News Hub – fines, investments and robo cars

tech and startup news
Photo by Hardik Pandya on Unsplash

News Hub

It’s Friday! And it’s been a busy week. We want to make sure you go into the weekend up-to-date and in the know with all the most important tech and startup news from around the world.

09/13 July

Moneybox raising €15.9 million to support investments

London – Need help with investing in your future? The smartphone app Moneybox aims to make the fundraising journey easier for you. Founded in 2015, the London-based startup has secured £14M in order to expand its service.

The latest investment round reportedly brings the total amount raised by Moneybox to over €24 million.

Read more on EU-Startups

Google & Uber invest in $335 million in Lime

San Francisco – Ride sharing company Uber partners with Lime and plans to offer scooter rental through their app. The company invested $335 million USD, with investment from Alphabet and others.

Read more on BBC

Deliveroo’s possible €1.3 million penalty 

Madrid –  The British food delivery company is under pressure from Spain’s labour inspectorate. Inspectors demand Deliveroo employees to have a proper employee contract instead of being self-employed. Unless Deliveroo can successfully defend itself, it will face an steep social security bill of €1.3 million.

Read more in El Pais in English

Snapchat team up with Amazon

California – An as-yet-unpublished version of Snapchat is destined to help you with product searches in future. Amazon and Snapchat are working hand-in-hand to offer a visual search facility, codenamed “Eagle”. It will eventually offer users the chance to explore Amazon product listings on-app. 

Read more on Fortune

Robo-car startup AImotive

Hungary – Vehicle technology company AImotive is developing new, cheaper solutions for autonomous driving. The Hungary-based AI leader aims to bring autonomous driving to the masses and is working with companies worldwide. It just raised $47.5 million from investments including Bosch and Samsung.

Read more on FastCompany

Event of the week

Workshop ‘Como crear un Plan de Marketing Digital Efectivo’ will show you to how to build and develop a great marketing strategy for your (future) company.

The workshop takes place July 19th (next Thursday) from 19:00-22:00 at the Café Coco Coffice space, come check it out if you want to learn more!

Note that this event is in Spanish!

George Chilton @ Freedom X Fest from August 14th-19th

George, the Creative Director at Hubbub Labs, is a guest speaker at this year’s Freedom X Fest. He’ll be giving a hands-on collaborative workshop on how to improve your skills and write online like a pro.

Freedom X Fest is the first outdoor festival of its kind in northern Spain and takes place amidst the beautiful Pyrenees mountains, bringing together freelancers, entrepreneurs, digital nomads and creatives from all over the globe.

If you’re interested in discovering more, join the Freedom X Fest journey.

Get your early bird discount tickets here.

The Hubbub Labs Team hopes to see you there!

 

Join us for weekly Barcelona startup updates

Interested in hearing about other entrepreneurs and startups? Head over to Barna Hub, a new series of blog posts, interviewing some of the most inspiring entrepreneurs, startup founders and CEOs in Barcelona.


Barna Hub: A Special World Cup Edition with Match the Bar

Talking with Match the Bar

It’s the day of the World Cup semi-final and we got to speak with the co-founder of Barcelona’s best football startup, Nikki Parsons. She runs Match the Bar an app that makes it easier for sports fans to find out exactly where to watch the game.

 

Nikki Parsons, Co-Founder Match the Bar
Nikki Parsons, Co-Founder Match the Bar

Quick pitch:

Match the Bar is the app that helps you find a bar in Barcelona to watch a specific sports match. Fans find a place to watch the game and bars get more customers through the door.

Call to Action:

Any sports fan can download our app for free here.

We have several bars that have offers if you mention that you used Match the Bar to find them (ex. What’s Up bar offers a free shot to anyone who comes to a match using our app). So make sure to let any bar you visit know how you found them and you might get a surprise.

In the coming months, we’re planning to add more fun features for fans such as discounts or check-ins to win rewards and prizes. Hopefully that will be here early in the next season of LaLiga.

Logo Match the Bar Barcelona

Down to business

How did you come up with the idea for Match the Bar?

Originally I came with up with the idea of Match the Bar when I was taking a part-time programming bootcamp at Ironhack here in Barcelona in 2016.

For the course, you had to create a website as part of your final project. So I started brainstorming problems I had living in Barcelona as an expat.

I’m originally from the UK and as a huge football fan, I often had trouble finding a bar to watch my favourite teams.

Unless you exclusively support FC Barcelona, it can be really difficult to find a bar to watch a match you want to see. Matches often overlap, so you have to call the bar. Or you search through Facebook and try to investigate if they will even be able to show your match.  I often ended up watching football at home on an online stream, because it was too much effort to find a bar.

This doesn’t just happen with football, it happens with many sports. For example, just this weekend the men’s final of the Wimbledon tennis tournament overlaps with the World Cup final, so if you’re a tennis fan in Barcelona, it’s going to be near impossible to find the few bars willing to televise it.

So, I thought that having an easy way to search for sports bars would be really useful for me and many people that I know. Therefore, I began working on “Matchfinder” as I originally called it and when the Ironhack program came to an end in October 2016 I managed to win the hackshow on a public vote.

As a result, I saw the public confidence in the idea and continued to work on it as a passion project in my spare time, while taking a lot of the courses at Barcelona Activa and devising the business plan to make sure a company would be a viable business. Finally, in November of last year, I left my job and started to focus full-time on what was now “Match the Bar.”

