Back From Busy Week in London
(first three pics: Google Developer Day; Seedcamp OpenCoffee; Christian Geissendoerfer and Thomas Schindler, the founders of French Seedcamp startup YOOSE, at the TechCrunch TechTalk, an event that BuzzPal – The World Is Your Party! co-sponsored)
Here’s what we (BuzzPal & me) did in London during Seedcamp week (Sept. 14-20). After that are more pics.
- Sunday: Arrive from Gothenburg and take the Tube to a friend’s apartment in Notting Hill. Steve hosted me for the whole week (on his pull-out sofa bed). I could not have done this trip without him. Thanks, Steve. After dropping of my bag, and a bottle of vintage Champagne I brought, we went out for some pints and burgers, then back home for a good night sleep.
- Monday: Work on a short BuzzPal summary doc and a few slides. Purchase UK power adapter and UK SIM card (great deal at The Carphone Warehouse was a TalkMobile World SIM). Walk around Notting Hill and Kensington Gardens. Afternoon pints with Andrew, a classmate from Georgetown. Dinner with Steve and his super nice girlfriend, Stephanie. We had some great Thai food (and pints, of course). After that was The Champion pub, where a troubadour was playing (pics below).
- Tuesday: Google Developer Day at Wembley Stadium: Wow, Google really knows how to throw an event! Cool venue, great people (from the organizers and presenters to the staff and attendees), and interesting topics. The snacks, break rooms, and lunch are a whole topic of their own. Absolutely amazing. I attended the keynote, saw the worldwide first-ever Android device unveiling, a GAE presentation, Gears, and Web Toolkit. Had a great lunch with Aidan, then had to hustle back to Notting Hll for a meeting (over pints, of course) with the founder of one of the UK’s largest and fastest growing dating websites (has big deals with big names). We cut a deal for a side project of mine (more on that later, it’s part of the BuzzPal brand and network under development). After that was the official Seedcamp wine tasting event, sponsored by Zemanta, whom I first met in Copenhagen (hi Jure!), at Reboot, and Heller Ehrman, the official Seedcamp law firm (also BuzzPal’s UK law firm). Met a bunch of mentors, advisers, founders, teams, and old friends, such as Dragos and Vladimir of UberVU, whom I first met in Amsterdam, at The Next Web Conference and Barcamp. BTW, they are one of the Seedcamp “winners,” congrats guys, and congrats to all people who participated in any way!
- Wednesday: The day before BuzzPal’s “big day.” Finished the BuzzPal summary, slides, and poster, then printed in color at The Printhouse in Notting Hill (great guys, there). I also put the slides on memory stick in case Mike Butcher or anyone else put me on the spot and said “go.” Had amazing Pakistani dinner with Katerina (Russia), Manu (India), Valentina (Crotia), Steve (USA), and Stephanie (France) at Lahore Kebab House (near Algate East). Pics below. Everybody is in the hedge fund and asset management business except Katerina, who is in healthcare. Amazing food and lots of fun talk and analysis. Wild stuff. And it ain’t over. Readers of my personal blog know I am a trader and follow these things closely (my most recent post covering the market is here).
- Thursday: The “big day.” Started with OpenCoffee at Seedcamp, where I met and talked with dozens of interesting people, including Ville Vesterinen, who interviewed me on video for his blog, ArcticStartup.com [UPDATE: That video seems to be down, so see it YouTube]. After that, Henri, a journalist and new friend, and I headed over to the TechCrunch TechTalk venue, where we met Petra Johansson (TwistedTree Limited), Rassami Hök Ljungberg, and Mike Butcher, who were running the event, which was the first-ever TechCrunchTalk. It was a smashing success in all respects. BuzzPal and I were co-sponsors. Christian Geissendoerfer and Thomas Schindler, founders YOOSE, soon arrived and setup the demo table I hooked them up with (they were bold). It was a great event, which you can read about, and see on video (see links, below). After the TechTalk, was the awesome Seedcamp/TechCrunch party (pics below and here on TechCrunch UK). After that, Alfie Dennen, Anders Fredriksson, Kosso, Mike Butcher, Rune Sovndahl, Ryan Carson, myself, and some others went partying in Fulham until after 4:00 AM (pics below).
