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I have decided to postpone the inaugural event planned for 24th June 08 in Liverpool due to following reasons:
- Speakers, Anish Kapoor and Robert Wakeling can not attend due to overseas travel on business.
- Marie Mitchell and Helen Cross at Aimes and Merseryside ICT are in the process or have already left their organisations. These individuals are crucial to marketing this event.
- I also need to concentrate on edocr, as we now started the fund raising campaign
- Anything more than one event per month is too ambitious from my side without active support
- Need to find a sponsor to offset costs for Liverpool events
I am happy to report that Scott Fletcher of ANS Group (Panel member at our last event on 14th May) is one of the contenders to the prestigious Crain's 40 under 40 to be celebrated on 19th June 08 in Manchester.
Here are the finalists
What is Crain's 40 under 40 - from Arthur Porter - Publisher, Crain’s Manchester Business
One day the President of the United States will have “40 Under 40 Winner” on his resume (CV to us Brits). That was always my dream as a Publisher of local weekly business journals in America, where I spent the past 13 years prior to us launching Crain’s Manchester Business. That dream might well become a reality in November when former Crain’s Chicago Business 40 Under 40 Winner Barack Obama battles for his place in history in the race for the keys to the White House. Add to that the likes of other Crain’s 40 Under 40 Winners like Oprah Winfrey and, believe it or not, rapper Eminem and you will see the quality of our alumni of young talent that Crain’s has recognised through its 40 Under 40 programme.
In order to continue the tradition of Crain’s Manchester Business 40 Under 40 Winners, our inaugural Class of 2008 were very carefully selected by our editorial team from the outstanding nominations we received from you, our readers. The 40 we have chosen have shown that they will reach the top of their chosen professions, and in some cases already have. I congratulate them all and wish them even more success as they continue their ride to the top. I can now look forward to someday reading the CV of the Prime Minister of Great Britain where it will proudly state “former winner of Crain’s Manchester Business 40 Under 40”. It is no longer a dream.
Both Simon Grice and I decided today to postpone the Digital Futures North West event planned for afternoon of 17th June 08 at Daresbury Innovation Centre. Those who have notified us of their interest to attend will be advised via e-mail of our decision. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this may cause you.
Just got back home from spending a successful full day at Being Digital organised by my friends Simon Grice and Tony Fish from MashupEvents. The event broadly focussed on covering various web 2.0 topics through panel discussions and providing a show case for European StartUps to demo.
I am proud to say that the North was represented by two Northern Stars, Tim Panton's Phonefromhere and Webmission08 company edocr. The Demo hall was sponsored by another Northerner, Stewart Townsend from Sun Microsystems. Among the audience was our own David Hawdale.
I personally had the opportunity to showcase edocr as well as talk about the Northern Digital StartUps to VCs and other entrepreneurs. Among those was Doughty Hanson who promised to attend a forthcoming panel discussion in Manchester.
Here is a video from Seedcamp on entrepreneurship
Europeans punish entrepreneurs because they stigmatise past business failure; Americans encourage new businesses because they give entrepreneurs a second chance. The belief, writes Warwick Business School associate dean David Storey in the Financial Times, is that because entrepreneurs learn valuable lessons when their businesses go bust they should be given more leniency to start anew.
Storey summarises this belief to dismantle it, arguing that knowledge gained from a failed business makes little difference to future business success, due to the unpredictability of starting a business. ‘The best analogy is with a lottery,’ Storey writes, ‘it is not possible to learn to win a lottery.’
Storey points to research in the UK and Germany which indicates that experienced founders are no more or less likely to succeed in starting a new business than novices. It goes against one of the basic tenants of venture capital investing – focusing on the experience of the management team. Yet it is hard to refute research with only anecdotal evidence of successful serial entrepreneurs, as Nic Brisbourne of DFJ Esprit writes in his blog.
