Passion for entrepreneurship has inspired us to create Foundum. We believe in entrepreneurs as they have the greatest potential to drive, change and positively influence economies & societies.


June, 2013

Find Mentors on Foundum

Friday, June 28th, 2013

From now on members can create mentor profiles so that entrepreneurs can find & search for mentors on Foundum. Entrepreneurs can indicate within their Needs that they are currently looking for a mentor, and then our matchmaking engine will automatically suggest suitable mentors based on the given criteria!

We’re inviting all experienced entrepreneurial mentors out there to support the next generation of entrepreneurs. Once you have already created an entrepreneur or private investor profile you have the option to start a mentor profile as well, showcasing your entrepreneurial expertise.

We hope that you’ll find the right mentor for you!

What is a mentor?

A mentor is an experienced and skilled entrepreneur who offers advice, support, knowledge and guidance to a less experienced entrepreneur. A mentor can take the role of an older brother, role model, coach, and teacher to help younger entrepreneurs avoid the pit falls in their journey to creating a successful business. A mentor creates an informal environment in which the mentee can feel encouraged to discuss his/her needs and circumstances openly. Apart from his very own experience he often helps the entrepreneur accessing his network. Compared to an advisor a mentor advises on a personal level whereas the advisor advises on a company level. Mentors normally do not receive a retribution for their time.

Plug and Play opens up applications for its new Accelerator Program

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Plug and Play Spain has opened up applications for its third Accelerator Program in Valencia, that will be held between September and December this year. Selected projects will receive seed funding and will work for three months with Plug and Play’s team and mentors.

  • The startup accelerator is looking for innovative technological projects
  • Selected projects will receive funding of up to €60,000 and up to €200,000 in services from our partners (Rackspace, Amazon Web Services, etc.)
  • The application deadline is July 31st 2013 or whenever 500 projects are reached

The Accelerator Program is designed to immerse startups and entrepreneurs into a Silicon Valley inspired environment. Through a combination of structured workshops, speaker series, mentorship sessions as well as active coaching, startup founders will crystallize their ideas and business plans, and prepare to present their project to the international venture capital community.

For the last year, Plug and Play Tech Center has invested in more than sixty projects and its startups have achieved investments worth $150 millions. In Spain, Plug and Play has accelerated or invested in seventeen startups that have got investments worth €2.75 millions and created 72 job positions.

The application deadline for this third Accelerator Program is July 31st 2013 or whenever 500 projects apply. All necessary information and the program conditions can be found on plugandplayaccelerator.es.

Plug and Play Tech Center is a global accelerator that specializes in growing tech startups. Headquartered in Sunnyvale California, Plug and Play’s network includes over 300 tech startups, 180 investors and a community of leading Universities and Corporate partners. For nearly 3 decades, Plug and Play management has played a direct and significant role in starting successful ventures in Silicon Valley and around the world.

Top 6 Email Marketing Providers

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Email Marketing has evolved into a very important tool for Internet businesses over the last few years. These tools help you create professional Newsletter campaigns, advertising leaflets, invitations, business letters & many other professional emails. There are so many different providers out there offering different features & prices that it can be extremely difficult and time-consuming to find a suitable and cost-efficient provider that meets your needs. Over the last few months we´ve been testing several providers for our own purposes and we would like to share our key findings with you!

Based on our experiences, here are the top 6 Email Marketing Providers:

1. Mailchimp

Mailchimp is probably the world’s best-known Email Marketing Provider. It offers a great variety of different templates! It’s easy to use and, more importantly, if you have less than 2.000 subscribers you can send up to 12.000 emails for free! This is an exceptional offer for startups that won’t hurt the budget. Beyond their free offers, the pricing is right compared their competitors: Mailchimp is a favorite for many startups as its basic version is free. They offer a wide range of different email options and it´s extremely user-friendly. They offer great customer support and you can get a report & analytics for all of your various email campaigns.

Here’s the pricing for Mailchimp:

2. MyEmma

MyEmma lets you create very smart & stylish Email Marketing Campaigns. One of their main features is the drag & drop email editor, which helps you to create & design your Email Campaign! It’s user-friendly and actually a lot of fun, as their designer templates are pretty cool. You can easily create lists or simply share your content with your Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn contacts. They also offer a real-time tracking system showing you who opened, clicked and shared your email. This is very useful tool for any startup! The pricing is a bit higher than Mailchimp but worth the upgrade if you can afford it.

