[BioCatch in Find Biometrics] BioCatch Named to CB Insights Fintech 250

Israeli-based behavioral biometrics company BioCatch has announced that it has been named to the CB Insights Fintech 250, recognizing it as one of the fastest growing companies working to innovatively transform the fintech industry.

Read more here.

The post [BioCatch in Find Biometrics] BioCatch Named to CB Insights Fintech 250 appeared first on OurCrowd Blog.

OurCrowd Blog

How did you discover the problem you’re working on? How did you find product market fit?

How did you know there was a problem worth solving? From there, what was your process?

I find every seemingly good idea that I have, there is a company I’ve never heard of that raised $ X million in 2016 and turns out to be killing it. Are you all subject matter experts/domain experts? I’m a SWE at a niche startup, so I’m not exposed to problems that non-SWEs face. How are you finding these problems?

Say you were going to save $ 100k over the next year, all the while discovering that problem you’re going to solve. How would you do it? How do you get that “problem insight”?

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Looking to dilute my share holdings to find the right people so I can scale the SH*** out of my agency…. How do I find them?

Ok here’s the deal. I started a digital agency 6 years ago with a chap I worked with at an IT company. 7 months ago, I sold my shares to him because I felt we weren’t delivering the quality of work / working with clients that I aligned with – I didn’t get a restraint of trade because digital is my craft. We had a team of 7 and built it to the point where we had solid cash flow and a core group of clients, but it just wasn’t my jam.

I’m passionate about digital commerce + cutting edge stuff, he liked small businesses – so there was a huge disconnect in where we were passionate / where we could build value.

Over the past 6 months I have built another agency that focuses on 80% digital commerce – its going swimmingly to be honest. Turnover of 35k a month on average with this looking to increase from here. The profits margins are insanely high because a lot of the work is done by me. I specialise in the digital side of things – PPC, SEO and high level strategy – mainly digital performance based stuff.

I am technical enough to manage dev ops and can use XD to the point where I can mock up wireframes and hand then over to UI guys to make them look pretty.

I have a team of devs I use (that i have used for 3-4 years) and they are “ok”, a lot of managing and a lot of bug testing – the end product always turns out good though because they do what you ask, but just dont have the X factor when it comes to development (most outsourced dev outfits are like this IMO).

I have a few contract UI guys and although the work they do is good, its still missing that 20% that takes an ok design to an amazing design. This is generally due to the disconnect between the designers and devs. Some of the best projects I have worked on is when they communicate directly and can have open and honest convos about what animation, where, how it should behave in screen X vs screen Y – all of those final touches that make a web presence amazing.

My plan is to run my current setup like it is now to the end of the year and make a decent buck at the end of the year. In the new year – I want to take it and scale it. I strongly believe that by the end of 2021 we could easily hit the 2m mark (have done it before but with a completely different set of clientele), with a set of large retail / ecommerce brands as our core clientele….. These higher end clients always appeal to me because:

A) Larger paid budgets so the retainers are generally a lot juicer + it allows search guys to actually drill down and fine tune their craft – not work on 100+ smaller accounts that are, well, shit and boring.

B) More technical requirements for web – more complex website = more hours = bigger projects. Once again, more room for devs and designers to properly get their teeth sunk in to projects to produce industry leading platforms. Not a lot you really do for a client that has a 5k budget apart from banging up something that “works”, but is by no means “wow”

C) Way more recognition and the potential to start hitting exponential growth once you have landed a few whales are huge (there is an agency where I live that have done just this and now look after some MASSIVE brands world wide)

To do the above, I really need people who are some of the best / motivated in their field. I have worked with lots of devs who are ‘ok’, lots of designers who are ‘ok’, but the majority of contractors that you pay $ 30-$ 40 an hour to are there for the pay check and I have found aren’t able to properly take full responsibility for an outcome (I realise this could just be a bias).

Now, this isn’t a “a want the whales to come to me” post. I actually work on some worldwide brands that pay very hefty retainers. This is on the search and organic side, and I am gearing up to roll out a new web solution to them. But, before I do that, I want the right people on board.

After many hours thinking, weighing up options and and generally banging my head trying to get out of this paradox, I have finally realised that the only option to create beautiful things, is to dilute my share holding and find people who have the potential to be the best in their field – and give them a piece of the pie.

For instance, development is a whole other world and so much time is burned going back and forth between my dev team….