Who’s in your core team and what do they do?
The Match the Bar team
The Match the Bar crew

 

Our other co-founder is Alex Carol, who is our technical genius. He’s been working as a backend engineer at SocialPoint for over five years and has developed our iOS and Android apps during his spare time.

Obviously, in this business a website alone would not have as much success, so we’re really lucky to have him onboard developing the mobile product.

It’s a huge advantage to have him as our co-founder because we complement each other really well and can challenge each other for things we want to develop.

Alex has an amazing network of friends who are also developers and they often help us out with features just for fun.

The other member of our core team is Marguerite. She is out creating awesome relationships with our bar owners and getting people excited about our app.

One of the most rewarding parts of this business is that we really get to know our customers, and sometimes the roles are even reversed and we are in a bar enjoying a match as their customers.

So, we have a lot of opportunities to meet with our bar owners in person and talk with them, bouncing ideas back and forth about what we should do as our next priority to help them get more clients in their bars.

What is has been the most exciting thing about building a startup?

The most exciting thing about building a startup has been seeing it all come together.

We’re finally at that tipping point now where we have a good number of the bars on the platform, so once we add some better filters, fans can really choose a place that’s perfect for them.

I myself have discovered bars in parts of the city I never used to go to, and considering that the company emerged out of an existing problem that I had, it’s an amazing feeling to know that our team created the solution.

Now everytime people ask where to watch the match – and it happens to me all the time in person or on social media, especially these days with the World Cup – I tell people to download our app, it’s easy.

World Cup Questions

This has been a crazy World Cup with a lot of upsets and big teams exiting prematurely. What’s been the biggest surprise for you so far?

I think the biggest surprise was Germany losing 2-0 to South Korea. I couldn’t believe what I was watching, and even right until the end I thought Germany would suddenly come back into it.

Is football really coming home? Who will take home the trophy in your opinion?

I’d love to tell you football’s coming home. You’ve probably not heard it enough this week (haha). But, I think my money is on Croatia to win today, although I’ll be the first person dancing in the streets if we get to the final.

Do you have any favourite football trivia?

No, I’m sorry I can’t give you an amazing piece of football trivia, but I do love a good pub quiz (and it doesn’t have to just be on a sports-related topic). I recommend checking out the pub quiz they do at the Michael Collins, I always hear great things about it.

Barcelona Insight

What resources would you recommend to entrepreneurs in Barcelona?

I think entrepreneurs in Barcelona have a huge wealth of resources available to them. In particular, all the courses at Barcelona Activa, which are free, and to an expat like myself were of a huge help.

But, I would also suggest entrepreneurs take advantage of all the networking opportunities we have. There’s constantly something going on in Barcelona, and plenty of chances to meet people who can be customers, resources, sparring partners or just to learn something and have a chance to reflect. My favourites have been Startup Grind, First Tuesdays and the MeltinLab events.

I’d recommend people to subscribe to one of these online newsletters like Barcinno or Barcelona Startup News to make sure you’re in the know about what’s going on.

Do you have any favourite online resources?

Tools-wise I think there are a lot of great online resources out there such as Hubspot, Trello, Hootsuite, really for anything you might need to help you grow fast, but sustainably.

When you’re not watching football, what do you like to do in Barcelona?

When I’m not watching football, I’m usually playing it (rather poorly I might add).

I played in the Celebreak mixed league last season and that was a lot of fun. But apart from the world of football, I enjoy writing and I have a personal blog where I share not just sports-related content, but also startup lessons, social media marketing tips and recommendations.

Finally, how can we find you online?

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/matchthebar/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/matchthebar

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/matchthebar/

YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEKgCMXO2XW5wIYbMnU75Xg

Company LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/company/27147281/

Personal LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/nikkiaparsons/

Company blog – https://medium.com/@matchthebar

Thanks Nikki! We’re keeping our fingers (and toes) crossed for England tonight!

Join us for weekly Barcelona startup updates

Interested in hearing about other entrepreneurs and startups? Head over to Barna Hub, a new series of blog posts, interviewing some of the most inspiring entrepreneurs, startup founders and CEOs in Barcelona.


News Hub – innovation, growth hacking and funding

What’s new?

July 02-06

Haven’t had time to read the latest startup and tech news of this week? Not to worry, we’ll catch you up. This week’s edition of News Hub features a couple of must-read articles on growth hacking and blogging, another crackdown on fake news from Facebook, some huge funding news from a Barcelona-based startup and a lot more!

Everything you need to know about growth hacking

In this 30-minute podcast Sean Ellis, founder of GrowthHackers.com, shares his own growth hacking experiences and successes. Alongside host Nancy Hencley, he presents all you need to know about Growth Hacking, attracting clients and scaling.

Listen on IBM

Become a better blogger

If you’re interested in becoming a master blogger, check out “The Ultimate Guide to Blogger Outreach” by Brian Dean. You can find tips and recommendations on how to reach a wider audience through boosting your SEO.

Read more on TheHoth

Facebook against Fake News

California – Marketing giant Facebook has announced it will invest more in the fight against fake news. With the acquisition London-based startup Bloomsbury AI it plans to reduce fake news distribution.

Read more on Adweek

WeDoctor – Amazon of Healthcare?

China – Not a fan of doctor’s office waiting rooms?

Chinese online health care services provider WeDoctor is striving for better and more convenient health care treatment. The company has recently reached a value of 5.5 billion US dollars.

