LONDON, UK – A new privacy accessories start-up called takecvr (take cover, get it?), built in lockdown during the pandemic, has launched on Kickstarter with their, shall we say, gorgeous Macbook camera covers.
PR PEOPLE: “Sarah, all the angles you’ve listed for your press release aren’t news. No one will care.”
SARAH, FOUNDER OF TAKECVR: “But isn’t it fascinating that we built this whole company working from home while on lockdown in a pandemic?”
PR PEOPLE: “Not news.”
SARAH: “But now more than ever, people are working from home on their laptops and creating more opportunities to embarrass themselves in front of their cameras and letting hackers do their hacking thing. Didn’t you hear about that guy who showered in front of his whole company? We make a fun product that solves this problem.”
PR PEOPLE: “Yeah, still not news.”
SARAH: “But Apple just said that people shouldn’t use those ugly black slidey things to cover their camera because it will break their expensive laptops. Shouldn’t people know there’s another option?”
PR PEOPLE: “Hmmm… unfortunately not news.”
SARAH: “What if we raise a million pounds on Kickstarter?”
PR PEOPLE: “Wow, you raised a million pounds? That’s news.”
SARAH: “Well, not yet, but it would help if we got some press to drive awareness for takecvr and the Kickstarter campaign.”
At takecvr, we make privacy accessories that aren’t ugly. Sound boring? We know. That’s half of what we are trying to fix, starting with some exciting Macbook camera covers. Also, not news. Yes, we know.
takecvr We are takecvr. We design privacy accessories with personality because we believe it’s not crazy to be serious about privacy and security AND have fun. We’re a pandemic start-up, comprised of just a handful of people (mostly unemployed), working from home (like many of you), in a business that launched in eight weeks. All because we believe our new normal doesn’t have to be boring or scary.
We’re getting started with our Macbook camera covers as it’s the biggest crime against design humanity. We’ve seen what folks have been using to cover their laptop camera – (tape, Post-It notes, cheap plastic).
A leading UK travel website has witnessed a massive increase in demand for seaside holiday accommodation, following the relaxation of Covid-19 social distancing measures in early July.
Cornwall based holiday company Simply Sea Views has seen its website traffic more than double, as more people than ever search for coastal properties for a post-lockdown holiday.
The hike in demand began on 19th June when the Government announced that UK residents could travel internally again from early July. Since then, website visitor numbers have soared and bookings have increased substantially.
Visits to simplyseaviews.co.uk increased by 153% from an average of 4,500 users per day in the week before the announcement to 11,400 users per day in the week leading up to 19th July.
Website traffic peaked at 13,975 unique users on 19th July, which made it the busiest day in the company’s history.
Business founder and owner Josh Williams commented: “For the past month, we’ve been inundated with enquiries from people looking for holiday accommodation on the coast. It has been our busiest period since we launched the website five years ago.”
Analysis of search terms used to access the website revealed that a majority of visits were from people looking for beach holidays, coastal cottages and properties with sea views.
Josh Williams continued: “It seems that people were desperate to escape to the seaside for a holiday as soon as restrictions eased. It’s always a busy time of year, but levels of demand have been exceptional this season.
“We expected staycations to be very popular this year, as people are reluctant to travel abroad, but we’ve been blown away by the huge spike in interest for holidays by the sea.”
Simply Sea Views promotes holiday cottages, houses and apartments in coastal destinations throughout the UK and Ireland. All 3,640 properties have partial or full sea views, and many are located at or very close to a beach.
Josh Williams added: “We’re in the unique situation where demand is outstripping the supply of holiday homes and we have very limited availability left for this summer. We’re suggesting people visit in the autumn instead when things are quieter. We’re hoping this will help to extend the season and bring much needed custom for coastal tourism businesses.”
Singer-songwriter Martin Aelred Colgan album draws oceanic inspiration to complete his “lockdown” album.
Last Boat to St. Helena is a “lockdown” album created by singer-songwriter Martin Aelred Colgan, to memorialise the last sailing of the RMS St Helena from next nearest landmass, South Africa – some 1200 miles away from the island.
