How can I help you ??
I am Managing Partner of the Silicon Crossroads Technopolis in Staffordshire. U.K. which incorporates M&A Rainmaker, LinkyBrains and our Venture Capital Trust.
I am a veteran of the Hi Tech Industry with a specialisation in High Speed Networks and Unified Communications. I co-founded companies like Voyager and 5i which were pioneers in their area.
I am also a co-founder, investor and wrote the business plan and investor plan for MilliOnAir Magazine.This brought in Lori Mixson and Mariett Ramm to the Team.
I am also founder of The Branding Initiative, a global organisation that helps people build a Brand, and Online and Offline Presence and Monetise that presence.
Hundreds of people ( mainly women ) have gone through this program eg Millie Cooper, Lori Mixson.
Firstly - I am a Six Figure Mentor and a Digital Experts Academy network builder- that is to say that I work with Stuart Ross and Jay Kubassek ( 2 of the most successful Internet Marketers in the world - who recently merged thier companies ) to help people to get traffic, visitors, leads and orders from their Internet Presence ( websites etc ). For more detail go here:
My Six Figure Mentors Website
I blog in a few places - here is another one of them
I am building a global network of " Digital Expert Academy's ( D.E.A.'s ) ". So far I have Academy's here in Lichfield, London, Washington D.C. , Gold Coast ( Australia ), Warsaw and a number pending.
Many Internet Marketing and Social Media Marketing people are rather vague about what they are doing. We are not vague at all. Our sole objective is to get leads, orders and cash via the Internet for our clients. This focus and simplicity gets results !!
You might be interested to know that Stuart and Jay's business has grown steadily through the " recession ". Jay started online in 2005 and Stuart followed Jay's model in 2007. Last year they had combined income of around $40 Million and this year it will be in the $60 -100 Million range. This would make them one of the largest Digital Marketing revenue generators in the world.
Complementary to the SFM and DEA offering is the Centripetal Network Consulting offer. This gives Solopreneurs, SMB's and Large businesses the opportunity to integrate a " Digital Marketing Ecosystem " into their existing marketing and Sales processes. We are also looking for partners globally who we will train to utilise the Centripetal Network system.
I am also a Digital Advisor and Rainmaker for a specific Digital initiative and special projects team for Market America and Market United Kingdom. We are looking for people who want to establish their own Shop.com and Motives portals. You might be a Fashion or Beauty Blogger; the owner of a fashion or beauty shop or spa or you might just want to establish yourself in this space. Maybe you are a makeup artist who wants an additional income or something like that.
What else ??
The world has become a much smaller place. When a company - a startup or growth company - wanted to expand internationally in the " pre-Internet " days it was quite a task to do so. There were a number of companies who specialised in helping people to expand internationally. There still are - these range from banks, through accountants, law firms, consultancies to corporate finance firms, inward development agencies and personal contacts or contacts of your angel investors or Venture Capital Funds.
Not many of them understand that the world has changed and that these days it is possible to grow your business globally using digital social ( business ) networks. I am leveraging global business and personal contacts, established over the last 15-20 years, to help startups and growth companies expand rapidly and at low cost.
There is no doubt in my mind that most of the angel and venture capital investments are happening in the U.S. and that many of those are currently on the West Coast. There are all sorts of initiatives going on to recreat Silicon Valley around America and the World and no doubt many would argue that other cities and countries are catching up fast.
My view is, well, yes - and no.
Silicon Valley is no " Overnight success story ". It has reached it's current status over a period of some 70 years. The U.S. investment market - put simply made up of private equity, venture capital and angel investors - has been added to with e.g. the secondary market and "crowdfunding ". In many respects the U.S. is awash with investment capital.
This leads to the 2 main conclusions:
1. That many companies will continue to emerge, fully funded, from the U.S. and expand globally.
2. That many individuals will head to the U.S. to seek and gain investment.
Of course initiatives are going on in other cities in the U.S.A. e.g. New York and Boston and Canada ( Vancouver and Ontario ) to " catch-up " with Silicon Valley - but it has a heck of a start !!
There are other flows of company expansion and investment - but this U.S. outwards one will likely be the dominant one. e.g. funded companies are mainly coming out of the U.S. and Europeans, Australians and Israeli's are all looking for funding in the U.S.A.
