This Week In Startups
Source of Crowding
Mobile app development is an area of exponential growth. In fact, there is so much information in the app world that we struggle to manage it all. To solve this problem, Matthew Epstein and his team have created a miniature social network exclusively for apps. AppVue lets you navigate through app recommendations by people you trust.
How it works: AppVue integrates your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn communities to gather recommendations. This eliminates time you would normally spend sifting through apps to figure out which one you want to use.
The app was developed in Z80 Labs, a new startup incubator in Buffalo.
Startups Gone Global
Know before you leap. Knowing what you’re getting yourself into helps minimize risks. “Do your homework and take action when you are confident you know what you are doing.” –Laurel Delaney, founder and president of GlobalTrade.com and creator of The Global Small Business Blog.
What language barrier? Language seems like the biggest obstacle, but it’s not a complete roadblock. The key: localization. “It’s crucial to localize your brand, have perfect language translations, and be culturally aware and sensitive.” -Paul Gollash, Founder and CEO of Voxy
8 Common Mistakes Learn from others’ mistakes to make your startup stronger:
1 – Moving too soon instead of executing a well-thought-out global strategy
2 – Diverting attention to the overseas market at the detriment of domestic business
3 – Being too understaffed to adequately serve the overseas market
4 – Starting in a complex market (a country with a lot of red tape or few English speakers)
5 – Negotiating with the wrong party (e.g., untrustworthy individuals or a bad fit)
6 – Too quick to execute on a sale without securing payment
7 – Providing online banking information only to have a bank account cyber-attacked
8 – Not clearly stating on the website if you accept international orders. If your site site does accept international orders, specifically list which countries you serve
Brands v. Retailers “Brands can generally go overseas quicker to support direct sales and/or distributors. With a marketing plan and a fulfillment partner, there are few reasons why a brand shouldn’t look overseas right away.” –Nate Gilmore, VP of Shipwire
The Hottest Markets? Before diving in, step back and look at what you’re actually selling. Gilmore says the most exciting markets are Asia-Pacific. Other major online spenders are China, Australia and Japan.
Do the right R&D and watch your online startup become internationally successful.
It won’t be too far into the future when electronic devices will be able to charge wirelessly. IMS research predicts that wireless energy will be a $4.5 billion market by 2016. Samsung is scheduled to release its Galaxy S3 wireless charging kit this fall.
Here are three ways wireless power could change the world:
1. Kill the power cord
Obviously, transitioning to wireless charging would eliminate the need for power cords. But this technology in the near future will require electronic devices to be near the charging source. Currently, researchers are working on attaching a power transmitter to places people commonly spend long amounts of time at, such as coffee tables, conference tables, nightstands or a car tray.
The range will initially be a couple of inches and only work with devices that hold five watts of power or less. In the future, retail companies may offer wireless charging as an amenity, like free Wi-Fi is today. Called, “snack charging,” this amenity will invade airports, banks, retail stores and coffee shops.
Charging cords become kinked and frayed over time, making them the highest failure rate in mobile equipment. Lastly, power cords that are never made will never have to be disposed of, which helps reduce waste.
2. Overthrow the disposable battery
Rechargeable AA and AAA batteries never beat the convenience of standard alkaline batteries, even though these are a major source of waste. Wireless power allows environmentally friendly rechargeable batteries to scale to the top. Devices that traditionally have a home base could be redesigned to have a permanent rechargeable battery.
3. Make charging an electric car easier than pumping gas
Many people are reluctant to buy electric cars because they worry it doesn’t have the range to take them where they want to go, or fear that plugging it in will be a hassle. New wireless charging technology could eliminate these fears as well as make the gas station look more burdensome. Researchers are even exploring the idea of embedding resonant coils in the roadway itself, so theoretically a car could charge while driving.