Recent work history
Since December 2013 I have created and delivered two dozen workshops to 100-150 early stage entrepreneurs (and ‘intrapreneurs’ in existing organisations) based on a growing and robust body of knowledge – the Lean Startup framework.
Clients have included a-n The Artists Information Company, Durham County Council, Teesside University, Northumbria University, and the Business and IP Centre at Newcastle Library.
Typically, I employ open source tools around product management and business modelling, and have recently created a printed checklist for students conducting ‘customer development’ so they are guided to ask open questions about customer problems, and also to test pricing.
Workshops are delivered using a mix of multimedia, including slides, videos, wallcharts / post-it notes, team exercises, real-life engagement with potential customers, and whole class engagement.
Participants go away with a changed mindset and a feeling that they can convert their ideas more readily into products and services which will gain traction.
Business ideas that participants have developed include clothing, mobile apps, consumer goods, foodstuffs, tech infrastructure, dog walking, and childcare materials.
In Spring 2013, the Founder and I set up the Searchcamp startup accelerator programme in Middlesbrough, which included recruiting startup teams from around Europe; creating the syllabus and arranging visits, speakers & mentors; setting up the website and physical space for the programme; and running social media accounts
Lean North East
I also helped organise a voluntary group called “Lean North East” which put on events, with me MC’ing the proceedings, and conducting interviews with presenters: Lean North East brought the Lean Startup framework to the Region, and could be revived.
Dynamo North East
At Dynamo North East, I played a key role in: creating, curating, and delivering networking and careers events, an awards dinner, and an annual conference; developing a number of workstreams e.g. digital construction, manufacturing, and to foster diversity (e.g. more women) in Enterprise IT. I delivered careers talks to 450-odd young people in schools in Sunderland, Chester-Le-Street, and Durham; and chaired discussions on IT subjects at our conferences, networking events, and feedback sessions.
I curated a data visualisation event at Newcastle University for Supermondays – a local tech user group – producing a line-up including data artists, business intelligence experts, and management consultants
In 2009, I was Ambassador for Thinking Digital Conference at SXSW Interactive festival in Austin, Texas, and was part of the 2016 Thinking Digital ‘Street Team’ of social media promoters.