In the news this week here in Londontown, we have learned that the city has more multi-million-pound mansions being sold than any other city in the world, we are also hearing that our city is the most expensive place to live in the world.
So what if you are on a budget?
What if cheap eats and charity shops are more you’re style than big bling shopping and dining out for hundreds of pounds? Hey, guess what? There’s an app for that!
For Londoners on a budget, the app Frugl delivers on its promise to keep you informed about the best deals for entertainment in the expensive city. Download the app for free from the Apple App Store and begin to discover an affordable side to London. You’ll get to pick from events and happenings that are free, and up to £10, and select from categories of comedy, poetry, film and cinema, classes and courses, meetups and networking, talks and lectures, beauty, food and drink, kids and family, live music, nightlife, shopping and more. You can also book tickets through the app, and find the location of where you are headed with maps.
Frugl has gotten a good amount of press since launch happened in March 2014, including this article in Forbes. The startup received initial funding of a grant from the Technology Strategy Board (now called Innovate UK). At the helm is CEO founder Suzanne Noble, a 20-year veteran publicist and CTO co-founder Tikiri Hulugalle.
We got to catch up with both founders by joining them recently at TECHtoberfest, and had a blast of a time, all on a budget!
Suzanne let us quiz her further about Frugl, and here’s our Q&A session with her:
Can you tell us the background of Frugl? When did it come about and why?
I’ve been a bargain hunter and a culture vulture since I was a kid growing up in London. Back in the 80s I used to run underground jazz clubs, spending every night handing out flyers, as that was the only way to get the word out. Now there’s so much going on all the time, it’s a challenge to find those under the radar events or great offers. That’s where Frugl comes in – giving event promoters and businesses a platform to publicise great value experiences for our users to discover.
So you set out to make an app for those looking to experience London on a budget. What was your interest in this low budget market?
Well, I believe that having fun shouldn’t be something that only the wealthy can afford. Anyone should be able to have a good time, to find great food/drink, clothes or events whatever their budget. I’m naturally inclined to want to save money whenever possible so Frugl reflects my own passion.
What kind of events and offerings can people find on Frugl?
From the start, I wanted to reach varied tastes and interests. Currently you can find free haircuts, meal deals, live music and comedy, workshops and much more. The basic philosophy of Frugl is that, provided it has a start/end time and there is at least one of something to be sold, it can be listed on Frugl.
Have you had many downloads of the app and can you share with us how many?
We’ve hit about 20k and, with our new marketplace on web and now iOS and Android too are looking to rev up our numbers over the next few months.
You know, there are a lot of event business models out there – can you tell us why Frugl stands apart from the competition?
We’re really trying to broaden our inventory beyond events. We know there’s a lot of apps out there but we know that when people think of Frugl, they think beyond events. That’s why we encourage businesses in the food/drink and health/beauty space to use us too.
Frugl is just for London now, but do you have plans to offer it in other cities?
Absolutely. Moving beyond London is definitely on the roadmap over the next year.
What are your top picks for Frugl things to do in London?
We love The Good Ship Comedy Club on a Monday night in Kilburn. It’s always fun and the atmosphere is great.
Thanks for talking with us Suzanne!
By the way, you can find Suzanne on Twitter at @FruglFounder and follow Frugl @Frugl.
We love to share first looks at new things happening in the world and are thrilled to invite you to come along to a sneak
preview of WeAreDotDotDot.com!
WeAreDotDotDot.com, now in beta phase, is a new platform that will connect young people in East London with digital learning programmes and job networking opportunities. The Connecting Tech City team behind this initiative aim to help East London young people prepare and find employment with the thriving businesses of London’s Tech City. See the press coverage about WeAreDotDotDot featured on TechCityinsider.net here.
Do you want to be part of the development stage in the run up to WeAreDotDotDot’s official launch in March 2015?
Sign up today to be part of a great movement at: www.wearedotdotdotdot.com
WeAreDotDotDot is particularly keen to hear from you if you are from Hackney, Islington, Newham or Tower Hamlets and aged 11-25.
Due to high demand, we will be holding the sneak previews on three days, with the first one kicking off 2015 on Wednesday, 21st January.
