Logo: final 4

Here are the final 4 logo design’s we’ve chosen from the 99Design competition Ian Naylor setup, for the new Nott Tuesday logo – I showed them at last night Nott Tuesday.

Please give feedback what you like with design, colour, etc via the comments below or email me nick.barker@awaremonitoring.com

#144:

Nott Tuesday 99Design logo comp design 144

#193:

Nott Tuesday 99Design logo comp design 193

#34:

Nott Tuesday 99Design logo comp design 34

#106:

Nott Tuesday 99Design logo comp design 106

We need to make a decision soon – so let me know.

Nick

Nott Tuesday 10th December: Decisions, Decisions

In the next installment of our ‘Founder Series’ of talks, where startup founders discuss some of their learnings,  we have Mark Hawkins from HD Decisions. On the 10th of December Mark will be talking about how they found their initial idea and managed to grow the business into 4 million of revenues in 5 years with 25 staff.

logo_hd_decisions

Nottingham based HD Decisions was founded by Matt Denman and Mark Hawkins in 2008. HD Decisions develops data and technology products for the financial services market. Their core focus is the suite of Pre-Qualification innovative products that are transforming how banks acquire new customers.

On the 10th Mark will be talking about:

  • The story of how they started HD Decisions
  • How they found the initial idea
  • How they tested the idea, sold it and turned it into revenue and then cash
  • How to grew the business and  managed to balance risk / reward

Before HD Decisions Mark was a Business Analyst, manager and Director at Capital One in Nottingham for 9 years.

3970822

Mark Hawkins (right) & Matt Denman
won the 2012 Ernst & Young Midlands
Entrepreneur of the Year award

Making friends with Feedback Loop

Here’s a copy of what a finalist Feedback Loop had to say about finishing in the final few at our Nottingham’s Tech Start-up of the Year 2013 awards:

How I made friends with the toughest judges

What?

Yesterday I pitched Feedback Loop at Nottingham’s annual start-up of the year 2013 competition final.

As usual, it was organized by @NottTuesday.com who also run fortnightly tech meetups in Nottingham.

Julius on the mic

How the hell did I get there?

After finding out about the event a week before and submitting a short Feedback Loop video pitch, I was glad to hear we’ve been selected. Even though Feedback Loop was started in Australia and the only tie linking it to Nottingham was my studies at University of Nottingham (UoN), that didn’t seem to cause any problems in the selection process.

“Emerging” vs “mature”

The organisers decided to tweak the competition a bit by splitting start-ups into “emerging” and “mature” categories with four and two finalists respectively. Reasoning behind that was getting a wider variety of start-ups to compete. With a growing number of sponsors and an increasing prize pot, such move looks more than reasonable.

The pitch

It was my first formal pitch in the UK against a professional panel of judges.

Since I got lucky to deliver the opening pitch, the panel seemed really keen at Q&A stage and their questioning extended way beyond the given 5 min mark. Both Rob Coward (an ex-corporate lawyer and a VC at growthaccelerator.com) and Adam Bird (entrepreneur currently building onediary.com) challenged me on Feedback Loop’s business model, product/market fit and relevance to Nottingham.

Even though I didn’t repeat some of our previous mistakes (Sydney Morning Herald teased us on that! ), I found it challenging to be caught on the spot on some of the questions.

That was my first Q&A session, after all.

The winners

George from Konstrukt won in the “emerging” category award. He’s seeking to build a social audiophile platform for a younger Nottingham crowd and has completed his distinction at UoN on a relevant topic. Some other good pitches included guys building a hybrid comparison/recommendation site from Buying Butler and Rumbly helping sandwich vans utilise online ordering possibilities, both pre-launch.

DSC04963

From content.screencast.com

Ian from the App Institute (in the picture above) has built a platform where amateurs can easily build mobile apps. Interesting business model and some good early traction seemed promising, hence judges chose apps over style with Jonny from Style Compare coming second.

What did I learn?

  • Leaving your comfort zone is the best way to learn. I am really glad I applied for the Nottingham pitch competition. That led me to meeting some great Nottingham entrepreneurs and getting strong first-hand pitching experience, let alone PR for Feedback Loop.
  • It may be a good idea to approach judges after the formal part of competition. I had great chats with both Rob and Adam after the competition. Since feedback is not usually provided about every pitch in these competitions, it’s a good idea to be straightforward and ask them in person. This can be really helpful for future improvements, even minor ones.
  • Not many people know how to drink wheat beer. I repeatedly get strange looks even from bartenders when I ask to put a piece of lemon into wheat beer (Erdinger is a good example). Sounds weird? Try it.

What about you, what has been your recent public speaking experience? Have you been challenged by other professionals in public? I’m keen to hear your story below!

Julius from Feedback Loop

New logo

After almost 5 year of Nott Tuesday we need a memorable logo to represent what Nott Tuesday stands for, represents and is about.

