#Croydon #TechCity: The 2013 Launch – review


By - Monday 28th January, 2013

WOW.

One hundred and eighty people, three film crews, livestreaming across multiple sites – all happening in Croydon’s hottest space, Matthews Yard!

Last Thursday saw the biggest Croydon Tech City event to-date and anticipation was high as the masses congregated for what was the culmination of three months of public consultations, media appearances, and much shameless promotion to spread the word about the ‘Silicon Valley of South London’.

Jonny Rose (Founder, Croydon Tech City) – CTC: Who, Why, What?

Jonny Rose (Founder, Croydon Tech City)
Picture: paulclarke.com

The past three months have been an absolute rollercoaster for me. When I first wrote my magnum opus – ‘Croydon – The Second TechCity‘ – late one night in early August, I had no idea that it would actually catch the borough mood and resonate so deeply with other Croydonians.

Thursday night was a tremendous validation that Croydon Tech City is something Croydon wants – nay, needs - and there is a clear mandate from the people to pursue it.

Most remarkably, it has become clear that as well as being a 200-strong community of venture capitalists, software developers and entrepreneurs, Croydon Tech City is slowly but surely morphing into an organisation. With the help of my founding team, Croydon Tech City is starting to build a series of partnerships with the likes of DotMailer PLC, and has recruited a series of tech, business and financial specialists – including Gordon Bryden of Bryden & Partners, the borough’s largest accountancy firm – to aid the cause.

Croydon Tech City has ambitions to become an organisation and community that radically change Croydon economically, socially, and culturally, for the better and for decades to come, and as I continue to steer the HMS Croydon Tech City throughout 2013, expect to see more partners, more startups and more #WINNING.

Thursday night was a decisive first step to that end.

Benjamin Southworth (Deputy CEO, TC Investment Organisation)

Benjamin Southworth (Deputy CEO, TC Investment Organisation) Picture: paulclarke.com

Benjamin is a well-respected and long-standing member of East London’s and Cambridge’s startup ecosystems, and has coached, mentored, and launched a series of startups and startup events over the past few years. Last year, he was chosen to take up the Deputy CEO role at the Tech City Investment Organisation – where he works alongside Joanna Shields, previously Vice President and Managing Director at Facebook, EMEA.

For a man who has oversight over millions of pounds, Benjamin was refreshingly candid and exuberant. His speech was part-pep talk, part-warcry and a righteous exhortation to the audience for community participation, British industry, and self-belief.

Don’t wait for someone else to enable you, just do it yourself – Apple, IBM, Dyson… They all started off as one person having an idea

Startup ecosystems like Croydon Tech City are a conduit for local communities to regain their cultural mojo and for individuals to regain their autonomy. Benjamin spoke openly about how learning to code provided him with an agency and self-determination that he didn’t get from school.

If you need a developer and can’t find one – learn yourself. You can do it in 3 months and every resource is free and online

The exhortation was clear; initiatives like Croydon Tech City can change not just the community, but the world. However, it needs everyone to play their part.

Nigel Dias (Head of Investment and Advice, Croydon Tech City)

Nigel Dias (CTC, Head of Investment and Advice)
Photo: paulclarke.com

As I’ve spent the last three months proclaiming the gospel of Croydon Tech City, Nigel has been instrumental in developing the much-needed structure and planning to make the vision a reality.

His oversight as ‘Head of Investment and Advice’ has seen him power the partnerships and strategy behind Croydon Tech City – both as an organisation and as a community.  Most notably, Nigel has devised the Croydon Tech City maturity model (detailed below) that we are using to see how we can encourage and foster technical startups in the borough, in 2013, and beyond.

In Croydon and have an idea or a tech startup? Please email: jonathan.rose@croydontechcity.com

Nigel unveiled the Croydon Tech City programme for the next six months (dates to be finalised) as well the intention to have workshops, think-tanks, networking groups, and various advisory groups, between the monthly meetings.

  • February: Tech Presentations // Education Special
  • March: Tech Presentations // Tech Panel
  • April: Tech Presentations // Business Panel
  • May: Tech Presentations // Finance Panel
  • June: Series End – To be announced

The next Croydon Tech City event is Thursday, February 21st and is a ‘Schools Edition’ aimed towards teachers, headteachers, governors, and pupils – as well as the usual CTC crowd. It will feature talks from Code Club, Croydon’s young developers, and tech entrepreneurs. ALL ARE WELCOME.

To attend, please go here.

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 and organising Purley Breakfast Club, and was ranked "Croydon's 37th most powerful person" by the Croydon Advertiser (much to his amusement). He is the Head of Content at marketing technology company Idio, the founder of the Croydon Tech City movement, a LinkedIn coach, and creator of Croydon's first fashion label, Croydon Vs The World. Working on Instagram training and a Linkedin lead generation service. Views are his own, but it would be best for all concerned if you shared them. Please send your fanmail to: jonnyrose1 (at) gmail (dot) com

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