Spotlight on Stonebridge Bookkeeping

Each month, we Spotlight a stellar company from our IP Cloud. These companies help provide you with the best and most affordable way to make your business a success. So don’t forget to regularly check in for updates or go to our IP Cloud to look around yourself! July’s Spotlight is onStonebridge Bookkeeping

If you have a business, then you would understand the pains of bookkeeping. Started back in 2010, StoneBridge Bookkeeping has been striving to establish a standard of excellence not only in their workplace but for bookkeepers everywhere. There is no formal entity that governs bookkeeping or a code of ethics that holds them accountable. StoneBridge strives to build a community of bookkeepers who abide by a code of rules and ethics and raise the professional standard of the industry.

Apart from high level professionals, they also hold classes for people who want to learn how to bookkeep as well as provide a certification course that ensures that candidates who intend to provide public bookkeeping have a high level of professionalism and standard of ethics. For those inclined to carry out their own bookkeeping or hire someone for the job, they provide a state-of-the-art mentoring program that include monthly reviews of financial reports and data file entries as well as assistance in correcting any errors/issues found. Monthly Mentoring packages cost $150 a month but for $250 per month customers get the Full Mentoring Package which includes access to the QuickBooks/Bookkeeping weekly open forum as well as 24/7 email support for all and any questions.

For more information regarding StoneBridge Bookkeeping check out our IP Cloud or find them on their official website at:

Learning From Facebook

Everyone knows who Mark Zuckerberg is; the billionaire entrepreneur who started Facebook, one of the most visited sites on the internet. He is an inspiration to entrepreneurs’ world over looking to launch the ‘next big thing’, a regular Joe who started with nothing and got everything. Well, I guess that’s not completely true. He did get everything but to say he started with nothing is far from the truth. Anyone who keeps abreast with the news or saw David Fincher’s ‘The Social Network’ knows that he had more than a little help to say the least.

In late 2003 Cameron Winklevoss, Tyler Winklevoss and Divya Narendra, students of Harvard, approached Mark for fixing and adding the finishing touches to their website HarvardConnection, a social network for Harvard students. Mark was given the private server location and password of the unfinished website and codes without any formal contract. Within a week, Mark decided to create his own social networking site and pretended to be working on the HarvardConnection project while working on He willfully lead the twins on so that he could finish his own project while preventing them from getting a new programmer from finishing HarvardConnection. Eventually he launched his own website and it was days before the HarvardConnection team knew what had happened and were left with an unfinished website with a competitor already in the market.

If the Winklevoss twins and Divya had taken Traklight’s ID your IP risk quiz, history would have had a different story to tell. By taking out half an hour of their time they could’ve been making millions of dollars more than they got in their settlement. The one big mistake they made was discuss a potentially groundbreaking idea openly without having an independent contractor sign any sort of non-disclosure agreement or formal letter of employment with an anti-competition clause, a fact that would have been pointed out by Traklight’s Report.

Mark Zuckerberg was already known to copy ideas; his popular Facemash was a duplication of the ‘Hot or Not’ website. Without any formalized agreement the courts held that their conversation amounted to no more than ‘dorm room chit chat’. The unfinished coding of HarvardConnection was not considered proprietary information by the Twins and Divya and if they had protected them as trade secrets then Mark could not have used the same coding in his social networking site thefacebook.

In essence the two competing sites were different but had the same target audience and Mark’s willful delay on the HarvardConnection project could have been prevented. If he had been bound contractually, then he would not have been able to string them along as he would not have been able to work on a competing project at the same time. After stepping down from his post as web developer for the Twins, Mark would not be able to delay them any further. They would have managed to get their own developer on the project and since it was already near completion, have a head start on Mark’s
People tend to underestimate the value of a good idea and the Facebook story is a cautionary tale for all aspiring entrepreneurs. Taking out the time and effort to identify and protect your intellectual property at the beginning of an enterprise is a lot better than regretting not having done so while buying a product you created with someone else’s name on it.

Developing Winning Crowdfunding Pitches

Crowdfunding. Everyone’s doing it, All I have to do is make a video asking for money, right? Wrong. Turns out there is a lot of preparation necessary to create a successful crowdfunding pitch. Of course, you start by following the steps to Practice Safe Crowdfunding –

1. Identify your intellectual property
2. Protect your intellectual property
3. Choose a platform
4. Raise social capital

Then it’s time to Create Your Pitch! Where do you start? What do the successful campaigns look like? What elements are in their pitches? What do the rewards look like? How have they connected to their donors/funders?

Miss our webinar? No problem. Learn from Traklight’s Megan and Jill as they review a successful and a not so successful campaign. Discover how successful campaigns create their pitch and choose the right rewards to reach their funding goals here.

It Takes A Village To Re-Launch A Website

Traklight has a new look and feel, just about eight months after our initial launch last Oct 30th. This project was months in the making and not just from a technical point of view. Biggest lesson learned, our village includes customers; members; Trakers; Advisory Board; Traker spouses, children, and pets; affiliates; and again customers and potential customers. We listened to them all and we hope the new look improves your Traklight experience!

