(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@example.com
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.
Are you getting ready for Mobile World Congress 2011? Let Hai Media Group help with your planning.
Firstly, we would like to invite you to meet with our client HipLogic, who recently launched *Spark:
This popular new app for Android and Symbian phones gives your mobile home screen a complete makeover, and connects you to Twitter, Facebook, news, entertainment, weather and even Groupon deals.
The Sunday Times in the UK calls it a “clever way to customise the home screen of an Android phone, replacing the normal grid of shortcuts with constantly updated news and weather headlines, as well as your friends’ updates on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. It’s also the most convenient way to hear about offers from Groupon, the American company that earlier this month did the unthinkable and spurned a buyout offer from Google of nearly $6 billion (repeat, in Dr. Evil voice: six billion dollars).”
The new app has also been featured in PC World, Stuff UK and will be reviewed in T3, among hundreds of other blogs and media outlets. *Spark is a free app and can be found in the Android Market and Nokia’s Ovi Store.
In just a short beta period *Spark attracted 100K downloads, and since launch late last year, has grown in popularity in 150 countries. At Mobile World Congress 2011 you’ll be able to meet with CEO Mark Anderson, where the company will provide a news announcement.
*To book your meeting, please contact Mary Epworth today at:
mary AT haimediagroup DOT com
Additionally, To guide you to this year’s Mobile World Congress 2011, Hai Media Group has put together tips on events happening, and included some veteran insight from mobile marketing and media specialist Helen Keegan, who has attended for the last six years.
You may know her as the mobile blogger Technokitten or follow her on Twitter (@Technokitten). She also organizes the popular Swedish Beers (@swedishbeers) event and Mobile Monday London ( @momolondon).
The What’s Happening Guide to Mobile World Congress 2011
By Hai Media Group (www.haimediagroup.com)
Mobile World Congress veteran Helen Keegan suggests you be sure to check out App Planet in Hall 7, which is expected to be even bigger this year with more exhibitors, more seminar and conference sessions and more to do. Based on what was spotted at CES in Las Vegas earlier this year, expect to see a lot of tablet devices in the main devices Hall. And don’t forget to look out for the best of British at the UKTI pavilion and the usually impressive technology innovations which can be spotted at the Israeli country pavilion.
Keep your kit minimal, leave anything you don’t really need at home, and do get a Yoigo sim card, as it in previous years has had the best Pay as You Go rates for data and calls. Extra gadgets to worry about can make you a crime target. Definitely don’t take your laptop or briefcase around with you, and hide your Congress badge when you leave the venue. Barcelona is notorious for pickpockets and muggings so be street smart both inside the venue and out and about. Bring a spare phone, in the unfortunate event that you get robbed. Many do. See more on Helen’s tips to stay safe at this blog post.
When it comes to networking events and parties, go with the flow! Helen says to keep your ears open for random parties that come up during the event that aren’t always publicized, which can be the best ones. The Mobile Entertainment Forum is always popular and Swedish Beers should not be missed. Nokia generally runs a party, usually invitation only, and attendants have loved it in past years. Mobile Monday has in works a couple of worthwhile panel sessions to be hosted with United Kingdom Trade and Investment (UKTI). Blue Via is sponsoring the Mobile Premier Awards in the company’s Barcelona offices.
If you can make the time, a fast way to check out the sites of Barcelona is to take the tourist bus, that will show you the city’s amazing architecture, with discussion on the history. Stroll down La Ramblas where you’ll see many creative street performers. To be recommended is St Eulalia’s feast where they have the Little Devil’s parade in the Old Town on the Sunday night. It is spectacular if you get chance to see it.
Helen says that you’ll need to pace yourself at Mobile World Congress and remember that it is a marathon and not a sprint. Get organized, plan well with your team, wear comfortable shoes and don’t forget to eat properly. As you book meetings, try to see the people you wouldn’t have opportunity to meet at home, the international event attracts business from every country in the world. Be sure to leave time for attending all the evening events and parties, where you just might meet someone who could transform your business prospects.
