WhatNext 2015 (includedLive)

500+ students, 8 great speakers, 3 awesome hands-on workshops and a cash-prize pitch competition.

We’re here to cover the event, one mini-post or photo at a time. If you’re around, do come by and say hi.

Official Hashtag: #WhatNext2015



  • Schedule Overview

    09:00 – REGISTRATION STARTS
    09:30 – WELCOME
    09:40 – HAYEL WARTEMBERG & NDUBUISI UCHEA (WORD ON THE CURB)
    09:50 – NAOMI TIMPERLEY (HOW TO MASTER NETWORKING?)
    10:10 – JESSICA HUIE MBE (CATCHING UP WITH YOUR POTENTIAL)
    10:50 – STEVE BARTLETT (THE KIDS THAT SECRETLY CONTROL SOCIAL MEDIA)
    11:30 – BREAK
    12:00 – SRIRAM SUBRAMANIAN (TOUCHING WITHOUT TOUCHING)
    12:30 – JOSH COOK (DRAGONS’ DEN)
    13:00 – LUNCH
    14:00 – JAMES EDER (FROM .COM TO COOKBOOK & BEYOND)
    14:40 – WORKSHOPS BY DOTFORGE, NIFTY AND UBER
    15:20 – BREAK
    15:30 – PITCH COMPETITION FINALS
    16:10 – JOHN BIRD
    17:05 – CLOSING REMARKS



  • Jump to Live Blog
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Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201517:27

And with the announcement that the bar is now open, the event ends and the buzz slowly dies back down from the fever-pitch it’s been at all day.

A massive thank you to Manchester Entrepreneurs for inviting us and for the awesome event, and a personal thank you to Peter and Phillipp who did a fantastic job with supporting this live blog.

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201517:26

@_monanderson saying her thank you’s, closing the event and introducing @DamianKys who will be in charge of WhatNext 2016.

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201517:22

Monique thanks her team, the sponsors and a quick overview of where Manchester Entrepreneurs is going with the announcment of Manchester Apprentice challenge.

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201517:13

“A really good business is only ever as good as it’s corporate social responsibility.”

“i had to create a business to get a job”

Two strong points as John responds to questions.

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201517:08

After the run over the past of The Big Issue, we’re now hearing about the future.

1. Turning their vendors into content creators.
2. Their investment fund at http://www.bigissueinvest.com
a majority of money is spent on Emergency and Care , and not on Prevention or Cure. (P.E.C.C)
3. The Big Heady a online/offline magazine about oxygenising intelligent concepts

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201517:01

“The only cure for poverty is to GET OUT OF IT!” an impassioned talk about why the big issue was founded, and how.

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201516:57

At 16, he was finally taught to read and write, by a guard in the institution he was sentenced to in his youth.

A remarkable story of overcoming obstacles over an almost unbelievable journey that brought him to beginning The Big Issue.

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201516:51

“I WAS TAUGHT TO HATE! Poverty was not enough, they had to pour poison into my mind.”

It took him till 21 to realise it was nonsense.

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201516:43

People on the streets had to market themselves as pathetic to get more money. This had to change.

And so they repackaged homelessness.

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201516:39

The problem was that people were giving people money on the streets, and thus keeping them on the streets.

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201516:38

Photos from John Bird’s talk:

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201516:37

Started the big issue as there was a major issue with homelessness.

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201516:35
Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201516:34

A major point being made by John about not getting things lost in bad presentation.

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201516:33

up now is John Bird from the Big Issue – who opens up by confessing that he’s a better comedian than a social entrepreneur

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201516:28

And the winner for the business pitch section is FootieAddict.

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201516:26

Up now is the business idea section.

First up is CoffeeMunch all natural snack that boosts energy without that ‘added crap.
Second is FootieAddict, an online community of football enthusiasts to organise games in real-life.
And final pitch of the day is a passionate presentation about maximising people’s impact.

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201516:19

And the winner of the social category is the volunteering platform. Congrats!

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201516:17

Up now are the three finalists for the social pitch challenge.

Up first is a volunteering website that makes it like a job website, making things easier for people to volunteer and building of CVs.
Second pitch is (by the brother of the Tech pitch winner) is a platform for people to buy and sell second hand goods, with the proceeds going to Charities.
Third pitch is a platform that empowers african entrepreneurs through micro-investments.

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201516:08

And the winner of the tech pitch challenge is:
RUMBLE games

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201516:01

Starting off are the 3 winning pitches in the category “Tech” fighting for the Judge’s votes!
First off is German startup RUMBLE producing physical bricks that are transferred into digital games by Bluetooth technology!
Second is an ebook subscription service for schools, saving them £500 p/month but only charging them £20.
Third up is a solution to allow students to share their completed coursework, called CourseWeb.

