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Lean Startup Machine is a workshop and an educational series focused on teaching Start-up  founders through a process of case studies and hands-on mentoring. The workshop is conducted throughout three days and though it is a very short amount of time to reliably validate a new product or a service concept, it is enough time to get a significant amount of work done.
Many Start-up founders have benefited from Lean Startup Machine and the best way to look at all their reviews and testimonials is to do a Google Search. Let me do that for you (No irony intended!) LSM sends their expert facilitators and also invest in product and curriculum development, which can make a huge impact on an early stage Start-up environment like Sri Lanka.

Lean Startup Machine is designed to be a challenge for both the experienced and inexperienced entrepreneur. Essentially, you will get as much value out of it as the effort you put in.
What you have to do right now is to vote and get Lean Startup Machine to host one of their events in Sri Lanka. You can start by signing up and voting here

Contributed By: Aloka Gunasekara

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Once known widely as Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), today, Business Process Management (BPM) has been referred to as a “holistic management” approach to aligning an organization’s business processes with the wants and needs of clients. BPM uses a systematic approach in an attempt to continuously improve business effectiveness and efficiency while striving for innovation, flexibility, and integration with technology. The SLASSCOM Executive Briefing on “Future Outlook for Business Process Management” will examine the future outlook for the BPM industry.

More info: http://digit.lk/event/slasscom-executive-briefing-on-future-outlook-for-business-process-management/

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hSenid Mobile, a multinational telco platform provider is now at 320, Darley Road, Colombo 10.

“This year has been phenomenal for hSenid Mobile. We have rebranded, made additions to our executive committee and now, relocated. It’s a positive change and hope for the momentum to continue,” says hSenid Mobile CEO Dinesh Saparamadu.

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hSenid Mobile shifted to its new premises on Monday December 02, 2013 from Navam Mawatha, Colombo 02. One of the main reasons for the relocation was the expansion of workforce the company hoped to achieve in the coming months. Detaching from the ordinary, the new location has a ‘jam’ room and a R&D laboratory.

The new workplace of hSenid Mobile is located just passing Mag City, when coming down Darley Road (T.B. Jayah Mawatha) from Union Place.

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Elon Musk has had a tough couple of weeks, but perhaps this will come as some consolation.

Fortune Magazine has named Musk the top businessperson of 2013 based on the revenues and stock price gains from three companies he founded — Tesla, SpaceX and SolarCity — and the “cultural impact” he has had through these and other ventures, including the much-discussed Hyperloop concept.

“The co-founder of PayPal has gone on to disrupt aeronautics with Space Exploration Technologies, known as SpaceX; shake up the auto business with Tesla Motors; and retool the energy sector with SolarCity,” Fortune notes in its writeup of Musk. “But it is his audacity and tenacity that make him Fortune’s Businessperson of the Year.”

This accomplishment comes at a tenuous time for Musk as one of those companies, Tesla, is struggling to beat back concerns following reports that several of its cars have caught fire. Tesla’s stock had approached nearly $200 a share, a more than sixfold increase for the year, but has since dropped back down to the low $120 range.

Musk isn’t the only tech exec to rank high on Fortune‘s list. The CEOs of Netflix, Amazon andGoogle all cracked the top 10. Angela Ahrendts, the current CEO of Burberry and soon-to-be retail exec at Apple, ranked fourth on the list as well.

 

Sourece : http://mashable.com/2013/11/21/elon-musk-fortune-award/#_

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hSenid Mobile, a multinational telco-mobile software solutions provider connecting telcos to businesses, is sponsoring the first ever Telco Application Developer Summit (TADS) to be held on November 21-22 in Bangkok, Thailand.

TADS is the first and only global meeting for Developers who want to learn, share, code and create. The grassroots initiative from and by the people of the industry crafted for Developers and Telcos to collaborate towards the creation of the new wave of the telecom application ecosystem.

