Richard Lucas 13th December 2017

The yearly OMGKRK X-MASSive party is a fixture for the Krakow Startup community.  Our 2017 event is tomorrow 14th December 2017. Details here

This blog post recalls the history of how these huge parties started, and shares some lessons for anyone wanting to organise major events on tiny budgets.

 

X-MASSive parties built on the existing communities of Hive and MSFBCC.  The smaller Hive Xmas party in 2012 is described here  (with photos here ). This was an experiment I tried with Hive and  MSFBCC to see what was possible.

Hive – founded by Piotr Nedzynski and Ela Madej – was a key part of Kraków’s eco-system’s development and had critical mass even back then. This party was fun – about 100 people came  – and gave a sense of what was possible. A key lesson:

Lesson 1 Work with organisations and people that are well organised and credible.

But it was hard to get the word out. The OMGKRK Facebook Group was small back then (now it has over 5000 people)  and not everyone was on board (or was keen) for larger scale events.

After 2012 I thought there might be room to scale up. I had a plan, partly based on a great TED-ster Derek Sivers’ talk How to Start a Movement.  I knew the event needed followers and momentum –  as Derek Sivers says  “The first follower turns the lone nut into a leader” and I didn’t want to be a lone nut.  A new event – where the participants are part of the product –  requires social engineering.

The plan was simple, and worked so well it is worth sharing. On 23rd November I did a Facebook post suggesting a meeting about organising a repeat party on a much bigger scale.   I tapped my personal network of community leaders and asked them each individually –  in the space of 20 minutes –  to post their support, saying which organisation they represented. The list was :
Marek Przystas Duckie Deck
Adam Filipowski Livetramp
Anthony Carapinha Couchsurfing
Chris Kobylecki Innovation Nest,
Pawel Kontek AIESEC
Marta Ryłko Open Coffee Krakow
Weronika T. Adrian Creative Cracow
Filip Dębowski Hub.raum
Joanna Nowak Startupdigest
David McGirr, Jamie Stokes  Krakow Post
Ola Bienas Colab
Jonathan Ornstein. JCC Krakow

The date was fixed, and everyone in the meeting to greater or lesser degree started promoting it.  This created momentum.

Lesson 2: Create Momementum

Anyone looking at the event with no prior knowledge would see that the representatives of about 3000 people were already on board.  As Derek Sivers says later in the same TED talk, “As more people join in, it become less risky”, and finally, they will be  part of the  “in crowd”  if they hurry –  and left out, if they don’t join in.

 

Lesson 3. Line up your support before you start.

The event took off like wildfire. 100s of people started signing up. As each milestone of attendees was achieved more buzz was created.

 

Community members whose first reaction was that “there is no demand for a social event where people are just going to talk to each other” moved to warning me that “events of this size need  a special licence”.  Now it was important to make sure that those who attended enjoyed themselves.

Lesson 4  Ensuring great event experience.

Making sure that those who attend have fun is vital.  I’ve written about making events buzz  extensively elsewhere, and since then done workshops for TED and consulted to other events. and learned a huge amount from my TED and TEDx journey. There are lots of details – but most important was a team of well prepared volunteers to take care of welcoming guests.

 

X-MASSive volunteers

We also had a  MVE – Minimum viable event – approach.

Lesson 4  Be pragmatic. The best is sometimes the enemy of the good

As more and more organisations joined in our event page began to fill up with logos. Graphic designers were freaking out, but we went ahead anyway.  It was important to see the funny side of small startups with bigger logos than world famous organisations like Google for Entrepreneurs.

 

 

The party itself was well documented. There are plenty of photos here and on the event wall.

I am not aware of a post-event appraisal but…. the event has proved sustainable, and is now in it’s 4th year – so I guess that means something. Not everything was perfect. There weren’t enough bar staff and the not everyone agreed about the format.

Giving credit where it was was due was important. I made a slideshare in which I gave the following credits including names  (Ania Filar, Marek Przestaś, Karla Vega) and organisations (with the money they contributed (in złoty) as below

Badges <3 Vocabla

Balloons 400 Presspad

Catering 1000 Growth Republic Untitled Kingdom

Welcome Drinks Colab 700 Google ??

DJ 314 Duckie Deck

Icebreakers <3 Richard Aiesec and Aegee

Photo booth 1500 Innovation Nest

Posters and Graphic design Duckie Deck 584

Prizes ? Google ??

Santa Hats 480 Richard Lucas

Volunteer team. Aiesec and Aegee

web site <3 http://xmas.omgkrk.com Aliaksei Kulbei

so the overall costs was less than 4000 zloty  (about US$1000) at the time so, if you see any of these organisations or people, don’t forget to say thanks. If you want to organise a mega event at low budget,  this article gives useful tips, or feel free to get in touch.

Happy X-MASSive 🙂

 

 

 

 

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

Richard Lucas
8th November 2017
This blog post is to go with my podcast interview with Russell Hicks – which goes live  today.  There will be the first airing of my new pre-roll,  a new ‘old’ music voice over, and very different content. I was very, very pleased to have Russell on the show and it was a great pleasure to have a long conversation with a comedian whose work I genuinely admire.
So, who is Russell?   Russell Hicks is a successful American Standup Comedian who lives and works mainly in the UK.
I saw him perform at the Edinburgh Fringe 2017, and so much enjoyed his shows I tracked him down. I  hope to get him to perform in Poland –  with the support of Krakow Standup Comedy  and Ash Deppeler  who spoke at TEDxKazimierz this year and is the founder of the Krakow Fringe Festival . To make it work will not be easy, but if we pull it off, I’ll be very pleased. We will probably set up a tour with Wrocław, Warsaw, Prague and Berlin, but this is all a year ahead of us now.
If you only do one thing,  enjoy his comedy –  see and listen to his talent here  – after 25 comedians have been booed off the stage,  he manages to bring the baying crowd back- and regain control. More than a million people have enjoyed that Youtube video. There are many more of his videos here    (if you are not into English language Stand Up Comedy, just listen to my interview – interviewing Comedians is an idea I got from Stewart Goldsmith, who was the first Professional Comedian to grace the Project Kazimierz digital stage here). Comedians can be really interesting, even if you don’t like comedy, and usually, (surprise surprise), they are entertaining.
You may well be surprised by what you learn from the podcast. We dive into what Russell knows about Krakow, which leads us to Jaws, not the shark, but the metal toothed giant – from the James Bond films  “The Spy Who Loved Me” and “Moonraker”.  Jaws had a real (fictional) name Zbigniew Krycsiwiki  – and was from Krakow.  (I’m not sure the author spoke Polish).

Zbigniew Krycsiwiki a.k.a. ‘Jaws    – – from Krakow!!