Read more on DealStreetAsia

Disney working on robot stunts

CaliforniaDisney experiments with robots that could possibly replace human stunt doubles. The idea is to reduce the number of serious accidents on film sets in future. Check out their moves in the videos on TC!

Read more on TechCrunch

Audi bans side-view mirrors

Germany – Audi replaces the side mirrors of its electric SUV E-Tron with outdoor cameras that direct their images to OLED displays inside the vehicle. The future is here!

Read more on Wired

App 21 Buttons receives $17 Million Funding

Spain – The Barcelona-based startup plans to expand to the US after successful operations in Italy, Germany and the UK. The app allows people to post pictures tagging the fashion brands they’re wearing, so that anyone can shop their favorite piece. Great news for influencers!

Read more on EU-startups

Event of the week

When is the right time to raise money? Find out the ins and outs of funding, investor strategy, and how to raise money, followed by a Q&A session.

Book your spot here

Join us for weekly Barcelona startup updates

Interested in hearing about other entrepreneurs and startups? Head over to Barna Hub, a new series of blog posts, interviewing some of the most inspiring entrepreneurs, startup founders and CEOs in Barcelona.


Top people, places and tools from the Barna Hub community

Tools and resources from Barna Hub

We’ve brought together some of the top tools, places and events for startups and entrepreneurs – as recommended by the Barna Hub community. Use them well and they will help you take your business to the next level. We hope you enjoy these as much as we have.

Top tools for communication and growth

Teleport digital nomad tool
Source: screenshot from website

 

If you want to move abroad for work, but aren’t sure where you want to settle down, then Teleport might just have the answer for you.

Julien Palier – co-founder and CEO at Daysk – is a fan of the tool, which offers a detailed overview your country of choice. Perfect for location-independent entrepreneurs: try it out and get a better insight into your next destination.

slack startup communication
Source: screenshot from website

 

Slack is definitely one of best team communications tools out there. We use it at Hubbub Labs and it also comes highly recommended by Gemma Prenafeta, CEO and cofounder of Sharify.

The platform allows you to talk and share files in real time. It also integrates with a number of key apps, making running your organisation far simpler. Best of all, it connects your team and community without having to resort to creaky old email.

Tim Cakir, a Barcelona-based growth hacking expert, also shared some of his favourite tools with us:

growth hack tools
Source: screenshot from website

 

Dux-Soup is an automated Linkedin tool for lead generation. It helps to optimise your sales strategy by automatically visiting Linkedin profiles, boosting awareness and increasing your reach.

discounts on business tools
Source: screenshot from website

 

If you’re interested in growth hacking dealify.io helps you save some money. It gives you an overview of different software and shares the best deals to help you grow your business.

Source: screenshot from website

 

Another great tool is Phantom Buster which gives you ready-made cloud API’s to help improve your marketing.

Places for entrepreneurs in Barcelona

Source: Twitter

 

Soho House is the coolest place to work for Priscilla Lavoie, Founder & CEO of Bida.
Apart from the unique location and atmosphere this place offers inspirational events for its members.

 

Ben Nachoom – Co-Founder & CEO at OneCoWork heads up one of the best co-working spaces in Barcelona. Located at the port in Marina Port Vell, the company aims to bring together talent and foster innovation in a cool, work-friendly atmosphere.

They’ll be opening another co-working space in Plaça Catalunya very soon – so watch this space!

Right in the centre, close to La Rambla, the coworking space FIU House offers a cozy atmosphere and regularly organises great art, design and startup events for its members.

Entrepreneur resources

Guillem Soldevila the Founder and Creator of Brand Your Shoes recommends Barna Hub readers two entrepreneur-focused resources:

Acció Catalunya is ideal for people who want to start a business in Catalonia and need help with establishing an USP for their product or service.

Barcelona Tech City is also interesting for entrepreneurs – this organisation works in Barcelona’s digital and tech sectors and connects companies throughout the city.

Along similar lines, we are also big fans of Barcelona Activa, an EU-supported initiative that helps small businesses get off the ground. It offers funding, workshops, mentorship and a range of key resources for entrepreneurs in the city.

Unmissable business events in and around Barcelona

Coming up in August, Freedom X is the first outdoor event where “work and life come together”. Aimed at digital nomads and location independent entrepreneurs, the festival combines workshops, talks, and outdoor activities. Think Burning Man meets Web Summit and you’ll get the idea.

SheCommerce is a workshop for female entrepreneurs. Aiming to inspire and provide confidence to the next generation of women in e-Commerce, it is set to be a huge success. The event takes place on July 17th from 11:00-17:00 and tickets cost €59.

And wait! You don’t want to miss Fuckup Nights Barcelona – where failure stories, beer and fun come together. Come along to enjoy a great atmosphere, learn a lot, and meet new people from around the world. The next event will take place on July 5th from 19:00-22:00.

For more you can check out Barna Hub, our new series of blog posts where you can find out and learn more from different interviews with Barcelona-based entrepreneurs, startup founders and CEOs.

Join us for weekly Barcelona startup updates

Interested in hearing about other entrepreneurs and startups? Head over to Barna Hub, a new series of blog posts, interviewing some of the most inspiring entrepreneurs, startup founders and CEOs in Barcelona.


News Hub – headlines and head turners

International business news

News Hub

June 24-29

Another week, another News Hub.

Hubbub Labs presents some of the most interesting tech and investment news from startups and corporates for the week June 22-29.

Lyft’s incredible funding of $600m

San Francisco – Uber-rival Lyft causes a sensation with new funding earmarked for expansion into Canada and more U.S. cities.

