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Meet Daphni – our new Global Friend

 

Daphni recently joined the SUP46 family as Global Friends. They call themselves venture capital mutants. What does that mean and what can they do for the Swedish tech-startups? Why are they looking for startups in the Nordics? We have the answers! 

 

Daphni is half a platform half a VC fund. How do this work and what’s the reason for this setup?

We have a digital platform where we have brought together our network of investors, entrepreneurs and experts. They help us through our whole investment value chain, from finding interesting startups, to evaluation and helping our portfolio companies grow.

When we decided to start Daphni, in 2015, we had three principles that we thought were indispensable to be disruptive: we wanted to be open, transparent and scalable. A platform is an organization model that makes these three requirements possible. While each industry was facing the emergence of platforms, we thought that there is no reason the VC industry would be an exception. We wanted to benefit from the incredible power of this kind of structure: network effects, scalability, collective intelligence and horizontal communication. We wanted to not only differentiate ourselves, but also build the best value proposition possible, for both our investors and our soon-to-be portfolio companies.

 

You are based in Paris but are actively looking for startups in the Nordics? Why this and why now? 

 

We studied the biggest European startups to understand what they look like (see our article on TechCrunch). One of the lessons we learned is that European unicorns came from only six different hubs in Europe (Helsinki, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Berlin, Paris and London). Not only was it the sign that the ecosystem was already offering good investment opportunities, but it also meant that these hubs were starting to give birth to local mafias composed of serial entrepreneurs and employees that lived the unicorn journey from the inside. Another lesson was that startups were now following new rules and borders are disappearing. This is also true for startups and venture capital. We need to source the best talents and to support them the best possible way, we need to be present across Europe.

 

What are the three most interesting industries in France right now?

 

There are three sectors in which we are particularly interested these days: job market (which is about to be disrupted by a major actor in Europe), AI (which will be the next revolution after internet) and genomics (which need time to be understood and evaluated). 

 

What kind of startups are you looking for?

 

We are looking for all the startups bringing a major disruption at a European or global scale. We invest in early stage startups, mainly in Series A rounds (and sometimes in seed stage and Series B). We focus on digital solutions broadly speaking, active in all kinds of sectors. 

 

Why did you choose to start a partnership with SUP46?

We wanted a gateway to the Nordic market and we felt that Stockholm is a great place to start. In Stockholm, SUP46 is an important part of the ecosystem with great connections to the rest of Sweden and the Nordics. So to get a flying start on our Nordic expansion, we wanted to be a part of SUP46! 


Meet the team – Morgane (Mo)

 

SUP46 opened the Café and open workspace in May 2016. The area is open for everyone who needs a place to sit and work, study, a cup of coffee, a lunch or just a place to hang out with great WIFI. Mo joined SUP46 as the Café Manager in November last year. Get to know her and how she ended up at SUP46 a bit better below!

 

 

How did you end up at SUP46?

I had just returned to Stockholm after an around the world trip and it was time for me to settle down again. Before traveling I had been working for a Swedish restaurant in London and before that as a promotion manager and I was looking for something that would somehow bring these experiences together: food, customers service and promotion/communication, if possible in an international environment as I am a Frenchie who lives in Sweden and loves to travel! With Sup46 I got the whole package!

 

What do you do at SUP46?

 

I am the Start Up Café Manager. We are a lounge, a café and an open workplace all in one! And just like great friends we are maybe difficult to find but very hard to leave and impossible to forget! With my team of interns we serve our amazing customers (Sup46 members and non-members), prepare catering for the many meetings and events organised all year round here at Sup (more than 250 last year!) and ensure the place is welcoming and inspiring. It is also my job to come up with new dishes and treats, as well as to promote the café outside our walls.

 

What do you like best about your job?

 

I am never bored! There is always something new to do and try. I have a lot of freedom and have the chance to work with a team and customers who are very creative, open minded and enjoy a good challenge! I also learn a lot every day about the Start-Up scene, which is fascinating and very inspiring.

 

If you were starting your own scalable business tomorrow, what would it be?

 

It would have to be within wellness. I am also a yoga teacher and co-owner of Bestofyou which we are now developing into a platform offering inspiration but also life coaching, yoga and nutrition services. We believe happiness is the highest form of health and wish to spread the word!

 


Do you need someone to talk to? Blue Call is there for you!

