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C2C 2022 Year-End Recap: Startups

C2C experienced spectacular growth in 2022, and a great deal of that growth occurred in our community for startups and startup founders. Community members forged new relationships, explored new solutions, and even founded more new startups. C2C is looking forward to answering more of your questions and solving more of your problems in the coming year. For now, though, let’s look back at some of the moments and the people that stood out for our Startups community in 2022. 2022 Highlights: Featured Events At The Effective Founder’s Project: Strategies to Overcome Startups’ Biggest Risks, Effective Founders Project creator Martin Gonzalez and Google Cloud Startup Success Manager Hannah Parker (@hannahparker) joined forces to educate founders across our startups ecosystem about the people problems that challenge growing startups and the management solutions that will help them thrive:  For the second iteration of our session The ML Mindset for Managers, KC Ayyagari (@kcayyagari), Senior Customer Engineer at Google Cloud, returned to C2C to run the Startups community through the essentials of machine learning and demonstrated some solutions startup founders can use to implement and manage ML strategically as they scale:  C2C’s fireside chat with Lance Legel, founder of 3co, took attendees through 3co’s entire startup journey, from its founding to its recognition as the provider of a leading AI 3D scanning solution, making time along the way to explore topics as diverse as the biochemistry of flowers and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche:  Finally, our conversation with Simon Taylor of 11:FS was a valuable education for startups and for customers across the cloud ecosystem in emerging trends and solutions in FinTech, including various DeFi models and Simon’s expertise, Banking-as-a-Service:  2022 Highlights: Community Members The Startups community is full of innovative thinkers from across C2C’s many industries and global regions––too many to recognize at once! However, a community is nothing without the people who belong to it. The following three C2C members made integral contributions to the growth of the Startups community by attending events, posting on the platform, and responding to others’ posts with thoughtful feedback and support. Simon Beeker (@ScottBeeker), OnlySpittersRajeev Bagra (@DigitalSplendid), Digital SplendidSimon Bain (@sibain), OmniIndex If you’d like to learn more about the work Scott, Rajeev, and Simon are doing or hear from them about their experiences in the Startups community, send them a message on the C2C platform––or better yet, come to an upcoming Startups community event and meet them live! What to Expect in 2023 C2C’s startups community flourished massively in 2022, but the growth is still just beginning. In 2023, get ready for more of all of the above, plus some exciting new developments. In-person events, which launched at the end of 2022, will become a standard offering for the startups community in 2023. We’ll also be doing more to highlight our community members on the C2C platform on a regular basis, and creating more of the same unique opportunities to collaborate with like-minded people and learn new skills. Are you a startup founder looking for more opportunities to build community with other Google Cloud cusrtomers? Join C2C as a member today to get involved! 

Categories:Google Cloud Startups

The Google Cloud Startups Summit Connects Startup Founders in the C2C Community

The Google Cloud Startups Summit unites startup founders, venture capitalists, and Google experts for a full day of informative and interactive sessions exploring the diversity of talent and the variety of business opportunities in Google Cloud’s startup ecosystem. This year’s Startups Summit, on June 2, 2022, will cover hot topics including the future of web3, app development for startups, and founding a business on the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Startup founders make up a major segment of the C2C Community, and events like the Google Cloud Startups Summit facilitate the kind of customer-to-customer interaction C2C exists to promote. The 2021 Startups Summit attracted some of C2C’s most active members, and this year’s Summit will offer them a warm welcome back.Markus Koy (@MarkusK), founder of thefluent.me, left last year’s Summit with a new perspective on the process of scaling a business. One of the biggest challenges, he learned, is growing a business enough to build out a team in order to secure funding. For founders still developing a product, however, events like the Startups summit offer other vital kinds of support. “For me personally,” says Koy, “I got some good information on pitching, how to present the company, and the other advantage I find is of course networking.” Connecting with others in the startups space is valuable for founders at any stage of the startup journey. “If there is opportunity to collaborate just to speed up to reach the market, I’m open minded.” Martin Mujyanama (@muntima), another highly engaged C2C member who attended last year’s Summit, agrees. Mujyanama is building a product that will compile and organize academic research on victimology in an optimized content interface. At this year’s Startups Summit, he hopes to meet others interested in collaborating, however they might be able to influence his journey. “If there is opportunity to collaborate just to speed up to reach the market, I’m open minded,” says Mujyanama. “I’m ready just to welcome any such initiative or action.”Every startup is different, with its own unique technical and business challenges and potential for growth and success. The Google Cloud Startups Summit is designed to provide insight and guidance from technical and business leaders across the Google Cloud ecosystem, so that startups at all stages and in all fields and industries can benefit from its programming. However, what determines the real value of any business-oriented event is the perspective and willingness to engage of the other attendees. To make the connections that will make the difference in your startup journey, register here for the 2022 Google Cloud Startups Summit, and register below for the three AMA sessions C2C is hosting in conjunction with the Summit:  

