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Full house for Girls in Tech Launching event!

9 April, 2014 in hosted events, The Impactory

It was standing room only on Wednesday, the 26th of March for the Girls in Tech launching event held at The Impactory. More than seventy people attended and took part in the evening seminar. The Girls in Tech founding team, made up of Kasia Kolodziejczyk, Marina Thiriet, Marie-Adelaide Gervis, Laurence Bianchini, Adina Pasa Annabelle Buffart  were all in attendance. Impactory member, Kasia, from GenCreo, and Thicket, The Impactory Community Project Manager, helped to organize the event.

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In the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry there is a visible gender disparity with men composing a majority of the work force. Girls in Tech is a worldwide organization whose goal is to empower women in the ICT field. The Luxembourg chapter aims to help women develop careers in ICT, startup, and digital tech entrepreneurship.

At the Luxembourg launch event, the six founding members shared their story and explained why they decided to start Girls in Tech Luxembourg. With an estimated 900,000 new jobs to be created in the ICT industry over the next two years, women’s education is vital to narrowing the gender gap.

Virginie Simon was the evening’s guest speaker. Simon is a scientist and founder of MyScienceWork, a startup based in Luxembourg. She talked about the difficulties she faced as a female student in engineering school and throughout her career. She encouraged all the participants to face every challenge with determination and ambition, which she attributes to her success.

The girls has also received a surprise, with Commissionner Viviane Reding sending a special video to give her support to the organisation! Watch the video here:

Support for GIT Luxembourg has been overwhelming. Following the launch there have been messages of support from women and organizations as well as request for support. The Luxembourg press has taken notice with coverage in the Wort, l’Essentiel, le Journal, Itnation, Itone, Paperjam, Delano, and also an interview on radio 103.7.

GIT Luxembourg is passionate about empowering women, and it is currently planning several events to encourage, educate, and support women in tech.

Impactory in New York Times

10 March, 2014 in news, The Impactory

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The Impactory calls itself a ‘‘community’’ where people can build a business. It offers workshops like an introductory course on web development for women, above. CLAIRE BARTHELEMY/THE NEW YORK TIMES

New York Times, featured an article on Luxmbourgish start-up called the “All Square” a social network for golfers and Technoport on March 9, 2014. Also highlighting other players in entrepreneurial ecosystem in Luxembourg like The Impactory, Luxembourg Business Angle Network, Europe4Startup, KPMG’s K-Start and PwC’s Accelerator. Read more.

 

For more details: Read the article, click here

Meet TUTOR-DIS, creating life changing apps

25 February, 2014 in members, news, The Impactory

Our in-house journalist Katie Nail is following some of all the exciting companies at the Impactory. Meet TUTOR-DIS.

One of the many challenges people with intellectual disabilities faces is entering the workforce. While some companies offer integration programs, researchers at the Asociación Feaps Para El Empleo (AFEM) and the Instituto De Biomecánica De Valencia (IBV) found that the intellectually disabled struggle with aspects of daily life at work that make it difficult to retain their position.

“We discovered that most of the difficulties that these people have in working environments are related with memory, time management, communication, orientation and autonomy,” said Alberto Ferreras, a researcher for the IBV.
Since 2006 the AFEM and IBV have been coordinating projects and conducting research on how to improve the adaptation of intellectually disabled people into work environments and enhance their employability.

They had hoped to help individuals entering the workplace through technology but found that existing software systems were not designed for people with special needs. So the AFEM and IBV decided they would have to create the technology, and as a result the idea for Tutor-Dis was born.

“The purpose of TUTOR-DIS is to facilitate the improvement of learning, time management, communication, and in short, the autonomy of people with intellectual disabilities,” said Ferreras.

They created an app for Android phones designed specifically for people with intellectual disabilities. The app is a series of instructions, reminders, checklists, and questionnaires all focused on helping the individual during their workday. Creating the App allowed the two teams to address the general areas of difficulty specific to the intellectually disabled. The TUTOR-DIS app is also flexible enough to give the individual user the ability to tailor the program to his or her specific needs.

The program launched in 2012 and already more than 100 companies and individuals are using Tutor-Dis. It has also created a demand within other disabled communities for similar software.

Because the app has been so well received, both the AFEM and IBV would like to continue developing the software, offer technical support for its users, and find ways of spreading the project to a more users. However, like many apps, generating income to expand the project has been challenging. In 2013, after participating in a EIB Social Innovation Competition and winning mentoring services, Tutor-Dis began working with The Impactory.

2014-01-28 16.00.19“Two essential aspects for [Tutor-Dis] are how to develop a viable business model and how to ensure that the idea reaches all the potential beneficiaries,” said Ferreras. “The Impactory is giving support [on] these topics.”

Thanks to the award from the EIB, the Tutor-Dis team members have visited Luxembourg to receive business coaching from Hedda Pahlson-Moller, co-founder of the Impactory and Business Angel/Impact Investor (OMSINT). They have begun to work on a strategic vision and business model for sustainable growth. She has also visited them in Valencia, Spain.

