A New Way Of Crowdfunding

“Would You Pay $1,000 Once to Get Free Beer for Life?”

A brewpub and a coffee shop in Minnesota’s Twin Cities have successfully used this one-time payment method – a crowdfunding campaign with a twist. Is it the new model to follow for bars and restaurants?

Northbound: free beer for life for investing in a small restaurant with home-brewed beer

In 2012, in order to secure a bank loan and make their dream of opening a restaurant that served beer brewed right there at the pub come true, Amy Johnson and her business partners had to raise 220,000 dollars. The only investors they found, who offered to invest for a voting share in the restaurant, had no experience in the restaurant industry, and thus Amy and her partners decided to go on another path.

Continue reading A New Way Of Crowdfunding

Sita Sings The Blues

Is There A Business Model For A Movie Without Copyright?

Sita Sings the Blues is an 82-minute animated film that combines autobiography with a retelling of the classic Indian myth the Ramayana. The film is written, directed, edited, produced and animated by a single woman, Nina Paley, who spent three years on the making. It also put her more than $20,000 in debt.

The film is extraordinary in many different ways, including the motivation behind its creation, the way it has been funded, and the way it is currently marketed and distributed.

In 2002 Ms. Paley followed her husband from their home in San Francisco to western India. There she became acquainted with the Ramayana’s tragic saga of the Hindu goddess Sita, who is exiled by her husband, Rama, who fears she has been unfaithful after she is abducted by a demon king.

While she went on a business trip to New York, her husband sent her an e-mail message telling her not to come back. In “grief, agony and shock,” she stayed in Manhattan, camping out on friends’ sofas. At one of her hosts, a collector of vintage records, she became familiar with Annette Hanshaw’s music. One of her songs was a perfect match together with Rama’s rejection of Sita. Ms. Paley being an animator herself, the idea of producing a film out of these elements came naturally to her, however, she didn’t have the money, or the emotional resources, to make more than a short film.

That film, “Trial by Fire,” turned out to be such a success that Ms. Paley started to expand it. “It sounds dumb, but the movie wanted to be made,” she said. “There was this music and this story. It was like: ‘Someone’s got to make this movie. I guess it’s going to be me.’” (Rochlin, 2009)

In 2008 November, “Sita Sings the Blues” opened the San Francisco International Animation Festival, along with the Museum of Modern Art’s annual series ‘Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You in New York’, where it won a Gotham Award. Continue reading Sita Sings The Blues

Revolutionizing Live Entertainment

Tommyjams – The idea

One evening in 2011, chilling out at a Hard Rock Café in Hyderabad, Parth M. Saxena and Nikhil Kapur were struck by an idea. They were watching a band perform, and they liked it. However, they realized such small bands were getting so little opportunity to access performance venues, especially in cities far away. The way was blocked by a limited access to venue managers, chiefly through artists’ own contacts and referrals. This way, well-known bands and artists, who were the most networked, got booked for performances through their contacts, but a large number of semi-professional and starting bands did not get the opportunity to have performances – even though the demand was there and growing.

The two techies from Delhi College of Engineering, who were at that time working with Texas Instruments and Microsoft, respectively, decided to create a platform, which could democratize live entertainment for small and big artists alike, by connecting them directly with pubs, bars, malls or cafes, where performances happen, as well as with fans. Their technical knowledge and passions were at hand: Saxena had worked part-time as a freelance guitarist and vocalist for different music bands in Bangalore, and had a network of artists and bands to tap into initially. His partner, Kapur, brought in a very important complementary skill – venue management – as he had experience in managing venues for his employer, Microsoft, which hosted several events.

The TommyJams platform

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In 2013 there were 8 milion cars in the Netherlands, on only 41526 km². That means a lot of cars in this little country. When living here, and going outside you will probably come a cross some cars. Especially in big cities there are cars all around, you have to watch out not to get hit by one! We from CarSticker saw this as an opportunity. Use these cars as outlets for advertisement, easy and quick, with car stickers. We see this happening in commercial sectors already. Like this cab in London.

For small companies and enterprises this way of advertising is easy, quick and not very costly. The company designs its sticker, fills in a form with its requirements for the Sticker ‘wearers’. The number of individual drivers in the database who actually meet their specific requirements will constantly be uploaded and displayed. Continue reading CarSticker

Too much customer involvement for Transavia

In 2011 Transavia.com, a Dutch airline company, decided to change their slogan to their new strategy. Part of their new strategy was to become a better airline company by involving their customers. So what would be a better idea than asking their customers to come up with a new slogan matching their new strategy? The Transavia.com marketing department was enthusiastic and organized a slogan contest. The best slogan, chosen by a jury, would win a whole year of free traveling for two persons. What could possibly go wrong?!

