Silicon Roundabout: is it all about location, location, location?


Funding Circle, Wazoku, QubitIn February 2012 David Rowan, editor of Wired magazine wrote a piece ‘How Significant is Silicon Roundabout’. The title raises some interesting questions!

A few months ago at a conference it was suggested to us that to believe Silicon Roundabout was a new land of opportunity was an illusion, borne out of an economic crisis and a government ever vigilant to an opportunity.

We asked three leading entrepreneurs what 2012 held for them and whether being located outside of ‘Silicon Roundabout’ had made any difference to business growth or respectability?

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The ‘Silicon Milkroundabout’ brand is heading to Cambridge!


In this months GQ Magazine supplement Stephen Bayley in his piece ‘RIP IT UP AND START AGAIN’ says “Very few things are certain about creativity, but a fixed point in any definition is a commitment to disruption. Plus an appetite for surprise as well as courage, energy, enthusiasm, a hardened response to criticism and an unassuagable appetite for doing it differently”.

The Milkroundabout brand is certainly doing things differently!

It is estimated that the two events thus far have saved more than £2m in recruitment fees in filling 168 posts at 133 startups. Furthermore the dynamic is spreading.

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Silicon Milkroundabout is back and bigger than ever!


silicon milkroundaboutThe ‘ecosystem’ that is Silicon Roundabout continues to thrive at a healthy pace as what is generally a narrow geographical cluster continues to attract a plethora of both entrepreneurs and startups on an almost daily basis.

The challenge and general consensus remains the difficulty in hiring ‘talent’. Feedback confirms that this is a potential hindrance to growth.

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Three more entrepreneurs explain how ‘Regret minimisation’ helped them start their business


Metail, foodity, shutl logosIn the second part of our  ‘Regret minimisation’ blog we caught up with CEO’S Johnathan Agnès of Foodity, Tom Allason of Shutl and Tom Adeyoola of Metail.

In the 1990′s Jeff Bezos hesitated before starting Amazon after a respected colleague advised him against it(see The Economist 3rd-9th March 2012). However, he applied “‘what he calls a ‘regret minimisation framework‘, imagining whether as an 80 year old looking back, he would regret the decision not to strike out on his own”.

They tell the story of what 2012 holds for them and why as 8o year olds looking back they won’t regret striking out on their own!

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How a ‘Regret minimisation framework’ may have inadvertently started three great businesses


We are always looking for a fresh and different perspective from Silicon Roundabout’s genuine game changers and disruptors. This week we caught up with six leading  entrepreneurs and asked them the same question.

You may be surprised!

In the 1990’s Jeff Bezos hesitated before starting Amazon after a respected colleague advised him against it(see The Economist 3rd-9th March 2012). However, he applied “‘what he calls a ‘regret minimisation framework‘, imagining whether as an 80 year old looking back, he would regret the decision not to strike out on his own”.

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Five minutes with…… Jason Trost, CEO of Clerkenwell based Smarkets


smarkets logoHaving teamed up with Hunter Morris, Jason Trost launched, betting exchange platform Smarkets in London, in 2010.

Quickly picked up by The Wall Street Journal as one of Europe’s 10 young companies to watch and the subject of much press attention, most recently being featured in Decembers edition of Wired, we caught up with Jason at Smarkets office in Clerkenwell.

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Five minutes with……Jonathan Chippindale, CEO of Holition


Holition logoSilicon Roundabout based Holition were formed as a venture start up and use cutting edge 3D digital solutions for point of sale marketing and create augmented reality apps for use in store, on mobile and online. Visited by Nick Clegg and Vince Cable we decided it was our turn to meet Jonathan Chippindale, CEO!

London Fashion Week started on February 17th and in the Evening Standard article ‘The shapes of things to come in fashion‘ (Friday Feb 3rd) US fashion blogger Anina says it will be “the style worlds most technologically advanced event yet….virtual reality technology will change the way shows are viewed, while electronic tags in clothes and
codes printed on them will give information via an iphone or ipad, or let customers

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Silicon Roundabout’s ‘Ask the Expert’ panel is complete!


Ask the digital expertsWhen we sat down to draw up our shortlist of ‘influencers’ for our ‘Ask The Expert’ panel we were very mindful of the key themes for 2012 and particularly the ‘Social Graph’. The importance of drawing upon first hand experience in both recommendation and decision making is set to loom large in the digital age.

Over the last couple of weeks we have announced four fantastic panel members in Colette Ballou (Ballou PR), Milo Yiannopoulos (The Kernel), Calum Murray and Andy Moseby (Kemp Little LLP). Today we are thrilled to complete the team!

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Change does not mean the end of ‘charm’ – Our favourite coffee stops!


Pantry coffee house

Its very easy to get carried along with the weekly chatter about the ‘commercialisation’ of ‘Silicon Roundabout’.

Clerkenwell, Farringdon, Shoreditch and Hoxton continue to witness an influx of the creative, determined and visionary but that really doesn’t mean that the area is set to become a soulless, vanilla copy of other areas of London that many argue have lost their identity to the cash of the ubiqitous ‘brand x’!

Much has been made of the term ‘charm’ in its many guises, but in particular in terms of its loss by way of retail experience, to the desire for fast ‘no nonsense’ service.

Are we living in some utopian dream to think change does not mean the end of ‘charm’? No, and here are four of our favourite coffee/breakfast stops!

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Colette Ballou, founder and CEO of Ballou PR, is the latest addition to our ‘Ask the Experts’ panel


Ballou PR You would be hard pressed to have missed the raft of press articles over the last couple of months that have brought the role of public relations in its myriad forms to the forefront of our consciousness. Operating at national (take a look at Monocle magazines article ‘TENDER IS THE MIGHT-Global‘ January 2012) or domestic level (‘Now PR firms must reveal their fees“, Evening Standard 18th January 2012) there are only a few serious individuals that we would have considered hard to ignore in  approaching for the role of public relations guru on our ‘Ask The Expert Panel‘!

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