Then the next sneak preview will be on Tuesday 17th February and finally the last one will be held Wednesday 11th March.
All events will be held 4-6pm at Central Working Whitechapel, 69-89 Mile End Road, London E1 4TT. (Entrance through Foxcroft & Ginger Café)
*Teachers and guardians also welcome to attend.
At the sneak preview you will get to:
• beta test the platform
• get to know first hand how experienced developers tackle issues around user experience, design and coding
• be the first to have access to more than 60 courses on offer on the platform, to develop your skills in tech
• find out about the latest apprenticeships available in tech
• find out about funds and grants to support you financially
• receive an invite to attend our launch event in March 2015 as a VIP guest
• know why you should help get the word out and encourage other young people to sign up to the platform
Get your ticket to attend a sneak preview here:
Follow WeAreDotDotDot on Twitter:
Find WeAreDotDotDot on Facebook:
*Coming soon to Instagram!
Do you tweet? We’d love to see you on there. Here’s a few suggested tweets you can share:
Young? In East London? Want to work in Tech City? Be among the first to know about @wearedotdotdot #WeAreDotDotDot: http://www.wearedotdotdot.com
Check out @wearedotdotdot, helping East London young people prepare for jobs in Tech City. #WeAreDotDotDot Sign up here: http://www.wearedotdotdot.com
#WeAreDotDotDot launches in 2015! Helping East London young people prepare for jobs in Tech City. Sign up at: http://www.wearedotdotdot.com @wearedotdotdot
For more information, contact email@example.com
When Hai Media Group first heard about the Connecting Tech City project, to unlock the talent of youth in the area and help connect young people with learning programmes and jobs within the growing tech sector’s businesses, we applauded. Now, we’ve gotten on board to help in making this fantastic project take off here!
We think this effort ticks all the right boxes for helping East London thrive by:
- Opening up opportunities for hundreds of young people to learn, and work, in Tech City
- Giving employers better access to a pool of talent that is much needed to grow tech businesses and reduce the skills shortage
- Connecting employers and educators with young people, parents and teachers through an online platform
Please read more about Connecting Tech City below in the press release. If you are a member of the media, or just interested in hearing more about the project and coming along to one of the exciting events planned – please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tech City Creative Agencies Join to Combat Area’s Skills Shortage
Connecting Tech City, a collaboration across the tech industry in East London,appoints Pleo, Rosie Lee and Hai Media Group to build a new digital platform to tackle the skills shortage
London, 29th October 2014 – Responding to the widely recognised challenge among Tech City startups that there is a talent shortage holding back business growth, today Connecting Tech City announce the appointment of three leading creative tech agencies (Pleo, Rosie Lee, Hai Media Group) to develop an online platform to tackle the problem. The platform, to be revealed in the Spring of next year, will connect young people, parents, and teachers to local opportunities to learn digital skills and engage with employers.
The skills gap, London tech firms report, is most keenly felt in East London’s Tech City area, where there is the largest concentration of tech businesses in Europe. Over the last year, tech firms have come together to address the problem, through the Connecting Tech City collaboration, brokered by Centre for London.
“Many of the best Digital Learning Programmes in the UK have grown out of the East London tech cluster,” said Jess Tyrrell, Director of the Connecting Tech City programme. “But it is difficult to access these programmes unless you know where to look. We need information to be much more accessible and we need local young people to feel that these opportunities are for them.”
The platform, which is backed by many of the leading firms in Tech City, will radically scale up the number of young people accessing cutting edge digital learning.
The platform itself will be designed and developed by Pleo, a leading digital design agency producing cutting edge products that create and shape human behaviour. Creative agency Rosie Lee are developing the brand and visual identity to reach and inspire young people. Hai Media Group are providing public relations and social media support. The agencies are supporting the project with a mixture of paid and pro bono support.
“This is a really exciting opportunity to level the playing field for young people who want to get into digital” says Nic Mahlunge, junior designer at Pleo. “It has to be relevant to young people like me, who are using the best of interactive and social media tools. We’re very excited to be involved.”