Along with recently added services, the $600m investment means the company is now snapping at market-leader Uber’s heels.

The on-demand transportation company currently has a valuation of 15.1 billion dollars.

Read more on TechCrunsh

Published: June 27th

Own delivery service for Amazon?

SeattleInternet giant Amazon is now driving the expansion of its own delivery service in the United States and hopes to optimise efficiency.

Amazon is now calling on entrepreneurs to invest a minimum of $10,000 to set up and run their own package delivery service, with up to 40 Amazon-branded vehicles.

Read more on NY Times

Published: June 28th

Brexit affects firm sales

London – A new survey revealed that more UK companies will be affected by the Brexit than previously expected.

With the UK leaving the EU, many companies have already put off investments and modified their supply chains.

Read more on The Guardian

Published: June 28th

Bosch partners with Mojio

Vancouver – Mojio is going to work with German Bosch.

The Canadian startup, which previously raised $40m, is set to receive an undisclosed amount from Bosch in its Series B funding round. The companies will collaborate to connect vehicles to digital services, including insurance providers and emergency services.

Read more on Reuters

Published: June 27th

Music without headphones – new future?

Israel – Startup Noveto has developed some new audio gear that promises a headphone-free world.

Noveto delivers sounds right to your ears by using its own fancy algorithms – without the need for headphones. It plans to launch the innovative tech by Fall 2019. We’re intrigued.

Read more on Business Insider

Published: June 27th

Event of the Week

Fuckup Nights Barcelona goes for a third round!

This time in Utopicus Barcelona on July 5th, Fuckup nights presents 3 professionals who plan to share their business failure stories with you.  

If you’re around on Thursday night at 7pm book your tickets and enjoy the unique vibes, beer, fun and a lot of learning!

Get your tickets now:  https://fuckupnights.com/events/

Hope to see you there!

Join us for weekly Barcelona startup updates

Interested in hearing about other entrepreneurs and startups? Head over to Barna Hub, a new series of blog posts, interviewing some of the most inspiring entrepreneurs, startup founders and CEOs in Barcelona.


A Barcelona rooftop interview with growth hacker Tim Cakir

The anatomy of a growth hacker

I was quietly drinking a nice chilled glass of Rosé on a Barcelona Terrace last Thursday when I heard a little voice coming from the guttering. “Psst! George…George…” it said, “Have you heard about tracking and hacking?”

It turns out that Tim Cakir – a Barcelona-based growth hacking expert – had surreptitiously hidden himself on the roof.

After he abseiled down, I agreed to interview him. And this is what happened next.

Tim Cakir on the @weareserviceclub terrace
Tim Cakir on the @weareserviceclub terrace

Hi Tim, how long have you been on the roof?

Never you mind.

Okay. Well…we’ll start with your move from London to Barcelona. How long have you been here?

I’ve been in Barcelona for around 18 months now.

You’re a newbie! But you’ve certainly made an impact here already, with Talaia, Restb and your own speaking engagements. So what’s surprised you most about the city so far?

Really it’s been amazing to a see a city that’s booming, with such a big startup scene, yet still with so much potential for more. There’s a lot of room for growth – which is what I’m all about.

You’ve made a significant shift in your career – what made you choose growth hacking?

I started off as a salesman – selling carpets in LA at 18 years old. I made some money, but I didn’t really enjoy it; sales is about getting people who don’t need stuff to buy stuff. Marketing is about giving people value, getting them to come to you and then they buy the things they do want.

Later on, when I got into sound engineering in London with my own studio, I was working with lots of artists, cool bands, DJs, a radio station, and we had parties with around 2000 people every couple of months. There was a lot going on –  and I found I was marketing it all.

So really for me this is a natural next step. Here in Barcelona I’ve been heading up some marketing departments and building them from scratch – as they say from 0 to 1.

I love the chaos. I like putting the right people in the right places, getting things going and teaching people how to do it.

So, for people who don’t know, can you tell me what growth hacking is?

Well, I think it’s a buzzword – I prefer not to use the term “growth hacking”. I like to call it “tracking and hacking” instead, which explains more about the process behind it all.

With tracking and hacking, you follow a certain metric, the OMTM  – or the one metric that matters. You can then experiment, looking at what affects the OMTM in order to grow it, before you start to look at other areas of the business.

So you don’t follow Sean Ellis at all? 

Some people call Sean Ellis (who coined the term in 2010) “the inventor of growth hacking” – he was clever enough to recognise that there were some extroverted marketeers out there, people who were trying new things and getting interesting results. He wrote the book Hacking Growth – which, incidentally, is great and I recommend reading.

I saw there were a couple of core elements behind growth hacking, which is why I prefer “tracking and hacking” as a description.

How do you explain tracking and hacking to CMOs?

Some CMOs and marketeers make the mistake of trying to track and grow all the metrics at once. They get very frustrated because it takes a very long time to get anywhere.

They need to understand that with tracking and hacking, there’s a lot of failures early on. In the first two to three months you can expect to fail a lot. But you need to track it so you can learn from these failures. Really you might complete 30 to 40 experiments before you start getting good at it – and that takes a bit of time.

A lot of old school CMOs don’t always catch on to this idea immediately because they expect it to be done today and to see results right away. But they soon see it’s much quicker and more reliable than a year long marketing project. It’s a lot cheaper too. Rather than asking for a whole year’s marketing budget, I’m going to ask for a small percentage – then when it starts to work, we can 5x, 10x, 20X the results!

