Vendor Benchmarker Ashwin Ramasamy Talks about his Entrepreneurial Experiences with ContractIQ

ContactIQ

Ever had a new vendor let you down? Had trouble finding a company that does/sells X? Then ContractIQ has got your back. ContractIQ is a fresh new start-up matching the Small and Medium Enterprise space with top-of-their-class service providers.

With a continually updated list of benchmarked vendors ContractIQ advises SME business on their vendor selection — empowering them to make valuable growth-oriented decisions.

I got the chance to interview the brain behind the brainchild, Ashwin Ramasamy — founder of ContractIQ and graduate of the Founder Institute. After lead roles in several startups, and now ContractIQ, Ashwin is in a great spot to offer advice to entrepreneurs-to-be, so I asked him about ContractIQ and his entrepreneurial experiences.

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Elisha Tan, digital skill Pimp and online Entrepreneur discusses her new learning platform Learnemy

LearnEmy

The greatest inventions develop out of need. Elisha Tan found one. Her new web application, Learnemy plugs a hole in the marketplace — for peer-to-peer, formally informal learning.

Learnemy is a platform for knowledge-thirsty individuals looking to connect with others to learn skills and/or sell/utilize their skills. By providing the platform Elisha is connecting people to learning opportunities that you otherwise couldn’t find. For example if you want to learn the violin but the no local music schools offer violin lessons, or they do but its $100 a lesson — instead you can connect with someone in your community on Learnemy who could teach you the violin, at the agreed upon amount of $25 per lesson. Think of it as a Craigslist for skill learning — on steroids — with a built-in payment platform.

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Entrepreneur Interview Series: A Sit-Down with Screenius genius co-founder Seth Cohen

Screenius may sound like the ominous description of an evil-genius iPad app hell-bent on world domination — but it’s far less maleficent than that. Screenius is a newly-launched iPad app that is joining the ranks of Angry Birds, Doodle Jump and Pocket God.

Screenius is another infotainment tool — one that helps you funnel your video choices through its ‘video valet’ services. This video-funnelling tool reduces the ridiculously-large amount of online video choice and whittles it down to a bearable size to offer you just two choices.

Quite genius if you think about it. If you were to go to a Ben and Jerry’s and stare at their 75+ flavors your eyes would glaze over as you tried to choose. Go to McDonalds however and your choice between their simplistic Chocolate or Vanilla is practically child’s play. “People can be paralyzed by too many choices,” points out Seth Cohen, co-founder and CEO of Screenius.

Screenius is more than just a video-viewing app though. It’s an intelligent app that learns your tastes as you go. If you watch TED Talks and The Colbert Report clips regularly, it won’t pop-up with Justin Bieber’s new Christmas hit or Jersey Shore reruns (both of which YouTube erroneously suggested to me last week, shudder). In addition to learning your likes the app includes review posting, sharing, and short menus for video browsing.

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JustRemindIt App is a helpful Band-Aid solution for Alzheimer Epidemic

Some creative Silicon Valley professionals branch off on their own to become entrepreneurs by starting their own tech venture. Aditya Kothadiya did exactly that, twice.

As a founder of Shopalize and JustRemindIt, Aditya is riding entrepreneurial journey twice. This enterprising individual’s newest venture JustRemindIt has created a simple and yet brilliant application: a service that sends automatic reminders via Phone call and SMS to others. It also provides recurring reminders, contact lists, templates, an iPhone app and lot more functionalities.

If your interest is piqued – our readers have a special coupon code “BRAJ20OFF” to get 20% off on the first three months of billing periods. The coupon will expire on Tuesday 20th December 2011. Continue reading

New Mobile Real Estate tool Flaretag: an interview with creator, 10-year Nokia Veteran Daniel Arroyo

Flaretag

The smartphone revolution is bringing the power of the internet to our daily lives via the powerful apps that are integrating our online and offline worlds. And those apps are being built by techno-geek-entrepreneurs such as Daniel Arroyo.

Daniel is a mobile-oriented entrepreneur, and creator of Flaretag — “a platform to connect web content with the world around you via your mobile phone”. Like many mobile entrepreneurs — this generation’s .com-ists — Daniel is inventing new and exciting ways of leveraging the internet with alternate devices.

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LetsLunch brings Online Networking OFFLINE — bout damned time somebody went old school on networking

Let's Lunch

If you’re like me, then your social profiles haven’t done anything to your business life other than imploring you to waste valuable working hours looking at random acquaintances’ mobile uploads of their cats. Enter LetsLunch.

LetsLunch is a new networking tool that blends the ease of online networking with the practical use of actual networking. And, its as easy as 1-2-3. Literally!

  1. If you have a LinkedIn profile already you’ve got step 1 done (if you don’t you can create one or use a LetsLunch account).
  2. Step 2 is to tell the system what days you are free for lunch — after which it will send you an email with your possible lunch matches and restaurants within a convenient distance for both parties.
  3. Take a guess at step 3 (hint: its delicious, entertaining and gives you something to do over your lunch hour).