China is " challenging ". The Middle East is relatively quiet ( except Israel ). Singapore is a possibility. The Russians are heading ( have headed ) to the West Coast and London.
When U.S. startups and growth companies come to Europe they tend to head for London, Ireland and Benelux - not necessarily in that order. Highly funded ones just come straight in buying companies and renting offices e.g. Twitter, Google, Facebook and Salesforce.com. Others set up virtual offices or just work from the U.S. e.g. HubSpot and Twylah. n.b. HubSpot will open in Dublin January 2013.
Here, at the Silicon Crossroads Technopolis in the Cathedral City of Lichfield we are supporting and investing in High Technology startups and growth companies. We are working with companies in the U.K., U.S.A. , Australia and Israel to name a few of the places.
So, we will help you get investment and we will help you expand - rapidly.
However, please note that we have a lot of people approaching us, we will only work with some people and we will only invest in a few of them.
Here are a few of the people that we work with - in some capacity. Of course we recommend them ALL !!!! ( They are in roughly alphabetic order rather than any other order ).
If you look on the M&A Rainmaker blog for blog entitled " Prioritising the P's " you will see that put simply we look at 5 things - the People, the Proposition, the Profit, the Potential and the Plan. These are roughly in order of prioritisation although the order can always be debated. ALL the people below have great management teams, a proposition that makes sense, a plan to make a profit and usually, global, potential.
p.s. Apparently we are in top #100 of the top 1000 Tech. Investors in the world !!! .... see >>>>> https://peekanalytics.com/techinvestors ;-)
www.beefm.com - Daniel and his team are disrupting the social media music space beginning with Facebook. They speak Musish !!
www.beachcherrysoftware.co.uk - Vick is building awesome Wordpress sites and supporting the Internet Marketing Ecosystem.
www.wecando.biz - Chris is running the social business network of the future - one where you only get in if he knows you!
www.brandyourself.com - Clearly we like them ;-)
www.awedience.com - Chris is helping brands find influencers using Klout, Kred and PeerIndex.
www.commun.it - Sharel, Mike and Ran are helping you build and manage your Twitter community.
www.esmsolutions.com - We invested in eschoolmall ( became esm solutions ) in 2002 and Dan has been helping Schools, Universities and Government bodies save on procurement ever since.
www.mydigitalexecutor.co.uk - Graham is helping you to secure your digital assets when you die.
www.hubspot.com - Inbound Marketing. 2nd fastest SaaS company in the U.S. Headed by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah.
www.poundbury.com - Clare and Mike are providing S.M.B.'s with a complete ICT solution.
www.shop.com - Shopping Portal expanding globally. Test drive here
www.thesixfigurementors.com - Stuart is showing people how to REALLY make money from Internet Marketing.
www.trendr.com - Meet professional people you want to meet who are near to you as indicated by your mobile.
www.twylah.com - Eric and Kelly are helping you to monetise your Twitter feed.
www.voicy.me - Ric Richardson's latest invention - don't text or message - JUST TALK !!
www.centripetalnetwork.com - Using techniques learnt through owning and running Internet Networks and Virtual Networks and the Six Figure Mentors Chris, Michael and I are helping Network Owners and Virtual Network Owners monetise their networks and plan an exit route.
We are also investors in e.g. Facebook, ( NB We shorted Facebook at the IPO until around $18 and then went long and are all out at the moment ) Apple ( It was always obvious that Apple would continue to do well even after Steve Jobs death as the product line was planned around 3 years in advance ) , Google.
Chris Windley has been involved with startups and growth companies since he was a teenager having first worked for a dynamic, expanding supermarket chain in South Wales where he learnt the importance of great presentation. Philip Jones ( founder of Philip Jones Foodmarkets ) taught Chris simple but important lessons like " Always carry a rag around in your pocket so you can clean shelves " and " Always bring the old stock to the front and face the labels out ". Chris then went to work for his father for a while in Birmingham where he operated a yacht chandlers and learnt to sail.
Chris Windley then joined the Royal Navy as a Seaman but rose through the ranks to become a Weapons Engineer Officer ( W.E.O. ) looking after the ship's weapons, communications and sensor systems. As part of this process he gained a BSc ( Hons ) in Naval Engineering ( Computer Science and Electronics ).
