Blog

Foreign unicorns - the rise of developing economy startups

Foreign unicorns - the rise of developing economy startups

Simon Gifford
  on 14/9/16
Successful entrepreneurship - its hard work, not magic

Successful entrepreneurship - its hard work, not magic

Simon Gifford
We all love the student-to-billionaire stories of successful tech startups. But we should not forget to learn from the successes of real, non-digital buinesses - and often the lessons to be learned are more easily interpreted. Take Sam Solasz of Master Purveyors of New York as a classic example.
  on 13/6/16
The Startup Strategy Canvas - Business Model Canvas 3.0

The Startup Strategy Canvas - Business Model Canvas 3.0

Simon Gifford
Alex Osterwalder and his team developed a phenomenal model called the Business Model Canvas. One of its best features is that the generic nature of the model means it fits a wide range of uses from early ventures through to large corporations. However, as in most generic models, it sometimes...
  on 13/5/16
Positioning your product

Positioning your product

Simon Gifford
Positioning your product or service is an essential part of the development of your new business. This blog is an excerpt from one of the tasks in many of our programmes.
  on 12/5/16
The new billionaire - Mashauri  Motivation for entrepreneurs everywhere

The new billionaire - Mashauri Motivation for entrepreneurs everywhere

Simon Gifford
The Mashauri Motivation series for entrepreneurs everywhere.

Dont let the toughness of the startup road grind you down.

Be re-inspired by Jason Silva's definition of the new billionaire.
  on 22/4/16
Reframing and solving the right problem

Reframing and solving the right problem

Simon Gifford
This is a summary of a presentation made by Bernard Roth, the co-founder and academic director of Stanford University's d.school where he discusses problem solving, how to re-frame problems and how to start getting honest with yourself. 
  on 19/4/16
How to find an idea for a new business

How to find an idea for a new business

Simon Gifford
Frequently when I am giving lectures on entrepreneurship or networking with groups of would-be entrepreneurs, I am asked
”But where can I find a good business idea?” This article answers that question.
  on 3/4/16
How to start a business - the no BS step-by-step guide

How to start a business - the no BS step-by-step guide

Simon Gifford
Many people starting a business have spent time in large corporates or at least established businesses. However, when launching a new business, this experience is not always valid ... or at the least, leaves them unprepared for some of the challenges that arise from starting a business from...
  on 9/3/16
Is NOW the best time to start your business?

Is NOW the best time to start your business?

Simon Gifford
Things are looking tough. Economic recovery in developed markets is shaky. Developing markets are reeling at the bottom (?) of the commodity cycle. China is choking. And even the most optimistic of VC's are getting nervous about valuations.

Is this really a good time to start a business?
  on 1/3/16
Entrepreneurial thoughts from Africa

Entrepreneurial thoughts from Africa

Simon Gifford
The entrepreneurial spirit is not doused by macro issues. Entrepreneurs create the future - not bow to it!
  on 23/1/16
Invitation to Mobile Challenge Africa pitching event

Invitation to Mobile Challenge Africa pitching event

Simon Gifford
Invitation to Mobile Challenge Africa pitching event in Cape Town 22 January.
  on 15/1/16
European Entrepreneurial Events

European Entrepreneurial Events

Simon Gifford
Techcrunch and Alpha-Gamma (the "business portal for millennials), have put together excellent lists of entrepreneurial events in Europe in 2016
  on 11/1/16
MBA vs Entrepreneurs - how they think and decide

MBA vs Entrepreneurs - how they think and decide

Simon Gifford
Entrepreneurs think differently to MBA's (or people in the corporate environment) when making decisions about their business. It is important to understand this if you want to have a successful new venture AND if you are trying to grow an established business. Based on solid research from Sara...
  on 18/12/15
Mobile Challenge Africa - Apply Now

