Friday, June 01, 2012
Think More - where great minds meet
In my 12 years at Insider I have cherished the co-operation and collaboration with the business communities in the major cities of this country. The mission of my new business is to help the people of the North to think more by creating exciting and dynamic events. You'll know how passionate I am about great businesses; something I hope was always evident if you have been to any of the events I've been involved in. I have discovered this same hunger for ideas and intellectual curiosity in how we can debate sport, culture, politics and science. I’m going to create events with that purpose. I'm keen to work with anyone who shares this goal - and have been bowled over by the ideas and shared zeal for this project.
It's never been more important to take a wider world view. Earlier this year I was lucky enough to join a Learning Journey to Silicon Valley and San Francisco where our group visited 12 different businesses, universities and financiers. This is one of the most exciting things I have ever been involved in and I am keen to share my experiences and to explore how the North can create an entrepreneurial ecosystem with global ambition.
I'm working on Growth Accelerator, a government sponsored programme to help growth companies where I get to work with John Leach of Winning Pitch, one of the smartest guys I've ever worked with and Julian Grice, a marketing and branding guru. We will be running a series of partner events shortly and will be reaching out to business contacts to help us to hunt for the vanguard businesses.
I have a number of events and conferences planned – including an evening of exploration of ideas at the Lowry Hotel in Manchester on the 3rd of July where I will be introducing a number of thought leaders provided by JLA, the leading speaker and events agency and working with my dear friend Laura Wolfe.
I should also mention another great pal, Simon Sinclair, who has turned his creative genius to the brand (above) and Gareth Burton, one of my Learning Journey buddies who has become a firm friend fast and a terrific financial adviser. So, this is my first step on a start-up journey - exhilarating, exciting and just brilliant. I am hugely excited at the range and scale of the opportunities that lay ahead. A website will be unveiled shortly. Then there are new offices, new partnerships, new challenges and a few old friends as well as new ones.
And last but never least - I wouldn't have had the courage to do all of this without the ceaseless and boundless support of my wonderful family.
'From quiet homes and first beginning, Out to the undiscovered ends, There's nothing worth the wear of winning, But laughter and the love of friends.'' Hilaire Belloc.