international

TBT, speaking at Microsoft HQ Turkey to the inaugural meeting of Turkish Women's International Network

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Watch the talk here, and all the talks by members of the network that aspires to become the most impactful network focusing on women in Turkey and abroad. TRWIN collaborates with companies, NGOs and individuals to amplify our collective impact and empower women to realize their potential.

I've been pleased to serve as a member of the Advisory Board of Turkish WIN since its inception.

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TBT, training expat entrepreneurs to use social media

This was seven years ago, in Istanbul: talking to a group from the International Women of Istanbul about using social media for entrepreneurial ventures based on intellectual property -- aka creative entrepreneurship! 

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We started with a round of introductions and got an overview of the various enterprises run or being developed by IPWIN members. We heard distinct stories, and overlapping concerns. “How can I sell my service when the local market doesn’t value it yet?” “How much of myself should I expose?” “I had to take time off to raise my family, and we moved a lot but I want to get a career started in Istanbul.” “How do I present my company, my product, my idea, my brand?” “I run multiple businesses, should I merge them in one site or have separate Facebook pages?” “Which language should I blog in, how do I decide if French or Spanish is best?” “I’m trying to figure out what new business is going to last.”

 

Here are some of the issues we discussed during the meeting.

 

Why is social media important today?

Social media used professionally is an unrivaled way to become visible to a global audience at very low cost, by building a virtual network and sharing your expertise. People now want to do business with people, not faceless corporations. Even big companies are now trying to appear “more human”. Solo entrepreneurs everywhere can thrive in this new online environment.

 

What does the ‘social’ part of social media mean?

It means user-generated web content -- as opposed to static web pages -- that allows us to interact with each other through various web technologies. Think of “liking” a Facebook page, or tweeting a blog post, or even commenting on a blog. We can get feedback on our work, we can respond to customers in a public forum and demonstrate the quality of our service, we can meet and learn from others who are interested in the same things, and we can share our best discoveries on the web with our own networks.

 

What is creative entrepreneurship?

A successful business provides a product or service that solves a problem or fills a need. Creative entrepreneurs design offerings based on their personal inclinations, skills and talents. Often these develop out of a need to live and work in non-traditional situations. Social media is a wonderful vehicle to build professional projects on the web regardless of your location, time or language constraints. Creative entrepreneurship is a perfect solution to the problem faced by people who move around a lot or live in cultures not their own. It’s how to “bloom where you’re planted,” as Tara’s Turquoise Poppy catchphrase suggests.

 

What is a global niche?

Coined by Anastasia for global citizens to feel at home,  a global niche is where you uniquely belong in the world, both personally and professionally. Your sweetspot. A place occupied completely and perfectly by you -- so naturally there are no competitors, there are only neighbors. It’s where you can operate to your potential, and embrace all the worlds you love to belong to. Finding your global niche is part of being a successful creative entrepreneur. 

 

How do I define my profile on the net?

Building your global niche -- in this case, a professional web platform --  involves uncovering your place in the world and defining that place on the web. Inevitably one of the first steps in establishing your digital profile is communicating who you are in a way that others can relate to and may include using text, images, audio or video. For those who are in the process of self-discovery, social media is an extremely useful tool to explore and have conversations with like-minded global citizens.

 

Does being accessible on the web require extensive personal exposure?

Social media facilitates your interaction with others. People want to know who you are before connecting with you whether personally or professionally, help them find ways to relate to you. You’re not required to share private information that might compromise your security. By using a clear photo of yourself in your profile and including a link to your hub site people can learn exactly what you want them to know. (Don’t know what a hub site is? Find out in Tara and Anastasia’s free email tutorials.)

 

How can I find potential clients, customers and collaborators using social media?

Your ideal customer or client (or employer, if you’re a job seeker!) finds you by entering specific keywords into a search engine like Google. By entering these keywords yourself you’ll learn where you rank amidst the competition and you’ll also see where conversations relevant to your niche are taking place around the web. Social media enables you to monitor these conversations (with tools like Twitter and Google alerts) and participate in them with your own ideas, expertise and professional solutions.

 

How do I fit social media into my work day?

Social media is useful to creative entrepreneurs because it allows you to work in a way that suits your lifestyle. Setting your own schedule for publishing content as well as interacting on sites like Facebook and Twitter means you can work at your own pace. Keep your posts short and “mindcast” rather than “lifecast”. Share important thoughts, what you are reading, what moves you -- not mundane things like what you had for breakfast. Give your network value through the things you share. Use automation and syndication services to reach relevant audiences at key times around the world -- without actually working around the clock!

