function or another badging feature is useful to exchange networking information super efficiently.

4. Ability to Work offline

Ever been to a conference or event with poor WiFi access? Fill this one in for yourself …

5. Attendee networking & messaging

A good event app should help your visitors to detect other interesting people in the venue and to get in contact with them. It would even get better when it helps your attendees to stay in contact after the event.

6. Audience response system to increase interactivity

An app function that facilitates audience participation during the sessions adds value to your conference. Therefore it should enable attendees to send questions and comments to the stage.

7. Intuitive Design

Chances are big that stakeholders will user your app for the first time. So the learning curve should be smooth and easy. Good design makes an app not only more friendly to the eye but also more fun and easy to use.

Our nomination for the best event app of 2013

Mobiel Event App Double Dutch MSUK branding 180x300 How can I select the best app of 2013 for my event? by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)If we apply our list of essential functionalities to page 23 of the Event App Bible, only a few apps survive: Connectspan, DoubleDutch, NoodleLive and Spotme. If we then take a look at interface design, Double Dutch comes out as most promising to us. The app possesses all necessary functions which add extra value to an event. The modern interface is user-friendly and stimulates social interaction.

This week you get a chance to ‘test drive’ the app at the Meetings Show UK in London. Choose your operating system and download the #MSUK event app right here.

What do you think?

Which features should a good event app have in your opinion? Do you have experience with event apps? Which one would you recommend?

Please share your experiences with us!

Wanted: 5 Facebook buttons to improve content quality

Dear Mr. Zuckerberg,

it’s about 9 years ago when you gave us Facebook to share news, events, love and fun with our friends. Unfortunately the tremendous growth of your network to more than one billion users has also led to a constant regression of content quality. Since more and more people have a smartphone with a camera-function, which can access the worldwide web wherever they go they seem to feel the constant need to share everything what happens to them (or the fact that nothing happens at all) with the whole world.

As a result our news feed is for 80 percent stuffed with dispensable, boring or annoying updates, which are neither fun nor love at all. The worst about this is, that we are very limited in our reactions to that kind of updates. There is only one option to express yourself: the Like-button. But simply ´not liking´ a post won’t get it out of my news feed. Additionally, the poor fellow who is posting bullshit all the time won’t get the necessary feedback that his updates suck! That’s why I plead for the introduction of these five Facebook buttons:

02 Facebook buttons Wanted: 5 Facebook buttons to improve content quality by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)

1. I don’t give a shit

For all these updates, which are no updates at all, because they are neither new nor relevant. Consider the following examples:

“Dinner was yummy! Now cuddling on the couch with my pumpkin…”

“If you buy our really brilliant (but useless) product now, you get 50 percent discount…”

“Here are 50 pictures of me and my friends on this really awesome party.”

“I’m going to sleep folks, good night!”

We need the ‘I don’t give a shit’ button to remind each other that our lives are not a daily soap show and that we are not interested in watching each other 24/7.

2. Get a life!

Since Facebook wants to share happiness and love, we won’t get the frequently requested ’Dislike’-button. But how can we handle friends who have the tendency to spread bad karma and insult? How can you hush those, who constantly emphasize that life sucks, the government sucks or the weather sucks? The easiest way out would be to unfriend them. But if you feel sympathy for them, because they obviously never see the bright side of life, you can send them a subtle message by hitting the ‘Get a life!’ button.

3. Tell your mother!

You passed your exam, got a new job or just got engaged? I definitely ‘Like’. But there is no need to share all the good news with the whole world. Your baby photo’s might be interesting for your family, but I am getting sick of them. I understand that your relationship anniversaries are very exciting for you and your sweetheart, but I really don’t care. And if your FarmVille cow has finally given birth… well, tell your FarmVille friends. Like a newspaper has sections for particular topics, Facebook has the brilliant feature to create groups for that kind of news. So please, be a little more selective, would you?

4. I don’t wanna know!

For many of us this might be the most crucial button. We often suffer from the illusion that Facebook is a big pub where we can meet for some private chit chat. Unfortunately this pub never forgets any conversation, so every personal detail you share has the potential to go around the world. Would you like to know if, how and when your parents have sex? Exactly! And I don’t want to see you drunk, naked or sitting on the loo. Trust me, I like you even more if you spare me such details.

5. I’m with you

After the Boston disaster many timelines are once more flooded by updates that move us but are actually not quite ‘likeable’. Certainly I want to show my support and sympathy for all the victims and their relatives but ‘Like’ does not seem the appropriate answer. I don’t like bombs, I don’t like attacks and I don’t like innocent victims. But what other options do we have to express my feelings? Time to introduce the ‘I’m with you button’ for showing support in serious matters.

6. Your request

I think that the five buttons above would improve the general quality of Facebook updates a lot. But certainly you can think of more buttons to express your thoughts about your friend’s updates. Which button would you recommend?