So I need a CTO / Technical lead that can:

A) Do the dev work at the start B) Come up with a workflow and choose scaleable frameworks that fit with what we want to do C) Help find other devs, induct them in to the fold of the way OUR dev ops works.

I will also need a creative director that can:

A) Do the UX/UI work at the start B) Come up with a design framework C) Find other designers who fit well with the way we flow.

I’m writing this because I literally do not know where to start with finding these guys. I believe it’ll take some time to find those that have the technical acumen but are also willing to grow this to something amazing AND can communicate within a team (once again, yet to find a dev that can communicate properly – once again, could be a bias and I could just be working with the wrong types of devs).

Reddit, any thoughts on how I can do this….

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Unable to find a cofounder

Hi All,

I recently had an idea which unique and very much scalable and I am looking to implement it. I want to start it with someone but am unable to look for a cofounder. Most of my friends have jobs and like the sense of security the job gives to them.

I am unsure what should be done? How do I look for one.

To the best of my knowledge and based on inputs, for the idea to scale, funding would be required. While I am happy to bootstrap it for the initial few months, I am unsure if I have enough funds to take it up for more than an year. One of the main factor that Indian VCs looks at is the the number of founders. Having only a single founder is a strict no no for investment purposes for them.

Please suggest what can I do to look for a founder?

FYI: I am from India

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Raising Series-A: Where do I Find Other Founders At A Similar Place?

Technical Co-Founder CTO, my company is raising a Series-A we're doing great. I've come to realize that since we've been so successful, the people around me mostly cannot relate and can no longer offer me much advice. I don't know any other technical co-founder who has ever made it this far in the startup world and I'm realizing that I need to build a new community of peers that I can talk to who are going through the same things. I know tons of technical folks, but nobody in a similar spot and most of the tech people I know are actually pretty jaded — they say things like "I don't even take equity any more. I just take cash because options never turn out to be worth anything."

Where should I look?

Ideas I have:

-Reach out to our investors / advisors and ask for intros to other CTOs of companies that they have invested in that are in a similar spot.

-Referrals from my existing network

-Ask around at the local CTO roundtable that I attend

Curious of any other suggestions. When I google around about finding founders all the websites are about looking for a co-founder which I'm not. I'm looking for others who are experiencing similar success and growth.

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How To Hire Developers & Find Hidden Tech Talent

Competing for the top developers with Facebook and Google is tough, especially for bootstrapped startups aiming to find and hire developers on the markets with a high talent shortage. According to McKinsey’s report, Denmark alone will experience a shortage of 19,000 IT specialists by 2030.

Moreover, hiring developers in-house is also costly, especially for a bootstrapped startup, as a full employee cost for hiring a mid developer in the US amounts to $ 71,038 per year.

How can you overcome these challenges and find one of the best developers to build killer SaaS features, create a chatbot, or develop your software from scratch?

In this article, we will share some tips on where to find and hire the best developers to build a website or app features faster. With the tips I will share, you will be able to choose the best option for your startup – hiring developers in-house or outsourcing software development abroad.

Let’s start by looking into places where you can source developers!

Where To Hire Software Developers & Tech Teams?

Freelance Marketplaces

You have probably come upon several of the most well-known talent marketplaces, such as Upwork or Toptal.

When you choose to look for developers there, get ready for a long process of interviewing candidates. This matter has even become a frequent question in some online tech communities!

Even though some good developers on Upwork are worth your time, be prepared to filter many options that won’t fit your requirements. Just take a look at the listed Javascript developers on Upwork. I haven’t even clicked through all tabs here:

If you happen to work with freelancers on talent marketplaces, read terms and conditions for using these platforms. Quite often, they prohibit taking cooperation with freelancers out of the platform. According to the contract, you have to keep working with developers within Upwork. You also pay a hefty commission ranging from 5%-20% on Upwork that otherwise would be just your developer’s remuneration.

Tech Teams On Google

You can also search for developers on Google. The best way to approach your Google search is by going to Clutch, a review platform for B2B service providers.

An advantage of choosing tech teams on this portal is reading reviews and testimonials of their previous clients. Software companies are investing quite some time to collect client referrals and build a positive reputation on review platforms. As an insider, I can claim that some even slightly press their clients to give them only five-star reviews.