 

What is my ROI for the time I spend using social media?

Using social media to build your network and reputation is an investment in yourself. The time you dedicate will pay off when you want to sell your product or service - whether it’s a book, a necklace or a coaching program. Use social media to educate yourself and stay on the cutting edge of your field. In today’s market, trust and attention are valuable commodities that you can only develop by being well-informed, authentic and providing useful, accessible content.

 

 

Considering the Arab Innovation Academy in Doha, Qatar

I'm considering joining the Arab Innovation Academy (AIA). It's patterned on the European Innovation Academy, this new extreme accelerator for the Arab world is run by Maher Hakim, the managing director of the Qatar Science & Technology Park. I had the pleasure of working directly with Maher when he was the Chief of Chief Mentors at the European Innovation Academy in Nice in 2016! The AIA program will be delivered for the first time in Doha, Qatar in January 2018 

In the Winner's Circle: 50% of my teams won the 2017 European Innovation Academy, Italy

(To my teams: you are all stars!!)

Giving my Day 7 keynote in Turin, on how to build revenue-producing and meaningful community. "Find why your first users are invested and then deliver on their motivations," was among my recommendations to the participants of Europe's largest extreme accelerator

It was my pleasure to be the chief mentor to six start up teams in the Gaming, Media & Entertainment sector at the European Innovation Academy last month in Turin, Italy.

For ten foundational days, I guided 30 participants through team and business building before additional specialist mentors joined us to take them to pitch their startups to Silicon Valley and global investors. 

Out of 95 total teams, 4 of my teams progressed to the Pitching Carousel of 40 teams which presented to venture capitalists

  • Sympha, a creative exchange for the indie music community
  • aLive, a realtime nightlife promotion platform
  • ARCatalogs, an augmented reality play for restaurants
  • Kumpa, a gamification app that turns exercise into social workouts

3 of my teams then made it into the Top 10 winner's circle. You can read the Italian press on the winners.

So, 5 of my 6 teams made it to the final rounds of the program. That means 83% of our cohort 'showed' in the final rounds of the program.  This is a stupendous achievement, congratulations to all of you!

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This is Kumpa, a sports gamification start-up that transforms your favorite games into fun and social workouts.

Shout out to these international mentors who also worked with my cohort on: marketing (Americans Jesse Leimgruber, PJ Leimgruber, and Italian Francesco Fiume), IT (Polish Bartek Jazwinski), and design (Estonian Tanel Eero), and, team dynamics (Italian Claudia Chiavarino). Also, thanks to Federico Mammano, my fellow chief mentor in the other Gaming, Media, and Entertainment cohort, for his pitching challenges and AR expertise! 

This is ARCatalogs which makes augmented reality menus for restaurants.

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This is aLive, a nightlife platform where users can see and share what's happening around them in real time, leveraging the power of influencers. aLive made it to the Pitching Carousel round.

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Here's BidCar, my sixth team, which was building a blind auction for car sales. Chief Business Officer Miguel Valdez delivered a 1 minute story-based pitch on Day 6 in front of another gaming, media, entertainment cohort and our design and IT mentors watching, on the right:

For your accomplishments in team building and business building, congrats to the winners, the carousel pitchers, all the teams of the Gaming, Media, and Entertainment cohorts, and all the teams of EIA Turin 2017. It was fun mentoring you and I look forward to seeing what you do next!

 

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Back at The Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship Bootcamp!

Great experience mentoring and judging the pitches of student entrepreneurs from around the world at this week's bootcamp on the UC Berkeley campus!

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Here's the director of the program Gigi Wang laying out the goals of the bootcamp.

 

Congratulations to Acuity, the team I mentored and my cojudge Rick Rasmussen and I sent to the finals.

 

Watch the pitch battle here: https://www.facebook.com/UCBerkeleyCET/videos/1232326256848097/

Chief Mentor At The European Innovation Academy

Honored to be a Chief Mentor at the European Innovation Academy this summer in Nice, France. (That's like Tim Gunn's role on Project Runway, for up to 7 groups of entrepreneurs.)

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500 college student entrepreneurs will take an idea to a tech startup in 15 days in this program that brings together faculty from 75 nations, and education programs developed with universities and organizations like UC Berkeley, Stanford, Google, IBM and Amadeus.

Thanks to Ajda Mustafova for making this connection.