How Do You Turn A Good Idea Into A Great Business?

Jo Golley, Head of Engagement at Innovation Point, shares a story of how ideas can meet investment and change the world By Jo Golley 13/06/2017

We’ve all had those ideas haven’t we?  The ones we’ve got to write down as soon as we wake up. The ones we stomp out of the shower to tap into iPhone notes before our morning brain makes their bubble burst.  The ones we scramble for the remote to press pause on Netflix for.

Well, I have those ideas some of the time. Once in a blue moon when inspiration strikes.  But the people I work with day-in-day-out at Innovation Point have them every day. Imagine that.  What a life.

The hard thing if you have those kind of ideas is knowing just how to turn the dream into reality. That’s why Innovation Point was set up.   Our aim is to drive and increase digital innovation in Wales.  To find those game-changer ideas and help them get the funding which can make them blow up.  

But with Brexit imminent, the pound falling and parliament hanging, what does the funding landscape look like for those bedroom geniuses? Does the uncertainty of the political landscape mean that the pots of money that once laid at the end of the rainbow have disappeared in a puff of smoke? Is 2017 the graveyard of ambition?

Two words. Hell. No. And here’s just some reasons why.   First off, we’ve launched our Digital Dozen Accelerator programme, aimed at identifying the best of Wales’ digital and tech businesses and putting them through their paces on an intensive six month journey to help secure investment.

And then there’s Digital, our festival of innovation, investment and industry coming to Tramshed Tech (18-19 September 2017).  At last year’s event, 634 meetings were recorded by businesses looking to chat, collaborate, invest and innovate. 

One of those was Ben Joakim from Monmouthshire.  Ben had spent 10 years running charitable trusts around the world, leading a $30m project portfolio across sub-Saharan Africa.  We all wonder whether all of the money we donate goes direct to the cause.  It doesn’t and Ben wants to make that system more inefficient.  He knew blockchain could help.  He had that brilliant idea.  He just needed to realise it. 

Meet Laura Bailey from Zerado.  Well, Ben did, at Digital. Laura’s an expert in financial services and software development. Just what Ben needed to bring his idea to life.  Fast forward to now and Disberse, their company, has a partnership with a donor managing £100m in funds and is already saving charities valuable funds in places as far-flung as Swaziland.

Be like Ben.  Bring your brilliant selves and your ideas, whatever stage they’re at, to Digital.  When the dreamers and doers are in the right place at the right time and have the opportunity to connect, the sky’s the limit.

Registration for Digital is free. Do it now. http://digital-festival.co.uk

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18 - 19 Sept 2017
Tramshed Tech, Cardiff
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