As you understand, you will get swamped with an abundance of options similar to talent marketplaces. As tech agencies are working hard to get positive reviews on their websites, making a final choice on your dream team won’t come easy.

For example, by choosing “Top PHP Developers” on Clutch, I have received 7,639 search results. I would need to do lots of work researching the best options while reading reviews for every company, not mentioning a number of business emails sent back and forth to book introductory calls.

Clutch

Hackathons & Conferences

If you have more time for the hiring process, you can use an opportunity to visit industry events for developers.

Conferences and hackathons are perfect places to get into casual conversations with developers to understand if they are currently looking to change a job. You can also learn if they fit your requirements when it comes to experience, understanding of your business, and whether you have a personal fit with them.

Do a little research online and choose development conferences you can attend. Here are some examples of hackathons:

  • TechCrunch Disrupt
  • hackNY
  • MHacks
  • HackZurich

You can dig deep into options in your region.

Developer Communities

Try your chances by searching through multiple developer communities online to find bright talent. You can take a look at GitHub, Stack Overflow, Reddit, and some job boards such as StartUs, AngelList, Mashable, or CrunchBoard. Some developers even start a blog on their experience with product development that you also can come upon online by searching through keywords.

Recruiters

If you want to open a subsidiary office abroad, the best option would be to work with local recruiters who will source and interview developers and use some recruitment tools to facilitate the process of sourcing and shortlisting. This way, you will get highly vetted local professionals.

Working with professionals on site will save you time doing your research in the language you don’t know, prepare recruiting emails, qualify candidates for interviews, and manage work email without an end.

The 2020 COVID-19 crisis has taught companies to strive for more elasticity in terms of hiring employees. Just take a look at the problems a German fintech startup, N26 is facing, with employees going on a strike due to salary discrimination.

That is why it is worth considering opening subsidiaries in the countries where there is more significant flexibility in scaling a team and reducing it when needed. The salary deemed low to high-income countries would be highly competitive in countries like Poland and Ukraine.

Pre-Vetted Developers

If you want to avoid time-consuming research, filter through thousands of developers, and manage communication with them, choose to work with concierge services or matchmakers to do it for you.

By working with companies like Trustshoring, you can get recommendations for freelancers and full tech teams with a track record of 100% client satisfaction rate. You have certainty your cooperation will succeed as the company regularly supervises them.

You can get matched with a few teams that deserve your time to be interviewed within 2-3 days and get teams to make project proposals for you.

As a bonus, you don’t have to pay for this service. Matchmakers usually charge a small finder’s fee to tech agencies if the cooperation starts and the contract is signed.

Hiring A Team vs. Outsourcing

You now have an overview of multiple sources for finding tech talent gems to work on your startup.

Let’s consider what options fit the best for you – keeping development in-house or outsource.

In one case, you can decide to work with recruiters or explore the developer community and job boards to find developers who would join you in-house.

In the other, you can consider outsourcing development and hiring a full team of developers abroad or get a few freelance developers working on your project remotely.

In both cases, you first have to assess the costs of hiring and outsourcing. Let’s compare the two options – hiring a mid developer in the US and working with one in Ukraine (one of the most popular outsourcing destinations among startup founders.

Developers’ Rates

As mentioned earlier in the article, an average mid developer salary in the US is $ 71,038 per year, after taxes. As of now, the cost of hiring a developer is $ 34.

The average rate of hiring mid developers in Ukraine is around $ 30. Not a big difference, right?

However, we have not counted taxes!

Let’s calculate what tax you would have to pay to hire a developer in the US. I will use the framework of Joe Hadzima, an economist who has brought complex taxation calculations to a simple formula. According to Hadzima, the employment cost varies between 1.25 and 1.4 of the base salary in the US.

If we crunch our numbers, we will get the hourly rate of between $ 42,5 and $ 47,6 before taxes. A full employment cost of a mid developer in the US would amount to $ 88,798-$ 99,453.

This calculation makes a difference now, as, with outsourcing development, a $ 30-per-hour rate is your full cost.

Let’s move forward with other hidden costs of hiring developers in-house!

If you decide to go with hiring developers in-house, you have to account for other hidden costs such as office rent, hardware, software tools, recruitment, holidays, and leaves.

What’s Better – Hiring In-House Or Outsourcing Development?

By sticking to numbers, a more logical decision would be to go with outsourcing. Even if you decide to outsource now when you have a more established company, you can always start building your tech team in-house.

