by Ella Brown
Once again, StartUp Croydon has shown itself as a foundation of the local business scene that’s passionate about bringing people together. We’ve seen this during previous events such as International Women’s Day, the various boot camps that went ahead earlier this summer, and the First Friday events, which happen on the first Friday of every month, and serve as a networking opportunity for attendees.
On the 16th of June, StartUp Croydon hosted ‘Connecting Croydon’, a business-to-business networking event from 4-6 pm at our office where entrepreneurs discussed business ideas, and solutions and made contacts. I had the opportunity to speak to some of the guests throughout the afternoon about various aspects of networking in general.
Throughout the afternoon, I got the chance to speak to various people, including Alexa Sage, the Director of Inside Impact – a company that helps organisations measure and demonstrate their social impact. We spoke about what she liked best about networking events. “I love meeting new people. I love hearing different people’s stories about their organisations, about the work they do, and about how they navigate life. I learn a lot through talking to people. And it gives me a warm feeling.”
The afternoon went on with some guests giving advice about how to approach others at networking events if they’re keeping to themselves, and others mentioning how important it was for them to give one hundred per cent in everything they do.
I also managed to catch up with the CEO of Black Grape Marketing, Samantha Larcombe, who is also one of the founders of Connecting Croydon. Samantha said, “I want to see more networking in Croydon, face-to-face with local businesses. That‘s why I’m delighted to deliver this event.” And with the positive atmosphere in the room and forging of new connections, I can only agree, given the impact on the business world since the work-from-home culture restricting real-life interactions, which has been so missed.
Food for this event was once more provided by TNK Catering, who cooked and brought in a selection of vegetarian patties, jerk chicken, jerk chicken sliders and vegan chickpea curry, all of which were delicious and one of many highlights of the evening. Shirley Burgess – CEO of Shirleyb4everhealth – echoed the sentiment when asked what she liked best about the event. “It’s a really good gathering. There’s lots of people interacting with each other. The food is fabulous!”
There was highlight after highlight as our CEO, Saffron Saunders, announced the details of our new Creative Digital Lab. She presented a guest with two tickets to our upcoming 40th Anniversary celebration on the 13th of July- all welcome!
Connecting Croydon aimed to bring those in business together to exchange ideas, solutions and contacts, and given the positive feedback and enthusiasm from the guests that day, there’s no doubt that the event was nothing short of a success.