I was lucky enough to be invited along to ‘Media Meets Money’ at Shoreditch House recently. The conference boasted an interesting mix of digital industry experts, entrepreneurs and financiers who shared their experiences of doing business in the UK and the USA; what the hot opportunities in new media and technology currently are, and how best to finance them. This in itself used to be viewed as a strange partnership – creatives, innovators and moneymen all in the same room. However, as Google’s Communications Director for Europe, DJ Collins pointed out in one of the panel sessions, "in years to come the idea that media and money don't go hand in hand will be seen as quaint".
Headlines from the great and good on the panels:
TV is getting bigger
Lorraine Heggessey, former Chief Executive of Talkback Thames, Controller of BBC One and now Chair of Boom Pictures had some encouraging news for production companies:
“Ever since I have been in television, people have been predicting the end, but big shows are getting bigger, formats are travelling around the world faster and there are more social media conversations about television than anything else. The thing that was supposed to kill us has enabled us.” And according to Heggessey, the UK is still the best place to launch new programme ideas, “we have a very experimental market”, one which isn’t afraid to try out new formats.
The City has little appetite for technology
Saul Klein, Founder of Love Film and Partner at Index Ventures had some advice for the money guys: “The real problem is with the City. £60 billion under management and how much is invested in UK tech companies? How many Chief Technical Officers are on the board of FTSE 100 companies? One". This surely needs to change and the tech guys it would seem are being taken more seriously. This is clearly where salvation in the UK economy and future lies.
Geeks can’t sell shit
Ben Southworth, Deputy CEO of Tech City UK, reminded us that start-ups and entrepreneurs are multiplying at a rate of knots with new and more innovative products. This is all very well and good, but they need to get the product / idea out there for financiers and ultimately customers to take notice, and for this that old school skill of marketing is needed. This led to uncommon silence across the 5th floor of Shoreditch House. “Geeks can’t sell ****… a marketer will still be needed to provide their unique skill in branding, packaging and selling that tech”, said Ben.
So, I came away from E1 reminded that even though we’re not coding whizz kids, our talents at Mimo can really help young businesses to grow and thrive today.