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My first OpenCoffee London

As I was in London on last Thursday, I dropped in at OpenCoffee London (on the 5th floor of Waterstones in Piccadilly) organised by Saul Klein of Index Ventures. Unfortunately, Saul was not there, but met Sayula Kirby who works closely with Saul. We spoke about the next NW StartUp 2.0 event, which will be on 14th June 2007 at KPMG Manchester. I am interested in getting Saul to attend this event as a speaker.

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Familiar faces I met include:

  1. Sam Sethi of Blognation – I actually met Sam the previous night for a tea (and a glass of wine) at his place and discussed about blognation (saw demo screens – I am beginning to like the theme), X-Forms, etc etc. In fact I met the whole family. His two daughters are the same age as my two daughters. I need to get my eldest to blog again. Forgot to ask whether Sam’s daughter got a blog.
  2. David Terrar of Twinfield and D Squared C – Will be meeting David again at SAP SAPPHIRE 07 in Vienna next week.
  3. Phil Hemsted of Yuuguu from that great city, Manchester.
  4. Paul Walsh of Segala – Paul, you are everywhere! Great to see you again. Hope you can join the next NW StartUp 2.0 event.
  5. Andrew Doe of gizme – met for the second time. He is one of the 100 Entrepreneurs recognised by, now functioning as a business angel. Andrew was also an adviser to NWDA, same as was Phil Hemsted.

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Few new faces I met:

  1. Pete Smith and Ian Hogarth – They are moving to US having secured small amount of seed-corn funding from the Y-Combinator to test their idea. Wow, what a start! Do let me know if you know the name of their company.
  2. Walter Higgins, founder & CEO of Sxoop Technologies from Ireland. Read David Terrar’s blog post for an interesting insight to his business.
  3. Tom Gordan – CEO of Alien Pants.  I interrupted a conversation Tom was having with Jason Ball of London Seed Capital. According to Tom, his business is profitable, has been revenue generating for number of years, and meets his business plan regularly. He need extra capital for marketing. He is not getting the required attention from the VC community. To me, this looks like a deal for debt finance. My suggestion was, engage with all of the primary lenders (not just one), failing this, target secondary lenders. It did not look like a proposition for Venture Capital. He also has a problem of striking partnerships with companies like Microsoft. This is one of my skills from the days of ebdex. Tom, do get in touch if you need any help. Having had a look at his site, I see T-Mobile as a client. If so, where is the problem?
  4. Justin Hayward of Manning Selvage & Lee – He has access to capital and interested in projects above £1.5m.
  5. Yarden Yaroshevski of Linkadoo Communications.
  6. Damon J Oldcorn, CEO of Zebtab – what a character! I like this guy.
  7. Chritiano G Betta of,,
  8. Kai Ian Hendry
  9. Jeremy Knight, VP of events and publishing and Darren Harper of Library House. I am interested in doing an event with these guys in the North West. They are kings of events, different league to me and Simon Grice!

London event was many times better than the Manchester event. We simply need to find a way to attract more people to OpenCoffee Manchester. DT, thanks for the photos.

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