24th of February, Bizruption
Hi there! Last night on the 1st floor of ‘Fishburners’ Netstripes hosted a mini-Bizruption. Though the description ‘mini’ is a bit deceiving for all that, because the atmosphere didn’t lack anything. In fact, it was a resounding success: it was ‘Happening’!
Dinesh De Silva, Founder and CEO of Netstripes, hosted the event and started it off with an interesting group game involving sweets, pointy sticks, a bit of balance and some basic construction skills. What the groups of five to six had to do was to try and build their own leaning towers of Pisa with a bowlful of marshmallows and some wooden skewers.
The idea was; whoever built the highest and most stable tower won the first stage. But more important again was the idea of getting each member to interact with each other, to break the ice and of course to photograph and post their masterpieces on social media.
The guest speaker was co-founder and CEO of ‘Flatmates’, Thomas Clement. Thomas runs an online enterprise designed to assist property renters and sharers find their perfect home. The audience really responded positively to his ‘understanding your customer’s needs’ message, and at the more casual end of the night, he answered people’s questions one on one. Trying to make a habit of talking to his customers face to face to better understand and get a feel for their experience of his services was how he follows through on this key message. And, to back up his words; he was the last of the guests to leave on the night.
The next turn of events featured a pitching game, which gave everybody in the room the opportunity to sell their business and explain their specialty. Each group of six to seven had about 30 seconds to deliver a short convincing pitch about their business and once they were all done a winner was selected by the group.
This game was repeated and a final winner joined other group winners on stage later in the night to present their pitch to the whole audience. What better way to get your business message out there than to present to a room of like-minds; to then, get the chance to catch up and talk after all the fun and games are over, with the type of people who actually understand the challenges you face: other small business owners!
The host Dinesh De Silva, then gave a speech on the role of innovation and the importance of keeping pace with technological change. ‘Innovation’ and ‘Collaboration’ within and between small businesses, and ‘Transparency’; were all key themes of his presentation. The audience might’ve had a sense of the relevance of this message in advance as each of his main points seemed to be answered by nods of agreement.
After the presentation the winners spoke on stage and the crowd was swelling and hurrahing as they clapped each presenters pitch. Then the ready-to-eat-hot pizzas were unboxed and the scent of cheese, tomato, pepperoni and oregano filled the room and the drinks flowed for everybody to start to mingle, network and make new connections. An hour later: there were still huddles of like-minds in conversation, the hum, it hadn’t stopped. And, that is what Bizruption is all about: bringing people together and making the journey of disruption an enriching experience with ‘a real buzz about it’.
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