As an industry leader, hSenid Mobile has always been at the forefront of deploying platforms for Telcos that enabled to build developer ecosystems. When TADS began taking shape, hSenid Mobile was keen on being a part of the initiative as the company wanted to learn, share success stories and lessons learnt from the experiences gathered, having worked with all stakeholder of the ecosystem.

hSenid Mobile CEO Dinesh Saparamadu says , “The most exciting feature about TADS is bringing together developers and all other stakeholders of the telco application development ecosystem. We look forward to two days of intense discussion and exploring new concepts, best practices with all stakeholders.”

hSenid Mobile is also supportive of the Telco Application Developer Manifesto that was released to coincide with the Summit. The Manifesto released early October for public comment contains the new era of the mobile ecosystem and the responsibilities and the needs of the Telco Application Developers, Telecom Operators and Vendors. The draft Manifesto was circulated within the industry and hSenid Mobile was one among the contributors towards the October release.

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Entrepreneurs from South Asia are obsessed with Silicon Valley, as is much of the world these days. Social media and mass media have combined to create the perception that geeks from the Bay Area are a breed apart.

The combination of skinny jeans, hipster glasses and confident personalities like Dave McClure or Steve Blank, it seems, is irresistible. But this style has nothing to do with building a great company. Solving important problems does, and for anyone not in Silicon Valley, that means focusing on their own markets and not what seems to be cool.

Countries like Sri Lanka and India have what it takes to be uniquely brilliant and entrepreneurial. South Asian entrepreneurs need to know and believe this. If they do not, South Asia will never become a center for innovation, creating the game-changing products and services their local economy demands and our global economy could benefit from.

I say this having spent the last couple of years traveling across India and Sri Lanka connecting with the startup community, recruiting local talent for my own venture, and listening to more than 200 pitches. I recently spent three weeks visiting with accelerators, incubators, and institutes on behalf of the State Department’s Specialist Speaker Program and discovered that founders’ obsessions with the Valley prevents them from solving local problems.

The paradox I’m seeing is this: The bulk of the world’s economic growth will come from regions like India and China, and although they may have cyclical slowdowns, these markets are necessary to the world economy.

In India, the story is not just about tech support and engineering offices. Product startups have been developing through accelerators like TLabs or Startup Village and incubators like IIT Bombay’s SINE and Startup Weekend. And various business communities are developing their own nationwide programs to support fledgling companies.

For instance, NASSCOM (National Association of Software and Services Companies) has undergone efforts to get India more product-focused. To this end, the organization has devised goals to create events and programming to help inspire 10,000 product companies by 2022. Even Uber, in some ways a symbol of “developed” cities getting even more sophisticated, just launched in Bangalore.

Solving large local problems is one easy way for Asian startups to differentiate and sustain a competitive edge.

But if the best entrepreneurial minds here are trying to copy the next Snapchat, they probably won’t be building products that the market truly demands in India. And the region won’t live up to the hype.

“Solving large local problems is one easy way for Asian startups to differentiate and sustain a competitive edge,” says Mukund Mohan, director of Microsoft Ventures. “Since customers are also local, the ability to get quick feedback and iterate rapidly will help them grow faster to achieve scale.”

One example of this is Flipkart, the Amazon of India. By introducing COD (Cash on Delivery), Flipkart has been able to convince consumers to buy online by allowing them to pay with cash instead of credit cards. This twist on traditional e-commerce is a major reason why the company was valued at $1.5 billion. Unfortunately, this example is an outlier.

So what are the issues that arise as a result of this infatuation with the Valley?

First, countries like India and Sri Lanka blindly implement Western approaches to cultivating entrepreneurship. Asian cultures tend to not be as “individualistic” as Western cultures, and the next breakthrough entrepreneur may not be a rebel like Steve Jobs. They tend to be more motivated by social reputation and intimacy than their Western counterparts. As an Indian-American entrepreneur, I understand this.

As a result, it is necessary to create approaches that uniquely address these differences. For example, showcasing entrepreneurship as a credible path is extremely important, as family acceptance is ingrained deeply in the DNA of South Asians.

