What it’s (really) like to raise investment

Almost exactly a year since we first walked through the doors into the Bethnal Green Ventures (BGV) accelerator programme we’ve now closed our first major investment round. It’s an amazing feeling to finally have everything signed and sealed, and it’s a great time for the team as we can now really push on with the next phase of our growth and development.

BGV asked if I’d sum up my thoughts on the investment process for their blog – and the article is now out: http://bethnalgreenventures.com/2014/08/01/what-its-like-to-raise-investment/

If you’re in a hurry, the TL;DR is “If you’ve not raised investment before, it will take longer than you think – be prepared for this by knowing people who have raised before.”

My Super Mario Möbius Strip has arrived!

Well, it actually arrived a couple of weeks ago, but it’s been so hectic recently with all the goings on at Bethnal Green Ventures, I’ve only just gotten round to taking some photos 🙂

So, what is a Super Mario Möbius Strip you say? It’s the first level of the original Super Mario Brothers NES game, mapped onto the surface of a Möbius strip, and printed using the 3D printer at Shapeways.

As a mathematician of a certain age (who grew up with Mario Bros), it is one of the coolest things I own. In fact, it’s impossible to pick up without “playing through” the level, and recreating that iconic music.

Here are some photos:

If you’re interested in how it was made, checkout this video by the creator:

[youtube http://youtu.be/6c3z2ZGvShM]
Next up I’ll post about the Acme Klein Bottle that sits on my desk…

From the moon landings to collaborative open science

Today would have been the late Neil Armstrong’s 83rd birthday, and as it happens my sister was born on the very day Neil and Buzz landed on the moon back in 1969. I’ve always been a scientist, and I think this yearly anniversary helped fuelled a fascination with space and science that’s always stayed with me…

My younger self presenting a pod exhibition in Bath in November 2009

My younger self presenting a pod exhibition in Bath in November 2009

So begins my guest post for the Bethnal Green Ventures blog! Click here to read the full post, and feel free to leave comments below 🙂

The History of Computing evening at Google London

This evening we were fortunate enough (thanks to BGV) to have been invited to a discussion celebrating the history of computing, held at the main Google offices in London.

All the talks and videos were very interesting, but the one that caught my attention in particular was a look back at how Lyons the bakers were one of the first companies to implement what today we’d call a management information system.

All in all, a very inspiring way to kick off our stay in London!

A familiar sight on my first day in the BGV office

Ultra PRT Pod model at Nesta

First day in the office, and a familiar looking Pod is on display!

This is a scale model of a Heathrow Pod, the driverless taxi system I worked on for five years before founding writeLaTeX. There are twenty one of these running at Heathrow Airport, as part of the world’s first commercial PRT system — check them out if you’re ever at T5!

[youtube http://youtu.be/geshS2aguqs]