Find your insider’s guide to events at Mobile World Congress below, and please note that we aren’t organizing the events, so if you want to RSVP or find out more information please visit the appropriate website. You are also welcome to use our tips for your blog or news stories, please do credit and link to Hai Media Group www.haimediagroup.com
Mobile Sunday Barcelona 2011-01-15
WHEN: Sunday, February 13, 2011, 7 PM
WHERE: VINTAGE, Carrer de la Fusina, 7, 08003 Barcelona
The sixth annual Mobile Sunday – an unofficial, informal and generally cool and funky gathering of mobile bloggers and their chums is hosted by Rudy de Waele (m-trends.org), meets at one of the coolest bars in Barcelona, the VINTAGE, that has a spacious, jazzy, loungy atmosphere with various rooms and salons. On offerfor 500 guests is drinks and nibbles, a heated terrace, sofas, private salons, four screens and a dancefloor. Attended by start-ups to VCs, operators to handset manufacturers, making an influential crowd. This is also a unique chance for you to meet the most influent bloggers writing about mobile and to meet the MobileMonday global chapter founders in one spot during the conference.
Mobile Premier Awards
WHEN: Monday, February 14, 2011, 3 PM
WHERE: Telefonica R&D Catalunya Headquaters
The Mobile Premier Awards are among the most influential events in the mobile industry and the point of reference in early-stage innovation during the Mobile World Congress, featuring 20 finalists from the AppCircuses events held during 2010. Participation is free and open to any start-up or developer with a mobile app! Registration will start 2:30 PM, drinks will be offered after the event in the same location until ca. 8 PM.The nominated apps for the Mobile Premier Awards 2011 edition include the AppCircus winners of the 2010 series of events and a selection of the best apps of the AppCircus Categories. All entries will be judged by an international jury (2011 jury TBC) in the week from January 17-22. The finalists to present at the event will be announced on January 24, 2011
MEF EMEA AGM and Board Elections at MWC
WHEN: Monday, February 14, 2011, 6 PM
WHERE: Museu Picasso, c/Montcada, 15-23 08003, Barcelona
The MEF EMEA board is committed to creating local trade development opportunities, providing regional market insight and briefing the membership on legislation affecting their businesses in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. For this year’s elections, there are five vacancies for the EMEA board at the forthcoming elections on Monday. If you are a Full MEF member and would like to run for the EMEA board and contribute, send in your 200-word campaign statement and photo (jpeg format) to Sarah Roberts. As well as the elections, the meeting will provide a round-up of MEF’s activities and an opportunity for members to discuss the agenda for the year ahead. The AGM is open to all MEF members. If you would like to attend, please register at the website.
MEF Connects @ MWC 2011
WHEN: Monday, February 14, 2011, 8 PM
WHERE: Museu Picasso, c/ Montcada, 15-23, 08003, Barcelona
MEF Connects @ MWC in association with Dolby is back and expected to be even bigger and better. A night of cocktails, tapas and art among 13th century architectural surroundings. Guests will also have the opportunity to visit the world-famous Picasso collection upon arrival.
*Please note this is a MEMBERS-ONLY event and each member company will only be allocated a fixed number of tickets. Please visit the website to register.
Mobile Valentines Day
WHEN: Monday, February 14, 2011 7-11:30pm
WHERE: Alsur Cafe el Born: Carrer dels Carders 17, Barcelona.
*RSVP required, please visit website.
Each year in February we get together to celebrate our true love to mobile devices by taking part in Mobile World Congress, which starts this year on February 14th. To share your passion to mobile we are happy to invite you to Mobile Valentine’s Day party at MWC 2011. Bring your good mood, networking skills and friends with you.
This event is sponsored by Mobile Europe Magazine, SPB Software and Camerjam, who make sure there will be enough food and drinks for all.
