Posts Tagged ‘Mike Butcher’
UEA were delighted to be the first UK university to host Mike Butcher, Editor-at-Large, for TechCrunch. Mike is one of the most influential tech journalists in Europe right now and is on a mission to excite students about tech startups. It started with a tweet back in May 2013 and then finally, last night – November 27th 2013 – we hosted, with SyncNorwich, the biggest tech event and geek meetup in Norwich ever, with over 300 attendees. John Fagan of SyncNorwich and I opened the event with an overview of the growing digital creative community in Norfolk. Then it was the turn of a great line up of tech and startups from the region, with some great success stories and a sprinkling of UEA graduates in the line up too. It was fast and furious with fantastic presentations from all involved. FxHome’s Josh Davies (a UEA graduate) kicked off the tech showcase and demonstrated how FXHome’s products are used by children to make their own films right through to Hollywood creating the special visual effects in blockbusters like Salt and the short film, Prism. Next up was Liftshare, with Ali Clabburn explaining how his company was born from a need to get to Bristol and not enough cash for the train fare! From this start in 1998, Liftshare has grown to support 1.5 million trips per month and a typical member can save about £1000 per year by using the service. Then Rainbird’s James Duez and Ben Taylor shared their vision of building smarter software to capture knowledge and solve problems by joining up the dots – lots of potential applications and one to watch as they head for full release in March 2014. Richard Churchill of Service Tick presented Sessioncam.com and session replay. This product picks up how users are interacting with your website, where they are touching and looking and so can help to increase conversion and reduce basket abandonment. Proxama finished this session with James Taylor explaining how they connect the physical and digital worlds with their TapPoint platform, offering next generation mobile market for brands wanting to better engage with their customers. They offer proximity marketing and contactless payment via smartphones. The agenda then turned to a series of ten 2 minute pitches: Get3Sixty offer the ability to gather, store and view anonymous feedback from the people you work with. 99squared have developed Kuoob to support personalised advertising. Everpress presented their Haberdash app to create your own personalised photo-cushion. Betahive showcased their Pingle app to match and connect groups of people. Photocrowd set photographic assignments and allow users to vote and provide reviews from experts and then showcase the winners. Supapass are building the music ecosystem of the future, linking musicians and fans. Blurtit presented their social question and answer site. Sourcing.io helps source talented software engineers with their matching service. Zealify, started by UEA graduates, is a recruitment platform to help small companies to identify the right interns and graduates to recruit. Last up was a 16 year old Norwich School student, Michael Ni’Man, aiming to raise literacy rates with an educational app – Wordwides. What a brilliant showcase of innovative products and services! After a quick networking break, came the energetic and engaging keynote from Mike Butcher. He took us on a whistlestop tour of the history of tech and the highs and lows of being a startup. He explained how Web 2.0 has taken innovation out of the labs and into the bedrooms and coffee shops, creating “absolute chaos” – but in a good way! He emphasised that people are what matters most in the early stages of technology businesses. He stressed the power of serendipity and the need to keep on meeting at events like this one and the other meetups that SyncNorwich and Hot Source provide. He encouraged Norwich to build silicon bridges to link up the ecosystem and was impressed with the incredible display of talent that Norwich has to offer. In the Q&A session he encouraged those pitching their ideas to keep it simple – strip back the text in presentations, make it visual, be enthusiastic and tell a story. Boil down complex concepts and get to the point. Identify the problem and how you will solve it! The evening was rounded off with big thanks from Peter Schmidt-Hansen of Norwich Business School at UEA to all who helped to make it happen at SyncNorwich and UEA and to the events other sponsors: Smart 421, Naked Element, Lambda Films and Tim Stephenson Photography (including photos in this post). Thanks also to the OPEN team for the venue, technical support and catering. And of course, to Mike Butcher for travelling up from London and supporting the event for the Norwich tech community and UEA students!
Check out the slides here, great photos from the event here and don’t miss the doodles of the presentations by Chris Spalton. Inspired by Mike’s presentation, Everpress are building a map of tech companies in and around Norwich at SiliconBroads.co.uk. Watch it grow!
Read other blogs on the event by:
Naked Element at http://nakedelement.co.uk/techcrunch-visits-norwich/
Tim Stephenson Photography at http://www.timstephensonphotography.co.uk/news/norfolk-event-photography-techcrunch-comes-to-syncnorwich