Uber launches its own debit card in Mexico!

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It is not that easy to make online business in Mexico, just mostly because of the country’s banking system. So, Uber launches its own debit called ‘UberCard’!

Yes, it is going to be called ‘UberCard’ and all the entrepreneurs are await to see if it survives in the system. Because, it is obvious that if Uber succeed in this project, many startups or investors will be turning their face to the Mexico for new opportunities.

Ride Uber or Go Shopping!
UberCard is being issued by BANKAOOL, which is Mexico’s first online bank and it will be coming with MasterCard’s system. So, as the UberCard is coming with MasterCard’s logo, the card will let you ride uber or go shopping to spend from your UberCard account.

How to get one?
To request the card, customers should first have to top up MXN$200 ($10 USD). Later on, in 5-10 business days, it will arrive to the address.

Wherever you go, Uber gives you ‘first ride free’ if you have an invitation from one of your friends. It is available in Mexico as well. For first time users, Uber gives free rides up to a value of MXN$100 ($5 USD).

As it is quite obvious, many entrepreneurs and even investors are looking forward to seeing how it is going to be in Mexico. Again, let’s repeat it, if Uber succeed, then Mexico will be welcoming thousands of startups or investors to its ecosystem.

We will be keep you up to date with any news on Uber Mexico. We are going to see together, how it goes.

Said Murat
Computer Engineer
Poland

Is “Me-tail” the next frontier?

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“@edenthecat: Hello, welcome to Twitter Dot Com: where people try to become brands and brands try to become people. Enjoy your stay.”

Recently I spoke with a friend who has worked over a decade in the retail industry – across numerous leading dot com retailers in a variety of marketing and merchandising leadership roles. When brainstorming what we should do next, she seemed surprised at my suggestion – “Why not media?”

A decade ago, the line between a CNN and an Amazon seemed to be bright white. But today, social media sites like instagram and pinterest are doubling as not just entertainment but also as meaningful sales channels – and traditional media companies from Refinery 29 to Conde Nast are looking to cross the chasm from product discovery to sales conversion.

This, the blurring line between media and retail (“me-tail”?), does not mean that the two industries are entirely converging; what it does mean is that consumer behavior hops seamlessly between the two, and companies are scrambling to catch up. I read a magazine and see a necklace I like, and as a digital-savvy consumer, I expect to be able to purchase those in just a few clicks or taps. And when shopping on a favorite website I expect to have an immersive experience, seeing rich content and user-generated posts around the product.

I read the tweet at the top of this post just last night, and thought it nailed it; no one has cracked the code in seamlessly bridging media and commerce. But that’s ok – as consumers we continue to win as the overall experience gets richer on both sides. And as media and/or commerce entrepreneurs, it means that we can bring valuable skill sets in established industries to new, growth-stage ventures in adjacent sectors.

What I personally take away from these trends is that functional expertise – sales, marketing, development, design – is just as important (arguably more so) than sectoral expertise. So in thinking through your individual strengths and value, and where in the startup ecosystem you can drive impact, bear in mind that no industry is static; the skills used in one sector today may also be critical to the future of another.

Dog Days of Summer

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Between holiday weekends, family vacations, and half-day Fridays, the summer is often a slower time of year, where getting the full team in a room or scheduling client meetings can be nearly impossible.

So what can a startup – where speed is crucial to success – do to survive?

Deploy your time in new ways. Time is an asset – just like capital, or talent. Look to use time flexibly and for functions outside of the often-delayed meetings. One way to optimize time is to list out what the 5 highest-impact activities may be that you can engage in. Oftentimes these are time-intensive but high-return tasks – for example, updating your CRM database, reaching out to strategic partners or mentors for a catch-up, preparing fundraising materials, or reviewing the product development pipeline for the fall – these are critical tasks that can drive meaningful growth but require the focused concentration provided by summer lulls.