After his failed basketball career, Krycsiwiki was arrested during the (also fictional) 1972 bread riots – and was so badly beaten by the communist secret police in prison that his jaw was smashed beyond repair. Krycsiwiki then escaped –  and after many  operations – his  jaw was restored using steel components – creating the famous razor-sharp teeth.  As Michael Caine might say – not many people know that.

Russell had no idea that Maus https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maus was a controversial film in Poland. Poles were represented as pigs. Maus re-enforces the myth of Polish complicity in the holocaust, which is especially bitter when coming from a German artist. But Russell had no idea.

It was only when Russell was 26 that he realised that he was meant to be a Standup Comedian.  It is a magical thing to happen to anyone, to realise why they exist.  As he he got really good at getting people to laugh,  he discovered  he wasn’t enjoying it . He changed his approach, understanding that the only way to do comedy properly is to make sure you enjoys and believe in your own jokes. This means taking serious risks. As the room realises you are taking risks,  the pay off gets bigger – if it works.  If you listen to his podcasts,  which I recommend Off The Grid Podcast with Russell Hicks. Also check out his short “Art for f**cks  sake”  podcast series.

He does what’s going to make him happy on stage – his natural style  – even if it gets nowhere, and people aren’t laughing, he’s still  happy. The fact that he has a paying audience validates his approach – It he didn’t get paid bookings, this position would not hold water (in my view).  He doesn’t want to tell other people how to live, his approach works for him.   He believes that making concessions to the “comedy  industry” is a trap – people who do that can end up bitter. If comedians are really into well prepared written jokes  – if that is their thing – that’s fine, but you have to be yourself and follow your own art form.
He’s a huge TED fan, and I invited him to TEDxShoreditch (but he didn’t come 😔 ) As a foreigner in Britain he loves London and Britain and regards the anti immigrant attitude as the last gasp of dying generation, in his view young people are much more liberal, open, and accepting of diversity.
Finally, Russell says he wants to be interviewed by Stewart Goldsmith for the Comedian’s Comedian podcast.

I promised him I’d send Stewart a note, and I’m going to.  I hope it works.
That’s all I want to share, below a a wide range of links that will be useful if you want to follow up on podcast topics. I hope you enjoy listening to this podcast as much as I enjoyed doing the interview.

Links. which may not make sense, unless you listen to the podcast.

If you want to get an insight into the way he thinks start with The Sad Clown Paradigm” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJTAygodXlM

If you want to book him his agent is  Delphine at Beyond Compere.
Bill Burr
Joe Sinclitico – Karate (Stand Up Comedy) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hp72HPBmtNg
Cal Newport So good they can’t ignore you www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwOdU02SE0w
How to start movement Derek Sivers

SaveSave

by Richard Lucas  1st November 2017

This post is part of a series to go with the Project Kazimierz podcast. This interview is on line here. 

Asaf Navot is the founder of Home Made in London, a fast growing residential property service which is both cheaper and better than existing services.

Prior to founding his startup Asaf did an MBA at Insead, was a consultant with Bain Private Equity Group and Wilson Perumal, and served in the Israeli Armed Services

My goal is to have a post on my blog here  supporting podcast interviews when I have reflections to share – though  these thoughts are mine, not Asaf’s).

                                                                   Skype interview with Asaf

I don’t post video footage of the interviews but when the internet connection is good enough I prefer to video Skype – using Call Recorder software – as communication is better when you can see each other.So what five insights would I particularly especially like to share from this podcast ?

1 The value of military experience in leadership development. I was so wrong about this in the past. It deserves a separate article in the future.
2. The importance of leadership in any business. I discovered this way too late in my life. If you don’t know anything about leadership in startups, click here or ask me to write another blog post.
3. The importance of unit economics. Asaf talked about this at the British Computer Society Cambentrepreneurs Event in London where I met him. It’s so basic and so important. When you acquire a customer, how much money will you be making. The gap between revenue and costs. What I call chapter one of the “Ladybird Book of Business”
4. The value of operational excellence as a competitive advantage. Harvard Business Review were writing about it here   just a few months ago
 It’s important. Forget the Nintendo, beanbags and frisbee. Get things done fast, efficiently, and as well as possible at the lowest cost without compromising on quality and you will win.

 

5. He has great insights into interviewing and recruitment. You have to listen to hear them all, but I love he explains why it is important to hear who a candidate believes he or she has inspired or influenced.  His approach to people management, one -on-ones and personal development is very aligned with Manager Tools (also run by ex Military people) of which I am a great fan.

Apart from these five points. Asaf shared a new thought or rather piece of advice with me. If someone tells him they are thinking of starting a business, he says

“If you are thinking of starting a business – don’t”

It’s counter intuitive but powerful. What he means is “You should only really start a business if you are so driven by the idea, you can’t stop yourself.”

 

 

In B2B marketing – content is king – an interview with Augustin Kennady of ShipMonk by Richard Lucas

This article ends with “how to” and “what to do” for those who are already sold on the idea. If you want to listen to top professionals  Sonal Chokshi from a16z and Camille Ricketts is the Head of Content and Marketing at First Round Capital here not everyone will have the budgets to operate at their level, but the thought they put into their Content strategy and the resources and effort they deploy show how seriously they take it.

A few weeks ago I heard Andrew Warner interviewing The founder of ShipMonk Jan Bednar here in the Mixergy podcast.
If  you want to know more about ShipMonk the company, listen to this podcast. The many other entrepreneur interviews on Mixergy are  an inspiration for this podcast.  Andrew asks his interviewees straight forward business questions about how they started, what problems the product solves, how they got started,, how much money they are making, how they find customers and sell, and gets enough detail to be really useful.

October 2017

I’m doing a workshop at the Winchester College  – the School I attended many years ago  -on the pros and cons of starting a business (compared to a conventional career) and put together a “reading, listening and viewing” list) for the boys.

This list is not complete, but as my father often said “the best is the enemy of the good”. For now it is good enough – a minimum viable list that I would like to share

Mostly free resources for those curious about entrepreneurship

Videos

Ashton Kutcher Speech to Teen Choice Awards   https://youtu.be/FNXwKGZHmDc   He references Steve Jobs, but shares ideas that are more important – namely  – Be really smart, Work hard, Be generous.  If you don’t know about Kutcher’s career outside Hollywood, now is the time to find out.
Continue reading

by Hugo Dutka

This is not a regular Richard Lucas post – because it wasn’t him who wrote it. My name is Hugo Dutka.   I am a Polish high school student and I like meeting entrepreneurs. Richard suggested I share this story.