“Young people from each of the agencies will play a big part in the design”, says Asma Nahar, 28, who is working as Community Manager for the project. “I’ll be working alongside Sami Janjer, Account Manager at Rosie Lee and social media lead Miamii Mansour from Hai Media Group, both 23. All of us are young people who know what it is like breaking into the digital industry, and therefore closer to the experience of our users.”
The platform officially launches in March 2015.
Hai Media Group:
Lisa Devaney, email@example.com | 07711 238173
Connecting Tech City:
Jess Tyrrell, firstname.lastname@example.org | 07779 348180
Russell Clayton, email@example.com | 020 7613 3752
NOTES FOR EDITORS
1. About Connecting Tech City:
The Connecting Tech City initiative, launched in May 2014, aims to bring the Tech City community together in a new drive to help ensure London’s young people – especially those in East London, some of the Capital’s poorest – can benefit from all the opportunities that Tech City has to offer, and that Tech City benefits from a skilled local workforce. The Connecting Tech City project is being coordinated by the Centre for London, a politically independent think tank and registered charity which aims to help London build on its great strengths and meet its great challenges.
2. About Pleo:
Pleo is a consultation, strategy and design studio for mobile and innovation projects. We are deeply collaborative and insight driven in everything we do and focus our energy on projects that deliver genuine impact.
3. About Rosie Lee:
Rosie Lee is a hybrid media agency. With expertise in branding, digital, retail design and advertising, Rosie Lee bring a strong creative lead and best in class project management to collaborative projects.
Visit: rosieless.co.uk, instagram.com/rosie.lees
4. About Hai Media Group:
We are a public relations consultancy serving tech startups.
Since the rise of Instagram, photo apps have become all the rage! However, to move away from the mainstream — Trunx is definitely a relatively new photo storage app to shout about.
Hai Media Group had the opportunity to interview Trunx’s Marketing VP, Sandra Ponce de Leon, here’s what she had to say:
What is Trunx?
Trunx is a photo storage app that allows its users to snap, organise and store all their photos in a safe, private and secure storage vault for an unlimited amount of time.
The app works to free up storage on your smart device by uploading all of your photograph’s to Trunx’s secure cloud – allowing anytime, anywhere access to all your photographs and at your fingertips.
Users no longer need to worry about their device’s memory, as Trunx acts as built-in app storage vault.
How does SharedPix work?
This feature lets users share their photos with friends and family privately. And participants in the album are be able to view a live feed of photographs which the Album owner has shared.
Why Trunx? Where did the inspiration behind such a creative app spring from?
Jeff Chen is really the visionary behind the company – as an experienced entrepreneur and founder, he is always looking for imaginative solutions to problems.
He realized that his visual legacy was scattered on everything from digital cameras to social networks to mobile phones to old thumb drives and decided he needed one place where he could have access to every photo he ever took in a way that was very easy to find.
Given his experience with Maxthon – the worlds 6ths largest cloud based browser – he knew the answer was in the cloud. And thus came the idea for Trunx.
If you could give an elevator pitch to a prospective Trunx user what would you say?
Trunx is your entire photo collection accessible at your fingertips. Every photo you’ve ever taken – on your phone, your camera, etc. – without the hassle of multiple devices or services. Forget which hard drive that photo of your daughter on her first birthday is on? No worries, Trunx has you covered.
It looks like you have a number of great features that set you apart from other apps out there. Can you tell us what the top differences are from other photo apps? And, what sets you apart from the giant Instagram?
Our mission is to be the world’s largest visual memory bank. In order to fulfill on that promise, we have a commitment to our core values of trust, security, privacy, safety and ease of use which are embedded into the product itself.
We take the security of our users’ memories very seriously and use encryption on both the transmission and storage of data. We also have a hybrid cloud infrastructure in place that further protects our user’s precious memories.
Unlike Instagram, we focus on organization, storage and accessibility of your entire visual life. That said, not ALL of your photos are meant for sharing – some are private and meant only for you, or just a small group.
We have SharedPix which is a collaborative photo album for just sharing with friends and family. One perfect use-case might be a girls trip among friends that all took pictures on their phones and want to share, but at the same time don’t want to have those bikini pictures ending up on Facebook.
