Made In Brunel – Tech & Business Event

On 31/01/12 at  Brunel University there was a Technology and Business event put together by Made In Brunel and Brunel Entrepreneurs with talks from two startup companies and two other professionals in the field of business and technology.

 

 

 

 

Chris Moore, Tech City

Chris Moore

Chris Moore

The event kicked off to a flying start with Chris Moore, a Technology Specialist from the Tech City Investment Organisation. He discussed about the UK Trade & Investment company and how it can assist businesses abroad invest in the UK as well as export to the UK. Subsequently, Moore went on to talk about Business Angels and Angel News, two great companies providing investment for startup companies or even individuals with potentially up-and-coming business ideas in the UK. Moore then went on to talk about Tech City, which is now being referred to as the ‘digital capital’ of Europe and with good reason. To summarise, in just three years Tech City has expanded naturally from around 15 companies to over 300 and it has also gained support from notable companies in the field such as  Google, Intel and even Facebook. The UK government actively supports Tech City as well. Chris

Moore also played a brief video on Tech City which can be watched here. Included were thoughts regarding Tech City from companies like Mind Candy, Booking BugTech Hub and many more. Today, there is certainly a lot of vibe surrounding East London, in particular the area which Tech City is located, since the London 2012 Olympics are literally just around the corner. In my eyes, I feel that some of these startup companies will be the ones to watch over for the next few years, maybe even turning into London’s answer to Silicon Valley!

Florian Ortkrass & Stuart Wood, rAndom International

Florian Ortkrass & Stuart Wood, rAndom International

Florian Ortkrass & Stuart Wood, rAndom International

Moving on from Tech City, the next part of the event was a talk given by Florian Ortkrass and Stuart Wood,co-directors of rAndom International.  Their talk was based around the concept that they are developing projects and installation that re-interpret the ‘cold’ nature of digital-based work and emphasise the interaction between the animate (audience) and the inanimate (object), bringing the two into a powerful relationship of performance.

Ortkrass and Wood presented the projects they had designed and produced previously. Also the audience got an insight into the fact there will always be some struggles when first putting a start-up project into place, for instance carrying out the distribution yourself, and recognizing sometimes it’s better to outsource those jobs to people that can do a better job in that department than yourself. The pair have succeeded in winning many awards and their projects are displayed in art galleries on a global spread, their work is showcased  here.

Matt Jones & Andy Huntington, Berg London

Thirdly was a talk by Matt Jones and Andy Huntington from BERG who have made a career out of inventing products. They began by talking about Mag+ and funnily enough, the online newspaper was designed to be used on tablets for a Polish Company prior to the launch of Apple’s iPad. Successively, when the iPad did launch, the company asked them to essentially make it again but for the iPad, and within the space of a couple of months and they successfully pulled it out of the bag. In this day and age, Mag+ is the fastest publishing platform for tablets. Companies ranging  IKEA to Ernst & Young have used Mag+ to build their own online newspapers for tablet devices.

Matt Jones & Andy Huntington, Berg London

Matt Jones & Andy Huntington, Berg London

Jones and Huntington then went on to talk about GetSVK which is so much more than your average comic book. GetSVK uses UV light to provide an extra dimension to the storyline which is written by Warren Ellis, made famous after having written Iron Man – that just demonstrates how grand the storyline of this comic will be, but that’s not it… I brought up the UV light for a reason, this comic book comes with an SVK Object, which is basically a UV flashlight that when shone upon the comic book, allows the reader to unveil the thought bubbles of characters that were previously concealed, thus adding a further dimension to the story. It’s only £10 plus P+P, so it definitely seems like it has potential to do well on the market, something I think I’d be interested to try out myself!

To close, they wrapped up with their most recent, quite frankly phenomenal project, dubbed Little Printer which is a printer with access to Berg Cloud used for printing out virtually anything from people that have checked in to Foursquare near to you to today’s top headlines from The Guardian. A few sentences someones typed up about LittlePrinter really doesn’t do it justice, so do look at the website and be astonished for yourself about how great the product is, which is to be launched in 2012.

Glenn Ward, Cadac Holdings Limited

Glenn Ward, Cadac Holdings Limited

Glenn Ward, Cadac Holdings Limited

Lastly, was a talk from Glenn Ward, who you may recognize from such BBC shows such as The Apprentice – he was a candidate on last year’s show. Ward’s currently working for Cadac Holdings Ltd, and has over time set up several businesses.

He discussed how he started out as a DJ and eventually went on to review bands for BBC three. On hearing this, most people would probably think that he must have had pretty big contacts in the BBC to carry out what he did, and he certainly did but that all came later. At the beginning of his career he simply started promoting his gigs merely with the help of his dad (helping him to print out flyers and get “mates rates” on equipment he used for his gigs). This is a good message to sendout, because often people think you need to have well-established contacts to do well, but it’s about talking to the people you know like your friends and family, then as time progresses, better contacts will naturally start to form. Ward talked about how during his gig, he asked everyone to turn their Bluetooth on and as the audience passed around a laptop with a Bluetooth dongle attached to it – situated in the centre of the room – they would be sent a message regarding information about more gigs and discounts etc. Ward referred to this as “Bluetooth marketing” and he claimed that one company was so impressed with this idea, that they bought the entire package, (software, laptop, Bluetooth and dongle) from him and I think that that shows what can blossom over time from the most simple of ideas.

If there is only one thing you could take away from this, I think it is that it is good to try and break the mould and try to develop something new in a creative and innovative way, because someone somewhere will find a use for it if you don’t take the risk and if a company is interested, revenue opportunities are there. You don’t know what good could come out of something till you look into it! Ward also briefly mentioned FogBugz, a beneficial tool for companies regarding project management. He finished his talk with the quote “The biggest regrets in life are the things you didn’t do, not what you did do.”.

Event Roundup

Ultimately, I would like to thank Brunel Entrepreneurs and Made In Brunel for putting on a great, successful event with some exceptional guest speakers.  Personally, I gained a lot from it and hopefully from reading this article and taking a look at the external links, you did as well!


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Written by Purav, PDTechHD (My personal account is PDTalkinTech)

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the article and event as a whole, so all feedback is welcome in the comments below.

All photos used in this article are used with permission from Brunel Entrepreneurs and Made In Brunel.

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I’m a 23 year old Maths Graduate, who has a great passion for technology and in my spare time I make videos on YouTube to show my passion. I'm also co-admin here at TeckComesFirst and I joined this site back in January 2012.
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  • This is very interesting. Lots of stuff. It’s pretty good. keep up the good work! UV flashlight sounds interesting !

    • Thanks for the nice comment Jenny, I will. It does indeed, I might try and get a review unit, if not might buy it, looks very cool, such a great concept.

  • Such an Interesting article mate!! Keep up the wonderful job!! =D