Here’s the pricing for MyEmma:

3. iContact

iContact is another very easy-to-use Email Marketing Provider, and the amount of email templates is remarkable. You can choose from various templates according to your specific needs., and the templates are beautifully crafted and look very professional. Whether you want to create a postcard, invitation, newsletter or advertising leaflet, iContact provides you with the appropriate layout. Once you have chosen your template the navigation is very intuitive: from the first moment you’ll be able to understand how it works. This is a great advantage compared to other providers and the service is very decently priced.

Here’s the pricing for iContact:

4. Mailerlite

Mailerlite is probably the best tool if you plan to send out invitations or advertising leaflets to your clients. It’s really easy to build and it looks very stylish. You can create an email marketing campaign by using their drag & drop option, which is the perfect tool if you want to create a professional email campaign nice and quick. On the other hand, it doesn’t have as many different options as the other providers, but its navigation is very user-friendly and has a stylish layout compensates, which compensates for the lack of choices. Their customer support has been quick and reliable. Once your campaign has been sent out, Mailerlite provides a detailed report on “clicks’, “openings” and “unopenings”.

Here’s the pricing for Mailerlite! The pricing is based on a yearly basis:

5. AWeber

Probably the best in the industry in terms of deliverability, Aweber is an efficient and extremely reliable email marketing tool. Through their system, you can segment your subscribers based on screening criteria like who opened what message, the products they purchased, their geographic location, and much more, making your emails much more personally applicable to your users. With over 150 templates that can be additionally customized, Aweber most likely has a design that perfectly suits your business. You can receive a 30-day full feature trial for the price of a single dollar, so if you’re interested take a look at their website for more information on their impressive features. They charge a bit more than most companies, but their service and quality merits the price.

Here’s the pricing for AWeber:

6. Mad Mimi

With their emphasis on simplistic, eye-catching designs, Mad Mimi is an easy-to-use, carefully developed email marketing system. They understand the frustrations of busy layouts and focus on the form and function to produce perfectly constructed messages. Bounced back and duplicated emails are automatically filtered out through their system, so you don’t have to worry about going back and editing your numerous lists and segments. You can also set it up to send emails at certain times, demonstrating how Mad Mimi simplifies every aspect of email marketing. The company is already integrated into Google Analytics, so viewing the statistics and progression of your emails is confined to a few simple clicks. The efficiency and user-friendly interface of Mad Mimi makes it an extremely appealing email marketing service!

Here’s the pricing for Mad Mimi:

All in all, you could say that these are all viable options for Email Marketing Providers and it depends on your individual taste and professional needs which one to choose. You can try them all for a test period of 30 days and we recommend testing all of them to take your personal decision. They are very powerful tools for startups and small businesses to stay in touch with their members and clients! Good luck and happy emailing!

Top 10 Most Vibrant Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Hubs in Europe

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

Many European cities are becoming increasingly popular among the startup scene, developing them into ideal destinations for entrepreneurs. We’ve combined a list of the top ten established as well as up-and-coming ecosystem hubs for European startups.

London
In the eastern part of the city, known as “Tech City”, the streets are nearly overflowing with companies. From startups to internationally renowned multi-media businesses, this British ecosystem is a major destination for any European entrepreneur or technology fanatic and is highly reminiscent of the Silicon Valley in the San Francisco Bay Area. For a mere idea on how concentrated businesses are in this area, check out this map. Though other cities threaten its position, at this point London proves to be the number one ecosystem hub in Europe.

Berlin
Somewhat similar to Tech City, Berlin also possesses a technology platform that connects all the entrepreneurs of the city: Silicon Allee. Its intention is for Berlin startups to network and host meetups, where they can meet other entrepreneurs, exchange ideas, and learn from others in their respective industry. Hundreds of companies are listed on the site, making communication especially easy for these individuals. This exciting, friendly environment has fostered major developments in entrepreneurship and technology in Berlin and will probably continue to fuel this movement for many years.