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[Updated] 25+ Fun Holiday iPad/iPhone Games and Apps for your kid

My daughter turns three this December (2011). She has had an iPad since her Second Birthday. Here are the top Games and Apps my daughter loves to play. I hope your kid will like it too and keep them happy, while having fun during the Holidays.

Here is the list (not in any particular order):

Note: (*) indicates apps for both iPad and iPhone.
  1. ABC Food ($1.99) (*) — My daughter loves playing around with the foods, peel them, cut them and watch the video. There are over 150 photos and videos on more than 70 delicious foods.
  2. Alpha Writer ($4.99) (*) — Montessorium’s Alpha Writer is an interesting and engaging fun app for kids. It will help your kid learn to read, write and spell phonetically, while composing words and creating stories.
  3. Intro to Letters ($4.99) (*) — My Daughter loves tracing through the letters.
  4. Intro to Math ($4.99) (*) — Another great app from Montessorium, pretty much in the lines of Intro to Letters.
  5. AphaTots ($0.99) (iPad) — Another fun app for your kid learning the English Alphabets with lots of fun stuffs while she learns.
  6. Little Red Riding Hood ($0.99) (*) — My daughter loves this 3D interactive fable, performed by the Bean Bag Kids. Pea, Pinto, Cocoa, Jack and Vanilla have made a show for your kid. Complete with beautiful scenes of this classic bed time story, it is told in an absolutely new way, that will amaze babies, toddlers, kids and parents.
  7. Cookie Doodle ($0.99) (*) — My daughter loves baking cookies through this app. She would fancy-play treating us to various cookies and would promptly help herself to her cookies.
  8. Frogger Decades ($0.99) (*) — My daughter loves this game, perhaps because of the frog. In general, she loves animals of all sorts. The idea of winning don’t really matter to her but just jumping through the obstacles is what really gets her excited.
  9. Grolly’s Animal Adventures (Free, In-App $3.99) (iPad) — The free version gives you one chapter but you’ll feel guilty depriving your kid of the full fun. The In-App purchase of $3.99 is worth it. Another app with animals and my daughter went tapping all over it.
  10. Hickory Dickory Dock ($2.99) (*) — Anything to do with Rhymes, with well-done graphics is sure to get a kid’s attention. Hickory Dickory Dock is another of my daughter’s regular app. No, she have no clue on how to read a clock.
  11. iTubeList (Free) (*) — Youtube is a gem for Videos for your kid but there are lots of videos which are not suited for her. The Youtube App that comes with your devices will lead them to those videos which you want to avoid. iTubeList is an app that helps you curate videos for your kid. It comes pre-loaded with some great videos for your kid.
  12. JibJab Jr. Books (Free, Subscription) (iPad) — Highly interactive and interesting fun app for your kid. The app is free and comes with one book built in for your kid to try it out. You can subscribe to its monthly release of new books or buy each book separately and let your kid take part in the story.
  13. Kids Song Machine 2 – Around the World ($2.99) (*) — My daughter loves this colorful, fun app. It offers an interactive tour through the most beautiful places in the world that will delight your kid.
  14. Let’s Create! Pottery ($4.99) (*) — Not really a kid’s app per se but my daughter can keep herself delighted playing and making pots. She’s yet to learn to burn it after the clay work.
  15. Make it Pop ($1.99) (*) — Anything that pops, burst are interesting to kids and this one is not an exception. Your kid can learn shapes, letters, colors, and numbers while popping bubbles, balloons, fireworks and popcorn.
  16. Peekabo (Free) (*) — How can a Kids App list be complete without a Peekabo. A simple, easy and fun app for your kid.
  17. Racing Penguin, Flying ($0.99) (*) — My daughter beat the free version in one of her early attempts and I had to buy her the full version. She loves helping the Penguin get across without being eaten. However, the levels have become tad difficult and she can’t get past many levels. Anyway, she does not really care about winning, she just loves to play.
  18. Smoody ($0.99) (iPad) — She can’t get past much but she just loves slicing and cutting through. Nice game.
  19. Solipskier ($0.99) (*) — It was not really meant for her but she somehow likes it. She loves it, though I have never seen her succeeding in the major Hurdle Jump.
  20. Sprinkle: Water Splashing fire fighting fun! ($1.99) (*) — Another interesting game, where it needs thinking and motor skills. Fun game for your kid.
  21. SPY Mouse ($2.99) (iPad) — My daughter loves Tom & Jerry. So, it was rather natural for her to like this game. Show your kid the first initial steps and let her take it away.
  22. Talking Ben, Tom and Gina (Free, In-App Purchases) — She loves all the talking Ben series – Talking Ben the Dog, Talking Tom & Ben News, Talking Tom Cat, Talking Tom Cat 2 and Talking Gina.
  23. Where’s my Water? ($0.99) (*) — A little complex but she just loves muddling for the water to pass through. I’m not sure she even get past through any more levels further.
  24. Bord ($0.99) (*) — Let your kid run wild with the chalks, let them draw whatever their finger swipes and taps.
  25. Kids Can Drive ($0.99) (*) — Kids love to drive and this app is a fun to drive, honk, change wheels.
  26. Toontastic (Free, In-App Purchases) (iPad) — A fun app for the family, play with your kid, create stories and let your kid have fun doing it along with you.
  27. Phone for Kids (Free) (*) — Well, kids love the phone and this is a fun app for your kid.
  28. Real Animals HD ($4.99) (*) — Awesome collection of very interactive animals. Your kid will love both the Zoo and the World options. You can also download the free version, try it first and then buy the in-app purchase.
  29. FlickPig ($0.99) (*) — Help your kid get started with the Pigs racing down the tracks collecting coins, fruits and what not. Let her learn how to flip the pig on top of another to get more collectibles and avoid obstacles. She will love those snorting pigs.
  30. Egg Punch (Free) (*) — She’ll love this funny looking chick inside an egg bouncing around obstacles trying to get through the holes. Teach her to collect the feathers and bounce of rabbits.

