Manage episode 376806777 series 3503638
In this week's episode we speak to Stuart Clarke MBE, Festival Director for the Leeds Digital Festival and Owner of Paceline Strategy & PR.
Stuart explains to us what start ups and scale ups most need, how and when to (or not to) source external funding, how the Leeds Tech map came about and all about the amazing annual Leeds Digital Festival. He also talks about how to build a community.
INTRODUCING STUART CLARKE
Stuart Clarke MBE is the founder of Paceline marketing and PR consultancy, working with startup and scaleup firms in the tech sector. He is a non-executive director and adviser to a number of startups, including Jigsaw, Synap and The Grad Soc, and has helped firms to raise funds through crowdfunding, angels and VCs. Stuart also runs the PARSE peer roundtable programme for startup founders and is the creator of the Leeds Tech Map.
He is the co-founder and the Festival Director of the Leeds Digital Festival, the largest open tech event in the UK. The 2023 Festival had over 240 events, celebrating all things digital.
The annual Tech Nation report saw him named by startups as the most influential person in Leeds; he was also named as one of the top three digital leaders in the UK in the Digital Leaders DL100, as well as the City Region Leader: Leeds in the Northern Leadership Awards, and featured in the 2022 Yorkshire Business Insider Powerlist 100.
Stuart was awarded the honour of MBE in the 2023 New Year Honours list for Services to the Technology Sector.
[00:02:00] How Paceline launched and the focus on tech, start ups and scale ups
[00:07:30] The hardest part of running your own business
[00:09.15] What do start ups and scale ups most need
[00:11:45] PARSE peer-to-peer roundtable support
[00:16:00] When does a start up or scale up need funding?
[00:21:45] The Leeds Digital map
[00:27:15] Leeds Digital Festival
[00:31:30] How to build a community
KEY TAKEAWAYS & BUSINESS LEARNINGS
- It’s all about culture with recruitment; will the person fit, both with the client and the team
- Speaking opportunities are a great way for scale ups to show how they are different
- One of the main reasons startups fail is that they run out of time, not money
- If you don’t need to raise money, don’t raise money
- There is a dynamic, forward thinking tech community in Leeds
- Community is all about rising tides raising all boats
- You don’t want to live in London, you want to come and live in Leeds - it’s the digital capital of the North
“people always start new businesses with a couple of anchor clients before they jump ship. The first mistake I made I left my job on a Friday, with no clients on the Monday”
“We’ve seen so many start ups come through in Leeds and succeed”
“Consistency is key to building a company profile”
“A founder came in and said, ‘I think I’ve killed my business…”
“It’s about making sure people have access to funding when they need it”
“People now see Leeds as one of the key tech regions”
VALUABLE RESOURCES FOR YOU
Leeds Digital Tech Map: https://paceline.digital/leeds-tech-map/
Leeds Digital Festival: https://leedsdigitalfestival.org/
Twitter (personal): https://twitter.com/StuartClarkeUK
Twitter (business): https://twitter.com/LeedsDigiFest
Shout out: https://castrooms.com/
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ABOUT YOUR HOST
Phil Fraser went from an accidental kitchen table start up, with no investment, all the way to multi-million pound sale to a PLC 18 years later. He’s travelled the full SME business journey of launch, growth, scale and exit.
As well as hosting the Leeds Business Podcast, Phil now works with ambitious SME-owners as a Business Sounding Board (think somewhere between Business Coach and Business Mentor). In simple terms, he’s ‘a pair of ears and an extra pair eyes’ for SME Owners helping them to be better at what they do. Phil’s mantra is It doesn’t need to be ‘lonely at the top’. He helps Business Owners to be better business owners, by helping with their clarity and focus.
As a Business Sounding Board, he gives SME Owners the time & space to regularly discuss their challenges and opportunities, with no sense of judgement or bias, and in complete confidence. This allows them to explore their options in full, culminating with a list of issues to address/clarify, a clear target in mind, a roadmap to success, and a renewed enthusiasm and confidence for the challenges ahead.
Phil has appeared as a guest on over 60 podcasts, webinars and interviews, from around the whole globe, talking on a variety of business subjects. You can view them all at https://philfraser.co.uk/watch-hear-phil/.
LEEDS BUSINESS PODCAST
Leeds Digital Festival, Leeds Digital, start ups, scale ups, Leeds, Leeds Business, Business in Leeds, Nous of Fraser, Business Sounding Board, Business Coach, Business Mentor,