The album highlights the last sailing, which is an eclectic mix of styles from the sea shanty version of Last Boat to St. Helena to the Dance track City People with a nod to the Gypsy Kings, and a more mainstream organic folk track entitled Flame. (All three have had lyric videos produced.) There are 14 songs, performed and produced to a high standard plus 3 bonus acoustic versions of the singles, showcasing both the versatility and talent of the artist.
The remoteness of the island of St Helena coupled with the last sailing to the island in 2018, has provided a rich seam of oceanic inspiration for Martin and lyricist Ronny Anderson. The idea of “lockdown” viewed against the backdrop of a very remote island in the Atlantic for centuries and opening of the St Helena airport offered a unique opportunity to complete the album. It highlights a sense of being cut-off from the world and now being linked to the world and echoes the world opening after lockdown today. The album draws on the musical influences from the diverse island culture of the island – their sunny, positive nature, Napoleonic links and heritage and a tough island life over the centuries with swashbuckling tales of the high seas.
The RMS St Helena was a unique cargo-passenger ship that sailed to the stunning island of St Helena, one of the most remote, inhabited islands in the world. She was also one of the last working Royal Mail ships in the world. Her last journey from Cape Town was in January 2018, after the newly built airport in St. Helena became operational which marked the opening of the island to new tourism opportunities and closer links to the outside world.
The idea for the song came about when the lyricist’s brother told him that he was going to travel on the Last Boat to St. Helena together with his wife. Martin Aelred Colgan loved both the lyrics and the story of St. Helena and adapted the title track into a sea shanty. The album emerged from the title track and showcases the unique talents and vocal prowess of Martin Aelred Colgan, who also performs as an opera tenor.
Martin noted: “This very serious pandemic lockdown came in the middle of a number of my musical projects and tour schedule, which had to be put on hold and I decided to return home to Glasgow for the foreseeable future. This, in turn, afforded me a chance to reassess and complete the Last Boat to St Helena album. “When you think about how isolated it is and how the islanders cope so beautifully, there was a real synergy that gave me the inspiration to finalise my album and have it ready to go as soon business started to open up again.
“I have drawn on the importance of the sea, island sailing heritage and given it a real summer type feel with touches of an old ‘ sea shanty ‘ coming through and that feeling of people have when they look out to sea, passing time until the next boat comes in and experiencing the calm of ocean waves.
“It was definitely lockdown and a sense of being a bit cut-off that gave me the impetus to highlight the island and their great courage in moving from being one of the remotest islands in the world to their future as a new tourism destination. I am delighted to say that Enterprise St Helena has already publicised the Last Boat to St Helena clip on their Facebook page and recognise the links to the island and my new music.”
Martin added: “The history of St. Helena is fascinating and the 200th anniversary of Napoleon Bonaparte’s death in exile in 2021 will be marked, not only by France but by anyone interested in history. The future of the island is set to transform due to the airport, and the onset of tourism, so the timing of this album release could not be more apt.”
Now interest in the album is catching attention from local organisation, Enterprise St Helena in the run-up to the launch.
Commenting on the title track, Last Boat to St Helena, Helena Bennett, Director of Tourism, Enterprise St Helena said: “It is nice that the producers decided to make a song featuring St Helena. We encourage these types of initiatives as they all contribute towards the promotion of St Helena. We wish you all well with these endeavours.”
The stunning island and rich heritage of Napoleon’s resting place; Zulu warrior, Dinuluzulu kaCetshwayo having been imprisoned there and 5000 prisoners during the Boer War has attracted many travel writers and TV celebrities to film and document the island as it stands today including Eamonn Holmes, Good Morning Britain and ABC’s Peter Greenberg.
Biography Martin Colgan Aelred – Singer-songwriter Martin started his career as a session musician and engineer for Colin Thurston in the ’80s and worked as a backing musician with Duran Duran, Gary Numan and David Bowie. He later used his musical talent to formally train as an opera singer trained by an English National Opera tutor and made his career success with some 500 performances in 6 years – singing for the UN, HH the Dalai Lama, HRH Prince Charles, Pope Benedict. XV1 and has appeared on BBC TV, The Riverside Show, Radio, STV and press coverage in International Arts Manager magazine, The Times, The Sun, Daily Record, Evening Telegraph, Time Out, The List and The Edinburgh Reporter.
