Speed dating for start-ups

Budding entrepreneurs are being invited to take part in a nationwide exchange of ideas in the form of ‘speednetworking’ as part of Enterprise Week between 13 and 19 November 2006 coordinated by the people behind the Make Your Mark campaign.


Budding entrepreneurs are being invited to take part in a nationwide exchange of ideas in the form of ‘speednetworking’ as part of Enterprise Week between 13 and 19 November 2006 coordinated by the people behind the Make Your Mark campaign.

Budding entrepreneurs are being invited to take part in a nationwide exchange of ideas in the form of ‘speednetworking’ as part of Enterprise Week between 13 and 19 November 2006 coordinated by the people behind the Make Your Mark campaign.

Speednetwork the Nation will take place between 12pm and 1pm on Friday 17 November and is focusing particularly on inspiring young people, although all aspiring start-ups are welcome. Organisers Enterprise Insight claim it is a ‘fun, high energy way to encourage potential entrepreneurs of any age to share ideas, practice pitching and make useful contacts – fast!’

As well as wanting participants, Enterprise Insight are also looking for venues. The requirements are simply some space, a whistle, a stopwatch and some people. Within the designated hour, in true speed dating tradition, people will talk to each other for five minutes whereupon the whistle is blown and they all swap around to speak to someone new.

’We believe in connecting people who share the same drive and ambition to make their ideas real,’ comments Kevin Steele of the Make Your Mark campaign. ‘Often a simple introduction can make a dramatic difference to a person’s life. We can all name someone who has given us a lucky break along the way, which is why we are coordinating Speednetwork the Nation to give people opportunities to meet others who will inspire and help them.’

Campaign organisers will be awarding £1,000 in cash as prizes for the most innovative and creative events, and to those held in the most unusual places. To find out more about Speednetwork the Nation and to register an event please visit www.starttalkingideas.org/speednetwork or contact Jo Hill on jo@enterpriseinsight.co.uk.

The campaign organisers have laid down the following three rules for speednetworking:
• Rule One: You must meet people you’d never normally talk to. No sticking with the person you arrived with!
• Rule Two: It’s just a bit of fun. Speednetworking is all about sharing ideas and meeting new people. You don’t just have to talk business. Ask each other ‘what are your hobbies’? ‘Your passions’? Talk about anything you like!
• Rule Three: No double dating. When the whistle blows, you MUST change partners. No clinging onto the person you’re talking to and saying ‘stay with me, stay with me’! Keep on moving.

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