Uprise Festival 2015: Impressions, Music Startups, Growthhacking

Dubzoo Founder at the Uprise Festival Amsterdam 2015

TSO logoI am in Amsterdam for UpriseFestival.co. The Startup Orgy, a fresh and newly opened Co-Working Space in Amsterdam is supporting my trip by providing workspace, putting me in contact with Startups here and of course providing the right dose of caffein.

This is the second edition of Uprise Festival, a conference for Startups, Investors, VCs, accelerators, and people interested in tech and music. About 100 startups registered and are showing off their technology. The festival is targeting young startups looking for awaresness, employees and investors. Day Tickets are sold for just 15 EUR, which makes it possible for nearly everyone to attend. Giants like Facebook (“Growth Stage”) and Microsoft (“Pitch Battle”) are sponsoring the festival. Alongside the exhibition of latest technology, workshops (“Masterclasses” in Zeitgeist speak) are hosted. Topics included are Growthhacking, How to structure your business, get (crowd-)funding, manage remote teams, etc.

Apps for payment and networking at the conference

The Festival also tries to not talk only about using latest technology but also use it. Payment at the event is done via Payconiq (in addition to paying with card), a dutch startup making it very easy to pay via smartphone. Pitty to say the app is only available for download in the dutch region, so i wasn’t able to check it out.

Another app supported by Uprise is one for networking called Grip. It is something lots of companies try to solve right now: Business networking in the age of Tinder. The similarities are obvios: It requires a LinkedIn Account to scrape your basic account data like Role, company etc. and you just add a pitch line which should get people interested. After that choose a few communities (or events) you wanna be part of and start swiping. The concept is something I hope to see adopted at more conferences but needs to be fine-tuned instead of just swiping. LinkedIn is still pretty useless to me except for keeping me up to date on who is changing jobs. Whilte trying Grip I only get contacts from Vienna based groups, even while here in Amsterdam and a member of the Uprise Community, it seems to rely on the country data in my LinkedIn profile. Grip is using the Uprise Festival to launch their app.

To give you a glimpse of whats going on here, I will feature a few startups.

Vsoundbox – bluetooth speaker

Vsoundbox is a new kind of bluetooth speaker in the classic pocket size size which only plays

Vsoundbox Founders at Uprise Festival 2015
Vsoundbox Founders at Uprise Festival 2015

music when put on a surface like wood. Actually, it only works this way. As soon as you pull it away from the surface it stops playing, or continues playing but only on a very low volume.

The founders told me the benefit is way better sound volume using their technology compared to classic bluetooth speakers. Its sold for just 50 EUR and only sold via their own website. The Startup is 100% owned by the founders and there are no Investors.

See it in action in this Vine.

Dubzoo – Manage your DJ activities

Dubzoo Founder at the Uprise Festival Amsterdam 2015
Dubzoo Founder at the Uprise Festival Amsterdam 2015

Dubzoo from London is a Startup building a platform for DJs to help them market their profile. It allows DJs to upload their sets to Mixcloud, Soundcloud and manage all social media activites. It should ease the process of maintaining a profile on different platforms and help them stay in touch with their listeners and fans more easily. Simiply put, free up time to create something instead of having 10 browser tabs open to keep everything updated. Currently in beta with about 1500 DJs from of all levels: from pro DJs to wedding djs, hobbyists etc. Revenue Stream? Advertising. And in the future potential premium profiles.

Bash – free festival tickets

Bash app gives away Festival Tickets for free. How is that working? They are getting a

Bash App Co-Founder at Uprise Festival 2015
Bash App Co-Founder at Uprise Festival 2015

limited amount of tickets for a festival and then creating the buzz for them in the app. Its run in a lottery style. You just spin the wheel in the app, but are only allowed to do so once a day. If you are lucky you get selected 24hours in advance of the festival. The two founders are working on building a community around their app and focus on building a revenue stream later on. That could be about analyzing the userbase and providing insights to festival organizers and potential sponsor. BashApp just launched this August (available for iOS and Android). I wasn’t able to download the app, potentially due to region settings on my phone and it focuses only on Festivals in the dutch area at the moment.

Kollekt.fm – Music listening Website

Kollekt.fm Player ViewKollekt.fm is a web app which allows users to put together playlists across services. Currently the site allows users to create playlists both adding music from Soundcloud and Youtube. The service is in beta and for free right now. I just tried it out and it works really fine. You can check the discover Page without having an account right now.

