Peter MacLean drags MBI Coakley Limited into Fox IT Holdings 365iT plc scam

Posted by Chris on September 19th, 2012

Peter MacLean, some time Chairman of Fox IT Holdings Limited, until recently parent company of Fox IT Limited and previously 365iT plc – has now dragged Licensed Insolvency Practitioners, MBI Coakley Limited, into the great 365iT plc scam ( although they seem unaware of the chequered history of MacLean and 365iT plc ). MacLean’s long time mates at Moore Blatch solicitors in Southampton sent out a letter to shareholders on the 3 July 2012 saying that there would be a General Meeting of the shareholders on the 2nd August 2012 at which a proposal to wind up the company voluntarily would be put to the members i.e. shareholders .
( This means that MacLean would basically put his proposals to himself, Pieter Hooft  of LMS Capital and Derek King of South East Venture Growth Fund – as they were the majority shareholders before and after the sale of 365iT’s companies to themselves ).

So, a company ( Fox IT Holdings Limited ) which sometime earlier had sold nearly all of  it’s assets ( companies like e.g. 5i Limited )  to another company ( LMS Capital – where Pieter Hooft is M.D. UK Investments – he is listed as a Director of  365iT plc ) and the holding company of which MacLean was also a Chairman ( 365 it services Limited ) and a shareholder,  was now being put into Members Voluntary Liquidation despite the fact MacLean himself had been paid £millions out of it only recently, it had no creditors ( because they had all been paid off  when LMS Capital bought the companies ) and the Directors of Fox IT Limited had just done an M.B.O. of Fox I.T. Limited from Fox I.T. Holdings Limited( See Press Release below ).

In fact it turns out that ( according to Fox IT Limited ) the date of the Members Voluntary Liquidation was delayed firstly to allow the M.B.O. of Fox I.T. Limited to take place and secondly ( according to MBI Coakley ) to enable the preferential shareholders to do some fine tuning to the arrangements so that they could get nearly all of the money available in the company’s accounts leaving virtually nothing for the Ordinary shareholders.

The preferential shareholders are not listed but we can take an educated guess that they include LMS Capital, Peter MacLean and South East Growth Venture Fund. Yes folks, Peter MacLean gets even more money !!

Let’s summarise shall we ???? Most of the company’s that were in 365iT plc ( was Impera plc ) and became Fox IT Holdings Limited are now in 365 IT Services Limited which is a company owned by LMS Ventures ( Where Pieter Hooft is on the Board ) AND Peter MacLean ( who is Chairman of 365IT Services Limited ). It is run by Peter Howells, former M.D. of 5i Limited.

So basically, MacLean and LMS Capital sold these companies to themselves. ( Not sure if Derek King and South East Growth Fund is involved in LMS Capital or 365 IT Services Limited )

MBI Coakley have been presented with a nice neat set of accounts which show that everyone has been looked after except the Ordinary shareholders in Impera plc ( as was ) / 365iT plc /Fox I.T. Holdings Limited. There is virtually nothing left for them.

The terms of the arrangement to sell 365iT plc’s companies to themselves remain a mystery.

The people that got paid out when LMS Capital bought these companies remain a secret.

The terms of the sale of Fox IT Limited to it’s Directors are also a mystery.

I have been inundated with Ordinary shareholders calling me. Some of whom have been working with or for Peter MacLean since the early days. None of them have a good word to say about him.

The investigations continue.

Fox IT Limited MBO Press Release

Fox IT: Management Buy-Out

Fox IT Limited, the leading independent UK based IT Service Management specialists, has

been the subject of a full and exclusive management buyout with effect from 24th August,

2012. The current management team of Andrew Gray (Finance Director), Mike Darkens

(Consulting Director) and Ashley Bassett (Sales Director) have purchased in full the shares

from the parent company, Fox IT Holdings Limited (formerly 365iT Plc.) and will form the

new board and operational directorship of the business. The acquisition retains all current

operational and delivery UK based staff as well as its global partner network covering 25

countries and 125 accredited Service Management consultants.

Since 1981, Fox IT, formerly Ultracomp, has assisted over 500 organisations and 200000

individuals on their journey to transform IT Services in order to deliver greater business

value through accredited training reinforced with assessment and implementation tools and

services. This management buyout facilitates a strengthening of Fox IT’s core business

focus and portfolio in supporting organisations through all phases of their continual service

improvement journey.

