Category Archives: Knowledge Transfer Network

KTN Entrepreneur’s Forum – Driving Growth through Business Model Innovation

As times change, businesses need to adapt and innovate constantly. With technology driving changes, this means that innovation is required for businesses and organisations, to drive growth and develop organically.

Last Wednesday, I attended an interesting Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) Entrepreneur’s forum, held at Launch22, on this very subject. Although I am not a business owner or entrepreneur, I believe the principles of adopting innovation is just as necessary for personal development, in order to become more productive.

As with previous events, there was the usual opportunities for networking and nibbles (in this case giant pizzas!), before listening to three excellent speakers. These speakers were Ian Tracey from KTN, Mark Russell from Bmicro, and Peter Lang from Giggle Software. Each speaker talked about different aspects to consider when innovating your business. These ranged from starting off your business, doing something you enjoy that will also earn you money, as well as ensuring your business is nimble enough to adapt and change quickly. Listening to all three was a real pleasure, as each talked in good informative detail that was understandable and jargon-free, allowing me to understand easily.

I was particularly taken with Peter’s story. Listening to him talk about starting up Giggle Software to develop video games, resulting from his passion for drawing and illustrating from a young age, was a delight to listen to. Seeing such enthusiasm is what makes attending these events so worthwhile to me. You can have find out more about Peter’s work here.

Other useful points mentioned included the following:

  1. Be careful on how many freebies you give away.
  2. Have the confidence to ask for money for your product.
  3. Excellent customer service is paramount, as you need to stand out from others, for the right reasons.
  4. You are not just selling a product, but the experience you provide.
  5. Be selective with the information that you share, as others can steal your ideas.
  6. Important to collaborate and meet with others.
  7. Look at what the competition are doing.
  8. Collect feedback on your business and act on it!

Following the talk, there were opportunities for further discussion between attendees. This was my favourite part of the evening, as it allowed me to listen, contribute and learn from others. The discussions along with the excellent talks given by the speakers, made for a quality event, and as I left afterwards, I thought about what I had learned from the evening, regarding innovating business models, in order to change, adapt and grow.

In conclusion, I would like to thank Ian, Mark and Peter for giving a very informative and interesting talk. In addition, my thanks also go to Laura Thomas and Celina Ploskonka of Freshly Squeezed, as well as KTN and Launch22, for a successful forum.

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Liverpool as a Smart City – Wednesday 27th January 2016

What is a smart city?

A smart city is described as one that makes clever and efficient use of technology. This is to create a sustainable high quality of social and economic life, by scoring highly in key performance areas including local transport, housing, regeneration and public health.

Liverpool’s digital economy brings many possibilities to become smarter, by using new technologies and innovations to grow and prosper. In the last year, the city’s digital technology sector has grown to become one of the fastest growing UK digital hubs.

For Liverpool to become a smart city, that utilises innovation to enhance the lives of local residents and businesses, the city needs to be technologically ready. Last Wednesday, I attended an excellent peer-to-peer networking event at Launch22, hosted by Knowledge Transfer Network and Freshly Squeezed Events. The purpose of the event was to learn about Liverpool’s digital readiness and smart economy, from three excellent speakers. These speakers were James Noakes from Liverpool City Council and Mayoral Lead for Energy and Smart City, whilst the other two speakers were Katie Crozier and Joanne Morfee from Liverpool Vision.

Listening to each speaker was fascinating. This was because I was very keen to hear how Liverpool’s growing digital sector is helping the city become a great 20160127_184803place to live and work in. In addition, I was also keen to hear what more can be done to make Liverpool digitally smarter. Some examples include using technology to deliver smarter services to communities by engaging with people, investing in new digital infrastructure (e.g. higher broadband speeds). Other examples included project collaboration between universities and hosting high profile events such as the International Festival of Business 2016 and the Wireless Global Congress 2016.

I also learned from the event about the growth of Liverpool’s digital sector. Listening to some of the facts given by Katie and Joanne were amazing, as whilst I have heard about Liverpool’s digital renaissance, I had misjudged how big it has grown.

Some of the incredible facts that I learnt about Liverpool’s digital growth included.

  • 20,000 people are employed in digital sector jobs in the Liverpool City Region.
  • This accounts for 6% of employment in Liverpool with 7,500 jobs created since 2010, with another 2,000 expected in the next five years.
  • Developing clusters of digital businesses are emerging across the city, in areas such as the Baltic Triangle, Ropewalks, Liverpool Innovation & Science Parks, and through incubator networks such as Launch22 and Daresbury.
  • Creative hubs and community networks are forming, such as coding clubs like this in Liverpool Central Library.
  • Future possibilities of film & TV production with a new £25m studio on Edge Lane is in the pipeline.
  • The success of the It’s Liverpool app has had over 7,000 downloads.20160127_190321

Reflecting on the event, I am proud of how far Liverpool’s digital economy has grown over the last few years. At the same time, there is plenty more that still needs to be done, to ensure that Liverpool becomes a smarter and technologically savvy city. However I believe the city’s digital economy will only get even better, and they should look proudly forward into the future with confidence.

To conclude, I would like to thank James, Katie and Joanne for giving an excellent and interesting talk. I would also like to thank Knowledge Transfer Network and Freshly Squeezed for organising the event and to Launch 22 for being such excellent hosts.