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.

Your Event Recap: KahootsHQ Networking @ the Ryerson Launch Zone Grand Opening

What do you get when you combine a dynamic crew of Kahooties and fellow Ryerson students, a host of experienced professors and industry professionals, a fantastic display of student success, and more free food than a starving student can eat?!

We’ll tell you what: one fantastic afternoon of networking hosted by KathootsHQ at the Grand Opening of Ryerson’s brand new Launch Zone!

KahootsHQ Founders
Your humble KahootsHQ founders were delighted to take part in the Grand Opening of Ryerson’s Launch Zone.

Friday, April 10, saw a fantastic turnout of students and staff to celebrate the opening of the new student centre, while taking advantage of a unique opportunity to shake hands with potential creative colleagues.

Networking opportunities abound… as do mini cupcakes!
Networking opportunities abound… as do mini cupcakes!

Highlights of the afternoon included a showcase of over 15 Ryerson projects, with the project owners in attendance. KahootsHQ facilitated live introductions between these project owners seeking fantastic talent and talented Kahooties seeking experience. An all-round exciting opportunity to meet new people and create new connections!

Who says networking isn’t all fun and games?
Who says networking isn’t all fun and games?

Check out all the photos from the event on our Flickr page!

Miss out on the fun? You still have the chance to get in on the action by checking out projects looking for talent on the KahootsHQ project board.

And as if we didn’t have enough this time round, we’re already planning our next Social Matchup event. Stay tuned for more details!


AllisonPhoto

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.

 

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!).


AllisonPhoto

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.


AllisonPhoto

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.

8 Reasons Why Working at a Startup Rocks

You work at a startup and are constantly telling your friends that you love your job when they come home complaining about theirs. Share this fun list with them to help explain why your job, and working at a startup rocks! We’ve kept the list to short and fun animated gifs, since we know they have no patience after their typical corporate work day.

1) You wear whatever you want.

slob

Unless of course you have a meeting that day. Then you are suddenly unrecognizable like Cinderella going to the ball.

cinderella

2) Late nights, long days and tough investors call for beers at your desk.

Alcohol Would Be Nice

3) You love what you do everyday.

love this job

4) It is your own company, so its successes are your successes.

Self Five

5) You work in an environment of innovation, although sometimes you’re not sure exactly what that means.

innovation

6) You are truly recognized for your successes

succes

but also your failures

MyBad

7) You finally have real responsibility.

I've Got The Power

and lastly,

8) You can be creative.

Creative Genius


AllisonPhoto

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.

The Myth of the Solopreneur

Work for yourself, find a cofounder
Don’t go it alone, find talented student volunteers and cofounders in Canada.

Solopreneurs work alone – hence the term solo. However, running a business as a one man show can be quite daunting. You’re constantly juggling a number of balls, dropping one here or there and never fully focusing on the few tasks that are in your expertise.

The key here is finding one or two partners who have complementary skill sets to your own. By pooling resources and talent, not only can you lighten your load and focus on your strengths, but you have another person to bounce ideas off of. This can be hugely beneficial, especially in the early days when so many game-changing decisions are made. If you are a user experience expert, don’t try to do all the grunt work on a backend-heavy project. You’re better off to off-load onto someone that loves backend, or at least is interest in learning to love it. You can swap tasks and work on each others’ projects, or better yet, join forces and start a business.

Finding a cofounder can be a tedious and time consuming task, but in the end when you find the right match, it is absolutely worth it. Suddenly all that time you were spending grinding away at something outside of you skill set will be freed up. Then you can spend your time on the tasks that you are actually good at, and love to do.

I like to remind our project owners and startups that not all tasks require you to find a partner. There are a number of tasks that you can outsource to local talent so that you can focus on running your business. Here are a few examples of tasks you may wish to outsource: accounting, marketing, web development and design, artwork, or community management.

At KahootsHQ.com we preach, “Work for yourself, not by yourself.”  We can help you find volunteers and cofounders in Canada. Our website has a number of talented students looking to volunteer their time to gain experience working with a startup or business.


AllisonPhoto

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 cofounders of KahootsHQ.com.