Hey David, what have you been doing?
Each time I meet someone I haven’t seen for while they ask this perfectly reasonable question, to which I inadequately respond that I’ve been busy. Collating my activities over the last 12 months has reminded me of the many positives in communities, businesses and innovation and the people fuelling them.
In the U.K., we’ve been building indycube.community. This is our response to the report, Not Alone, published by Co-operatives UK. The report looked at trends in self-employment and called for solutions to protect the growing ‘precariat’. With Community Union as our partners, we are building the Community of Independent Workers, with benefits including free legal support and invoice factoring. We are putting together a package of benefits to make working for yourself easier and less precarious.
Having opened more than 30 indycube coworking locations across Wales, we have started opening sites all over the U.K. The first outside Wales is in Wakefield and we have just agreed sites in Cambridge, two in London and more to follow in the next few months. Indycube converted to a Community Benefit Society. This means we are a member-owned cooperative.
As an angel investor, we have exited Comparison Creator having built it to the point that it now serves all four leading insurance comparison sites. We are pleased to sell to one of the founders supported by financial services rating business Defaqto (https://www.insidermedia.com/insider/wales/mbo-for-comparison-software-developer). It's always good to see a business move to the next level and take some money off the table.
There is a big announcement about the future of Pwinty that will have to be the subject of another post. Pwinty now ships millions of photos annually from labs around the world. It is notable that this is a three-year old business still run from an indycube in Cardiff.
I have become a CommonwealthFirst Business Mentor. This programme supports SMEs to trade and invest across the Commonwealth. I am excited about the connections that can be made across countries, continents and hemispheres. Their latest cohort has just been announced and I’ll be meeting them soon.
I continue to support and work with another investee company, Inngot. Their IP valuation platform is now being used in Singapore, Malaysia, the UK and Canada. As Inngot we are completing licensing strategy work for a major Scandinavian corporation.
I was recently at the Global Sourcing Association’s Symposium discussing “Being Human in a Digital World” and the Welsh Government Employers and Automation Roundtable. These follow on from my interest in the changing nature of the future of work and how automation and AI will impact us all.
I spend up to 5 months a year away from Cardiff, either ‘back home’ in Australia or sailing our yacht.
When in Australia, I’m engaged with the startup community in Brisbane and the Gold Coast. In April 2016 I was back home for the inaugural Advance Queensland Innovation and Investment Summit. I was speaking on a panel and a fireside chat session about getting investment for your startup. This event is now the much more hipster-friendly named Myriad Festival. Cyclone Debbie drowned the 2017 event out, but the show went on. I’ll be there for the 2018 event.
I stay engaged with the Australian startup community whether physically there or not. I assess applications for the Ignite Ideas Fund. I’ve assessed more than 50 applications for Round 1 and 2 and will be doing further assessments in July 2017. I also joined the Startup Catalyst mission participants at the England v Australia ICC Champions Trophy cricket match in Edgbaston
I sailed my yacht across the Atlantic to the Caribbean with an Irish man and a Liverpudlian ex-fireman in November/December 2016 and around the southern Caribbean islands with my family in February 2017. I'm now two-thirds of the way around on my very slow circumnavigation, back to Australia.
30 June 2017
Meet the team
Indycube Ventures offers funding and expert advice to entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs and small-business owners based at coworking space network Indycube are being offered access to a half-million-pound annual funding stream and expert advice.
"We have benefited greatly from David's experience, counsel and contacts on a wide range of issues. His past experience in the IP space is particularly useful to Inngot, but even without that, he is just the sort of investor and non-executive director a high growth business needs. He sees potential, makes connections, and keeps us focused on the things that matter."Martin Brassell, CEO, Inngot Ltd