5 Inspiring & Motivational TED Talks

If you’re a startup entrepreneur, a wantrepreneur, or maybe just an ambitious individual with an idea — you’ll want to invest some time into these TED Talks.

1. Seth Godin: How to get your ideas to spread

“Is it remarkable?” This is the question Seth Godin, marketing guru, believes is the essence of successful “idea diffusion” today. Godin uses the example of the invention of sliced bread, which had an underwhelming 10 years of obscurity after its inception before it really caught on. In his TED Talk, Godin reveals his ideas — which have now spread to over 4 million other people (according to the views on his talk). Definitely relevant for any startup entrepreneur.

2. Tom Wujec: Build a tower, build a team

Through an extraordinarily professional and scientific experiment, involving spaghetti and marshmallow towers, Tom Wujec creatively breaks down the one quality every startup entrepreneur needs to have: team leadership. How do CEOs, lawyers, and kindergarteners compare when building the tallest spaghetti and marshmallow tower? I’ll give you a hint: kindergarteners come out on top. Watch this TED Talk to find out what exactly it is that kindergarteners do differently that make their teams more successful.

3. Bill Gross: The single biggest reason why startups succeed

It’s a fact that most startups do end up in failure. And of course, if you have a heart to start a business and take that kind of risk, you don’t want to see it fail. When the odds are against you, you’ll want to prepare everything you can — that’s where this TED Talk comes in. Bill gross, businessman and author, wanted to systematically find out which factor it was that made a business succeed. And the answer surprised him too.

4. Kare Anderson: Be an opportunity maker

This TED Talk is a bit different than the others — it’s more about the motivation and the idea than the business side. Kare Anderson is a business writer and a keynote speaker. Her TED Talk inspires you to take your talents and use them to create something meaningful — both to you and the extended community. If you’re lacking a little confidence, definitely watch this: it makes you believe in yourself.

5. Richard Branson: Life at 30,000 feet

Longer than all the rest of the TED Talks on this list, but perhaps one of the most interesting. This TED Talk is basically about the life, the ups and downs, of Richard Branson, the multi-millionaire behind the Virgin empire. Through his story telling talk, you’ll hear his unexpected motivations and basically his very interesting and exciting life. And truly, he’s an inspiration to all entrepreneurs.


Elizabeth Ching - KahootsHQElizabeth Ching | Guest Writer

Elizabeth is a spirited reader and writer, with an insatiable curiosity for technology and innovation. She enjoys blogging, tweeting, and slowly making her mark in the digital space.

3 Tips for Protecting Your Website

You have a certain skill set, which has brought you to where you are now — on the way to launching your breakthrough new business. Your skills, however, likely won’t include everything you need (except if you happen to be a genius, which is cool too). Somewhere along the way, you’re going to find you need to outsource talent, to find someone who can help in areas where you’re not quite as strong in. Now, that might be in marketing, finance, or writing — but today, we’re going to be focussing on developing your website.

Developers hold a lot of power — they literally have the power to change anything and everything on your website. So in order to protect your baby (and lessen worry), here are some things you can do to hedge your risks and protect your hard work.

1. Create an email just for your new website and its development.

This ensures that everything to do with your website is in one spot. It won’t be jumbled with the emails pertaining to other aspects of your business, and you can easily find what you want. After you’ve got that, use it as the primary email when setting up your website. Make yourself “administrator” and your developer “collaborator”. For Github, check it out here and Heroku here. That way you always have the final say!

2. Create an IP agreement with your developer

An intellectual property (IP) agreement, even if you don’t have the money to enforce (and most of us don’t, that’s okay!), it’s still worth establishing. It does say that you mean business and clearly lays out the dos and don’ts of the employment relationship. Make sure to include a line saying that at the end of the work relationship, they’ll hand over all the code and work property. Here is an example you can use for reference, (note: KahootsHQ, does not accept liability for any errors or omission in the contents of this document or which arise from it’s use).

3. Download a copy of the code and database

Try to do this weekly, or on some sort of regular basis. You definitely want a copy of your website, after all! If you’re using Github, this is super simple to configure. Just go to the repository you want to download, and on the right side-bar menu you will find a “Download ZIP” button. (Don’t forget to title the download with that day’s date!) Here’s how for reference.

