By Nigel Surtees (Developer, Sage One).
As part of our founding sponsorship of Campus North, a 10,000 sq ft co-working and event space for start-ups in Newcastle upon Tyne, we (Sage) are also offering our expertise as mentors and advisers to people that work there.
Ignite, ‘Europe’s first £1m tech accelerator programme’ is based at Campus North and so myself and a bunch of Sage One guys went down there to mentor the new batch of teams who had joined the scheme from around the world.
These tech start-ups are all very early stage businesses, typically with 2-3 members per team, some of which have already gone on to receive millions of pounds of investment. All teams have also been given free copies of Sage One Accounts Extra and we’re hoping that some of them will develop some cool and interesting integrations with our Sage One API.
Jonathan Dowden (Sage) mentoring the guys from Rentecarlo
The relaxed and spacious environment impressed us. Very ‘Google’ we thought. Also very conducive to creative and productive working. Teams can rent space short or longer term and have access to hardware, software and business mentoring etc with a wide range of startup-focused events taking place regularly.
It was a very rewarding experience to meet each team. All the teams were well organised and very passionate about their respective businesses. Once the ice was broken, they presented their ideas, which led to a discussion and analysis of their idea/implementation and any advice we could offer.
This seemed to progress naturally with each team gleaning useful info and tips from each of the mentors. My sessions always ran over time so there was no shortage of things to talk about!
Here is a quick look at each of the teams:
These guys offer a bespoke laundry collection and drop off service (www.washboxapp.com)
An established site that compares and reviews eye and beauty treatments for an introduction/referral fee (www.treatmentsaver.com)
Offering a daily special meal idea with all ingredients delivered to your workplace ready to take home and cook (www.shuttlecook.com)
An iPad app to allow indoor cycling against other cyclists doing the same (www.velo-trainer.com)
Buy your friend a drink when you are in different locations through Clink’s mobile app (https://clinktogether.com)
A music sharing resource that allows fans to connect with artists and vice versa (www.leaf.fm)
Hire your car out when not in use and hire a car when you need one locally (http://rentecarlo.com)
It was great to see Sage One getting involved with these new tech start-ups and trying to make a difference on the ground. Not just financially but also by offering skills and expertise from within our team to hopefully help kickstart, develop and promote IT businesses locally.
To find out more about Campus North and how you can visit or get involved, visit www.campusnorth.co.uk