How #Croydon #TechCity inspired Denmark’s startup scene


By - Thursday 8th August, 2013

When former Crystal Palace resident Neil Murray left Croydon for Denmark, little did he know that the borough’s tech startup scene would continue to impact him abroad…

 


Progress

Six months ago I was an attendee at the inaugural Croydon Tech City event.

There were a number of reasons why I attended, but the real reason that I came that night was because I wanted to see what this grand idea was, and to understand if it could ever become a reality.

Half a year down the line, I am delighted to see the progress that has been made, real progress, where action has dominated words, which even in the startup world can sometimes be a rarity.

My only regret is that despite attending the first meeting, I have been unable to play an active role in it, as a couple of weeks after the meeting I upped sticks and moved from Crystal Palace to Copenhagen(!!)

Copenhagen

After reading the recent article giving a recap of the journey and achievements of Croydon Tech City, I realised that, despite having only attended that first meeting, I had taken some of that inspiration and can-do attitude that was so prevalent in the room that day with me in my new City.

When I arrived in Copenhagen, I knew no-one and knew nothing about the tech startup scene here. I didn’t know where to find like-minded people or where to work from. I thought about Croydon and how this must have been how people felt there before that first Croydon Tech City meeting.

Six months later, I am an active member of the Copenhagen startup community, run a weekly drinks social event (the first international expansion of Silicon Drinkabout), have set up an online platform for the entrepreneurs and startups of Copenhagen to collaborate on, and have even arranged for Brad Feld to hold a Skype call for Copenhagen entrepreneurs on the importance and power of community.

One of the reasons I have implemented these initiatives is because I believe that events play an important part in gelling the community and ecosystem together, and the recent announcement from Croydon Tech City regarding a calendar of regular events is a natural continuation of the great work that has already been done, and these events will provide a place that people will know if they attend they will meet like-minded people and be provided with a relaxed yet inspiring environment. The importance of them being weekly should also not be underestimated; yes, the same people will not come every week (although some might), but people will know that if they do want to go and mingle there will be a place where they can do so.

In many ways, my own personal journey in Copenhagen mirrors that of Croydon Tech  City and a lot of that is down to the positive and community-driven attitude that surrounded me as I sat in Matthews Yard six months ago, and I believe that some of that spirit is still with me now as I strive to keep improving the Copenhagen startup community.

In terms of how Croydon can get plugged in with the startup ecosystem in Copenhagen and other European cities, there is a very real opportunity to be capitalised on. For most European countries, the natural expansion is to go for the UK market after they have achieved traction in their own country. I know first hand that there are many Danish startups who are looking to crack the UK market, and by doing so may need a UK base, and there is absolutely no reason why Croydon should not be the home of those looking to join the startup scene in the UK. Half the battle is to shout about what you are doing in Croydon and to continue building your reputation both nationally and internationally and luckily that is something that Croydon seems to be good at.

Congratulations

I remember asking Jonny Rose why the hashtags for Twitter were #Croydon #TechCity and not #CroydonTechCity and he replied saying, “that way we will pick up all the people talking about London Tech City as well, and they will hear about us too and know we exist”

Well, people certainly know Croydon Tech City exists now; congratulations on your first six months, and long may action dominate words.


Currently enjoying a summer recess, Croydon Tech City’s ‘main event’ will be reconvening on Thursday September 19th at 7:30pm at Matthews Yard. To attend, please sign up here or .

For all other enquiries about Croydon Tech City, please .

Neil Murray

Neil Murray

Neil Murray is the founder of sussd.it, which challenges traditional sales behaviours and incentives to bring them more in line with the the cultures of the companies we are building today. He is also the founder of joiningupthedots.com a blog which features stories from startup communities from all around the world. You can follow Neil on Twitter at @neilswmurray

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