Our Founder & Director Lisa Devaney is heading back to UCL, for the third year, to present her DIY PR Workshop for
Startups and Entrepreneurs this month (February 20th) for the UCL Innovation and Enterprise programme.
Her afternoon workshop will cover all the tricks of the PR trade for getting news headlines for your startup at low cost – including exercises in writing pitch emails, and press releases (discussing when to do, or not to do one), and exploring social media opportunities. Between 30-50 participants will attend the workshop, which is open to those enrolled in UCL’s Entrepreneurship Programme.
Entrepreneurship Programme Manager Oli Pinch said about the workshop:
“Lisa Devaney is an expert in PR and has worked with UCL to deliver some fantastic training in how start-ups and new ventures can make the most of their limited resources to get noticed by the right people. Any entrepreneur (or would-be entrepreneur) needs to take advantage of this opportunity and sign up to this workshop!”
Adding a bit of fun to the workshop and ice breaking exercises, Devaney has brought along funny hats in the past, and this year she’s made a Native American-style “Talking Stick” to kick things off and get participants joining in discussions.
Find out more about UCL Innovation and Enterprise here:
(This blog post is by Lisa Devaney, the Founder and Director of the Hai Media Group)
Over the last few years, I’ve had the pleasure of helping to mentor Valentine from SSSHAKE, an early-stage London tech startup, right from when the seed of the idea was taking root.
When I first met Valentine Del del Giudice, she immediately demonstrated more than a starry-eyed view of launching her start-up. She showed a well-thought out business plan, credible research into her marketplace and an enthusiastic drive that we knew would not quit – no matter what!
Well, that “no matter what” moment seems to have transpired when on 23rd June 2016, the vote for the UK to leave the European Union took place. At this point, Valentine was not even out the start gate yet with her SSSHAKE!
What’s the startup idea?
Her idea, like most of the best, is simple – there’s an app which connects you to new, unexpected matches when you shake your smartphone, Additionally, SSSHAKE hosts events and collaboration tools to offer London creatives the chance to form a solid creative network to connect and potentially collaborate with others to launch new projects. In a big city like London, Valentine’s channel literally shakes up how creative people could find and work together – no matter where they come from.
Valentine, an EU citizen from Paris, woke up on the that morning and experienced a big shock. She says she felt very sad, angry and that it seemed like everything she had valued about the UK – its welcoming, multicultural attitude – had vanished. Would she have to leave? Would she have to lose members of her team as they lost the right to work in the UK?
That was more than a year ago, but, like her app, she shook off the fear of uncertainty, and decided to remain focused on launching SSSHAKE in the spring of 2017, and not let Brexit blues interfere with her ambition to make her startup succeed.
This included running a successful crowdfunding campaign for SSSHAKE, and smashing it above her 5K target goal – she secured more than £6K. The app also secured some press at launch time. Go Valentine!
The mood these days
SSSHAKE Founder Valentine del Giudice
This week, I caught up with Valentine to find out what her mood is now in these pre-Brexit times, and how it feels to be a tech startup in “pre-Brexit” Britain, with herself an EU citizen at the helm.
SSSHAKE is proving popular, attracting a few hundred attendants at every event she runs and significant downloads from the Apple App Store, even in these still very early days. Having started the idea for her business while she was still attending university at the London College of Communication, this is her first big pursuit out of school days, and she’s smartly been cultivating support and mentoring from various advisors.
Shock from that first Brexit referendum results morning has eased for Valentine. While there may be big changes, she is ready, and up for anything that comes next, even if it means relocating SSSHAKE headquarters to a different city.
“We are not afraid of change and relocation,” she says. She’s just returned from a business trip to Paris, which is ramping up and courting tech startups to make their homes in the city,
Hotspots like Lisbon and Berlin are doing the same.
“As a tech business, we can be anywhere.”
If London doesn’t change
Right now, she explained, London is still still proving to be welcoming and an easy place to connect and grow the SSSHAKE network and business model. Filled with an international community, the city remains a gateway to the world.
Valentine’s mood is that she’ll keep her startup here for at least a few years, or more if that allows, while keeping an eye to the news and what might be in-store for her both personally and professionally as Brexit shakes out.
No matter where she lands, the future feels very promising, she happily reports.
Are you a tech startup in the UK? What mood are you in right now? I’d love to hear your story for my Hai Media Group’s blog. Email: [email protected]
NOTE: Inspiration to share this story, and help with editing the blog post, came from Keren Lerner, the Founder and head of Top Left Design.
Our Founder & Director Lisa Devaney will be back, for a second year, presenting to startups and entrepreneurs at UCL on Thursday, 2nd March, this week, with her DIY PR workshop.
About 30 attendants will participate in the workshop sponsored by UCL, where they will get insight on how to earn press coverage, and build social media presence, for their startup.
In the three-hour session, Devaney will cover:
- Developing communications strategy for your startup that will win headlines
- The tools of PR (email pitches, press releases, press lists, and more)
- Social media for startups and entrepreneurs
An honour to be part of the UCL offerings, this workshop is included with the UCL Innovation and Enterprise department. which launched last year. As part of UCL’s mission to support students pursuing entrepreneurial paths, they have seen more than 200 startups launch from the programme, including RecommendMe.
Here’s more information about UCL Innovation and Enterprise:
Our aim is to inspire a spirit of enterprise across UCL: to ensure that the economic and societal benefits of our research are fully realised. To achieve this, UCL Innovation and Enterprise brings together academics, the business community and other potential beneficiaries of our research in order to maximize its potential for commercialisation and ‘real world’ use. The goal is to secure our institution’s long-term place as a global leader in enterprise and innovation.
See more about the session here.
Muzivo is a powerful new music social-network that puts you in touch with music apps you may have not heard of.
In essence, it’s like a music app directory allowing you to discover music apps that exist to play music of a specific genre.
Once you create an account, Muzivo enables you to build personalised news and events feeds, stream music, create playlists and save your favourites.
What’s more, this app lets you to create your own app, customizing it to suit your taste.
When it’s ready, you can start sharing whatever you want on it. Yes, that’s right – you’ll be able to upload your music, photos, videos, bio, shows or even access your Facebook and Twitter feeds.
By: Miamii Mansour
The Hai Media Group team will be presenting our DIY PR workshop for startups at Digital Shoreditch 2015 on Tuesday, May 12th. And there will be hats!
Digital Shoreditch 2015
Come along on May 12th and find out top tips on how you can get the word out about your startup to media and influencers, by doing-it-yourself. Our 40-minute workshop will teach you the basics and insider knowledge for writing headline-winning press releases, and using social media to drive attention.
Does this stuff work? CEO of Karisma Kidz Erika Broadnock took our DIY PR course at The Mobile Academy two years ago, and went on to DIY her own PR efforts. She’s now a regular guest with Sky News and is featured often in magazines and newspapers.
Can’t make Digital Shoreditch? We’ll be presenting our DIY PR workshop again this summer, and again in the autumn. Get in touch for more details to [email protected]