Day 17 - Work Hard. Play Hard. Work Harder.
If we were in showbusiness, today would be a hard act to follow.
Speed mentoring got off to an instantly good start, with teams gloating throughout the morning how great their meetings were going. Of course that's no surprise with a mentor crew including Aman Ghei, Alex McCracken, Quentin Stafford-Fraser, Krzysztof Kowalczyk, Stephen Oliver, Rob van der Linden, Ewa Kasiak, Jeremy Parsons, Vladas Lasas, and Mikko Järvenpää.
Where previously two or three founders took part in each meeting, teams were advised to send just one representative in order to a) free up time within the team and b) solidify trust between founders. This seemed to be a welcome change, but challenged some more technical founders to pitch where they'd previously let partners take the opening lines.
Something sure went well, because it was the first day mentor meetings inspired a sort of song: 'La la la la such a great day. Is it because we only have one founder in meetings? The weather? The right people? Or everything together?' I wish I'd caught that on video for you... At the same time, we had reports of another founder's first grey hairs, which he dedicates to three weeks of Springboard. I reckon they're silver and must reflect the wisdom and wealth he has been gaining.
Even the mentors seemed to stay full of energy all day long, and hopefully without any grey hair accusations. At the end of the day, one mentor who was hard to tear teams apart from remarked that it had been 'much more interesting than I expected'. Not sure where those initial expectations sat, but glad to hear it nonetheless!
This afternoon marked our first field trip, as the Silicon Roundabout Social Club launch tempted us to London. Organised by the awesome team at Mixcloud (remember Mat from Day 4?), sponsors included Google and ourselves so we had a good excuse to make a night of it. The event kicked off at 6pm, but our adventures began two hours earlier with a school-like bus ride for the Springboard crew. As everyone tried to keep up with emails and unfinished work from the day, I think we set a new record for most laptops in use on a bus.
We got the party started with our early arrival, but the crowd sure built up throughout the night. The atmosphere was terrific with some familiar mentor faces including Anthony Hicks, Adil Mohammed, and Krzysztof and Ewa accompanied us too, but there were also plenty of new folks to meet. One team was thrilled to bump into Spotify, for example, and I was excited to learn about AREANOW and Marketinvoice. Shout outs also to @smcllns, @scott_allison, @novoda, and to @nikhilshah for schooling me in string dancing. It was a good night.
The bus swept us away at 11pm before we got into trouble, and the ride home was sufficiently entertaining that I heard 'hope this doesn't get blogged' several times as I attempted to sleep. It's been a wonderful week, but I'm not expecting many early birds in the office tomorrow.