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Manchester Business Summit

Posted by superuser on Monday 24th of October 2011 | 0 Comment(s)

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Hey, I am a panelist at Manchester Business Summit organised by Manchester Business School. Would be great to see you there.

Manchester Business Summit 2011 Overview

Click on the thumbnail to download details or read online:

Recommended Reading List - Oct 2011 by Techcelerate

Posted by superuser on Friday 7th of October 2011 | 0 Comment(s)

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Continuous Learning for Tech Entrepreneurs

+ Chamath Palihapitiya Decries Airbnb’s Recent $112M Funding for Founder Control and Cash-Out - Good article about cashing out early by founders in an unfair manner.

+ Mental Model for Minimal Viable Products by Chris Maccann

+ Are MBAs Necessary for Start-ups or VC? by Mark Suster

Coverage of Techcelerate Member Companies

+ How AssuredSale plans to disrupt the UK housing market - Launch of AssuredSale, a techstartup we know very well, with a mission to disrupt the house buying market.

APP55 wins Best eCommerce Payment Innovation award at eCommerce Expo 2011

+ Press coverage from Intuitive Business Intelligence

Intuitive Business Intelligence Opens Office in Americas Harper Adams University College Improves Student Experience with Intuitive Dashboards Intuitive Business Intelligence Announces Reseller Partnership with Sage Reseller Ensphere Consulting

Product Development

+ The Tech Behind

Tech StartUp Founders Club

Posted by superuser on Monday 3rd of October 2011 | 0 Comment(s)

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We held inaugural Tech Startup CEO Club on 22nd September 2011. CEOs from following companies attended the inaugural event.

edocr_darkbg_small.gif assuredsale1.jpg malinko-logo.png touchip.gif make your move logo.png construqtive.gif

David Smith from AXM Ventures and Anne Dornan (ex Manchester Knowledge Capital) attended the networking session.


Following points were raised as issues for discussion over the next 12 months at monthly meetups.

1. Pricing
2. Alignment with a changing market
3. Product Development
4. Startup tools
5. Investments & consequences
6. Routes to market - channels
7. Hiring and firing
8. Admin, VAT, finance
9. Payment collection
10. Growing pains
11. Competitors
12. Support
13. PR - image


At each meetup, 2 points from above will be discussed in detail during the first 60 minutes. During the next 30 minutes, 3 CEOs will get 10 minutes each to discuss their key challenges. Last 30 mins is for networking with investors.

Meetups will run from 4 to 6pm at Tech Centre Manchester once a month. Each meetup will be capped for a maximum of 12 people. Only Tech CEOs can attend these events.

4 VCs Representing over $2 billion in Manchester

Posted by superuser on Monday 3rd of October 2011 | 0 Comment(s)

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Techcelerate Dragons Lair was held on 28th September 2011 at Tech Centre Manchester, having held a similar event 9 months before. This time, we had 4 Venture Capitalists representing well over $2 billion in funds, notably:

HarryBriggs's picture RichardExley's picture AlexVanSomeran's picture DavidSmithAXM's picture

1. Harry Briggs from Balderton Capital with $1.9 billion under management. Previously, Andrew Nutter from Balderton took part in a Techcelerate event, before the firm invested in local tech company, The Hut Group (Techcelerate had no role in this deal).

2. Richard Exley from North Star Ventures with £80 million under management - Tim Langley of Canddi pitched at our Investment Event in Dec 2009. He secured £20,000 seed funding from Difference Engine, which was funded by North East Finance. After graduating from the Accelerator Programme run by Jon Bradford, Tim secured further seed funding from North Star Ventures, which is similar to the fund run by David Smith in the North West.

3. Alex Van Someren from Amadeus Capital with £470 million under management - This was Alex's first visit to Techcelerate. Alex is looking to raise another fund after completing 2 more investments over the near future.

4. David Smith of AXM Ventures with £15 million under management - The fund has already invested in to 3 companies and looking to close 40 deals over its 5 year investment period. AXM is a Techcelerate Member working closely with us to ensure better investor/investee fit and understanding.


After some volatility in who will pitch or not (one stage, I was going to pitch and, 4 North West Tech Companies and 1 London Tech Company presented their propositions to the Investor Panel made up of Harry, Alex and Richard.

logo3.png Wadaro.jpg Nuji.png WebEnableIT.gif mpmsim.png

1. Konkura by Philip Worthington - Just like, Konkura continues to evolve overcoming product development challenges. This time, Philip has extended the management team with well known sport personalities, and believe he found some kindred spirit among the investors. The £300k capital requirement is mainly for marketing spend and product improvement.

2. Wadaro by Robert Wakeling - Robert continues to push forward with monitoring quality of service of mobile communications through embedded software on SIM cards. Since we last heard from Robert, the company has started to win major contracts and generate revenues. Capital requirement is for sales and marketing effort, especially for client visits to Africa and Asia. Robert has secured capital of over £800k from various North West based venture capitalists, but need further capital to win and service new customers.

