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New Founders Program posts:

An Interview with Deeplocal: Cultivating a Culture of Innovation

Deeplocal is our latest New Founder, and was founded in 2006 by artist and former punk rock singer, Nathan Martin, in the post-industrial city of Pittsburgh, Pennslyvania. One part consulting company and one part mobile app product development company, their team of eight is comprised of top talent from companies like MetaDesign, Yahoo, and Apple.  We had a chat with Nathan about the importance of art and culture on Deeplocal’s business model, hacking police scanners, and how the Harvest iPhone app has changed the way they work.

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An Interview with STALKR: Guns For Hire

Our November New Founder is STALKR, a creative research boutique headed up by Dan Kern (based in Los Angeles) and Lizzie Eves (based in London). They worked together as the head researchers on Nike Courage, which was a collaboration of two dozen researchers worldwide, and Nike’s biggest media buy ever.  After collaborating on that campaign, Dan and Lizzie explain that they realized “not one research company in the world was leveraging the group-sourcing power of the internet”, so they decided to connect their network of specialized film footage researchers in London, Manchester, New York, Los Angeles, Portland, Berlin, and Cape Town, and created STALKR.

With a business model entirely dependent on total collaboration on the internet, we were intrigued at their process for working in multiple time zones, with projects around the globe, and how they use Harvest to stay on top of delivering the goods on time, and within budget.  And there’s also the cow: we really like the cow.

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STALKR HQ in Connemara, Ireland

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An Interview with Betahaus: A Platform for Crazy Ideas

betahaus is embracing the new wave of free agents looking to work outside the box, which landed them a spot as the latest addition to our New Founders Program.  They have opened a coworking office/café/meeting space in Berlin just four months ago, and are already making a name for themselves as a local force with a global vision.

betahaus has been using Harvest as a dual purposed way to keep a finger on the pulse both of how they are spending their time expanding their business, and keeping their freelancers on track.  They recently talked with us about the power of the digital network, channeling BarCamp, and to be honest, they opened our eyes to the new rage in Berlin: the club mate!

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Interview with Jan Crocker: Shipwrecks, Fossils, and the Digital Divide

You may not consider how all of the fossils were assembled from collections around the globe for the recent exhibition, “Lucy’s Legacy: The Hidden Treasures of Ethiopia”, or who arranged the educational museum programs your kids can’t stop talking a mile a minute about, but these are the details that Jan Crocker LLC has made a specialty.  As a one stop shop for arranging permanent and traveling exhibitions, educational programing, and exhibition management (including materials, installation, shipping, and scheduling), they are pushing forward a business model which has team members working together throughout Massachusetts and Vermont.  Learn how they’ve straddled the digital divide by working remotely, why they care about underwater shipwrecks, and how Harvest keeps these widespread colleagues coordinated, on time and on point.

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Interview with Brand Manual: A Company Policy of Generosity

The latest addition to our New Founders Program, Brand Manual, have started a design firm in Estonia focused on developing a stronger link between quality products, and the promotion that goes along with them.  As a brand new company with 3 months under their belt, they are already making their mark with a focus on the human side of marketing, which goes a long way with us here at Harvest.  We wanted to know more about how Harvest helps them do business in Estonia, and why they will treat you to a free lunch if you come hang out with them in Tallinn!

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What was the inspiration for starting your company?

All four of us previously worked for graphic design and advertising companies.  We were faced with a repeating pattern, where we were doing too much of everything, and nothing thoroughly. The problem often lies in the belief that all problems can be fixed with promotion.  In reality, people buy goods and services, not promotion, and marketing cannot address every problem.  Brand Manual was created to provide a link back to the company, to make better products and services, and a meaningful framework that ad agencies can work with later on. Continue reading…

New Founders Interview: Catapult Innovations

From the Beijing Olympics, to the English Premier League and the Australian Institute of Sport, Catapult Innovations is changing the way that athletes train with their new take on integrating athletic clothing with monitoring devices.  By tracking heart rate, reaction time, and GPS location, their groundbreaking software minimaxX helps athletic coaches more accurately target what is happening on the field at any given moment, and allows them to make changes to their strategy on the fly.

We are thrilled to help Catapult Innovations stay on point by keeping track of their time with Harvest in their various departments, such as Research and Development, sales, marketing, and management, so that they can get on with the business of keeping track of their athletes.  We wanted to know a bit more about how they’re knocking the ball out of the park in changing the face of sports, and here’s what we found.

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How did Catapult Innovations get started?  How did you go from an idea to an actual business?

