Day 13 - Guest Post: Rockstars! (by Jude Ower)
Today's post comes from Jude Ower, a startup founder in Springboard who made us all very proud last week (and every day!).
Every year I go to SXSW in Austin Texas, and every year I see and meet budding entrepreneurs talking of their new ventures, previous ventures and in some cases multiple ventures on the go at one time. It would really strike me on return to the UK the lack of this entrepreneurial culture we see in the US. But this is all changing….
Bring on Springboard is exactly what we need for the business at this time, to build our platform. But we are with companies at all different stages, from just being formed to having operated for the past few years. And what I love most about Springboard is this very US feel of work hard, get your product/business launched quickly and increase the chances of success considerably.
I feel in the UK we have a very risk-adverse attitude, not wanting to put ourselves out there too much, perhaps having some ideas but thinking that someone else will do it, or just do it better. So we never actually try. In the US, if you try and fail, this is praised, the opposite happens in the UK. Although I do feel more and more this is being accepted and over the time getting out there and taking a risk will become more common. We will have entrepreneurial rockstars in the UK, just like in the US. And Springboard is a perfect vehicle to allow people to realize this.
In our team, last week was a big week for us. As well as embarking on new mentors, experts and corporates @ Springboard in Cambridge we have also presented in front of an audience of 1700 at the Institute of Directors annual convention. This was big. We shared the stage with the likes of George Osborne, Ed Balls, David Gold and Jill McDonald.
The theme of the day was business in the UK, starting and growing a business in the UK and ecosystem in which we have here to foster ideas and innovation. Very relevant given that we are embarking on products which could change the way we give, and we play. We say no more on that one but you will have to wait and see.
One thing that became so apparent to me after the presentation, when I spoke to many people from the audience, was that they loved our panel because they could connect with us. We were after all just like the rest of the audience, and this gave them the feeling that anyone could be on the stage talking about their experiences, they just had to do it.
I couldn’t have shared the stage with better people, Wilfred from the Black Farmer, Justine from Mumsnet and Sam from Livity. 3 people, like myself who had gone out there and perused a vision and a dream, and were in the process of making big impacts. So it isn’t just the Richard Branson’s and the Sir Allan Sugar’s who can do this, it is anyone, and after all, those top dogs had to start somewhere didn’t they.