Okay. Without taking your clothes off, can you describe the anatomy of a growth hacker?

YES!

No I said without taking your clothes off.

Okay.

Charisma – Growth hackers are thinkers, doers, and speakers. We’re charismatic and constantly networking with old and new opportunities.

Courage – To always try out new things, to get what we want and what we strive for, to face the steep Stairway to success.

Experiments – Are the basis of Growth. We always experiment with new tools, skillsets, or trends to see what works best.

Limits – Exceed them to find what works and doesn’t. We always strive to be the best and, if we fail, that’s just another starting point.

Tools – Aren’t for fools. They’re for smart people, like us, who know what incorporating them is key on the road to growth.

Words – Don’t come easy… to everyone. But, growth hackers aren’t everyone. We have a way with words.

Growth hacking is often talked about in startup circles – companies seeking exponential growth – but do you think more established corporates can rethink the way they do things and use the same techniques?

Yeah of course. If you think about it it, the biggest corporations in the world—even companies in the Fortune 500—need to think like startups when they’re building new projects. This is more on the innovation side of things, because they don’t need to hack the growth of more established areas.  

Corporations realise that startups have this mentality – and that need to adapt to new trends, even if they’re big  – and so many create startups within their companies. To be successful in this, they need to have a hacking and tracking mindset.

How blackhat can growth hacking go?

It can be as naughty as you like, so long as the naughtiness doesn’t effect the end user. And so long as you don’t make their life harder, it can go as far as you want. If you’re going to give them things they’re going to like, then they’ll be happy.

Word association game – GDPR:

Pain in the arse.

But it’s also one of the best things that happened to marketing. Why? Because we’re going to have so many more engaged leads. It’s better to have 1000 engaged people in your CRM than 10,000 bored ones.

So thank you to the European Commission. As I said, it’s been a pain in the arse to implement, but my marketing has always been about people giving consent anyway.

It’s about consent for content.

Do you ever take tracking and hacking techniques offline? What would that look like?

Yes, you most definitely can. Tracking and hacking is not online. It’s not digital. It’s experimentation.

I’ll give you an example – a great friend of mine was working for a churros truck and they wanted more customers. So they made a flyer and chose an area to distribute it.

But instead of blanketing the area, they went to certain streets and houses and were able to find the best market and really hack their own growth and sell a lot more churros. And this was all completely offline.

What are you doing to hack your own growth?

When I first moved here, after living in London, I thought – what am I going to do to get to know people? So I put a chatbot in place called Dux-Soup on my LinkedIn and messaged 250 people a day with a personalised message asking for help. People were very happy to talk to me and in the end I got 3800 new contacts in six months and went to lunch or coffee with 150-200 people.

What tools, resources and things do you recommend our readers to look into?

Dux-soup – which I mentioned is my one of my favourites.

Lately I’ve also been looking at dealify.io. It gives you all the deals for the tech tools in the world.

I also love Media Lab Amsterdam’s offline tool – they offer physical cards with a business methods toolkit and design methods tool kit. Basically it’s all the frameworks, analyses and all things you need to start a business, launch products and run projects – for about €35

Then there’s Phantom Buster, which offers cloud APIs that help your marketing – and I like it a lot.

Also there’s Instanobel automations which helps you automate your instagram and find more followers. Just be careful not to get spammy, or people will report you.

How can people find you?

Send me a message and I’m available!

LinkedIn: Tim Cakir  

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/timucincakir

Twitter – cakirtim

Website: https://timcakir.com/

So what’s next for Tim, Tim?

Since I moved here I’ve had full-time jobs. But I know that a lot of people need my skills – and I don’t want to limit myself to one company.

So the next step for me? Well I’m on the advisory board for a lot of amazing companies like Spitche and Service Club.

And there’s a chance I might just be starting my own growth agency.

Mic drop.

 

Before we go…

Special thanks to Zeynep Demirbilek and Luz Cortazar of Service Club for their warm hospitality.

Join us for weekly Barcelona startup updates

Interested in hearing about other entrepreneurs and startups? Head over to Barna Hub, a new series of blog posts, interviewing some of the most inspiring entrepreneurs, startup founders and CEOs in Barcelona.

 

 

 


This is what you need to know about writing great blog posts

Writing the perfect blog post

In this Hubbub Labs Startup Academy post, Hubbuber Sinem Sürücü introduces 7 great tips to get you writing blog posts like a pro.

You know that corporate blogs can help companies increase their visibility online, boost their position in the search results and drive engagement on different social media channels. Just the fact that nearly 50% of buyers look at up to 5 pieces of content before talking to a sales rep. should be convincing enough to get more businesses to start blogging – and that’s just one of many reasons.

So perhaps you want to get started on your first blog post and you don’t know where to start, or maybe you’ve already had a go but didn’t see the results you were hoping for.

But first things first! There’s a lot to think about if you want to make an impact.

 

  1. Get their attention

 

via GIPHY

No matter how excellent your blog content is, if it doesn’t have the a strong or relevant headline, you won’t get the clicks you were looking for. Or worse, your readers will click but see your content as irrelevant and bounce away into the internet ether, forever.

A good headline usually contains an average of 55 characters and highlights your topic clearly (ideally it should also include the search term under which you want to turn up on search engines).

You can use tools like Co-Schedule’s Headline Analyser – which gives you a sense of how well your headline works. But remember, it’s just a machine and your human judgement is important!

