Microsoft Accelerator – Week Three

Microsoft PowerSo this week has turned out to be much quieter than the previous two. For me it is also shorter as I am off on holiday for two weeks from this evening. Consequently I will miss two weeks of the programme, which is a pity, but the leave has been planned a long time. It also means that I won’t be blogging during this period.

Two highlights on the programme this week for me. Firstly we got an opportunity to meet and talk with a number of the other residents of Central Working. It was a an interesting cross section of tech start-ups and consultancies at various stages of their development. So there were some that were boot-strapped, another company that had just taken their D round of investment and another that was spun out of a larger organisation.

Discussions ranged from why the individuals went into business, what they were hoping to achieve and general thoughts on what it takes to keep going and be successful.

One theme that comes through regularly is that of failure and how it is a good thing and should be seen as a learning exercise. Unfortunately I think that there is still some stigma attached to failure in the UK. In fact I would go as far as saying that it is part of the British psyche making it more challenging to do innovative things in this environment. However, having failed in a start-up before, I know that there are valuable lessons to be learnt and the trick is to make sure that you do learn and try and not repeat the same mistake.

The other highlight was being able to set-up a department within Microsoft as a trial user of one of our products. Without the accelerator programme this would not have been possible. It is also worth noting that Microsoft are not taking the system out of the kindness of their hearts but because they have a real need, which is gratifying.

There was an opportunity to let our hair down this week too (well those young enough to have hair to let down!) with a trip to Eurogamer. However, given that I have no interest or understanding of games I gave it a miss. This also meant that I missed an opportunity to “get zombified” and so no pictures of that, sorry!