Been Getting Around A Bit


Great title, see what I did there? Anyway, no I haven’t been getting around the local female population; I’ve been getting around the local Entrepreneur scene (or at least making a start!).

Beyond the NEF workshops, networking and speaker events which I’ll be going to throughout the next year anyway, I decided to start searching out and attending some additional events to supplement my learning and further immerse myself in the Entrepreneurial and Business scene London has to offer.

Last week I attended the first City Unrulyversity talk/session of their 2013-14 calendar. The City Unrulyversity is a collaborative group co-founded and coordinated by both the City University and Unruly, the media company with its UK base in Shoreditch. The first talk was titled “Where do Entrepreneurial ideas come from?”, and was held at the Unruly HQ, just off Brick Lane, on the evening of Wednesday 16th September. I attended, along with two of my fellow NEF’ers Sam and Dhru, and was quickly impressed with the venue! The Unruly offices are real nice and the loft/top floor conversion which they utilise for their talks and presentations is an awesome venue, a cool roofspace with exposed brick and steel framework. Anyway, the talk itself was interesting. Delivered by a panel including professors from the City University, some experienced entrepreneurs and Russell Hall, co-founder of the HailO cab app. Their insight and the ensuing discussion on the subject of where ideas come from was great food for thought. While I thought the session wasn’t quite as engaging or valuable as an NEF workshop, I still think it’s great to attend any event like this and immerse myself in the Entrepreneurial scene at any opportunity. At the very least it’s always brilliant and thought provoking to hear other people’s stories and thoughts on a subject. Even if their thoughts simply align with my own and don’t offer anything particularly ground-breaking; it’s reassuring and empowering to be around like minded people.

The very next day I happened upon another great opportunity to get involved in a talk, this time at work!

Last week was the TalkTalk Learn At Work Week (LAWW) and while I’d been aware of a number of different events and talks planned for the office, I hadn’t expected to be available to attend any. As it happened I was on my way to ‘borrow’ some cutlery from the canteen at lunch when I spotted a group of people preparing for the next talk, due to start after lunch. One woman caught me looking over and asked if I’d be attending, after a few words I quickly got roped in and was more than happy to agree to attend. I turned up 15minutes later and in time for the start and found that the woman I’d spoken to was infact the lead speaker, Tiffany St James. Her talk was entitled “How Social Media can help you manage and progress your career”. Sweet, they must have prepared this one just for the budding entrepreneur! I took my seat and quickly got involved.

It turns out, for those that don’t already know, that Tiffany St James was actually the previous Head of Social Media for the Government, she now offers her services and talks to a number of individuals and organisations, and as I quickly found out – she knows her stuff! What a great talk to happen upon by chance! Tiffany gave a very balanced talk on both the great benefits of social media, and the pitfalls that can accompany its misuse or misunderstanding. She highlighted a few quite funny cases where large corporations have ‘cocked-it-up’ for want of a better word, and landed themselves in sticky situations through ill-informed or rash broadcasts across social media. Two web based products Tiffany mentioned which I’ll be going away to pursue are “Klout Score”, and “HootSuite”. While I’ve already heard of HootSuite, it’s basically a tool for aggregating and managing multiple Twitter streams and or accounts, I’d not previously heard of Klout Score. Apparently it’s an online tool which will look at all your social media outlets and provide you with a score on your social media presence, pretty cool, I’ll have to give that one a whirl!

Next up – the first NEF Speaker Event of the 2013-14 calendar, closely followed by the next NEF learning event (a 2-day workshop on ‘Problem Identification’), and then in a few weeks, the Shell LiveWire Conference 2013, should be good fun!