Augment your team. Bringing on new hires – whether temporary as interns or permanent team members – requires significant time for recruiting outreach, interviewing, and successfully onboarding. The summer is a good time to kickstart that process – writing job descriptions, creating onboarding materials, and even reaching out to schools or headhunters. From the supply side, many people keen to change jobs are also waiting for the summer months to conclude to initiate the search process, so being ready can also help capitalize on that.

Maintain balance. At the end of the day, the reason people are away during the summer is that they need to time to relax, recharge, and gain a broader perspective outside of the office walls. So being patient with the slower pace is also important – see it as an investment in the well-being and culture of the company as a whole.

Now or never? The value of not working in a start-up right away

Not working in a startup

I have a dear friend – a former colleague from many years ago – who I think of as one of the most savvy, insightful people in the booming “fashtech” (fashion + technology) space. She has some of the most killer, unparalleled insights in the sector, and if I had my long-awaited lottery winnings (still waiting every week…) I would put my money on her and her killer idea for a wearable tech data platform.

The funny thing is, she’s not an entrepreneur.

Don’t get me wrong, she has the “itch” and is keen to make the leap into entrepreneurship, but she has been taking her time, and for all the right reasons:

1. Problem-orientation. Many startups are based on a planned or fortuitous development of a piece of IP that is the core of a product, then scrambling to identify that holy grail of “product-market fit.” She turned that equation upside down – with her in-depth knowledge of consumers, retail, technology adoption rates, and more, she can clearly see gaps in the market, and build a solution oriented to that.

2. Credibility. Most investors say they’d rather put money on a B idea led by with an A team, instead of vice versa. What makes that A team? That depends – but usually it’s not your school or GPA, but rather your work experience. Successful startup backgrounds (especially with exits) are certainly a plus, but someone with a decade of operational experience who knows the industry, key influencers, and trends is another step ahead.

3. Potential strategic advisors. Related to the above, current or past employers are not just great for building operational expertise – they are also great for networking with the sector’s heavy hitters and innovators. More often than not these people will be the foundation – advisors, board members, investors – of a future endeavor with someone who was a rockstar employee and knows the industry.

4. “Free” training. I remember when I first tried “marketing.” Not consulting about it, or being an intern watching it, but really being responsible for how many new customers my company had. I was scared that I couldn’t deliver results – or at an even more basic level, that I don’t have “real” skills (to be fair – that’s still debatable ;)). I was given a budget and connected to advisors to help me along the way, but was still skittish until my CEO took me aside and said – “Peri. You’re the only one on this team who can at least try to do this. Take the budget, and just keep learning.” And with that I understood the value of a free education. From the rigorous training sessions I was lucky enough to have as a consultant – things like analysis, synthesis, and storytelling – to the tactical, street-smart training I received in mobile user acquisition, I realized that the best training is the one you can get on someone else’s dime. I don’t mean that in a crude or transactional way, but I mean that I had investors who were willing to take the risk as I learned with their capital over the course of successes and failures. It is much easier to do so, to get both book and hands-on training, when it is not your bootstrapped venture putting your ability to pay rent on the line. Indeed, one might even find themselves stepping into too risk averse-a role to really be able to flourish.

Some people have the itch and will take the leap into startups straight from college / high school / the crib – and that’s fantastic. My point here is that age, or operational experience should not be seen as a negative; quite the opposite, it can help create an even stronger product and a more engaging story.

U.S.-Turkey Innovation Summit

Ekran Resmi 2016-05-23 22.05.16

Turkey’s innovation, R&D, and entrepreneurship ecosystems have drastically improved in recent years, shaping perceptions of Turkey as an emerging innovation center. Situated in the heart of a 25 trillion dollar regional economy, and graced by a young, dynamic, and tech-savvy population, companies have taken notice of Turkey’s brimming potential. Many have seized the opportunities recently made available to move their innovation operations to buzzing Turkish hubs like Istanbul and Izmir.