“Entrepreneurship is still a taboo for most Indian parents,” says Cherian Thomas, founder of Cucumbertown. “Failure is too bitter a pill to digest and people fear society’s ostracization. A stable salaried career offers all the perks in life and is good enough for most. Besides, we are yet to have a Zuckerberg for inspiration.”

Second, key internal aspects of running a startup are also different, such as financing options and lean startup approaches. I recently had the opportunity to watch a Tech-Connect stream with a room full of Sri Lankan entrepreneurs. Tech-Connect is basically a video panel of American entrepreneurs preaching to foreigners. As a Global Innovation through Science & Technology (GIST) initiative, it is one of the U.S. government’s methods for fostering innovation abroad. I listened not as an American, but as a Sri Lankan. I felt transported, and it was as if I were part of a sci-fi movie where this Silicon Valley panel was a group of tech gods. The audience hung on the panel’s every word like it was life or death.

The problem was that the information disseminated was not only incorrect in the local context, but was also presented as incontrovertible fact. For example, convertible debt was advocated as the only way to raise “early” capital, $100K seed rounds were categorized as small, and crowdfunding was viewed as a viable option.

In Sri Lanka, most rounds are priced and equity-based, and $100K is considered to be a large investment since the cost of living is substantially lower. Thankfully, Brad Feld was there to offer the “it depends” perspective, otherwise this would have been a complete waste of time. As Silicon Valley spreads knowledge, it is important for us to adjust to the local context, and entrepreneurs from other countries need to call bullshit when we don’t.

200553509-001Beyond deciding to start a company and figuring out how to run one, there’s also the issue of what results founders in South Asia want. To build something big or build something that looks like a Silicon Valley company that might get bought by a Silicon Valley company.

From what I’ve seen, it feels like the goal of getting acquired by a Facebook or Google is over-prioritized. Several entrepreneurs are trying to create the next hot social app. I have seen Quora, Instagram and Path copycats in just the last couple weeks. This is a waste of talent, and a sure-fire way to turn away foreign direct investment or local capital.

There are bigger and more relevant opportunities if these innovators would just recognize the unmet needs right before their eyes, such as better infrastructure, agriculture and mobile solutions.

“The Indian market is very different from most western countries,” says Abhishek Gupta, partner at TLABs. “Though the opportunities are great, the customer behaviour and purchasing patterns are very different. What works in the Valley may not work here, and even if it does, the purchase behaviour and distribution mechanism will most certainly be different. Deals sites are a good example of this. Groupon caught on quickly but most deal sites in India shut down a year or two later.”

That said, there are few companies leading the charge. As Pankaj Jain, venture partner at 500 Startups, aptly points out, companies like Eko Financial, ZipDial, Innoz, InVenture and Next Drop are approaching innovation in India with an “indo-flare.”

ZipDial is leveraging the common social interaction of “missed calls” to drive polling and contests instead of Internet-dependent solutions like Twitter, while Innoz makes SMS-based applications for the masses who do not have connectivity. Eko Financial provides low-income workers in urban areas to send money to their homes using mobile phones, while InVenture is a global credit-scoring service.

Solving these problems for three-quarters of a billion people who don’t have access to smartphones, tablets or computers is exciting.

“The real opportunity for smart, savvy entrepreneurs is to solve the problems plaguing them and their fellow Indians on a daily basis,” Pankaj says. ”There really is no shortage of problems, big or small. Solving these problems for three-quarters of a billion people who don’t have access to smartphones, tablets or computers is exciting.”

In addition, innovations in sustainable agriculture like Lifeline Agriculture, which connects farmers with quality information or management tools that help increase accountability from construction workers, are uniquely desi. These are a few that are taking local innovation seriously.

We need to stop idolizing Silicon Valley. We should seek to learn about and collaborate with international ecosystems, not just preach to them. Efforts like 500 Startups’ Geeks on a Plane or bringing different “local” experts into the GIST’s Tech-Connect mix are examples.

