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Doug Richard’s School for Creative Startups uses the Mvine platform to support home-grown entrepreneurs

London, UK, 26th October 2011 – Mvine, a leading social business software vendor providing secure, integrated, fast, intelligent, compliant and commercial collaboration within and between organisations, today announced its partnership with one of the UK’s leading provider of business training for entrepreneurs, Doug Richard’s School for Creative Startups. Mvine will provide its award-winning platform to create an online community for members customised to deliver accelerated training and support to help entrepreneurs run more successful businesses.

Doug Richard’s School for Creative Startups delivers face to face and online instruction covering topics around how to start a business and find investors, how to design great products and services, how to implement fast, cost-effective marketing strategies, and how to build effective management teams and scale businesses safely.

The new portal powered by Mvine will provide online training and assistance, access to video content and collateral, blogs from Doug Richard and his team, as well as a library of articles and research resources.

Using the Mvine portal, members are able to tailor their experience using a draggable dashboard which allows users to customise their member page meaning they only receive information which is relevant to them and their specific programme. The first phase of the project was launched on 30th September, just four weeks after Mvine received the intial brief, and has already proved to be a hit.

“The Mvine platform for Doug Richard’s School for Creative Startups has been great to use, intuitive and easy to navigate,” explains Dickie Wilkinson, artist and School for Creative Startups student. “It has provided an online social space where a genuinely engaged creative community has evolved.”

Doug Richard says:

“Mvine is a great resource for the small businesses on the School for Creative Startups programme. It provides a smart, efficient way for them to communicate with each other and access key resources. It’s a useful piece of software and I recommend it highly.”

Students are able to create profiles for their businesses and have control over privacy settings allowing them to layer access so that they only share information with those that they have agreed access to their page. They can also create their own groups and events, post contributions to online forums and gain feedback from others on the issues impacting their business.

This focus on collaboration is designed to foster a community feel and a mutual support network among the emerging businesses so that they will not only gain advice and guidance from the School for Creative Startups team, but also from other members that may be at different stages of their company lifecycle and progression.

“The Mvine portal has been pivotal in helping me set up and run my business successfully. All sorts of business expertise can be found on it: answers to questions, resources to help you complete tasks, and tools to make business planning easy,” comments Mohammed Jamal, founder of House of Jamal and School for Creative Startups member. “It helps me to communicate with other members which saves me time and money, and helps me plan daily activities and business goals. On top of all this it’s a great motivational tool - I no longer feel I am working on my own any more now that I run my business through the School for Creative Startups virtual office.”

Members of the site are able to purchase course material through the site, and it also has the capability for different apps to be introduced as the platform develops in the future to allow students to access different data sources that are relevant to their studies.

During the second phase of the project, School for Creative Startups will utilise information gathered by Mvine’s Business Intelligence tool to gain an insight into what content is being consumed on the site and by whom. This data will provide a vital aid in determining what educational modules are the most popular/relevant, so that the course can be adapted to meet these needs.

“I am excited to be involved in a project I feel so passionately about,” commented Frank Joshi, Managing Director for Mvine. “To pull ourselves out of the debt crisis we need to encourage creativity and innovation and we need more entrepreneurs. According to the latest statistics published by the Small Business Administration (SBA), seven out of ten new businesses survive at least two years and 51 percent survive at least five years, which is a big improvement on the long-held belief that 50 percent of businesses fail in the first year and 95 percent fail within five years. Having a resource to provide more guidance and advice for startups, from experts that have a long history of setting up businesses, can only help to encourage this trend.”

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About Mvine

Founded in December 2005, Mvine is a pioneering organisation with an entrepreneurial spirit that works with its business partners to engineer new technology solutions for the future. The organisation is headed up by Frank Joshi and Raymond Field, who have over 15 years experience in building online communities to grow business. Mvine is based on the idea that online communities will ultimately support and reflect the needs of real life niche communities rather than the one-size-fits-all mega-portals that currently dominate online networking. Mvine’s platform provides B2B organisations with greater certainty in decision making by providing the right knowledge, rich content and information to the right business people. Mvine ensures that collaborative work on business critical documents remains up to the minute, secure and traceable and auditable allowing the right information in the right hands at the right time to assist sound decision making. Designed for the Cloud, Mvine is based on years of development using open source software.

About School for Creative Startups:
For more information go to: www.schoolforstartups.co.uk/creative

School for Creative Startups is an innovative one-year programme for creative people, with unique ideas, wishing to start a successful new business. The school is the inspiration of serial entrepreneur and angel investor Doug Richard, and the aim of the programme is to teach the critical skills that new creative businesses need to succeed and to provide support throughout the vulnerable first year of business.

To be eligible to apply for the programme, you must be from the
following creative sub-sectors:

Advertising, Architecture, the Art and Antiques Market, Crafts, Design, Designer Fashion, Film and Video, Interactive Leisure Software, Music, the Performing Arts, Publishing, Software and Computer Games, or Television & Radio.

School for Startups provide accelerated business training that helps entrepreneurs launch more successful startups and run more successful businesses. School for Startups business networking events connect small businesses to create supportive, self-sustaining communities.

School for Creative Startups’ overarching mission is to create a vibrant, dynamic culture and economy in the UK that supports and promotes innovation and entrepreneurialism. Its aim is to increase the number of creative small businesses in the UK and provide them with access to world class business advice to help them succeed.
About Doug Richard

A successful entrepreneur with over 20 years' experience in the development and leadership of technology and software ventures, Doug featured in the first two TV series of Dragons’ Den. He is an active angel investor, the founder of School for Startups, was Chairman of the Conservative Party Small Business Task Force, and is non-executive director of BrightPearl Software and Beats Digital.

Between 1996 and 2000 Doug was President and CEO of Micrografx, a US publicly quoted Software Company. Prior to that he also founded and subsequently sold two other companies: Visual Software and ITAL Computers.

Doug holds a BA in Psychology from University of California at Berkeley and a Juris Doctor at the school of Law, University of California, Los Angeles. In 2006 Doug was the first American to receive The Queen's Award for Enterprise Promotion, in 2007 he became a fellow of the RSA.

In 2009 Doug received an Honorary Doctorate of the University of Essex for his contribution to entrepreneurship education. In 2010 Doug was awarded Enterprise Educator of the Year. He is currently a Guest Lecturer on Entrepreneurship at Cambridge University for the Nanotech Masters and PHd Programme.

Media Information:

Cathy O’Neill
C8 Consulting
01189 001135
cathy@c8consulting.co.uk

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