First and foremost, the Traker team pulled together to work on this but several stood on their heads (it’s a hockey term and means that they rock). Megan our creative genius and lead project manager, Tara the brilliant artist who designed the site, and Jill who kept us focused and in touch with customers tested, talked to customers, tested, and did we mention tested. Then Shay Harding who taught us all so much along the way to implementing the great work done by Peter Adams, html 5 god. Shay, our June Traker of the month, is the master of gluing, taming, and programming, all with an incredible sense of humor and calm. The remaining Trakers all contributed with suggestions all the way along: Michael, Peter, Philip and Jake. Thank you all.

Listening to our customers was sometimes difficult but is critical. Ryan our CISO likes to say that having the best security does not mean anything without customers! And we made some changes to make joining easier but with the same level of security.

I have to say that after working through this process several times before, having a whole team pulling together this time made the process enjoyable. The amount of review and testing that goes into a re-launch involving our two applications and resource center for members was not for the faint of heart. Everything had to be tested and I was not alone, everyone jumped in!

We are not done; another lesson learned is that it is never really done. We have made sweeping changes based on our customers’ feedback and what will help people understand our products and how to use the site but we still have more to add to the site, i.e. more information on our Trakers, products for Professionals, more new products.

We all can be proud of the new site. And I am thrilled to work with such an amazing team. Onwards!

It Takes A Village To Re-Launch A Website

Traklight has a new look and feel, just about eight months after our initial launch last Oct 30th. This project was months in the making and not just from a technical point of view. Biggest lesson learned, our village includes customers; members; Trakers; Advisory Board; Traker spouses, children, and pets; affiliates; and again customers and potential customers. We listened to them all and we hope the new look improves your Traklight experience!

Continue reading “It Takes A Village To Re-Launch A Website”

An Intern’s Account of Traklight

Before I even started working at Traklight, I was recommended to go to a meeting known as Game CoLab. There I learned the basics of game development and the software to do so. The people there ranged from small children to their parents, from beginners to programmers. The presentation itself was very comprehensive in explaining what you needed to do to make a game as well as learning why you are doing it. If you ever had a question, the presenters would be eager to help as well as the people around you often were able to help as well. The team focused, group mentality really prepared me for the experiences I would have at Traklight. By the end of the day we had created a simple game and had the knowledge to expand upon what you did and create something larger. I would definitely recommend checking Game CoLab out and attending one of the events.

Continue reading “An Intern’s Account of Traklight”

Increase Your Social Capital: 5 Tips for a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign

GUEST BLOG POST  -Joy Schoffler

The number of entrepreneurs who are turning to crowdfunding to raise capital and launch their projects is increasing rapidly. In a recent report by industry analysts Massolution, it was reported that crowdfunding grew by 81 percent worldwide and with total funds raised exceeding $2.7 billion in 2012. While there seems to be countless success stories of businesses raising thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars, it’s not as easy as it looks, and many do not meet their goals. Leveraging your—and your company’s—social capital is critical to success.

Successful crowdfunding does not generally consist of hundreds of disconnected, random people simply throwing money at your new venture. Go ahead and throw conventional wisdom out the door. Studies have shown that most successful campaigns are less than 30 days in length and have a significant portion—as high as 30 percent—of donors lined up ready to contribute on day one.

Depending on which platform you use, you may even have to reach a certain percentage of your goal in order to receive any funds raised at all, meaning fundraisers need to hit the ground running from day one. In order to build an effective crowdfunding campaign and accomplish your crowdfunding goals, here are five rules of thumb to follow:

1. Work Your Network before the Raise: The majority of funds will come in at the beginning and the end of the campaign. Your business plan, cost estimates, marketing and PR strategy all need to be refined and in place before you think about starting to crowdfund online. Start contacting respected businesspeople within your own network to get their thoughts and solicit their interest so that you have people lined up to donate on day one. Furthermore, crowdfunding is all about networking and there’s no better way to build your network than through social media. Take the time to build out your Facebook and Twitter pages and target social media influencers in your industry, respond to their comments and get their thoughts on your idea. If you are thinking about using equity crowdfunding to sell shares of your business—now is the time to start building up your network. While it is illegal to solicit funds (in exchange for equity) until the JOBS Act regulations get implemented, the longer you know potential investors, the better the odds are that they will crowdfund your company when the time comes. So, donation, reward or equity crowdfunders have no excuse not to get their networks ready now!

2. Build Your Brand: Your personal brand and that of your company are among the most important assets of your business and a key ingredient of building social capital. But before you can build it, you must define it. Take an inventory of those things that may strengthen or diminish your brand’s image. Is your messaging clear and to-the-point? Are your branding elements consistent across your website, social media platforms, email and other communication channels? What kind of language and tone are you using to differentiate yourself? If you’re uncertain how you or your business is perceived, ask friends, family and trusted colleagues to provide honest feedback. Today, our digital presence means everything. Before you ever think of asking for a penny, do a thorough inventory of your digital presence, and if there is anything you are not sure about, fix it—you only get one chance to make a first impression.