To cut a long story short, I was lucky enough to spend my last summer in California. I wanted to meet entrepreneurs in Bay Area, but Polish high school students tend not to know successful business people in  Silicon Valley. Luckily, I knew Richard. So I sent him a short message:

How it all started

Two weeks later I was meeting Will Bunker, a serial entrepreneur, angel investor and the founder of One & Only – one of the first major dating websites in the world. It sold in 1999 for 50 000 000$. Thanks Richard!

One & Only’s home page 25 years ago

Will Bunker today

The plan of the meeting in my mind was as follows:

  1. I will introduce myself.
  2. I will express my interest in meeting millionaires in the area.
  3. I will be introduced to the said millionaires in the area.

The first two points were completed according to the plan, but the third was not. What happened

I met with Will in a coworking space in San Francisco. We talked, I asked for advice, had some great books recommended to me. Then I asked for the introductions.

“So who do you want to meet?” he replied.

“Well, people who could help me start a business” I said.

“What business exactly?”

“I’m not sure yet.”

“I am all for introducing you to someone, but you need to be more specific. What area of business?” Will inquired.

“That I don’t know too.”

So Will recommended me to check out start-up meetups in Bay Area, and sent me links to some of them. That was not exactly what I was hoping for, but you get what you can.

To recap, I met one of the most successful people in the world that day. A person you would read in the news about. A Silicon Valley investor who serious Polish entrepreneurs could brag about knowing. And what did I get out of the meeting?

Book recommendations and a couple of links.

Luckily, there is a lesson in this waste. There are people out there who can help you get to where you want to be. But before they can help you arrive there, you need to know your destination.

If you are approaching a potential mentor, be specific. If you want the guy to figure out your life for you then you are bound to be disappointed. Surprisingly large numbers of people in the start-up world will be happy to make introductions for you, and some of them will do even more than that. However, if you don’t tell them how to help you, they won’t be able to.

To sum up, decide where you want to head before meeting people. This way you won’t waste their time and you will get much more out of your connections. It may sound obvious when you read it, but is not when you make the mistake yourself. Make sure this stays obvious to you from this point on.

Hugo Dutka is a Polish high school student interested in entrepreneurship. He organizes TEDxYouth@Warsaw, is part of the organizing team at TEDxWarsaw, and volunteers at various other TEDx events in Poland. Apart from that, he has been a mobile developer and currently practices machine learning with particular focus on deep learning. If you want to get in touch with him, send him a message at fb.com/hugo.dutka.

If you want to know more about Will Bunker he is expertly interviewed here on Andrew Warner’s Mixergy Podcast and here on Project Kazimierz by Richard and Sam

 

Richard Lucas September 2017

Introduction

I am publicly committing to improving my personal productivity. Why ?

A few months ago I signed up on a course Productivity Step by Step  run by Piotr Nabielec who spoke at a Krakow Enterprise Mondays event I was hosting a few months ago.

I also interviewed him for the Project Kazimierz podcast here If podcasts are not part of your life, and you spend time doing things like driving, commuting or working out every day – listening is a great way to stimulate your thoughts and learn new things

Produktywność krok po kroku

The course started two days ago. I have a task or two every day. One of my tasks as part of the course is to make a public commitment to improve productivity. This is that public commitment.
I was talking about this course with my American business partner and friend Kimon Fountoukidis  who I interviewed here for my  Project Kazimierz  podcast more than a year ago.  I am making this commitment to him.  Yesterday while talking about the course, he showed me his diary –  and described his own time management processes. Without – as far as I can see – training or courses of any type –  he has such a good personal productivity process that I’ll be inviting him back for another Podcast interview. He is not crazily busy, is excellent at prioritization, delegation, and saying “no” to things that don’t fit his plans. He’s also good at business. The company he has run since its founding –  Argos Multilingual  – is the largest and consistently profitable of all the companies I am involved in with a terrific team and tremendous growth prospects.
Background
I am not a “newbie” to the idea of personal productivity processes being important .
In the mid 1990s –  SKK (now SKK Global) was growing into the market leader in automatic identification based on bar code in Poland.  The business was doing well but not me.  I was not coping at all with the organisational demands of business success.
My approach to life –  that had seemed to be working just fine until then – having got me not only from school into Cambridge University to a job in Consulting  were not enough for the demands of business leadership.
I found a book “The 10 Natural Laws of Successful Time and Life Management”

and signed up to the course that Hyrum Smith’s company Franklin Quest provided.
Years later they merged or bought the company set up by Steven Covey -whose best selling “7 habits” book is so well known to this day.
When Piotr was asked at the KEM meeting what people can do to improve their productivity he gave a simple answer which took me straight back to Hyrum Smith’s book from 20 years ago. He said,
“Think about the most three  important things you have to do today”
“Then think about the three most important things you have to do this week”
“Then think about the three the most important things you have to do this month”
“Then think about the three the most important things you have to do this year”
and do them.
The “10 laws” book is almost exactly the same, only in reverse. Think about your fundamental life goals, write them down. Then make a yearly, monthly, weekly and finally daily plan. When vitally when you are thinking about the things you need to do today  – take into account your longer term goals –  resulting in a prioritised daily task list. Doing things that are important before those which are urgent. Focussing each day on the stuff that really matters. It’s so simple, and so powerful.
As I read the book – I had that feeling  – not for the first or last time – that if you can get through your education to the world of work –  without anyone teaching you how to be productive –  there is something wrong. I have had supposedly one of the best educations that the UK used to offer. and nothing on motivation, personally effectiveness, team work, management or leadership.  Vital skills for a happy life –  if you want to make the most of your talents.
The idea of planning and knowing what you need to get done is not revolutionary, But  you will meet many people who don’t do it at all.
This blog post is not going to be a summary of all the techniques and habits I have learned or I am learning… However, here are a few observations and tips that I will share.
As Hyrum Smith argues, your life is measured in terms of years. Get control of your time – and you get control of your life.  When people are stressed they say things like they ‘aren’t managing’ or ’things are out of control’. Getting control reduces stress.  Your priorities can (maybe should) include family, relationships and fun. It’s a book for everyone, not workaholics.
2.Having good “to do” list, calendar/diary and email inbox management is vital.  Getting things out of your brain/into your calendar means you don’t have do use valuable mental energy remembering things.
3 Setting up an environment that means you can focus, with the minimum of distraction, is vital, Switching off notifications on your phone and laptop really helps.
4. Learning how to run meetings effectively is really important. Golden rules, 1. clear agenda and goals defined beforehand, 2 start and end on time 3. Take decisions 4. have a record keeper.  5 Communicating who needs to do what by when to all present afterwards.
5. If you are  a manager you should set an example.   If you don’t answer e-mail, show up on time, you are a hypocrite if you expect it of others.
6. Having good record keeping systems so you know where to store and later find information is important.
Being personally effective is necessary, but not sufficient. If you want to get more done that you can do yourself – you need to know how to lead and manage other people.  A brilliant podcast and training resource for this is the American Manager-Tools.com  I dearly wish I had known what they teach 30 years ago. The four key activities of all managers are   “One on ones”, 2 Feedback 3 Coaching and 4 Delegation
If you are an audio person listen to the podcast here  By pure chance, their most recent podcasts at the time of writing  are about focus and effectiveness.
If you are a video person, check Mark Horstman’s outstanding talk “What you have been taught about management is wrong” at USI.  If you are a reader, check Mark Horstman’s book  here.

