On Wednesday night it was time to put our serious hats on and present the 2nd installment of our popular “Got a Problem? -> Get a Solution!” event. This is a chance for our Hipsters, Hackers and Hustlers friends to get together and discuss the problems and issues they face as founders, developers, marketing gurus or even those considering taking the plunge into full time entrepreneurship.
This is a different kind of event to the speed pitching stuff we do, a little more refined, a little more in depth, a touch more technical. So we gave it a different floor at Google Campus, the third floor, next door to Oxygen Accelerator. The redoubtable Adam Turnbull, self-styled “angry man” of Tech, in his signature Tweed suit and bow tie, presented; in fact he even managed to smile and be charming…probably just lulling us into a false sense of security, methinks.
As usual we were also joined by our sponsors Elance-oDesk, (a company that could have been tailor made for events like this one, as I continually pointed out on the night, much to audience’s amusement/exasperation!), Microsoft and Codementor.
The format is simple; anyone who wants to speak can join Adam on the couch/beanbag (think Paula Yates on the bed in the old Big Breakfast days!) and spend 2 minutes outlining the problem that they are currently experiencing with their business. Then it’s thrown open to the audience to help them find a solution. There are just 4 rules: no answering the audience back, no promoting, no demoing, no pitching! I’d say all 4 were broken in the first 5 minutes, but rules will tend to get broken when you assemble a roomful of creative geniuses!
We had some really challenging problems crop up over the course of the 90 mins or so: Marcus Ottosson and his difficulties finding amazing Python developers, Marius Siugzdinis, experiencing teething problems with his online search start-up Enythings, and Julia Kessler with a great tech idea, but no tech skills, to name but a few..
And our audience did not let us down! It’s amazing where solutions come from. I never expected that a skateboarding game called HORSE would provide the answer to a Croatian start-up’s issues getting techies to provide good quality free content, but there you have it, and I never thought we’d spend 10 minutes discussing one founder’s elderly parents, but it was totally engrossing. Maybe you had be there for that one!
Adam “2 horns” Turnbull finally got to get in touch with his dark side when one founder introduced a fitness start-up which encourages people to exercise regularly by threatening to give away their cash deposits to an “anti-charity”. Anti-charity? They strangle kittens, bully homeless people? Not quite Adam, an anti-charity is a dog’s home for people who can’t stand poodles, or a swimming charity for those who never made it out of armbands…will he never learn?
The evening finished on a real high; founder Mark Chiavetta wanted to know how he could reach a teenage audience. He’s developed an app a bit like Snapchat, where you can send messages, pictures, and film to people in your network…anonymously…sounds like fun! Suggestions ranged from trying to reach Justin Bieber on Twitter, (probably quite tricky, by all accounts he’s a busy young man), to placing billboards outside of schools, (pretty good solution), to getting the app banned, thereby ensuring it becomes the must have accessory for naughty adolescents everywhere!
Beer and snacks were provided by our sponsors and the networking after was fun…I saw a lot of business cards changing hands, sadly no suitcases full of VC money, but remember folks – if we keep building it, they will come!
Details of all the companies above plus audience members are available on the Meet-up group page http://www.meetup.com/Hipsters-Hackers-Hustlers/events/201854292/ , and, since you’re on the website, please please provide us with some constructive feedback to help us improve the site. We want you guys to guide us, as it’s your site, not ours, we just look after it for you. At least that’s how we see it.
Also we have some fantabulous, splendiferous, possibly discombobulating and probably life changing events coming up, and because we love you, we don’t want you to miss out! So check out our events section here.