Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Startup Pitches And Decks

Jyve PitchBreakfast Pitch:

This is a 5 minute pitch by Jyve after graduating ICAT with a Q&A session afterwards.

Monotto 1Million Cups Pitch:

While this is not a five minute pitch, several teams that have continued after ICAT pitch to 1MC in order to practice presenting, get feedback from professionals, and find valuable connections.

This is a recommended pitch deck template for entrepreneurs seeking VC funding with Sequoia Capital.  While this template is meant for companies seeking funding, the structure is similar to pitches in ICAT.

Airbnb's pitch deck:

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Adding QR Codes To Flyers

A popular and effective way to advertise your app is with flyers.  Some flyers simply have a description of your company and some text saying "download at".  However, many people may overlook your site simply because they don't feel like manually typing in your app's url or searching it on the App Store.  Luckily, there exists and alternative- QR codes.  It is possible to add a QR code that potential users can scan with their phones to visit your website.

QRCode Monkey offers a free QR code generator that lets your customize the color and style of your QR code link, as well as the ability to put a logo inside the code.  This lets your flyer catch the eye of users and make them more likely to download your app.

Here is an example of a QR code made with the website mentioned above.  Txtra is a company created in ICAT last semester.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

3D Printing Your Ideas

Building physical prototypes of products used to be a very long and expensive process.  However, 3D printers allow people to make their ideas come to life much faster.

The first step to building your product is to use software to design your prototype.  Tinkercad is a free online software to design your 3D model.  After finishing your design, save the model as a .stl file.  This is a file type that stores you model for printing.

Next, install the software Cura.  This software uses the stl file from Tinkercad to talk to your 3D printer.  Inside Cura, you can load your model file.  You can also resize your model and select the nozzle size for printing.  The printer works by using a pen filled with melted plastic to draw your model, like a frosting gun but less tasty.  A large nozzle means the model is completed faster, but makes the final product look like it is made of spaghetti.  A smaller nozzle makes a much smoother product, but takes significantly longer to produce.
Inside Cura you can also get an estimate of production time, usually several hours.  If the number is large such as 20+ hours, your model is likely too large or solid, etc.

Lastly, you can save the Cura file to a flash drive.  Then, insert the drive into your 3D printer and wait for the model to be completed!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Software Architectures

Software architecture refers to the structure of a software system.  A system's structure is made of multiple components, such as a Database,  Client, or a Business Logic Layer.

3 Tier Architecture is often used in developing Web and Mobile Apps.
  • Presentation Tier:  This includes what users see when they open your app or site, often called the front-end.  For Mobile Apps, this tier is coded usually with Android Studio, Objective-C, Swift, or a hybrid app software.  For Web Apps, this layer could be made with Ruby, HTMLJava, C#, and others.

  • Application Tier: This tier is also called the Business Logic layer, and involves behind the scenes calculations that users can't see.  Complex algorithms are put on this layer, as your server can process these calculations much faster than an user's phone can.  This layer exists on your company's server, a place where you hold web pages, files, data, and algorithms.  Some servers and hosting sites include AWS, Godaddy, Firebase, and x10Hosting.

  • Data Tier: A database layer is a place where data about users is stored.  A server's database is similar to a big Excel page that communicates with the application tier to share data.  Some servers come with included databases such as MySQL.  Other database languages include SQL or MongoDB.