Relevant headlines will stand out on social and in the search results, earning you new followers and your valuable content will help you develop a loyal community.

  1. Keep their attention

via GIPHY

When it comes to writing subheadings, make sure you choose a phrase that catches the reader’s eye, but at the same time doesn’t reveal too much information.

The right titles will keep your readers on the page, and will encourage them to read on to find out more, rather than just scanning the article and leaving immediately.

For example, subheading A gives everything away, whereas subheading B hints at what the reader will learn.

A: Never wash your poodle with human shampoo

B: Here’s how to keep your poodle fresh and clean

Note that you should try to keep these subheadings consistent with one another too; try not to mix questions with calls to action, or super short phrases with long ones – or it’ll just look messy.

  1. Help Google find you

via GIPHY

A blog without SEO is like a car without wheels: it won’t get you anywhere.

Once your social media engagement has died down, you’ll end up relying on search engine results. And if you don’t turn up on the first page, you’ll be overshadowed by other more prominent blogs.

One of the main objectives for publishers is to be as high in the search results as possible. The good news is, you don’t need to be an SEO specialist to work towards that.

An easy and quick strategy to improve SEO is offered by Google Keyword Planner. This tool will tell you how often people search for a specific term on the internet and will show lots of related ideas for a chosen topic. However, you’ll need to have an AdWords account to use it.

Alternatively, Keyword Tool.io is another option that helps find new keywords and keyword variations. This is handy if you want to improve your website’s SEO copy or are looking for new blog topics.

This tool is freemium, so detailed results such as the monthly search volume and cost per click are available in the paid version.

Just remember to optimise your blogs for search engines before publishing them, so you can  make it easier for people to find you and allow you to reach a wider audience.

 

  1. Make connections

via GIPHY

Internal links allow your readers to be redirected to different subpages. Simply put, your visitors can find other relevant content – and they’ll stay on your site for longer as a result.

Also keep in mind that outbound links are among the most important ranking factors in search engine algorithms – so you want to use them. They capture whether your website refers to high-quality content on other websites, showing just how relevant your site is.

So inserting links to high quality content can have a positive influence on your page rank, which is exactly what we want, right?

  1. Pay attention to detail

via GIPHY

Images are the first thing a new reader sees on your blog, even before reading the first sentence. So, in a way, they are like billboards for your blog and should be chosen accordingly.

The images should match your content and give your blog an extra something. Like cheese on your nachos. Yeah.

Make sure to use images, but be aware of copyright laws; get it wrong, forget to credit the author, or use a copyrighted resource beyond its licensed use, and you can be fined.

Check out Pixabay, Unsplash and Pexels, which offer free and public domain pictures of high quality and allow you to download pictures to use commercially and for your own website.

 

  1. Get them engaged

via GIPHY

How can your readers benefit from the information you give them and what can they do with it?

When you write an article you should give your readers the chance to use the information you’re sharing. The goal is to offer added value to your readers and help them take action.

So ask a question, give a call to action, or offer a next step. You can ask them to sign up to find out more, take part in a debate on social media or to post your article on their own channels – if they love your content enough to to spread your message to the world.

 

  1. Always react

via GIPHY

With luck you’ll get some comments on your posts. Feedback, whether good or bad, is helps you develop and starts a conversation with your readers.

Just make sure to react to positive as well as negative comments in an appropriate way. In the end, everyone holds different views and you’ll be showing just how transparent you are by responding honestly and professionally.

Stick to the 7 tips above and your blog will, in the long run, climb the Google ranks and drive even more visitors to your site.


Why not tell us your favourite blogging tools and tips below?

Join us for weekly Barcelona startup updates

Interested in hearing about other entrepreneurs and startups? Head over to Barna Hub, a new series of blog posts, interviewing some of the most inspiring entrepreneurs, startup founders and CEOs in Barcelona.


Win a ticket worth €697 to Freedom X Fest this August

Freedom X Fest: an unmissable event in northern Spain this August

Freedom X Festiva

Take a breath, that’s fresh mountain air you’re sucking in.

We hope you can join the Hubbub Labs team at Freedom X Fest this 14-19th August. The festival, which takes place in the heart of the Spanish countryside, is aimed at digital nomads, location independent entrepreneurs, freelancers, and just about anyone else interested in discovering more about startup life and remote-work freedom.

To show you just how much we want to see you there, we’re offering you the chance to win a ticket to the event worth €697! 

Enter before June 10th to be in with a chance!

If you’ve ever wondered about having the freedom to decide how, where and when you work, FXF has the answer. It’s the very first outdoor festival of its kind and with more than 50 speakers, 100 talks and 1000 attendees, you will spend up to 6 days in a quiet village in the Pyrenees mountains, making connections, learning, teaching and having fun.

Featuring:

  • Expert talks
  • Interactive workshops
  • Music
  • Sports (swimming, climbing, hiking and more)
  • Exploration
  • Personal development
  • …And a whole lot of inspiration

Location & Accommodation

Freedom X Fest is set in a beautiful location next to the Pyrenean village of Canalda, some 130 km from Barcelona. Your closest train station is Solsona, a short 30 minute drive away.

You can decide from a range of different accommodation options, including:

  • Cottages
  • Tents
  • And glamping 

Find out more on the Freedom X Fest Website

Why we decided to become partners with Freedom X Fest

At Hubbub Labs we’re passionate about founder stories, startup life and business growth. We work with companies big and small, international and local to help them formulate a marketing strategy that works for them.