Martin tours the UK and continues to perform internationally and was once described by the Dalai Lama – for whom he performed in Dundee – as “the man with the beautiful voice”. As well as his contemporary career Martin is a highly acclaimed opera singer who can sing in at least five different languages. Martin is also an inspirational speaker and has an impressive charitable background supporting street children and violence reduction.
Enterprise St Helena https://www.investinsthelena.com/project-details/st-helena-tourism/ St Helena is a new flight and cruise ship destination. The number of visitors to St Helena continues to grow and The Island is establishing itself as a destination of choice for those seeking adventure and unique experience. Marine life is equally outstanding, from a variety of dolphins, whales and the whale sharks. This biodiversity has fascinated and influenced scientists and explorers and walking, rambling and hiking are amongst the most popular activities. St Helena is home to over 1,000 species, of which over 400 are endemic to the Island.
Thousands across the UK stock up on erectile dysfunction medications, such as Viagra, as lockdown measures eased on 13 June, according to data released by Pharmica.
• ‘Support Bubble’ introduction in England increases Viagra sales across the UK by more than 70%
• Sales of all erectile dysfunction (ED) medications jumped 36% in the same period
• Leeds led the way for major cities with an increase of 233% in Viagra purchases
The easing of lockdown measures provided a welcome boost to British sex lives, according to data released today by UK online pharmacy Pharmica.
Sales of the popular erectile dysfunction treatment Viagra jumped 71% the week after the British government implemented its ‘support bubble’ legislation on 13 June.
The introduction of the ‘support bubble’ allowed those who live alone or single parents to visit one other household and stay the night if they chose to do so.
Yorkshire took advantage of this move with gusto, increasing its purchases of the popular blue pill by a cool 233%.
Pharmica CEO, Rishi Krishna Says: “Coronavirus has had an enormous impact on everyone’s lives, and I don’t think we have even seen the full extent of it yet. Life has changed so much in such a short amount of time, which understandably creates a great deal of uncertainty. We are so pleased and proud that Pharmica has been able to continue to operate throughout this time and provide a much-needed service for all our customers.”
The post-lockdown boost in demand for Viagra has been especially high in Britain’s major cities.
London and Manchester both saw more than a 90% increase in Viagra sales the week after the support bubble legislation was implemented. In Birmingham, demand shot up even higher, soaring 112%. It was Leeds, however, that saw the biggest increase in demand for Viagra, with sales in the Yorkshire city rocketing 233% in the week after lockdown was eased.
Carolina Gonclaves, Pharmica’s Superintendent Pharmacist, added: “It’s wonderful that we’ve been able to help so many people during this unusual time. It’s been hard work helping so many more customers, but the feedback we’re getting from our patients has made it worthwhile. We’re helping all our customers live happier, more fulfilled lives and that’s a nice thing for us to be able to do.”
Note to editors
Pharmica is an online pharmacy that specialises in supporting and improving the health and wellbeing of the UK.
Pharmica is an online pharmacy, based in Central London, which launched in 2015, available at pharmica.co.uk.
We work hard to provide the right treatments for our patients to ensure they live their best lives and do the things they love to do; discreetly, conveniently and with integrity. *All data sourced via Pharmica sales and intent.
Biomedical science company, eNano Health, have developed their unique test swab previously been used for viral infections such as SARs and MERS, in a response to the global pandemic. Unlike the current tests that look for antibodies or antigens, the saliva swabs measure changes that are present in the immune system, up to three days before symptoms even develop.
Bringing over 10 years of experience in monitoring illnesses and contagious viruses such as SARS, their non-invasive screening procedures that will meet the huge demand for rapid, regular testing during the Coronavirus pandemic. And with the news of several pubs having to close again shortly after re-opening for two days, the importance of testing to help control the virus and prevent further lockdowns is crucial.