In response, the American-Turkish Council (ATC), a leading business association, announces the U.S.-Turkey Innovation Summit, taking place on July 21st at Harvard University’s Knafel Center in Boston, Massachusetts. The Summit will convene and connect private companies, universities, and government institutions to facilitate partnerships in R&D and address related topics including innovation ecosystems, methodology, risk, and legal considerations.

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How To Avoid Time Wasters

Ekran Resmi 2016-05-20 12.10.36

Whether you’re a business leader, or a newly entrepreneur, you must avoid these time wasters:

 

  • Salesman: It’s a fact that small business leaders get a lot of phone calls from salesman. Really time consuming. Maybe you won’t be polite but you either have to interrupt their speech, tell you’re not interested and shut the phone or even if possible you may not hang up at all.
  • Employees: Every business needs their employees, without them, the business means nothing for sure. But you can spend hours and hours to find a good employee on the recruiting, managing, training or hiring periods. Think about the conversations you have with 1 employee in the day, think of the times you exchange emails, think of the meetings, think of the time you spend when creating the documents for their training etc. This way you can measure and reduce the time. Hiring on the other hand is maybe the most important part and you can’t just gloss over it. You have to take as much time as necessary to make sure you do the interviews right, in order not to hire the wrong person.

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Required Reading: Startup Rising

Ekran Resmi 2016-05-20 10.13.50

As my friends and family know, at the moment I’m painfully behind in most aspects of my personal life – my unread gmails recently hit 4 digits, my to-do list is embarrassingly outdated, even my blog posts here have been delayed (related: don’t expect time management-related posts from me anytime soon…) – but what troubles me most is how far behind I’ve fallen on my preferred reading list. I used to be a voracious reader, loving how a few pages can quickly transport you to a new place or spark excitement in heretofore sleeping neurons. Whether modern or classic, fact or fiction, books are the key to keeping the brain well-fed, creative, and curious.

I always wonder – “Why did you work in that company / sector / country? And how did you get there?” I recently huddled down with a book at the top of my list – Startup Rising: The Entrepreneurial Revolution Remaking the Middle East, by Christopher Schroeder. The book was published in 2011, but I had the opportunity to meet Chris in 2015, and since then learn more about his experiences that led him on his path from US-based entrepreneur to investor and mentor in the Middle East in what is truly an inspiring read.

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Finding Investors Is Not That Hard

Ekran Resmi 2016-05-20 10.25.30

According to researches, especially since 25 years, only 5 percent of the entrepreneurs could find investors. What may be the problems? Finding ways to understand what the issues are can really help creative ideas to be successful. We spotted 3 important reasons about this issue:

  • The method that investors use to find and qualify a potentially successful entrepreneur is not a good system really. It gives most of the the responsibility to the entrepreneur. A scoring system however would work better, it may help determine if you are really ready to offer your Project to professional investors. And you may find the right resources on the way.

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School’s Out for Summer: Best Practices in Internships

Ekran Resmi 2016-05-20 10.10.35

In the United States, internships are a critical aspect of a CV or even a college application – from junior year of high school til the end of college (and again in grad school), students would put ourselves under stress to find the perfect ‘summer internship.’ These could be paid or not, in your hometown or far away, but for everything from getting into university to securing the first full-time job, these internship roles played a critical role in academic and professional progression. In Turkey, the idea of interns is less critical and less structured, but has increasingly gained momentum in recent years. To that end, a few best practices from hiring interns into your start-up:

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Spring Cleaning: Q2 is upon us

Ekran Resmi 2016-05-19 10.32.24

Remember in January when you set all those goals for 2016? Gentle reminder here: the first quarter has officially ended, and Q2 is here.

That gives the perfect opportunity for a little temperature check around your organization to see whether things are on track. It will help energize the team for another push before summer holidays inevitably interrupt. Specifically –

·         How is revenue trending relative to expectations? If your business is seasonal, how does it match up to the previous year’s Q1?

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