Ashley Bassett commented “I believe this is great news for our Clients, employees and the

ITSM Industry. We’re genuinely excited and confident that the buyout provides the

opportunity for Fox IT to continue being the partner of choice for Service Improvement and

transformation programs. Since its involvement in the inception of ITIL® and ISO/IEC

20000, Fox IT has continually been at the forefront in establishing, the advancement and the

practical application of Service Management best practice through thought leadership,

content provision and service delivery. Whilst continuing to support organisations with their

core training needs a key focus and challenge for the new Board of Directors is to provide

our Clients with practical education, guidance and tools to accelerate the translation of their

significant training investment into tangible business benefits.

The Fox IT brand has already seen a shift from being purely a world leading ITSM training

company to one of supporting our Clients’ service improvement programs providing

consulting and resourcing services, process development tools, bespoke training offerings

and strategic mentoring and guidance for maintaining service quality. Therefore, Fox IT is

well positioned to meet this change in demand. Part of our new mission is to raise the

profile of ITSM to meet and deliver business objectives”

Mike Darkens added “The success of the business is based on the core attributes of our

people, their experience and energy. This has led to the positive results we have delivered

consistently to our clients and through adding to our strong relationships, we can continue

the current trend of business growth.”

ITIL ® is a registered trademark of the Cabinet Office

http://www.businesslink.gov.uk/bdotg/action/detail?itemId=1084615740&type=RESOURCES – Members Voluntary Liquidation Details.

BeachCherry helps pianist Van-Anh crowdfund with WordPress website

Posted by Chris on September 8th, 2012

The simple story is that Costa Rica Headquartered BeachCherry Corporation wrote a WordPress website for Australia based pianist and producer Van-Anh Nguyen. This might have been news some time ago when it was unusual for a company thousands of miles away to produce your website but these days it is accepted that it does not matter where you are based relative to your client – what matters is the service and support that you provide. It happens that BeachCherry also has offices in India and Europe but not, currently, Australia.

Van-Anh needed this website quickly and it had to meet an important deadline. That deadline being the launch of her ” crowdfunding project ” on Australian and U.K. Crowdfunding site Pozible.com. http://www.pozible.com/index.php/archive/index/7624/description/0/0

Crowdfunding ( raising finance online from people who donate or invest )  has become a disruptive force in the world and one that has emerged from the global recession to take the place of banks and to some extent Angel and Venture Capital investment. It is certainly disruptive for the music industry. No longer do artists have to chase managers and record labels ( who previously would have provided the capital to produce and market a new cd ) now they just need to raise money on one of the many crowdfunding platforms that exist around the world. ( Crowdfunding mainly emerged in the U.S.A. but has quickly spread to the U.K. and Australia ).

Here’s Van-Anh’s Budget :

BUDGET

I’d like to raise $4,000 for this project which will be split up into:
$1000: Recording studio time
$1000: Mastering of the 10 tracks
$2000: artwork and pressing of 1500 CDs
Of course if we are able to hit more than the goal, the money will go into the launch events (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast).
In fact she raised over A$5000 and this allowed additional promotion:
NEWS UPDATE| 21st AUGUST 2012:
Thank you to everyone who has pledged and donated so far! I love you and thank you for your incredible support. I’ve set my MINIMUM goal of $4000 as to enable me to hit my target. Of course, pledges are still accepted after that and if I hit $5000-$6000, it which will assist me in:
1. Producing 50 limited edition 1st single CDs of the ‘Libertango’.
2. employing a lighting designer for my launch show to create a reflection of colors, projections and video mapping for an experience you will not have had with a piano concert.
3. Add Adelaide to my official launch tour (and open to suggestions for any other cities)

How did she promote this project ???

Of course she used social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter aswell as her WordPress based website and the Pozible.com site.

