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Category: Techcelerate

Networks of Manchester’s Tech Ecosystem

Once upon a time (2006 to 2013), Techcelerate pioneered in building the Manchester’s Tech Ecosystem, when public sector could not care less about scalable technology businesses. Today, it’s a different story. Both public as well as the private sectors have come together to build the ecosystem from where Techcelerate had left off. Referred to as Northern Startup 2.0 in 2006, a tech gathering supported by KPMG and initiated by TechCrunch grew into a network of 2,300 tech entrepreneurs, senior managers of tech companies, investors and deal-makers over a period of 7 years. Techcelerate ran over 100+ tech entrepreneur events with…

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The life of tech entrepreneur, Chris Leigh

Stuart Scott-Goldstone and I paid our last respects yesterday to fellow Manchester Business School (MBS) MBA Alum and Greater Manchester tech entrepreneur Chris Leigh, after he took his life just over a week before Christmas. The funeral was also attended by current and past Sci-Tech Daresbury community including John Leake, Paul Treloar, Robert Wakeling (Wadaro), Michael Thomas (Peak42), John McGuire (ex-FreshTL) and Angus Matheson (ex-FreshTL). According to Samaritans, men between 45 to 59 years are the most vulnerable to suicides in the UK and Republic of Ireland. When Chris took his life, he was 48 years old (same age as me). About…

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#NorthernStars – A celebration of Tech Entrepreneurship

I was late attending the finals of NorthernStars pitch event last night at UKFast organised by TechNorth missing all the 23 pitches, as a result of attending CommissioningLive, a healthcare event, but the feedback I got suggested that the quality of pitching in the North is now in par with London. This was perhaps the strongest criticism I had (other than called a talking shop, which was exactly the point of Techcelerate at the time) from numerous VCs who took part in Techcelerate’s Dragons’ Lair pitching events for investment.   Out of the 100 or so applications received, according to Matt…

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Thoughts from #TechNorth launch in #Leeds today

The Launch Until 8:00 am this morning, I couldn’t justify a reason to attend the launch of much hyped TechNorth in Leeds. By 8:15 am, I regretted my decision, and by 10:15 I was listening to TechCity CEO launching the event. Yes in Leeds! In 2006, except for few of us, tech entrepreneurship was not fashionable like today. Those naysayers then have become champions of the sector today. And it has been a pleasure for me to watch the transition. In early days, the effort of building the tech ecosystem rested with number of passionate individuals. In Sheffield you had Lee…

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My first exit (asset sale) – Northern Tech Awards

This post should have been written on 1st August 2013 when I sold Northern Tech Awards to GP Bullhound, a boutique investment bank, as I was emotionally fired up on that great scorching day in Manchester. Since 2004, I founded few businesses, some have gone horribly wrong and others have thrived. Northern Tech Awards was not a business, but a key asset that emerged from Techcelerate. It was setup as the highlight of the year, when I used to run over 20 events a year, and our strong community of 2,300 tech entrepreneurs, senior managers of tech companies, investors, deal makers…

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Mini Seedcamp London – Where are the northerners?

I will be attending my third Seedcamp event tomorrow as a mentor. Seedcamp is without a doubt the main event for any budding tech entrepreneur team in Europe, and it is getting bigger each year attracting companies from all over the world. For those who are not familiar with Seedcamp, it was first introduced in 2007 by none other than Saul Klien. Reshma Sohoni joined from 3i to run the day to day operations. In 2008, Mini Seedcamps were introduced in four cities to short list companies. The number of Mini Seedcamp events have gradually increased to 9 with Johannesburg…

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Videos of DC-KTN Next Generation Broadband Access – Building the Case for Regional Investment

Next Generation Broadband Access – Building the Case for Regional Investment took place on 22nd Feb 2010 in Manchester, co-hosted by Techcelerate on behalf of DC-KTN. Click on the thumbnail to access event leaflet. Event was chaired by Philip Hargrave, CEO DC-KTN Speaker 1: How to deliver 10Gbit/s…or perhaps not? by Ian Vance, Amazing Communications; Chair of the UK Government’s Photonics Leadership Group Speaker 2: United Digital City by Shaun Fensom, Chairman Manchester Digital and Consultant to Manchester City Council Speaker 3: “Rising the Alert” losing and making money, the opportunity for Next Generation Networks and the region by NWIX…

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Strategy for maintaining multiple calendars

Life was easier when you had only one calendar to deal with. If you are like me, then you have made your life difficult by having too many unconnected calendars, causing misery! Here are a list of my calendars: iCal (MacBook) Google iPhone Salesforce.com Tungle.com I have added Tungle.com today, so that others who want to schedule a meeting with me could do so by finding out my availability. My tungle account is at http://tungle.me/manojranaweera The trick to all this is being able to sync. Tungle failed to sync with my iCal after many attempts even after Tungle crew came…

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Why am I rebranding Northern StartUp 2.0?

Northern StartUp 2.0 has come a long way since our humble start in November 2006. Whilst I enjoy running it, it has strained my resources heavily. Unless something is done, it’s sustainability is questionable in the medium to long run. So here are my reasons for repositioning: 1. It must generate income to compensate effort. 2. Lacks the collaboration between new and established technology companies: – Customers of early technology products are technology companies – Opportunities in joint ventures – Opportunities in acquisitions 3. It does not provide a mechanism for southern and overseas tech companies to break into the…

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Rebranding – Budget vs no budget, freedom vs. constraints

It is no surprise to my regular readers that Northern StartUp 2.0 is currently going through a rebranding and repositioning exercise. Whilst there is a lot to talk about why this is taking place, I thought of highlighting few discussions I had on Twitter about rebranding and repositioning with an international software house which has also gone through a rebranding exercise recently. Here is my situation: no budget but total freedom. Here is the situation of the software house: large budget (assumption) but constraints due to history and stakeholders. With my total freedom, and given I am lazy (or clever,…

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