Review: ‘Bright minds’ face future at MADE event

Dave Coplin of Microsoft on stage at MADE
Dave Coplin of Microsoft on stage at MADE
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“I know, comedy job title.”

Dave Coplin, chief envisioning officer for Microsoft UK, is the first to acknowledge there are some new and wonderful posts in the IT industry.

But it comes with the territory. His job - and that of his employer - is to “empower people to do great things.”

Dave was one of the headline speakers at MADE The Entrepreneur Festival in Sheffield and took to the stage at Sheffield City Hall to share his vision with hundreds of would-be entrepreneurs and business people.

He said: “If you want to be successful, think about the outcome you want and then figure out what processes or lifestyle changes to make it happen. It’s about the human beings - tech is a great leveller.”

And he explained why Microsoft wanted him at MADE.

He added: “An event like this, there are so many bright minds all thinking about the future in a different way - and we hope they are going to use our platforms.

The fifth MADE featured international business stars including guru Annabel Karmel and boyband singer turned farmer JB Gill.

It also featured a wealth of South Yorkshire talent including Paul Lindley of Ella’s Kitchen, John Marren of Company Shop, Lewis Bowen of Geco Industries and Jenny Mortimer of KyNa Boutique which sells organic clothes for kids.

Jenny told the audience she set up the firm after her children Kyle, aged 10, and Nate, now five, suffered from eczema - due to the pesticides in cotton. Within two weeks of switching to organic, she said, the children were vastly improved.

She added: “I came to MADE last year and was so inspired I wanted to be part of it and the organisers came back to me and said would I like to be a main speaker!

“My message is that anyone can do it and I believe the secret is using social media. We had no marketing budget but now have 3,600 followers on Twitter. I use it to chat with other parents, not just for promotion.”

Well known Sheffield business adviser Andy Hanselman was in charge of a ‘meet and mingle’ room in the Memorial Hall - a new feature at MADE this year. Delegates got to mix with speakers before and after they went on stage, including JB Gill and Paul Lindley

Andy said there were up to 400 people in the room during the morning coffee break. He added: “There’s a really good mix of experience and young people talking to each other and not just to their mates.”

A new instant photo printing firm was a huge hit. Square Share delighted visitors by printing pictures posted on Twitter and Instagram with the hasthtag #MADE2015 - and sticking them on the walls.

With the hashtag trending nationally on Twitter, the Sheffield start-up firm’s printer churned out almost 1,000 photos. Co-founder Tom Stayte said its success was based on the forgotten thrill of handling a real, instant, photo.”