Amsterdam
Numerous startup success stories have begun to come out of Amsterdam over the past few years—combine these accomplishments with cheap rent space and a liberal young atmosphere, and you’ll have a new startup and tech hotspot for young people across the continent. Amsterdam also hosts a variety of popular startup events, such as Amsterdam Startup Week, that flock entrepreneurs to the city and inspire and advise them through their company’s endeavors. With such a positive environment, this scene is sure to develop and expand in the future.

Barcelona
Despite its beautiful weather and beaches, Barcelona also contains some of the most successful and growing startups in the Spanish country. With the creation of the E3 Union, a network for Spanish entrepreneurs, young people in this city are continuing to develop and expand their startups, with the encouragement and assistance of the various other aspiring business leaders. Moreover, the creative and practical applications that have been developed within the past few years foreshadow an even greater increase in startups in this European hub.

Tallinn
Despite its small size, Tallinn brings significant talent to the technology and business world. The birthplace of Skype, the city continues to flourish, especially due to its high population of incredibly intelligent programmers and ambitious entrepreneurs. Estonia’s government has actually already implemented technology into the country’s daily functioning: electronic voting, signing, and much more have all become routine aspects of an average citizen’s life; this encouragement from the government continues to pave the road to success for this tiny yet tech-y city.

Tel Aviv
Israel’s very own “Silicon Wadi”, Tel Aviv, is densely populated with startups, investors, service providers, and research and development. All these resources, along with significant government assistance (Israel actually has the highest ratio in the world of GDP allocated for R&D) make the city an exciting, innovative place for young entrepreneurs to be. The continuing development of extensive business and technology programs in the academic world, for both local and international students, also creates an engaging and inspiring environment, further encouraging startups to migrate toward the city.

Stockholm
Spotify created a snowball effect in the Stockholm startup scene: numerous entrepreneurs who have been developing their companies in the city have also become success stories, earning thousands to millions of euros by selling their businesses to big-name companies. These events have greatly inspired and encouraged creativity in the city, inviting more young people to pursue their business goals in such a growing environment. Expect to hear about more products and services coming out of Stockholm in the future, as this city is definitely becoming a major startup hub.

Helsinki
Though less of a startup powerhouse than some of these other places, this Finland capital city has a promising future ahead. In recent years, numerous startups have developed and taken off in the heart of this city—just in April, a study showed that these Baltic startups were worth one million euros, a very impressive feat. The development of many societies that connect entrepreneurs together has further encouraged individuals to give their idea a try, especially in such a stimulating environment. And with increased media attention drawn toward the development of a startup culture, more people are becoming aware of the startup frenzy that is slowly creeping up on the city.

Lisbon
Another city that should be looked out for, Lisbon is definitely expected to create a huge, tech startup scene within the coming years. The government created a startup incubator two years ago, bringing numerous new startups to life. Technology companies are becoming increasingly popular, and these increased resources coupled with government assistance are inviting entrepreneurs to pitch and develop their ideas. The city hopes its efforts will eventually dub it one of the major startup hubs, making it essentially the San Francisco of the European Union.

Bucharest
Given the cheap cost of living, its no surprise that eventually young entrepreneurs will flock to Bucharest. The city hosts many business and technology related events year-round, constantly bringing inspirational talent and successful leaders to the city and attracting entrepreneurs as a result. Over the next few years, there is no doubt that the city will continue to expand its startup and tech scene and eventually develop a reputation as one of the major European startup hubs.

Though some of these places are more established as hubs than others, they each play crucial roles in the European startup scene. Over the course of the next few years, we are excited to see which of these cities continue to maintain these trends and what other successful businesses grow out of them as a result.

Europe’s finest upcoming Entrepreneurial Events in 2013

Friday, June 7th, 2013

Given the abundance of entrepreneurship-based events available all around the world, we decided to make a list comprising of the top 10 upcoming events in Europe for the rest of the year.