While we call Barcelona home, our job allows us to travel. We often find ourselves working in the different parts of Spain and sometimes on the other side of the world. We love the freedom that this gives us to move, make new friends, and discover new places.

Our team is made up of international freelancers, with people working from Spain, the USA, Canada, Colombia, the UK and some other countries in Europe.

We hope that Freedom X Fest will help and give us new strategies to grow and develop as a location independent company and, of course, meet some new collaborators!

digital nomad freedom x fest
Here’s Dan on a beach trying out our least successful marketing strategy yet

Freedom X Fest is far more than just another startup event. It’s the beginning of something new.

Enter now to win your ticket to Freedom X Fest!

 

Join us for weekly Barcelona startup updates

Interested in hearing about other entrepreneurs and startups? Head over to Barna Hub, a new series of blog posts, interviewing some of the most inspiring entrepreneurs, startup founders and CEOs in Barcelona.


Barna Hub talks with CEO and co-founder of Sharify Gemma Prenafeta

Barna Hub

Today the Barna Hub team was lucky enough to talk to Gemma Prenafeta, the CEO and co-founder of Sharify, a fantastic new app that allows you to share what’s happening, right now, in just three clicks. 

The beta version of the Sharify app launches today, so be sure to head to the iOS and Android app stores to download it.

Take it away Gemma!

Gemma Prenafeta, the CEO and co-founder of Sharify
Gemma Prenafeta, the CEO and co-founder of Sharify

A quick pitch

Sharify is a shared map of what is happening right now around us. We are a social network that lets people, businesses and brands share moments in the city – like concerts, football matches or even a coffee-break –  in just three clicks: what, when and where.

CTA

sharify app launch

Our website and beta versions of our Android and iOS apps is available from today (11 April) – so come and check it out: www.sharifyapp.com

We’re also looking for a Backend Engineer and a Chief Marketing Officer – if that sounds like you, you can apply here: https://angel.co/sharifyapp/jobs

Down to business

How Sharify Works

What does the word “sharify” mean to you?

Sometimes, it seems to me that we are forgetting what the word “share” really means. Sharify is about recovering the word “share”.

I’m not talking about sharing a tweet, a post or a like, but sharing the experience of going to a concert, of playing some sport or of enjoying a few beers.

Sharify is about sharing real life openly, with locals, expats and tourists, through a platform that offers an open map of what is happening in the city, right now.

What inspired you to start Sharify?

When I went to work abroad in the wonderful city of London, I realised I had no way to discover what was going on in that moment.

Of course, I could look for events in Google or even look for other tourists on Couchsurfing or Meetup, but it was not geo-localised and it wasn’t very fast.

I realised it would be much easier and faster if we could share this information in just three clicks, publishing a “what, when and where” so that other people could find events, come along and take part.

The possibilities of this are endless. Sharify can help people who want to visit a museum or art exhibition, it can help people find a team to play a football match with, or even help people get together and share a dog-walk!

Social media can be quite isolating, how is Sharify bringing people together again?

Every Social Network helps us in some way; we wouldn’t know how our old friends were doing without Facebook, we wouldn’t enjoy awesome photos from all around the world without Instagram, and we wouldn’t hear about the latest worldwide news without Twitter.

But in a world where people travel more than ever, where people go to work and study abroad and where cities host a beautiful mix of cultures and events, we realised that now is the time to create the first Social Network for people who want to do something.

We’ve just started, but we will do our best to bring people together through Sharify.

Barcelona Insight

What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting their own business in Barcelona?

The world needs people who believe in change and who will work hard to achieve it. I just started, but the main advice I would give is to be sure that you want to do it.

In my case it has taken endless persistence, a lot of passion for what I do and a good team and mentors to work with.

What online resource for startups could you not live without?

Slack, definitely.

Do you ever attend networking events or conferences in Barcelona? Where should entrepreneurs go?

Barcinno notifies entrepreneurs about all Barcelona’s events. It has been very useful for me from the very beginning. I was studying International Business and Marketing at ESCI-UPF until this July and I attended every event I could after my university classes. Sometimes I didn’t understand almost anything in some of the tech meetings, but it always worth going!

For someone looking for something new and exciting to do or visit in Barcelona this Spring, what would the Sharify team recommend?

I am sure that Barcelona will surprise us, as spring always has plenty of events to discover. Although we will be still in beta for a few months, perhaps Sharify app can help you with that 😉

 

Find Sharify Online

Website: www.sharifyapp.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sharifyapp/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SharifyApp/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SharifyApp

Barna Hub Talks with Jasper Deprez CEO and Founder of Tradler

Barna Hub

We unfurled our deckchairs and sat down to chat with the one and only Jasper Deprez, Co-founder and CEO of Tradler Vacations.

We talked about Colombia, Barcelona and the birth of his exciting machine learning travel platform.

Take it away Jasper!

Jasper Deprez CEO and Co-founder of Trader Barcelona travel startup
Jasper Deprez CEO and Co-founder of Tradler

140 character pitch:

Tradler is a global platform that connects travellers with the best fitting activities for them, using machine learning.

CTA:

Tradler Vacations Barcelona Startup
  1. Sign up on Tradler
  2. Set your preferences
  3. Get connected with your best fitting activities 

Down to business

How did you come up with the idea for Tradler?  

I was in Colombia for 10 days, visiting the country for a friend’s wedding. It was the first time I’d been to Latin America and the things I took away from it were Coconut Rice, my first scuba diving experience and a sense of purpose.

