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OpenCoffee Manchester is moving in the right direction

 

3rd event of OpenCoffee Manchester (OCM) was held on 22nd May 2007 at Starbucks, Television House, 10, Mount St, Manchester, Manchester M2 5NT. Here are the attendees (15, the most we had to date) and some of the conversations that took place:

Entrepreneurs:

  1. Mike Carter – Co-founder of Ixis – Ixis operates from Daresbury Innovation Centre (same place as ebdex’s home). With steady revenue growth over the last two years, Mike and Chris Haslam just added another staff member to its growing team. Ixis provides web development and network management facilities. Mike and Chris are also co-founders of edocr.
  2. Paul Rouke – Owner manager at prwd, a specialist in the usability and optimising conversation rates of websites. His key challenge is scalability. Paul, I hope you found Ixis and Vagueware of interest. Do also contact Hawdale Associates (I was expecting David Hawdale). 
  3. Paul Robinson – Owner manager at Vagueware. Paul is promoting co-working in Manchester. Sorry Paul, I did not get much of a chance to speak to you, other than interrupting your conversations to introduce new faces attending the event.
  4. Philip Hemsted – Co-founder of Yuuguu – Philip, it was great to hear that you have turned on the revenue generation machine. Yuuguu is a company I admire (and track when I can) – I constantly learn from Philip and Anish. These guys are really into networking and can be seen at OpenCoffee London events.
  5. Manoj Ranaweera (moi!) – Just to let you know, ebdex withdrew ebdex Document Exchange and ebdex EIPP from the market in Dec 06. I now provide strategic input to ebdex’s competitor, Causeway (my day time job) in addition to running OpenCoffee Manchester and NW Startup 2.0 events. I am also a co-founder of edocr (first real case study of the events I run) and interested in building a portfolio of software startups (that would be ebdex Labs!).
  6. Stephen Henesy –  Creativityetc  – Apologies, I did not get much of a chance to speak to you.
  7. Tom Cheesewright – Head Egg of eggheads, a company that unscramble modern technology.
  8. xxx – A young graduate with startup ideas. You know who you are! I am waiting for your e-mail, so I can introduce you here.

Investors:

  1. Tony Bray – Co-founder and face behind Version One, a Poynton based company. Tony recently sold Version One to CedarOpenAccounts for an undisclosed sum. Tony has two options, become a beach bum (I do not think this is Tony’s style) or get involved in other ventures. Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to speak to Tony much to understand his interests – this needs to be corrected quickly. Tony, its worth giving a call to Gary Turner, who will soon step down from the role of CEO, Pegasus.
  2. Ed French – Investment Director at Rising Stars. Ed has continued to support my initiatives in promotion of entrepreneurship in the North West. Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to speak to Ed. This needs to be corrected.
  3. Mark Rahn – A fellow Executive MBA from Manchester Business School. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Mark has joined the Rising Stars team working closely with Ed. Mark also won an iPod from Yuuguu.

Deal Makers (anyone who is not an investor or an entrepreneur):

  1. Graham Salmon – I first met Graham (a Consultant at Beever and Struthers), when Dennis Howlett visited Manchester sometime back to attend a Sage conference. Graham is a passionate blogger and was very much interested in getting involved with the startup scene in the North West of England. Wow!
  2. Charles Lucas – a colleague of Graham Salmon at Beever and Struthers
  3. Stewart Townsend – Regional Partner Manager of Sun Microsystems – I am currently having significant dialogue with Stewart and fellow Executive MBA, Arvind Sud about startup scene in the North West. These conversations warrant a separate post, so I won’t bore you here.
  4. Steven Livingston – Senior Tax Manager at KPMG. Steven sponsors NW Startup 2.0 events. A rare breed among professional service companies, Steven is well conversant of the business advantages that web 2.0 technologies bring. He will be a guy to watch for in the NW professional services market. He is also trying to put together a package for startups – KPMG is a hard egg to crack!

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Next event will be held on 26th June 07 from 10am to 12am. I would like to get some feedback on the venue. An alternative venue is Starbucks in Borders book shop in Stockport Peel Centre. I am hoping to speak to their manager this week with regards to free Wi Fi access. This venue provides better car parking (30p for 2 hours), easy access (just off the motorway) more space and a nicer environment. Please let me know your thoughts. Please always check upcoming.org to catch any changes to the event. I also appreciate everyone joining the OpenCoffee Manchester and NW StartUp 2.0 Clubs set-up in upcoming.org. You may want to consider adding meaningful information to your profile on upcoming.org (I also need to update mind). You should be treating this as a marketing opportunity. Please keep your feedback coming. You are welcome to bring your laptops and demonstrate your solutions, etc. Please spread the word. Don’t forget the NW StartUp 2.0 event is on 14th June 2007.

References:

  1. Mark got creative with Yuuguu
  2. Web 2.0 and
  3. The penny dropped at OpenCoffee Manchester

Do send any links you have to add to above list.

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  • Well done Manoj for making it all happen. I like the pics

  • Well done Manoj for making it all happen. I like the pics

  • Great event yesterday Manoj, worth attending from my end.

    Sorry we didn’t chat for long, but the people you introduced me to were well worth meeting. 🙂

    As for the venue, Stockport is a bit of a trek for me as I don’t drive, but it’s not inconceivable I could make the effort. 😉

    I think you’re going to get better attendance staying in Manchester though, so it might be worth thinking about alternative city-centre venues. Upstairs at Cornerhouse is large, airy, not too crowded, free WiFi, decent coffee, and there is cheapish parking (about £3 for 2 hours IIRC) over on the multi-story car park on the edge of the UMIST campus.

    Either way, I’ll definitely aim to make the 26th June.

  • Great event yesterday Manoj, worth attending from my end.

    Sorry we didn’t chat for long, but the people you introduced me to were well worth meeting. 🙂

    As for the venue, Stockport is a bit of a trek for me as I don’t drive, but it’s not inconceivable I could make the effort. 😉

    I think you’re going to get better attendance staying in Manchester though, so it might be worth thinking about alternative city-centre venues. Upstairs at Cornerhouse is large, airy, not too crowded, free WiFi, decent coffee, and there is cheapish parking (about £3 for 2 hours IIRC) over on the multi-story car park on the edge of the UMIST campus.

    Either way, I’ll definitely aim to make the 26th June.

  • Manoj,

    Sounds like an interesting session. I’ll definitely make the next one.

    Maybe see you at BarCampSheffield over the weekend.

    Dean

  • Manoj,

    Sounds like an interesting session. I’ll definitely make the next one.

    Maybe see you at BarCampSheffield over the weekend.

    Dean

  • Great to hear from you Dean. Unfortunately, cannot attend the BarcampSheffield. Watchout for Imran Ali on Saturday.

    I will blog this separately, but the great plan is to rebrand OC Manchester as OC North, as London VCs think OC Manchester is a joke given the low number of attendees. OC North will include Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and Sheffield.

    It would be great if you can run the Sheffield event. Imran will run Leeds and I have someone in mind for Liverpool.

    Watch out for the blog post later on

  • Great to hear from you Dean. Unfortunately, cannot attend the BarcampSheffield. Watchout for Imran Ali on Saturday.

    I will blog this separately, but the great plan is to rebrand OC Manchester as OC North, as London VCs think OC Manchester is a joke given the low number of attendees. OC North will include Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and Sheffield.

    It would be great if you can run the Sheffield event. Imran will run Leeds and I have someone in mind for Liverpool.

    Watch out for the blog post later on

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