No doubt friends and family were amongst the people that helped Van-Anh to get to her goal of A$4000  but there were also many people who did not know of Van-Anh directly. What do they get for their ” donations ” ??? Well everything ranging from posters to cd’s and concert tickets but for A$ 1000 you could have got:

* a 45 minute concert of myself as well as 2 string players and a DJ (just provide me with a great piano and I’ll have the DJ and string players sourced from within the city you are in).

but nobody took her up on this offer !!!!!! ( FOOLS ;-)

Many of the people were happy to be known and others donated anonymously.

Best wishes to Van-Anh !!

Note:

BeachCherry Corporation is offering WordPress web and/or blogsites starting from $250 with a variety of themes available. Included within the pricing is guidance on how to get your website found on Google and other search engines for your products and services. Telephone: +1
(202 )
436-9487 2)and ask for Vick or email  info@beachcherry.com to discuss your particular requirements.

http://www.beachcherry.com/contact.html

Silicon Crossroads Technopolis

Posted by Chris on September 8th, 2012

The Silicon Crossroads Technopolis is a private High Tech. facility that supports Silicon Crossroads VCT investee companies globally. It also supports companies advised by M & A Rainmaker and the Silicon Crossroads VCT.

The Technopolis is currently supporting companies in ( for example ) London, San Francisco, Israel, New York, Costa Rica and India. the list is continually changing and evolving so this is just a sample of cities and countries supported.

The Silicon Crossroads VCT does not invest in all the companies it supports, it may simply provide advice and guidance. It is particularly interested in assisting startup and growth companies who want to expand from the U.K. to, for example, the U.S.A. and vice versa and also from other countries around the world into the U.K. and Europe. It is one of very few companies in the U.K. to provide these sort of services.

Lichfield Cathedral at night across Stowe Pool.

Managing Partner, Chris Windley, has established global networks via social media networks like Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook and Chris is regarded as one of the most influential people in the world by Internet Influence measurement companies like Klout, Kred and Peer Index. These companies operate mainly from e.g. London, New York and San Francisco. Since his days at Optical Fibre Network company Fibernet, Chris noted that U.S. companies tended to lead the European market by between 6 and 18 months and therefore it is vital to maintain contacts with High Tech. industry leaders there; especially the West Coast ( Silicon Valley etc. ) which remains the frontrunner when it comes to angel and venture capital support.

It is no surprise that some of the most important High Tech. companies in the world have emerged from the Silicon Valley/San Francisco area.

Chris maintains contact with Angels, Venture Capitalists and Founders via Internet networks like Linkedin, Google + and AngelList.

What can a small San Francisco startup do for London’s Hottest startups ??

Posted by Chris on July 10th, 2012

Well it depends who that startup is doesn’t it !! When Eric and Kelly Kim  - founders of San Francisco based Twylah found out about the Guardian’s list of the Hottest 20 East London startups   ( http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/jul/08/east-london-20-hottest-tech-companies ) they immediately responded with Twylah pages for most of them.

Twylah pages are only given to those companies who fulfill a certain set of criteria. Mainly around the quality of the content produced ( on Twitter ) rather than numbers of followers or numbers of tweets.

What would a Twylah page do to help these startups ??? Well rather than go into great detail here this

http://windmillnetworking.com/2011/09/09/twitter-seo-think-twylah/

is a great blog about Twylah and how it might help. For Pinterest users videos and blogs have been collected here http://pinterest.com/chriswindley/twylah/.

Of course there is a lot of controversy about ” Silicon Roundabout ” with some people saying that no such thing exists; some saying that the area has been a High Tech. area for years and years; some saying these companies are not proper ” High Tech. ” companies – they are ” Media ” development companies etc etc etc

http://techcrunch.com/2012/07/09/silicon-roundabout-naysayers/

Of course there is considerable controversy in San Francisco aswell – Rents are going through the roof; Talent is difficult to find in these ” boom times ” ( Startup’s must look beyond the U.S. to other countries like e.g. the U.K. , Spain, South America etc ) ; Investors are desperate to invest in the right startups.

Twylah has already become very popular amongst London based Twitter users and it might not be long before Twylah becomes a neighbour of some of the East London startups that it has just supported. Probably a good move then !!

Some of the East London based startups who received Twylah pages:

U.S. gets to know about Silicon Crossroads Lichfield from Saxon Hoard visit

Posted by Chris on April 7th, 2012

If you have been to the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery recently you will have noticed that the Anglo-Saxon Golden Hoard found near Silicon Crossroads ( the junction of the old Watling Street and Rykneld Street – now the A5 and A38 ) Lichfield is missing.