When scaling your startup, you can use tech agencies only occasionally. Keeping and managing your affiliates abroad is easier with a team collaboration software and a set of simple remote work practices – this is something you can learn relatively fast.

Apart from hiring and outsourcing, you can also choose a hybrid approach and keep a small in-house team of developers working on core app functionalities, while outsourcing the development of integrations to tech agencies abroad.

The Bottom Line

No matter if you decide to keep development in-house or outsource, you have plenty of resources where you can find hidden tech talent.

  • Freelance marketplaces like Upwork or Toptal
  • Google search, including Clutch
  • Hackathons and conferences
  • Developer communities
  • Recruiters
  • Matchmaking services with pre-vetted talent

If you choose to do your research, get ready to dedicate a lot of time for sourcing and interviewing developers as there are thousands of freelancers and tech agencies listed on talent marketplaces, and review platforms.

Work with matchmaking services to cut time on interviews and get in touch with tried-and-tested teams with a high success rate supervised by an independent expert. With these services usually being free, this seems to be one of the best options to pursue.

 

_________

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StartUs Magazine

How find what approvals and certifications needed for a new product?

Hello!

Like many of you guys im just starting out, and questions i thought would be easy to solve are faring not to be. Without getting into the weeds too much, im designing a product that will interface with an American homes utilities. Does anyone have a resource to find compliance's that one would need? Does anyone have experience designing IOT devices that interface with utilities that meet American standards? ie NEC, UL…etc

Thanks!

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Kinspire’s new app helps parents find screen-free activities for kids

A new startup called Kinspire wants to make it easier for parents to find activities to help keep kids occupied — away from a screen. The app, which launches with hundreds of activities vetted by parents and teachers alike, arrives at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has many families continuing to engage in social distancing, cutting kids off from regular playdates and other activities. Meanwhile, millions of schoolchildren are now spending long hours online, engaged in distance learning activities.

For parents, this rapid and dramatic increase in screen time has many looking for alternative ways to keep kids occupied and entertained, preferably offline.

Image Credits: Kinspire

“We needed Kinspire in our lives as parents, so we built it,” explains Rob Seigel, PhD, a father of two and Kinspire’s CEO and co-founder. “Before Kinspire, I found it stressful having to search for an activity on websites and social media, then pitch it to my kids. Inevitably after all that work, they’d say no. Kinspire is the one-stop shop where kids can choose what they want to do, not what looks fun to dad,” he says.

He also wanted the app to offer the convenience of having the instructions and the materials together in one place. When quarantine started in the U.S., Seigel put a team together and built it.

At launch, Kinspire features over 350 screen-free activities, including project-based STEAM activities from Tinkerclass, via NPR’s “Wow in the World” — a kids’ podcast designed to encourage kids to think and “tinker” with ordinary household items. None of this content, at present, is paid, we’re told.

The Kinspire community will source the activities going forward by using the app’s “add activity” feature, after first creating their profile. Seigel says the team moderates the content through a combination of an A.I. moderation service and human review.

When you first open the Kinspire app, you’ll see a vertical feed of images, similar to Instagram. But instead of artsy photos or memes, kids and parents can scroll through the activity suggestions to find something fun to do. Each activity card will feature a photo taken by the Kinspire community, which includes teachers, activity creators, as well as parents and caregivers.

Some of the initial creators participating in Kinspire include Nicole Roccaro of @naturallycuriouschildren, Kari McManamon of @entertainmytoddler, Viviana Maldonado of @makethingsbox_, and Kira Silvera of @totsonlock.

Parents can also filter the suggested activities by age, whether it’s designed for indoors or outdoors, prep time, how much parental involvement is needed, activity type, materials needed, and even the mess level involved. (Now that sounds like a parent built this!)

Image Credits: Kinspire

You can also save favorite activities you may want to try later.

As kids complete the activities in Kinspire, they earn in-app rewards as they accomplish things like doing a creative or scientific project, a nature exploration, engaging in pretend play, practicing cooking, math, music, mindfulness and more. Some of the in-app rewards turn into digital character badges for profiles. Rewards also deliver printable instructions to help kids build origami characters with paper from home.

The app could help homeschoolers, remote learners, and any other families who are struggling to come up with new ideas for kids after exhausting so many during the early days of the pandemic.