3. Plan, Plan, Plan: French author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry once said, “A goal without a plan is a wish.” Every crowdfunding campaign must have a plan. Aside from the obvious plans for using funds, you need to have a plan in place for executing the campaign. In our CrowdBuilder platform, we walk crowdfunders through a six-week campaign preparation program before launching. Helping people refine messaging, building up a high-quality digital presence, getting networks ready and helping to get 30 percent of investors pre-committed before campaign launch is the goal of our program. Regardless of what platform you use, it is important to have these items in place.

4. Build Credibility: While on average, 30 percent of your campaign contributions may come from friends and family, you want to have a solid digital presence on the web so people learning more about you see a rich history of high-quality press coverage. Earning the notice and respect of journalists who will write about your business can mean the difference between success and failure. A comment about your business in your local business journal, national newspaper or magazine, blog or other relevant publication can build the credibility needed to attract investors, fans and customers.

5. Leverage your Expertise: Differentiate yourself and your business in your industry by using your expertise to educate others and position yourself as an industry thought leader. Take opportunities to speak at conferences and events and to contribute to online or print publications. The more opportunities you have to speak about your business or your industry, the more you elevate your reputation and your brand. Speaking engagements are also a wonderful way to meet high-quality prospective contributors as you will already have proved yourself as an expert in their eyes if you presented well.

Crowdfunding is growing rapidly and has the potential to change how capital is raised, bring innovation to the marketplace and create new businesses and thousands of new jobs. It offers every entrepreneur the opportunity to turn their ideas into reality – but like any other high-stakes venture, requires thoughtful planning and strategy before the game even begins. Take time and prepare your network.

About the Author
Joy Schoffler, principal of public relations firm Leverage PR, has spent her career launching high-performing startups and helping them achieve growth through creative publicity strategies. She has helped early-stage companies make the INC500 list, raise large amounts of capital, get acquired, secure Fortune 500 accounts, and experience tremendous growth. She has developed a first-of-its-kind publicity platform for crowdfunding and growth- phase companies—CrowdBuilder–to help companies increase their base of contributors and customers. Joy is also the chair of the Publicity Committee for the Crowdfunding Professional Association (CFPA) and sits on the ad-hoc committee for the Crowdfunding Intermediary Regulatory Advocates (CFIRA).

Spotlight On PADT

Here at Traklight we like to pride ourselves on understanding the needs of our clientele. Even though we can’t deliver on each and every need we sure can point you in the right direction. That is the focus of our Spotlight posts. We will regularly be spotlighting a stellar company from our IP Cloud and providing you the best and most affordable way to make your business a success. So don’t forget to regularly check in for updates or go to our IP Cloud to look around yourself!

Phoenix Analysis and Design Technologies Inc. (PADT) is an Arizona based company that helps its’ clients deliver better product at less production cost in a shorter time period. In recent time the crowd-funding phenomenon has giving innovation a boost and everyone with a great idea can reap the rewards of their creation without having to be concerned about funding. But the issue this creates is that previously when innovators wanted funding they had to present business plans and cost and risk assessments, but now they do not. Without proper experience despite having a good product, and no one to guide them, the inventor ends up losing both money and reputation. There are so many stories regarding delayed or cancelled projects on Kickstarter® alone.

PADT is in the business of helping companies large and small make innovation work for physical products. Through the application of simulation, product development, and prototyping, PADT works with inventors to solve tough engineering problems and take their ideas from concept to working products. They are probably best known by inventors for their wide ranging prototyping services.
Lack of foresight in terms of development and product costs can lead a company to ruin. Unfulfilled orders, miscalculated profits and excessive delays in production all present a shoddy image of a company. But making mistakes are to be expected when doing something for the first time, as is the case with most fledgling start-ups. We understand experience is gained over time but the cold hard truth is that consumers rarely give second chances.

One of PADT’s most popular programs, and rightfully so, is the ‘Product Development Assessment’ for start-ups. PADT’s experienced engineers will evaluate clients’ products and prepare reports that will cover everything from outline requirements, cost of material and manufacturing estimates to conceptual sketches and risk assessments. Innovators can rest easy because the people at PADT work with multinationals to start-ups and know that one size does not fit all. They tailor make assessments based on the clients’ needs and attainable goals.

A concern a prospective innovator may have is whether PADT has any expertise in the field of their invention. A popular saying PADT engineers believe in is “Parts is parts”. The same set of skills used to design medical equipment come in handy while designing things as dissimilar as jewelry and toy packaging. The varieties of projects they handle are diverse and PADT engineers definitely have a way to analyze and make each and every product a homerun. But you don’t have to take our word for it; you can contact a lead engineer at PADT so you can discuss your needs and options available. Log on to their website to set up an appointment or check out our IP Cloud where they are listed.
The official website of PADT is:

Want to learn more about crowdfunding? Check out the ‘Practice Safe Crowdfunding’ seminar.

When: Thursday June 13, 2013 from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM
Where: Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation
275 N GateWay Drive
Phoenix, AZ 85034
Cost: FREE!
How: Register here to attend or watch the event streaming live!