Appsessed: Coffee

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If today’s apps have told us anything, it’s that anything you need is just a swipe away.

Though Tinder’s purpose is relatively simple, it’s easy, swipe-based selection model has caught like wildfire — causing startup founders to build spinoffs including a Tinder for dogs, a Tinder for Instagram, a Tinder for fashion, and more (thankfully, this Tinder for kids is just a joke).

So for today’s Appsessed, we thought we’d throw another one into the mix and introduce Coffee: a Tinder-like app that helps you connect with experts in your professions of interest. Rather than focusing on romantic connections, Coffee aims to make professional connections — and makes the sometimes-uncomfortable process of networking mobile-optimized and painless.

Simply download the app, and Coffee will pull data from your LinkedIn or Facebook to show you professionals you might be interested in meeting. Swipe right or left to indicate interest (all answers are anonymous), and chat with motivated people in your space. 

Coffee has already helped users score jobs and forge valuable connections — so give it a download, and swipe your way to a new career. 

Follow them: @coffeetheapp

#NYCSTARTSUP ACCEPTING STARTUP APPLICATIONS NOW

Do you have a brand new ad tech solution that disrupts the media & marketing landscape? Have you designed a game changing mobile application or website that is perfect for a brand partnership? Apply for the opportunity to pitch your startup to an audience of brands, agencies and publishers!

#NYCSTARTSUP is accepting startup applications until Friday September 13, 2014!

212 and The New York Times have joined forces to host the second annual startup competition focused on startups born and bred in NYC. The competition will culminate with a live pitch event moderated by Evol8tion at The New York Times Building, where the winning startup will be awarded a prize including $10,000. 

Startups who meet the following eligibility requirements can apply:
-Founded and currently active in NYC
-Less than four years old
-Has a minimally viable product (i.e. a working prototype)
-No advertising agencies or networks allowed

To learn more and register by the Friday September 13th deadline, check out 212, and stay up to date with all your startup news with @Evol8tion!

Startup Spotlight: Brandlock.io

You know those annoying banner ads we’re so used to seeing all over the internet? Well, a surprising amount of the time, it’s not the website’s fault — it’s the adware on your device.

72% of internet users unknowingly have adware on their devices, compromising their visits to brands’ websites. This adware changes their user experience completely, allowing unexpected pop-ups to promote brands’ competitor sites, show image-damaging adult ads beside branded products, and more.

Enter BrandLock.iothe only anti-malware product that enables brands to actively protect their users’ experiences with their sites.

Though adware/malware are known threats, traditional anti-malware software needs to be installed on the user’s device — and typically, this software remains either uninstalled or outdated.  BrandLock.io allows brands to protect their sites from adware without any action from users: guaranteeing a website experience that’s true to the brand’s identity.

BrandLock.io is offering brands a free one month pilot test to learn more about their user malware footprint, and how BrandLock.io can help improve it. So contact them today, and give your visitors the experience they deserve.

Want us to feature your startup on the next Startup Spotlight? Submit your startup to our database here for a chance to be featured on M+MV, and be considered for brand partnership!

MediaPost Online Spin: I Dare You To Get To 10%

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I Dare You To Get To 10%

Lately I’ve been describing myself as the Robin Hood of marketing. If I look back at my four books — “Life after the 30-second spot,” “Join the Conversation,” Flip the Funnel” and “Z.E.R.O.” — they all have a common theme of stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. Or, in marketing speak: budget optimization (sounds less daring when you put it that way).

I challenge marketers to rethink the way they spend other people’s money in favor of a scenario which I believe more realistically reflects reality – or, at least a reality grounded in consumer insights and the actual behavior of the people they call consumers.

Inherent in the final optimization is the belief that we need to create innovation budgets. My co-author and fellow Online Spin writer, Maarten Albarda, dedicates an entire chapter in “Z.E.R.O.” to the budget-setting component of the Z.E.R.O. action plan.

The creation of new budgets and allocation of funding is nothing new to marketing or media. I wish I could tell you this was the first time we are discussing this, but if I did it would just be déjà vu all over again. Every new medium has faced the same challenges when it comes to begging for scraps, justifying its existence and making the case for a spending level commensurate with consumer behavior and media consumption.

I only need to think back to my agency days recall the eye rolls when I pleaded for dollars that I believed were justified — if not right then, certainly in the months to come.