And there you have it! Now, we’re not trying to point a sign reading “BE WARY OF ALL DEVELOPERS!” It’s just that sometimes when we haven’t shared our vision clearly or if there’s some sort of communication issue, things might not turn out the way you’d thought. Ensuring you’ve covered your basis during the initial website setup will help you keep calm during times of turmoil knowing your hard work and time is not at risk.

So there you have it! If you have any other tips, feel free to drop us a tweet!


Elizabeth Ching - KahootsHQElizabeth Ching | Guest Writer

Elizabeth is a spirited reader and writer, with an insatiable curiosity for technology and innovation. She enjoys blogging, tweeting, and slowly making her mark in the digital space.

5 Must-Read Books for the Entrepreneur or Wantrepreneur

If you’re starting your own company, you know that there are a ton of risks. You may have an amazing idea, but so do so many other people whose companies haven’t made it. What sets a good idea apart from a great company? How do you do it, and where do you go now that you’ve taken this leap of faith? These books are must-reads for every entrepreneur or future entrepreneur. They will help shape your business plans, ideas, and growth for every stage you encounter.

Book 11. Startup Opportunities: Know When to Quit Your Day Job by Sean Wise and Brad Feld You’ve got an idea, you’ve got a roadmap, and you’ve got the entrepreneurial spirit to create a startup. But there are more than five million entrepreneurs who will launch a new project each year, and only a fraction succeed. How do you know that yours will? Startup Opportunities is a practical book that guides you in evaluating your business plan and calculating your opportunity. Wise and Feld are two experienced entrepreneurs as well as investors, and they have an excess of experience and knowledge for starting a company from both points of view.

Why it’s a must-read: There is no way to guarantee your success in the market, but the knowledge and practical advice given in this book will allow you to definitely increase your chances.

BOOK 2

2. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel Peter Thiel is the co-founder of Paypal and Palantir, with a net-worth of 2.2 billion. In other words, this man is an entrepreneurial genius. Going down the route of a startup includes a great number of risks – especially with establishing yourself in the market. Thiel’s idea of a zero to one company is to create a space in the market – a niche – so that you’ve got a monopoly. Instead of doing something that someone else is doing, which is starting from 1, do something without precedent, starting from 0. Zero to One is all about innovation and creation.

Why it’s a must-read: Thiel’s tone is optimistic, his successes inspiring, and his ideas applicable. This book will make you feel like you can succeed and gives you the recipe for it.

BOOK 3

3. Creativity Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull Starting with a dream of creating a computer-animated movie, thus launched the idea of the now giant that is Pixar Animation Studios. Ed Catmull is the co-founder and his book, Creativity Inc. is all about effective management and maintenance of your creativity. The book chronicles Catmull’s years of experience and wisdom told through the history and realization of Pixar.

Why it’s a must-read: Startups are founded on a base of innovation. This book tells you how to manage that innovation and effectively establish a creative organization.

BOOK 44. Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising by Ryan Holiday With the incredible rise of technology, the web, and social media, there are now so many different ways to go about marketing and growing your brand without the traditional expenses. In other words, marketing hacks. Ryan Holiday, a media and business strategist, teaches you how to use media and create campaigns that help promote your brand.

Why it’s a must-read: When you’re starting your own company, you likely don’t have that much money. There are better (read: cheaper) ways to market yourself besides the traditional commercials and billboards. Holiday gives you the knowledge and the know-how to growth hack your way to success.

BOOK 55. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t by James Collins So you’ve established your startup, you’re doing well and turning it into a relatively stable company. Now what? You’re good… but how to you become great? John Collins, a business consultant and lecturer at Stanford, shares the results of research and data from a five-year project, on how and why some companies boom and others plateau. He takes real examples and analyzes them – what did the successful companies do differently? Good to Great gives you the what to do and what not to do from actual companies, so that you may shape a strategy that guides your own.

Why this is a must read: Collins gives you case studies of successes and failures. We all learn from mistakes, but they don’t always have to be our own. Each one of these books was personally suggested by one of the KahootsHQ team members.


Elizabeth Ching - KahootsHQElizabeth Ching | Guest Writer

Elizabeth is a spirited reader and writer, with an insatiable curiosity for technology and innovation. She enjoys blogging, tweeting, and slowly making her mark in the digital space.

How To Find Your Startup Team: KahootsHQ Networking @ The Launch Zone

Kahoots Networking Event at the Ryerson's Launch Zone

Calling all Kahooties!