Categories:Google Cloud Startups

The Value of Looker for Startups (full recording)

Looker is a business intelligence platform used for data applications and embedded analytics. Looker helps you easily explore, share, and visualize your company's data so that you can make better business decisions. During this deep dive, Cat Huang and Tema Johnson, Looker customer engineers at Google Cloud, discussed the value of Looker for startup companies, including recommendations for how to choose a data warehouse complete with a product demo. The recording from this session includes the topics listed below, plus plenty of conversation infused in the presentation from open Q&A from community members present at the live event:(0:00) Welcome and introduction from C2C and the Google Startups Team (5:25) Looker (creating a data culture) vs. Data Studio (data visualizations) (9:00) Using Looker and Data Studio together for a complete, unified platform for self-service and centralized BI (10:10) Using looker with a data warehouse like BigQuery (13:15) Serverless big data analytics vs. traditional data warehouses (14:10) Integrated AI and ML services for data analytics (15:30) The power of Looker: in-database architecture, semantic modeling layer, and cloud native (21:05) Live demo: Looker (40:00) Closing comments and audience Q&AWatch the full recording below: Preview What’s NextJoin the Google Cloud Startups group to stay connected on events like this one, plus others we have coming up: 

Categories:Data AnalyticsGoogle Cloud StartupsSession Recording

Positioning Your Product: Earned Media and Audience Connections (full video)

Scott Wilson, Co-Founder of QA Wolf and former Senior Director of Product Marketing for Wyze Labs, presented during a tactical Deep Dive all about getting your product followed, liked, loved, and reviewed. This hour-long session covered actionable steps and expert tips on positioning your product and connecting with your audience using product journey examples from Scott’s work at Wyze, including:(00:00) About C2C and Google Cloud Startups (02:50) Introduction to Scott Wilson, his experience at Wyze, and agenda overview for his best practices for product positioning (08:45) Step 1: Create a remarkable solution that surpasses your users’ expectations Defining “solution” as product plus experience Identifying your core user Creating customer avatars Creating a method of trial Meeting and surpassing expectations Example: what makes Wyze remarkable (21:40) Step 2: Make it easy to share so your customers can advocate for you Building into the solution Encouraging and asking customers to share Example: Wyze sharing (26:20) Step 3: Tell the right people so they do the marketing for you Example: Wyze outreach campaigns Finding the right people and using the right tools (all linked below) Creating a one-pager Drafting your outreach message Sending your message How to persist (45:50) Step 4: Keep your solution remarkable so users keep coming back Example: How Wyze keeps their product remarkable Continually moving the goalpost by keeping a pulse on the market (48:05) Bonus: use cases at QA Wolf (53:15) Open community questions Extra CreditScott shared a great variety of his favorite tools for finding the right people, including:AHREFs for SEO tools and resources Quantcast for digital advertising, website analytics, and audience insights WhatRunsWhere for ad intelligence Brand24 for media monitoring SimilarWeb for website traffic analytics HappierLeads for identifying potential buyers Sparktoro for audience research To connect with Scott, reach out to him via email at scott@qawolf.com

Categories:Google Cloud StartupsConsumer Packaged GoodsSession Recording

FinTech, Banking-as-a-Service, and the "DeFi Mullet": C2C's Deep Dive with Simon Taylor of 11:FS