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201515:38

Judges for the pitching competition

Emma Cheshire CEO dotforge, Tom McCann Director of ME Accelerators & Fergie Miller from Varsity Ventures

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201515:34

There’s now a 20 minute break before we jump back in for the Pitch Competition finals, followed shortly by John Bird from The Big Issue.

Philipp Kuschnir Philipp Kuschnir February 28, 201515:31

Philipp Kuschnir Philipp Kuschnir February 28, 201515:29

Philipp Kuschnir Philipp Kuschnir February 28, 201515:21

Many corporates have funds to support startups in their business areas!
Look around.

Philipp Kuschnir Philipp Kuschnir February 28, 201515:19

“Never pay to pitch!” @RiverTam57 of @dotforge

Philipp Kuschnir Philipp Kuschnir February 28, 201515:16

@RiverTam57 of @dotforge points to the SEID Investment scheme!
The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme is a tax break launched in 2012 to encourage Investors to fund UK businesses.
The investor gets no control over the company but receives tax reductions of up to 50% of the investment!

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201515:15

“if you’re going to hire a PR agency, do your research” Piers from @bynifty

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201515:12
Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201515:11

OH in the workshop for running a business whilst having a full time job:

“sometimes you need to ask for a toilet break to handle a business call for your startup”.

#makingaplan

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201515:09

Some snaps from the workshops underway:

Philipp Kuschnir Philipp Kuschnir February 28, 201515:07

Searching for an Angel Investor? Be proactive.
Follow on Twitter, follow on Facebook – learn about them, attend the events that they attend and introduce yourself.
“You have to engage!” @RiverTam57, Program Manager at @dotforge

Philipp Kuschnir Philipp Kuschnir February 28, 201515:03

Want to launch a successful kickstarter campaign?
Make sure your business is 25-40% funded to appeal to the masses!
An accelerator program like @dotforge can help you stay independent.
By @RiverTam57 of @dotforge

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201515:02

The right definition of wearable technology:
“Technology when worn is in it’s most useful state” and not “technology that can be worn”.

Great words from the founder of the company behind http://www.getxoo.com

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201515:01

Piers has asked his attendees about what their biggest concerns are regarding crowdfunding. They are: stealing of ideas; % of equity to give away; how to handle the PR details; managing expectations and building logistics.

Philipp Kuschnir Philipp Kuschnir February 28, 201514:56

@RiverTam57 on what it takes to join the @dotforge accelerator?
1. A solid and dedicated team (1-2 biz + 1-2 dev’s)
2. Relocate to the accelerator location
3. Be willing to learn and adapt.

Philipp Kuschnir Philipp Kuschnir February 28, 201514:55

The accelerator model in a nutshell by @RiverTam57 of @dotforge:
1. Introduce you to industry experts.
2. Connect you to potential partners.
3. Overcome “the hell” between building your product & actually launching it!

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201514:53

In Piers’ workshop we hear about how Nifty went from an idea to a crowdfunding poster-child, and the challenges that came with said success. Amazing experience being shared, and questions been posed about crowdfunding as a whole.

Philipp Kuschnir Philipp Kuschnir February 28, 201514:49

River Tamoor Baig of @DotForge accelerator has helped entrepreneurs raise over £10m in funding.
1st lesson: #bootstrapping “Don’t give away equity, stay independent”
Want to raise money? Apply for accelerators to grow

Philipp Kuschnir Philipp Kuschnir February 28, 201514:44

Piers Ridyard of @ByNifty is going to speak about “How to run a successful crowdfunding campaign”
River Tamoor Baig of @DotForge is speaking about “Hot to raise funding for your startups”
Ndu & Hayel of @wordonthecurbUKr will be delivering a talk on “How to juggle a full time job and a start up”

#WhatNext2015 is moving into the details.
Stay tuned.

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201514:41

The attendees will now split into 3 40 minute workshops.

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201514:36
Philipp Kuschnir Philipp Kuschnir February 28, 201514:35

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201514:32
Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201514:32
Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201514:27

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” – African Proverb

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201514:27
Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201514:26

“I was rugby tackled in that bean. I was punched, twice, in that bean.” James remembers launching studentbeans.com dressed as their bean mascot in Manchester

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201514:22

“Students are three times more connected than an average person”

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201514:19
Philipp Kuschnir Philipp Kuschnir February 28, 201514:18

Philipp Kuschnir Philipp Kuschnir February 28, 201514:18

Philipp Kuschnir Philipp Kuschnir February 28, 201514:16

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201514:15

James links this fundamental assumption that people make, is that the worst thing that could possibly happen will happen.