Success is, in this view, somewhat out of the individual entrepreneur’s hands - yet if boosting the number of successful start-ups in Europe is the goal, then this mindset itself may be an impediment. Storey extends his lottery analogy to say that the US has more ‘eventual winners’ simply because more businesses are founded, regardless of whether the founders are experienced or not.
Assuming this is the case, if entrepreneurs are not made aware of others’ successes and led to believe their hard work, vision and, yes, experience will help them achieve their goals, then they are unlikely to start new businesses in the first place – reducing the overall number of successes.
Regardless of whether a serial entrepreneur’s success will positively impact their next venture’s performance, they may certainly play a role inspiring others in their own ventures. While Storey’s op-ed focuses on the failed entrepreneur who tries again, Europe could benefit from more repeat attempts by entrepreneurs who have already succeeded.
Further investigation is required, but anecdotally it appears as though entrepreneurs in the Silicon Valley rarely drop out of the race. They come back and back again for their second, third and fourth startups, and many make use of fortunes made from past successes to bankroll others’ startups. A number of successful European entrepreneurs are taking similar paths; more should be encouraged to follow. Whether or not experience truly matters, it’s more inspiring than leaving everything to fate.
If wish to speak to Nic informally, make sure you attend the event on 15th July 08 at KPMG Manchester.
Please tune to Yaika from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm on 16th June 08 to listen to keynote speech given by Reshma Sohoni of Seedcamp and 12 pitches from number of digital startups.
There are 12 days to the next Northern StartUp 2.0 event in Manchester @ eOffice. If you have not registered, why not register now before you forget. Reshma Sohoni who runs the SeedCamp will be the keynote speaker. Reshma works for Saul Klein, one of the most prominent VCs in the UK. Saul founded OpenCoffee in addition to SeedCamp to ensure they have access to almost every startup in the UK (and Europe). We have already 10 companies signed up for Demo. There are two more slots left. So if you wish to demo, now is the chance to grab a place.
You are now one of the 120 profiles supporting the development of an ecosystem for digital product based companies in the North, especially in the North West. Our mail list is now well over 1000. Please take a moment to complete your profile, as there are fields in your profile page to describe the help you are looking from the community as well as how you can help others. Press is now beginning to have a look at our community seriously. So make sure your profile is as complete as it can be.
We also sold the first annual membership last month. Visit to take advantage of offers. I have also open the blog, do let me know if you would like to promote your company through NS20 blog.
We are also expanding to Liverpool. First event is scheduled for 24th June. If you wish to attend, here is the link to register
Special event scheduled for 17th June at Daresbury Innovation Centre is now split into two half days, one before and one after summer holidays. We had a fantastic response to this event, and took the decision to split based on overwhelming suggestions received. Thank you for those who made those suggestions. If you wish to attend, register here. The cost is GBP149 per delegate. If you do not know Simon, he is arranging Being Digital with Tony Fish. If you wish to attend, Being-Digital, drop me a line as I have special discounts for NS20 community.
On 15th July, we hope to have our fist VC from the US. We also have Nic Brisbourne, another prominent VC from London, plus my old buddy, Carl Allen from Gartner. Carl has extensive experience of Venture Capital market in Europe having previously worked for Forrester Research and HP ventures. You can register for the event at
I have also broadened the criteria for Northern Stars. Over time, you will be given control to update your company profile (just need to figure out how!). If your company name is not there, but believe it qualifies, please drop me a line. Some of the profiles are yet to be built. - I will also maintain more information on these companies including level of funding required, etc. Lot to work out!
We cleaned up the messy layout and do let us know what you think about the website.
Looking forward to our next face-to-face encounter (cannot be virtual all the time, can we?), best regards Manoj
At last, we have a functioning blog at Northern StartUp 2.0 (NS20). Recently, I have been speaking a lot about developing an ecosystem for digital product based companies in the North, and especially in the North West. I see Northern StartUp 2.0 taking a significant role in taking this initiative forward with our ever growing community and the community from Daresbury Innovation Centre where I am based at. Lot more to say about this subject later.