Between electronic payments emerging as a default option for digital native and traditional businesses alike and blockchain technology going mainstream in the private and public sectors, FinTech is quickly becoming a solution no startup can afford to undervalue. As Simon Taylor of 11:FS put it in the C2C Deep Dive he hosted on Feb. 10, 2022, “Every company is becoming a FinTech company.”For any who weren’t able to make this live session, the full recording is worth a watch. In a concise but rapid half-hour session, Taylor offers a complete functional overview of the Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) model, covering every operational consideration from customer experience to go-to-market strategy.The real benefit of connecting live with a guest like Taylor, however, is the opportunity to ask him direct questions and get an immediate response. For those who want to dive straight into the issues this presentation brought up for discussion, below are some of Taylor’s answers to questions from C2C community members.First, a question about consolidation of the BaaS space in a post-integration market prompted Taylor to walk through a series of real and hypothetical acquisitions at major FinTech companies, including FiServ, Synapse, and Unit:  Later, a question about cryptocurrency in the digital payment space prodded Taylor to amend his previous statement about FinTech to “Every company is becoming a crypto company.” He also introduced the concept of the “DeFi” mullet, a “business up front, party at the back” model for FinServ companies which puts “FinTech at the front, Decentralized finance or crypto at the back”:  Taylor was also more than willing to point attendees to a host of resources 11:FS has made available for specialists looking to dive even deeper into BaaS:  Is your company a FinTech or crypto company, or becoming one? What do Taylor’s points imply for your company’s financial future? Post on one of our community pages and let us know what you think! Extra Credit11:FS Pulse Report 2022 Banking as a Service: the future of financial services 11:FS podcast Decoding: Banking as a Service - Episode 1 11:FS YouTube Plus, don’t miss the next event hosted by our startups community:  

Categories:Industry SolutionsGoogle Cloud StartupsFinancial ServicesSession Recording

Understanding the FinTech Payment Stack and Where Your Business Fits (full video)

Challengers in the financial services industry—existing firms looking to innovate, start-ups looking to scale, and everyone in between—will gain an in-depth understanding of the banking and payments system from this Deep Dive.   The recording from this Deep Dive includes:(1:15) Introduction to Simon Taylor and 11:FS (4:00) Introduction to banking as a service (BaaS) and its role across brands (7:20) Understanding the depth of service from BaaS API providers (13:10) How API providers enable focus on building user experience and expediting time to market (15:15) Embedding financial services into various customer experiences (17:25) Go-to-market requirements for launching FinTech products (20:10) Overcoming challenges between FinTech vendors and BaaS providers (21:20) Building finance operating systems (22:00) The four core issues and challenges: provider lock-in, geographic limits, flexibility vs. speed, and product configuration gaps (24:35) Open audience questionsFeatured in this session:   Simon TaylorCo-Founder and Chief Product Officer, 11FS Simon Taylor is the Co-Founder and Blockchain Practice Lead at 11:FS. Simon has been immersed in the technology of financial services for as long as he’s been working. He is consistently voted one of the most influential people in Banking, Insurance, and Fintech by banks, his peers, and industry bodies. Simon led Blockchain Research and Development at Barclays. In his time there, Barclays became the first bank in the world to perform a live trade finance transaction over a Blockchain / DLT with a real customer attached. Today Simon advises governments, regulators, and some of the worlds largest banks, financial institutions, and corporations on how Blockchain and DLT will impact their business in the short, medium, and long term. Previously, Simon helped build the Barclays www.thinkrise.com program and held a number of roles in payments, banking, and the telco sector.  Extra Credit11:FS Pulse Report 2022 Banking as a Service: the future of financial services 11:FS podcast Decoding: Banking as a Service - Episode 1 11:FS YouTube

Categories:API ManagementIndustry SolutionsGoogle Cloud StartupsFinancial ServicesSession Recording

Community Conversations at Startups Technical Roundtable Continue on the C2C Platform

