Twocial Social 3 - 4 startups, 1 FatCamp and ass patches?
We held Twocial Social 3 with some awesome company this week, following the launch of the Manchester Startups Facebook page we were able to get 4 startups around one table: Paul Stacey cofounder of Fatsoma, Andrew Threlfall founder of Malinko and Neil Beardmore founder of SafetyGearStore. We also had our dear friend, technical architect extraordinaire and (my) colleague Jimbob.
This was by far the best social we’ve had so far and I’m still buzzing from it. It was only until afterwards when myself and Martin realised that we hadn’t actually spoken about Twocial all that much. From the get go the discussion was centered solely around the Manchester startup scene and what we need to do to cultivate it.
Manchester startups where y’all at?
Berlin, with the most awesome Silicon Allee scene have a number of cafe’s and bars which are the places to go if you want to bump into startup and techie types. The Silicon Roundabout scene in Shoreditch, London has the TechHub (claiming to be the digital capital of Europe) - so where is it in Manchester? Manoj is doing a great job at Techcelerate, but which coffee shops are the place to congregate? Naturally me and Martin favour North Tea Power for its great coffee and free WiFi :)
Paul, having just undergone a second round of funding with Fatsoma is moving into brand spanking new offices just off the Ancoats area of Manchester and very kindly offered a space for us to get together. This is very much in the same vein as MOO cards - who purportedly were the catalyst behind the Silicon Roundabout hype by doing the very same thing. Also, we did get an invite to tour the office once they’d moved in - blog post to follow! One other future blog post will be Paul’s ideas around organising a FatCamp hack weekend.
So I got talking to Neil who runs SafetyGearStore from Stoke. Paul in his own words is a reformed SEO expert who took to selling lanyards and harnesses online - and although the name suggests Safety Gear, he has extended his product range to boating cranes and equipment. Neil pivots his product range directly around the demands of the customer and again in his own words “if my customers want ass patches, then dammit I’ll supply ass patches” - which is a sound strategy. We still don’t know what Ass Patches are but I’m certainly not googling it.
Both me and Martin know Andrew only from Twitter, and it was great to finally meet. He founded Malinko as a Scheduling and CRM tool to manage disparate workforces. His core userbase are contractors managing sub contractors. The interesting thing about Malinko is that they started off as a team of three devs, one dev left, and they ended up getting a salesperson instead. This simple pivot enabled the salesperson to help shape the product. Not only did the salesperson trim the product down to its core features - it also helped that he was previously a customer of Malinko and helped implement it at his old workplace. Andrew is based at Manchester Business Park and is going from strength to strength.
We ended up spending the best part of two hours at North Tea Power having made some awesome contacts and had some really insightful conversation.
As I meet new Manchester Startups I’ve decided to write a bio post on each so that you’re able to read about the awesome people we meet.
If you’re a techie, designer, fellow startup, current/ potential user or if you just nosy and want to say hello we’d love to meet you at the next Twocial Social. Especially if you’re just nosy. Follow us on Twitter to stay in the loop: @TwocialApp