Hubbub: That’s some holiday!

We were travelling through the country. The weather kept alternating between boiling hot and tropical storms, and eventually we arrived in Cartagena de Indias. I think besides Bruges, my home town, it’s my second favourite city in the world. It’s a very colourful place and is weirdly familiar, almost like Spain, but with a few differences.

Where Barcelona has the “sexy beer amigo” sellers on the Street, Cartagena has rappers who start busting their rhymes the moment you pass by. I, as the only blond “rubio”, “guiri”, or the “Gringo” of the group, was always the target of their wonderful lyrics. They compared me to various artists such as Justin Bieber, Justin Timberlake and, weirdly enough, Harry potter.

Just for the record, after this trip I went directly to the hairdresser to set this straight.

Hubbub: Well, at least you tried.

So one day we wanted to go to Islas del Rosario – a group of 27 different islands in the Caribbean sea. Like any tourist, I started doing my homework and researched how to get there.

I started with Google. Rapidly I figured out that this wasn’t the best approach as I got 3.5 million results. I decided to ask the guide at our hotel for recommendations instead. This was better – they had 7 options and the guy at the counter recommended one that was a bit more expensive, but assured us this was the best Cartagena could offer.

The next day we changed hotel and I – being quite central European – asked for their recommendation too. They suggested a completely different “best in Cartagena” provider.

I figured that hotels have commissions on what they sell, so I wanted to get more information before we spent 120€ per person. I went back online (to a popular travel information platform I won’t name!)  to see what feedback I could find.

There were  2 completely different opinions:

  1. Farida M:

Absolutely amazing I would really recommend going in February it is the warmest climate!

  1. Marco S:

Completely chaotic, do not go there!

So that didn’t really help. I had three main questions:

  1. Did they actually go on the trip?
  2. If they went, what were they searching for?
  3. And then finally, are we looking for the same experience?

Basically, I wanted to know who Farida M and Marco S were and what we had in common.

The popular travel platform I used clearly states that all the reviews are subjective.

  • Maybe Marco S is even more central European than I am?
  • Maybe Marco is 85 Years old and wanted a private island?
  • Is Farida an actual person?
  • Farida talks about the warm climates, but that really depends on where she is from. If she’s coming from wintry New York, that’s not much to go on.

I eventually went to the port in the morning to decide there. And there, with everyone shouting at me in Colombian Spanish, it was nearly impossible. So how did we choose in the end? Easy. We flipped a coin and hoped for the best.


Hubbub Labs: So that’s how you decided to create a machine learning platform that would tailor recommendations to individual travellers!

 

What’s the hardest thing about running your own company?

It’s about keeping focus. There is a story I read in a book called Radical Focus by Christina Wodtke about the myth of Atalanta.

Johann Wilhelm Baur - Atalanta and Hippomenes
Johann Wilhelm Baur – Atalanta and Hippomenes


Atalanta was a hunter, a virgin and Sparta’s fastest runner. She did not want to marry, but her father – a mean man – was upset by this and took matters into his own hands. He set up a race and proclaimed that the young man won the race would also win Atalanta’s hand in marriage.

But Atalanta, being so quick on her feet, begged to be able to race in order to keep her freedom. Her father agreed, not thinking even for a moment that she could win.

On race day, Atalanta was as fast as ever and she was certainly going to win. But Hippomenes, a clever boy who desperately wanted to marry her, had brought three golden apples with him. Every time Atalanta took the lead he would roll one into her path each time and she would stop to pick them up. Of course, Hippomenes edged the win and won the right to marry her.

As Wodtke says in her book:

If she had only set some clear goals and stuck to them, she might be ruling the city footloose and fancy free!

Every startup will run into golden apples. Maybe it’s a chance to take stage at an important conference. Maybe it’s one big customer that asks you to change your software for them. Maybe it’s the poisoned apple of a bad employee who distracts you while you wring your hands over what to do about him. A startup’s enemy is time, and the enemy of timely execution is distraction.

Radical Focus – Christina Wodtke (2016).

Who do you look up to in the business world?

This changes all the time and is therefore impossible to give a single answer. But there is one group of people who I have greatest respect for and look up to: the Tradler team.

The reason I look up to them is because they have a proven way of thinking: they committed themselves to Tradler at the very beginning, when there was only an idea. And now, 6 months later, it’s the first time they’ve received a salary.

The mindset is the following:

We can either go and work for a big company in an entry-level position and hope that in the next 3-4 years we get promoted. Or we build our own careers and tailor them to what we are best in.

They have chosen the second option without any doubt. I look up to the kinds of people who not only say they will make a difference, but actually do it.

Barcelona Insight

Tradler Vacations Barcelona Startup

What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting their own business in Barcelona?

90% of all startups fail, so in theory you only need to start 10 to have one which works. Start now.

What’s your favourite place to work in in Barcelona?

When we just started we had zero budget to spent on an office, so we found this amazing utopia in Gracia. A bar called La Rovira. We sat there from 9 in the morning (when they opened) until closing time.

If you were leaving Barcelona tomorrow, how would you spend your last day?

I’d be looking on Skyscanner for the cheapest tickets back here.

Join us for weekly Barcelona startup updates

Interested in hearing about other entrepreneurs and startups? Head over to Barna Hub, a new series of blog posts, interviewing some of the most inspiring entrepreneurs, startup founders and CEOs in Barcelona.