Mobile Challenge Africa - Apply Now

Simon Gifford
Mobile Challenge Africa is part of the largest mobile competition in the world, the Global Mobile Competition. Applications are closing on 9 December for mobile startups in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria.
  on 1/12/15
Secrets of Startup Failure - the Homejoy Story

Secrets of Startup Failure - the Homejoy Story

Simon Gifford
This blog was inspired by Hunter Davis' article: Pondering Homejoy's Failure; and supported by our insights into the demise of one of Silicon Valley's on-demand marketplace darlings.
  on 2/11/15
Europe's Digital Recession

Europe's Digital Recession

Simon Gifford
This blog was sparked by Harvard Business Review's insightful article: Europe's Other Crisis: A Digital Recession.
  on 1/11/15
Don't sell your time for a living

Don't sell your time for a living

Simon Gifford
Some advice for university graduates, based on a blog from Andrew Chen. Don't sell your time for a living - make something!
  on 30/10/15
What business should I build?

What business should I build?

Simon Gifford
Many people have the entrepreneurial spirit and would like their own business, but do not know have an idea to build off. This blog looks at where your "sweet spot" might be.
  on 28/10/15
Moving would-be entrepreneurs from talk to action

Moving would-be entrepreneurs from talk to action

Simon Gifford
Most entrepreneurial events create tremendous excitement but are unable to build on this energy. Molefe Choane of Young Entrepreneur Connect is addressing this issue by offering a free accelerator course within a supportive community to all conference participants. Mashauri are pleased to be...
  on 6/10/15
7 things I have learned about lean startup

7 things I have learned about lean startup

Simon Gifford
David Bland wrote a great article: 7 things I have learned about lean startup. We republish it here with thanks to David for his wisdom.
  on 3/9/15
Student entrepreneurs as retailers

Student entrepreneurs as retailers

Simon Gifford

Re-So is a brilliant idea - a retail outlet for student entrepreneurs in the design, fashion and art sectors.

  on 21/8/15
The scientific approach to entrepreneurship - standing on the shoulders of giants

The scientific approach to entrepreneurship - standing on the shoulders of giants

Simon Gifford

In developing the Mashauri concept and the underlying programmes, we have "stood on  the shoulders of giants". Here we showcase some of the leaders in entrepreneurial thinking together with the critical learning points from their work

  on 17/8/15
Co-working fun - startup humour

Co-working fun - startup humour

Simon Gifford

Some coworking humour ..... mainly from the brillient TechDoodles

  on 1/8/15
Healthcare in a click - trends in digital healthcare

Healthcare in a click - trends in digital healthcare

Simon Gifford

Latest trends in Digital Healthcare from around the world.

  on 31/7/15
Venture Technology: a new form of startup financing

Venture Technology: a new form of startup financing

Simon Gifford

Venture Technology is one of the new forms of startup financing.

We interview David Scanlon of The Lucey Fund who explains what it is with examples.

  on 29/7/15
Venture Capital funding trends 2015

Venture Capital funding trends 2015

Simon Gifford

CB Insights and KPMG have just released a report: Venture Pulse: Q2 2015 reporting on VC investments around the globe.

This blog considers some highlights and links to the report download site.

  on 28/7/15
Uni waste of time - poll results

Uni waste of time - poll results

Simon Gifford

Last week we challenged Peter Jones' assertion that universities were a waste of time for would-be entrrepreneurs. In this blog we publishthe results of the informal poll we undertook to assess people's views ...

  on 27/7/15
The 7 stages of entrepreneurship

The 7 stages of entrepreneurship

Simon Gifford
Some excellent humour - with more than a ring of truth to it: The 7 Stages of Entrepreneurship.
  on 24/7/15
Learn about Draper University: Event at Google Campus Madrid 23 July 2015

Learn about Draper University: Event at Google Campus Madrid 23 July 2015

Simon Gifford
Draper University Event at Google Campus https://www.smore.com/8tfrp
  on 20/7/15
Is university a waste of time for entrepreneurs?

Is university a waste of time for entrepreneurs?