The Startups Roundtable series hosted by C2C and Google Cloud Startups continued on Tuesday, Jan. 25 with another session on AI and ML, this one devoted solely to technical questions. These roundtable discussions are designed for startup founders seeking technical and business support as they realize their visions for their products on the Google Cloud Platform. This time, 10 Googlers including 6 Customer Engineers led private discussions in small groups of over forty guests from the C2C community. Watch the introduction to the event below:As in the previous Startups Roundtable, after the introduction, the hosts assigned the attendees to breakout rooms where they could ask their questions freely with the attention of the Google staff on the call. The breakout rooms in these sessions are not recorded, but C2C Community Manager Alfons Muñoz (@Alfons) joined one of the conversations to gather insights for the community. In this breakout room, Google Customer Engineer Druva Reddy (@Druva Reddy) explained how to understand the value proposition the startup is giving and how users will interact with the business. Reddy advised guests to focus on having a vision of the market and to build a product with a high level of abstraction, rather than focusing simply on the data-specific tools they are going to use.According to Muñoz, after the time allotted for the discussions in the breakout rooms ended, the conversations kept going. Guests had more questions to ask and more answers to hear from the Google team. The hosts invited all attendees to bring their questions to the C2C platform for the Googlers to answer after the event. Two guests took them up on the offer, and Reddy wrote them both back with detailed advice.Markus Koy (@MarkusK) of thefluent.me wrote:Hi everyone,I am using the word-level confidence feature of the Speech-to-Text API in my app (POC) https://thefluent.me that helps users improve their pronunciation skills. Is there an ETA when this feature will be rolled-out for production applications and if so, for which languages?@osmondng, @Druva Reddy thank you for offering to reach out to the Speech API team.Markusand Reddy wrote back:Hi Markusk,It was great chatting with you!!The Product team is aiming for Word Level Confidence General Availability stage (GA) by end of Q2 2022. Regarding languages supported, currently it supports English, French and Portuguese and that being said, multiple languages will be supported as we rollout the support for other languages in phases.Please stay tuned and checkout announcements here-  https://cloud.google.com/speech-to-text/docs/languages.Thanks,Druva ReddyThe next day, Erin Karam (@ekaram) of Mezo wrote:Hello,We are looking for guidance with training our DialogFlow CX intent.  Our model is limited by the 2000 limit on training phrases for a single intent. Our use case is that we are attempting to recognize symptoms from the user.  We have 26 different symptoms we are trying to recognize.  We have 10s of thousands of rows of training data to train for these 26 symptoms.  The upper limit of 2000 is hampering our end performance.  Please advise. Erinand Reddy responded:Hi Ekaram,Thanks for joining today’s session!!Default limit is 2000 training phrases per intent. This amount should be enough to describe all possible language variations. Having more phrases may make the agent performance slower. You can try to filter out identical phrases or phrases with identical structure.You don't have to define every possible example, because Dialogflow's built-in machine learning expands on your list with other, similar phrases.However, create at least 10 to 20 training phrases so your agent can recognize a variety of end user expressions.Some of the best practices i would suggest is,Avoid using similar training phrases in different intents. Avoid Special characters. Do not ignore agent validation.Let me know if that works.A startup is a journey, and no startup founder will be able to get all the answers they need in one session. That’s why the Startups Roundtable series is ongoing; more business and technical roundtables will be coming soon. For now, if you are a startup founder looking for more opportunities to learn from the Google Startups Team and connect with other startup founders in the C2C community, register for these events for our startups group: 

Categories:AI and Machine LearningC2C NewsGoogle Cloud StartupsSession Recording

Startup Founders Get Their Questions Answered In C2C's Google Cloud Startups Roundtable

On Tuesday, November 16, 2021, C2C hosted its first Google Cloud Startup roundtable event. This series, organized and planned specifically for representatives from startups looking to grow their businesses, brings these representatives together with Google Cloud Customer Engineers, Technical Specialists, and Startup Success Managers to lead discussions and answer questions on hot topics in the startup space. The first roundtable included group sessions for business leaders and technical staff as well as a Customer Engineer AMA, all exploring artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), and the potential uses of each for startup businesses as they form and begin to scale.After welcoming guests and introducing the Google staffers on the call, the event’s organizers invited attendees to join breakout rooms based on whether they had come with technical or business questions to discuss. These breakout rooms were not recorded, but C2C North America Community Manager Alfons Muñoz joined the technical discussion.In this breakout room, startup founders from 86 Repair and Auralab brought their questions directly to Google’s customer engineers. According to Muñoz, “They were stating their problems or projects and getting an overview of how to approach these problems...and they had more than one overview, because we had more than one customer engineer, so they had more than one point of view. They also were encouraged to get in the community.”Most of this event’s ninety minutes were spent in the breakout rooms, but after about an hour, the groups came together again for an AMA with all of the customer engineers on the call. In this session, the visiting startup founders revisited the topic that had dominated the conversations in the breakout rooms: data. In order to use ML effectively, an organization needs a platform that can store, host, and manage data reliably.Google’s Deok Filho offered a canny on-the-spot breakdown of the relative advantages and disadvantages of integrating different Google and third-party data management tools with BigQuery, bringing in Mike Walker to field follow-up questions from Ben Collins of Auralab and Daniel Zivkovic, founder and curator of Serverless Toronto, along the way. Check out a clip of the conversation below:According to Muñoz, in terms of connecting guests to the right Google staffers and getting their questions answered, this event was a success, but, in his words, “it’s important to note that this is the first of many roundtables.” Look for more of these events for startup founders in 2022, including the next AI and ML roundtable in January: 

Categories:AI and Machine LearningGoogle Cloud NewsC2C NewsGoogle Cloud Startups