Are you looking for exciting opportunities to network with fellow young professionals, students and Kahooties? Are you interested in learning about exciting new projects? Are you dying to hear feedback on your own exciting projects from your peers, or even meet potential new team members? Do you like free food?

Then clear your calendars for Friday, April 10, when KahootsHQ is delighted to announce that we will be hosting a networking event during the Grand Opening of the brand new Ryerson Launch Zone!

WHO? Swing by for the opportunity to meet Kahoots co-founders Kaylie Greaves and Allison Rhodes, along with countless other Kahooties, Ryerson students, professors, alumni and administrative staff. Who knows? Maybe you’ll stumble across your next portfolio piece, or the skilled team member you’ve been searching for.

WHAT? The KahootsHQ Networking event proudly takes place in collaboration with Ryerson’s new Launch Zone, an on-campus “creative collision” space for students eager to jumpstart their entrepreneurial careers. In addition to networking, the Grand Opening will feature light refreshments, live music, distinguished speakers and some fantastic entrepreneur showcases to inspire you.

WHEN? Friday, April 10, from 1-4pm.

WHERE? 341 Yonge Street (just north of Dundas Square), 3rd floor.

HOW? Space is limited! Register to attend right here (it’s free!).


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Sara Menuck | Guest Writer

Armed with an honours degree in Professional Writing and a personal vendetta against the misplaced apostrophe, Sara is a creative writer, meticulous editor, and self-professed Netflix addict.

Win Your Startup Funding in 2015

Startup Contests in 2015

If you are the owner of a startup who’s cash flow isn’t yet in the positive, you have likely turned to bootstrapping to keep your company afloat. We know it is tough, we’ve been there too. That’s why we have put together this list of startup contests.

Put your idea to the test with these low risk, high reward opportunities and take a crack at some really great prizes. Here are just a few Canadian and American competitions to get you started. Get pitching experience, test out your business model, and gain valuable feedback from some top notch mentors.

1. Mastercard Women In Entrepreneurship (Runs March to April)

  • Open to female entrepreneurs who are the current founder, co-founder or CEO of a startup.
  • Six winners awarded $10,000 worth of prizes. A $5,000 pre-paid MasterCard and admission to the DMZ.

The $60,000 program will fuel the success of six women-led startups through cash prizes and placement at the Digital Media Zone at Ryerson University (DMZ), the top-ranked university-based incubator in Canada and one of the largest co-working spaces for entrepreneurs.

2. USASBE Launch! (Runs November to March)

  • This is a FOUR STAGE competition, drop-in to any stage before its deadline.
    • 1. Launch’s Top Idea Ninja
    • 2. Launch’s Best Business Model
    • 3. Launch’s Best Crowdfunding Campaign
    • 4. Launch’s Big Traction Challenge
  • Presented by the United States Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, but open to students from any school, discipline, and country.
  • Students can win coaching from some of the world’s best entrepreneurship mentors and coaches, valuable prize packages, and considerable bragging rights!

The goal is to provoke and reward students from any discipline for great ideas, beautiful business models, and evidence of traction. Oh ya, and it’s FREE!

3. The Next Big Idea in Sport Competition (Runs February to May)

  • Open to Canadian Startups solving sport and sport industry problems through innovative applications of technology.
  • Up to 10 companies will receive four months of incubation at the DMZ.
  • At the end of the incubation period, the top three startups — as selected by a panel of judges — will receive cash prizes of $50,000, $30,000 and $20,000.

The Next Big Idea in Sport competition will encourage and support startup companies to explore innovation opportunities within the sports industry, ranging from the use of biometric wearable sensors for the collection and analysis of in-game data, to delivering unprecedented fan experiences, to advancing the business of sport management, to driving social innovation — and more.

4. The Hult Prize (Runs March to May)

  • Open to MBA candidates and college students looking to pursue startups with a focus on social good.
  • Competition involves four stages, including the “Hult Accelerator,” a six-week program during which finalists attend intensive entrepreneurial seminars.
  • A chance to win the top prize of $1,000,000.

The online edition of the Hult Prize serves as a wildcard round, granting the winning team a coveted spot in the Hult Prize Accelerator and Global Finals – joining the regional champions from Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai and Shanghai. 

Finding startup capital is one of the most common roadblocks to getting your project up and running. Competitions are one of the quickest ways to get that small chunk of change you need to help you take the first big step in launching your project. Best of all- they happen all the time.