- Friday: This was a recovery day. I was supposed to go to a social media coffee, but was tired after Thursday’s events and decided to sleep a little late, relax, and then sit in the sun for a 2-hour, 2-pint (and “real” food) lunch with a couple of old business school buddies, Andrew and Greg. We were at a great place called Ladbroke Arms Free House (pics below). Was supposed to go to a birthday party that night, but was too tired, so took it easy and did a BBQ with Greg, then watched a movie. Ah.
- Saturday: Up at 6:20 AM and off to LHR to jet back to Gothenburg. Back early afternoon. Wow, what a trip!
Well, lots of other great stuff went on, but that’s a good summery. BuzzPal and I made a lot of great friends and contacts, met most/all of the Seedcamp startups, lots of other startup community members, founders, bloggers, etc.
I especially want to call out all the startup founders and team members I met (and the ones I didn’t get to meet this time). You guys are doing it, you are what this whole ecosystem is about. You are the creators, the artists, the hackers and painters (PG). The rest of the ecosystem is necessary, of course, but you are the ones daring to dream during the day time, struggling publicly in the arena (second half of this post), taking the risks, not diversified in some portfolio, but many of you betting it all, like I am, uncertain of how the story will end. You are truly alive, and it is f-ing awesome!
Ok, let me catch my breath and bring it back down. [He takes a deep breath, lets it out, feels his pulse and blood pressure drop — really].
Well, I don’t know what else to say, other than THANK YOU to everybody who makes it all possible, who contributes to the startup community in any way he or she can, who shares the abundance and giving philosophy that so many of us do (I was recently inspired by Ryan Carson and his viral Carsonified promo to talk about this on my personal blog). It’s just great. I tip my hat to all of you and I look forward to seeing you again soon.
In the meantime, please stay in touch and please let me know how I can help you and I will do whatever I can. Just remember to give more than you receive and pay it forward. That’s how we can and will change the world. Sorry if that sounds like idealistic crap to some of you, but it is reality to me. If you live it, it is real. Peace!
Congratulations to the Seedcamp Seven:
- Basekit, Chepstow, Wales, UK: A service for making building complex websites easy.
- Kyko, Oxford, England: A service for multi-player social gaming.
- Mobclix, San Francisco, US: Rich analytics and targeted advertising platform for the iPhone.
- Soup, Vienna, Austria: Simple way for anyone to share and publish experiences online.
- Stupeflix, Paris, France: Platform for turning photos into shareable videos in real time.
- Toksta, Berlin, Germany: IM and video chat for social networks.
- uberVU, Bucharest, Romania: Service for tracking and analyzing conversations across the web.
Link to TechCrunch UK Posts:
- Seedcamp video in full
- Pictures from TechCrunchTalk
- TechCrunchTalk video – Investment Perspectives
- TechCrunchTalk video – European Perspectives Part I
- TechCrunchTalk video – European Perspectives Part II
- TechCrunchTalk video – Startup Young Guns and Old Hands
- Seedcamp’s winners reflect Europe’s startup strength
- TechCrunchTalk event will debate startups in Europe (Sold Out!)
2008-10-1 UPDATE: Just posted a 1-minute TechCrunch/FOWA video pitch here on YouTube. Mike Butcher (who I met and partied with in London — pics below), Ryan Carson (same — pics below), Kevin Rose (met in Amsterdam — pic here), Jason Calacanis (not yet met and partied with), and Brent Hoberman (same) are going to pick three people to come up on the stage at FOWA and pitch to an “American Idol” style panel (i.e., them and the audience). That would be awesome fun (and good to help get BuzzPal off the ground).
BuzzPal’s “London” Pics:
Mike Butcher’s Pics (more of his here):
Chris’s Personal Pics, Plus More BuzzPal-Related Links and Pics:
- London post on my personal blog (include stock market talk)
- My Carsonified “Golden Ticket” post (entering his viral promo and talking my philosophy)
(Google USB Man sitting on top of BuzzPal – The World Is Your Party! poster)
(cards from some of the people I met + my Google Developer Day pass and USB man gift + the BuzzPal business plan, slide show, and poster)
(my original schedule)