The good news is that it is away doing a great job of promoting Staffordshire ( the old Mercia ) the Lichfield area and Silicon Crossroads to America.

As this article says the Saxon Hoard has gone to the National Geographic Museum in Washington D.C.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-stoke-staffordshire-15496704 .

Pectoral cross

Washington D.C. is not one of the recognised ” Startup ” centres of the U.S. although Baltimore ( Maryland ) recently raised $84 Million via an innovative online auction of tax credits ( see  http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2012-03-15/news/bs-bz-invest-maryland-funding-20120315_1_tax-credits-investmaryland-program-christian-s-johansson ) in yet another example of U.S. startup funding initiatives.

There have also been a number of other ” Startups ” in the area e.g.

Cerecor Biotech http://www.bizjournals.com/baltimore/news/2012/04/04/cerecor-biotech-startup-headed-by.html

SemaConnect  http://www.bizjournals.com/baltimore/news/2011/11/28/annapolis-startup-semaconnect-raises.html

WooFound http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/technology/2011/11/baltimore_startup_woofound_rai.html

MoodleRooms http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/technology/2011/06/startup_story_baltimores_moodl_1.html

Nearby Pennsylvania also has a long standing history of investing in Startups:

http://www.prlog.org/11837942-ben-franklin-program-invests-650000-in-central-pa-startups.html

The SiliconCrossroads VCT founders  actually invested in Pennsylvania Startup eschoolmall ( now esm solutions ) some years ago  http://www.esmsolutions.com/SchoolDistrictsSolutions.aspx

New York ( not far away ) is also a recognised startup centre.

Washington is a place that we British can easily get confused about ( although most of us recognise Washington D.C. we may not know exactly where it is – just West of New York ) and there are 2 or 3 Washingtons in the U.S.

Similarly many Americans probably don’t know where Birmingham or Staffordshire is ( a couple of hundred miles North of London would probably work – which would be a short car ride for many Americans ) so it is great news that the Saxon Hoard is increasing awareness of Staffordshire and the Silicon Crossroads area ( Lichfield, Tamworth, Walsall and Sutton Coldfield ).

Silicon Crossroads and Silicon Crossroads VCT – Lichfield, Staffordshire

Posted by Chris on March 25th, 2012

Silicon Crossroads is the High Tech. business area established between Lichfield, Tamworth, Sutton Coldfield and Walsall in Staffordshire, England, U.K. The crossroads referred to is the ancient crossroads of Watling Street ( the A5 ) and Rykneld Street ( the A38 ) which cross one another just below Lichfield.

Notably Tamworth is dominated by Tamworth Castle and Lichfield by Lichfield Cathedral and these are ancient seats of power in Middle England.

The recent discovery of the Staffordshire Hoard may well add to the evidence for the Lichfield and Tamworth area being an area of influence and innovation and Silicon Crossroads and the Silicon Crossroads VCT continue this tradition.

The Silicon Crossroads VCT is a High Tech. Investment fund with a particular focus on areas like Social Media, Inbound Marketing and Cloud Computing.

We have established strong connections with entrepreneurs, business angels and venture capital funds in some of the main innovation areas in the U.S. and Canada like Silicon Valley, Boston, New York, Vancouver, Austin, Toronto and other emerging High Tech Innovation areas like Baltimore.

Aside from Early Stage funding the VCT provides support for start up and early stage companies from the U.S. and the U.K. Included in our support services is ” Outsourced Business Development ” to assist companies to identify target customers and sectors  and to establish contact with them using state of the art Marketing techniques like Inbound Marketing, the creation of Internet Marketing Ecosystems and therefore the use of Social Media and Social Business Media.

It became obvious a few years ago that the rise of companies like Salesforce ( SaaS CRM ) , Google ( Search and Social Media ), Facebook ( Social Media ) and Twitter ( Social Media )  would give rise to other companies like HubSpot ( Inbound Marketing ) , Hootsuite ( Monitoring multiple social media channels )  and Twylah ( Twitter brand pages ).