 

Blu Call joined SUP46 one month ago and we have asked them a few questions about the membership experience so far.

 

 

Tell us a bit about your startup?

Blue Call is a digital market place where you can find someone to talk to. Think of it as UBER-shrink. You can talk to “Volunteers”- fellow humans, “Mentors”- people with an education in counseling and “Professionals”. Call someone directly and anonymously through the app and feel a bit better!

How did you come up with the idea?

When we were studying we experienced our own share of mental illness. Not very serious problems at first, but for example anxiety, stress and social pressure. We realized we needed someone to talk to, but didn’t have anywhere to go! In the public health care system, you have to wait for months before you get to talk to someone, and private care is too expensive. When we started to investigate this problem we discovered that we weren’t alone in this and that mental health issues are actually one of the biggest threats to global wellbeing. So we thought, why not explore the market place peer-to-peer model where everyone can help each other! And so BlueCall was born.

What do you think is the biggest challenge running a startup?

There is no right or wrong, you will never know if you’re making the right decisions until later! You just have to keep working hard and be very attentive and open towards change.

Why did you first apply to become an SUP46 member?

We were a part of STING´s accelerator program and since they are situated at SUP46 we had a great “free trial” for 5 months and came to love this place.

You´re a new member but what benefits have you experienced from sitting at SUP46?

SUP46 is offering a great office space, in a great location. We’re surrounded by people with fantastic energy and different experiences in building companies, always ready to help a fellow start-upper out. It’s a fun environment where creativity thrives. The list of the benefits we’ve experienced so far goes on… Can we stay forever!

What are you aiming to accomplish within the next six months?

Iterate our product towards becoming the #1 mental health hub in the world! For the next six months, we will focus on increasing the number and quality of calls, to make even more people feel better through BlueCall counseling!

 


Security for startups

Most small companies such as startups do not invest properly in security in their early stages. This is a result of believing that hackers only targets big corporations, which is a common misconception. More often than not, hackers prefer to target low-hanging fruit, which in this case is small and startup companies. In addition to this, the earlier you decide to invest in security, the more efficient it will be. If you wait too long with integrating security, you will most likely have a lot of legacy to deal with, which will make the shift more expensive and complex.  

SUP46 alumni member Detecitfy and their Customer Success Manager, Johan Båth, is sharing some of their best tips for small companies when it comes to security.

 

 

The reason small businesses get targeted

 

An easy target

It’s often easier to hack a small company that does not have their security routines and infrastructure in place. Established companies have either gotten hacked in the past and invested in the security infrastructure after a breach has occurred, or they have seen what can happen if a breach occurs. As a result, they have invested in their security and are therefore harder to compromise.

Lack of knowledge

The most common reason behind breaches starts with employee errors. This could be in the form of an employee that clicks a malicious link in a spoofed email; a link that is embedded in text or just from an email phishing campaign. Another common error is employees that are using the same password across multiple services, and if one of those services gets compromised, so will the other services (such as the Dropbox or LinkedIn breach where millions of user credentials get compromised).

With this said, automated hacker attacks put everyone at risk, no matter the size of the company. But there are things that you could and should do to prevent disaster from happening.

 

What should I do if I run a startup and want to avoid being hacked?

 

Educating employees

The first step should be to start educating all employees about the risk associated cyber attacks. One simple remediation for avoiding having credentials compromised is to use password managers such as LastPass, 1Password (or similar service) and use the built-in functionality of generating passwords, which are unique for all services. 

Next step is to inform the risks of phishing emails. This could either be done by showing examples of phishing emails and how you can validate the real origin of the emails, or to actually conduct internal testing and send out fake emails to the employees.

Spoofed emails are a bit harder to catch, though, since the origin of the emails looks to be legit (eg, from address is @companyname.com). To make sure that people are not spoofing emails from your company, make sure you have set up the SPF records correctly.

Make sure your software is updated

If you are using a CMS platform for your website, you need to make sure that there are no outdated plugins with known security flaws. This is especially important since hackers can scrape the web for sites that are using outdated versions. For example, if you are using WordPress, you should make sure that you have turned on automatic updates.

Invest in automated security testing

Ill-willed hackers will always be one step ahead when it comes to finding new vulnerabilities, but leveraging automation in the form of testing of web applications and servers/networks will significantly increase the probability that you find the security hole before someone else does. Detectify is a tool for automated testing of web applications, and also for educating your developers about security.  

