Last week found me in Newcastle and Fontainebleau speaking at Entrepreneur Summits about Individual Capitalism and Following the Entrepreneur. I'm helping Iqbal get some mileage out of his quote:
“Aid to governments has empowered authorities and not necessarily citizens. Mobile phones, the Internet and similar technologies that empower the individual turn that on its head, and shift the power to the Individual – making Individual Capitalism the force for prosperity and democracy in the 21st Century.” - Iqbal Quadir, founder of GrameenPhone
The highlights for me in Newcastle were meeting Sir Peter Vardy, the successful business person, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Vardy_(businessman) - after reading a lot about him, he didn't disappoint in person.
And in Fontainebleau where I spent 1997 at INSEAD, I was able to meet the new Dean, Frank Brown, get back in touch with Raw Communications Ab Banerjee, who was way ahead of his time with Raw Communications [ultimately sold to Thomson], and get an update from Gwyn Jones who is building iSyndica, a virtual distribution server. They were the team behind Vistaprint, a billion dollar successful ecommerce company. http://corporate.isyndica.com/ This is a hot one.
And today Warren Cole on Dragon's Den Online pitches and secures investment... from me! http://www.bbc.co.uk/dragonsden/ - - we'll be doing a lot with Warren this coming year, helping him to properly launch himself and his music. If you are registered at Entrepreneur Country, you'll get a weekly digest on his launch and music.
I got an update from David Courtier-Dutton on SliceThePie this week. They continue to rock with their crowdsourcing model for unsigned artists; their artists are getting funded, and one may go big soon. I was struck by David's comment - "We can only get really big if we stay really small". He may have perfected the art of leveraging partners. He's got some big announcements to come.
Opentable IPO last week - one can hope - is a sign of things loosening up and optimism returning: http://venturebeat.com/2009/05/21/opentable-wins-big-with-hearty-ipo/