Which are your kid’s favorite apps? What good ones have I missed? Add them in the comments, it might be useful for other parents.

Choosing the Right Entertainment Content Streaming Device for You

Online media streaming has gone mainstream, and is now available through a variety of devices, both cheap and expensive. Video streaming in particular is eagerly adopted, because of the quality of streaming services such as Netflix, Vudu and Hulu Plus.

The next four media streaming devices target different groups of users – which one’s the best for you? Find Out:

  1. If you’re unwilling to spend more than $100 – Roku 2XS: Online streaming media devices, though increasingly popular, remain somewhat expensive. Roku 2XS is an exception. Priced at $99, it’s one of the most affordable yet cool devices of its kind, being capable of streaming video flawlessly. What’s more, it features a few fun games which are worth trying when you’re bored of watching videos. Roku 2XS works with all the big streaming services, including Video on Demand from Amazon, Hulu Plus, Netlifx, Pandora, NBA Game Time and Crackle. The downside is that it doesn’t come with Blu-ray support, and it also doesn’t let you to stream files across your home network. But you can’t have everything for $99.
  2. If you’re a gamer – Sony PS3: Sony PlayStation 3 is now not only a wonderful gaming console and a capable Blu-ray player, but also a formidable video and music streaming device. Sony has recently introduced a series of firmware updates which made the popular gaming console support media streaming services such as Hulu Plus, Netflix and MBL.TV. Also, don’t forget that PS3 can handle home media streaming as well through DLNA. Considering that it now costs $249, PS3 is definitely one of the coolest content streaming devices currently available. Note: Xbox 360 recently extended its media streaming services as well, but remember that Microsoft’s console doesn’t play Blu-ray.
  3. If you want a media player – LG BD670: LG BD670 is a top Blu-ray player, but also a great device for streaming Internet entertainment content. With integrated Wi-Fi, LG BD670 works great with streaming services such as Netflix, YouTube, Pandora, Amazon and MOG. Also, it lets you stream media from a computer through a home network. LG BD670 is the ideal choice if you want a media streaming device that can also play Blu-ray, but which is cheaper than Sony PS3.
  4. If you’re an Apple fan – Apple TV: Neither the most versatile nor the most complete streaming device, yet definitely one of the coolest, Apple TV is the right choice for Apple fans. Apple TV is the only TV box that works flawless with iTunes and the AirPlay app for sharing media content over your home network. Besides video, you can also stream audio through the AirPlay app, including Pandora. Alternatively you can use your iPad or iPhone to stream video content from the device to the TV screen, though you do have to make some configuration work first. With Apple TV you get video streaming through Vimeo, MLB.TV, iTunes, Netflix, YouTube, Flicker. Additionally, you also get photos through Flicker and Internet Radio. Apple TV is just $99 and despite the fact that it supports fewer services than Roku 2XS, it’s worth every dollar.

Hope you found out that one device for you.

5 Very Cool Travel Gadgets

Travel has gone high-tech. This is good and bad, depending on perspective. But we’re going to say it’s mostly good. An argument can definitely be made that technology innovations have no place in travel, but that entirely depends on the reason for traveling in the first place. Sure, if you are looking to escape your regular life for much needed rest and relaxation then, yes, technology may not be your best travel companion.

But if you’re a business traveler, or a vacationer that simply cannot leave communications behind, then the right tech gadgets can be a boon to the experience. Most people would probably fall into this category – it’s hard to imagine leaving behind the iPhone for an entire week or other devices like tablets, laptops and iPods for that matter.

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How to be a Password Ninja on a Mac, Windows or Linux

You’ve heard about it, read about it but very few manage to have complex passwords for all your services – Email, Facebook, Twitter, et al. The consensus to have a safer online experience and hopefully, prevent hackers, crackers and script kiddies from gaining access to your accounts is to have a complex password – UPPERCASE + lowercase + numbers + special characters – and a unique different one for each of your accounts.

Unfortunately, that’s not an easy task at all. Nonetheless, there are solutions that can help you become a Password Ninja with few, easy to remember steps. I’ve had multiple passwords – complex ones at that for quite sometime – and I don’t need to remember any of them.

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