It was less obvious that there would be such huge angel and venture capital investment in the U.S. but there has been and it is only increasing.

There has also been a revolution ( from necessity ) in funding methods for start ups in the U.S. with companies like KickStarter and the concentration of Angels and so called Super Angels onto lists like AngelList.

In addition companies like SecondMarket have created liquidity in markets like pre-IPO shares and debt.

You can get more information on some of these companies via this blog and my Twylah page   http://www.twylah.com/cwindley.

This is a holding page for more information on Silicon Crossroads and the Silicon Crossroads VCT and websites, blogs and Twylah pages will be developed for these over time.

My contact information is on this blog on the Contact page.

Wahooliganism breaks out in Lichfield businesses

Posted by Chris on February 24th, 2012

Lichfield businesses have been subjected to an incredible outbreak of Wahooliganism. Wahooliganism first emerged in Minneapolis in the U.S. last year and then spread globally via highly connected individuals and internet influencers.

It gained serious Klout along the way but suffered a setback in early February. It is expected to re-emerge over the coming weeks stronger than ever and businesses in Lichfield and indeed globally are advised to prepare.

What is Wahooliganism ??

A short description proffered by Wahooly founder Dana Severson is  ” Accelerating Start-up growth through online influence.

There’s a good description of Wahooly in TechCrunch here:

http://techcrunch.com/2012/02/01/wahooly-launches-its-crowdfunding-experiment-with-first-3-startups-ready-for-social-capital/

Wahooly ( a start-up itself ) is helping it’s first 3 start-up’s ( actually on the website there are 4 now - http://wahooly.com/ ) to gain traction by having ” influential people ” invest time, effort and skills in them and promote them on a global basis.

Does this actually work ???

Well I think it does. Word of Mouth Marketing,Networking and Referrals are established ways of ” getting the word out ” and ” growing the business “.

For those of you who have read Gladwell’s ” The Tipping Point ” you will know that “The success of any kind of social epidemic is heavily dependent on the involvement of people with a particular and rare set of social gifts.” These people are Connectors, Mavens and Salespeople.

According to Gladwell, economists call this the “80/20 Principle, which is the idea that in any situation roughly 80 percent of the ‘work’ will be done by 20 percent of the participants.”

The 20% are defined by Klout ( arguably ) as those who have a Klout score of greater than 45. ( Klout is only one company that is measuring Internet ” influence ).

This is not really rocket science – you get influential people ( in real life and virtual life ) to promote your company, products and services and this helps you grow your business.

Let’s take two examples:

Twylah ( http://www.twylah.com/ )

Twylah is a company that wants to take your Twitter Tweets and ” Tell your story and get you noticed ” by making an awesome looking website out of your Tweets. Twylah is based in San Franciso and is a start-up with co-founders Kelly and Eric Kim. Kelly is the community manager for Twylah and the marketing face of @Twylah.

Kelly Kim

Twylah has some VERY famous clients already ( see http://www.twylah.com/featured ) which include Lady GaGa, Britney Spears, Bon Jovi and Arnold Shwarzenegger !! This might give you the impression that only famous people need apply ! Here is David Skok of Matrix Partners Twylah page http://www.twylah.com/bostonvc/topics/matrix ( A Boston based VC investor  ) and here’s my Twylah page  http://www.twylah.com/cwindley .

From small beginnings Twylah has spread globally – mainly by using Twitter. Kelly has some 13,000 or so followers on Twitter. By picking certain people ( famous, influential, interesting ) Kelly has spread the word on Twylah and now Twylah users are spreading the word further.

Coco Meli Bakery ( http://www.cocomelibakery.co.uk/ )

More locally, Meli Nicolaou, of Coco Meli Bakery is using various means to promote her Artisan Bakery business and newly launched refreshments van at Trent Valley Railway Station.

Meli (  @CocoMeliBakery on Twitter )

Meli Nicolaou

has a relatively small ( well at least to Kelly !! ) Twitter follower base ( 500 odd ) but she has used this to help spread the word about her business. She now has a Twylah page http://www.twylah.com/CocoMeliBakery .

Again, physically and online she is spreading the word and others are spreading the word for her – some of them are influential people.

