In Zurich, today was a day of joy and celebration for those who follow the Apple. The company and producer of such ubiquitous gadgets like the iPhone, the iPod or the iBook, in short, all things i, opened its own store on the fancy downtown Bahnhofstrasse. Since we, just like Apple, are an international corporate giant (well, almost), we'd like to welcome Apple to our lovely city. We sent two representatives with salt and bread (traditional gifts for new neighbors) to the store, one of them almost first in line to get into the store, the other taking a couple of pictures along the way.
What a great first fundraising event we had on Friday night! The Amazee Booster Party went down well in every aspect. There were loads of people, everybody was having a good time, the collaborative wine-cooler worked well and we raised quite a bit of money for four projects on Amazee. An all-out success, in other words, and certainly not the last party we had!
To be honest, when the first guests arrived, we weren't quite sure if the collaborative wine-cooler would work. We had asked the Ladies to bring cut fruit and the Gentlemen to supply us with the alcoholic ingredients. But soon we had a nice wine-cooler going which actually tasted quite well. Only that it turned into more of a vodka-cooler as the party proceeded.
The fundraising part, the centerpiece and primary reason for our party, also worked very well. We had asked everybody to leave a few quid for a project of their liking. Four projects were selected by us before the party and they received quite nice amounts of donations: Water for Dixie, Abolish The Death Penalty, Mosquito Nets To Fight Malaria! and Mission Moonbear.
We thank everybody for showing up and hope you had a good time. We woke up with slight headaches and our office looked like it was fun the night before. After cleaning up we took the chance and rearranged our workplaces. Come by and have a look! Or just visit the project and enjoy Danny's nice party pics we posted there.
- Marie-Jeanne Juilland @ Ferry Building: She's the helpful Silicon Valley coach supporting Swiss CTI startups entering the US market. Highly recommended!
- Stephane, CEO of Poken @ Pier 38: A thriving Swiss startup in a one of the most wonderful offices Amazee has ever seen!
- Sunil , Cecily and Greg @ Monetasuite: Two startup colleagues with one of the leanest products I have ever come across: It measures the time you spend with specific email recipients -> great stuff for lawyers, accountants and other pros that do not want to think how much time they spend on each client (Cecily by the way is the daughter of famous management guru Peter Drucker!)
- Greg and Luc @ Swissnex: the ultimate hub for all Swiss Web entrepreneurs that want to rock the US market.
- Now off to meet Jürgen Schwärzler, who just launched this new google project!
Last Monday the 6th Web Monday took place back in the good old Amazee office. Nearly 40 attendees started off the evening with some networking, drinks & snacks.
At 7.15pm Jürg Cathomas from the Swiss Federation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (Schweizerischer Blinden- und Sehbehindertenverband) showed us how a blind person surfs the Web. It was really interesting and fascinating, or rather, as Donna Jackson says "this presention put us sighted people to shame, the presenter, Jürg Cathomas, whipped through vocalised commands like lightning and showed us how to navigate the web and how to develop for the blind and partially sighted." It was definitely also an eye-opener for me!
Then Jonathan Maim from Lausanne-based Minsh gave us a pre-alpha sneak-peak of their new application minsh. Minsh is a 3D underwater world, where your twitter account is represented by a colorful fish. That fish can go on a mission or join another group of fish. Nice stuff! I can already see a lot of passionate Twitter users going crazy about Minsh!
I'm really pleased to see how the Web Monday Zurich is developing. There are more and more people signing up each time, the presentations give us insights into various areas of the Web and great connections result out the networking part.
Wanna join the 7th Web Monday? Save the evening of 18 May and sign up here: http://www.amazee.com/web-monday-zurich
Looking forward to the next Web Monday!
Did you participate in Earth Hour 2009? Last Saturday millions of people switched off their lights and electrical appliances in order to set a sign against climate change and global warming. I personally enjoyed a low-lit dinner that night. Now the Boston Globe, responsible for the great series The Big Picture, has awesome photographs from around the world documenting Earth Hour 2009. You can click on most of them to fade in and out of the darkness (Java Script must be enabled).
What is Hiogi? The sexy nirds who claim that "Wissen ist sexy". Find out by sending any question via SMS to 44044 (Germany only, for other spots: +49 176 888 66 000) and get an immediate answer from the Hiogi community: E.g.: "Where do I find a good Swiss Restaurant in Berlin?"
