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bgp Archives - Business Growth Partners

City of Whittlesea Economic Development Team: Coffee and Connect Networking Series – February Event Review

By | Business

On Friday February 23rd, I attended the Whittlesea City Council’s monthly Coffee and Connect networking catch-up at Santos Café and Bar in South Morang.

It was a small but friendly event, with a handful businesses from around the Whittlesea area gathering to share stories and advice in the venue’s outside entertaining area. The open-air environment lent itself well to the comfortable atmosphere and the complimentary food and drinks ensured that everyone stayed for a while.

There was a diverse group of people in attendance, ranging from someone who had moved down from Brisbane to take over a local clothing business to representatives from banks and credit unions. Readers who are based around Melbourne’s Northern suburbs may find it useful to attend and connect with local businesses.

It was interesting to see the City of Whittlesea asking attendees to choose the event series’s next name. I would have very much liked to have learnt more about what the council has been doing for small businesses in-person instead.

While I may not attend this event again, I am interested in a larger event that is centred around the council’s small business growth efforts.

 

Things of note:

  • Location: Santos Café and Bar, 2/795-801 Plenty Rd, South Morang
  • Highlight:The friendly faces
  • Cost:Free
  • Hot tip:Bring a jacket in the colder months

Ratings

  • Venue: 3/5
  • Catering: 3/5
  • Speaker: 2/5
  • Networking opportunity: 4/5

Total: 12/20

Startup Grind Melbourne: Startup Grind hosts Rick Klink (OpenMarkets / Paritech) Event Review

By | Business

On Thursday February 21st, I attended Startup Grind Melbourne event where it invited Rick Klink from OpenMarkets/Paritech to speak about his transition from corporate life to one of an entrepreneur and the ever-changing cryptocurrency landscape.

Rick spoke at length about working at IBM during the personal computing boom of the 1980s and early 1990s and how the Australian industry was small enough that recruiters would approach students directly on campus. He spoke about how IBM invested significant training resources in its staff and provided him with the vigour to embrace change. This philosophy carried him to his pioneering work in surfacing end-of-day trade date through Paritech and CommSec and continues in his latest venture, an online stockbroking platform named OpenMarkets.

Given OpenMarkets’s work within the cryptocurrency arena, the event attracted attendees from those who are curious about the concept of blockchain to entrepreneurs on the cusp of their own initial coin offerings. It was very interesting to see how Rick, who could very easily be mistaken for a tradition stockbroker at first glance, openly embraced cryptocurrency through OpenMarkets and viewed it as a legitimate way of trading going forward.

As with last time, the event was held at MYOB’s Cremorne office, so seating was quite lacklustre and the food was decent.

Despite the venue’s shortcomings, I would still attend future StartUp Grind events because they represent a great opportunity to meet entrepreneurs and learn about the origins of some of Australia’s most successful leaders.

 

Things of note:

  • Location: MYOB, 167 – 169 Cremorne St, Cremorne.
  • Highlight:Rick’s anecdotes about computers that were the size of rooms
  • Cost:From $30
  • Hot tip:Find a good seat with a cushion

Ratings

  • Venue: 2/5
  • Catering: 2/5
  • Speaker: 4/5
  • Networking opportunity: 4/5

Total: 12/20

Victoria Law Foundation: Legal Laneway Breakfast Event Review

By | Business

On Wednesday February 7th, I attended the Victoria Law Foundation (VLF)’s annual Legal Laneway breakfast in Hardware Lane, right in the heart of our beautiful city.

The event was set out as a large outdoor gathering for Melbourne’s legal community to catch-up and discuss how things were going at their firms and in their personal lives. It was clear that the event was for individuals who were already familiar with each other because business cards were a very rare sight. Handshakes and hugs were the networking tools of the morning.

Expectedly, the vast majority of the attendees were from law firms or were individual consultants. There were a few representatives from various government organisations and universities who have built up relationships with the VLF, and I even spoke with a second-year law student who was taking a very brave step.

I will not be attending another Legal Laneway event because it functioned more like a friendly catch-up between lawyers than an event to connect law firms to outside organisations.

 

Things of note:

  • Location: Hardware Lane
  • Highlight:The beautiful architecture
  • Cost:Free
  • Hot tip:Be a lawyer

Ratings

  • Venue: 4/5
  • Catering: 3/5
  • Speaker: 2/5
  • Networking opportunity: 1/5

Total: 10/20