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Tech City hustler gate crashes the first Albion Startup Kitchen

PUBLISHED: 11:57 07 February 2014 | UPDATED: 12:21 07 February 2014

The first Albion Start Up Kitchen

The first Albion Start Up Kitchen

Archant

The entrepreneur behind megacorps Skype and Lovefilm has criticised the BBC reality TV shows, The Apprentice and Dragon's Den, for giving a "skewed, negative" impression of business.

The first Albion Start Up Kitchen The first Albion Start Up Kitchen

Saul Klein was speaking at the first Albion Startup Kitchen, a ground-breaking scheme dreamt up to make sure the world-class knowledge in Tech City doesn’t pass by business hopefuls from the wider Hackney community.

Mr Klein joined Reshma Sohoni, founding partner of business incubator SeedCamp and Jeff Lynn, the co-founder of funding platform Seedrs last Thursday, to share their insights on raising capital with four Hackney start-up companies picked out of 200 applicants.

“In this country the way a lot of people think about entrepreneurship is The Apprentice or Dragons Den,” Mr Klein, a partner at Index Ventures investors, told the Gazette at the event at BL-NK, in East Road, Shoreditch.

“It’s a skewed negative impression, it makes people think business and entrepreneurship is about pitching or hiring and firing and it’s not. It’s about what happened today – people having conversations and helping each other and not just being transactional, because most business is built on relationships.”

Start Up KitchenStart Up Kitchen

The Startup Kitchen is the brainchild of chief executive Jason Goodman, whose creative marketing agency Albion is funding the project.

He has planned themed workshops every month this year, which will see mentors – who are giving their time for free – advising on how to overcome the fundamental challenges, like product design and branding, faced by start-up companies.

This month the lucky chosen Hackney-based businesses included Nikki Cochrane and Kathryn Tyler’s social media start-ups Hackney Social and Digital Mums; Richie Garner’s Outsider Motorcycle Club, which sells customised DMs and biker jackets; Emily De Groot’s clothes sharing social enterprise The Clothes Club and Baiqu Gonkar and Bart De Putter’s start-up R3PRESENT, which will source artwork from oppressed countries like Tibet to reproduce limited edition posters and chinaware.

They were joined by one more South London hopeful who admitted to being an “accidental gate crasher”, who wants to sell brain-wave tracking headphones to help people sleep.

The first Albion Start Up Kitchen The first Albion Start Up Kitchen

“Everyone is so welcome here today, even hustlers,” laughed Mr Goodman, who was named one of the most 100 influential people in “digital” London last year.

“We had 200 applications, what we tried do was to sift out are the people who so obviously can connect and join up the dots - and you are a perfect example of that,” he told him.

“The room represents our community which is lots of great talent descending on East London to start businesses but is not necessarily people from Hackney who want to start a company but don’t have a clue how to do it.

“That’s the challenge I want to address, in 12 months I want to bridge the gap between the real world and what’s emerging as this fast moving and wonderful world of extreme entrepreneurism - which by the way I’m a massive evangelist of and built a business on the back of.

The first Albion Start Up Kitchen The first Albion Start Up Kitchen

“By doing so we can make entrepreneurship part of the Hackney culture, and part of the mainstream.”

Skyway, a charity which works with young people “at risk” has now come on board to join Hackney Community College and the Princes Trust youth charity to find young entrepreneurs who want to take part.

The next event on Monday March 3 about branding with Alex Saint from Secret Escapes, and Alex Klein and Yonatan Raz-Fridman from Kano Computing.

To apply see www.albionstartupkitchen.com.

Skyway, a charity which works with young people “at risk” has now come on board to join Hackney Community College and the Princes Trust youth charity to find young entrepreneurs who want to take part.

The next event on Monday March 3 about branding with Alex Saint from Secret Escapes, and Alex Klein and Yonatan Raz-Fridman from Kano Computing.

n To apply see www.albionstartupkitchen.com.

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