Silicon Valley is amazing. It’s why so many of the worlds smartest geeks flock here. However, it’s amazing because it supports the needs of our well-developed economy. South Asia should stop glamorizing the Valley and start looking within to find solutions. Only then will genuine innovation evolve. After all, there is much we could learn and gain from places like Sri Lanka and India.

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Source : http://techcrunch.com/2013/10/19/founders-you-dont-need-to-be-like-silicon-valley/

In a quest to scale and better tap into real-time sentiment and mobile targeting, Twitter has gone on an acquisition spree with the purchase of Trendrr, a social-TV analytics company, as well as MoPub, the world’s largest mobile ad exchange. Both moves solidify Twitter’s desire to bring together and own, particularly vis-à-vis Facebook, three key spaces: TV and online multi-screening, mobile, and programmatic buying.

Today, many advertisers use Twitter to support their TV ads and as a consequence the social network has been developing its analytics platform to help. Twitter also added a TV slant on its targeting when earlier this summer it rolled out a TV Ad Targeting in the US. This product allows advertisers to target their ads towards users who are likely to have seen the shows where their ads ran based on what individuals have tweeted or the hashtags they have used.

The acquisition of Trendrr adds two key products to Twitter’s stable: Trendrr.TV and Curatorr. Trendrr.TV provides TV networks, publishers and media agencies with tools to track TV engagement across social networks, including Twitter. Curatorr allows those same parties to sort through social streams to visualize data and to help them identify high-quality tweets. These tweets can then be re-tweeted by a TV show’s Twitter account or show up on air during a live show that includes Twitter conversations as part of their show format.

With these two key products, the ability to now insert MoPubs technology into the equation becomes even more powerful; according to Twitter “they plan to use MoPub’s technology to build real-time bidding into the Twitter ads platform so our advertisers can more easily automate and scale their buys.”
As Twitter points out in the release “The two major trends in the ad world right now are the rapid consumer shift toward mobile usage, and the industry shift to programmatic buying. Twitter sits at the intersection of these, and we think by bringing MoPub’s technology and team to Twitter, we can further drive these trends for the benefit of consumers, advertisers, and agencies.”

These recent acquisitions actually compliment a third major trend occurring with TV and mobile which is two screen viewing and conversations, especially around live events. The ability to track and target real-time messages to relevant users more accurately is being reinforced with these acquisitions.
Finally, there is widespread speculation of a forthcoming Twitter IPO next year; these acquisitions should further improve its attractiveness to advertisers, and therefore Twitter’s financial performance and profitability.

Implications

These acquisitions will not only allow Twitter to offer deeper audience insights and functionality to marketers, networks, publishers and other organizations, it will also bring in-house a competing service. Trendrr was the last independent player in the social TV chatter space; Twitter bought Bluefin Labs in February and Nielsen bought SocialGuide in November. This is all notable as Facebook has been evolving its platform to become more of a contender in the real-time conversation market with the development of new tools like Trending Topics and hashtags. Facebook has also indicated that it’s looking at its association with TV much more closely. Facebook announced in July (coincidentally from the results of a Trendrr research piece) that it has more TV chatter than Twitter just behind “closed doors” due to its users’ ability to restrict access to their content. By absorbing Trendrr, Twitter has not only bolstered their appeal to advertisers, but they have also ensured Facebook have limited options for future acquisitions.

Summary

For many users Twitter is the place where real-time conversation happens. This engaged audience and stream of real-time data has attracted advertisers and has started to turn into much needed advertising revenue.
The additional functionality and expertise Twitter gains as result of this acquisition will add to its second screen credentials and give advertisers more tools to better target their consumers across whatever screen they are engaging. No doubt we will see much more development in this TV, social, and mobile intersection.

Source: http://www.dailymirror.lk/tech/digital-media/35252–twitter-goes-on-the-offensive.html