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201514:13

A great experiment with how many F’s are seen in a slide, and one of the big results is that people got it wrong because of assumptions.

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201514:09

Starting with a looong but meaningful quote:

“Watch your thoughts, they become words;
watch your words, they become actions;
watch your actions, they become habits;
watch your habits, they become character;
watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201514:06

After asking for a volunteer (who was gifted two awesome books) James got everyone else to find someone they didn’t know. They then had to explain to this new person, why they didn’t volunteer themselves. Worked great in getting people mingling.

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201514:04

Back from lunch with James Eder from The Beans Group.

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201513:01

and now a 1 hour lunch break. We’ll be back after that with our live-coverage. Want to get notified, follow us on twitter here http://www.twitter.com/includedco

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201512:55

How to get through all the tasks involved with running his business, he ‘eats the frog’ by listing out all the tasks for the day and doing the ‘worst’ ones first.

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201512:53

“you cant use pythagoras in business” so true!

Philipp Kuschnir Philipp Kuschnir February 28, 201512:52

Philipp Kuschnir Philipp Kuschnir February 28, 201512:50

Philipp Kuschnir Philipp Kuschnir February 28, 201512:50

Photos from Sriram’s talk

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201512:44

Three Big Tips:

Avoid the Big Business Effect – excessive spending before making money – use what you can without pretending to be a big business. People see through it and the business feels the pain.
1. Spend as little as you can, keep spending relative to earnings.
2. Treat it like a baby, you have to nurture it like you would a child.

Get stuck in and roll up your sleeves think of it like Newtons cradle, if you lift one ball, one comes out the other side, if you lift 3, 3 come out the other side. i.e. what you put in, you get out, the same goes for businesses.
An example is that Josh still hoovers the office every Friday. In the beginning they used one mobile phone and wore many many hats.

Under promise and over deliver – dont be in the situation of risking your business and reputation by over promising.

Set Goals Realistic small goals allow big goals to be made attainable.

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201512:39

For more information on their company see: http://zevenmedia.com/

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201512:35

Up now is Josh Cook who’s success on Dragon’s Den lead to even further growth for their social media photobooth company.

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201512:30

Excellent questions and a great answer to whether something is possible: “I have no reason to believe that it wouldn’t be possible”.

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201512:29

You can get more info from Sriram’s company here: http://ultrahaptics.com/

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201512:28

Sriram asked his students to see if they could use the tech to defy gravity. And showed us a video of their progress so far as a project called LeviPath.

We’re hunting down the video, because it looks amaaazing.

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201512:20

This technology allows users to ‘know’ they’ve clicked a button without having actually touched something. Fantastic tech!

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201512:18

Now they have tech that uses ultrasound to let you feel without touching.


Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201512:15

To keep up-to-date with the amazing work that Sriram and his team are working on see: http://big.cs.bris.ac.uk/

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201512:14

Now they use mist to give interactive desktops with a great futuristic feel, see MisTable

Philipp Kuschnir Philipp Kuschnir February 28, 201512:11

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201512:11

Originally it was built as fun little side project. Now companies pay a few thousand pounds a day to demo it.

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201512:10

The video does a fantastic job of really hitting home about what SensaBubble is, so I won’t even try.

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201512:09

An inspiration came from wanting to make a way for adults to play with bubbles.

An inspiration that evolved into SensaBubble

Philipp Kuschnir Philipp Kuschnir February 28, 201512:06

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201512:06

Now we’re back for two talks before Lunch break.

First up Sriram and his talk about Touching without Touching

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201511:22

Now a quick break as everyone get’s some brain time and we get to rest our fingers and laptops.

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201511:19

Advice to non-technical founders: People act differently and work harder when they have a vested interest into the project.

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201511:17

When asked “What Next?”

They aim to build The Social Chain into a hundred million pound company.

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201511:16

The Social Chain have now opened a new office in Manchester and are looking for great people to work/intern with them.

The average age is 23.

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201511:12
Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201511:11
Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201511:11

Lessons learned along the way:

1. Parents sometimes think they know what’s best for you. And sometimes you know what’s best for you.

2. You have the power to do anything. How do you go about making that happen? Just believe you can.

3. Failure vs Greatness – 500 emails before the 1 that said yes.

4. YOLO (yea he’s serious) you only have a certain window.

5. The power of being at the bottom – you can’t go any lower, you can take bigger risks

6. Everyone has ‘haters’ who will always nay-say and talk ‘sh**” about you behind your back.

7. Passion – there are moments when the logical thing to do is to give up, only passion gets you through them

8. Delusion – knowing you can be somewhere and successful regardless of how possible it seems

9. Work smart not always hard.

10. There’s never a perfect time.

11. Know that the hard times are sacrifices for delayed gratification.

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201511:05

A great insight into how The Social Chain reaches millions of people in one click through a network of influencers.

