Friday, 31 May 2013

Crowdsourcing Name and Design for Latest Chocolate Snack

German confectioners, Ritter Sport have turned to crowdsourcing to design and promote their latest snack product. The campaign, Ritter Sport Design award has been featured on the crowdsourcing platform crowdINNO calls for the crowd to submit ideas for a name as well as an innovative package design. A cash prize as well an assortment of products will be awarded to the winner and runner up selections.

Combining the terms "crowd" with "open innovation" crowdINNO is a launched in March 2012 platform that started as a project of Germany's EBS Business School . The idea was formed by member's of the school's Competency Centre for Technology Management made of professors and PhD students with interest in business development and innovation. Like many similar platforms, crowdINNO inivtes project owners to post their challenges and invite the "crowd" to submit ideas and presentations. Some challenges have covered mobile app technology, automobile design and mapping projects. 

The latest challenged marks Ritter Sport's first venture into crowdsourcing for its latest snack product. With a trail mix of ingredients including roasted hazelnuts and almonds, sun ripened raising, marzipan cubes and chocolate squares Ritter Sport are looking for a design with appeal to a dynamic, trendy and youthful demographic. 

Anyone can take part in the campaign from professional designers to consumers who are fans of the product. Simply upload the design, which can take the form of digitally scanned and captured images or a simple written presentation, to the crowdINNO platform. The campaign will run until 06th August 2013. The winner will be awarded a cash prize of 1,000 euros with an assortment Sport Ritter goods and i-pad tablets for runners up. For more information visit the Ritter Sport campaign page.

Image Credit; The Marmot

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Tipalti and CAKE Partnership Offer One Stop Analytics and Payment Solution

Tipalti, the leading provider of online mass payments solutions has announced a partnership with CAKE, a platform that enables real time campaign tracking for advertisers. Rolled out during the ad:tech Conference in San Francisco, the new platform offers CAKE customers a fully integrated platform that will not only allow them to better manage their campaign but also manage payments with Tipalti's renowned payment management system ensuring efficient and secure transactions.

CAKE is a platform that provides advertisers with real time analytics solutions, and like Tipalti, it is an SaaS platform enabling smoother integration with the customer's existing system. In an increasingly competitive and fast moving digital marketplace advertisers need to know where their money is being spent and how the expenditure translates into viable investments. CAKE monitors changing patters in the customers' web traffic and provides detailed instant analysis through its analytics platform. Customers are then able to use the data provided to target the markets more effectively. 

The partnership with Tipalti offers existing CAKE customers accustomed to the platform's array of online marketing analytics tools, a similar design with comprehensive capabilities in mass online payment management. The integrated features include additional payment reporting and analytic capabilities linked to existing features to create performance based payment instructions. 
We're proud to work with CAKE to offer networks a truly comprehensive solution to managing global affiliates. With CAKE's industry-leading campaign management tools and Tipalti's integrated global payment functions, brands, affiliate network managers  and advertisers finally have a way to manage all facets of a global operation. - Chen Amit, Tipalti co-founder and CEO.
Payment instructions automatically captured by the Tipalti system scans those payments to ensure they are not made out to blacklisted payees, ensuring transactions are made securely and in compliance with appropriate regulations. Publishers and affiliates are thus better served with an optimal payment method suited to their country of residence and currency. The seamlessly integrated system frees up accounting resources for payers who can then focus on other activities, and thus eliminating labour-intensive tasks such as invoice reconciliation and processing tax forms. 

Tipalti has grown from strength to strength since it was launched in Spring of 2011, responsible for the managing of millions of dollars worth of payments each month in over 190 different countries. It has also secured an array of leading names as its customers including Article One Partners, the crowdsourced global patent research platform. The partnership with CAKE seals it reputation as a unique system of mass online payment management.

Image Credit; Anise Smith

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

UK Peer Proposes Support for Micro Businesses as Boost to Economy

The UK Government has actioned various schemes to help support the rise and/or expansion of small business in a continuously fragile and uncertain economy from tax incentives to the Government's Start up Loan Scheme. Recently the Prime Minister's enterprise adviser Lord Young published a report in which he proposes an expansion of the Government Start Up Loan scheme to help thousand's of small businesses get off the ground as well as open up public sector contracts to micro businesses across the country. 