 

Putting time management into practice means developing habits –  this takes time, according to Piotr Nabielec, 30 days, in his book, Effective Multitasking, which I also recommend.

My father JR Lucas of Merton College Oxford always had with him a notebook – he called it his “tiny mind” into which important things were written.

If your systems work and you are in control of things, there is no need to change. If you feel overwhelmed. following the advice I give here may have a bigger impact on your life than you can imagine.

Tough fun fact
If you want a rough and ready check on how someone is dealing with their tasks and responsibilities, ask to see their diary. while a full  diary does not necessarily mean someone is productive, an empty diary raises questions. I know of a senior manager who was fired because a diary inspection by his boss revealed that he was lying about what he was doing, making himself inaccessible to those who reported to him, and not using blocked off time to work on key priorities.  Get your diary into shape!

Greetings all

The  Project Kazimierz Podcast handover episode with Sam Cook  is on line here   This was recorded a few days ago when Sam made public what has been the case for a while, that he is handing over to me. Project Kazimierz is now 100% Richard Lucas’s show. Good or bad –  the złoty stops with me.  Sign up iTunes here

 

Project Kazimierz handover episode with Sam Cook

I want to integrate my podcasting, blog and other activities.  This post is an example. Hopefully there will be positive synergy.
Valuable content should be shared widely.

I’m always looking for interesting and entertaining people, projects and ideas for the podcast (also as guest hosts for Open Coffee Krakow, speakers at  Krakow Enterprise Mondays ,   Wintrepreneurs  and  Cambentrepreneurs . If you are funny, and can tell jokes, I can help introduce you to  Krakow Standup Comedy

Ideas for the  TEDxKazimierz stage are very welcome – (but subject to much tougher criteria in terms of selection for obvious reasons.

I’m a great believer in Kaizen, the Japanese concept of continuous improvement. This integration of content delivery is just one step. Readers’ ideas and suggestions  of ways to improve are also very welcome.

 

 

 

 

SaveSaveSaveSave

Richard Lucas April 2017
I received this e-mail a few weeks ago from the organisers of a business plan pitching competition.

Request for help

“Dear startup pitching competition organiser.
My first reaction is  “NOOOOOOOOO”
“I’m too busy. My TEDxKazimierz event is only three weeks away.     There is a lot of great advice on how to pitch available on this top secret website here 

Having said that it’s good to ask for advice. I shouldn’t be too harsh,  I will share my thoughts in a blog post that is available to everyone, based on the hundreds if not thousands of pitches I’ve seen and read and the thousands of hours I’ve devoted to TED and TEDx – in recent years helping many TEDx speakers prepare “the talk of their lives”.

Continue reading

Richard Lucas  January 2017
I saw the below post on Facebook, and thought that my answer might be valuable to more than this FB friend’s little brother, so here is the post and my answer..

Richard

Facebook post asking for advice

 

Dear Little Brother… .

You are lucky to have a big sister who cares about you and your choices. but… it’s your life..
You have to decide for yourself and you should be the judge of your own success..

 

Continue reading

Richard Lucas November 2016

This post is in honour of and in respect to attendees of OMGKRK and All in UJ’s  Startup Academy which launches today.

screen-shot-2016-11-30-at-12-28-04

The good news is that the Krakow Silicon Valley is real. You just have to look for it.

If you Google “Krakow Silicon Valley” or Kraków Doliną Krzemową You’ll get plenty of hits.

 

When Pawel Płaszczyk came back to Krakow after years abroad he looked for Krakow Silicon Valley and couldn’t find it.
Continue reading

November 2016
Introduction 
Alumni are “low hanging fruit” – an under used group who can be mobilized to good purposes. It’s time for a revolution in alumni/student/pupil relations with respect to support of entrepreneurship.  North Americans tend to be good at this – Europeans not yet. Every entrepreneur is an alumni of somewhere.
I’m starting with several  assumptions.
  1. People who have started businesses -entrepreneurs – have experience, know how, insights and characteristics  and (sometimes) money that would be valuable to share with people who are thinking of starting a business, whether alumni, students, or others.
  2. Students would benefit from be able to listen to, ask questions and interact with entrepreneurs, and other students interested in entrepreneurship.
  3. the benefits would include increasing the chances that people who had such experiences and interactions will start new ventures, and if they do, both reduce the risk of failure and increase the scale of success.
  4. Exposing students and alumni to people who are considering the possibility of starting their own ventures can be inspiring and motivating, increasing the chance that those people will make then most of their lives
  5. Having more new initiatives and business ventures will change the world  for the better faster, increasing human prosperity and welfare.
  6. The internet makes the spreading of new ideas and the organisation of new movements easier, cheaper and faster than at any time in human history.
  7. Many “pro-entrepreneurship events” are badly run and do not achieve nearly as much as they could. There is a better way of running events.
  8. Good practice from TEDxAmsterdam

    Good practice from TEDxAmsterdam

    Years of organising TEDx events,  Open Coffee Krakow events, Krakow Enterprise Mondays  and speaking at multiple entrepreneurship related conferences has given me a strong insight into what makes an event special. I was even asked to do a workshop about this at TED – who do the best events I’ve ever attended.

Open Coffee Krakow
8. if more alumni become successful –  and the place they studied has had a part in their successv-  it may positively impact on the school/university in terms of increased donations.

The starting position seems bad
1 Most alumni are not actively engaged in the the life of the place they studied at all.
2 To the extent that some alumni are engaged somewhat, they are not actively engaged. They might show up once or twice a year, and/or send some money. I will be more than glad to cite honourable exceptions. I want to be wrong.
3. A major purpose of engagement from the point of view of the School/University is fund raising. The thought that the alma mater is going to ask for money may act as a disincentive for alumni to engage.
What are the components of a revolution?
The bad news is here are several components and to achieve full impact they all need to work together smoothly.  This is not easy and will take time and effort from those who share the vision.
The purpose needs to be made clear. Entrepreneurship is not just about making money  it is about encouraging people and teams to take the risk to start social and business projects that may lead to making the world a better place and celebrating the fact that there are those people who are ready to take the risk.
The alumni of an organisation who have gone into business need to be identified and contacted in an intelligent way to establish if
a) they are interested in supporting entrepreneurship and networking with other entrepreneurial alumni and current pupils/students 
b) they might be ready to help on or off line by giving talks, mentoring, investing or coaching 
While the alumni contacted need to be asked and prompted to think about what they able and willing to do in networking and helping each other current students, and others, it is probably best to start with early adopters. In any community there are the natural leaders who are most active and committed, and the least with most people being somewhere in the middle.  It’s important to identify these early adopters and leaders and work with them so that those who might be  willing to get involved but are not sure, having inspirational people to follow and work with.

