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N.B. Thurs November 22nd is a follow-up meeting from the first Croydon Tech City event held October 4th (see below to see what was discussed).
On Thurs Nov 22nd:
- There will be a full presentation of the vision (as below) from 7.30 – 8pm for those who were unable to make the previous event.
- 8pm onwards there will be a presentation from Croydon Creatives, and extended time for audience feedback and discussion of how to take Croydon Tech City forward.
The Silicon Valley of South London
Croydon Tech City is a vision of mine in which I wish to see Croydon become a credible player in the European tech scene and an attractive home for digital and creative start-ups.
The aims of the evening are primarily to:
- Explain why Croydon should commit to this vision
- Show how I intend to push Croydon Tech City forwards in 2013
- Find out how others can help me
- Learn from any suggestions or criticisms
The agenda for the night is as follows (although subject to change):
- Introduction (with pyrotechnics and laser show, budget permitting)
- Personal background
- Purley 2.0
- An introduction to Tech City
- Brief history
- Notable companies in the area
- Events and culture
- Success stories
- Why Croydon should commit to this vision
- Matthews Yard
- Fairfield Halls
- Examining current local tech cluster
- Croydon Creatives
- Commercial office space
- Residential properties
- Local culture
- Plans for 2013
- Q&A (with possible premature escape through the back exit from groupies/irate naysayers)
The event will formally finish at 9pm – although it would be great to carry on the conversation well into the night. Ideally somewhere classy (read: KFC). :)
Please do come along on Thurs Nov 22nd at 7.30pm, it would be wonderful to have you listen, contribute and shape this vision.
I can be contacted at jonnyrose1 [at] gmail [dot] com or 98rosjon on Twitter.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a MASSIVE advocate of Matthews Yard – a new cafe and workspace behind Surrey Street Market, established by Saif Bonar.
The venue is fast becoming popular with the various denizens of Croydon who have warmed to its urbane cafe culture and spartan style.
As well as organic word-of-mouth from its many patrons, Matthews Yard has also benefitted from the calculated efforts of Hillcrest PR who has continued to gain the venue borough-wide and national exposure, which notably culminated in Autumn 2012 with a visit from the Royal family.
The appointment of Alice Cretney – a local artist – has meant that Matthews Yard now plays host to regularly updated arts exhibitions and cultural programmes (something that is dramatically lacking in the borough).
Locals have also formed the ‘Croydon Craft Club’ held on third Tuesday of each month 5.30-8pm.
Further compounding this sense of wider community utility is the presence of Croydon Radio – a venture founded by Tim Longhurst – which provides round-the-clock music, comment and personality.
On Friday and Saturday nights, Matthews Yard has live artists in residence bringing in crowds from across South London.
Temi Odesanya has been appointed in recent months as Matthews Yard’s Community Manager. An enviable role which has seen her boost membership of the workspace as she seeks to make Matthews Yard be at the forefront of Croydon’s social enterprise and collaborative workspace movement:
My affection for this place and the people there is boundless, and I look forward to seeing it continue to improve the social and cultural landscape of the area.
SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT
On Thursday 24th January 2013 7.30pm at Matthews Yard, myself and others will be speaking on ‘Croydon Tech City’.
We will be detailing:
- Why Croydon should commit to this vision
- How we will push Croydon Tech City forwards in 2013
- How YOU can help us
PUT THIS IN YOUR DIARY RIGHT NOW. YES, RIGHT NOW. I look forward to seeing you there :)
StartUp Weekends are 54hr events where developers, designers, marketeers, product managers and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build products and launch start-ups.
Beginning with open mic pitches on Friday, attendees bring their best ideas and inspire others to join their team. Over Saturday and Sunday teams focus on customer development, validating their ideas, practicing LEAN Startup Methodologies and building a minimal viable product. On Sunday evening teams demo their prototypes and receive valuable feedback from a panel of experts.
This is JUST the kind of thing I would love to do in Croydon in Matthews Yard (please do get in contact – see below – if you’d like to help me do one in Summer 2013)
Until then, please do check out this beautifully produced 15min documentary following two entrepreneurs as they go from idea to product in 54hours.
If you are interested in contributing to my on-going project of making Croydon ‘the Second Tech City’ and ‘Silicon Valley of South London’, please do introduce yourself to me.
I can be reached on Twitter @98rosjon and by email: jonnyrose1 [at] gmail [dot] com
An article I wrote for Inside Croydon on Croydon’s viability as a credible player in the start-up scene.
As property giants Hammerson and Westfield charge headlong into a £1billion battle for the rights to develop another temple to high street retailing, proud Purley resident JONNY ROSE puts forward an alternative vision for regeneration: the Silicon Valley of South London
The unwelcome news last week that Allders of Croydon is closing comes after a line of other long-established businesses are preparing to flee the borough.
Surprisingly, the council and local government remain in thrall to major retail developers who are promising an economic and cultural Renaissance, if only they can build yet another soulless, identikit multi-storey shopping centre.
These retail developers are well aware of consumer shift from in-store shopping to online purchasing, but those in charge of the 2012-2013 “masterplan” for central Croydon will have long moved on, often perhaps with a golden handshake, when the borough is left with its…
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