Simon Gifford

Peter Jones, of UK Dragons Den fame, says university is a waste of time for would-be entrepreneurs. This article considers that comment and includes a poll to get your opinionat the end.

  on 17/7/15
Accelerator application: Startup Scaleup for IoT service and product providers

Accelerator application: Startup Scaleup for IoT service and product providers

Simon Gifford

Call for applications to Startup Scaleup - an Internet of Things accelerator.

Now closing 31 July 2015

  on 16/7/15
The Entrepreneur's Plan Z

The Entrepreneur's Plan Z

Simon Gifford

Mr entrepreneur. Have you really considered the worst case scenario (eg your venture totally crashes and burns) and worked out what you would do if that scenario came about? This article, based on an FT publication, explores that idea.

  on 15/7/15
Easiest EU countries in which to start a business

Easiest EU countries in which to start a business

Simon Gifford

The European Commission released a document about the time and cost of starting a business in different EU countries. 

The catchy title was :

Study on the compliance by Member States on the time needed to get licences and permits to take up and perform the specific activity of an...

  on 14/7/15
You can learn anything

You can learn anything

Simon Gifford

Inspiring video from Khan Academy that really resonates with the entrepreneurial journey.

  on 11/7/15
Awesome student startups

Awesome student startups

Simon Gifford

Awesome student startups - 8 cases from the University of Edinburgh

  on 9/7/15
Got the brains to be an entrepreneur?

Got the brains to be an entrepreneur?

Simon Gifford

Try this simple quiz to see if you have the brains to be an entrepreneur aka how to think lean.

  on 4/7/15
Holy Grails, Unicorns, VC funding and other fabled creatures!

Holy Grails, Unicorns, VC funding and other fabled creatures!

Simon Gifford

The vast majority (99%+) of startups will never receive VC funding so do not waste your valuable time chasing this "Holy Grail". If after reaching a stage where your venture might actually be fundable from a VC, then be acutely aware of the risks and consequences.

  on 2/7/15
Insights from startup survey

Insights from startup survey

Simon Gifford

Ventureburn, the publication that produces news on the startup scene in emerging economies has recently released a survey on the startup landscape in South Africa. Whether or not you are interested in the country, you will find this blog highlights a few insights that are relevant to all founders.

  on 30/6/15
Busting myths in student entrepreneurship

Busting myths in student entrepreneurship

Simon Gifford

There are many myths floating around student startups - in fact these myths are common to many startup ecosystems. In this article we try and bust 10 of the most common and deadly ones!

  on 22/6/15
Startup finance, legal & admin - getting it right.

Startup finance, legal & admin - getting it right.

Simon Gifford

Finance and legal issues are not the most sexy part of a startup - but getting it right early on can avoid a lot of pain (and maybe money) later on. This article with its related links will help founders to think about this.

  on 16/6/15
Mashauri Startup Saturday: Madrid June 2015

Mashauri Startup Saturday: Madrid June 2015

Simon Gifford

Mashauri held their inaugural Startup Saturday at the International Lab in Madrid in June this year.

It was a resounding success - we all learnt stuff, met new, interesting people, progressed a few good startup ideas and had a great deal of fun!

Look out for the next one - probably in...

  on 15/6/15
5 reasons to start a business while at university

5 reasons to start a business while at university

Simon Gifford

At Mashauri, we encourage entreprenurship and so developed this fun video describing the 5 reasons why you should start a business while at Uiversity or College.

  on 24/5/15
Billion dollar startups

Billion dollar startups

Simon Gifford

Want to be a billion dollar startup? 

Read on ......

  on 20/4/15
Startup Event: Zinc Shower - May 2015

Startup Event: Zinc Shower - May 2015

Simon Gifford

ZINC SHOWER: THE MEETING SHOW OF THE CREATIVE AND SHARING ECONOMY

INCLUDING: "INVESTORS CORNER" where you can find out about funding options and pitch your idea!

