Business App for Start Ups

(James McGarry) #1

I have the blue prints and concept for a new business app, I would like to develop, to enable start ups, and create jobs.

This video explains the concept:

And I’ve written an article to explain a bit more:

Right now, Gorilla Opportunity exists as a series of pages my friend set up on Google+ Here is the link:

Google+ (‘Gorilla Opportunity’ Start-Ups Database)

My friend set this up as a series of spreadsheets, available on Google Drive:

I would like to develop this into a full blown app, to be made available on Google Play, but I need technical advice and insight into how to do it.

Eventually, the plan is to set this up as a complete Toolkit, so that entrepreneurs like ourselves have all the info they need in one place, to start a business with. They would have access, not only to new innovations: but also the contact details of people in work, looking to be involved with start ups of the industry, and I would like to include newly qualified young people on the same database, to give them the job opportunities they need, when finishing courses in key industries.

Of course, I need technical insight and advice on how to go about doing this.

Any info you have would be most helpful.

Kind Regards

James M

(Jon) #2

This is a bold idea, but it feels high-risk to me, and in need of further testing/validation. It seems to require the co-operation of a large number of players to be successful (e.g. universities uploading their research and opportunity data). I wouldn’t hold your breath for collaborations from Google and Apple either - they are not working in this space as far as I know, and whilst big tech players may be interested in investing in tech start-ups, you’ll have to have more than an idea to get a meeting with them.

If your video is part of getting collaboration interest, you may need to cut it down, quite significantly - 15 minutes is too long. Apologies for the Americanism, but this needs to be converted to an “elevator pitch” - can you describe your business idea in 30 seconds? I should note I say this as someone who doesn’t claim to be good at it. :wink:

I wonder also whether you need to be more careful as to how you are positioning your idea as “A Google Plus Company”. I understand you have a Google+ web presence, but you are the publisher, and unless you have a contract with them, Google doesn’t endorse your content. Should an item of intellectual property be stolen from your database, the thief would only be “in big trouble with Google” if Google are backing your project.

With that in mind, and since the video has a lot of PC fan noise, and since there seems to be a fair bit of web-cam lag, I would suggest re-shooting. I’d recommend a better camera and a microphone away from the computer - if you have a recent DSLR that would probably be fine.

One way forward with your idea is to see if you can partner with just one university to trial the idea. This in itself will probably be hard, since many academic institutions watch with eagle eyes any unexploited IP value they may be holding onto, and they are unlikely to want to give it up. If you can forge a value sharing agreement however, they may be willing to talk to you.

(James McGarry) #3

Hi Jon

Thanks for your reply. Point taken: after watching my video back i now realise it is misleading. I had meant to say that I wanted the company to be run through Google: not that Google had endorsed it already. As my friend had set up the basic structure on Google + , a Google based app would have been the next logical step. Apologies to anyone who had been mislead by my video blog earlier.

As a non-programmer, i thought that all apps had to be made in house by Google, Apple, Microsoft etc. But as a developer has explained to me, anyone can make an app and upload to Google Play, which is what i want to do.

It s true that the universities are very protective of their innovations. I had tried to partner with my old university to release theirs, but they weren t interested. There are innovations companies on campuses already and competition is fierce of course.

But i still think there is a way to store and use the innovations that have not yet been made into products and services. Fellow graduates keep telling me that their theses are hardly read at all, and students from other universities complain about their papers not being used.

So i think there s a secondary market for these innovations, and yes the idea needs testing. If anyone here who could recommend a good uni or contacts i d be grateful.

(Jon) #4

Could you set up an informal chat with an innovations company to understand their work more deeply? As long as you approach it correctly - perhaps with the stated purpose of understanding why you’ve not got traction in this area previously - they will be willing to supply some honest and open answers.

(Steve Pitchford) #5

I might be missing something, but have you considered equity share with a developer / CTO to bring the skills in house?

(James McGarry) #6

Hi Steve

Yes I have considered doing that. Regarding the business of course, I am wanting this to be a social enterprise, but yes, an equity share is a good idea. The challenge I have is: I need to find a developer first, and then make them this offer. Anyone you’d recommend?

(James McGarry) #7

Hi Jon I have emailed Innovate Birmingham who are the resident company on my old campus. They explained how they usually take an idea and develop it through research. But I have to be careful, because if this is successful, they would be our competitors.

I’m also trying to find out from our university’s repository, exactly how many theses are being used at the moment. Several hundred thousand are, but I want to find out which ones are not, so we can use this app to market them to entrepreneurs.

The innovations don’t just have to be uni ones: they can actually be any new ideas that people have, that are not yet made into products or services. So I need to get other people to come forward with their ideas.