Philipp Kuschnir Philipp Kuschnir February 28, 201511:05

Photos from Jessica’s and Steve’s passionate and entertaining talks.

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201510:59

“If you ask enough times, eventually you get lucky.”

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201510:59
Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201510:56

“When you’re trying to get the attention of people, go above and beyond.”

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201510:54

Easily the most laughs we’ve had in the comedy club so far!

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201510:51

Next up is Steve Bartlett from SocialChain (before a well deserved break to reflect on the learnings so far)

With his usual no-nonsense approach, Steve kicks off with his usual profanity infused inspirational story.

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201510:50

A great interactive talk by Jessica who really engaged the attendees with positive thinking and so much more.

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201510:43

Big take away: Self-awareness has massive correlation with success.

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201510:42

Jessica was asked about whether she learns from reading about self-development, and although she does, the point is made to try and get experience at the same time.

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201510:42
Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201510:40
Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201510:40

It’s no longer possible to hide behind your business. You need to focus on the why, and the value your business creates outside of it’s profits.

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201510:39
Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201510:38
Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201510:38
Philipp Kuschnir Philipp Kuschnir February 28, 201510:37

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201510:37
Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201510:36

“Think about the way that you think. How do you deal with criticism?”

Step into the mind of the future you. What would you change?

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201510:34
Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201510:33

“If your partnerships, friendships and network arent lifting you up, you need to get rid of them”

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201510:32

“Regardless of what your position is right now, it’s really important to set your sights on where you want to be and then work backwards.”

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201510:32
Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201510:31

Jessica talks about three Jessica’s.

1. The potential Jessica (potentially unrealistic but someone she aspires to be)
2. (will update shortly)
3. (will update shortly)

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201510:29

Next speaker: Jessica Huie MBE @JessicaHuieMBE

Working on the Rising Star challenge looking for an exceptional young person to literally catapult them into space.

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201510:28

An to end off Naomi issues the following challenge: Write down somebody who you want to be connected to’s name. Then figure out a way to get connected to them through your network and it’s extended network.

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201510:27

Fantastic examples of how networking can open doors for young (and interesting) people.

Philipp Kuschnir Philipp Kuschnir February 28, 201510:26

Photos from the talks by Naomi and the due behind Word on the Curb:

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201510:25
Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201510:24
Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201510:23

Three pieces of advice from Naomi:

1. Be thankful in business and connect the dots for other (http://uk.sageone.com/2013/08/29/being-thankful/)
Dont follow every Tom Dick and Harry, be strategic.
2. Be yourself and don’t be afraid to ask for help from people.
3. Pay it forward

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201510:16

A great story shared about a 14 year old who wanted to shadow an investment banker, and through twitter was able to connect with the right people like Naomi.

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201510:12

Up now is Naomi Timperley (@naomitimperley) from http://www.4hub.co.uk/

Discussing her involvement with bringing “Baby Loves Disco” to the UK, and how it grew her network. A network that is still powerful and useful to her now at 4hub.

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201510:10

The big take-away is that this project grew dramatically after the success of their pitch in last year’s competition.

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201510:09

WordOnTheCurb now has over 4 million views across their social media channels.

Are now opening up to ask the public to submit content, videos, text, photos etc.

Philipp Kuschnir Philipp Kuschnir February 28, 201510:04

And we kickstart the photos from the talks.

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201509:58

First speakers are Ndu and Hayel from @WordOnTheCurbUK.

An interesting story about giving youth the opportunity to become the faces of our societies big issues, through written word and poetry.

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201509:54

Interesting that last year’s Pitch Competition winners, WORD ON THE CURB, are the first speakers for today.

The winners of each of the three pitch competition categories will grab £500 in cash, as well as tickets to watch Manchester United.

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201509:51

And we’re off with an ultra-loud awakening video. The event is hosted by Neil Clough (@NeilClough).

(and it wouldn’t be an entrep event without an early technical glitch with the second video)

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201509:50

Today I’m joined by Phillipp @pkuschnir (live-blogging) and Peter @garos82 (photography)

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201509:48

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201509:32

Photos from around the venue as we setup:

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201509:28

We’re running about grabbing some shots as students from around the country are networking in the lobby.

Hector Kolonas Hector Kolonas February 28, 201509:13

Just arrived at The Comedy Store Manchester and setting up for what’s looking to be a great day of talks and workshops.

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About the Author

Hector Kolonas

Hector Kolonas

Passionate about connecting ecosystems, so that amazing people can take their businesses from anywhere to everywhere.