How about some Events/Club concessions for start ups?
When you’re business is relatively new, especially in year 1, you monitor every single thing you are spending money on, making sure you aren’t over- or unnecessarily spending in any area. You rely on advice, on good people who are willing to lend a hand, to guide, to advise, to show you the way. They’re out there and we’ve certainly benefited from lots of generosity from people already, which has helped us get to where we are today.
There are areas that remain difficult to break into. Things like key events, clubs etc that would make a massive difference to young businesses but which are cost prohibitive by some margin.
For example, we’d love to go to FT Innovate (£1699), the Global Innovation Forum, (€2000), amongst others that are promoted via the normal channels – all of which would suit us, but none of which we have a chance of going to in year 1 of business.
Of course there are events like Google Firestarters ,which thanks to Neil Perkin @Only Dead Fish we have attended. Things like the Lean Startup Workshops which are very low cost (£25) and once like The Power of One @ Battersea Power Station next week (£99, which is still more than we’d like(!), but certainly more affordable than others). Thanks to their generosity we’ve made lots of new connections, vital for us.
There are also clubs that you’d love to be able to join due to the incredible opportunities of meeting people you’d love to just talk to about your business, about challenges you have, clubs like The Hospital Club which would be a fantastic opportunity for more conversation. But there aren’t any concessions for new businesses with tighter budgets than most. I wish there was, but I also completely understand why not.
There are other channels of course, and I know I picked out examples to suit this post, but if someone (goverment, interested companies) created a sponsorship scheme for start ups in their first year of business so they could attend these great shows, and be members of these fantastic clubs, it might just help develop our start up industry even more. We’d be incredibly grateful as well…