The involvement of influential people is having an actual positive effect on the growth of the business. What is the value of a new Twylah customer or a new Coco Meli Bakery customer ?? I don’t know but Eric Kim’s background is in the monetisation of Internet platforms and to him ( and the industry he has worked in for the last 10 years or so ) each follower, retweeter, circler, favouriter, liker and email address has a dollar or pound ( or part of ) value !!

Social Media Summariser Hootsuite shows how High Tech Lichfield can see growth

Posted by Chris on February 15th, 2012

Hootsuite is one of a number of applications that now exist for people to monitor relevant activity on a number of social media networks simultaneously like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Google +. Competitors to Hootsuite include TweetDeck, PeopleBrowser and CoTweet. One of the major concerns for investors considering investing in HootSuite was it’s location in Vancouver, Canada.

You may know that Vancouver is  the home of many start-ups lots of which are ” high Tech. ” including HootSuite. HootSuite was ranked in the top 10 at the time of this survey.

Vancouver is a beautiful City located on the West Coast of Canada and a 100 or so miles away from Seattle, U.S. – the home of Microsoft and the original home of Starbucks Coffee . I have been to Vancouver a number of times – mainly to ski in Whistler. I sent my son David there to learn about Internet Marketing and I will also always remember it as the home of ” those otters “. You know the cute ones that float around holding hands and have over 17 Million hits on YouTube !! We tried to get David to visit the otters in Vancouver Aquarium but he never quite made it. He did however fly out to Vancouver and back on his own.

Anyway – back to HootSuite. One of the downsides identified with HootSuite by the venture capitalists, as mentioned earlier, was that it was based in Vancouver.  You can’t really believe that Vancouver is viewed ( by some ) as a backwater but it is. It’s vibrant start-up community is a drop in the ocean when compared with e.g. San Francisco, New York and Boston.

The biggest problem perceived ??? How would they get the talent needed ??

In fact this “disadvantage” turned out to be an advantage ….

“Up there, surrounded by quality dev talent with limited competition, HootSuite has been able to attract A+ people at a fraction of the cost of its competitors. This advantage has only grown as HootSuite now is one of the top tech companies to work for in Canada and can pull from across the entire country. ”

Similarly a ” Silicon Crossroads ” in Lichfield would be perceived as ” nowhere ” by the High Tech. community but it has major advantages in the talent pool, the location, access to transport and many other areas.

2007 article about Vancouver’s High Tech. start-up’s:

http://montrealtechwatch.com/2007/08/07/vancouver-canadas-greatest-start-up-city/

The Biggest Lie I ever heard about Web Marketing in Lichfield !

Posted by Chris on February 7th, 2012

Well actually this lie about Web Marketing was not heard in Lichfield but received in an email from U.S. Marketing guru, Charlie Cook, whose blogsite and article with a title similar to mine is here . Hopefully Charlie will be o.k. with me borrowing from his email ( initially ) and blog post.

You really want to take the time to follow this link ( here it is again )

http://www.marketingforsuccess.com/blog/web-marketing/the-biggest-lie/

and read it before coming back to my blog post.

The gist of it is this: Business people realise that they have to invest considerable amounts of money, time, skill, knowledge and effort into” bricks and mortar sites ” like for example a new restaurant in a chain of restaurants or a new office location in an expanding company but they think that they can open up the Internet or online part of a company for nothing and in a short space of  time, with no skills or knowledge and little effort.

They then wonder why it has not worked.

Charlie says “ Isabela, a successful restaurant chain owner,  knows that when she opens a new restaurant, it’s a big investment. On average it takes, $494,888 to open a restaurant. Yes almost a half million dollars. Of course, within 18 months the typical restaurant is grossing $1,171,629 a year and making a profit of $91,103 – which isn’t bad at all.

How about Isabela’s online business? How much did she spend to get it up and running? Practically nothing – and no surprise it makes practically nothing. ”

I often say to people ” Treat your website like an online sales team ” . Now guess what – a successful physical sales team takes  all the things to build that I have mentioned earlier money ( and some ! ), time, skill, knowledge, experience and effort. Not to mention the fact that you need tools, processes and systems in place to monitor the performance and effectiveness of your salesforce. Those of you that have built a salesforce
( accountancy, law practice etc etc ) know that getting the right team is an extremely difficult and time consuming process.