“The Impactory is delighted to support such an innovative team merging social integration and impact measures…and look forward to developing the partnership with IBV to foster further cross-collaboration and support of social impact focused businesses,” Pahlson-Moller said.

Hopefully through their relationship with The Impactory, Tutor-Dis will have the opportunity to develop its model far beyond Spain’s borders and help users with a variety of tasks and languages.

For more information on Tutor-Dis visit their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TutorDis

What you should know about first impression

17 December, 2013 in The Impactory

First impressions can set the tone of a relationship for years. According to image consultant Gigja Birgisdottir, it can take up to 21 interactions to undo someone’s first impression. Gigja gave a workshop at The Impactory on the importance of first impressions and how to make a good impression.

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According to Gigja, studies have show that when we meet someone from studies have show that when we meet someone for the first time spoken words ony account for 7% of our perception. This means 90% of the first impression created when meeting someone new is a direct result of non-verbal interactions.

How we dress, smell, what colours we wear, how we talk and approach someone all contribute. When meeting someone for the first time we make decisions about that person within seconds. When interviewing for a job or attending networking events, these snap judgments could be the difference between business success or failure.

Gigja informed the attendees that the key to making a good first impression is to be on time, dress and look professional, smile, use direct eye contact, have good hygiene and to be courteous and attentive. To illustrate her point, all of the participants wrote their name on a card and taped it to their back. They then had a minute to introduce themselves to another member and “make a first impression.” Everyone was asked at the end of the minute to write a positive impression about the other person. The exercise illustrated the power of first impressions and how easy it is to make a good impression if you have the right tools.

After the presentation Gigja took time to talk with participants and respond to individual questions. As the owner of Gia in Style and a certified image consultant, her insight into personal presentation is invaluable.

Europe Code Week 25-30 November: Workshop for Women & Coding Goûter already planned at The Impactory

15 November, 2013 in hosted events, The Impactory

The Impactory is proud to be the first sponsor of Europe Code Week in Luxembourg.

This week aims to get more people to learn what is coding about will take place from November 25 to November 30.

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Marina THIRIET, our Community & Project Manager and organiser of the first coding classes for Women was contacted by Nelly Kroes’ Young Advisors to become an Ambassador for the Europe Code Week in Luxembourg. Of course she has accepted the challenge and is helping to spread the word! Therefore if you have any ideas, please talk to Marina marina@theimpactory.com

As part of our members projects, we will host the following initiatives:

Coding is Creative! Introduction to Web Development for Women – on Saturday November 30th.
Please see complete information and register here.

Patrick Welfringer and the Code Club crew are also planning a Coding goûter so you can learn to program with your kids on Sunday December 1st afternoon. See all details on the Code Club blog

To request our Press release, please contact: marina@theimpactory.com

The Impactory to offer prizes to Startup Weekend Lux participants

10 November, 2013 in news, The Impactory

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We know that all the #SWlux participants had great fun this weekend and worked hard on their ideas.

So what is the next step?

The Impactory think it’s important to support the teams in the next few weeks!

To keep up the good work and allow participants to continue working on their ideas we would like to offer a free Coworking 50hrs membership for the entire team valid from today until the end of the year.

Included in this is a session with one of our experts in reviewing and strengthening the business idea and how to move forward.

Please send email to hello@theimpactory.com to claim your prize.
State your name and the team you are part of in the email. Write Startup Weekend in the subject line.

We are looking forward to welcome you and follow your Startup adventures @ The Impactory

Business Model Canvas Workshop

27 October, 2013 in hosted events, The Impactory

The Business Model Canvas, is a strategic management and entrepreneurial tool. It allows you to describe, design, challenge, invent, and pivot your business model. It’s an amazingly intuitive way to define and plan all key points of your business in one snapshot.

Business-Model-Canvas draw

Hedda Pahlson-Moller, a co-founder of the Impactory, is going to run this workshop and tailor it to your needs. Are you interested in getting to know an innovative tool which will radically change the way you look at your business? Or do you already know and used the canvas but you would like to practice and improve your model?This workshop will be an introduction and will give you the key to the BMC methodology, explaining how the 9 blocks work.

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Hedda will be happy to have a look on your BMC and provide you with immediate feedback

Proud to announce Coding classes for Women at The Impactory !

15 October, 2013 in members, The Impactory

We are pleased to announce that our 1st classes, Intro to HTML and CSS will take place soon at The Impactory.

The classes will provide you a basic understanding of HTML and CSS which are the basic building block of any website. First we will look at HTML where you will learn how to structure a website and add content to it. HTML class will talk about page structure, various HTML elements and styling. Then we will have a look at CSS which describes the presentation of websites including color, font and layout etc. After this workshop, you will be able to design your website.

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Dates:

Monday 28 october 6.30pm-8.30pm
Wednesday 30 october 6.30pm-8.30pm
Monday 4 november 6.30pm-8.30pm
Wednesday 6 november 6.30pm-8.30pm

Please note that the sessions are linked to each others, therefore participants will need to commit to 4 sessions.

Cost for the 4 classes: 20 euros for Impactory Members, 40 euros for non-members.
Classes limited to 12 participants.

