OpenCoffee Leeds {February}

Table I don’t get it. When I promote OpenCoffee we get a smaller turnout than when I don’t…fortunately, I didn’t this month and we had a buzzing and vibrant mood with over thirty people dropping in thoughout the course of the morning! I guess it was a Super Duper Tuesday 😉

Some of the highlights included…

  • A great chat with Everything Ability‘s Tom Smith about his experimentation with songbook services and most notably his impending role as an entrepreneur-in-residence with a VC firm he’s been helping out. Tom’s instantly likeable and I have a feeling anything he creates will be too.
  • Jeremy Jarvis of Brightbox, a newly launched Ruby-hosting company in Leeds and offshoot of Reflex. Jeremy’s also the guy behind Leeds Ruby Thing, who’re holding their inaugural event tonight! Another meetup for the Leeds geek community – woot!
  • I didn’t get a chance to talk to the guys Leo and Dave from Kensei Media, who’ve just moved into Old Broadcasting House and are developing a media platform that promises to ease the pain of developing rich media sites for developers and designers.
  • Fiona ? from Simple Usability had just moved into town and it was great to welcome her into the city’s tech community. Originally from Glasgow, Fiona previously worked on usability issues for a San Francisco based company, from the Dominican Republic! But she’s actually happy to be back in the North and surprised at the vibrancy of the community 🙂
  • We finally managed to tempt Gavin Sweet out to OpenCoffee. Gav hired me into Freeserve back in 1999 as an Assistant Producer and I always saw him as Freeserve’s engineering and technology brain; more CTO than the real CTO, someone from whom I’ve learned a great deal and have immense respect for. Gav’s now part of the NetStart team as Chief Information Officer, helping to scope and build out a crowdsourced platform for new technology ventures in the region.
  • I had a really great chat with Stuart Childs, a student from Leeds Met; apart from people related to me (Mohsin!) we get very few students to OpenCoffee and that’s a real shame. OpenCoffee should be a springboard for design, computing and marketing professionals wanting to break into the creative and digital industries by networking. Stuart however saw this opportunity and is excited by the various meetups and groups blossoming across the City. He’s currently working on some digital arts installations that’ll be on show along the waterfront, we’re hoping to provide some coverage for that with the impending launch of dot:north 🙂
  • Though Westhawk‘s Tim Panton intended to do a demo, we actually spent quite a big chunk of the morning talking about telephony, innovation and Macs! Tim has some great ideas on innovating telephony and voice services by exploring multi-modality in user experiences; this is exactly why we snagged him as a keynote speaker for Emerging Communications 2008 in Mountain View, California next month! We also talked a little about the Manchester tech scene and our mutual friends Yuuguu…Tim showed me the superb Twiddla, an entirely web-based Yuuguu-like service that has me a little worried for our favourite Mancunian startup…
  • Finally dragging out my good mate Paul Key, drummer for local band The Good Die Young
    and THE BEST DESIGNER I’VE EVER WORKED WITH!!! Paul and I have a great
    design partnership going back almost seven years, together with Ian, we worked on a bunch of R&D design concepts including Fingertip, a portable 3G hotspot, Vlume,
    wireless grids UIs, a broadband phone and a bajillion other concepts. I
    miss working with ‘Key’, so fingers crossed there’ll be a little more
    of that soon…

Stay tuned in the next few weeks for…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.