I also remember being told that there are two types of people: pioneers and settlers. The pioneers get killed and the settlers take the land. “Joe, my boy: you are a pioneer!” Gee, thanks (I think…).

It takes a bold individual to put that stake in the ground (versus having it thrust through their heart). Chuck Fruit did it at Anheuser-Busch and The Coca-Cola Company with regards to cable television (ESPN is still grateful), and most recently, Mondelez’ (a client) Bonin Bough did it with respect to mobile.

In the world of digital innovation, we constantly hear about the 60/30/10 — or 70/20/10 as a slightly more conservative — rule being applied, led by the uber innovator, Google and in the corporate world, Coca-Cola (again) respectively. Coke refers to it as Now, New and Next.

So with all that said, what percentage of your budget are you spending on innovation — aka “next”? Do you even have a budget to begin with? And if so, do you have a dedicated champion internally, and partner externally, to help you execute against it?

It dawned on me last week as I was immersing myself in the startup world of Silicon Valley that this 10% dream is really just a pipe dream to marketers. They talk a big game, but walk an entirely different one. I realized that 10%, while realistic and practiced by a handful of progressive brands, is unattainable to many others.

So I thought I would take the hatchet and lop off an entire digit, leaving us with a solitary and pretty binary “1.” I challenge the marketers still standing to get to 1% for innovation. Could you do it? Could you do it this year? And no, the year is NOT almost over. What about next year? How embarrassed will you be when you get to the end of NEXT year with still nothing NEW to show for it? Shouldn’t you take the first step NOW? 

For your first step, why not move the decimal place one more time to the left: 0.1%. On a $50 million spend, we’re talking about $50,000. How about 0.1% of your spend on a test, experiment or pilot program. I don’t care what you call it, as long as you call it. As long as it isn’t others calling… time of death. Yours.

For more wisdom from Joseph Jaffe visit www.jaffejuice.com and follow him @jaffejuice

Appsessed: Traces

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We all love the fast fun of Snapchat. Receive your message, open, and enjoy before the time runs out (unless you’re a screenshot ninja). But what if enjoying your message had to do with where you were in the real world, rather than the speed of your fingers? 

New messaging app Traces creates the perfect blend of virtual and reality by making messages accessible based on the recipient’s geographic location. To send messages, users select the contents of their message (can be text, photo, video, etc), and choose how long to leave the message accessible (can range from an hour to a month). They then choose a location by dropping a pin on a map, and send. In order to access the message, recipients must go their friend’s designated location, and pop the water droplet icon on their screen.

Traces is a brilliant social play on wanderlust, with a dash of nostalgia to boot. So give it a download, spread the word, and send your friends on their next adventure.

Fall Internship at Evol8tion!

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Calling all recent grads! Evol8tion is officially accepting applications for fall interns.

We are an innovation company that connects early-stage tech startups with brands — and we are looking for a dynamic self starter to join our team as a paid part-time employee. 

As an Evol8tion intern, you will: (a) learn about cutting-edge startups and how evaluate them for brand partnership, (b) help manage our startup database submissions, (c) attend tech/startup events to interact with NYC entrepreneurs, (d) populate our blog, Madison and Mountain View (www.madisonandmountainview.com) and (e) get exposure to what it’s like working for brand clients like Mondelez, Kraft Foods, and more. 

Evol8tion embraces a virtual workplace: so while we often work together as a team at our offices, you are encouraged to work from coffee shops, parks with free wifi, or from home if you’d like. 

Applicants must be independent workers with excel proficiency. Strong organizational, writing, and interpersonal skills are required. A healthy passion and curiosity for emerging technology is a plus! 

Email your resume to liz@startupsforbrands.com to apply.

Startup Spotlight: Tourlandish

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Every other week, Evol8tion chooses one of the best and brightest startups in our database to feature on Startup Spotlight. This week, we’re shouting out Tourlandish

As frequent travelers, we know that tourism can be pretty overwhelming. So for visitors in New York, Tourlandish is a dream come true! This handy startup is the tourist’s one-stop shop for the best of New York — from restaurants, to excursions, to attractions and beyond. Though we’ve seen lots of geo-located activity apps lately, Tourlandish differentiates itself by specifically catering to visitors’ interests — offering welcome advice (and discounts!) to the globe-trotting explorer.