Discounts available from Mashauri.

  on 17/4/15
Startup accelerator opportunity: Masschallenge call

Startup accelerator opportunity: Masschallenge call

Simon Gifford

Masschallenge (London and Boston) - great opportunity for startups. 

Call still open unti 1 April 2015

  on 28/3/15
Putting startup success in perspective

Putting startup success in perspective

Simon Gifford

Putting startup success in perspective

A summmary of a Stanford eCorner talk by John Collison of Stripe

John Collison (co-founder of Stripe) cuts through the mists and myths of what successful founders sometimes say about their early experiences versus what actually happened. (ie cutting...

  on 17/3/15
Crowdsourcing founder support

Crowdsourcing founder support

Simon Gifford

Mashauri is crowdsourcing the entrepreneur community to find out what YOU want to see in our education and accelerator programme for startups.

 

  on 14/12/14
How to run user testing - how to start a startup (16)

How to run user testing - how to start a startup (16)

Simon Gifford

Lecture 16 in the Stanford University/Y Combinator course: how run user testing by Emmett Shear (Justin.tv and TwitchTV). The video gives a practical demonstration of user testing. Although esecially useful to those in the earlier stages of their startup, it is well worth viewing to remind...

  on 12/12/14
How to manage - how to start a startup lecture (15)

How to manage - how to start a startup lecture (15)

Simon Gifford

Lecture 15 in the Stanford University / Y Combinator couse: “how to start a startup” where Ben Horowitz (co-founder of Opsware and Andreessen Horowitz) talks about “how to manage”. This is an interesting lecture that advises on being aware of the full range of stakeholders when making a...

  on 10/12/14
Mean people fail - Paul Graham

Mean people fail - Paul Graham

Simon Gifford

Paul Graham, the co-founder of Y Combinator writes great articles. His latest (November 2014) is all about why mean people fail. It may not be his best article to date, but we at Mashauri like (and agree with) the sentment.

  on 5/12/14
How to operate - how to start a startup (14)

How to operate - how to start a startup (14)

Simon Gifford

Lecture 14 in the Stanford University/Y Combinator course: how to operate. Keith Rabois (LinkedIn, Paypal, Square) shares some of his amazing experiences in advising us how entreprenurs should operate. It contains a few real gems.

  on 4/12/14
Being a great founder - how to start a startup lecture (13)

Being a great founder - how to start a startup lecture (13)

Simon Gifford

Lecture 13 in the Stanford University / Y Combinator couse: “how to start a startup” is where Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn shares his views on how to be a great entrepreneur. He destroys a few myths, explains how to be contrarian and discusses how to handle the paradoxes of startups. Not bad for an...

  on 30/11/14
Building for the enterprise - how to start a startup (12)

Building for the enterprise - how to start a startup (12)

Simon Gifford

Lecture 12 in the Stanford University/Y Combinator course: how to start a startup. Buildingfor the enterprise. Aaron Levie, co-founder and CEO of Box gives an excellent lecture about building B2B startups. 

  on 26/11/14
Hiring the first 10 employees - how to start a startup (11)

Hiring the first 10 employees - how to start a startup (11)

Simon Gifford

Lecture 11 in the Stanford University / Y Combinator couse: “how to start a startup” is all about hiring and is an extension of the previous lecture on culture. The guest speakers are Patrick and John Collison, co-Founders of Stripe and Ben Silbermann, Founder & CEO of...

  on 20/11/14
Building company culture - how to start a startup (10)

Building company culture - how to start a startup (10)

Simon Gifford

Lecture 10 in the Stanford University/Y Combinator course: how to build company culture. Brian Chesky from AirBnB and Alfred Lin from Zappos and Sequoia Capital are the two panel experts. Even if you think you are at a stage before you are thinking about building a culture, I would advise you to...

  on 13/11/14
How to raise money - how to start a startup (9)

How to raise money - how to start a startup (9)