Gregory, Christoph, Christian and Martin
On the 23rd and 24th of March Gregory and I attended a workshop about “Sustainability Marketing” in Berlin organized by the German governmental department for environment (Umweltbundesamt) and other partners, which is part of a governmental initiative called komm (N). This workshop brought together leaders from three areas: corporations, NGOs and web platforms with a focus on sustainability or strong activities in this area. About 30 people participated to achieve the following goals:
- exchange of experience. What are the success factors for sustainability marketing?
- Create ideas for new projects and cooperations
- Start a new real network for sustainability marketing in Germany.
Michael Bilharz from the Umweltbundesamt opened with the following statement: „It has never been as easy as it is now to change and improve the world.“
Feel good – almost for free. Just turn off the stand-by, buy cotton shopping bags. Of course these small efforts are important, but we should not overestimate the effect: He showed an interesting slide on the energy consumption of Germans: LOHAS had the impression that their consumption is 30% lower than that of the average German citizen. A survey showed that in reality, their consumption is identical to that of an average German. So they feel better, but they actually aren’t.
Dream goal of LOHAS are win-win situations: individual benefits with low efforts. And the maximum effect for the environment. Fact is that the CO2 emission per person year is 10 tons CO2 per person (worldwide average is 4.5). Goal mark is 2 tons per person.
BTW: LOHAS is an acronym for Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability (www.lohas.com)
So how can we get there?
We need to differentiate „peanuts“ and „big points“.
Big points are those that result in significant reductions of CO2. Some examples of big points are: have a small flat, don’t fly, don’t eat meat, and don’t have a car. The problem with big points are that most of them are quite a sacrifice and therefore not really marketable. So we have to find key points. Key points are those big points that have the potential to become trends without being seen as huge sacrifices. They have to be 1) relevant, 2) sustainable (long-term) and 3) visible. Visibility is very important. There is a normative pressure when something I do is visible for others. Examples are car-sharing, investments in reusable energy, bio-food, and energy efficient cars. Investing 10,000 Euro in wind energy would compensate my total yearly CO2 emission.
So Bilharz’ conclusion from a political point of view is: 1) Address important issues first rather than trying to follow and improve everything 2) rather invest in something sustainable than trying to change existing routines.
So is sustainability equal to CO2 emission reduction? No, but social justice can be achieved with that. That is his thesis.
Amazee has determined two main action fields where campaigns will be initiated... just these two abbreviations as a teaser: WE and CC. More to follow when the time has come :)
This evening I had the pleasure to transfer some of Amazee's entrepreneurial knowledge at another great AIESEC event at the University of Fribourg. Amazee shared the panel with local entrepreneur Xavier Bertschy from cityonline.ch, Toby from Friup, Prof. Rico Baldegger and Beat Vonlanthen, the Minister of economic affairs of the Canton of Fribourg. It was the first time that I visited Uni Fribourg and I must say, they've definitely got a great campus! Let's watch if the student stronghold will be turned into another power dot on Switzerland's startup route between Zurich and Geneva!
At 2009's startup camp we decided to create a series of theme specific meetups for Switzerland's Web entrepreneurs. The talk was walked and in the meantime we gave birth to the small but powerful Chuchi meetups (Chuchi is the Swiss German word for kitchen). Like with the ice cream parlour there's one for every taste: UX Chuchi, Marketing & Sales Chuchi, Community Chuchi, Business Chuchi and the International Chuchi! Below some impressions from some of our last chuchis hosting people from amazee, cassiber, cmsbox, doodle, gbanga, google, greenoptions, namics nektoon, streamforge, wuala and xihalife!
A few weeks ago I was quite amazed and very happy when Pascale Bruderer, Vice-President of the Swiss Parliament contacted me – via Facebook! She heard about the StartupCamp Switzerland and wanted to learn more about Switzerland's Startup landscape. So she invited Patrick Liechti and me to visit her in the Bundeshaus last Monday. And that's what we did!
It was a great experience to see many prominent politicians walking in and out and Federal Counsil Moritz Leuenberger answering questions. The exchange with Pascale Bruderer was very inspiring. She was really motivated to know how the Swiss government can support young Startups further and wants to push innovation and education. Pascale is a dynamic and inspiring person and she definitively deserves having been announced Young Global Leader 2009 by the World Economic Forum. Amazee is looking forward to more fruitful exchanges with Pascale!