3. Nuji by Dean Fankhauser - We were very privileged to host a Seedcamp company from London, which showed the rest of us how to pitch effectively. Nuji's proposition was centred around rewarding shoppers of popular apparel brands. Dean was looking for capital to strengthen his team and position the company for Series A round.

4. Web Enable IT by Charles and Robert Goodwin - A family run tech company, was looking for ideas on how to take their revenue generating tech startup forward.

5. MPM SIM by Jayveer Thakoor - MPM SIM is a stress analysis tool with key differentiators on price and performance. Jayveer was looking for a capital injection of £750k for team hire, product refinement and marketing.


The second half of the event focused on venture capital and pitching. Investment panel suggested many ways to improve the presentations, notably:

1. Follow Guy Kawasaki's 10/20/30 rule for presentations optimised for 5 minute pitching at Techcelerate Investment Events

2. Do not follow BBC's Dragons Den style by notifying the percentage of equity on offer.

3. Use images and do not read the text on the slides. Talk about what's not covered on the slides.

4. Make sure the panel and audience gets your product quickly.

We now plans to hold the next Investment Event on 8th December. If you like to take part, do get in touch immediately.

All web video on your TV - coming closer

Posted by benhookway on Thursday 29th of September 2011 | 0 Comment(s)

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Web video is a big topic. Lots of people have opinions on it because we all watch it - so everyone is an expert!

What I wanted to do on this post is briefly explain 3 problems with web video and TV that we are solving at

1. I know where to find the web video I want to watch. Why am I made to find it all over again on the TV?

Have you ever tried to search for a YouTube or iPlayer video on a connected TV, STB or game consul? It's agony. Poor remotes and shaky virtual keyboards make life very difficult. Why can't you find the video on your laptop and just synch it to the TV? The you can look at your list of stuff you want and then simply select.

We solve that. You can find on one device, and then view on another.

2. Its says on my TV that I can watch web video, but its actually just YouTube.

This is coming up more and more. Connected TVs and STB typically do not use the web site of the content provider. They instead access a custom version of the content optimised for their platform. What this means is that you can only access what has been customised. So while you may be able to see YouTube via an app, try going to mpora,,, or any other web content and you get nowhere.

We solve this. The VideoBee TV App displays any web video page as a TV experience.

3. I want to make playlists around topics - not around content sites.

Lots of people like making playlists of content. The problem right now is that you can't really make a list of say 'Best Rugby World Cup Tries' from more than one source. So if your favourite stuff is spread out over YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, iPlayer, etc you can't group it together.

Well, we solve this as well. So now you can manage all of your web video in one place.

The VideoBee service is up at If you want to be a beta tester for the VideoBee TV app then go to and sign up

There is a video here to give you a preview:

VideoBee TV App Demo from Vidiactive on Vimeo.

Of course I'd love to hear from you if you have an opinion on any of this, or if there is another problem you think needs solving.

You can get me at

Silicon Valley comes 2 UK Appathon in Cambridge now open!

Posted by benfwirtz on Thursday 29th of September 2011 | 0 Comment(s)

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As part of the SVc2UK events, Cambridge University Entrepreneurs is running an Appathon! Registration is open so sign up now at:

The Cambridge Appathon is a two-day hackathon event taking place on the 8th/9th October in the Computer Laboratory. Hundreds of students across the country will also take part in regional Appathons.

The aim is for people to get together and build web and mobile applications on well-known consumer facing platforms, using newly released government data sets. We'll have support available on the day from the platform providers (to be revealed - though I'm sure you can guess!) and also the government data guys.

There are some spectacular prizes available for the best apps, including trips to Silicon Valley!

As you can imagine, numbers are strictly limited so please register now to save your place!

For more info about the overall events, see

If you have any questions, please email me (Amir) at .

Do Digital Or Dr Dolittle?

Posted by MalcolmEvans on Wednesday 14th of September 2011 | 1 Comment(s)

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Digital’s sort of doing my head and I wonder if you can help me.

On the one hand there’s a sense that we are missing a trick and on the other a creeping realisation that we may be confusing chalk and cheese.

Is Digital so regimented that only the U.S. can do the big platforms, with Europe and the Israel and Australian pockets condemned to the add-on gizmos if they are lucky and, more realistically, the grunt and grind of routine web work?

I’ve been talking to some of the great and good of Digital in Manchester the last few days. And in their personal skills they are indeed great, and in their desire and matching actions to see the sector thrive, they are indeed seeking to do good.

But I’ve been asking a question which no-one can answer, least of all me: “Are we on the verge of economic breakthrough with Digital, or is Digital here more of a style movement than a serious commercial sector?”

Think about it -

Is it look good, or grow good companies good?

Is it a question of continuing to evolve the capability, ambition and precision of the sector, or is what we have now just about the best we are going to get?

Is it talking to the commercial world outside, or is there just a lot of talk to the knowing animals inside a world of secret magic?