Simon Gifford

Lecture 9 in the Stanford University/Y Combinator course: how to start a startup. A lecture by VC's and angels on how to raise money. Three overweight investors share their humble views with us entreprenurs. Not a lot of new stuff here!

  on 12/11/14
Doing things that don't scale - how to start a startup (8)

Doing things that don't scale - how to start a startup (8)

Simon Gifford

Lecture 8 in the Stanford University/Y Combinator course: how to start a startup. Doing things that don't scale is advice frequently offered by Y Combinator (and Mashauri). Here are some interesting and motivational entrepreneurs talking about this topic.

  on 28/10/14
Building products customers love - How to start a startup (7)

Building products customers love - How to start a startup (7)

Simon Gifford

Lecture 7 in the Stanford University/Y Combinator course: how to start a startup. Kevin Hale likens winning new customers and maintaining existing ones to dating and marriage (respectively). The metaphor is great and he uses it well to explain how to build products that customers love.

  on 23/10/14
How to start a startup (6): Growth

How to start a startup (6): Growth

Simon Gifford

Lecture 6 in the Stanford University/Y Combinator course: how to start a startup. Here Alex Schultz, the VP of growth at Facebook talks about (unsurprisingly) how to grow. Our summary and the video are published in this blog. Alex as a physicist is clearlly very quantitative but does not shy...

  on 19/10/14
Business strategy for startups:How to start a startup (5)

Business strategy for startups:How to start a startup (5)

Simon Gifford

Stanford University, in conjunction with Y Combinator, have launched a course teaching about starting startups. They are using some of the top presenters from previous YC programmes - and are making the videos available to those who cannot attend the lectures. Mashauri have decided to publish...

  on 15/10/14
How to start a startup (4): product, users, growth by Adora Cheung

How to start a startup (4): product, users, growth by Adora Cheung

Simon Gifford

Stanford University, in conjunction with Y Combinator, have launched a course teaching about starting startups. They are using some of the top presenters from previous YC programmes - and are making the videos available to those who cannot attend the lectures. Mashauri have decided to publish...

  on 9/10/14
How to start a startup (3): counter intuition by Paul Graham

How to start a startup (3): counter intuition by Paul Graham

Simon Gifford

Stanford University, in conjunction with Y Combinator, have launched a course teaching about starting startups. They are using some of the top presenters from previous YC programmes - and are making the videos available to those who cannot attend the lectures. Mashauri have decided to publish...

  on 6/10/14
How to start a startup (2) - Ideas, products, teams and execution

How to start a startup (2) - Ideas, products, teams and execution

Simon Gifford
Stanford University, in conjunction with Y Combinator, have launched a course teaching about starting startups. This is the second lecture in the series and covers ideas, products, teams and execution.
  on 29/9/14
How to start a startup - Y Combinator, Mashauri, Stanford

How to start a startup - Y Combinator, Mashauri, Stanford

Simon Gifford

Stanford University, in conjunction with Y Combinator, have launched a course teaching about starting startups. They are using some of the top presenters from previous YC programmes - and are making the videos available to those who cannot attend the lectures. Mashauri have decided to publish...

  on 24/9/14
Startups - the new source of innovation in corporates

Startups - the new source of innovation in corporates

Simon Gifford

The link between growth and innovation has been proven time and again. What changes is how we innovate.This post based on a Boston Consulting Group article explains how corporates are more and more looking to startups to provide this innovation- and they ae doing it through acclerators and...

  on 6/8/14
 How to really pitch your startup - lessons from IE Venture Day London

How to really pitch your startup - lessons from IE Venture Day London

Simon Gifford

Practical pitching lessons learned from the IE Venture Day in London.

Some things you must do right just to stay in the game - but are not differentiators unles you mess them up.

