|Screenshot via Nokia Lumia|
Held at London's Somerset House, with more attendees than capacity of the rooms would allow, with many being turned away from seminars they had queued for, it felt like more of a hangout for any and every one than a business driven hub of which the purpose was to provide those who aspire to become their own boss with at least a handful of firm, useful tips to set them on their way to do just that!
In fact, based on the seminars I attended and the overheard conversations between certain groups whilst in the bathroom and while I was in line for an afternoon talk, it presented self made successful business persons who remained vague about their actual journey from someone's employee to CEO of their own company. There were a number of unsatisfied budding entrepreneurs at this event. Having turned up in such poor weather conditions and queuing for each seminar between 9am and 3pm it's no wonder why...
There were loose accounts of "well this is what I did" filled with (what sounded like) just a tiny portion of an actual 'success' story from appointed so-called entrepreneurs who seemed more enthused by having been given a seat on a seemingly high-profile panel than that of giving tips one could actually use; something not yet thought of or realised, that would be of some real help. No demonstrations, nothing concrete. Some handouts and a limited, tight lipped chat/Q &A..
"Unique" and "most influential entrepreneurs" are just 2 ways in which the event and its panelists were described and while StartUp may be unique in that there doesn't appear to be any other entrepreneurial event quite on its scale and as successful (for reasons I have yet to identify), the panelists I experienced were far from influential and more, "you have to be passionate about it and then, just do it" - the most repeated line by each of them! I felt that some of the audience could have probably done much better at being more open and giving raw details about what they do, how they do it and how they have managed to maintain their business, or drive it forward which is what those in attendance were hoping to hear no doubt... I didn't expect any speaker to give out a list of their contacts however, in all that was said, there were literally no 'tools' given.
|Screenshot via Nokia Lumia|
All of the above stated, I did leave feeling inspired albeit born from mild frustration and I hope to be able to share that inspiration in the near future. Sponsored by HSBC, 123-reg, Direct Line for Business and MOO, I was simply grateful for the freebies I received from StartUp 2015 including a pair of white earphones (which I needed for my mp3 player), oyster holders, a pen, a pair of woolly gloves, a book about Start Up Loans and some flyers... I'm sure these bits and bobs will come in handy so, again, I appreciate the handout however, I'd have traded in the goodie bag for some firm stepping stones in the shape of some concrete business tips from those supposedly in the know.