Opportunity knocks for Hackney business talent - make your fortune in 2014

Jason Goodman, founder and CEO of Albion

Jason Goodman, founder and CEO of Albion - Credit: Archant

Some of the most influential technology entrepreneurs in the world will descend on Hackney next year in a ground-breaking scheme designed to stop the borough’s talent being overlooked.

Aspiring entrepreneurs could make their fortunes in 2014 if they are the lucky ones chosen to receive expert insight from an amazing line-up of Tech City whizz kids like Skype founder Niklas Zenstrom and Innocent Drinks co-founder Richard Reed.

The innovative Start-up Kitchen will also see Index Ventures’ partner Saul Klein and Secret Escapes founder Alex Saint running workshops for fledgling start-up companies.

The idea is the brainchild of chief executive Jason Goodman, whose creative marketing agency Albion is funding the project, to make sure Tech City knowledge doesn’t pass by the rest of the borough.

Mr Goodman, who was named one of the most 100 influential people in “digital” London this year, said: “We want to join up the dots between the world-class talent that’s already proven in east London and aspiring talent all over Hackney.”

“There are world-class people descending on east London now – the upside is obvious, the downside is people who haven’t been tutored in this can find themselves overlooked. We should nip that in the bud.”

Each month different mentors – who are giving their time for free – will take part in themed workshops geared towards overcoming the fundamental challenges faced by start-up companies like product design, funding, branding and building the right team.

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Just three or four handpicked companies will be chosen for each master-class.

“They may not be starting the next Facebook, it might be the next awesome café or hairdressers and that’s just as amazing,” said Mr Goodman whose first business was a car-washing venture.

“Global businesses and local businesses require the same fundamentals in the early days.

“I view start up as getting a rocket into space, it’s about achieving the momentum and projection to get off earth and break gravity, it’s about having the right idea, it’s having the right advice so you set up the business the right way with the right funding, it’s about the design so it has real distinctiveness - as far as I’m concerned these rules apply to every single business, whether it’s the smallest one person mobile hair salon or a 10k tech business in the valley.”

He continued: “There are so many obstacles to starting your own business, it’s your own personal fear, financial obstacles, the inability to put the right team together, the inertia of going from a paid job and the comforts of an employment, it’s a difficult thing.

“This isn’t going to miraculously going to change the world, but for those few hours for those few people hopefully it will be a special and inspiring experience, maybe some long term mentoring will come out of it, maybe one of these entrepreneurs will see something they like and may invest.”

Applications to take part in the first event about funding on January 30 must apply by January 21. For more information see www.albionstartupkitchen.com.