Looking Back

I’ve really neglected this blog. It’s been nearly a year since my last entry so it seems like as good a time as any to look back on what I’ve been up to.

I’ve really neglected this blog. It’s been nearly a year since my last entry so it seems like as good a time as any to look back on what I’ve been up to.

Last summer I took part in one of the National Council of Graduate Entrepreneurship’s Flying Start programmes at the University of Reading. I learnt loads of great things about the nuts ‘n’ bolts of business but, more importantly, met some fantastic people which I have continued to work with since.

First Contract
Selling my wares for the first time last July was unforgettable. Before I did it I somehow couldn’t believe that someone would be happy to pay me more that £15 for an hours work.

d.construct 2006
Although I’d lived, studied and worked in Brighton for 6 years d.construct 2006 was my first introduction to the incredible community of web technologists in Brighton.

Business really is all about who you know rather than what you know. I’ve been to more networking events than I can remember, some to meet like minded geeks/engineers others to meet the broad spectrum of people in small and medium sized businesses. Some of the events I’ve been to include: Beermat Monday, Ecademy, Pizza On Rails, Chinwag Big Summer ‘07 and the London Mixer.

First Large Contract
Inuda Innovations secured it’s first (relatively) large software development contract in October. We developed a collaborative system to assist some of the back end processes for the British National Formally, a part of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.

IET Younger Members Committee
I joined the Younger Members Committee for the Institution of Engineering and Technology in Sussex. It’s been extremely insightful to have regular contact with engineers that are mostly based in large organisations. I think there is a huge amount of potential for more collaboration between the IET and the small business / start up community.

ESRC Enterprisers
In January I returned to the Enterprisers programme for the fourth time. The University of Cambridge’s Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning again invited me back in the role of facilitator. This time we ran a four day intensive entrepreneurial development programme at the University of Durham. The 64 participants included a wide range of ESRC funded Phd students working alongside Microsoft Research and American Express employees.

Taking on Inters
 I conducted my first set of interviews to take on two student interns via the Shell Step programme. It was very different experience being on the other side of the table but we managed to find two exceptional University of Sussex students.

I had my first experience of an unconference in February. BarCampLondon2 was a gathering of geeks like none I’d experienced before. I came away from it having learnt far more than I have at any other 2 day conference. As well as this I met far more, highly talented and sociable engineers than I have at any other event.

Future of Web Apps
I attended the extremely well positioned Future of Web Apps conference for the second time and was particularly glad to be involved in a lunchtime debate about the start-up scene in the UK.

Sussex Innovation Centre
In March Inuda Innovations moved into offices at the Sussex Innovation Centre after being a virtual tenant for about 4 months. It was fantastic to get some good value space away from home and a bonus to be back on the University of Sussex’s wonderful campus in the South Downs.

Collaboration on Art 2.0 Start Up
Inuda Innovations started a collaboration to develop a web application that would provide a more social experience to people visiting art exhibitions and museums.

Healthcare Web 2.0 Start Up
Inuda Innovations started work with an angel funded start-up to develop a web based collaboration platform for for doctors.

IET Egg Race
I assisted with the organisation of the annual IET sponsored Egg Race. This was a challenge that brought A Level students from across Brighton and Sussex to the University of Brighton. With just a few electro-mechanical components the students had to build a device that would safely transport an egg to a specific location. It was great to see young people continuing to be passionate about engineering and technology, despite the skills shortage doom and gloom we hear in the press.

The Brighton Geek Scene
I discovered the Brighton ‘geek scene’, now excellently covered at Sussex Digital, events I’ve been to include the Brighton Ruby Users Group, the £5 App Meet, the Geek Wine Thing, the Coding Dojo and the Brighton Farm.

Enterprise Thursday
I spoke at the final Enterprise Thursday of the year at the University of Sussex. Following on from Sean Phelan, Sussex graduate and Multimap Founder, I gave the perspective of a more recent graduate exploring, delivering and enjoying technology and business development.

The Inuda Network
Inuda Innovations launched the Inuda Network and built up a community of over 100 people passionate about making a difference through technology innovation. The aim of the network is to connect up a range of resources and activities to help more people learn about business and technology, build great things and enjoy the experience.

Microsoft Enterprisers
In May I again facilitated on the University of Cambridge’s Enterprisers programme. This time it was exclusively for 32 employees from Microsoft and we ran it in a commercial setting away from universities. It was a very different experience than previous versions of the programme but early indications are showing it was just as successful, with a host of enterprising projects already in the pipeline.

Higher Education Entrepreneurship Group
In June I was invited to speak at the SEEDA funded Higher Education Entrepreneurship Group (HEEG) conference at the University of Reading. I gave a student/graduate perspective on the teaching of enterprise and entrepreneurship at universities, highlighting areas that had been particularly useful to me.

Make Your Mark Connectors
Being involved in such a wide range of networking and connecting over the past couple of years I was invited by Enterprise Insight to become a Make Your Mark Connector. They are creating a network of networks that can support one another and ultimately continue to effectively spread the spirit of enterprise.

The Inuda Network teamed up with Ian Ozsvald, the co-founder of ShowMeDo.com to put on a new regular event in Sussex for people interested in conversations about business and technology. OpenCoffeeSussex was inspired by the OpenCoffee Movement but was particularly aimed at getting the companies based at the Sussex Innovation Centre to communicate more. The result is that we’ve had a wide range of business people, academics and developers from across the region join us.

Shell Step Midterm
Having taken part in the Shell Step programme 5 years ago and now running a business with interns of its own, I was asked to share my experience with this year’s participants at their halfway point. It was really impressive to hear about the projects they were all working on and how similar an experience they are having to my own. They are definitely the ones to watch amongst today’s undergraduate population.

1 Year of being an MD
July saw Inuda Innovations first birthday. In our 'One Year On' blog post we talk about it being our year of exploration… it certainly has been.

Coming up
It’s going to be a busy month ahead, I can’t even imagine what I might be looking back on in a year’s time. Here is just a snapshot of the things I’m planning on doing: