#Croydon #TechCity: The Second Meeting


By - Monday 26th November, 2012

It’s time to get this party started. And by party, I mean ‘great environment for startups’


Editor's Note - Video Coming Soon

Check the Citizen again soon for our video coverage of this event.

On Thursday 22nd November, fifty rain-sodden people crowded into the Matthews Yard workspace to learn about the exciting world of software business, tech ecosystems, startup culture, and – most importantly – how it could affect Croydon for the better.

The word had clearly spread about Croydon Tech City and the young, the old, the unemployed, the high fliers, the politicos, the journos – whole families – that came streaming in were a real validation that Croydon Tech City is truly inclusive enough to reach many different interests and needs.

For me, it’s always been key that Croydon Tech City is a movement where – to quote the great John Wimber - “Everyone gets to play”.

As far as I could tell, the crowd did not leave disappointed.

MAIN TALK: Why Croydon should be the Second Tech City

The evening opened with an abridged version of my case for ‘Why Croydon should be the Second Tech City’.

I’ve already written extensively on the topic here, here, and here. If you want to understand what Croydon Tech City is all about, please do read those articles.

Anthony Kwilleen – CTC, Head of Developer Relations

Croydon Creatives is a community of software developers who meet monthly in The Spread Eagle Pub on the last Wednesday of the month.

The group has been going for over a year, has about forty members, and incredibly Croydon Creatives draws attendees from all around London and beyond – the farthest once coming from Devon!

The great thing about Anthony’s vision was not only his plans to grow the group and put on incredible events that would draw people to Croydon, but also how Croydon Creatives intend to use their talents to help local charities, train the unemployed, and teach coding in primary schools through Code Club.

Nigel Dias – CTC, Head of Investment Advice

Nigel Dias is everything you’d expect from a man who will be respectfully fondling Croydon Tech City’s economy: cool, calm, collected, with an excellent taste in both spectacles and bespoke suits.

Nigel will be using his considerable experience in business (both in the City and Croydon) to advise start-ups on funding, securing investment and business planning; creating a supportive environment for Croydon Tech City to flourish.

DEMO: Famberry

Steve Bardouille is a Purley-based startup founder who has created Famberry – a private social network for families.

The site is currently in ‘beta’ mode with over 1,000 users. Famberry will be launched to the public in early 2013.

The audience feedback was immense. It was tremendous to see how enthused the crowd were – both the techies and non-techies – asking questions, sharing suggestions, and really showing support for Steve and his product.

Steve has long shared ideas with me about putting on dedicated Croydon Tech City events where people can pitch ideas, learn to present, and have their ideas refined by audience feedback.

Pending no problems from BBC lawyers – expect some Croydon Tech City Dragon’s Den-esque events for entrepreneurs and wannabe entrepreneurs in the future.

James Naylor – Strategic Editor, The Croydon Citizen

The evening culminated with a brief walkthrough of Croydon’s new online newspaper ‘The Croydon Citizen

The Croydon Citizen is the brainchild of James Naylor (owner of Croydon Tours) and in its own words is “a new online newspaper for minds that are looking to be challenged, educated and entertained”.

You are reading it right now (in case you didn’t realise why you feel so challenged, educated and entertained at this very moment).

NEXT MEETING Thursday December 20th 7.30pm

Next month, Simon Bird (CTO, DotMailer) will be speaking on how he built a world-class software business from his parent’s Selsdon dining room and explaining how other local entrepreneurs could follow in his footsteps.

Nigel Dias (Head of Investor Relations, CTC) will be explaining his role in further detail and discussing funding options for local early-stage startups.

As well as that, expect more demos!

N.B. If you are a Croydon-er who would like to demo your app or software at the December event – please email me jonnyrose1 [at] gmail [dot] com

Croydon Tech City FTW

Jonny Rose

Jonny Rose

Jonny Rose is a committed Christian who has lived in the Croydon area for nearly twenty years. He is an active participant in his local community; serving at Grace Vineyard Church, organising Purley Breakfast Club (Cafe Nino, Purley - last Saturday of each month) and patronising Purley’s KFC on a near-daily basis. He currently works as 'Product Evangelist' for software company, Idio, and is the founder of the Croydon Tech City movement.

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