Charlie reckoned that Isabela’s Internet business could be making $200,000.00 for her but was actually making virtually nothing. This is like a salesperson carrying a ( profit target ) of 2 restaurants worth. To generate $200K the investment would be huge.

I whizzed Charlie’s email off to one of the Director’s of a company that I work with and he came straight back with:

” I always say to the retailers I speak to that want to be e-tailers that the web store needs to be treated like any other store, and will require time and investment if it’s going to be a success on the same scale. “

So, maybe this will help ?? When you are thinking about starting an online business think about it like opening up a new restaurant, a new store a new branch or building a new salesforce and maybe you will get things into perspective !!



Could Lichfield become the U.S. high tech startup destination ?

Posted by Chris on February 6th, 2012

High Tech. Start-up’s are booming in the U.S. with Boston, New York and Silicon Valley all very active and there are many U.S. start-up’s looking at establishing a European office. Could Lichfield a.k.a. Silicon Crossroads in Staffordshire dare to dream that it might host some of these start-up’s ?

Friends of mine established Leap the Pond some years ago in order to assist start-up’s gain a successful foothold from the U.S. to the U.K. and vice versa and also from Asia to the U.K. and America and vice versa.

A while back I wrote this blog

http://mandarainmaker.co.uk/wordpress/2011/09/27/celtic-tiger-awakes-and-starts-tweeting-about-hi-tech/

as I was asked to suggest a suitable European location for a U.S. software company that I knew.

Right at the end you will see mention of an accounting practice called the ” Double Irish and a Dutch Sandwich ” fully described here

http://www.joe.ie/news-politics/current-affairs/irish-move-to-save-twitter-53-per-cent-in-tax-0016130-1

which describes the tax savings achieved by Google and to be achieved by Twitter by having offices in Southern Ireland and Luxembourg.

Like it or not the ” financial parameters ” are going to have a significant influence on where a foreign company bases itself in Europe.

Helmet cheek piece

Lichfield can do no better than London in influencing the tax position of the U.K. mainland. The so called ” Silicon Roundabout ” in London will have to put up with U.k. Tax laws although it is interesting to note that Google also has offices in London and is taking more space in Silicon Roundabout:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-15088359

Recognised ” High Tech. ” areas in the U.K. include: London, M4 corridor, Cambridge, Oxford and Silicon Glen, Scotland. There has been an effort to make the M42/M5 corridor High Tech. and also Telford hosts a number of High Tech. companies.

When you look at Europe from the U.S. you probably have a different perspective and London, Luxembourg, Belgium, Holland and Barcelona in Spain all seem to figure high in Americans minds.

I.D.A. Ireland ( now known as the ” Silicon Republic ” !! ) is very active in the U.S. with ” salespeople ” based in Boston, New York and the West Coast yet it does not necessarily get considered despite having many high tech companies based there.

http://www.idaireland.com/

This video by the C.E.O. of IDA Ireland spells out a lot of the criteria

http://www.idaireland.com/news-media/videos/index.xml?bclid=66038357001&bctid=1148962666001

The Tax Environment

The Business offer ( Incentives to base your H.Q. there )

The Talent Pool

The Track Record

Proximity to other ” synergistic ”  businesses.

Transport links

Despite very tough economics in Ireland, or perhaps because of it, I.D.A. Ireland has got all it’s ducks in a row and does a massively professional job of getting inward investment.

Pectoral cross

Lichfield has to live with the tax regime, as does London.

The business offer would have to be very good.

The Talent Pool, whilst small is there.

It has little track record and not many existing businesses to be synergistic with. There is however a talent pool skilled in web design and S.E.O.

It has fabulous transport links.

It is a beautiful location, great lifestyle and has an opportunity with the ” Saxon Hoard ” to become much better known around the world.

With a lot of work and commitment Lichfield could become a High Tech base.

N.B. This post in the Guardian about The Lichfield Blog

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/greenslade/2010/nov/22/hyperlocal-media-blogging

shows the depth of the social media knowledge in the area.

Information about Tech City, London : http://www.ukti.gov.uk/investintheuk/sectoropportunities/ict/item/124866.html


Copyright © 2007 M & A Rainmaker. All rights reserved.