One of our startup awards winners, Ian Naylor, felt so strongly about this he has kindly organised a 99Designs competition to help us come up with a new logo.

Nott Tuesday is about us and our community, so we wanted you to be involved with selecting the best design. Here are some of the ideas coming in from 99Designs:

Nott Tuesday 99Design logo comp design 1

Nott Tuesday 99Design logo comp design 2

Nott Tuesday 99Design logo comp design 3

Here is the link to the 99Designs competition — Please give feedback via the comments below or email me: nick.barker@awaremonitoring.com

Thanks, Nick

“Blown away” & “overwhelming”

Here’s the full copy of what both the winners of our  Nottingham’s Tech Start-up of the Year 2013 awards had to says about winning:

“Winning Notts Tuesday Startup of the Year has been a real privilege. As a business this has been a super boost, the team really appreciate the recognition of their hard work, and as the business founder “I’m blown away”! The competition was tough, and great to see such a wide selection of ideas and business models. Also the judging panel were great, adding real credibility, being both hard and fair with their questioning, great pitching experience for all the participants.”

Ian pitching

Ian pitching (photo courtesy of Nick Walker)

AppInstitute

“The prizes are fantastic, and of course a big thank you to the sponsors for making this happen, but most of all we believe this award provides us with a great springboard onto the next stage of development and growth for our company. The recognition from industry experts from the panel, of our platform and business model, will be invaluable when we now going on to seek business support.” - Ian Naylor of App Institute

Here’s what George Mills from Konstrukt said:

“Developing Konstrukt has been a great experience. I’ve had the right people around me, been involved with some great initiatives and now, from winning Notts Tuesday, I have some great resources to carry Konstrukt through to its implementation in Nottingham.”

KONSTRUKT

Konstrukt’s logo

“The support I have received and the contacts I have made from Notts Tuesday has been overwhelming and I know its going to really benefit my business. If you have a great idea and you want to develop it my advice would be to get out there, get involved with the schemes that are available and just talk to people. You don’t know who’s around the corner willing to help you achieve your goals.”

“To my family and friends, mentors and sponsors – thank you.”
- George Mills of Konstrukt

George grilling

George getting a grilling (photo courtesy of Nick Walker)

Two winners!!

Konstrukt wins Emerging Startup and App Institute wins Mature Startup categories in our Nottingham’s Tech Start-up of the Year 2013 awards last week. Each took home £1,000 cash prizes and shared £5,500 worth of other prizes!!

DSC04979

George Mills, from Konstrukt, getting a celebratory award and £1,000 from judge and Next Business Generation sponsor Toby Reid

Konstrukt is a social platform for sharing music with friends and links the track playing to a specific venue, promoter or festival where the user can then add photos, emotions, and much more.

DSC04963

A very happy Ian Naylor from App Institute, getting his big cheque from Nottingham University The Haydn Green Institute sponsor Dan Edge

App Institute provides a simple way for small businesses and individuals to create and manage iPhone and Android Apps, without any programming skills.

With a record number of entries into this years awards and two highly competitive categories the judges had their work cut out. Rob Cawdron, spokes person for the judges said:

” AppInstitute won the “mature” category demonstrating a well thought out plan to seize a huge market opportunity, together with good early traction.  Konstrukt just edged the emergent category with an ambitious but well-articulated plan.  The judging panel wishes all the entrants every success in overcoming the inevitable challenges that lay ahead.  It would be great to think that the current crop can produce a global beater from Nottingham!”

George Mills of Konstrukt , commented after winning the award:

“The support and advice I have received since winning Notts Tuesday has been unbelievable. Konstrukt is in its early stages and the help I’ve received has come at a great time. Anyone thinking of entering should just do it, to everyone involved – thank you.”

And Ian Naylor of App Institute said:

“I’m blown away! - Winning Notts Tuesday Startup of the Year has been a real privilege. This has been a super boost, the team really appreciate the recognition of their hard work. The prizes are fantastic, a big thank to the sponsors for making this happen. We believe this award provides us with a great springboard onto the next stage of development and growth for our company.”

Honorable mentions and commiserations go to the all the startups who entered and the finalists on the night: Buying Butler ; RumblyFeedback Loop and Style Compare.

Our sincere gratitude go to the long list of sponsors for helping to make this year’s event:

Without the support of the sponsors the event wouldn’t have attracted so many startups and made the event so exciting.

Our many thanks got to the judges: Adam Bird, Rob Cawdron, Toby Reid, Andrew Porter and Aisling Duffy, who had a tough time deciding this years winners.

DSC04597

Nott Tuesday Startup Awards 2013 judges quizzing Julius Narkus from Feedback Loop

Our warmest thanks also go to Nick Walker from Walker Systems for taking 440 photos of the event with his new camera (click here for a selection of the best on Google+) and Antenna for hosting and being so helpful on the night.

With a record number of entries,and finalists this year and more cash prizes than ever the event continues to go from strength to strength — As judge Rob Cawdron commented after the event: “The record number of entries hopefully speaks volumes about the growing tech start up scene in Nottingham.”