Executive of the subsidiary company, eNano Health Europe, Peter Chan, says: ”Using eNano’s specific experience handling previous pandemics and outbreaks for countries in the Far East, we’re able to apply their extensive knowledge and experience to the current Coronavirus pandemic here in the UK. We’re confident the saliva swab is a cost-effective solution which will modernise the way in which the UK handles many other contagious viruses, moving forward.”
eNano Investor Tweedie Brown CBE adds; “Our main focus has always been to introduce a health management system in Europe. It so happened a pandemic broke out, and so we are able to offer an experienced pair of eyes offer assistance”.
As a localised lockdown is imposed on Leicester and some pubs swiftly shut again due to outbreaks, the saliva swabs would provide an effective solution to offering widespread testing quickly and efficiently. eNano Health’s swab could help instil confidence and help people get back to working and business reopening safely. The saliva swabs offer a cost-effective and easy to use solution that is scalable to supply the national coverage needed.
The swab tests already meet ISO 13485 standard and are now awaiting FDA, MHRA and CE accreditation for launch in Europe. Once granted, the next version of the test will change colour if a virus is present in the immune system- with or without symptoms being present.
These tests will not only significantly reduce the risk of false-negative results but also helps those who may have a virus such as Coronavirus but is asymptomatic, helping prevent the potential second wave. Further development means the swab will have a pregnancy test-style colour change, sharing results in a matter of minutes.
eNano Health and eNano Health Europe are now in discussion with leading Universities in the UK to start clinical trials for further sample pools for lab trials to process swabs before an official launch of the non-invasive home test kit alongside an accompanying app.
If you’ve had previous symptoms or want to put your pub or restaurant forward to take part in our lab trials, please email us on email@example.com.
eNano Health Europe is also in discussions with a pilot scheme to open up one of London’s most popular tourist spots, Chinatown, safely using their saliva test kits allowing customers to visit restaurants. For more information about the saliva test pilot scheme, visit https://enanohealtheurope.com/coronavirus/
As millions of workers have been forced to stay at home over the past few months, there has been a massive spike in the number of commercial opportunities being created by entrepreneurs. Data from startups.co.uk shows that at least five new online businesses were started every day during April, representing an increase of 60% on April 2019. Similarly, statistics from research company, Growth Intelligence, found that more than 85,000 businesses pivoted their traditional sales model to launch e-commerce stores or join digital marketplaces in the last four months.
Lockdown has also seen a huge appetite for business training and coaching, according to one of the UK’s leading business speakers and coaches, Adam Stott. Despite not being able to hold any live business events due to Government restrictions, the Essex-based entrepreneur has achieved double-digit sales growth of his online mentoring and training programmes over the past three months. As well as recording an uplift in UK customers, his business has expanded into international markets with students registering for courses from continental Europe, Dubai, South Africa and the USA.
Having founded his first company in 2008 at the age of 25, Adam built a £40million turnover company in just ten years, which was recognised by Amazon as one of the UK’s fastest growing car retailers and twice voted one of the London Stock Exchange’s ‘Top 1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain’, in 2015 and 2016.
In 2016, Stott founded Big Business Events with the aim of sharing his business insight, challenges, successes and failures with both established and aspiring business owners in the UK and overseas. Having developed his status as an international business speaker over the past eight years, Stott has created a business network of over 70,000 individuals and has personally helped hundreds of entrepreneurs achieve their dream of running their own business. In recognition of his contribution to the business community, Stott was accepted into the prestigious Forbes Coaches Council in 2020, where he will continue to share his expertise and knowledge, as well as working with other international business colleagues.
Commenting on the significant increase in online training and coaching, Stott said:
“With more than 750,000 businesses being forced to close their doors under lockdown, the pandemic has levelled the playing field and created the opportunity for entrepreneurs to identify market gaps and deliver online goods and services. There’s no doubt in my mind that traditional businesses must embrace digitalisation if they are to survive. Having sold more than £50million of products and services utilising social media, I want to help new and established business owners to embrace the online space and maximise the potential return from a digital offering. We responded quickly to the economic impact of the pandemic by developing a free ‘Build your business from home’ course, which has been incredibly popular.
