Techcelerate Event - The Northern Tech Funding Landscape
Apologies in advance for long post, got so much to say this evening!
Okay, so I’ve just got back home from a really insightful event hosted by Manoj. Manoj who I’ve mentioned before runs Techcelerate here in Manchester, organised an event this evening titled the ‘Norther Technology Funding Landscape’. Check the link out for a full breakdown of the event, but essentially seven investment funds outlined their mandate in terms of technology investments.
Building a Startup Scene in Manchester
Martin Bryant, Managing Editor at The Next Web, kicked the evening off by giving his talk on building a startup scene in Manchester which is very close to our heart (blog post here) at Twocial. My thoughts are that Manchester is really getting there, but as I mentioned this evening, the UK is so obsessed with the Tech City UK hype down in London (with good reason) but this has meant that all other startup scenes in the UK have been somewhat ignored.
Next it was great to hear from each investment manager talk through how some invest seed cash, some have a minimum of £50k and for eligibility for others you must have existing revenue of over £1m. Again, I’ll let you follow the link and read the details for yourself.
Startup Pitch 1 - Cab My Taxi
What was really interesting was watching two Manchester based startups pitch their ideas to a panel of two Investors to offer their critque: The first was Cab My Taxi which is an iPhone (and Android) app allowing you to book a private hire cab from your smartphone. CabmyTaxi has just spent some cash on a radio advertising campaign and has seen 1000 downloads of their app in two weeks (if I remember correctly?) which is an impressive stat.
Startup Pitch 2 - Persian Cat Press
The second pitch came from Persian Cat Press who develop interactive storytelling on touchscreen devices such as iPads et al. Jos Carlyle gave a great pitch talking about the immersive nature of their stories which provide rich content for all senses. I couldn’t help thinking that with Apple’s foray into education, Persian Cat Press could really ride that wave and become a major force in that area.
Both pitches were solid ideas but I think the pitches should have been limited to say 5 mintues? or potentially keeping it as strict as Jason Calacanis does in his ‘This week in Startups’ podcast (which is great - both video and audio versions).
Finally, it was great to make some awesome contacts during the evening: Anusha Su who is a Venture Partner at StartupAngel.net - incredibly energetic and gave up sunny California for the UK! Crazy I know. We swapped details in true Minimum Viable Prodict style; neither of us had business cards so we exchanged post-it notes with our details scribbled on :) Anusha gave me some great advice on bootstrapping until investment is absolutely necessary - all on the walk to Piccadilly Train Station to ensure Anusha caught her train to Durham!
Met Asim Hussain who is a starup founder of Event Overload which serves up personalised event recommendations - Asim is a fellow Lean Startup’er based in Manchester so I’m certainly going to cover Event Overload properly in a separate post.
I finally met Coral Grainger of Capital Relations - Coral and I have been tweeting for a while now but nice to meet in person. I also met Andy Yelland of Visi Deck who develop 3D architectural visualisation tech. Another great contact seeing as Andy has spent time in both Silicon Valley and Silicon Roundabout - and he’s really open to giving honest (and brutal) advice.
All in all a great night of networking with fellow startups, I think more events such as this bringing startups together is awesome so kudos to Manoj for setting it up. Also you could always join us for our next Twocial Social usually held at North Tea Power - next one I believe will be on Sunday at around 11am? Join us for a chat!