This is my follow-up post to Loving the Underdog! PART1 – The 800lb gorilla
My startup, Aware Monitoring, was recently invited to a local business club event as an example of a innovative and entrepreneurial company. At the event I was blown away by the growth and leading market positions of the other companies presenting!!
It occurred to me that a strong local business and startup eco-system is absolutely vital to nurture young ‘underdog’ startup companies like ours. Success breeds success. We must all invest in our local eco-system and everyone in the city will reap the rewards.
In this Invest in Nottingham Club video I talk about my underdog
startup and the potential of Nottingham
My startup is based in the provincial city of Nottingham. Our city is the centre of business within our region. Nottingham is well known for its creativity, innovation and of course, Robin Hood. We have some big great companies here including Boots, Experian, Raleigh and Capital One. The city has a world leading biotech cluster and is a UK centre of gaming which hosts GameCity, an annual global videogames festival.
The city has a strong tech community, with social groups such as Nott Tuesday and Geekup bringing developers, designers, bloggers and online entrepreneurs together to share ideas. And we have some great tech companies including Esendex, Prime Principle and Outso.
However the City has a long way to go before becoming a leading cluster for web tech on the scale of BioCity, a Nottingham based biotech cluster. I’ve been extremely impressed by BioCity and the eco-system of companies and people working around it. Several of the companies at the event were based at BioCity. This type of light touch commercial eco-system with small and large niche companies working together seems to work incredibly well.
The ingredients which go to make a city of creativity that forms clusters such as BioCity, Silicon Valley or TechHub include:
- Startup facilities – Low cost, industry specific incubators which are commercially supported and run.
- Second generation founders - Industry specific founders who become investors and mentors in startups.
- Universities – That attract and develop talent from across the nation who then settle locally.
- Larger companies – Who’s staff leave the corporate world to branch out their own.
- Institutional investors - These are needed to help continue to grow successful companies.
I was blown away and inspired by capability and growth of local companies presenting. This is both the companies that are part of BioCity and the ones who have done it own their own. These events show what can be done locally in a provincial city like Nottingham. The companies demonstrate the resourcefulness, commitment and innovation that founders are capabile of.
In some way its better to be a in city fighting to create something new. It brings people together to focus their efforts on creating something of meaning and value.
My next ‘Loving the Underdog’ post will be Loving the Underdog! PART3 - Why we Love ‘em