(Jon) #8

If that is the case, then won’t an equivalent organisation at every university try stopping you getting research/thesis data?

Are these generally available in public university libraries? From what I recall university libraries are generally only open to students and staff, so you’d be reliant on authors or innovation companies to provide thesis files to you.

(Steve Pitchford) #9

I can’t think of one, sorry, but I would suggest being explicit about the offer ( A looking for developer post might attract someone? ) - you would be amazed of the number of people with a great idea who, unlike your good self, seem to think that techies will provide unlimited free consultancy.

(Jon) #10

Definitely. When I used to frequent the entrepreneurs forums on Reddit, I used to often see this. “Ideas people” need to be concrete about what they are offering, and to be sure what skills they are bringing to the table.

(James McGarry) #11

I was able to search my university s repository publicly, so the ideas for innovations should be freely available.

What im aiming to do is to put these innovations with the contact details of people wanting to start businesses as well: so an entrepreneur has everything.they need in one place.

Regarding the competition with the innovations companies: i think the best way forward is to do a deal with them.

They pass us the innovations they couldn t make into products or services, and we list them specially on the app, as new challenges for entrepreneurs to take on. It s likely that most will end up being small businesses or middle market companies, but at least the innovations will be used.

(James McGarry) #12

Yes it s true. I know that a developper needs to be paid, and they cant just work for free. But this is one of the challenges. In order to advertise a ‘Developer Wanted’ post, i need the money to hire them, which i don t yet have.

The funding is a big part of it. I want this to be a shared enterprise between all parties, and not just taken over by its investors. Maybe crowdfunding could do it. Im definitely thinking of an equity share for developers.

(Richard Cunningham) #13

The video seems to be private and the google plus link shows a bare page, where there is no database. I can’t see why you would need an app at all. A public list of people and resources would be better handled by a website.

Creating databases of people like this is big job and can take years. Have you thought about working with Silicon Canal, who already have a lot of the connections with startups already?

(Jon) #14

I guess James has made it private with the intention of re-doing it at another time.

(James McGarry) #15

Hi Rythie

I’ve edited the video now, as Jon pointed out that the original was misleading. This one should be correct, although the exposure is a bit bright, so apologies, if you need to darken your screen to view!

Yes, Silicon canal is one of the support groups recommended to me, and I have signed on. Should hopefully be going to their events soon. I know a few of the members.

With regards to it being a website, and not an app: the thing is, it needs to be something an entrepreneurs would want to use. I’m find with having a site they could access, but with so many downloadable apps in the news, I thought an app format was the best option.

Then again, perhaps a website might be a good way to start this off.

There’s a group on Linkedin I have set up to discuss this (anyone here on LinkedIn is welcome to visit the page):

I’ll have a talk with them about the website idea and see what they think.

(Daniel Hollands) #16


A website will be cheaper to build, and (provided you built it in a mobile-first way) will work on pretty much any device you choose to throw at it.

(James McGarry) #17

Ok, I’m not a programmer/technician and didn’t know this could be done. So need to ask: how can a website be built in a mobile first way? What 's the difference to the usual setup?

(Daniel Hollands) #18

Long story short, mobile first is based around the idea that a site should initially cater for smaller and less powerful devices first, ensuring that anyone using these devices are able to use the site as required. They might be missing some bells and whistles, but they work, allowing the user to complete their task.

Once these people are happy, you’re then able to “progressively enhance” the experience for people with more powerful devices, inserting whatever bells and whistles are available via their device.

To give an example, it’s entirely possible that someone could be accessing the site via their phone while traveling on a train. Reception on a train can be spotty at best, meaning access to the site could be blocked by any large images it contains. To build a site using the mobile first ideology, by default the page would offer up small, low resolution images on the page, which won’t look as good, but will load much quicker, then swap them out for larger, high resolution ones, on the devices that have the available bandwidth. The people with the better devices probably won’t even notice this swap happening, and the people with the lesser ones will simply be happy that your site works at all (unlike the sites of your competitors).

Anyway, any web developer worth their salt should do this automatically, but it might well be worth double checking with them that they’re going to use this approach.

I hope this helps.

(James McGarry) #19

Hi Daniel

It helps a lot. Yes that s an idea that makes sense. I definitely agree that setting up a site to allow easy access to the lower powered devices and can be adapted is a very good idea. After all we want to start small and then build it up.

I haven t hired the developers yet, as i ll need to sort out funding first, but when i do, would you be interested in helping to set up a site like this?


James M

(Daniel Hollands) #20

Thank you for your offer, but I fear I’m not the droid you’re looking for.