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Woman on a Mission: Jane Hrouda is a website developer determined to give 20 million creative talents a global stage

28 May 2013

Woman on a Mission: Jane Hrouda is a website developer determined to give 20 million creative talents a global stage

Jane Hrouda is launching Toadsquare, a new online home for the creative industries. IT and artistic flare are not two spheres you would usually combine but Hrouda is a champion of both: ‘After working in the creative industries for over a decade I know all too well the frustrating challenges that artists face. I have watched myself and friends struggle with trying to get great and eventually lucrative, creative projects off the ground, financially and logistically’ says Hrouda, ‘People spend hours going through the phonebook trying to find a soundman for their short film, while soundmen are trawling the internet trying to find their next job, it’s ridiculous’.


Technology in the spotlight

Hrouda studied business and marketing and one day it clicked: ‘There have been lots of recent tech innovations that are perfect to help creative professionals market themselves, especially the hosting and sharing of multimedia, which is key for anybody who requires video, images or audio rather than words, to demonstrate what they can do. At the same time, Facebook and Linked-In showed the incredible power of social networking, I realised the web was the answer to the mis-match between supply and demand in the creative industries.’


Toadsquare

Hrouda and a team of ten have spent two years and just over €750,000 turning her original idea into reality. Toadsquare is free to join and gives every member their own shop-window – ‘a website within a website’ – where they can display works of art, photographs, films, video, scripts, designs, music: samples and examples of their creative talents. They can also buy equipment and materials, get training, swap stories and tips with other creative professionals, advertise shows and exhibitions, invite expert criticism and seek inspiration. There are a variety of free tools, such as a blog, and then heavy users need to pay for extra features, for instance extra storage space.


A Global outlook

Hrouda is thedaughter of a Czech émigré, who grew up in Australia and has lived in various locations across Asia and Europe, including Japan, the UK and Taiwan. All this travelling has made one facet of Toadsquare non-negotiable ‘I have always been determined that Toadsquare is a truly global website, allowing to you market and distribute your work and expertise no matter where you come from. Lots of online networks claim to be global but they’re not; they provide limited functionality in smaller or developing markets. Toadsquare members can create multilingual showcases and use our global cart to sell their work, wherever in the world they are based. This meant more work and investment but for me it is totally worth it. Some of the most exciting creative talent is coming out of developing countries – cinema from Nigeria, amazing art and music from Calcutta – and I think it would be a huge mistake not to cater for these markets’.


Hrouda’s global outlook is also how she came up with the name for the website ‘the toad is a symbol of luck in many cultures, especially Asia, while the square is a uniform, balanced symbol. The name represents what creatives need to succeed – luck but also a level platform or equalizer. Toadsquare can be that platform’.


Photo: Jane


ENDS


Notes to Editors:

To find out more about the new online hub for the creative industries Toadsquare please visit:http://www.toadsquare.com/


Contact for media:

English

Rose Beynon

Best Communications

Tel. +420 601 357 066

Email: rose.beynon@bestcg.com


Czech

Gabriela Dvoráková

Best Communications

Tel. +420 601 357 066

Email: gabriela.dvorakova@bestcg.com

Contact for media

Chris Rangé

Phone Number

+352 691 995 661

Email

chris@toadsquare.com