BarCamp Bristol gathering pace

Laura Francis and Tim Beadle have put together the inaugral BarCamp Bristol (12 October if you haven’t booked) in association with SkillSwap Bristol.

Sign up and register! There is a GBP5 fee to help towards costs. Loads of folks (currently 11) have contributed sponsorship, including me.

There’s the Upcoming, FaceBook, and probably loads of other notifications out there.

There are only 30 places and already 18 people signed up on Facebook, and 14 on Upcoming. There is some duplication and the Facebook event seems to have more traffic / comments associated. In addition to the 14 that have said they’re attending on Upcoming there are another 7 ‘watching’ – by contrast there are 16 maybe’s, 34 not attending and 38 MIA on Facebook.

So why am I stumping up cash for this rather than going to a conference or painting the spare room?

Basically its an investment in the entrepreneurship capacity of Bristol. The BarCamp model lends itself to the ‘Bristol underground psyche’ – if such a phenomenon exists. It’s been a frequent topic of discussion at Open Coffee; that it can be difficult to get the digital innovators to congregate with the money people. Simon Bunker has done a terrific job in keeping Open Coffee Bristol going and if only through sheer bloody mindedness! Numbers are building gradually and folks are increasingly comfortable with the relaxed format and the open agenda is increasingly around building new products, discussing new services, and what next big ‘thing’ might be.

Companies in and from Bristol are proving that there is innovation and ideas with commercial potential from the stratospheric (XMOS getting $16m Series A) to the funky (BuilderSite‘s success at Seedcamp).

No one is expecting the next XMOS, Buildersite, Skype, iLike, etc, to emerge from BarCamp (though it would be very cool 🙂 ) this together with the relaunch of SkillSwap next week are all part of a momentum that’s building from the ground up.

So I’m going along to brush up on some geek tendencies, try out some new technologies and learn a whole bunch of cool stuff.

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