Fuelling Your Spooky Startup; a Halloween Special

We had a great event last night at TechHub Manchester which explored the different funds that are available to startups. On our panel to discuss this was Doug Stellman from Enterprise Ventures, Darren Westlake the CEO of CrowdCube, Andrew Ko the co-founder of Manchester startup Moment.Us, and Rose Lewis the co-founder of Collider. With representation ranging from venture capital to crowd funding, the discussion was lively with plenty of questions from the audience. There was a lot of discussion around what investors look for in startups, what stage a startup needs to be at to raise finance, as well as more grueling questions concerning the pros and cons of accelerators, crowd funding, and venture capital. There was a lot of tweeting, so be sure to head over to our account to take a look at some of the responses.


We love coming to Manchester and will definitely return soon with more pizza, beer, and lively startup debate. Thanks to TechHub for putting us up for the evening, and thanks to everyone who came along instead of trick-or-treating!

Doug, Rose, and Andrew

As a final reminder, there are only SIX DAYS left until our application closes, so head over to our application page to apply!

Collider12 Startups Pitching to Become TheNextBigThing

Three of our Collider startups will be presenting  tomorrow at ad:tech London for the chance to be crowned The Next Big Thing. Avocarrot, Locomizer, and Miappi will be up against some great startups and will be pitching to a panel full of large brands. The winner will be announced on Thursday, so stay tuned to find out who will be victorious.


Simply Be Agree Ongoing Commitment with WhichSocial After Successful Trial

Manchester-based WhichSocial have established a new cooperation with Simply Be, which is part of J D Williams & Company Limited. Simpy Be specialise in offering the latest fashion trends in women apparel exclusively in sizes 14-32, and have a very active following online. WhichSocial will provide their services to Simply Be in order to optimise their social media marketing on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. The social media ROI software offered by WhichSocial will help Simply Be determine how successful their Pinterest pins, Facebook posts and Tweets are in driving sales and traffic to their website. The software will also identify influencers, discover trending best sellers and the most effective social channel. Having such measurements available, Simply Be will be able to revise, and hence optimise, their social media marketing strategy.

WhichSocial is dedicated to helping Simply Be improve their social media marketing efforts by allowing Simply Be to immediately react to WhichSocial real-time alerts based on trending on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Avin Wong, WhichSocial’s Managing Director, commented, “We appreciate the opportunity to provide our services to Simply Be and continue working closely with FTSE 250 N Brown Group Plc, which Simply Be is a part of. We are hoping Simply Be will set an example for the rest of the 32 brands under FTSE 250 N Brown Group Plc, demonstrating the success of using our software.”

Simply Be have been extremely satisfied with WhichSocial’s software trial and committed to using WhichSocial on a daily basis. Simply Be's Social Media Manager mentioned, "We were impressed to see the updates that the Which Social team had made to the platform on our behalf and to hear of new developments in the pipeline as well".

Manchester-based WhichSocial is a real-time social media ROI tracking software with actionable alerts for ROI-driven digital marketers. The technology helps retailers measure, quantify and improve ROI from Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter. WhichSocial has received investment from various business pioneers and institutional investors, such as Creative England, Unilever, Ingenious and Bauer Media. The company is currently working with fashion retailers from FTSE 250 group and Sunday Times’ Fast Track 100 list, as well as one of the 1000 most visited UK website. Visit for more details.

An All Male Panel at the BIMA startup seminar in Google Campus

On Tuesday I went to the BIMA (British Interactive Media Association) startup seminar hosted at Google Campus, in collaboration with Rackspace. The panel was a great mix of large companies and startups, who all have experience relevant to those starting up today. The panel of speakers included John Webb from Rackspace, Benjamin Southworth, deputy CEO of Tech City, Joe Stepniewski founder of Skimlinks, Damian Routley the CEO of Glow, Jean-Michel Deligny of Go4Venture, Alex Wood, the editor or Tech City News, Drew Benvie founder of new comms agency Battenhall, and the chair Justin Pearse of Bite. However, it was rather hard to ignore that all eight members of the panel were male, and indeed, so was everyone who spoke on stage, including the welcome speech from BIMA and the closing remarks from Rackspace. This was picked up on Twitter Candace Kuss and Karen Barber, and then mentioned at the very end of the session by Craig Le Grice, the Executive Committee Member of BIMA. 

I got in touch with Craig who said that "Benjamin Southworth and Joe Stepniewski were fantastic additions to our panel - but both were in place of their respective female CEOs (Joanna Shields, CEO at TCIO and Alicia NavarroCEO at Skimlinks) who were invited first but unfortunately could not attend due to diary commitments." 


Craig went on to say that "Speaking personally, I'm a huge advocate of - and fighter for - equality in our industry. I work with a number of startups and actively encourage diversity and the building of companies based on talent, regardless of gender, race, sexuality etc. I welcome the day when no woman attends a technology or digital focused event and feels she's at a boy's club."

This situation is clearly not ideal, especially as there are more than enough women who could at least match the experience on the panel. However, it is positive that people are realising that an all male panel is no longer neccessary or acceptable, and hopefully, these all male events will become a thing of the past. In the mean time, check out these future BIMA events and get involved in the discussion.

  • 6 June - BIMA Thirstday (an event held every month on the first Thursday)
    • A networking event for anyone involved in digital. Every member is invited so the group is always a diverse mix.
  • 24 July - Digital Hall of Fame
    • A formal ceremony to honour the five new inductees to the Digital Hall of Fame, and the inaugural BIMA Hot 100 list of digital's biggest talents. The '100' list is voted for and so represents a great cross-section of the industry.
  • 12 September - The BIMA Awards
    • BIMA's annual awards, recognising the best of the digital industry, are in September. The call for entries is open now and the judging panel has been announced. Check out to see the great mix of judges.