Men policy: if you are a man, you will be welcome to join if we have space available. If you would like to be on the waiting list, please let us know.

If you are interested to join, 

please contact us asap marina@theimpactory.com

or to express interest here: registration form

Sell Tickets Online through Eventbrite

What is Venture Philantropy, Impact Investing and how to measure impact?

15 June, 2013 in news, The Impactory

Pieter Oostlander was a guest speaker at the Impactory and he introduced the set-up of a social investment fund focusing on the Benelux. He also explained how EVPA operates around venture philantropy and Impact Investing.

Here are some key topics we explored and discussed about with the group which participated, who was mainly composed of multidisciplinary professionals in finance, training, academia and entrepreneurship.

Mr Oostlaner drew the parallell between risk, return and impact. He explained that Venture Philantropy investments work to build a stronger investee organization with a societal purpose providing both financial and non-financial support (advice, coaching, contacts, etc). Most people are not aware that venture philantropy and impact investing approaches include the use of the entire spectrum of financial instruments available (grants, equits, debt, etc) and it’s specificity is that it pays a particular attention to the ultimate objective of achieving social impactThe main different therefore lies in putting social impact before financial returns.

The main question arising at this stage is the one on definition. Throughout academia, experts, beginners, practitioners, there seems to exist the need of a clear definition: What exactly is Venture Philantropy and how does it differ from Impact Investing and other forms of investing for social purposes? The EVPA model defining Venture Philantropy and Impact Investment clearly illustrates the differences through a very simple diagram showing “finance first strategies” – where the financial return is maximized and the societal impact is secondary – and “impact first strategies” where societal impact comes first and financial return is secondary. In between these two extremes we can find a wide range of forms of investment including the venture philantropy scope and the newer term of “Impact Investment”, which includes both impact first and finance first strategies.

Depending on the type of issue a project or venture is focusing there are all those choices which we can choose and which fits best the given project goal.
Next to this model, we explored the aspect of measurement of impact. As Einstein once beautifully said, “Not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted”. This issue can be clearly seen in social impact business models, where most of the added-value is intangible and hardly quantifiable. A good example of impact measurement reporting can be seen in the EVPA survey 2011 / 2012 itself and they have also published “A Practical Guide to Measuring and Managing Impact” which aims at helping organizations willling to measure and manage their impact. In a nutshell, the guide shares best practices in impact measurement through 5 steps illustrated below.
1. Setting objectives: which change do you want to make in society?
2. Analyzing stakeholders: who will be involved?
3. Measuring results: how will you measure? Which metrics can be used?
4. Verifying & valuing impact: are the changes perceived and valued by the stakeholders themselves?
5. Monitoring & Reporting: Capture the data, follow it up and report it – use information to build on for the upcoming period
About Pieter Oostlander
Pieter (52) is the founding partner of shærpa. His professional background is in accountancy and finance. In that field, he has had various top-level  finance functions. Nine years ago, he switched to the (venture) philanthropy sector as a director of the service organisation of a family foundation. This ultimately was the basis for shærpa. The decision to switch resulted from his ambition to make social impact and value creation (in addition to creating shareholder value) a significant part of his professional activities. He sees it as “marrying the soul of philanthropy with the spirit of venture capital”, and his work with shærpa is dedicated to doing exactly that.

As the chair of the European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA), Pieter actively pursues to further professionalise venture philanthropy and social investing in the European arena. Pieter is also a member of the board of directors of SROI Network, promoting the use of a systematic approach to social value accounting.

 

University of Luxembourg’s startup challenge

8 April, 2013 in hosted events, news, The Impactory

This challenge is addressed to the Students of the University of Luxembourg

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Have you dreamed of starting your own company some day?
Do you have an entrepreneurial idea that you have always dreamed of realizing?
Then the Start-UP Day @ Uni.Lu is exactly for you!
An idea is nice but you don’t know how to transform it into a company? Well, now you can do it, and we will help you learn how!
Evenmore, if you are among the top three projects in the finals, you will win attractive awards.
What is the contest about?

We are organizing a start-up contest for university students. Everyone is welcome, from the first bachelor semester to the PhD level. All you need is to have an idea you like and believe in.

What is in it for you?
  • You will learn how to go from an idea to a viable entrepreneurial project.
  • You will be trained in tools of business modeling and planning, for free!
  • You will learn how to prepare and present convincing start-up pitches.
  • You will meet and network with entrepreneurs from Luxembourg and fellow students interested in entrepreneurship.
  • You get an outstanding reference for your CV
How to participate
No worries, we will teach you the tools you need to fully describe and design your start-up.
It will take you between 10 and 30 hours work to get from the idea stage to a business model, depending on your experience.
  • Form a team of 1 to up to 3 people
  • Apply with a concise and convincing description of your idea (anything between 200 and 1000 words) and the list of team members names and study program. Try to be as clear as possible.
  • The process is explained in detail in these slides. Give them a short look.
  • For questions, inquiries and submissions, please do not hesitate contact: .
    Join us in this adventure, learn and grow together with an elite selection of your fellow students!

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