Thursday, September 26, 2013

Location, location, location

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It’s been a week for backsliding.

It wasn’t planned that way, it was just that commitments made months ago all seemed to come due at once.

A pitch in Leeds on Tuesday. Hosting a conference in London on Wednesday.  And back and forth appearances in London and Cambridge on Thursday.  And Google tracked it all (top, today)

Leeds was for YABA, the Yorkshire Association of Business Angels.  They were early supporters of the business and I have always enjoyed presenting our progress to them.  They take a more intuitive approach, inclined to look you in the eye and ask the key question, then make the deal with a handshake.

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This was a 15-minute pitch, so a chance to take the slides a bit more slowly and interact more with the audience.  It was relaxed and comfortable, a few chemists in the group who asked excellent questions.  The lunch and the mixer afterwards was productive.

The conference was MedTech Investing Europe 2013 at the Kings Fund in London.  I was asked to chair the meeting, which involved a keynote on the “State of the Nation” in medical technology, and a couple of follow-up summaries.   The meeting is a nice mix of investors, small businesses, and service providers.  Panel discussions on topics ranging from Digital Health to Global Development Processes.

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I got into a bit of a scrape over digital health.  I am not a believer in Lifestyle Apps, AI, or Big Data, but there were panelists who’s reputations were tied to those technologies.  Another good discussion centered around the relative value off incubators vs. mentors: the older, wiser heads unanimously favored the latter.

Finally, the Babraham Investment Forum, a Cambridge event that attracts a very scientifically literate and business savvy crowd. It’s a bigger crowd, several hundred, and tougher rules: 10 mins (wrap up), 11 mins (final warning), 12 mins (no new slide), 13 mins (the  hook).  I was also selected for special filming for a documentary on the event, so a mike and a shoulder-held camera ranging around me.

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This was more of a challenge, I lost track of the moderator and of the time.  The room was dark, making it hard to connect with faces.  So I fell into the deadly trap of thinking about the audience rather than talking to them, then worrying about losing my place in the pitch and stumbling.  The voice goes up, the words rush, and I finished in 8 mins 30.

‘not my best day.

Somehow I survived today though, up at 4, drive to London, speech, drive to Cambridge, pitch, drive to London, speech, drive home and fold up.  Google followed my progress, insane as it was.

‘serious backslide that it was.  I feel like I need to regroup and get back on the program, life in better balance and less hurried.

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