You can search for, discover, and peruse local activities straight from your mobile phone, and booking is only a matter of seconds: allowing you to be spontaneous, get your head out of the guide book, and make the most of every second. 

There’s no denying New York is one of the greatest cities in the world. We love that Tourlandish is showing it off!

Click here to learn more about our database, and how your startup can work with Evol8tion.

Follow Tourlandish: @Tourlandish

BigApps 2014 Finalists!

Between May and July 2014, over 100 innovative startup teams participated in BigApps NYC 2014 — developing unique technological solutions for some of NYC’s most difficult challenges.

Now, BigApps NYC has selected 20 of these teams to move on to the final round! Finalists will have an extra six weeks of preparation time to hone their ideas — and afterwards, they’ll pitch before a panel of all-star judges for the chance to win over $100,000 in cash prizes.

Without further ado: here are the finalists!

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MediaPost Online Spin: The Price Of Innovation? About $199

The Price Of Innovation? About $199

Last week, I popped into my local Apple store for back-to-back-to-back appointments with the Geniuses (or Genii) at the Bar.

First port of call was my own iPhone and its radical draining battery. Turns out the problem was my 17,000 apps independently calling for “background app refresh” and “location services” all at the same time. Problem solved, one for one.

Next up was my daughter’s beyond-smashed and dysfunctional iPhone. This is when things got hairy. I was told it would cost $199 for a new phone. I explained I had AppleCare and they acknowledged this, but informed me that my two-year warranty had expired.

Enter the worst bait-and-switch in the history of not-so-smartphones. Obviously the idea is to get people to upgrade to new phones. In this case, my daughter’s iPhone 4S could easily have been upgraded to a 5 or 5S (with Two-year contract of course), but as it turns out, she — quite understandably — is holding out for an iPhone 6.

Only Apple is not operating on the same page as my daughter (who I suspect she is not the exception, but the overwhelming majority now) and as a result, is lagging behind pretty radically in the high-stakes game of innovation. The Apple 4S came out on Oct. 14, 2011 and my daughter’s phone was purchased in May, 2012. It’s now August 2014 and all we hear from the too-cool-for-schoolBlueshirts is thestandard response: “We don’t know when the anticipated mythical iPhone 6 announcement is going to echo from the heavens.”

Why not? Why wouldn’t you inform your own people when your overdue phone is ready? Why constantly trade on innuendo, hype and secrecy? That’s soooo Steve Jobs-era and 2011!

After switching Blueshirts three times and apparently talking to the store “manager,” I found out that I could purchase a phone for $199 and then trade it in when I was ready. At today’s rate, I would get $125 for the phone. But a) the rate fluctuates daily (I’m a day trader now?), b) the phone would have to be in pristine condition (did I mention, this was for my teenage daughter?) and c) I would have to use the store credit for a new iPhone from the Apple store.

The problem here is that Apple is being out-innovated (outsmarted?) by AT&T and the like. AT&T now has “Next” that allows customers to swap out old phones (defined as older than a day) for the latest and greatest with two provisions: 1. The “lease” renews and 2. It has to be done in an AT&T store. That’s AT&T 1, Apple 0 for those keeping score in-store.

To make matters worse, I explained to “the manager” that I was literally (my third appointment that day) about to purchase a new MacBook Air and spend up to $3,000 in the process in their store, making it the 11th active i-device in my household. Yes, there is a “kick me” sign on my back right now.

You would think the manager would be “empowered” to make me an offer. How about meeting me halfway at $100? Nope.

How many people were in the exact same situation as myself, do you think? I didn’t have to think for too long. There was one person sitting right next to me with the exact same problem: a horribly cracked iPhone 4S screen, waiting for the 6, and oops… expired AppleCare.

How many tens, hundreds, thousands of people are walking into Apple stores every single day experiencing the exact same poor customer experience? The mind boggles.

It would appear that innovation — or rather, the lack thereof — has a value: It’s $199. When multiplied by tens of thousands of dissatisfied customers, that comes at a rather steep price.

For more wisdom from Joseph Jaffe visit www.jaffejuice.com and follow him @jaffejuice

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Missed last night’s NY Tech Meetup? No worries! The Evol8tion team is here with your handy-dandy recap.

As always, be sure to follow us here and on Twitter (@evol8tion) for the finest in startup news!

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