A week in the life of a start-up tech business
Pimping a new business ....
Strictly speaking, the week started on Sunday, adding new contacts to my address book, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts and sending follow up emails to all those nice people I’d become acquainted with at the #digihighst conference. My focus was on trying to promote numKrunch league tables as a unique PR tool for digitally savvy towns and cities in the UK. By talking with town centre managers and destination marketers about the importance of raising profiles by using league tables, my hope is that a standard will be created (by us) and endorsed and promoted by the industry.
I’d also had a crazy Sunday morning idea (whatever happened to those lie-ins) to reinvent the Eurovision Song Contest for Yorkshire Mafia members and call it Mafioki (thanks for that Geoff!) ... so tweeted the idea for feedback.
Monday morning was spent travelling to London (4 hours), researching the Digital Shoreditch event I was visiting and identifying key influencers to pin down and introduce myself to. A few timely tweets were retweeted by said individuals, suggesting my strategy was working and the ensuing Digital Doughnut networking event on Monday evening was a triumphant success, learning heaps of new stuff from keynote speaker Jeremy Waite who turns out to be from near my home town and did his internship with one of my clients! Having risen to the dizzy heights of Head of Social Strategy at Adobe, he still has fond memories of his northern roots and is empathetic to the challenges we northerners face!
Various conversations with owners and representatives from some highly capable digital agencies from around London, over a few beers, resulted in several offers of endorsement and support. Job done!
Budget hotels rarely provide a good nights’ sleep, and mine was no exception. Consequently I checked out early and made my way to my greatest, new discovery, Desk Lodge on Pentonville Road at Kings Cross. Pay-as-you-go hot-desking made simple! A hot cup of coffee, generously made by the founder and incredibly intrepid businessman, Tom Ball, all my follow ups from the night before were processed by 10am, along with an outline plan on bringing hot-desking, digital high streets and numKrunch together through touring the UK on Tom’s bus, converted to a mobile Boardroom!
By 10:30 I was back in Shoreditch in time to hear Jeremy present his Top Ten Tips from the world of digital, all fascinating and highly relevant to my business. A quick photo with Jeremy (his request not mine, honest!) and a few introductions to other digital pioneers (check out Snapcious) and I made my way to Electric Showroom for a quick catch up with my mate and founder of numerous ground-breaking apps, Phil Mundy (we launched the award winning Mobile Prospectus together).
Discussions revolved around my interests in crowdfunding, Phil’s latest invention (look out for Beam, it’s going to be amazing) and an invitation to help take to market Talking Menus, the app he developed with celebrity campaigner Amar Latif to enable blind and visually impaired users to have menus and other guides read to them by their smartphones. Fascinating!
By 18:30 I was back up north, attending the Yorkshire Mafia networking evening in York, hobnobbing with Geoff Shepherd (founder) and other contacts from the region. The theme of the evening tended to be about CSR as we discussed the benefits to charity that can be gained by buddying up through the Skill Will project.
A fantastic curry and a very bumpy ride home in the back of Mark Evans’ (of Smiles Txt Messaging) people carrier, it was great to climb into bed at 2:30am, end of another 18 hour day!
Up and out by 7:30am, I made my way to Leeds Plaza Hotel to fulfil a longstanding commitment to attend the Salesforce inaugural presentation to SME’s in Yorkshire. Joined by a few revellers from the night before (you know who you are!), we were educated and thoroughly entertained by the ensuing presentations from the senior marketing team of one of the fastest growing companies in the world.
A delicious ’free lunch’ was followed by a very lively afternoon sat outside the Bar and Grill, basking in glorious sunshine, sharing stories about the most amazing inventions and creatives we have all had the benefit of working with over the years. Friendships formed, promises made, including volunteers to perform in the Mafioki contest ... I made my weary way back home far too late and somewhat worse for wear!
No early start, thank goodness, I spent the morning following up with the discussions I’d had the days before, distributing sample reports and outline proposals as well as adding new contacts to my LinkedIn account.
By 2pm I was visiting my ex-colleague and political expert, Dr Peter Woodcock at the University of Huddersfield. The meeting scheduled because my local MP’s have both shown a lot of support for numKrunch and offered me the opportunity to present it at the Houses of Parliament. Pete and I philosophised about the appropriateness of our algorithm, which was originally created to benchmark business profiles, and how relevant it is for politicians. One concern I have is that local issues do not gain the same echo rate of national, larger campaigns and therefore individual politicians may achieve lower Health Ratings than others, dependant on their echo. Our conclusion ..... to create benchmarks on specific MP’s with comparable profiles.
Thursday evening was spent playing league tennis, in the wind, rain and glorious spring sunshine!
Up and out the door, I made my way to Sheffield for my first meeting at 8:30am with a fellow member of the Yorkshire Mafia to discuss the use of holographic imagery in our forthcoming videos on our website.
Next meeting was with crowdfunding expert, Barry James. Excited from his recent trip to Silicon Valley and subsequent meeting with Vince Cable, and very grateful for the introductions made by my MP to Vince and others of significant influence, our discussions moved on to the role that numKrunch will (fingers crossed) play in the field of crowdfunding as one of the validating tools for potential applicants.
We also discussed some roadshow ideas to introduce crowdfunding to the British public, through connecting with Digital Highstreets and universities whilst travelling on Tom’s bus!
Friday afternoon was spent at the launch of a new recycling social enterprise, headed by social entrepreneur and LinkedIn friend, Yvonne Hutchinson. Keynote was presented by local MP Barry Sheerman who talked of the benefits of crowdfunding and hinted at new initiatives to come.
Am I missing anything? Is there an easier way?
Thanks for listening!