Welcome to the latest business news and advice from across the Internet this week! From a busy Sir Richard Branson’s boosting of broadband access and support of ‘foodpreneurs,’ to cautionary tales about reining in your work load – the bustling new startup scene has not only captured our imaginations, it has taken London by storm. And, there’s a laser-like focus on the expansion of STEM education and tech hubs throughout the entire nation.
Sir Richard Branson has decided to re-run his Virgin Startup Foodpreneur Festival, which was launched last year to give food and beverage ‘could-be’ owners a chance to scale their business in the UK. The search for promising ‘foodies’ includes two categories, and coincides with workshops from industry leaders. Street Food winners will be given rent-free stalls and pop ups, while Retail winners will have the opportunity to launch in the U.S. with Target Corporation.
According to Branson, “Last year’s event unearthed some fantastic talent and I can’t wait to meet the next wave of foodpreneurs driving this movement forward.” Though entries are closed, we’re just around the corner from the main event. Finalists will be displaying their talents for buyers, bloggers and media on the 2nd of October at The Vinyl Factory, 18 Marshall St, London W1F 7BE. The featured workshops begin at 9:00am, with business showcases starting at noon.
Subsequent to statistics that the region had experienced a 70pc growth in digital companies from 2010-2013, Chancellor George Osborne announced the government’s plan to spend £4m to establish a ‘Tech North’ in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. The expansion of tech hubs (outside of London) is also in line with Jo Johnson’s recent speech on ‘One Nation Science,’ and the government’s £9.8 billion investment in new labs and research institutes across the UK (along with facilities of national and international significance).
Virgin Media Business now plans to provide ultrafast broadband to up to 3,000 businesses within this charted startup hub of multi-tenanted buildings. According to managing director, Peter Kelly, “introducing their secure high-speed Internet can make the difference between surviving and thriving for these SMEs.”
Author David Cliff, director of coaching company Gedanken, reminds us that – while starting a business seemingly requires every spare hour we can work – we do have a choice. Tips include spreading your authority across a wider range of individuals, as well as scaling back on living a jet-set lifestyle (which can negatively impact your immune system).
Yes, we would like to leave a legacy for the kids, but it’s more likely that our children would prefer our longevity to inheriting more money and possessions. Is it really a surprise that people who work more than 55 hours per week are 33pc more at risk for a stroke than those with a normal schedule of 40 hours or less? Work-life balance has become more of a necessity of life than a luxury – for both business owners and employees.
Navigating The London Tech Start-up Scene Part I
Author Huan Song takes us on a tour of London’s popular tech hot spots and resource hubs, such as the Silicon Roundabout and popular Tech City UK, a publicly-funded programme for kick-starting your venture. Dubbed the ‘world’s capital of fintech,’ London has enabled new financial innovations to integrate into mainstream services – for example Level39 and Barclay’s Accelerator, as well as local unicorn Transferwise.
Other important sectors include fashion, e-commerce and travel; all industries which have soared off the charts with the influence of digi-tech. From the blockbuster World Travel Market to London-born Net-A-Porter, the impact from this concentrated tech region has been felt around the world.
The Transformation Of Elevator – Aberdeen’s New Social Enterprise
This brief, yet intriguing narrative explains the transformation Elevator, which launched its brand and created the new world-class Centre for Entrepreneurship in Aberdeen (all within one year). Described as the “first Energy and technology based business accelerator, their 20-week Elevator Programme gets businesses with high global ambitions investor-ready.”
Elevator’s dual programmes – business gateway and accelerator – interact with and support each other. Their vision is to “completely immerse high-growth potential startups in entrepreneurial activity, all geared toward orientating them to a global market.”