- Come on all you Digitalisti; think up a “hot one” which you can build and which I can use and fund!

Malcolm Evans is a Manchester business funding activist.

Recommended Reading List - Aug 2011 by Techcelerate

Posted by superuser on Monday 5th of September 2011 | 0 Comment(s)

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Ten Highly Successful Bootstrapped Startups by Rob Walling featuring Litmus (UK company moved to USA), AppSumo, GitHub, etc

"Who says a bootstrapped startup can’t succeed? A lot of entrepreneurs think they need piles of money to make their startup a success, but that’s not always the case. Here are 10 bootstrapped companies that did it on their own with no outside funding."

IC tomorrow and Abertay University launch Future Games Contest

Posted by Techcelerate on Thursday 18th of August 2011 | 0 Comment(s)

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IC tomorrow has teamed up with University of Abertay Dundee to bring you the £100k Future Games Contest.

Future Games aims to find budding developers who have innovative ideas and projects relating to gaming technology. Abertay was the first university in the UK to offer a degree focusing on video games. Their experience in this field along with IC tomorrow’s expertise getting new apps off the ground makes them the perfect team to help push forward innovation in gaming.

The contest aims to find four innovative ideas which focus on the following areas:

+ Use of games technology in a non-gaming context – supported by IPC Media
+ Gaming ideas using digital creative content e.g. Film and TV, Ebook/Epublishing, images – supported by National Geographic
+ Social games using existing networks e.g. Facebook, Twitter – supported by Tate
+ Music games application – supported by EMI

Our supporters will be taking part in final judging panel who will recommend which apps they think are the best to Abertay and will be providing any relevant content for the chosen applications. You can find a copy of the breifs each contenet supplier has set out under the challenges section. Remember to check these out before submitting your application as the content providers will be helping Abertay make the final decison. Also, keep checking back here as we will be uploading videos from the content providers in the next few weeks with some more tips.

For now we are looking for applications which:

+ Apply to a range of content providers
+ Illustrate the greatest market potential
+ Include a lead consumer facing application on any technology platform e.g. web, mobile
+ Will be ready for full consumer trial stage in early 2012
+ Have a commercial business model

The chosen ideas will be given up to £25,000 in grant funding (for more information see here)from Abertay University and will have access to support by the IC tomorrow team in getting the app trialled. All of the other projects which are not funded will also be given the opportunity to take advantage of support from IC tomorrow and the platform.

To enter you will need to fill out the online application form and produce a video of no more than two minutes in length by 12:00 noon 15th of September. Be sure to read the guidance notes first though so you know exactly how to impress us.

Up to Twelve applicants will then be chosen to progress to the next round. These applicants will have to undergo a financial assesment to check if they are entitled to a funding grant and will then be invited to London to pitch their ideas before a panel of judges. The winners will be announced in mid October and trials are expected to start on the IC Tomorrow digital test bed in early 2012.



If you need more help contact the IC tomorrow team:

Helpline: 0300 321 4358 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm)

Key Dates


+ 11/8/11 - Contest opens at 12:00
+ 15/09/11 - Deadline for first round applications 12:00
+ Week commencing 3rd October - Practice pitches
+ Week commencing 10th October - Final panel pitches
+ 31/3/2012 - Deadline for consumer trials

Looking for Investment in your FinTech Startup?

Posted by on Sunday 7th of August 2011 | 0 Comment(s)

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FinTech Startups call to arms : Investment fund run through ICAP - wants to invest NOW

FinTech Investment Fund

Euclid Opportunities offers financial technology start-ups a unique seed funding and acceleration program designed to support the providers of innovative platforms, tools and services to successfully address the needs of today’s global markets.

Target Market

Euclid targets innovative technology offerings in the areas of market structure, electronic trading, trade processing, risk management, market connectivity, data management, clearing and market utilities.The project is focused on the institutional financial markets.


Euclid utilises a network of advisors, domain experts and market practitioners to provide start-­‐ups tailored support and guidance via the Euclid Acceleration Program.
The program provides a range of financial market expertise; knowledge, credibility and long standing industry relationships to enable innovators effectively engage the global financial marketplace.

The Euclid project is based on a belief that the talent and skills, which exists in many start-­‐up enterprises, can be nurtured and supported to stimulate a number of strategically important financial technology companies.


The Euclid Acceleration Program is designed to offer financial technology start-­‐ups the following:

• Market testing and corroboration
• Technical validation
• Operational guidance
• Business planning
• Client access and feedback

• Senior-‐level mentoring - Financial service institutes


Candidates may have a prototype or have developed a “proof of concept” but do not yet need to have a ‘live’ product or platform in production.

Who is behind it ?

Euclid Opportunities is majority owned by ICAP. ICAP is the world's premier voice and electronic interdealer brokers and provider of post trade risk and information services operating a global network across more than 32 countries, active in the interest rates, credit, commodities, FX, equities and equity derivatives market.

For more information go to