This project may be best done in co-operation with the Development Office, the Careers Office, the Alumni Relations office and/or independent Unofficial Linkedin/Facebook Groups.

Unofficial Alumni Linkedin Group

This is a case by case decision based on the current situation. It is worth  making contact with these organisations to see what they think and whether they want to help. At Cambridge University – the alumni office supported the formation of an officially sanctioned group Cambentrepreneurs.
Cambentrepreneurs
At Winchester College (the school I attended from 1979-84) I founded  Wintrepreneurs
Wintrepreneurs

modelled on Etonpreneurs  aimed to operate independently –  in co-operation with the School.

In October 2017 I was asked *not* to organise a meeting to launch in Winchester because the School was worried about “Safeguarding” legislation. (I had been invited to give a talk in the school, was flying 2000 miles to be there, and thought I would start things off while I was there).

 

Apart from the referring to of my voluntary initiative to encourage entrepreneurship as a “scheme” (which – excluding the costs of my time – I had put a thousand or more pounds into making happen) – a message like this underlines the challenges for those who want to change things. Informal self-organising communities of alumni and pupils are not what is wanted. It’s the attidote to the optimism of TEDster Clay Shirky’s talk about the Grobanites.

My “sanctioned” talk to the pupils went well, and for those interested, I recommended these entrepreneurship related resources.

In Kraków, Poland where I live – an Alumni Association of a famous University is so unsupportive that it not only does not have time to to meet to discuss the idea, it is too busy to answer questions about their activities by e-mail.

An important and hard to map challenge is to find out who in a School/University are responsible for inviting guests, be they teachers, parents or pupils.
What sort of people are invited at present, what sort of events take place at which entrepreneurial alumni would be welcome and helpful. It is sometimes easier to build on top of existing institutions and practices (like guest lecture series) than do something entirely new. On the other hand if there is the ambition and local leadership aiming to “do things better” than normal, a dedicated event offers more control.
Additional questions include

What awareness is there of the potential of alumni to contribute to the purpose of the School/University ?
and what would they like  alumni to contribute? At some schools I have spoken I have spoken at I have been the first entrepreneur school pupils have ever met.  It would be a mistake to assume to that  everyone knows what the potential of this asset is. Sometimes guest workshops can fit very well some parts of the curriculum.
This means it is important to ask and find out what platforms are there for spreading information about the benefits of this practice.  Is there a school web site, newsletter,  school magazine, Facebook page, or Linkedin group where an article about the idea can be published?   Who can write an article about the topic ? If there is a local leader they need to think about what they would like the local situation to look like?  If there are to be regular meet ups, basic “who? what? whens, where ?  Who is in charge?  owns the process:  how frequent the meetings should be?  with what format?  questions need to be asked.  If you are at this stage I can provide some input and support, if you share my values.  Icebreakers, Short talks, Q&A, Office Hours, Community Announcements, Education, Pitches are the basic ingredients, together with a laser like focus on welcoming and participant experience.  Doing good events, not just events is vital,.
Existing assets and relationships need to researched be understood. There may be particularly active staff, alumni, teachers, pupils or organisations that can be ideal for spreading the idea. Getting these people on board can be a game changer. They need to feel you are co-operating not competing.
It is important to look at the values and attitudes of the existing community and defining what is going to be important to the early adopters. I’ve made clear for the movements I lead that despite (maybe because of) their elite position they are “Open” in the sense that they are not Cambridge or Winchester  “only” they are  Cambridge or Winchester “and”.  It is not for me to define the values that matter to those reading this, but it is important to make sure the founders of your initiative know what they stand for.
Processes and habits take time to build.
Assessing local competences and skills is important.  In some cases there may be a need to “train the trainers”/ Teaching the entrepreneurs to teach. This is very much a question of local conditions. Many entrepreneurs are natural trainers, because they have had to do develop on boarding and training processes for all their staff. In other cases, one person entrepreneurs/freelancers (or people in the school/University) may have no idea how important training and development is to successful enterprises, because they never thought about it.  A really bad workshop may be worse than nothing, although as my father told me “the best is sometimes the enemy of the good.” If you care and want to do a good event, it is better to do something than nothing. There has never been so much know how available for free as now.
As always it is important to have clear objectives for each activity/event. Krakow Enterprise Mondays defines its goals as follows:
1. To facilitate and encourage transfer of know how and capital to from successful businesspeople among the alumni of Polish Universities to current entrepreneurial students

2. To give current students access to role models among entrepreneurial alumni who can help transmit the message that business success is possible.

3. to celebrate the business success of alumni. and the sense that the current generation of students  appreciate and value entrepreneurial success.

4, To encourage existing alumni associations to include entrepreneurship support in their activities

5 to provide a business friendly environment where students from different universities in Krakow can meet and get to know each other, and develop their networks.

6. To encourage Student Societies to support business and social entrepreneurship among their members.

You need to know your objectives.
objectives for alumni/entrepreneurs might include: feeling good, valued, and useful, making new contacts, finding new staff, co-founders, clients, suppliers, partners, investors , and well as having fun.

objectives for students  may include learning new skills, being inspired, making new contacts, finding jobs, investors, co founders, and having fun.

If you want to mobilise the

– trend towards self organising networks,
– desire for people to have better experiences in their lives, rather than just accumulating assets,
= willingness for people to be useful
and believe the world needs more entrepreneurship, join me in making this revolution happen. I’ll do my best to help.

November 2016

It’s an honour to be regarded as an authority by Techcrunch’s John Biggs   so rather than just answer in the thread, I am making a blog post. John posted the below in a thread here  by Maciej Serafin who is looking for a native speaker freelancer.

I am an authority on Brits in Krakow...

I am an authority on Brits in Krakow…

Who are the Brits in Kraków?
English teachers….  Kind of obvious.  the local rate $13-17/hour goes quite far here.

People with Polish partners, who prefer it here to where ever they are from

People working for international businesses
Aspire Employment stats
According to Andrew Hallam of Aspire.org.pl – which generated the above slide – about 15% of the staff in the Business Process Outsourcing/Shared Services sector are foreigners which means about 2000, but companies like Cisco have put major research centres here, like their Cyber Warfare/Security/whathaveyou monitoring centre, thanks to the admirable work of the likes of Ramon Tancinco   They are more than 75% foreigner. and have 2000 employees so it adds up.