Tonights the night!!

Tonight is our annual 2013 Startup awards – This special Nott Tuesday event will be held at Antenna as normal.

As this event will be longer with all the pitches, we’ll be kicking of at 6:00pm sharp. We’ve also extended the Antenna bar until 11:00pm to celebrate!

The format for the evening will be (times may vary):

6:00 (sharp start) Introductions – see the judges + the Sponsors

6:15 – 7:30 Pitches – see the finalist startups!

7:45 – 8:30 Judges deliberate

7:45 Food is served

8:30 Winners announced

11:00 Antenna closes

This is the big night to celebrate Nottingham’s technology startups and community!!

A final word:

“Each problem has hidden in it an opportunity so powerful that it literally dwarfs the problem. The greatest success stories were created by people who recognized a problem and turned it into an opportunity.”- Joseph Sugarman

Good luck to all the startups tonight!!

 

Spotlighting: WeareJH

In our final Spotlight on our Nott Tuesday Awards Platinum sponsors before tomorrows night big night, we look at JH:

WeareJH are a leading ecommerce agency based in Nottingham that are joining us as platinum sponsors this year for Nott Tuesday. They will be providing the drinks!

jh-logo

JH specialise in delivering outstanding responsive websites. JH say that they ultimately pride themselves on being one of the best web agencies in the East Midlands at designing and developing eCommerce websites.

JH emphasise the importance of having fun and challenging themselves and this underpins their company culture. Their core values help them to deliver great websites and more importantly, help build successful long-term client relationships and they love to work with clients who have similar beliefs.

This open and collaborative culture extends to the local digital and business community. JH have been long standing supporters of Nottingham based networking and cluster groups taking an active role in that community. JH believe that groups like Nott Tuesday are a vital and important part of the Nottingham business community and this sponsorship furthers their ambition to help the Nottingham community prosper.

If you’d like to know more about WeareJH or simply discuss the state of digital in Nottingham try these points of contact:

Web: http://www.wearejh.com
Tel: 0115 933 8790
Email: hello@wearejh.com
Twitter: @wearejh

Final 5 (now 6)!!

After a very intense and rigorous selection process the judges have chosen the finalists for the Nott Tuesday Startup Awards 2013 as (in no particular order):

Emerging Startup of the Year Award

  • Buying Butler -  is the next generation ecommerce platform. They connect people who want to buy something with companies that want to sell something.
  • Rumbly –  partner with sandwich vans, providing them with a super smooth online ordering platform. Consumers get better choice, and van operators get what’s rare in that industry – a way to reach potential consumers.
  • Konstrukt - is a new social platform for sharing music with friends. It is an online replacement of the LP culture, a social arena like Facebook, but for music. It links the track playing to a specific venue, promoter or festival where the user can then add photos, emotions, etc
  • Feedback Loop - is a referral based sales system that makes testimonials about a business more credible and relevant so that more customers choose them.

IMG_5559

Last years winner Mark Roberts, from Easypreorders.

Mature Startup of the Year

  • Style Compare -  is a fashion comparison website making it quicker and easier for consumers to shop fashion online. By listing products from over 50 of the UK’s major fashion stores shoppers can find their latest fashion purchase on one easy-to-use website.
  • App Institute - AppInstitute provides a simple way for small businesses and individuals to create and manage iPhone and Android Apps, without any programming skills, with over 20 business type templates, anyone can create an App from scratch.

This special Nott Tuesday event will be held at Antenna as normal. As this event will be longer than usual, we’ll be kicking of at 6:00pm sharp. We’ve also extended the Antenna bar until 11:00pm to celebrate!

The format for the evening will be (times may vary):

6:00 (sharp start) Introductions

6:15 – 7:30 Pitches

7:45 – 8:30 Judges deliberate

7:45 Food is served

8:30 Winners announced

11:00 Antenna closes

Make sure the 12th November is in your diary! This is the big night to celebrate Nottingham’s technology startups and community!!

Spotlighting: Esendex

Esendex is one of our Nott Tuesday 2013 Startup awards Platinum sponsors who are very generously paying for the food next Tuesday. For those that don’t know Esendex:

Esendex was a Tech start up back in 2001 founded by Julian Hucker and Adam Bird with one objective; “To provide the highest quality business SMS service available”. From those humble beginnings in Nottingham, Esendex has grown 25% year on year, has over 18,000 customers and employs over 60 staff in Nottingham, Melbourne and Barcelona.

esendex-logo

Although Esendex now delivers services around the world, it is still a young, dynamic, technology company with its routes firmly in Nottingham. That is why Adam Bird, Co-founder of Esendex, helped start NottTuesday and why Esendex likes to support entrepreneurial start-ups in Nottingham.

For more information on Esendex and the services they offer please visit http://www.esendex.co.uk or follow them on Twitter @esendex.