Jason Ball's TechBytes

Technology & Venture Capital. Early stage venture capital news mixed with personal views and comments

Streetcar Exit- a London success story

Congratulations to Andrew Valentine, CEO at Streetcar on the company’s sale to Zipcar. I’ve known the company for a long time, and have watched it grow since Streetcar presented to the London Business Angels network when I was the “gatekeeper” there…

More info on the exit is available over at Techcrunch.

Filed under: Mergers and Acquisitions

Wired Up

I picked up the May copy of Wired’s UK edition this week. I’ve always preferred the US version since I’m not in the US- it keeps me up to speed on what’s happening there- but it hit me how powerful the UK version is for the European start-up scene.

Enter the Wired 100 People.

Everyone knows the legends in the Valley, and everyone goes on and on about the Valley (it *is* a special place afterall). I’ve been here for 10 years and Europe has always had problems gaining start-up momentum – there’s no epicenter, there’s no critical mass- and there are no Heros.

Wired is creating local Heros, and I applaud them for it. Singling out successful entrepreneurs, investors, inventors- and holding them up – is something Europe desperately needs. It’s not going to instantly make a scene- but the Wired 100 + the Silicon Alley map they produced last year + …. starts to create a sense of community. And that’s just what Europe needs.

(Also, special congratulations to you Reshma for coming in at number 12. Reshma Sohoni is CEO of  Seedcamp- another group that’s doing a great job building a strong European start-up scene. If you’re just starting out, and you don’t know about Seedcamp- you need to get to one of their mini seedcamps as soon as you can.)

Filed under: Technology, Venture Capital

Cool iPhone Apps

Hi there! 

No, I'm not dead- this blog is live… I've just been too busy lately to blog. So, to get me started blogging again, I thought I would share a few apps that I'm using regularly these days:

Sleep Cycle- actually monitors your sleep pattern by using the accelerometer in your iPhone. $0.99 to see how you've been sleeping. The best part is you set what time you'd like to wake up, and the app decides when you're in the best state to be woken. The sleep graph shows you the "quality" of your sleep the night before.

Remember the Milk- the app is for premium RTM users, and it's worth every penny. The best part: Location based To Dos. If I'm on Regents Street I can open up RTM and it shows things I want to do/see nearby… This is the only to do list I've seen that leverages location. 

Amazon- never miss another book recommendation. Open the app, search, ask "is this the book you mean?" When you get the nod, click add to basket. Wonderful…

BBC Weather- I live in England, so I'm overly preoccupied with weather. I'm a cyclist which means I'm obsessed with weather. It's a web app, but it's light and snappy. BBC has the best hour by hour forecast out there. For anywhere besides England, I've found Accuweather's hour by hour forecast is the best one on an iPhone.

Ocado- UK online grocery store. So easy to add "Milk" to your upcoming order.

Tripit- Getting your trips into tripit can be tricky if you're not in the US, but if you can, this is the best app for travel, hands down.

Convert- I'm always converting currencies and units. This little app is a lifesaver. Costs $0.99.

Foodspotting- If you like food, this is your app. Figuring out what to eat takes on a whole new dimension with Foodspotting. Instead of reading reviews, you look at pictures of food. And what looks good, is where you end up going. Fantastic site. The iPhone app intelligently filters based on location.

I'll post another set of apps in the near future. Feel free to add your favorites/recommendations in the comments section…

Filed under: iPhone

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