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November 24, 2009

As part of all the meeting and hobnobbing with various people from tech entrepreneurship, I had come to know of interesting related events/resources in London such as the monthly Minibar Meetup, the Bootlaw Summer Party, Twestival, a somewhat more underground ‘Kebabcamp’ group, London OpenCoffee Meetup, etc* where I ran into some increasingly familiar faces and names. It is always a small world in the arena of tech and entrepreneurship, no matter how big the city. And I was repeatedly recommended by various people that I should check out Launch48 if I don’t have a team or a concrete idea to begin with. Which I didn’t. And so I did.

Launch48, in their own words, can be described thus:

“The aim of Launch48 is to bring together participants from different backgrounds and levels of experience in the web industry to think/plan/develop and launch one or multiple web apps in one weekend. That’s right, in 48 hours! It’s a frantic, energy fuelled, entrepreneurial event designed to engage all participants while offering the opportunity to learn and meet new people.”

Having left my Computer Engineering-related skills behind a few years ago, I was nervous about feeling completely useless at this event. I was afraid of being one of the many non-techie folks who bring no clear hard-skills to the team, just a bunch of fluffy-sounding vague marketing-related skills and a boatload of enthusiasm. Clearly if I had read this piece by Spencer Fry about the myriad important ways in which the non-techie is valuable in a tech startup, I wouldn’t grappling with such unnecessary insecurities.

Anyway, to know what actually happened over the course, I pass the baton to Andrew Lawson, who has done a fine job of providing an overview of the weekend, in his posts here (read forward from the first post)

Post-Launch48, I am glad to report that the weekend met and exceeded all my expectations of it. For lack of a succinct way of describing the event in the days leading up to it, I referred to it as a business plan competition; in all truth, it is anything but. I have seen numerous business plan competition where the only success lies in the ability to BS your way through. Not so much at L48, where the proof of success lies in the degree to which the prototype developed over the weekend is a demonstration of the final product. It is an attestation to the new-old saying in the tech startup world, ‘Launch Early, Launch Often’. The 48-hour deadline with a final presentation where they don’t care or ask about 3-year cash-flow projections or SWOT analysis? Egad, this is serious, you absolutely must have a viable prototype to be credible. You do not want to get this wrong – considering the event attracts a fair bit of attention in the tech startup world

I shall spare you the details and fast forward you to now, over a month after the event. My team, Protected.CC, is greatly encouraged by the platform provided by the event and all the positive coverage we have received from those who organized the event, participated in it and covered it. We are now preparing for the run up to the follow-up event happening in a couple of weeks.

We are on Twitter, Facebook, we’re blogging and we find this page really cool. Follow us, add us, leave comments and cheer us on. For it’s a long journey ahead before we hit the market proper 🙂


* For a complete list of similar events in London, check out Hermione Way’s post on Sun Startup Essentials page on networking events.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 3, 2009 1:08 pm

    I like the concept behind Protected.CC, i think patenting an idea is a long and complex (and expensive) process this is seems to be a much simpler. I was wondering though, how will a persons idea be protected from legal point of view if they cc their concept to “protected.CC” and how does this differ from cc it to anyone, i.e. a friend for instance.

    • January 6, 2010 7:26 pm

      CC-ing to a friend would functionally be the same process but the objectivity and authority provided by a credible third-party verification entity is hard to match. For instance, when making online payments, a ‘Secured by Verisign’ carries so much more weight than ‘Secured by our best friend’.

      Thanks for the support and get on the mailing list 😉

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