Category Archives: Launch22

Social Media Meetup – Thursday 19th April 2018

Recently I attended Social Media Meetup, which was held at Launch22 in Liverpool. This was organised by Mark Russell of bmicro, and featured knowledgeable speakers in Peter Buglass of Objective Comment Consultancy and Edward Ridding of Umami.

I had never been to this event before, although others in my network had recommended it, through word-of-mouth on LinkedIn. Therefore as a blogger, I decided to attend the event, and see what I could learn. It was certainly worth the investment of my time and energy.

The event featured a brief talk from both Peter and Edward, who shared their professional experiences of using social media, as part of their businesses. Peter and Edward also gave their views on the recent announcement of JD Wetherspoons, closing down their social media accounts, and allowed the audience to contribute to the discussion.

From this, the discussion opened up a wide range of opinions, leading to other relevant issues surrounding social media. These included how organisations collect and use personal data, to provide personalised communications to their customers. A typical example is Amazon using data collected on customers, to send personalised ssm2_290418recommendations, based on browsing and shopping habits.

In addition, the event allowed the audience to ask each other questions, and discuss how to improve their online platforms. This was a good opportunity for me, to tap into the experience of the speakers and audience, who gave me some useful advice and pointers.

There was a real community feel to the event, as the audience was a diverse mix of professionals from different backgrounds, including entrepreneurs, digital marketers and bloggers. The bloggers I met included Jo Fitzimons who not only has a travel blog called Indiana Jo, but also a prosecco themed-blog called Visit Prosecco Italy. Another blogger I also met and was impressed by was Aditi Chawla, of Try New Today. Being surrounded by like-minded people, and a friendly dog called Buttons was very relaxing and pleasant, making this one of the nicest events I have ever attended, and one that I recommend to anyone.

If you have ever been to Launch22’s offices in Liverpool, I guarantee that it offers something completely different (in the words of Monty Python). As a co-working space, Launch22 has a quirkiness andssm1_290418 homely environment allowing for entrepreneurs and creative-minded people to launch their dreams. Such homeliness was evident, when I noticed a huge teddy bear in the office.

To conclude, I would like to personally thank Mark, Peter and Edward, and everyone at Launch22 for putting together an evening, rich in learning, delightful conversation, and for the popcorn.

I shall certainly be looking forward, to attending another event in the near future!

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.

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.

Launch22 Liverpool Launch Networking Party – 1st October 2015

Last Thursday, I attended the official launch party of Launch22 in Liverpool. Originating in London, Launch22 is a joint venture between Launchpad Labs and Catch22, which is a social business charity that provides services to support those from disadvantaged backgrounds. You can find more information about Catch22 here.

My experience of the launch party reminded me of the positive vibes and enthusiasm, that is firing the growing number of start-up businesses in Liverpool. Through my eyes, I witnessed a sense of pride, passion and boundless determination so emotionally overwhelming, that I looked on with admiration.

When I arrived at the refurbished Tempest Building on Tithebarn Street, I thought I knew what to expect. Yet, once I arrived, the creative layout and atmosphere inside Launch22’s premises blew away my preconceptions. I caught the sight of entrepreneurs working in an informal and relaxed Branson-like environment, surrounded by table tennis and table football. And instead of a hammock, there was a swing mounted to the ceiling, which was all unique and brilliant to see! The workplace of the future perhaps?

The launch party itself was a really lovely occasion, with an interesting mix of guests. These included entrepreneurs, mentors, local councillors and professionals (including me) from different industry sectors. As the party had an Oktoberfest theme, with the usual mix of drinks and networking, there were also pretzels and a barbecue held in the Tempest’s rooftop garden. This meant, everyone was served Bratwurst and Sauerkraut hot dogs, under the disappearing Mersey sunset, with live music adding to the party atmosphere. It was a different type of networking event, and I enjoyed every moment of it.

Encouraging and nurturing start-up businesses are important to the UK economy. Through offering incubator services such as workplace, finance and mentor support, Launch22 encourages this by helping people realise their entrepreneurial dreams, regardless of background and socio-economic situation. This is very heartening to see, and it is also a massive vote of confidence in Liverpool, as a city to do business in.

To conclude, I would like to thank Launch22 for coming to Liverpool, realising the potential the city offers, and also for putting on an excellent launch party. I wish them all the very best, and I support their noble endeavours wholeheartedly.

You can find more information on Launch22 and the services they provide here.