In this regular feature for TechSwindon we ask some of the areas Meetup organisers about their groups, what they get up to and how you can get involved!
- What’s your Meetup?
We’re the Swindon Founders group – we are the monthly meet up for Tech Founders in Swindon and the surrounding areas to get together, listen to peer interviews and build a network for collaboration and support.
- Who’s it for?
Anyone thinking of starting, already running, or with previous experience of, running a tech business – to create layers of peer support and experience.
- Is there any criteria to join?
Tech is fairly broad, we have creatives as well as programmers, platforms to financial services – we’re pretty strict on having no sales people or serial networking attendees there as we want to create a credible group of founders with insightful content each month.
- What’s the format of your event?
Normally we’ll interview two companies – which could be multiple founders, find out more about their business, their journey so far, challenges and lessons learned. We’ve made it interview format to make it more relaxed and engaging for the audience who are encouraged to ask questions.
- If you could invite anyone to your meet-up who would it be?
The best stories come from the founders you’ve never heard of, the companies quietly changing the world and the teams with no need of PR. All of our interviews so far have thrown up fascinating experiences which give hope, or maybe reassurance to the audience – the founder journey is rarely an easy one! Anyone who makes the decision to start their own business I want to meet – it’s hard, the risks and pressures are much greater than many of us would ever take on, and the gamble is on the reward being worth it.
- How many members do you generally have at an event?
We’ve just started and have around 25 coming along each month, but the word is getting out and we’ve had attendees from Oxford & Bristol!
- What are some of the typical subjects you discuss?
Founder interviews cover lots of subjects – money, time and motivation being some core themes. We focus a lot on how they got over the barriers, worked around the changes and how they keep balanced through it all.
- Who’s been your favourite speaker this year and why?
In our first Swindon Founders we had two very different opinions on managing people and it really showed that you have to be honest with yourself as a founder around your strengths, motivations and goals. Each interview so far has been great, every founder brings his/her own perspective to the conversation and I look forward to each one.
- What’s the best thing about the Swindon tech cluster?
It’s under-rated – the bright lights shine on Bristol and Oxford but there are thousands of people employed in tech in Swindon, and each week we connect with more founders as the community starts to glue together – it is going to be a powerhouse in it’s own right!
- Where can we find out more about you?
All of our events are posted on EventBrite and we’re the foundation event of the TechSwindon campaign so you can find out more about us at www.tech-swindon.com