Academics 
Trustafarians  – like Rastafians but living on trust funds from mummy or whoever..

Adult  Polonia –  people who made their money elsewhere, tried to retire here, but ended up working.

Entrepreneurs  – it’s cheaper to start your business here as an entrepreneur than in major western European countries, Your money goes further.

Freelancer translators –  Your clients can be anywhere

Other freelancers like Jason Sanderson who sound edits  Jason Harbinger’s hit podcast The Art of Charm live in Krakow
Paul Pearson – who does Krakow Startup TV and TEDxKazimierz is a film producer who works locally and internationally.
Many others

Stag Nighters  no comment.  Almost as ashamed of them as of Brexit.

Dodgy Brits with criminal records

In principle you might think you ought to be able to outsource your English language content creation/news gathering to a English language low cost country. I tried  years ago when I was running PMR but wasn’t happy with the results

failed outsourcing attempt

People who get stuck here
They arrive, think it is great, settle in, have a kid or two, get divorced, and then realise they can’t afford to leave

According to Sam Cook of ProjectKazimierz podcast, the “East is the New West”, the land of opportunity. (btw can we interview you for Project Kazimierz John? )

If you mix local and international income., live smart,   – and for sure – content creators can do that  – why not?  you can live better in Kraków than in many places on the same income.

At the same time if you don’t think about what you do, who you work for and how to keep your income higher than your outgoings, you are going to be fucked, possible faster and more nastily here, than in a  high cost country.  You can always vote for some crazy politician who blames immigrants, foreigners and the EU,  promises to make your problems go away…

Brits can come here live and work without a visa – for now. Thanks to Brexit this right is being given up, so if you are reading this in 10-20 years time,  things will be different. There may be British economic refugees here, if we aren’t all fleeing from an even more dangerous neighbour.  A lot of tech businesses will be forced out of the UK by Visa issues, or racism. For sure some of them will end up here in Kraków where they will be welcome no matter what nationality they are.

Brexit Lament

This article reflects my views on Brexit

In the meantime, I would underline that through our thriving Startup Community, and local as well as international investment, (and not just in Kraków), that Poland is very much open for business. Getting working visas is a lot easier than in the UK or USA. The government seems pretty committed to that.  We may have a political problems but they are nothing on the scale that face the UK or maybe the USA, provided we are not invaded in which case all bets are off

Please come to one our Open Coffee Krakow – or Krakow Enterprise Monday events or indeed my the newly launched Cambentrepreneurs first meeting in Edinburgh in two weeks

It doesn’t really matter what nationality you have in my eyes, it’s just about the contribution you make, (and I don;t know how many Brits there are in Kraków)

 

 

 

 

November 2016

Introduction

I’ve have a lot of meetings recently with a similar agenda

What do I/you do  ? What do I/you want? (unspoken agenda) Do I/you like the idea of doing things  together?

How can we help each other ?

of course, there is the “Get to know, background check, are you/I (?!) creepy, do I risk my reputation by being helpful, making introductions?

helpful_download

 

 

I’m unusually trusting and helpful in my behaviour, even if in the background I have my “is this guy/girl dodgy?/what does he/she really want?” sensors switched on.

Sometimes I fire out invitations and introductions during my meetings, other times I follow up with a letter like this below.

This blog post includes the “copy paste” text I am often writing some versions of to those I just met:

If you want to help – get in touch.  If I can help you, (and you meet my smell tests :-)), and I’ve got the time. I will. Even if I’ve never met you.

Extract of my standard message

Dear <person I’ve just met>

………

You are more than welcome to attend the meetings I am responsible for and make a short 1-2 minute announcement about your project at the meeting.

Open Coffee Krakow 

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-11-56-58

 

Krakow Enterprise Mondays

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-11-56-25

 

or the next TEDxKazimierz Monthly Meetup.

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-11-55-33

 

 

If you want to talk for longer, let’s discuss.

Do please promote these events – they are all free of charge-  to your community, and people you think would benefit.   If you want introductions to people in my network please just ask.

You asked how you can help in our mission to change to perception of enterprise for the better, and bring great ideas to global attention.  Thank you (There are many more people who approve passively, rather fewer who actually offer to help).

If you have any media contacts, with optimistic journalists/vloggers/bloggers who are interested in speeding up Poland’s development and growth rate, please introduce me.

Journalists/Media are really important to us in getting to word out to those who don’t realise how important the cause is. Not everyone realises that our national survival depends on making more of our potential. Journalists are also great sources of contacts for potential topics for TEDxKazimierz talks  They tend to have know what ideas are worth spreading . so introduce me to journalists. or contact them suggesting they ought to take an interest and show up.

Students we struggle with the “Thank God it’s Friday” “Shame the Weekend is over” brainwashing that is propagated from multiple sources in Poland –  as if the ideal state of a happy Pole is resting.  To reach students we need contacts with leaders: from Student Associations, be they based on Faculty, Interest, or part of a global organisation like AIESEC. To reach students we also need contact with positive minded academics, both lecturers and in the administration.  The great support we get from AGH is an example that could be emulated by other Careers Offices.

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-13-17-47

 

 

Apart from students  – we need entrepreneurs who are patriots and risk takers.  Please introduce me to Entrepreneurs who would be ready to make short presentations and mentor/coach students.    Patriots because  we need people who both care about the country, can set a positive example and realise that unless Poland grows and prospers we are in danger and that we ought to work to make the best of our potential. Risk takers because my projects are new, and they have to trust that working with me will not damage their reputation.

An pro-business eco-system also involves government officials, politicians,  trade and professional associations, training bodies, NGOs, financial institutions, lawyers, accountants, recruiters, consultants and so on. It would be great if they were better represented in our pro enterprise eco-system. If you know the right type of person, please please send them along.    Anyone else you think I ought to know or work with  – just make the introduction.

If you can help with these projects, I will be very appreciative
…..

Richard Lucas

September 2016

I sometimes get requested to promote and share details of  events on my Social Media channels.

I am usually more than happy to lend my “social network endorsement” (for what it’s worth)  to people/events who/which look reasonable –  provided it is transparent and people can see what my relationship is with the event.  (If it is in my capacity as a TEDxKazimierz Licencee or any other “official role” I do a bit more due diligence) as I am subject to external rules and need to be concerned  about how far I have a mandate to endorse.

This is what I write back to people asking me to share/and promote.

 

Continue reading

Richard Lucas 28th August 2016

Shining a light on the darker consequences of Brexit.

Once the UK is out of the EU the number of illegal immigrants from the EU in the UK will rise as people who are allowed to visit the UK as tourists overstay their visas.   This is a certainty.