The company plans to generate revenue by adding a premium subscription that will allow parents to subscribe to individual content creators to receive exclusive, additional content within Kinspire. This also lets Kinspire’s creative content partners monetize, as they share in that revenue.

Kinspire is also working on shoppable activities, a top user request during testing. This lets parents easily purchase all the necessary materials for an activity directly in the Kinspire app, instead of having to go to Amazon or another store. Kinspire would take a commission on those purchases.

Denver and New York-based Kinspire was founded in May 2020, during the pandemic, by a team with backgrounds in tech and children’s play experiences.

Sara Berliner was on the founding team and is an advisor at YC-backed Hellosaurus, a new interactive video platform and creator tool. Before Kinspire, she co-founded children’s IP studio Star Farm (2002-2008), started and built the Kids & Family group at ScrollMotion, now Ingage (2008-2012), and was Chief Strategy Officer at Night & Day Studios, home of Peekaboo Barn, from 2012-2018. She’s also a mother of two.

Kinspire’s current co-founders Rob Seigel, Dave Tarasi, and Nate Ruiz, meanwhile, have a combined twenty years of experience at startups like HeadsUp, Nodin, SolidFire, and NetApp. CEO Seigel was previously co-Founder and CEO of HeadsUp, CTO at Nodin, and a software engineer at SolidFire/NetApp, in addition to being a father of two boys.

The startup is currently bootstrapped and raising a seed round.

The Kinspire app is a free download on iOS and Android in the U.S. and Canada.

Startups – TechCrunch

Find out what’s new with the upgraded Disrupt 2020 Digital Pass

We’re just days away from Disrupt 2020, a tech summit of (literally) global proportions. It’s our biggest Disrupt ever, stretching over five days — September 14-18. We’ve packed the conference agenda with experts, insight, trends, tools and connections designed to help early-stage startups meet their potential.

We know many startup budgets are under duress, and we want to make Disrupt accessible to as many people as possible. Today we’re announcing the upgraded Digital Pass starting at just $ 45. Don’t wait to pull the trigger on this deal, because once the event starts on September 14, the price goes up to $ 75. Buy the new Digital Pass right now.

Let’s look at what you can do with your upgraded Disrupt Digital Pass.

You’ll have access to all the programming on the Disrupt Stage. Tune in and learn from the some of the best and brightest tech and investment minds in the world. Folks like Sequoia Capital’s Roelof Botha; Jennifer Holmgren, sustainability expert and CEO of LanzaTech; and Jennifer A. Doudna, biochemist and co-inventor of CRISPR.

And by the way, the Startup Battlefield, our epic pitch competition that’s launched more than 900 companies, takes place on the Disrupt Stage. Sweet!

You’ll also be able to tune in to all the Breakout Sessions throughout the event. Here’s just one example (be sure to see Disrupt agenda for all the Breakout Session programming):

Diversity as Disruption: Take action now to create a more diverse ecosystem – Recent events continue to demonstrate that change is not happening fast enough. How can we ensure the current social justice momentum is more than just talk? Guided by SVB’s recent research into the “4th wave of venture capital,” learn how three industry leaders are tackling the problem with real actions. By the close of the session, leave with tangible steps you can take today — whether as an individual or as a firm — to make a meaningful, move-the-needle impact in your organization.

Plus, you’ll have access to the expo, where you’ll find hundreds of outstanding startups exhibiting in Digital Startup Alley, including the TC Top Picks. Peruse the expo and check out an incredible array of products and talent that spans the tech spectrum.

Your Digital Pass does NOT include networking with CrunchMatch, programming on the Extra Crunch Stage or the free subscription to Extra Crunch. A simple upgrade to the PRO pass unlocks access to these features and more opportunity to grow your business.

Don’t let a thin budget keep you from experiencing the extensive programming — packed with experts, insight and trends — on the Disrupt Stage. Get your upgraded Digital Pass for just $ 45 before September 13 at 11:59 p.m. (PT) — and $ 75 afterward.

Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at Disrupt 2020? Contact our sponsorship sales team by filling out this form.

Startups – TechCrunch

How to find co-founders

I am trying to find co-founders for my startup. So far two people are working on the project myself and a friend. I am looking for someone who understands business and how to push my startup when it comes to investors. I have met with people in the past but as soon as they start doing the work they disappear or dont want to put in the time that is needed. Does anyone no I could place where I could find cofounders?

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