Other differences include our EchoPix feature which allows users to capture photos with sound, as well as the fact that we are offering unlimited storage until the end of September.
On average, how many users does Trunx get per month? Can you share this information with us at this time? Or, give a monthly average of downloads?
We’re not disclosing numbers at the moment but we’ve been growing at a steady and rapid rate – we’re very pleased with our progress.
Which tools did you use to help maximise Trunx’s user-outreach?
We’re big fans of SurveyMonkey which we use to send out surveys to our customers on a regular basis in order to find out what they love about Trunx and what kinds of features they’d like us to develop in the future. Mailchimp is our email platform, and of course we use social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and Tumblr.
We also leverage our own product using SharedPix as a way to get the word out – we’ve been creating shared community of photo albums at a variety of events and festivals like Macworld, SF JazzFest, Outsidelands and others. We are also currently hosting a SharedPix contest called Share the Peace where we’re asking friends of Trunx to submit their pictures with a peace sign – one of our mascot Max’s favorite signs!
If you could give three top tips to an aspiring an entrepreneur with a BIG idea, what would they be?
1) Find the pain point first: what is the problem you are trying to resolve? Look at it from every angle and be meticulous in your examination. Once you have that you can verify whether these pains exist across a broader market.
2) Staying small and scrappy forces you to be creative and resourceful: it is always good to keep that mindset regardless of the funding situation – a lot can be done with a little!
3) Talk to your customers and prospective customers regularly and religiously. Not only do they provide great insight – i.e. just because it makes sense to you, does not mean your users will get it.
The only way to find out is to conduct testing and observe. It is critical to develop a relationship with your customers early on and bring them into your product and brand conversations. This makes for a valuable and dedicated user base that feels invested in your product and team
What future plans do you have for the company?
Our plans are to continue to develop the product and grow our user base. We have some exciting changes coming soon to Trunx that we can’t wait to unveil. As mentioned previously, our goal is be the world’s biggest memory bank, and we still have a lot of work to do to be able to fulfill that promise.
How do you see Trunx achieving them?
We’re committed staying in constant contact with our users and keeping them in the loop on new features we are developing as well as company direction. Following our own advice – we’re small and scrappy and need to be creative and unique to stand apart.
Can you give us a little background on your status as a startup? When were you founded? Who have you gotten investment from and how much? Please share what you choose with us on this front.
Lifetime Memori Inc, Trunx’s parent brand was founded in 2013 by Jeff Chen and Jay Shen. We are self-funded right now with no plans in the near future to take on any investments although that could change. Right now our focus is fully on our customers and making a beautiful, useful product that people love.
By: Miamii Mansour
We are looking for an intern to work alongside Hai Media Group’s founder and Director Lisa Devaney this summer.
Hai Media GroupDevaney this summer.
Our intern will get stuck in with the world of PR for tech startups in London’s Tech City. With Devaney’s tutoring, our intern will gain insight to setting up and running campaigns, using social media for B2B, conducting media relations, and more.
Let Summer 2014 ROCK for your career and get in touch. Previous interns have gone on to secure excellent positions in the field of public relations and social media.
Please send a CV, or link to your video CV to: firstname.lastname@example.org
What are we looking for?
- Interest in public relations and social media. Desire to pursue a career in this field.
- Interest in creative agency work where you will need to juggle a variety of clients and projects.
- Interest in the tech startup industry of London’s Tech City.
- You have basic knowledge and are using social and online media appropriately, including Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Vine, YouTube, Quora, Tumblr…and more!
- You know how to blog, and how to use WordPress.
- You have a good sense of the media landscape for technology outlets and you know the top trends happening in technology.
- You will have interest in books, ebooks and the process of self-publishing.
- This is a part-time/flex role looking for you to work remotely from 1-3 hours each weekday.
- You will need access to your own laptop and phone.
- There will be occasional networking events to attend in London.
This internship will be very hands-on and you will not just be answering phones or making coffee. You will leave this internship with the experience and references you need to seek out a fulltime role.