How technology is changing the world around us
For our 30th episode and first of 2021, Matt and Steven are chatting with Zara Zaman, who founded edventure, the UK's first student-led venture builder and accelerator. She paints a picture of what entrepreneurship looks like for Gen Z - how purpose leads much of what student entrepreneurs want to do, and how attitudes around topics like failure and mental health are changing the way we work.
University really is the ideal time for people to found a startup - the mix of people, access to resources, and energy creates the perfect melting pot. So what can we do to inspire and encourage more student startup activity? Have a listen to find out.
Zara is in her final year at the University of Edinburgh, studying Arabic and French. She co-founded edvneture, who take the best applicants from universities across Europe and assemble teams with a range of complementary skill sets to build the start-ups of tomorrow. Having founded her own start-up in her first year of university and having worked with a variety of start-ups through consulting projects, she is inspired by the potential of entrepreneurship as a tool to solve the world’s most pressing issues. She strongly believes that universities are a melting pot of everything that makes a great start-up: fresh ideas, diversity, tenacity, and an understanding of what is going on in the world – with just enough optimism to believe change is possible.
For the last episode of 2020, Matt and Steven are joined by Daisy Ford-Downes to explore alternative finance in a world dominated by venture capital. Daisy’s experience running the Scottish chapter of Zebra’s Unite is leant on to discuss how an ecosystem can support businesses that don’t fit into a traditional investment paradigm, and what the future of investment looks like. They touch on how banks will adapt to a new world of investment, how you can maintain positivity in a movement, and expanding an ecosystem’s local maxima.
Daisy works at the intersection of tech, investment and social good. With previous experience at the Scottish Investment Bank and Deloitte, she is currently on the investment team at Resilient Scotland, a social investor funding community enterprises in areas of multiple deprivation. She also leads the Scottish chapter of Zebras Unite, a global movement supporting founders building startups outside of the unicorn/ VC paradigm, with a focus on how investment innovation can get more good ideas funded.
This week Matt and Steven are chatting with Gabi Matic, who runs the ATI Boeing Accelerator. They talk about startup principles in aerospace, and whether or not software playbooks can translate to the real world and building jet engines. As is their wont, they touch on ecosystems, education, and corporate/startup relationships. Gabi’s insight into both worlds is eye opening - her experience speaks for itself - check out her impressive CV below:
Gabi is the Programme Director at ATI Boeing Accelerator, a 3-month programme for world-class startups building sustainability enabling technologies, with the potential to bolster the growth and competitiveness of the UK aerospace industry.
Prior to becoming Programme Director at the accelerator, Gabi held the same role within the Ignite accelerator where she designed and delivered multiple pre-accelerator and accelerator programmes. There, she also helped create an inclusion programme, giving equal opportunities to founders from outside of London, female founders, older founders, parents, and sustainability-focused companies.
Gabi is a former founder herself. Mindmate, the startup that she co-founded and where she held the CMO role, grew from 0 to 50K users before being sold into the NHS. With Mindmate, she participated in several accelerator programmes (Ignite [Prog. 7, Winter 2015 cohort] and Techstars NYC [Summer 2016]), which led to her joining Ignite as a Programme Director later on.
Brad Feld literally wrote the book on Startup Communities, and his work has been hugely influential in helping startups work together all over the globe. He also founded Techstars, so it’s safe to say he knows what he’s talking about.
In this episode, Matt, Steven, and Brad talk about his new book, The Startup Community Way, and everything that went into making it. They discuss the creative process and how Brad’s seminal blog influenced his style of writing, and how easy it is to get stuck talking about your greatest hits.
They then explore the world of startup communities in depth - how to wrap your head around the complexity involved and think in terms of interactions rather than specific nodes. They talk about how playbooks function in complex systems, and how you go from cliques to community. Lastly, they discuss building inclusion into an ecosystem, and the need for new institutions to help connect folks.
Talking Tech (with the David Hume Institute)
This one off special episode is a live recording at the David Hume Institute’s event Talking Tech. Steven sits down to chat with Chris Yiu who is based in Edinburgh and works internationally on technology and public policy for the Institute for Global Change. He has a special interest in tech, education and change. They have a chat about ecosystems, the future of tech, and tech policy.
The more you learn about bundling and unbundling, the more you begin to see it everywhere. Where once a Happy Meal was a simple cardboard box full of greasy food, a sugary drink and a mass produced trinket, suddenly you begin to see how each element serves its purpose within the whole, and how each constituent part has a different job to be done within the complete product.
The quintessential example of unbundling that Matt mentions is the Craigslist image below - each element has been unbundled into many different products. But things have moved on hugely since that image was created in 2012, and the notion of bundling is having a profound impact on culture, tastes, and image. Enjoy!