Meetups are the ‘secret weapon for your career’, according to HuffPost, a great way to open up opportunities and expand your networks.
At CENSIS we agree with this. We also think they’re a secret weapon for supporting entrepreneurial activity and business growth. Which is why organise the IoT Glasgow Meetups, and will hold Meetup #11 on 13th September.
HuffPost thought too few people realised the business potential of meetups, but we’d take issue – in our own case, anyway. The IoT Glasgow meetup is the second most popular meetup in Glasgow, according to the 2018 TechNation Report, and now has over 1,400 members.
Our 10 meetups to date have certainly helped a few people with their career paths and have forged a number of new working relationships around IoT and M2M. We’ve had about 25 companies present on various aspects of IoT, as well as many ‘lightning talks’ about events or initiatives people are looking to share.
Why, when and what?
In our experience so far, one of the really important ways the IoT Glasgow meetups generate activity is by getting people to share their stories around the products and services they’re developing. This in turn fuels other people’s ambitions to get out there with their own ideas.
So, whilst one of the myths about meetups is that they’re all about chat and pizza, Glasgow IoT is far from that. It’s about helping people move forward from the chat and ideas stage to the business stage – through connections, advice, shared ambitions, and a sense of “We should actually do this. And here are people who’ll help it happen.”
At our 13th September, we have short presentations from three people who’ve made it happen:
Beringar and KeyFM are both using IoT and sensor technology to develop services to understand how to run buildings more efficiently, using the LoRaWAN standard for communications. With the announcement of national LoRaWAN infrastructure just recently, this is a hot topic, because it will open up new IoT business opportunities across Scotland.
Another topic that’s hot is growth funding. Curious Chip have just had a successful Kickstarter campaign and are developing ‘Pip’, an educational device to encourage kids to learn to code, so there’s plenty to learn and discuss with them too.
As with all our meetings, we’ll follow the presentations with an open mic session where anyone can talk for 5 minutes on what they’re working on in the IoT space, and then move onto networking.
Who, where and how?
Most meetings see a really broad range of people come along. Sponsors have included high-profile names like Stream Technologies (now ARM), and the attendees include people running companies or working in tech, researchers, and a few students. Unlike the stereotype of tech meetups, it’s a diverse mix, with all ages and career stages.
As usual, Meetup #11 will be at the Tontine Building in Glasgow’s Merchant City. If you don’t yet know it, it’s an accelerator hub for businesses in the creative and technology sectors – the Scotsman described it as ‘iconic’.
As well as flexible workspace and meeting spaces, Tontine offers a bespoke accelerator programme and dedicated support, so it has a really good fit with some of the young or aspiring businesses who come to our meetups.
“As part of what we do at Tontine, we host meetups that provide knowledge, networking and additional support to our businesses and offer the wider business community a chance to see what’s happening here at Tontine. CENSIS IoT meetups are dynamic and welcoming and give businesses great access to the latest IoT information, industry leaders and innovators,” explains Pauline Wallace, Development Officer at Glasgow City Council. “I can recommend them.”
To come along to our Glasgow IoT meetup on 13 September, please register. It’s free, as are the pizza and drinks.