Last year Lord Young published a report entitled Make Business Your Business focussing on start-ups and small business development which led to the launch of the Start up Loan Scheme. The scheme was co founded by the peer along with serial entrepreneur and former Dragon's Den regular James Caan aimed at helping business ideas launch. A typical loan can be up to £4,500 along with mentor support for applicants. The scheme exceeded expectations by 50% in its first year with 3,768 loans offered worth approximately £16 million. All profits from repaid loans are recycled back into the scheme. 

In his second report Grow your business; A report on growing micro businesses Lord Young proposes a serious of measures for the scheme's expansion. Micro businesses, those with 10 employees or less, make up 95% of all UK businesses and Lord Young highlights their increasing importance to the success of the British economy. Businesses that grew with help from the Start Up Loan Scheme have since gone on to become employers and it is this employment potential that Lord Young feels is the key to economic recovery. One of the many proposals in the report include a removal of the scheme's age cap, currently at 30, so that more entrepreneurs can have access to support. Other proposals include;
  • implementation of a £30 million Growth Voucher scheme to better help micro businesses with workforce expansion, advice on marketing, financial management, and online growth
  • an increased role of business schools in local economy including the establishment of the  "Supporting Small Business Charter" with an award scheme to incentivise business schools to help with SME growth
  • greater private sector advice to be made available through the Government's website
  • marketing of government schemes aimed at providing resources and support targeted at the micro businesses most in need.
It is very much true that Lord Young brings solutions to the table – his excellent report highlights the steps we can take to fire up business growth, helping to boost our competitiveness and ensuring the UK can get ahead in the fierce global race we are in. I thank him very much for his report. - David Cameron, Prime Minister
The steps identified by Lord Young in his report are not only aimed at economic recovery at a national level but to encourage business growth that would also help the UK stay ahead on a global scale. The Government is currently reviewing Lord Young's report with a view to implementing his proposals later in the year. 

Monday, 13 May 2013

Crowdfunding for The Suspended Coffee App

Who would have thought that you could perform a good deed for the day by simply ordering a cup of coffee? What started off in Naples, Italy has become a global goodwill initiative thanks to the advent of social media, with thousands of people ordering their coffee with one to be "suspended" for someone in greater need. Now organisers behind the movement have turned to the crowdfunding platform AppsFunder to raise the necessary funds that would enable the development of a Suspended Coffees mobile app.

Originating from Naples where it has been age old tradition, the principle of the suspended coffee is simple. When ordering a hot beverage a customer can also ask for a coffee to be suspended. Essentially it is an equivalent beverage, usually a coffee, that is "banked" and offered to those in need. Should someone who is homeless or has simply fallen on hard times ask for a suspended coffee, is any are available, they will be given to the recipient for no charge. From Naples the idea moved to Bulgaria where it was thought to have support from over 150 cafes. Through social media the idea grew exponentially mainly due to a Facebook page set up by 28 year old plumber from Cork, John Sweeney. The Suspended Coffee page has over 80,000 likes and businesses from all over the world have subscribed to the initiative proudly displaying their support using the leaflet available to download. It has also become the driving force behind raising awareness all over the world for both customers and businesses alike.

As the major chains such as Starbucks and Costa are currently looking into the possibility of implementing the scheme in their stores, the initiative is looking to encapsulate the suspended coffee experience for mobile devices. The aim is to create an app that will enable users to easily locate nearby coffee shops that subscribe to the scheme. Users will also be able to purchase and request suspended coffees online and leave comments. The sum of $8,000 is needed to design the user interface as well as develop and test the finished app, which is being sought through AppFunders. In exchange for their donation funders will principally be rewarded with a series of mentions and thank you's on the Suspended Coffees website and Facebook page. However, the greater the donation the warmer the gratitude.

Suspended Coffees has just under 80 days to raise the necessary funds and to date it has raised $1,025 of the target with support from 37 backers. Whilst overall there is still some way to reaching $8,000 the project is already half way to reaching the target of $2,000 needed for design of the interface alone. For more information about the project and to pledge your support visit the AppsFunder project page.

Image Credit; anthony pc