What you could have learned at Founders’ Network so far

Laura IH Bennett
3 min readAug 11, 2016

In the last week of July 2016, we kicked off our new Founders’ Network programme with three events on three consecutive days in three different cities.

Our August events will be upon us in no time at all, so if you are a tech startup founder in the North of England, make sure that you have signed up to Founders’ Network so that you don’t miss out.

“It’s amazing to be at an event where I don’t need to impress anyone”

Here’s a recap of what we got up to in July…

Asking the right questions

First up, we went to Newcastle with Rob Fitzpatrick and Devin Hunt from Founder Centric, where we took over a room (with some fantastic oval seating) in Blackfriars Restaurant and Banquet Hall.

Peppered with anecdotes from their own experiences, Rob and Devin took us walked us through how to ask the right questions, and most importantly, how to listen for the right answers when talking to customers. For some attendees this was all brand new stuff; for those who had been through the Ignite programme it was a welcome refresher: Rob’s book The Mom Test is required reading for all Ignite cohorts, and we gave away signed copies at this event too. In the words of those who came:

“The event not only gave me access to a pair of extremely knowledgeable experts on the subject but also to other people who were either at the same or later stages in their business — being able to ask questions, compare notes and listen to others experiences was invaluable.”

“I appreciated the amount of time we got to spend talking to Devin & Rob at the end of the day in casual conversations; this led to some great information exchanges.”

Law-savvy learning

The following day we headed to the gorgeous Chimney House, slap bang in the middle of Sheffield’s industrial heartland. Emma Cheshire facilitated two excellent panel sessions on all the legals that you need to know as a startup, from the cornerstone documents of your company through to employment law and managing your cap table in investment rounds.

One of the attendees, Matt Watson, wrote an incredibly comprehensive blog post about the session. I would recommend reading it if you missed out on this masterclass. Here’s what participants had to say:

“I had very little knowledge regarding common law, and intellectual property, so this was a very good introduction to learn what you need to protect your business.”

“Excellent panelists. I am looking forward to seeing future panels of the same quality.”

Optimising teamwork

Our last event saw us take over the Garden café at FACT in Liverpool. Sean Sankey and Matt Johnson from Form led our masterclass there, all about how to build your team.

Over the course of two hours, participants figured out what skills they needed to bring into their team, how to build job descriptions that leave room for flexibility, when to start recruiting, and importantly, how to recruit the best person for the job, taking into account the culture and personalities of the company. And once again, feedback from attendees was wholly positive:

“I learnt about how to find the talent and what process to go through in hiring them. It was useful to how to work out what talent we needed, and learn about building our existing team in terms of culture.”

“This event helped me to understand how to approach the process of recruiting new people and how important it is that you draft an employer’s proposition ahead of talking to people about positions to be filled.”

There’s still time

We’re excited to run these masterclasses again in August and September, rotating through the three geographic areas that we cover in Founders’ Network. Sign up to Founders’ Network so that you can come along to our August events:

North East (Newcastle): Building Your Team on Tuesday 23rd
Yorkshire & Humber (Leeds): Customer Development on Wednesday 24th
North West (Manchester): Legals on Thursday 25th

Originally published at technorthhq.com on August 11, 2016.