“Start-ups and SMEs are crucial to the nation’s financial recovery, so Big Business Events will continue to respond to the needs of those wanting to make the move into business ownership, as well as those looking to pivot and exploit the benefits of social media. All our courses have been designed from first-hand experience, enabling delegates to harness tried and tested strategies that have helped me to achieve business success.”
In addition to launching new programmes, Stott has diversified his offering by teaming up with UK reality TV star, James Lock, star of mainstream shows including ‘The Only Way Is Essex’ and ‘Celebs Go Dating.’ The pair have joined forces to create Instagram Secrets, a new programme for entrepreneurs wanting to learn how to boost their brand engagement, make an impact and generate more sales from their presence on the social media platform.
ProFundCom, the market leader in the field of financial sector digital marketing, has reported a surge in usage during Q2 of 2020. The firm found that within days of the lockdown starting, usage rates of its platform doubled.
“We were expecting higher numbers, but were still shocked by the strength of growth,” explains Paul Das, Founder and Managing Director of ProFundCom. “We literally had to double our infrastructure within a weekend, just to cope with the increase.”
ProFundCom is the only marketing analytics platform in the world designed specifically for the asset management and private banking space. It gives its clients an unprecedented level of digital tracking capability by collecting and analysing interaction and engagement data across email, web, and social channels.
This makes it easier to target prospects who can boost AuM, as well as identifying investors likely to withdraw funds, and react accordingly. The power of the system means that sales teams can view key data about a single prospect or investor in one place, without having to jump between various spreadsheets and systems. And Paul believes the work from home movement is behind the surge in usage of the ProFundCom platform.
“Lockdown has transformed the digital landscape,” he says. “Online communication has progressed more in three months than in the previous thirty years. The amount of people communicating digitally just keeps growing, which gives marketers the opportunity to glean important information through ethical and compliant tracking and analysis. So, with more people than ever using email and other digital communication methods, it’s no surprise that financial marketers want to capitalise on this trend by using ProFundCom.”
London – June 2020: ContactPigeon, the all-in-one omnichannel customer engagement platform which specializes in the retail industry, with clients in Europe and North America, published a report about the top eCommerce trends during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Using 30+ million eCommerce transactions across all key product verticals captured within ContactPigeon’s platform during the period between January and April 2020, the report analyzes the weekly shopping patterns of consumers as a direct result of COVID-19 driven quarantine measures. The company used Visual Recognition AI technology to identify over 100K products across hundreds of retailers to consistently categorize the product by its vertical for most reliable insights.
Key insights of the report: ● The market is shifting: The global COVID 19 pandemic, retail and eCommerce businesses are facing new challenges in consumer behavior in spending, where they shop, and their product mix.
● Ecommerce benefited during forced closure: Weekly eCommerce sales during the mandatory store closure period have increased by 61% compared to the weekly average during pre-closure period.
● Average order value (A.o.V.) has grown by 31%: During this period consumers added more products on their baskets and spent more vs the pre-closure period.
● Top 3 eCommerce product categories: Entertainment (236%), Stationery & Hobbies (204%), and Food & Beverages (167%) were the categories with the biggest month over month change in revenue.
● Fashion’s wallet share shrunk by -17% during the lockdown
“During the lockdown, the eCommerce penetration skyrocketed nearly to every affected country and market. Understanding the latest online consumer behavior that COVID-19 shaped is vital for retailers and eCommerce businesses that aim to build a more resilient retail business and recover from the current crisis” – George Moirotsos, Founder & CEO, ContactPigeon
About ContactPigeon ContactPigeon is a VC-backed customer engagement platform that empowers retailers to grow sales and customer retention with personalized, behavioral-driven, and high-converting messages. Founded in 2014, ContactPigeon operates across the US and EU and is trusted by more than 300 brands including L’OREAL, The Body Shop, Fujitsu, and others.
