#Croydon #TechCity: Tech Panel – March Review

By - Wednesday 27th March, 2013

After the success of February’s Croydon Tech City: Schools Edition, which signalled the beginning of a borough-wide project to get Code Clubs into Croydon’s Primary Schools, the Croydon Tech City team was keen to keep the momentum going with a session dedicated to the nitty-gritty of creating a tech product.

Andrew Brackin – “Building, failing and scaling a startup”

Andrew Brackin is a flamboyant 18 year old dynamo from Warlingham who has just finished at the BRIT School and is already onto his third tech startup.

Brackin’s route to internet millions started at the tender age of fifteen when he created an internet radio station from thirty songs played on repeat from his computer, with him doing voice-overs. Although streaming artists’ songs was illegal, listeners grew to several hundred and after a year, Brackin had recruited ten volunteers and the site was broadcasting 24/7 (with a greater variety of songs). Although not quite the money-spinner he’d hoped, the site pottered along funded by donations from listeners.

“When 15 year old Andrew Brackin received an angry letter from BT saying he had used 2 terabytes of data, he decided to call it a day on his first venture”

Next came GetDealy – a now-defunct deal aggregation site – which collected various daily deals and offers from around the web and presented them all on one site. Within six months, Brackin and his team had gained 100,000 subscribers to the service and built partnerships with the likes of Smashing Mag.

Now, Brackin has travelled the world doing speaking engagements and won various young entrepreneur competitions. The world of tech entrepreneurship is proving to be much more exciting and rewarding than a typical life of college work, and consequently Brackin is forgoing university to pursue riches through his latest venture, Bunchy – a social giving platform.

Andrew Brackin is living proof of the Croydon Tech City ethos that we live in an era in which the barriers to starting your own company have never been lower and anyone can build a business with limited capital. Age is no longer an issue, and neither is ability.

A video of Andrew’s talk can be seen here.

DEMO: David Lee – Smart Dresser

38 year old West Croydon resident David Lee is an airport engineer who has inadvertently stumbled upon the world of tech startups.

After seeing an online competition that offered to build the winner’s app idea and split the profit, Lee came up with the idea of Smart Dresser, which came to him one day whilst he was looking at a mannequin in a shop at his airport workplace.

Smart Dresser is a virtual changing room app which allows people to take photos of themselves and then overlay clothes to see what they look like in it. For example:

Currently, Lee is in a quandary with regards to ‘routes to market’; SmartDresser can either be a consumer play – which allows individuals to see what they would look like in certain clothes – OR a licensed and ‘white-labelled’ platform for clothes retailers who could then upload stock and use it to display to customers.

Impressively, Lee already has a fashion retailer in Australia using SmartDresser but there is much room for improvement closer to home as he looks to Croydon Tech City to find the resources to improve marketing, increase sales, and develop the product further.

A video of David’s talk can be seen here.

The Tech Panel

One of key remits of Croydon Tech City is to “provide advice and support for digital and tech start-ups in the borough”. One of the ways we have done this is by developing a strong team of local software entrepreneurs who either own or are senior partners in highly successful software companies.

Croydon Tech City’s tech experts include Paul Barnett, Richard Green, David Wilson, Simon Bird and Rob Wood – all of whom were on Thursday night’s panel fielding questions about developing tech products and starting a tech business from the Croydon Tech City audience.

As of March, each of our tech experts hold monthly ‘tech surgeries’ free of charge to anyone – whatever their ability or knowledge – who needs advice about starting or developing a tech idea.

Please with me if you would like to attend a ‘tech surgery’ with one of our experts in April.

The next Croydon Tech City is April 25th. To attend, sign-up here NOW: https://www.facebook.com/events/262403110561827/

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 owns a lead generation company. 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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