Going forward, this website will provide following functionality:
1. The event programme - ideally once a month except for the month of August, in Manchester and Liverpool
2. Directory of service providers that are keen to work with the NS20 community
3. Northern Stars - our way of tracking the progress of digital product based companies in the North
4. Job Board
5. Surgeries - 3 held so far with forthcoming surgery in July with VC from East Coast (to be confirmed)
6. Blog - opportunity for the community to share their thoughts, not just for me.
So, it's time for you to update your profile and get your company listed as either a Northern Star (free) or as a Service Provider (payable). I also encourage you to purchase annual membership at £250 per annum, which provides a significant saving over the year. Please note that annual membership excludes special events such as Digital Futures, but includes listings on Directory and access to all NS20 events.
Moderator - Manoj Ranaweera - Founder and CEO of ebdex
Speaker 1 - Anish Kapoor - CEO of Yuuguu
Anish was co-founder of TeleCity PLC, the pioneering European collocation and data centre service provider. He is currently NXD for Jacamar, an online gaming infrastructure provider and a NXD for Xware, a mobile gaming software developer. In addition he has held various executive roles at EXML Systems a mobile software applications developer.
Speaker 2 - Ed French - Investment Director - Rising Stars - Enterprise Ventures
Edward joined EV in 2002, initially to help set up the RisingStars Growth Fund and later to assess and complete technology investments. Edward has assessed several hundred business propositions and has completed investments to date mainly in software and medical technology.
Prior to joining EV, Edward ran a technology transfer business based at the University of Bradford where he completed numerous licence deals and patents, and founded, and funded seven new spin-out companies, mainly in Telecoms, Medical Technology and Software.
Edward served as Chairman of Unico, the University Companies Association, which deals with issues associated with creating spin-out companies from University technology. During this time Edward gained useful exposure to building technology business teams, IP strategy work and financing, building upon the experience before Bradford of managing product development, sales and manufacturing in a number of engineering businesses.
Edward won a sponsorship from the National Engineering Laboratory to study Engineering Science at Cambridge, and has an MBA from the Bradford School of Management.
Speaker 3 - Robert Wakeling - CEO Wadaro
Robert Wakeling, CEO - Robert is the founder of Wadaro Limited and has been principle in early business development, in securing support from partners & advisors and prospective investors. Prior to Wadaro, Robert held executive management positions at Openwave Inc. (NASDAQ:OPWV) and Magic4 Limited (acquired by OPWV). In his time at these two companies, Robert conceived a number of products now shipping in over a quarter of a billion mobile phones world-wide and is putting his industry knowledge and contacts to good use at Wadaro.
Speaker 4 - Mark Birbeck - Founder and CEO of X-Port Ltd
Founder and CEO of X-Port Ltd, the company behind formsPlayer, an XForms processor that fully implements the W3C's XForms specification. He is also the founder of Sidewinder, a company building a next-generation semantic web browser that seamlessly combines XForms with other languages such as SVG, MathML and X3D. He has nearly 30 years experience in software development, and has contributed to books and written articles on XForms, RDF, and XML.
He is an Invited Expert on both the XForms and HTML W3C Working Groups where he is particularly involved in the development of XHTML 2, a semantic-based version of XHTML. His most recent work for the W3C has involved proposing and developing RDFa, a new and simpler way to mark up RDF in documents without having to use RDF/XML.
Speaker 5 - Rhys Jones - Founder of Accountis Ltd
Rhys co-founded SecureTrading Ltd in 1996 and oversaw its growth to a highly specialised internet credit card processing company leading the UK market. He continued as MD for a further 18 months after the sale of the company to an investment group in early 2000. Rhys has pioneered many internet technologies, including distributed search engines, Java database adaptors, UK, European and US credit and debit processing systems, and advanced encryption and digital signature implementations.