Contacts Joyce Qian, 1-800-490-1732 Head of Strategy & Growth
Tutorfair’s Online Study Groups Project has been selected by Innovate UK as one of the top business-led ideas to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are excited to be working with Innovate UK to launch Online Study Groups over the next few months and to help make sure that lost learning due to school closures is recovered.
Tutorfair’s Online Study Groups is a project designed to help tutors cater to the changing needs of students during the pandemic. In a world where most pupils are socially distanced at home and do not have exams as a focus for their studies, Online Study Groups will allow them to learn in small groups with high-quality private tutors delivering lessons tailored to them. Research has shown that small group tutoring is as effective as one-to-one learning. Working with friends and other students will also enable interaction and social engagement during the lockdown whilst being more affordable and accessible throughout the country than one-to-one tuition.
“We’ve launched Online Study Groups to help students recover lost learning during lockdown. With the help of Innovate UK we hope small group lessons will enable more students to access affordable online tuition and learn with their friends while schools are closed,” says Tutorfair CEO Andrew Ground.
Work on the project will begin on June 1st and it will be fully built into the website by Autumn – however, we have already launched a pilot version of the project and there are groups to join now. Online Study Groups will be running alongside our existing one-to-one and online tutoring offerings, as well as free weekly Maths GCSE lessons delivered by ‘super tutor’ Mark Maclaine.
Online Study Groups will be offered for core subjects up to A-level – Maths, English and Sciences. Over the summer we hope to see more and more students joining groups including other subjects and fun activities-based sessions for students across primary and secondary levels. With Online Study Groups students can learn with friends and make sure they have covered the whole syllabus for this year or get ahead for next year.
London, 01 June 2020 – A new award “ Best IT team during Covid19” was announced today which aims to celebrate the impressive contribution of IT teams to business continuity during the coronavirus lockdown. Launched by membership organisation CITF, submissions are invited from today until 30 June and the winner will be announced at CITF’s Real IT Awards which will be held online on 17 July.
Technology departments have been one of the unsung heroes of the UK’s coronavirus lockdown. In a matter of days after the 23rd March lockdown announcement, IT teams in organisations of all sizes and across industry swung into action and provided the technology and services which allowed their colleagues to keep being productive. Thousands of businesses have managed to transition to an entirely new way of working thanks to the efforts of technology teams.
Running since 2004, the Real IT Awards are the UK’s most prestigious independent technology awards, and every year they aim to celebrate outstanding technology projects, teams, and innovations. To acknowledge that IT teams have played an invaluable role in smoothing business response to the lockdown, CITF chose to create a new award category this year to recognise IT teams that have gone ‘above and beyond’ when it comes to helping their organisations keep working in unprecedented conditions.
IT departments and business leaders are invited to submit or nominate applications via the Real IT Awards website before the 30 June deadline. CITF’s panel of peers and senior technology and business leaders will then review submissions. Judges will be looking for impressive stories supported by solid metrics that show:
• What the team did that delighted customers (internal or external) • How the team rose to these unprecedented times and delivered solutions that helped their company to continue working seamlessly • How they fostered extraordinary teamwork to accomplish everything they did
The final winners will receive a Real IT Awards certificate and recognition from industry peers.
Joanna Poplawska, CEO of CITF explained why the new award was created: “The fantastic work that technology teams do often goes unrecognised, and this is especially so during the coronavirus lockdown. IT teams have pulled out the stops to keep their organisations working, and so we wanted to celebrate the impressive work that they have done”.
Poplawska noted that a wide variety of submissions will be considered: “We are open to submissions from any industry or sector and are interested to hear about all kinds of response to the lockdown. Our judges are looking for examples of responses that had a measurable impact and which tell a compelling story”. She added that “we’d love to hear about creative responses to the lockdown or examples of technology departments whose work was especially impactful”.
The Real IT Awards will be happening virtually this year and will be hosted on the Real IT Awards website from 13 – 17 July from 4 pm each day. In 2020 the award’s charity partner is the NSPCC.
To contact CITF: Telephone: +44 (0)20 7052 1894 Mobile +44 (0) 7872011386 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Post: CITF The Cursitor Building 38 Chancery Lane London WC2A 1EN