At first, the slogan contest seemed a real success. Transavia.com received over 110.000 submissions and decided to add an extra element to the contest. 1000 of the submitted slogans were hung across the Netherlands as posters in (bus) shelters. The contestants that found their own slogan and submitted a picture of themselves in front of the poster could win 2 free plane tickets (1). However, at the moment that the 10 nominated slogans of the contest were announced, the positive tide changed.

After the announcement of the 10 nominees, other contestants were simply surprised by the 10 selected slogans. They found the slogans not creative, childish and boring. One nominated slogan (love at first flight) was actually already used before by SAS and Bangkok Airways (2). Furthermore contestants were complaining about the posters with submitted slogans hanging around the Netherlands, because they were only hanging in five big cities and hard to find (3). Many contestants were dissatisfied and placed negative reactions on the contest’s Facebook page (4).

The question is, could Transavia.com’s marketing department be blamed for the negative reaction? Continue reading Too much customer involvement for Transavia

The ordinary kettle

My parents have an ordinary kettle as long as I remember and they don’t seem to think about replacing it. It is a simple and timeless kettle and was bought at a typical Dutch warehouse, namely HEMA. HEMA is famous for its Dutch simplicity, medium price and quality. HEMA has famous products like their typical Dutch ‘rookworst’ and also the kettle from my parents, called ‘Le Lapin’ (the rabbit, see figure 1).

Figure 1: The HEMA kettle ‘Le Japin’.
Source: http://myfirstdesigncollection.nl/pagee/145/rob-van-thiel-hema

You might think that some brilliant product designer from HEMA designed Le Lapin in 1989, but that isn’t the case. This timeless kettle, is the result of the 1989-1990 design competition from HEMA. For the last 30 years HEMA organizes a design competition for Dutch (industrial) design and art students . In the early 1980s, the Dutch education system needed more practical training. At that same time, HEMA chose a more trendy approach towards their designs and packaging. Together it resulted in the first HEMA design competition in 1983-1984. In 1990 the competition became a yearly competition because of its success and Le Lapin was the first winning design that actually got into production (1).

What makes the HEMA design competition a success for 30 years now?

Continue reading The ordinary kettle

Students4Students – The future of tutoring

Every students knows the feeling a few days before an exam: wondering if you paid sufficient attention in class, stressing because you might not understand an example mentioned in the lecture slides, etc.

You realize the teacher will not be in her office during the weekend and it usually takes her a few days to reply to e-mails. Asking the question via e-mail will require a long answer and therefore isn’t the ideal option anyway. You can call a classmate but you doubt that he or she has time for your question and you wonder whom to call in the first place. There is always the option of hiring an expensive private tutor but the government does not transfer your student loan until next week. Now there is an extra option for the stressing student: Students4Students!

Students4Students is a tutoring-platform where the tutors are students providing sessions to their struggling peers. The platform will take away the inconvenience and psychological barriers (Collins, 1997) that come with scheduling a face-to-face meeting with the professor. It is also more interactive than the supply of online videos, writing a complicated e-mail and receiving an even longer and more complicated answer. But above all, it is a cheap option to get a better grasp of the topic on which the exam will be.

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Zebra the advisor

Have you ever been in a supermarket in a foreign country and had no idea what to buy?

Chinese product

You are not the only one!

Travellers and exchange students are often faced with puzzling situations when they go grocery shopping. They don’t understand the product descriptions written in a foreign language, they don’t have knowledge of the local brands and they don’t know where to find the supermarket offering the products they want, at the best price.

The results are: more stress when choosing a product, more time spent in the supermarket, less value for money and the risk of buying the wrong product. In other words, the customer has a much worse shopping experience than when shopping in his home country.

As always when facing a difficult and stressful situation, you can rely on your smartphone!

Zebra is a mobile application designed to make shopping in a foreign country easier. Zebra enables you to read a product’s barcode using the camera of your smartphone. Once the product is identified, you access a broad range of information: Continue reading Zebra the advisor


Choose your deals

I’m sure you must know the feeling: you’re in your shopping mall and you’ve just spotted the perfect vase/dress/vacuum cleaner/shaver/gaming mouse. However, the price is just above your budget. To top it off, sales have just ended, so guess you’ll just have to settle for less.
That feeling now belongs to the past: we happily introduce Tag-a-deal! Just scan the price tag of the item that you want, but that is just outside of your financial reach, and offer what you would be willing to pay for that vase/dress/gaming mouse. Before you know it you own that shaver for a very nice price. Or if the company refuses, well, at least you tried. Maybe you’ll have more luck with the dress. Tag-a-deal is the new app everybody should download. It allows its users to negotiate with companies to receive deals on items consumers want deals on. Continue reading Tag-a-deal

Eye on Elderly

Look out for the elderly with the Eye on Elderly Platform

Close your eyes, and imagine for a minute to be 70 years old. You are retired, your kids have grown up and even have kids themselves. You have recently moved to an elderly home, because you need help and your children do not have enough time, caught between taking care of your grandchildren and working from 9 to 17. So there you are, sitting behind the geraniums, hoping for some human contact (it has been 7 days since your family last called or visited). What do you do? …

Well, you can open your new laptop, go to EoE online platform and sign up for bingo night!

