STARTUP SPOTLIGHT: Seen at London Technology Week
We rocked up to The Start-Up Europe Roadshow on Google Campus during London Technology Week (16-20 June 2014) to check out a few of the amazing tech startups and entrepreneurs showcasing their businesses.
Kicking off with a presentation by Lord Graffham, who’s worked tirelessly with the government to create more jobs for young-people, we heard about his ‘FIVER’ initiative to give children aged 6-8 a £5 note to help start up a business.
Although this sounds crazy, it’s a very clever idea. ‘FIVER’ teaches children about the business industry, whereby they’ll obtain the skills needed to become successful entrepreneurs of the future.
Lord Graffham’s initiative went down well with the audience, who said that they felt “inspired” by it. During his speech, Lord Graffham also reminded the audience that ‘attitude is key’. He told the crowd:
“Only you can help you, if you don’t have the right attitude, we can’t help you,” he said. He also shared some of the Government’s visions for 2020, including: ‘to see 200,000 people self-employed’.
“There’s never been a better time to work for yourself than now. With all these technologies, we can do anything,” he concluded.
During the roadshow, 12 entrepreneurs and founders of tech-startup companies took to the stage to talk about their project, and we picked three to tell you about.
1) Calypso Harland & The Developer Lab
Calypso Harland told us about The Developer Lab, the second largest open device lab in England, founded in September 2013.
DevLab is a firm that provides access to the latest devices and intelligent testing solutions. It works in partnership with UCL DECIDE (a user-experience and user-testing initiative) by University College London (UCL), one of the top 5 Universities in the world. Situated at IDEALondon, Shoreditch – DevLab is about to launch a device leasing programme so you can get the devices you need delivered to your door.
Calypso began by mentioning the growth in technology and how DevLab has embraced it: “when DevLab started, we just provided mobiles and tablets, but now we’ve expanded, providing access to beacons and wearable technology too.”
2) Valerie Mocker of NESTA
Valerie Mocker told us about NESTA (an innovation charity) and shared three of the organization’s most successful case studies.
She mentioned Chris Thorpe, former CTO of Mind Candy (Moshi Monsters), and founder of ‘I Can Make’ as a great case study.
‘I Can Make’ is an upcoming firm that will provide children and adults with ‘fun and educational’ 3D printing kits.
Mocker mentioned that although the firm has yet to launch, she’s certain that Thorpe will maintain his successful business streak, bringing together all that he’s learned from working at Mind Candy.
She finished by praising Chris on his ability to form a great team, and said: “the secret to a great company is the team behind it.”
3) Ian Clifford, the founder of YouRock.jobs
Clifford told us about his successful social-network, yourock.jobs.. His social-network (job-site) aims to get young people into jobs based on their skills as opposed to experience.
YouRock.jobs works with employers across Europe, and doesn’t create a language barrier. So, if a someone uploads their CV in English, it can then be translated and read by a French employer.
Clifford said that young people are easily disheartened when they enter into the vicious work cycle that is: ‘in order to get a job you need experience, in order to get experience you need a job’.
Since he began crowdfunding in September 2013, his website has gained more than £12,000.
Of his social-network he said: “I want young people to look in the mirror and say – ‘I ROCK!’”
-This post is by Hai Media Group’s 2014 Summer Intern Miamii Mansour.