Archive for January, 2012
The Smarter City is undoubtedly one of the big issues of the next decade. The ability to integrate data to provide better service to the workers, residents and visitors to a city has potential to generate new and exciting business opportunities. It is a playing field for fresh thinking for both big players and the small start-up in digital business. Read More …
Posted on January 30th, 2012 by MOwen
There is a dilemma. Many chose to settle in rural Wales and rural Ireland to escape the rat race. We know that for many that means getting on trains to travel to clients in London. The family can fully enjoy Wales and the breadwinner has the pleasure at weekends. However there is a need to make a living. How does that square with innovative nation? Inventorium has a challenge to help develop businesses in Wales and rural Ireland. Read More …
Posted on January 25th, 2012 by MOwen
What happens to your eureka moments? Do you write them across your hand? Do you scribble them on the back of an envelope? There’s an app for that and now there’s a forum, too. Inventorium’s Open Mic Idea Jam series was part of Innovation Dublin 2011, and offered an audience and a microphone to anyone with an idea and three minutes to spare. Below is a review of the events and details of the Open Mic Idea Jams planned in Wales and Ireland in 2012.
The Idea Jam was intended as a place to share ideas at all points of development, network with like-minded and compatibly different people, and contribute to a climate of idea-sharing, mutual encouragement, and constructive critique. There were potential investors and mentors present, too, but for most it seemed a chance to open up new conversations about ideas. Eighteen people spoke at the first event in the Stag’s Head, beginning with Conor Lynch of Connector.ie, and his idea for a website for skill sharing. The pitches ran the gamut from an idea for an eco-friendly and cost effective way to dry clothes without a tumble drier, to a travel website targeting walkers in Wicklow aged 50+, to a cloud hosting service called Astroboa, described as “like a WordPress service for data”.
There was a similar mix of digital, service and physical product pitches at the second Open Mic event at Odessa, including a novel idea for car sharing that sounded like a cross between Airbnb.com and Gocar.ie. Along with this were some very early-stage, more amorphous ideas like Lisa Feay’s idea for a jazz radio station, and some other arts focused concepts, like Castle Variations, an annual week-long musical mashup in a castle.
The Idea Jams bring together a wide range of people and ideas that wouldn’t otherwise end up in the same room on purpose. They’re as useful for the audience as they are for the people pitching, a few of whom seem to have gone home with business cards for potential collaborators, partners, investors or customers. However, what was striking but perhaps not surprising was the fairly low representation of women, not just pitching, but actually attending the event. Is it because there are fewer female entrepreneurs? Or is a woman less likely to air publicly an idea that isn’t quite ready yet?
The most striking thing was this: digital companies, organisations, would-be entrepreneurs and innovators can learn some important lessons from people who make physical products, or sell services. We know already that starting something successful, whether it’s for profit, for fun, or for the greater good, means understanding who your customer is, what that customer needs, and being really clear what problem you’re solving. Your sweat equity, your money, and your passion is tied up in this great new idea. It’s easy to think that you’ve thought all of the important things through everything else can be clarified later.
For a video of previous Open Mic nights click here.
More Open Mic Idea Jams are planned for 2012:
Wales: 17th April, Fat Cat, Bangor
For more details and to register visit the events section of our website.
Posted on January 25th, 2012 by Jenny
An article on WalesOnline.co.uk gave some interesting perspectives from business leaders on what 2012 holds for businesses in Wales some extracts are included below;
Phil Cooper: Managing Director, Venture Wales
“The natural reaction for some will be to downsize and simply cut costs. However, I hope others will respond by exploring new markets and diversifying products and services.”
“Yes, we are in a tight corner and 2012 is going to be very tough for many businesses. But only through individual enterprises taking initiatives and pursuing new opportunities together with strong political leadership will we start to turn the tide.”
Iestyn Davies: Head of External Affairs, Federation of Small Businesses in Wales
“Based on early indications, small businesses will be looking to employ more staff and will be keen to innovate and bring new products and services to market. In tough times they realise that innovation gives them a competitive edge over their competitors.”
To read the article in full click here.
Throughout 2012 Inventorium will be continuing to encourage open innovation inWales andIreland, helping teams to work towards the generation of new businesses, products and services. Our programme of workshops and Symposia will support the development of new ideas and ways of working for the public sector, SME’s and not-for-profit enterprises.
Events planned for 2012 will look at how digital technologies can be used to better support aspects of culture and industry in Wales Including workshops focussed on: Digital Culture inWales
The Rural Economy
Welsh Language and Media
At each of these events Inventorium will aim to have sector professionals clearly defining some of the problems they are currently facing – the main focus of the rest of the day will then be on diverse teams of people – made up of industry professionals, technologists, designers, developers, academics and entrepreneurs – working together to develop solutions to those problems.
Details of these events will appear on www.inventorium.org/events
Posted on January 4th, 2012 by Caroline