Indoo.rs – Indoor Navigation

Indoo.rs Team Bernd & Nick
Indoo.rs Team Bernd & Nick

Austrian Startup indoo.rs decided to come to Uprise. Makes sense, as KLM is one of their clients and they are also building a network here.  (Disclaimer: Indoo.rs is former Fresh van Root client and co-founder Bernd a friend of mine.)

Notes from the Growthhacking workshop i attended at Uprise

As I attended a full day growthhacking Workshop in Vienna a few months back (Notes in german) I thought it a great idea to refresh that knowledge in a 2hour sessions at Uprise. Following are a few notes from that session.

Speaker was David Arnoux, a serial entrepreneur shared his learnings, thats what he is also doing as a business with The Growthtribe Academy. The Intro to the Session was the same as in Vienna: There is no silver bullet or recipe for success to generate growth.

One of the examples most brought up for a successfull Growthhack is Airbnb. They were using Craigslist to reverse engineer the displaying of potential temp rentals and basically stealing traffic from Craigslist. Here you can read the full case study of the Airbnb Craigslist growthhack.

David also brought up Dropbox as a very successfull hack, which was basically referral marketing (you get more space if you refer friends).

One that comes to my mind is Hotmail. If I remember correctly they were (one of the first oif not the first?) free email providers using a signature line (“send via Hotmail. Get yours at…”). So this was back in the 90ies, digital marketing, performance marketing or growth hacking were years away.


New platforms – new possibilities. As a growthhacker you always have to look out for new opportunites. Platforms which are hip today are potentially outdated tomorrow. So being an early adopter of all diferent kind of platforms is a must for a growthhacker. Surfing Producthunt and looking out for rising stars is a good start. But remember everyone is doing that today.

Austrian Startup Blossom discovered a great growthhack: Being listed as  an integration partner early on drove lots of traffic to their product site. They had the integration service in place right before Slack really took off.

One example brought up was Ello. At the beginning there where security issues. It was possible to scrape all the user data and auto-follow all the people on Ello. Each follow action brings attention of a few seconds from each account (via email or Push notification). Problem: The guy who did that had a product that sucked, but it was still a good use case for him to learn fast instead of putting ads online via this quick hack. When using online advertising to promote your product remember that the results you get reported are potentially crap.


Growth Hacking is about:

  • Creative Marketing
  • Automation and Engineering
  • Experiments & Data

Hard Data: For each metric you track calculate conversion rates. Find out where you are wasting money and get rid of that tactic.

Soft Data: Talking to users, Feedback on UX/Usablity. Understand your best customers and find out where you can find more of them (Sean Ellis).

Focus on one metric you want to improve first and launch experiments around that metric. Don’t try to work on several metrics at a time. (That’s for sure when starting a business, but can be complicated when working at larger businesses).

A few years back growthhacking involved real coding skills. Today with all the tools available, readymade scripts and analytics apps, marketers can apply growthhacking tactics without coding skills. But as a “classic” digital marketer you should be very interested in technology, tools, apps and curious to learn alot which is not told in digital marketing class. On the other hand: every Digital Marketer should be a growth hacker. Why do marketing for a product or service when its not for growth?

  • Reading tip: Tractionbook.com on customer acquisition channels.
  • Tool tip: emailhunter.co – helps you guess the email adress for any LinkedIn profile.

Everything you learn in Growthhacking Workshops, Sessions, MeetUps etc. is common sense. So find an rarely if even documented way for a growthhack.

  • One more tool: Hashtagify (mentioned as a tool to find relevant hashtags to a broader term) gives a great overview on that. Let’s try this for #growthhacking.
growthhacking hashtag cloud hashtagify
Hashtagify.me results for term growthhacking.

The content shown in the Workshop was great, tons of useful tips and tricks in a fast paced talk. Slides will be shared later on Twitter. Help David to reach his 20K Twitter follower goal until year end!

Update 2.10.2015: Slides are up on wetransfer.

This was an exciting first day at Uprise and I am looking forward to tomorrow. Now some Ping Pong!

Also check my 24now profile to get more impressions from my trip to Amsterdam.

PayPal Ping Pong Area at Uprise Festival 2015

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