Leverage the crowd

There are plenty of organizations out there that are leveraging the hacking community when it comes to security (sounds counterintuitive, right?). In short, companies that take part in these bug bounty programs, allow people to hack their applications in exchange for an award. One example of this is 14-years old Karim who hacked Spotify and was awarded for it. Startups are usually really good at sharing knowledge between companies, which in my opinion should be no exception when it comes to security.

 

Summary

In the light of risks and suggested precautions listed above, it all comes down to taking care of the products and services that you have spent so much time building. You have put your soul into building these awesome products, and it really does suck if someone would come and ruin your product AND your brand reputation. For up-and-coming companies, it’s especially important to care for the customers you have, and a good way to achieving their trust is to have their and your security in mind when building these products.

With the risk of coming across as a bit cheesy: Rome wasn’t built in one day, and the same is true when it comes to security. There’s no quick fix that will take care of all your security problems, rather an ongoing process of learning and proactive thinking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


A check-up with Peppy Pals – one of SUP46 first member companies

Peppy Pals released their first game Peppy Pals Farm in April 2014 which became an immediate success. Since then, they have released 4 paid apps and 1 free on all mobile platforms. By not using language in their apps they have an enormous opportunity of scale and our apps have been downloaded in over 150 countries and even been featured by Amazon and Google worldwide twice.

Peppy Pals joined SUP46 in 2013 amongst the first members. We wanted to check what has happened with them the last few years.

 


Bild: Beatrice Lundborg

Give us your elevator pitch

Rosie Linder, Founder and CEO Peppy Pals

“Peppy Pals develops fun and educational, award-winning apps and books that nurture children’s ages 2-8 Social & Emotional Intelligence (EQ) through story-telling. We don’t use text or language, score-stress or in-app purchases”.

 

What has happened with Peppy Pals since you left SUP46? 

Rosie Linder, Founder and CEO Peppy Pals

“Except releasing more products, we have attracted investment made by 2 of Sweden’s most renowned business angels, Hampus Jakobsson and Ludvig Linge. We are also very proud to have been selected as a Change Leader for Reach for Change, where our mission is to create a better life for children. We’ve also finished as first runner-up in TechCrunch pitch-off competition last year in Stockholm.

In March 2016 we signed our first B2B-deal with MAX Hamburger, one of the biggest fast-food chains in Sweden. The partnership demonstrates what can be achieved when larger companies, with their strengths and experiences, join forces with innovative and creative minds at startups.

In October 2016, Peppy Pals was ranked as one of the world’s most promising social enterprises by Ashoka and UBS Social Innovator.”

 

What were the best things being an SUP46 member?

Rosie Linder, Founder and CEO Peppy Pals

“The fact that you are sitting at SUP46 puts you in the spotlight. SUP46 is like a super-meeting place where you get to meet investors, journalists and other great companies every day. As an example, I met Amazon at SUP46 and thanks to that, they featured Peppy Pals two times worldwide.”

 

What do you think is the upside of being a woman in the male-dominated tech industry? 

Rosie Linder, Founder and CEO Peppy Pals

“I never think of my gender as an obstacle or an advantage. My experience is that many other male founders that I got to know at SUP46 were and still are extremely supportive and sharing, just like women are.

To me, the upside of being a woman without any previous experience of the tech industry is that I can inspire more women, more people, to pursue their dreams regardless of their background. Because entrepreneurship and tech is not about gender, it’s about passion and belief – and maybe a little bit of naivety.”

 

What´s your goals for Peppy Pals 2017?

Rosie Linder, Founder and CEO Peppy Pals

“Peppy Pals vision is to live in a world where every young person grows up practicing empathy and learn how to respect one another. Our goal 2017 is to reach even more children globally, focusing on our key markets Sweden, U.K and USA.

The World Economic Forum recently released a report stating that skills like empathy, collaboration and problem-solving (EQ) will be among the most required skills in 2020. At the same time, they announced that combining EdTech with EQ is the new vision for education.

Social skills are more requested now than ever before. Because there is no gene for empathy. Just like math, language or reading we need to start practice social skills early on. Peppy Pals wants to be the number 1 choice for practicing EQ in every home and school.”

 


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