Catapult started with a research team working with the Australian Institute of Sport, on ways to make coaching more scientific, and more measurable. The team came up with some great ideas in wearable electronics, and spun out to form Catapult Innovations to explore the commercial potential of these ideas.  Initially, we started out as two engineers in some borrowed office space, and local government support and some great (and patient!) early customers helped us get going.

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New Founders Interview: Keen Guides

Keen Guides are bringing museums to life for groups who have traditionally been excluded from getting the full experience at cultural institutions: those with hearing and sight disabilities. Using hand held video devices like iPhones, they are making guided museum tours available in American Sign Language, cued speech and other formats to help people get the most out of their museum visits. We’re proud that Harvest is helping Keen Guides with their important mission, and here is the story of how they are making the world a better place on tour at a time.

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Tell us how the idea for Keen Guides came about?

The Keen Guides idea came about when one of the Keen Guides members went into a museum and asked for an alternative to the tour, and got  a fifty-page transcript and an apology. We knew there was something better, and created a video version of the tour in sign language and took it to the museum the next day for an enjoyable, independent experience. This idea quickly ballooned into a product that everyone can use: kids, senior adults, tourists, and/or businessmen.

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Harvest New Founders Interview: Hashrocket

Hashrocket has emerged as one of the premier Ruby on Rails shops in the world in a very short period of time. They have developed a strict methodology that ensures every client is getting the best code possible in the least amount of time. We had a chance to speak with Hashrocket about how they came to be, how they’ve gotten so successful, their unique product offerings and where they are headed in the future.

How did Hashrocket start? More importantly, how have you managed to thrive and prosper as a company so quickly?

Obie, the Hashrocket head honcho, launched The Rails Way, and was looking for a way to capture the energy generated by the book.  He partnered up with his employer at the time, and presented his idea: a premium Ruby on Rails shop that was leveraging the years of XP and Agile experience that he and the rest of the team had. As a former member of ThoughtWorks, Obie built their Rails practice from the ground up, and wanted to use that experience to start his own company.

Obie enlisted the help of four developers and started Hashrocket. Success was immediate and explosive. We leveraged our connections to start solving the enviable problem of having too much success, and not enough capacity to handle it. Hashrocket experienced 400% growth in just a few months, and by November we realized that we needed to slow down and concentrate on our processes and making certain that we were reliably developing the best software possible.

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Harvest New Founders Interview: Wildfire Promotion Builder

Wildfire Promotion Builder is connecting businesses with the technical tools and know how they need to run successful contests in a wired world. Wildfire Promotion Builder allows user to create and monitor contests on their own websites and on all of the most popular social networking sites from one place. Their team is bringing sweepstakes and Web 2.0 together with smashing results. We had a chance to speak with founders Alain Chuard and Victoria Ransom about how to run a great contest and the reality of what you consume when getting a successful startup off the ground.

Contests and sweepstakes are nothing new. What does Wildfire Promotion Builder offer that puts a new twist on this old idea?

We add a new twist in two ways. We enable companies to run promotions, contests, sweepstakes, giveaways and coupons that are integrated with the viral features of social networks. Friend invites, activity streams and notifications are a far more powerful way to spread the word about a campaign than running it via a company website alone. Through social media, every person that enters your promotion, potentially scores of their social network friends will heard about it via friend invites, newsfeeds and other viral tools. Secondly, we provide a turn key solution for companies to create and manage interactive promotions both within social networks and on their websites. Instead of having to spend a great deal of time and money to create your own custom micro-site or social network application to run a promotion, you can create an account with us and follow six simple steps to have your own attractive, branded promotion up and running within minutes.

What value do you feel time tracking brings to the Wildfire Promotion Builder team? How has Harvest helped in this area?

We have a very global, dispersed team with members in a variety of different time zones and continents. Unlike teams where all people are located in the same office, it’s not easy for us to keep track of when people work and what they’re working on. Harvest makes this process seamless. It would be much harder to manage our team without it! On top of that we love the Harvest UI. It’s intuitive and beautiful!

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Harvest New Founders Interview: OpenFundraising

James Briggs and Tim Longfoot are the minds behind Open Fundraising. Inspired by recent successful fund raising campaigns conducted online, Open Fundraising is bringing good causes from around the world to the web to get the word out. They are providing tools, talent, techniques and ideas to help charities take advantage of technology.

Can you explain what Open Fundraising is for the un-initiated?

Essentially, we’re an agency that helps charities and not-for-profit organizations develop and implement their fundraising programmes. We work on strategy, positioning, creative work, data analysis and, very importantly, delivery. One of our key strategic goals is to involve corporations more in the way people support charities.
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