I attended OpenCoffee London this past Thursday specially to meet the team from Sun Microsystems. Here is a snap shot of my interactivity:
Discussed two aspects with Sun team which comprised of my friend, Stewart Townsend from Manchester, and Sanjay Sharma (Director – Startups and Emerging Markets Market Development) from the USA and Sharon Moore (Senior Director – Partner Marketing EMEA) from Paris:
- Sun and Causeway Technologies – the idea behind this discussion was to understand how Sun Microsystems could help Causeway Technologies (vice versa) drive its revenues and profits within the UK Construction market. Unfortunately, computer hardware has become such a commodity with thin or almost non-existent profit margins, it does not make much commercial sense for software vendors to bundle hardware with their offers. In addition, large buyers already have global hardware procurement strategies in place, which means this is a no go area. But from time to time, opportunities could arise which makes commercial sense, therefore I have no intention of terminating my discussions with Sun Microsystems. Sun and I go a long way, since specifying and recommending Sun hardware for SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) systems in early to mid 90’s. ebdex is still a Sun ISV partner.
- Launch of StartUp Essentials programme in the UK – I am a very keen supporter of this programme, especially with respect to edocr and North West based startups. I had the opportunity to explain the value proposition behind edocr to Sharon in detail. edocr is exactly what Sun is looking to support through the Startup Essentials programme.
I also introduced Sanjay and Sharon to:
- Sam Sethi – about the concept behind blognation. I see Sun as a key advertiser/sponsor of blognation, if they are serious about European startups. In return, Sun will get to know much about the European startup scene from one site instead of having to search the Internet, reducing significant resources from Sun’s end.
- Saul Klein – the man behind OpenCoffee events. Would you believe, it was the first time I actually met Saul even though we communicated over e-mails and Skype in the past.
Bit about Blognation – the empire Sam is building:
- Blognation is expected to be launched next week.
- Blognation crew had their first get together to discuss the launch this week.
- Blognation will be first launched in the UK (now that makes sense – as I said from Day One)
- Blognation will then be launched in about 16 countries
- Initially it will cover “technology” and “mobile” but will be extended to include “enterprise”.
Some of the old faces (not necessarily aged!) I met included:
- David Terrar – MD of D Squared C and Twinfield UK. I spoke to David about my third startup idea, and the possibility of reviving ebdex as a reseller of number of complementary solutions. In this respect, I am becoming bit like David as he offers a portfolio of products from web design to accountancy solutions. David has also joined blognation crew.
- Phil Hemsted – co-founder of Yuuuguu from the North West – Yuuguu presented at Web Essentials held yesterday in London
- David Ingram – Director of Izimi who spoke at the last NW StartUp 2.0 event in Manchester.
- Lee McFadden – Firefli Systems
The new faces I met included:
- Jof Arnold of Brainbakery.com – His company offers social networks that can be white labelled. This is particularly of interest to edocr as well as the third company idea I am working on.
- Mitchell Sava – Founder of Virtuoscircle and Polywonk – his company is developing a social network around policies. Interesting point is that his wife is a procurement specialist – a potential reader for my blog.
- Nicole Simon – possibly an A-list blogger (not sure what the criteria for this loose classification is) from Germany. I have seen Nicole’s profile on-line before but it was nice to meet her. She is also part of the blognation crew.
- Anish Lakhani from PratiSoft bringing on line poker to UK.
- Tony Lucas – CEO of XCalibre Communications – I had a good chat with Tony regarding hosting for edocr. He seems to have a startup offering that is much affordable than traditional hosting solutions in the UK.
- Karin Hoegh of Podhandle – Specialist in podcasting
- Janet Parkinson of Talking Voices – London based with representative in Manchester.
- Vincent Camara from intruders.tv – I am looking forward to Vincent getting involved with NW StartUp 2.0 events, covering the entrepreneurs of the North.
Apologies if I forgot to mention anyone else’s names.