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NW StartUp 2.0 – 3rd Event

As planned, NW StartUp 2.0 event took place on 14th June 2007 at KPMG Manchester. Both Sam Sethi and Alain Falys were unable to attend due to personal and business reasons respectively. This did not have a significant impact on the outcome of the event, as Ajaz Ahmed and David Ingram easily filled the vacuum created by the two missing speakers. This also meant an early night for David Thomas, who was ready to party with Sam till the morning.

44 people registered to attend, including the speakers and organisers. On the day, we had 25 present, a mere 57% of those who registered. Here are couple of pictures from flickr. Sorry, DavidI, it seems I have forgotten to take a picture of you.


Ajaz articulated the story of his eureka moment with Freeserve. The story was well published, so I am not going to repeat it here. He also spoke about Browzar, Abdul, etc. The key points I took home includes:

  1. Do the obvious before someone else realise it is obvious.
  2. Make the message simple
  3. Hire the best PR Agency you can afford – do the unexpected, e.g. Hiring Bernard Manning to open his Indian Restuarant got immense publicity.

David Ingram spoke about the journey so far for Izimi, which has raised just under £7.5m to date from people the team has known from the past, clearly a fortunate situation to be in. Again key points for me:

  1. Hire a PR agency, not necessary the largest, but agencies that are known and prepared to give time.
  2. Don’t market everything that your product/solution offers, pick 2 or 3 and talk about them well. Once customers are hooked, then other solutions/features/products can be introduced.
  3. Talk to people you know and trust, both for team and funding

News faces:

  1. Lee Stratford – Co-founder and ex-CEO of Plusnet until recently. Here is a guy with many stories to tell. Certainly a privilege to meet him.
  2. Mike Gibbard – Chief Solutions Architect at Burns e-Commerce
  3. Ewan Leith – Pipex
  4. Neil Jones and his friend – Total Amber
  5. Les Baker – Sun Microsystems
  6. Paul Madeira – OpenText

First timers at NW StartUp 2.0, but known to me before included:

  1. Phil Brown – CEO of Causeway Technologies 
  2. Tony Bray – Founder and ex-Director of recently sold Version One
  3. David Hawdale – Owner of Hawdale Associates
  4. Stewart Townsend – Sun Microsystems
  5. Mike Carter – Co-founder of Ixis and edocr
  6. Stephen Morrisey – Innovation Squared

Continued support came from:

  1. Rhys Jones – Founder of Accountis, Sanoodi and web2os
  2. David Thomas – Inventya 
  3. Anish Kapoor – Founder and CEO of Yuuguu
  4. Alexander and Adrian Goldstone – Owners of Idinso
  5. Gang Lu – Blognation and Netvibes

Many thanks to Steven Livingston of KPMGfor providing the venue and excellent buffet. StewartT, many thanks for your telesupport. Sun Microsystems is expected to co-sponsor this event from now on. Apologies if I missed your name from the attendee list.


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