The reasons are obvious and well understood.

Just as Australians and New Zealanders come to Europe on tourist visas,  and overstay while working in the shadow economy, hoping either to make enough money,  and/or find a sponsor or spouse to regularise their status,  Europeans allowed into the UK as tourists will start overstaying.

Even the most hard core Brexiters are not yet arguing that they want UK citizens to get tourist visas to go to Europe.  Therefore tourist visas will not be required of  EU citizens. In all likelihood we will end up with something similar to the USA post Brexit, with landing cards, and longer queues –  but hey, Brexit was all about control of borders.

The number of deportations will rise  as the UK “gets control” of its borders.   Smaller businesses, street traders, farmers and sectors like hospitality which need low cost labour will cut corners. Sometimes they will be caught sometimes not.  As with the “war on drugs” attempting to ban doing business between willing buyers and sellers will fail. Otherwise law abiding people will get familiar with illegality as employers and employees.

Illegal immigrants are much more vulnerable to exploitation and abuse, because it is so hard to get access to police protection when you fear deportation. Employers open to blackmail, and being shopped.

Questions to  Theresa May, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Liam Fox and the other architects of Brexit.
– What do you think the rising numbers of deportations of working but now illegal Europeans will do to our relations with Europe?
– What will you say to the families of those illegal immigrants in the UK who are trapped in sex slavery ?
– In some countries victims of human trafficking get the right to work and stay if they escape from their tormenters.  Will you offer work permits and residency to those who are being abused in the UK?

Even if my forecasts of deep and lasting slump and stagflation in Britain come to pass there will still be jobs in Britain that foreigners want to do illegally.

The architects of Brexit have lit the fuse of  a very dirty and repellent bomb.

Richard Lucas

August 2016

Background.
Hugo Dixon is an excellent journalist,  entrepreneur and person. He founded the Infacts.org website and movement – which supports Britain’s continued membership of the EU, and has as its mission statement:

 

“InFacts is a journalistic enterprise making the fact-based case for strong relations between Britain and the EU. We also expose the false promises and inaccurate statements made about Britain and its relationship to the EU.”

I recently sent him – on my brother Edward Lucas’s recommendation – details of a correspondence about how badly the UK media production industry may be damaged when Theresa May’s government leads the UK out of the Single European Market. He invited me to write a piece about why I am applying to be Polish.

Some  other points for my readers.

  1. The post on Infacts site here  is better than my original thanks to Hugo’s editing. I am not a professional wordsmith – he is.
  2. I have many positive reasons for wanting to become Polish that are not relevant to the Infacts readership. My article focussed on how hostile I feel to Britain being out of the EU. If I am lucky enough to be granted a Polish passport. which is not (and should not be) certain, I will carry it with pride.
  3. I am not starry eyed about the European project. The EU has faults, some serious. Yet Britain is insane to leave and the leaders of the Brexit project are reckless and irresponsible.   I struggle to find words to say how much I condemn them.

 

 

 

Infacts.org home page screeshoot

Infacts.org home page screenshot

Why I am applying for Polish citizenship

by Richard Lucas | 21.08.2016

We read a lot about Poles coming to live in Britain. Well, I am an example of the reverse phenomenon, Brits living in Poland. I am now applying for Polish citizenship. Having lived here for over 25 years, I didn’t even get a vote in the referendum.

I want to be citizen of an EU country. I now have rights and freedoms to live, work, trade, study and travel as a result of Britain’s EU membership. I want to keep them after Britain surrenders them.

I want to be fully part of a country that shares my European values, to make a statement that I am fundamentally against Britain disconnecting from Europe and to show how disgusted I am that loyal British subjects living abroad have been disenfranchised.

I am internationalist in outlook. My Britishness is important to me, but not my defining characteristic. I was happy being in a Europe where barriers were coming down and nationality was becoming less important over time. My decision to apply to become Polish is an emotional reaction against the architects and leaders of Brexit. I feel saddened, ashamed, infuriated and/or repelled, by them. Whether they are holidaying in Switzerland or playing cricket the day after the vote, I just can’t identify and feel close to a country led by such irresponsible people.

I want Britain to be a decent country, treating other countries’ citizens and British people with respect. Repeating “Brexit means Brexit” without saying what it means is anything but. Real people and lives are affected. Millions of foreigners in Britain and British people abroad live with unnecessary uncertainty about their residency rights. I did not always agree with Tony Blair, David Cameron, Margaret Thatcher, and other British leaders – but I never felt they clowned around, playing word games with topics that impact people’s lives.

Taking away our children’s future

International contacts and diversity benefit British culture. Rejecting intolerant faiths and ideology requires knowledge and understanding. Reducing the number of British people who know the rest of the world and foreigners who know the British will do lasting harm.

We will never be able to fully quantify the loss of experience that the Brexiteers are imposing on foreigners and British people alike. It is heart breaking. My six year old daughter once told me: “it’s not what you have – it’s your experiences that matter”. Brexiteers are stealing future experiences from our children.

Wealthy, well educated and successful people will find ways to get second passports, visas and escape the stagnation, isolation and poverty that awaits. The Brexit leadership will be mostly OK, and better able to afford a cut in their living standards. For the poor and less well connected, being stuck in Britain will be much worse. There will be much less tax revenue to alleviate the many problems that Brexit will cause.

Alexander Bett and Anand Giridharadas gave excellent talks at the TED Summit in the last week of June 2016, and they spoke for me.  I join them in recognizing that the reasons people voted for Brexit were real.  Those leaders in politics and the media who misled the British people are responsible. If they see the error of their ways in years to come and work together with those who want to lead Britain out of isolation and poverty back to Europe I will be happy they changed their minds. But Brexiteers, it is you who leading this doomed project. You are responsible. It is going to be hard to forgive, and impossible to forget.

Richard Lucas is a businessman with companies in Poland, Britain, Hong Kong, and the US

3rd July 2016

Richard Lucas

“Bring the boys back home” is the cry of those who want war to end and troops to return to safety. In the context of Brexit, those forced to return to Britain is a group who will be repatriated against their will, but the larger group will be those who never get to leave in the first place because it is too difficult to get a visa.

The world of visa restrictions is one that British people only face now when they go outside Europe.  I go to the US and Canada on the “visa waiver” programme. I still have to fill in a form, answer questions about what I am doing, and leave within three months. Pretty much like the Non EU channel at airports. That is where the Brits will be lining up soon.

The consequences are not just economic, as companies relocate out of Britain. It is much more serious. In the short term the pain of lost opportunity, the long run a much more insular and isolated island.

It is going to be much, much harder for British people to marry foreigners and vice versa when Britain leaves the European Union.