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Allison Rhodes | Director of Creative Innovation at KahootsHQ

Allison is a graduate of the Entrepreneurship program at Ryerson University, is a Masters of Digital Media candidate and one of the co-founders of KahootsHQ.com.

Blogs for Students Aspiring to be Entrepreneurs

These are a few of our favourite entrepreneurial blogs. They can be uplifting, informative or downright hilarious but always worth the read.

Entrepreneur

A great daily read for anyone who aspires to move out of their parent’s house and into a penthouse condo. Entrepreneur has plenty of advice, insight, profiles and guides for established and aspiring entrepreneurs worldwide. http://www.entrepreneur.com

Don’t forget to read up on your industry.

Pandodaily

This witty blog has a serious sense of humour and a focus on Silicon Valley and startup news.  Pandodaily offers technology news, analysis, and commentary. We love this blog because it covers topics that we don’t see elsewhere. http://www.pando.com

Maple Butter

A Canadian blog for founders of the north. Maple Butter is written by founders for founders and answers all of the startup questions on your mind. Anything from the typical “how to manage stress” to the tough stuff like “falling out of love with your startup.” We love this blog because when we read it, we know we aren’t alone on our struggle to the top. http://www.maplebutter.com

Happy reading!


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Allison Rhodes | Director of Creative Innovation at KahootsHQ

Allison is a graduate of the Entrepreneurship program at Ryerson University, is a Masters of Digital Media candidate and one of the co-founders of KahootsHQ.com.

6 Productivity Hacking Tools for the Entrepreneur

This week we have a few tips to help all of the entrepreneurs, solopreneurs and startups out there. This is a short list of the tools that our startups use, or we use ourselves. A few of these tools help increase your social reach, while the others can help with productivity.

Check out our list of some of our favourite tools, and let us know what your favourites are.

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Social HP – Become A Social Media Champion

Killer analytics show you who your most influential brand ambassadors are. SocialHP is proven to increase customer retention, referrals, and revenue. Here at KahootsHQ, we use Social HP to help increase our reach by turning our employees and users into brand ambassadors. Social HP makes spreading our messages via social media easy and seamless. https://www.socialhp.com/

slack

Slack – For Better Team Communication

Another team favourite. Slack brings all your communication together in one place. It’s real-time messaging, archiving and search for modern teams. At KahootsHQ we use Slack for flawless communication between our team members. We can chat when sitting at our desk or on the go with our smartphones. We use it to send images, videos, and GoogleDrive files. It lets you set up channels to organize conversation. We have a channel for development, one for marketing, and one for jokes to remind us to have fun throughout the day. Archiving your messages leaves no room for communication issues and saves your team plenty of time. Better yet, it’s FREE. https://slack.com/

feedburner

FeedBurner – For Better Team Communication

Google FeedBurner lets you stay on top of the latest from your favorite websites, blogs, and podcasts. It is also a tool that allows others to keep up with all of your latest blog posts. Feedburner allows your viewers to subscribe to your RSS feed, basically notifying them by email every time you post a new blog post.  Price: FREE! feedburner.google.com/

tweetbeam

TweetBeam – Showcase Your Live Twitter Feed

Are you running an event or Twitter talk? TweetBeam is a unique visualization of live Twitter updates. Capture the feeling of an event with a TweetBeam Twitter Wall. The interface is easy to use and visually stimulating. Engage your audience and get your hashtag trending at your next event. http://www.tweetbeam.com/

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BaseCamp – Project Management Software for Your Team

Basecamp makes it easy for people in different roles with different responsibilities to communicate and work together. It’s a place to share files, have discussions and collaborate on your projects. https://basecamp.com/

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KahootsHQ – Team Building for Students, Entrepreneurs and Startups

KahootsHQ helps passionate people build project and start-up teams. Post a project and find team members, collaborators, and co-founders who want to join the cause! With a growing network, KahootsHQ will help you find talented individuals in whatever field you need, who are passionate about your project. Feel free to contact us directly at info@kahootshq.com or checkout our website. http://kahootshq.com/


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Allison Rhodes | Director of Creative Innovation at KahootsHQ

Allison is a graduate of the Entrepreneurship program at Ryerson University, is a Masters of Digital Media candidate and one of the co-founders of KahootsHQ.com.