I got bored of listening to media-driven doom and gloom well over a year ago and that is why last week was such an exciting week for me as some really good things seemed to happen. Why was this such a good week?
TheBLN is just starting a hectic schedule of events in Cambridge, London and Edinburgh over the next couple of weeks. It is always refreshing to meet people that are being successful and positive in any circumstances and I am particularly open to it these days. Four BLN members featured in separate articles in The Sunday Times last week although I didn’t notice until Tuesday when I got round to reading the Business Section. Is it just me or do children make it impossible to read a paper in one day? At BLN dinner on Thursday I heard that three of the guests had term sheets and one had closed a funding round that week. There is money out there and people getting it for their companies despite what some say.
The Grauniad launched it’s OpenPlatform making me think that it might possibly be one of the few newspapers in Europe that might just have a clue about where the world is headed. It also got a whole bunch of developers I have been talking to ridiculously excited which was great to see. I am delighted that @plc and @guybrush0 from BroaderView are getting into their first camp.
The best part by far of my working week though was Friday evening when I headed over to CamCow after work with some beers and a vague plan to do some stuff with some people that I have been bumping into around Cambridge more and more. #CamRev is an attempt to pull some of the people in this town who want to actually grow a business. Jed Christiansen, Laurence John and Martin Kleppmann have been among the chief protagonists in various schemes and it seemed like a good idea to pull some thoughts together.
We may just be on to something here. Over beer and pizza some awesome people that want to create something – software, web, hardware – talked about what they wanted to do, what was going to stop them and how they could help others. What was totally clear was that everyone needs help. Permission, support, money, marketing, mentoring, customers, beer, coffee, shoulders to cry on, direction, focus and other stuff like free wifi. What was equally clear was that we could actually pull all of the resources we need together to help each other. Even more excitingly, if we can pull some things together, then the benefits can be shared with others.
#CamRev is going to take up residence at CamCow, in a very downmarket, no-restrictions, incredibly cheap (desks from £ 20/month part time, £80/month full time) space. Strange though it sounds when I sell it like that, we already have commitments from a couple of businesses that are currently in ‘dream incubation’ spaces across town. What CamCow can offer beyond space is community and some people with some pretty amazing connections across Cambridge and more importantly, across the world.
We would love to hear from anyone that would like to grow a scaleable business that would like to come and work with us. There are a few thousand square feet to fill but we are not interested in filling the space – we want to fill the space with people that want to grow big ideas. We want to keep the doors open to all guests but try to make sure that the space is filled with people that want to grow their own thing and learn and support others as they do so. Sound like you?