Entrepreneurship Summer School (July 8-12th in Brussels, Belgium)

Brought to you by Google, ThinkYoung, and the European Institute of Industrial Leadership, this educational program hopes to provide entrepreneurs the confidence and sources they need to surpass any ambivalence about their future and simply pursue their goals. Participants will have the opportunity to hear success stories from many entrepreneurs and will be able to interact with them on a one-on-one basis, making the experience particularly valuable by being catered to each attendee’s particular interests. By first handedly hearing both the negative and positive experiences of their elders, students will have a clearer understanding of the role of an entrepreneur and will be better prepared for future endeavors.

RockPaperStartups (July 18-19 in Rijeka, Croatia)

If you’re looking for an excuse to go to Croatia, keep reading. The casual atmosphere of this event does not insinuate that it should be overlooked by any means, as headlining speakers include names from Google, Twitter, and many more success stories. Moreover, the late start and end times encourage attendees to have a comfortable stay while also enabling them to multitask between networking, after parties, concerts, a hackathon and many more planned activities…all while getting inspired by all the talent and creativity at the event and learning about how to further develop one’s own startup and succeed.

The European Pirate Summit (August 26-27th in Cologne, Germany)

Though admission to this pirate ship is application-only, the work is entirely worth it. The European Pirate Summit is an outdoor extravaganza catered specifically to startups—and yes, they wear eye patches. Inspirational, successful speakers leave their business rooms and offices and instead gather outside to present to aspiring entrepreneurs from around the world. The unique location, which also has fantastic displays of art, light, and much more, caters to the event’s encouraging, positive atmosphere, fostering creativity in all its participants. After last year’s event British journalist Milo Yiannopoulos even tweeted, “Pirate Summit is what would happen if Burning Man did a start-up conference.” Intrigued? You should be.

IBC 2013 (September 13-17th at the RAI in Amsterdam)

IBC’s multifaceted event consists of both an exhibition and a conference, inviting a wide range of talent (from creative artists to aspiring entrepreneurs to involved investors) to gather in Amsterdam for this event. By hearing from such a wide range of talent, attendees will gain comprehensive insight regarding developments in specific technologic fields that will assist startups tremendously in their upcoming endeavors. Moreover, the event encourages mentorship and the exchanging of ideas, allowing creativity to flow between the fourteen exhibition halls set up at the venue. Overwhelmed by all the opportunities available? No worries, because IBC has developed a mobile app, enabling the conference’s schedule, program exhibitor list, and much more to be easily accessible at any time.

IDCEE 2013 October 10-11th in Kiev, Ukraine

In this gathering of acclaimed investors, skilled advisors, and aspiring entrepreneurs, startups have the opportunity to pitch for a cash prize of 30,000 euros while learning from some of the most talented business leaders and hearing their stories. Not only do entrepreneurs have the opportunity to learn from the best and brightest in their field, but speakers are also excited to hear input about their programs and software from everyday users, encouraging the exchanging of ideas between people from all levels of the startup industry. The large scale of this event indicates that every attendee will have the chance to be positively influenced and inspired to approach their company in a new way, paving the road to success for all those involved.

IdeaLab! The Founder’s Conference October 11-12th in Vallendar, Germany

Conversation and the exchange of experiences between all members of the startup scene (from entrepreneurs to inspired students to investors) is the main intention of this event, creating a dynamic environment for individuals to learn about the successes and failures behind commended companies. The intimate and personal interactions at this conference contribute to its unique atmosphere, as it enables all who are present to feel more comfortable and willing to share and converse with anyone, regardless of how successful or wealthy they may be, enabling entrepreneurs to grow and learn in a unique manner.

Pioneers Festival (October 30-31st in Vienna, Austria)

This event truly merits the title “festival”: from its historically significant location to the personally titled “Pioneers Pint” beer to incredibly inspirational and successful speakers, Pioneers Festival is more than just an educational experience. The event prides itself on not only cultivating entrepreneurship but also celebrating the creativity and ambition of its entrepreneurial participants, while also providing ample opportunities for startups to network with investors. Entrepreneurs can even apply to pitch their company to an audience of investors or present their startup at the event’s exhibition. Given so many opportunities to learn, develop, and experience, Pioneers Festival is a two-day festival you don’t want to miss.

