Friday, 5 July 2013

Light up tha sky like tha 4th of July

3460 & Digital Dumbo host 'The 4th July in London'
4th July at Pulse, Shoreditch

Appropriately timed in sync with the 4th July, last night saw huge collaboration between two of the most important cities in the world: New York and London. Hosted by 3460 Miles and Digital Dumbo London on the beautiful roof terrace of Pulse, the event concentrated on discussing anything and everything to do with running start-ups on either side of the pond. An amazing collection of London's finest creative founders, technologists and entrepreneurs came together not only to enjoy some evening drinks, but to engage in a fascinating panel talk about extending their projects into New York as well as the UK capital.

As a recent graduate having just moved to the capital myself, I had rather a lot to learn not only about the guests, but about their companies and strategies. Perhaps what was most apparent to me throughout the evening was quite simply how relaxed, enjoyable and supportive the atmosphere of the event was; the generosity within conversation along with the friendly interest offered by everyone made for an absolutely brilliant evening. I was interested to hear the perspectives of successful London based start-ups making a name for themselves in New York - which I can only imagine to be a potentially intimidating mission upon which to embark. Of course, the differences between the cities were repeatedly highlighted: the social aspect of business having so much more importance in the US was an interesting topic, as were more practical points regarding business tax regime difficulties and credit rate issues (coming from London to New York). Jo Jackson offered some really helpful tips regarding visa issues for employees, whilst everyone on the panel agreed that generally, the sell is harder in New York because there's so much more competition - you've got to shout so much louder. All the companies agreed that marketing strategies had to be altered to adapt to a US system, highlighting the differences in consumer behaviour. However, whilst the differences were obviously discussed at great length, the fact that both New York and London happen to be the most influential cities in the world justified the huge efforts made to 'make it in America'. One point I remembered very well was the suggestion that instead of feeling competitive towards either city, the best option for todays companies is to be friendly and supportive in business - especially since so many start-ups are setting up camp on both sides of the pond. Extending networks seems to be a key theme within any business in any field, and if anything last night's event stood not only to represent that, but to support it as well.

Conversation between Joshua March of Conversocial, Jo Jackson of Protein, Pratik Sampat of iHorizon, Ross Murray-Jones of YPlan, Christopher Jeffery of Taylor Wessing and Alex Mecklenburg of Huge was lead by Courtney Boyd Myers ( and 3460 Miles) in an entertaining  discussion which lasted around an hour.

Spurred by the event, I'm even more interested in the fashion- tech (in particular) start-up scene in London, as well as New York. Since moving south to the capital only a week ago, I'm already excited for the next event.

us hanging out at the event on the roof of Pulse