When he left the Navy he went to work for Ferranti plc. as a Sales Engineer. Here he sold Weapons Simulation Systems to various countries around the world. Initially these were based on mainframes but later, as technology advanced, they were PC based and used Local Area Networks and Wide Area Networks. Chris believed that Ferranti was not going to keep up with the technology coming out of e.g. the U.S.A. and left to join an American company.
From Ferranti went to Memorex Telex who operated in what was known as the " IBM plug compatible " space. This basically meant that they provided products that were better e.g. ergonomically, faster and lower cost than I.B.M. Memorex are regarded as being one of the premier sales organisations of their time in the world alongside, for example, Rank Xerox and I.B.M. themselves. Chris rose rapidly up the sales organisation and became a Regional Sales Manager running the Midlands region. Chris saw that the computing world was changing ( as he did in Ferranti ) and that the mainframe market was dying in favour of the mini-computer, the P.C. and the L.A.N. and W.A.N.
Chris Windley joined U.K. startup Fibernet, headed by Charles McGregor ( now Chairman of Gamma Telecomm. and Huddle ). Fibernet was building multi-protocol fibre optic networks in the U.K. - LANs, MANs and WANs. Eventually Fibernet had a National Fibre Optic network. Chris headed the team that sold to the South of England selling Fibernet networks to diverse organisations but many in the City of London whose appetite for computer network performance was ( and is ) insatiable.Charles always had his eye on what was happening in the U.S.A. bringing many innovative products into the U.K. early. One such was the LAN switch - at the time a leading edge piece of technology for increasing the performance of LANs.
Chris seized on this technology as the opportunity to start his own company in the High Tech. world. That company was called LanSwitch but became Voyager Networks and Internet Limited. LanSwitch focussed on the High Performance Networking market., dealing only with companies that demanded high performance networks - the elite of the PC and networking world. Company growth was stunning and it generated £100's of thousands in profit in the first year and soon went on the acquisition trail buying Spider Networks from Shiva Corporation of the U.S.A. It also had a joint venture with New York, U.S. based Voyager Networks to provide Internet Connectivity to City based organisations. By 1998 it had revenues of around £13 Million and was highly profitable. Voyager had also built it's own National I.P. network and provided Managed Network Services to corporates. It was also one of the first companies in the U.K. to install corporate VoiP systems. ( from Celsius - became Cisco ) However, Chris felt that the High Tech. bubble was going to burst and he pushed for an exit. That exit was achieved in 1999/2000 ( just before the Dot Com crash ) with the sale of Voyager Networks and Internet to Ronald S. Lauders ( Estee Lauders' son ) company RSLcom plc.for £65 Million. Some people wonder how a £13Million company got sold for £65Million ?? Some like to dismiss it as luck !! Since I am a straight sort of guy I admit that there was some luck in it :-) However we did actually START a company in 1993 and we did actually decide to sell it around 1998 - That was NOT luck ! Also we did some things that few people do when they sell a company - we hired the best ( Ernst & Young ), and we marketed ourselves globally.( Hence we ended up selling to a U.S. company ). Also I put ALL my past learned selling skills into selling that company !! The Ernst & Young team were brilliant. We followed the same method with Nortons when we sold 5i.
Chris then became an ( Angel ) Investor in and an Adviser to many High Tech companies in the U.K. and U.S. This includes 5i Limited which was essentially Voyager Mark 2 and became 365iT plc. after acquisition in 2008. 5i grew from being a VoiP specialist to a Unified Communications specialist.
More recently Chris founded the Silicon Crossroads Technopolis which houses the Silicon Crossroads V.C.T. and acts as an incubator and advisery for startups and growth companies globally. He uses social and business networks to maintain contacts with professional around the world and to help companies grow and scale.
Chris is a member of the Six Figure Mentors group, a global internet marketing network founded by Stuart Ross and Daniel Wagner - now owned by Stuart and Jay Kubassek along with PRO U and the Digital Experts Academy. You can read more here - thesixfigurementors.com or Google " Six Figure Mentors " .
Thanks to Internet Virtual Network Superstar Geoff de Weaver for recommending me to brandyourself.com.