Dublin Web Summit (October 30-31st in Dublin, Ireland)

By far the largest startup conference in Europe, Web Summit has nearly 7,000 attendees and ample opportunity for entrepreneurs to network, develop, and publicize their startup. Investors and other experts all flock to Dublin to see the up and coming talent in their field of interest and often choose to help—for example, SmartThings won the startup competition at the Summit last year and earned nearly three million dollars soon after—suggesting the ample opportunity available for entrepreneurs at this event. Moreover, numerous dinners and parties are organized following the Summit, enabling attendees to not only mingle in a relaxed environment but also seal some potential deals in the process.

Webit Congress (November 6-7th in Istanbul, Turkey)

The congress consists of two specific zones—enterprise and entrepreneurs—comprising of various types of conferences and networking opportunities for every aspect of a startup. With thousands of delegates and hundreds of speakers from acclaimed companies such as Facebook, Coca Cola, and many more, this two-day event contains all the elements necessary to develop and improve your startup. The Entrepreneurs Zone also holds a startup challenge, enabling participants to not only present their pitch to over 8,000 business leaders but also gain significant media exposure, all while in the running for a cash prize.

NOAH Conference (November 13-14th in London, United Kingdom)

Given the growing power and influence of the Internet, this conference caters specifically to entrepreneurs and their implementation of the World Wide Web in their startup. Business leaders discuss and present on their findings and experiences in the Internet world and how their experiences have contributed to the development and success of their respective companies. Participants also will have the opportunity to interact on a personal basis with developers and presenters, further providing them insight and inspiration for their own particular project. With over a thousand attendees and speakers from dozens of countries, the conference serves as a powerful learning tool for European entrepreneurs.

With all of these impressive opportunities available in 2013, there are many means by which entrepreneurs can get involved either in their community or internationally and create, share, and learn with some of the most brilliant minds in the world. Even a couple hours at one of these conferences can provide new insight regarding a company’s approach, and we hope that this list assists you in planning out the rest of your calendar year.

MLOVE ConFestival Europe (June 19 – 21, Berlin)

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

MLOVE stands for a passion for a ‘Lifestyle of Mobility’ – a love for the opportunities that emerge with the new medium and a love for the people who are brave enough to rethink mobile in order to find out its potential in manifold ways and above all its unintentional uses.

Mobiles are computers not telephones. They facilitate controlling our environment like a remote control for our daily life. Yes, we have the control in our hand. And suddenly we ask ourselves what we actually want to do with it.

MLOVE is looking at how the Internet of Things, quantified self and wearables have an impact on the devices we carry around with our selves. What are the new companion devices that make our smartphones the remote control to our lives?

MLOVE invite thought leaders and creative minds, all those who wish to steer the course of technological development into a (new) direction to join MLOVE. All those who have awareness for the disruption which this medium is causing and who believe that this is the first step of a global revolution.

“MLOVE provides an environment for innovators in multiple areas to come together and collaborate in defining the future,” stated Rasheq Zarif of Mercedes-Benz R&D North America – and WIRED called MLOVE the “Best event in Mobile”

The 3-day MLOVE ConFestival takes place in a castle South of Berlin and gathers a young and passionate group of visionaries, opinion leaders and kick-ass trendsetters. The ConFestival program is a mix of keynotes, visual thinking workshops and an entertaining festival program. Find out more here!

The event exposes the mobile industry to the best minds outside of Mobile to maximize the opportunity of creating life-changing services and applications that can impact us all for the better. Speakers 2013 include: Nike Foundation, Matternet (drones), AT&T, Telekom, Rambus, Singularity University (NL), Hopelab (Omidyar Network), Ars Electronica, IxDS Fritzing, and many more.

For the first time there will be a special “startup barn”, where mobile entrepreneurs meet accelerators, investors and mentors. There is a maker camp to get in touch with Arduino boards, a HackCamp and design thinking workshops – not your usual mobile conference!

Startup Barn Tickets include 4days of startup workshops, a chance to pitch, food and beverages and your own expo space at MLOVE ConFestival 2013. Registrations are 450€ with the promotion code STARTUP Expo (All inclusive Ticket for Foundum Members) at www.mloveconfestival.com/europe/2013

The first three startups on Foundum signing up get free accomodation at Castle Beesenstedt!!!