But there are a few secret ingredients that can turnthings in your direction. Read the article to find out more...

  on 8/6/14
How to value your startup (pre-revenue, pre-money)

How to value your startup (pre-revenue, pre-money)

Simon Gifford

There are various ways of calculating the value of your startup when seeking financing. None are perfect and it is best to use a few methods to reach an estimate. Thie method described here is the benchmark or scorecard method.

  on 5/5/14
What makes for a successful entrepreneur?

What makes for a successful entrepreneur?

Simon Gifford

The three key points of this post are:

Anyone can be a successful entrepreneur – although there are some critical success factors that are discussed in the body of the article.

The main takeaway is to recognise your strengths and weaknesses and capitalise on, and bolster, them...

  on 21/4/14
eMail 40 x more effective than Facebook and Twitter

eMail 40 x more effective than Facebook and Twitter

Simon Gifford

A recent study by McKinsey & Co shows how effective email is compared to Twitter and Facebook.

  on 19/1/14
Secrets of success: globalising your start-up

Secrets of success: globalising your start-up

Simon Gifford

In 2013, the European Commission on small business published a showcase of 52 entrepreneurs in Europe who had successfully globalised their businesses. This post summarises the findings from that report under the headings:

  • What are the man challenges faced in globalising
  • How do you...
  on 6/1/14
My homage to Mandela - a startup perspective

My homage to Mandela - a startup perspective

Simon Gifford

This blog is part homage to the great man and part using his life as important lessons for entrepreneurs.

  on 10/12/13
Keep It Simple Startup - a simple but clear strategy gives you direction

Keep It Simple Startup - a simple but clear strategy gives you direction

Simon Gifford

KISS: Keep It Simple Startup

Simon Gifford links corporate strategy thinking to entrepreneurship and demonstrates the need for, and how to, develop a clear and concise strategy for your startup. The concept of the Mashauri Strategy Map is introduced and some of the common entrepreneurial...

  on 6/11/13
Startup humour - read it, you deserve it!

Startup humour - read it, you deserve it!

Simon Gifford
Some humour from our guest writer: Jason Cohen
Go on take a break and read "the 10 things I’ve never heard a successful startup founder say" - its actually useful information in disguise
Thanks to Jason Cohen ,
blog.asmartbear.com
  on 31/10/13
#Sucessful startups case study 5: Teespring

#Sucessful startups case study 5: Teespring

Simon Gifford

Two guys wanted to make tee-shirts to comemorate the closing of an old and dearl-loved bar - but found the process clumsy and prohibitiely expensive. Rather than giving up, they decided to still get the tee-shirts made but did it on their own terms. In the process of combining crowd-funding with...

  on 18/10/13
Entrepreneurial growth around the globe

Entrepreneurial growth around the globe

Simon Gifford

The World Economic Forum are holding a Summer forum in Dalian. Together with Stanford University they produced a report entitled "entrepreneurial ecosystems around the globe and company growth dynamics". The reserch across over 1000 entrepreneurs is good, although I think the executive summary...

  on 12/9/13
Successful #start-ups - case study 4: Learnvest

Successful #start-ups - case study 4: Learnvest

Simon Gifford

Alexa von Tobel talks about the launch of Learnvest - a financial planning system accessible to everyone. Her premise is that the majority of people- especially women and especially middle class have no access to affordable financial planning. Through strong technology, linking nto the real...

  on 21/8/13
Successful start-ups - case study 3: Shutl.

Successful start-ups - case study 3: Shutl.

Simon Gifford

In the 3rd of our series “successful #startups” we are showcasing the UK company: Shutl.

Shutl enables online shoppers to receive goods when they want, either within a 90-minute or a one-hour window of their choice – and can even deliver goods within 90 minutes of purchase. Anyone who has...

  on 1/8/13
Successful Startups

Successful Startups

Simon Gifford

Mashauri has launched a series of articles and videos showcasing successful new ventures. We believe that in addition to being motivational, there are also some important lessons that might be learned in them. We know that our clients and followers do not have a lot of time so we are including a...

  on 21/7/13
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