From the world’s first lightbulb to cloud software and smart data, the ‘test bed city’ of Newcastle upon Tyne in the North East of England has been inventing the future for centuries!
It’s also a stunningly beautiful city with wonderfully warm, friendly and loyal people and a place that offers a high quality lifestyle yet low cost of living, five fantastic universities in the region, great transport links and a thriving digital and creative sector that is producing truly world-class products and services.
After helping other people start and grow their business over the past 15 years whilst working for various organisations (including Sage between 2012-2015), I finally started my own business 'Plan Digital UK' in April last year offering a range of business development, marketing and partnerships services to startups and small businesses on a freelance consultancy basis.
Last year was all about making the transition from employment to self-employment and I'm pleased to say my business has been going well, I've worked with some fantastic clients, worked on lots of excellent projects including the annual #MicroBizmattersDay for the third time on 13th January and even won the title of 'Collaborator of the Year' at the Dynamo North East awards in October!
Even so, this year is all about taking things to the next level and growing my business bigger than just me selling my time in a way that enables me to continue to leverage my network to the maximum benefit of others. This is why I've pulled all my knowledge, experience and contacts together to create 'Newcastle Startup Week' - an exciting new 5-day, citywide and multi-venue festival taking place between 15-19 May 2017.
The event has been designed to inspire and encourage more local people to start and grow their own businesses in the city and attract others from outside the region who might like to relocate, invest, do business here or simply see for themselves why Newcastle has been recently described as having 'the perfect ecosystem' for startups.
Over the course of the week we'll be taking delegates on a journey that covers the 5 themes of 'Inspiration', 'Getting Started', 'Funding & Finance', 'Growing & Scaling' and 'Keep Going or Pivot?' By doing so, they'll learn in 5 days what it would normally take them 5 months or even 5 years to learn in the real world on their own!
Pulling a 5-day event like this together is obviously seriously hard work and by the time it comes around I'll have been working on it for 9 months. It's been a fantastic experience and I've been delighted with the generosity and goodwill of our sponsors (including Sage), partners, speakers and individual supporters who have really got behind me from the start and are all doing their bit to ensure it's a great success for the city and wider North East region.
With over 50 speakers and an incredible schedule of events each day and night, my team and I are sure Newcastle Startup Week will be the catalyst to a new entrepreneurial revolution on Tyneside that will benefit many hundreds of people over the weeks and months ahead!
Tickets / wristbands are currently just £40 per person at http://newcastlestartupweek.eventbrite.com but if you're still not sure it's for you, our '10 reasons to attend Newcastle Startup Week' blog might convince you to attend.
So, if you're thinking of starting a business, are in the process of starting, have already started or are just looking for some ideas and inspiration to take your own business to the next level, we'd love you to join us in Newcastle between 15-19 May but especially Day 1 (aka 'Inspiration Day') on Monday 15th May.
Founder & Event Producer