Women in Mobile Data: Cava and Canapes
WHEN: Tuesday, February 15, 2011, 5-7 PM
WHERE: On site, Stand B101, Hall 8
“Women in Mobile Data are excited to announce that Amdocs are kindly sponsoring their MWC2011 ‘Cava and Canapes’ networking event.“
The Global Mobile Awards Ceremony
WHEN: Tuesday, 15 February 2011, 3:45 – 5:15
WHERE: Conference center, Hall 5, Auditorium 1
The Awards presentation will take place in a special ceremony during Mobile World Congress, followed by the official Congress Party & Awards Celebration event. The afternoon Global Mobile Awards Ceremony is included in Gold and Platinum Passes. The evening Congress Party & Awards Celebration is included in the Platinum Pass only, but may be added on to Gold, Silver and Exhibition Visitor Passes for an additional fee.
Congress Party & Global Mobile Awards Celebration
WHEN: Tuesday, 15 February 2011, 7:45 – Midnight
WHERE: National Palace in Montjuïc
This evening event provides attendees with fantastic high-level networking opportunities – while enjoying world-class entertainment. This year we’re pleased to feature Grammy and Brit award-winning singer/songwriter Duffy. Welsh singer-songwriter Duffy won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album for Rockferry in 2009, and she was nominated for two other Grammy awards. The evening Congress Party & Awards Celebration is included in the Platinum Pass only, but may be added on to Gold, Silver and Exhibition Visitor Passes for an additional fee. See the website.
GoMo News Blender
WHEN: Tuesday, February 15, 2011, 6:30-11:00pm
WHERE: Incognito BAR, Calle Fusina 6, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
The GoMo News Blender now in its fourth year has become a symbolic, yet legitimate path of the institution that is the Mobile World Congress. Last year at the Blender, they drank the bar dry; twice! In 2010, readership on GoMo more than doubled and are hitting over 300K page views a month. Sponsors this year, for the second year running are Smaato and Diffusion PR who have doubled the investment, so there will be more food and drink for all.
Mobile World Congress Brokerage 2011
WHEN: Monday-Wednesday, February 14-16, 2011
WHERE: Fira de Barcelona
This forum will bring together suppliers and users of mobile technology and know-how from all over Europe (and other countries such as Canada, Israel, United States and more) to discuss solutions and new opportunities for the future. The Mobile Brokerage Event 2011 is the ideal environment for: small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), offering and those looking for new technologies; scientists and research institutes offering innovative RTD results; start-up companies and entrepreneurs; operators willing to meet innovators and added-value service providers.
Silverstreet & Tranglo GSMA MWC 2011 Party
WHEN: Tuesday, February 15, 2011, 9 PM
WHERE: Hyde Club, Pasaje Domingo 3, 08008 Barcelona
*RSVP by February 9, 2011 to: Barcelona@silverstreet.com/ firstname.lastname@example.org
WHEN: Wednesday, February 16, 2011, TIME TBC
WEBSITE: Check Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2456995682
Swedish Beers is an ad hoc (roughly quarterly) networking event for folks with an interest in mobile technology, mobile marketing and mobile media. You don’t have to be a geek to attend, and they actively encourage people to join us from all industries – media, creative, marketing, mobile, telecoms etc.
WIP Jam Party @ MWC “Carnival of Nations Party”
WHEN: Thursday, 17 February, 2011, 7:30 PM – 10:30 PM
WHERE: Marmalade, Riera Alta 4-6, 08001, Barcelona
This is “THE” Developer Party at MWC so make sure you come and connect with all the members of the mobile ecosystem. This won’t be just any boring old party. By popular demand, we are bringing back “Jameoke” for the third time – bigger and better than ever! Best practice up for the fun!
UKTI & Digital Communications Knowledge Transfer Network (DCKTN)
WHEN: Various times and days. *See website.
WHERE: On site at Stand AV26 and seminars at Sala Principe in Hall 8.
UKTI is partnering with the Digital Communications Knowledge Transfer Network (DCKTN) to bring a comprehensive UK programme to this year’s Mobile World Congress. This includes innovative technology displays on the UK Technology stand and a technology seminar programme.
Are you hosting an event at Mobile World Congress 2011?
Please leave a comment and let us know what’s happening!