Eye on elderly website from POV elder v.2

That is exactly what EoE is intended for, to help lonely elders, elderly homes and volunteers to get in contact with each other.  EoE is an interactive platform, where these three groups can organize and sign up to activities. In these modern times the internet has become one of the main resources and facilitators for social interaction, and despite what many say, even elderly are catching up with the new trend (see Van Berkum 2013, Akkermans 2013, ANBO 2014).

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Connecting Urban Nomads Worldwide

Once upon a time there was a depressed man named Louis, who recently lost his favorite sweatshirt from New York. There’s no website to buy it and he won’t go back for at least a few years….


Across the pond sat a man named Nick, a New Yorker traveling to London for the first time. With only one weekend in London he wants to find the best possible pub for fish n chips. But alas, every pub claims to be “THE BEST” and Trip Advisor gives everyone 5 stars…


Fortunately for both Louis and Nick, the stars aligned and created a website to solve all of the problems and limitations faced by today’s Urban Nomads.

An online platform co-created and crowd-sourced by today’s traveling young urban professionals (yuppie’s) to connect and exchange information about all of the most up-to-date international trends and products. (Majchrzak et al., 2013)

Continue reading RyoCo

I like to MoveIT

Picture yourself at a kick-ass festival. You’re queuing to get as close as possible to the stage because your favorite band is about to make history. But which queue is the fastest? And where are the closest and quickest bathrooms if the beers you’ve been enjoying need a way out? And how can you get a healthy snack whilst on your way to the next gig? Now imagine taking your smartphone out and getting answers to all these questions (and more). The future of personal navigation is here and it’s called MoveIT. In a nutshell, MoveIT will offer you the same navigation and browsing experience you know so well from Google maps, but will take that experience indoors to train stations and shopping malls and to large scale events such as festivals and fairs. It will answer all questions on the spot which begin with ‘where is…’, ‘how do I get to…’ and ‘what is around here’? Moreover, it will know where it’s busy, what to avoid and where the coolest places are. The best thing is that all of this functionality comes for free to anyone with a smartphone. All you need to do is download the MoveIT app, have it running in the background and it will go to work for you once you get close to a MoveIT enabled location you’ve selected. How does the magic happen? The app works on two levels, a quantitative and a qualitative level. The quantitative level simply aggregates tracking data from the sensors in your smartphone and sends that to the servers of MoveIT. The servers will then work out where you are, sparing the CPU of your phone the hard work and saving precious battery life. When you subsequently open the app and ask for directions, those will be sent back to you straightaway as the layout of the venue is known to MoveIT. Moreover, as the server performs this task for many users, the app will know where it’s busy and where it’s not. This way, you’ll know for instance in what part of the train you’ll have the best chance of finding a seat and which entrance will get you to the stage the quickest. And don’t worry, all tracking data will be anonymous. Continue reading I like to MoveIT

Computer Elves

The Computer Elves will save your computer!

Have you ever encountered problems in your computer that no amount of Google search could help with? We’re pretty sure most of you have. On top of that, when you do find what you think is your saviour; they’ll make you pay out of your pockets. If only life were simpler, right? Our group thought about ‘The Computer Elves’, a customer to customer platform that matches demand and supply of software and hardware services through an online tool that isn’t just user friendly but affordable as well.


The platform has double access: you can either register as freelancer or as a customer.Freelancers would mostly be students of Computer Science programs or other related disciplines. They can register and create a profile on the website on which they specify their skills, their certificates, their academic and working experience. When registering, they have to mention all the types of services they are able to offer.

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Design your perfect holiday with Myholidaycreator

Summer is on its way. Lighting the BBQ, having a beer, 30 degrees Celsius outside.. it’s about time to plan your holiday! But where to go? There is an overload of online information about traveling. Destinations are all over the world, and as low-budgets airlines offer cheap flights, many more destinations have come within reach! As McLuhan already said a long time ago, the world is becoming a global village (McLuhan, 1964).

But, back to the previous question of where to go? Firstly, where to go to find information? The travel agencies, the library, friends, blogs, the internet? There are many options, and all have its own benefits, but.there is just too much information available online (Garcia-Molina et al., 2011). But now there will be a single source, a platform; Myholidaycreator, which combines all the information from the sources previously mentioned in a single source. No need to find dispersed information from different devices anymore!


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