“My girl/boyfriend is a an EU national foreign”  is certain not to generate a visa for a Brit to live in France, Italy, Poland  or other EU countries  for more than three months under the points based visa/immigration system advocated by the Brexit-ers.

As Dr. Helen Fisher – the author of bestselling “Anatomy of Love” – argued at the TED Summit in Banff Canada last week,  young people are delaying their commitment to marry until they are absolutely sure about their partners. Extreme caution is shown. Living together before marriage is the norm in  Europe.   Brits will not be allowed to do this in EU countries, and EU citizens won’t be allowed to do this in the UK.

The idea of a “Year Off/Gap Year/Sabbatical” drifting around Europe, with occasional jobs when the money runs out, is also going to be removed. We British will have to  plan our visits to “the Continent ” as carefully as the Americans or Australians do when they come to Britain/Europe. Spending un-structured time in Europe will no longer be an option.

Tech Entrepreneurs will also have tough choices to make. Most will re locate to more “foreigner friendly” places be it cool friendly and expensive Dublin or cheaper cool and friendly Kraków or Berlin.  If Scotland manages not to be forced out, then Edinburgh and Glasgow have a chance to receive Tech Refugees from England.

The Brexit-ers are deliberately and intentionally proposing policies that will remove freedoms that  British people of all ages have enjoyed in Europe for two generations. What a pathetic achievement. I feel miserable every time I think of all the young people whose life chances have been so much restricted

Banff, Canada 27th June
At the TED Summit yesterday a group of TEDsters and TEDx-ers gathered to discuss the profound shock we feel about Brexit.

One idea suggested by a participant was to lobby our MPs as they will have to face their electorate with the terrible consequences of this fateful move.

If you are reading this and you care about the freedoms, peace and stability of Britain and Europe, and you have a vote in Britain, please write your version of this to your MP. You can find out who it is here

If you know any British person who thinks like me, send them a link to this post

I will never forget you helped me if you do

please

 

Richard

 

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Richard Lucas
Date: 27 June 2016 at 07:43
Subject: please stop us leaving the EU
To: david.warburton.mp@parliament.uk

Dear David
I know you have been reported as being one of the MPs  who was in favour of leaving the European Union.

I implore you to change your mind.

 If there is a vote in the House of Commons in which you are given the opportunity to do anything that could possibly stop it happening – please do so,
If there is a general election and you are a candidate for a party that wants to stay in I will vote for you
You have an  opportunity to stop a national disaster and have a historic responsibility to your country, its people and those of Europe too.  The freedoms of trade and movement that so almost all Britons treasure are at stake. The integrity of the United Kingdom and our security are in the balance.
The rising tide of racism and intolerance in the UK will only get worse as our economic plight worsens.
I realise it is a big political risk to be seen to be defying the will of the majority, but
the majority was tiny,

many people did not vote
and Britain’s and Europe’s liberty, prosperity and security are at stake
Many of those who voted to leave are angry with our and the EU’s political systems. Leaving the EU will not do anything to fix these problems.
I have lived out of Britain for many years, and didn’t get  a vote, but have invested in Britain creating jobs,   I have children whose freedoms are about to be lost and I care about the freedoms that the EU gives all Britons, and Europeans too.
This decision will change the course of history.
Please do the right thing and do what you can to keep us in, as we stand on the precipice of catastrophe.
Yours sincerely.

Richard Lucas

 

 

June 2106
I posted this on the OMGKRK group on Facebook, and thought it was worth sharing.

Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 08.16.03
If you care about making University Education more entrepreneurial please listen to this interview with Richard Miller of  Olin.
I am re thinking my approach –  Olin is to Universities what the School in the Cloud is to schools. – maybe benchmarking against San Francisco and/or Cambridge is not ambitious enough. …

here is the post I made 20 minutes ago.
Listen to the head of Google Campus Warsawhttp://projectkazimierz.com/rafal-plutecki/ in the latest episode

Several points to note
1  Focus not about brand Warsaw, or Poland instead of Brand Kraków but brand Central Eastern Europe,

2. Also note how Professional Service providers (lawyers, and esp bankers) in Warsaw are way ahead our our Kraków community. minute 19:00 in his response to my observation that we never see bankers and seldom lawyers, or accountants at startup community events. In Warsaw they have been showing up at Google Campus events.

With the honorable exception of Jan Marczyński Legal advisor and partner at JWMS law firm (jwms.pl) who is a regular at Open Coffee Krakówockrk.co/faq and is doing things the western way, offering pro bono advice to startup and Katarzyna Orzeł – who I met at an X Massive event  (companies I am involved in are a client of both law firms ) we are not visited by many professional support services at events like Startup Stage, Hive, Krakspot, and Open Coffee…  (If anyone reading this feels left out and offended, please post a link below, and apologies in advance) come tomorrow (this was posted on Wednesday 15th June) to Open Coffee Krakow and prove me wrong..

3. Rafal Plutecki was a successful entrepreneur, as Brad Feld says here and elsewhere https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXD5vt0xhyI the Start up Eco system must be led by entrepreneurs so it was a great hire by Google.

4 Hat tip the UMK (City) and UM (county) authorities and KPT – county and town and technology park officials do show up and are very welcome… The fact they join our meetings, rather than expect us to show up in their offices is fundamental to developing soft linkages, (other officials reading this please note)

An example of the government being ahead of the business community. 🙂

5. It’s great for Poland that we have Google Campus in our country. Of course it’s a bit sad for Krakow that we no longer have more events than everyone else put together, but a thriving startup scene in Warsaw and Central Europe is good for us. Capitalism is not a zero sum game.

http://crossweb.pl/wydarzenia/?miasto=warszawa

http://crossweb.pl/wydarzenia/?miasto=krakow
Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 08.18.26

6. I’m leading on AGH but if there are members of our community who can take responsibility for making sure we reach the new students in other disciplines, (teachers, music, actors, artists, geographers doctors sociologists linguists, farmers etc ) who will arrive in Krakow in Q4) get in touch, It’s criminal that there is so little pro active outreach to promote startups and entrepreneurship in these communities, (and again if I am wrong post a link).

 

Call for action – essentially we need people who can clone what we are going to do in AGH, which is a series of regular networking events similar to Cambridge’s Enterprise Tuesdays where current students interested in enterprise, meet alumni who have gone into business in an informal setting.
http://www.jbs.cam.ac.uk/entrepreneur…/…/enterprise-tuesday/
This is a leadership oppportunity – I can’t organise events in every dept of the UJ & PK, but if anyone reading this wants to take responsibilty, let me know and I’ll invite you to a meeting in September where you can find out what you need to do in your depts If you want to help with the AGH project, you are equally welcome. First and Foremost introductions to AGH Alumni who have started businesses of any description and who would be able and willing to join and contribute (time + energy –  not money) to participant focussed events with students)