Earlier this month we tried something new; a drop in day. The premise being anyone can come along to the RookieOven Coworking Space in Glasgow and get access to experts in some core issues that will face all tech startups. Namely legal, finance, investment, PR and product development.
To pull the day off we invited experts from Skyscanner, Grant Thornton, Accelerated Digital Ventures (ADV), WaterfallPR and Add Jam (well in that case, me) down to RookieOven where they would make themselves available for founders looking for some guidance.
People and Relationships
Over the years I’ve had lots of very talented people looking for a way to give back to the startup ecosystem by sharing their knowledge and experience to founders. Sounds great but there’s a problem, the offer doesn’t always match with when there’s a need.
For founders to access the knowledge and experience on offer they have to be a stage or in a situation where that knowledge is applicable. Rarely has there been an organic match-up between a founders need and an experts offer.What we really need is to build relationships between domain experts willing to give their time and founders who may one day need to ask the experts for guidance. How can we do that?
We, and many others, already organise informal meet-ups across the ecosystem yet these connections aren’t being made. What could we do differently?
Drop In Days
With the drop-ins, we’ve invited the aforementioned experts into RookieOven to work for a day. They all have work that can be done remotely, so they can use the RookieOven Coworking Space as any tenant would. At worst, they get a day working in RookieOven and a couple of games of pool, however, the aim is the experts get to interact with founders and build relationships that will prove useful in due course.
For startups in the ecosystem, it’s the same offer. Come down, get work done and meet experts and fellow founders. Our goal is to run these Drop In Days monthly (first Friday of each month) and for them to grow into a reliable and consistent means for founders to access domain experts.
It’s quite simple when we boil it down, however, it’s reliant on input and attendance from passionate individuals in the ecosystem on both sides, experts and founders.
Does it work?
I think so. It’s hard to tell after a single running of it but even with that, we had founders working on products in accessibility, VR, travel, tourism and even a couple of students getting involved. What we’re doing differently in our next Drop In Day is to increase the social aspect of it.
Last time people didn’t really collide and connect with anyone other than the experts. We want it to be an informal, relaxed environment so we’ll be encouraging founders to stick around longer, grab a game of pool and, if they’ve left the car at home, get a drink after work - it is a Friday after all.
Our next Drop In Day is the 7th December and you can get a free ticket on Eventbrite (it helps us know how many people to cater for through the day). If you're unsure of what to expect or if the day is for you drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about it.
See you there?