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  • Welcome to my personal website. My passion is making valuable connections between people and ideas. I’m retained by several organizations to do exactly that and enjoy taking on special projects.

    I’m based in the UK at the moment and hope you will be in touch if you think that I can help you in some way or if you think that we could work together. Please have a read about the sort of things I’m up to.

    StartUp Britain

    Monday 28th March 2011, 6:48am

    A busy day today, helping to launch something which aims to be useful and practical in equal meaure!

    StartUp Britain is a new campaign which hopes to inspire people across Britain to start and grow a business.
     
    A group of 8 of us, some of whom you may know (me, Rajeeb Dey from Enternships, Richard O’Connor from Chocolate and Love, Emma Jones from Enterprise Nation, Michael Hayman from Seven Hills, Jamie Murray Wells from Glasses Direct, Lara Morgan from Pacific Direct and Company Shortcut and Duncan Cheatle from The Supper Club – see profiles on the site) sat down to think about what would be practical, useful and helpful to inspire people to start a business, and help those who already have. 

    Today we’re sharing our starter for ten! 

    It is only a start, and we have plans to build from here.   The Telegraph have covered it on their front page here and the Press Association has written it up here.  Sir Richard Branson has written a fantastic piece for the Telegraph in which he gives us a good mention.

    We started with the idea that there is a massive amount already going on, and that we should point the way to it.  So you’ll see hundreds of links to good stuff.
     
    We took the view that a major way for business to help business is by offering practical deals and discounts to save time, money or hassle.  So you’ll see over 50 offers at launch, from business cards to broadband, and from office space to suits!
     
    Just as importantly, thousands of people aspire to start a business and yet don’t.  We hope that StartUp Britain might inspire them by celebrating some of the fantastic work going on all over the UK.
     
    StartUp Britain has the full support of the Prime Minister David Cameron and HM Government.  We have worked with the team at Number 10 and at BIS to plan what we hope is something useful. 
     
    Contrary to a couple of early reports, (including this one by the BBC!)  this is an independent, private sector initiative, and is not funded by Government.  We have been inspired by the Startup America Partnership and are in touch with their team. 
     
    Over time, we want to be a two way bridge between Government and business – a useful channel.  We hope to inspire others to join our team.
     
    I’d love your feedback.  You can follow StartUp Britain on Twitter  and check out the site here.
     
    Thank you in advance for your feedback and support!

    16 Responses to “StartUp Britain”

    1. Dan Bowyer says:

      I love the initiative Oli. As always you look like our future PM and PS, have my vote.

      Being a massive cynic I hope you DO get the backing of government with proper money and resources AS WELL AS private enterprise support.

      If anyone can push this you can, so massive break a legs all round and best wishes

      I will stand next to you where and when I’m allowed and keep my big fat cynical mouth zipped.

      Love D.

    2. Terence Eden says:

      An excellent idea – just two quick points.
      1) It seems lots of papers were briefed about this launch – but no blogs. Is that right? Surely it would have been a good idea to get UK bloggers talking about this?
      2) No mobile friendly website? Really? 100% of your target audience are going to be trying to access your site while they’re on the train or on the loo – and they’re not using laptops! I’ll admit I have a vested interest – my start-up helps organisations make the most of the mobile web. So give me a call if you want some advice :-)

      Good luck with the venture; I think it’s much needed.

    3. Dear Oli,

      Good for you, Emma, Rajeeb and the other five.

      Let me know how I can help. My blog site and LinkedIn profile should make it clear how I can.

      However a quick snapshot: I’m a co-founding CTO then CEO of a company sold to a NASDAQ firm. I have been mentoring high growth start-ups and SMEs for 5 years. I’m an angel investor and spent the weekend starting up an exciting software company with two young entrepreneurs who are 18 and 21.

      Good luck at the launch.

      Colin

    4. Neil Cocker says:

      Excellent stuff, Oli. Will be following closely, and spreading the word.

      Impression that it’s a government initiative is probably not helped by DC’s face looming out of the front page at you!

      ;-)

    5. Iain Scott says:

      Good Luck Olli-and thanks for clarifying you are independent.
      Which brings me to my first question-how can i help in Scotland?
      Iain

    6. Allan Wills says:

      Hey Oli,

      Good on you – this looks really interesting! Will keep my eye on it.

      Allan

    7. Paul says:

      Yeah, get rid of the DC photo.

      It actually looks less like a government site, and more like a Conservative party website. Really off-putting.

      The one thing it *really* doesn’t look like is an independent site. That does you a disservice.

      Paul

    8. Paul says:

      I should add that I think it’s a great idea, but I think you’ve made a small miss-step with the branding.

    9. Start me up please :)

      I need help! How do I get it? I am ready to be connected.

      Thanks. AMMM

    10. Matt Boyle says:

      oli,
      This appears to be just what I and my colleagues were needing, someone / some organisation that can validate our idea and provide the psh which will move it forward.
      Please advise of the next step. headlines are one thing….
      Regards,
      Matt Boyle

    11. Anna says:

      Appreciate what you’re trying to do, but there’s nothing on the site yet that is not available via established sites such as Business Link, Venture Navigator, Business Gateway, PSYBT, Shell LiveWIRE, etc.

      The offers of financial support are misleading – they just seem to be budget voucher schemes. And it’s a pity that so many links are to American corporations – can you replace these with British ones?

      If you are a private NFP organisation, what is your status – why is there no company registration number or head office address on the site? This is a legal requirement!

      I’m irritated by the number of spelling and punctuation mistakes – I’ll correct these for you for a small fee. And I’m sure you can find some student designers who would create much better graphic design for the site.

      If you ask startups what they need, it’s not reduced mobile phone contracts or city suits – it’s funding and access to networks. And that doesn’t mean funding via award competitions for which you have to pay an entry fee.

    12. Helen says:

      Sounds too good to be true but I really want to start up a business so I’m willing to give it my all. No shortage of commitment or knowledge in my field, but absolutely no idea how to get it off the ground.

    13. Well done Oli and team, a huge set of achievements in such a short time, and this is just the hurried beginning. Particlualry impressed by the list of corporates, how did you do that???

      And I gather that the portal will soon have a rating system for all the resources that you are highlighting, so the good stuff will quickly move to the top. As we found when sourcing content to link to from our own set of business advice websites (Law Donut etc) there is a lot of wheat and chaff out there, and you would do us all a great service by removing the chaff!

    14. A good start Oli. Something needs to be done to kick business into action again and to get the economy going.

      As well as sitting on some boards in a voluntary capacity, I run my own practice, working, among other things, as a Company Secretary for various companies including a bank, a group of companies in the music industry and a charity that has the aim of getting young people into employment, education and training.

      I can help a business startup by organising the initial legal set-up of the company and give advice on legal, accounting and compliance requirements, as well as intellectual property and other relevant areas that have to be considered in any new venture.

      Please look at my website and, if I can be of help, get in touch.

    15. [...] commenter, on Oli Barrets very own blog http://www.olibarrett.com/2011/03/28/startup-britain/ made the very valid point that “…it seems lots of papers were briefed about this launch – but [...]

    16. [...] end of March saw the launch of StartUp Britain, which I’ve written about here (at launch) and here (six months in). Highlights have been working with the co-founders (Emma, Raj, [...]

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