Wednesday 17 July 2013

German Cloud descends on London

Night on the ThamesThirteen German IT and cloud companies came to London mid-June, to find UK partners, distributors and other useful business contacts. Long time partners, Milton Contact had been invited to assist Mark Dodsworth of Europartnerships , who was managing the project for the BMWi
 The visiting companies were:

On the Monday, Jane Thomas and I found ourselves taking the London train and then walking from bustling High Street Kensington station to the quiet leafy Kensington Square.  Briefly distracted by the film crew shooting a motorbike scene, we arrived at St Jame's house where Goodwille had made their rooms available

Petra, Nora, Carolina and team were running a hectic schedule, trying to meet the needs of visitors, guests and language support.  Mark was already on the road with one of the companies with a meeting outside London.  Jane, new to this type of event and providing German-English facilitation, was understandably apprehensive.
"Be your usual sensible self and simply spread calm!" was my advice, and so it proved that Jane soon complemented the skills of our multinational team of Germans, Colombians, American and Brits.

Our German companies all had exemplary English skills and were able to represent their businesses and offers coherently in the one to one conversations with British companies. Our skills were in assisting understanding with fast speaking and unfamiliar (to Germans) UK accents, and in facilitating the flow of the business meetings.

Wednesday’s events were held at the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, 44 Belgrave Square

The day comprised a morning of 16 presentations plus Q&As before lunch and one to one free networking in the afternoon. Mark delegated me as chair for the presentations. In advance,  I had advised the German Cloud and IT companies to:

  • Prepare an informative 7 minute presentation
  • Use no more than 7 slides
  • Send presentations to us in advance so we could plan a seamless delivery

Full credit to our German guests who kept to time on the day, making this an interesting and varied program for the audience.  We had presentations ranging from business support software, though totally secure cloud hosting, to specialist software for the steel industry. It was with good humour that I noted the imaginative interpretation of "7 slides" to mean any number between 5 and 17, or seven slides but with multiple click actions.

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. So we also ensured a good time together in the evenings in the pub or restaurant. Our Columbian contingent certainly provided us with laughter and entertainment to break the ice on the first night in the  Star Tavern, Belgrave Mews  Relaxed conversation filled the air at the Del Aziz Restaurant on Tuesday

Amongst my charges were Sebastian Schulze of KMS, Hans Peter and Andreas of Novadex and Britta & Dirk von Pechmann od Seneca Business Solutions.

Sebastian and I made an excursion to the Science Museum, where we had an interesting time in the basement with the Google interactive exhibit. My handsome face managed to confuse the drawing software that sketched portraits in sand from snapshots of visitors.

Hans-Peter and Andreas were lured into a meander across the centre of London, starting at the Royal College of Surgeons (where they had attended a Postal Exhibition with my my good friend Richard Wishart in attendance), via St Pauls, the Millennium Bridge and Tate Modern to the Restaurant.

Dirk, Freiherr von Pechmann  and Britta, Freifrau von Pechmann  introduced me to their intriguing family history as knights created during the 17th Century, after the battle for Budapest. Their knighthood was awarded both in the Holy Roman Empire and in Hungary (

As ever, London always provides me with fascinating photographic opportunities and you can see the results of my occasional diversions or views on the way in the picture slideshow here.
If you cannot see the slideshow, visit the album here:

After the three full days, we said goodbye to new friends, shared a farewell drink with Mark, Petra, Nora and Carolina, before making our way back home to Cambridge on the train.

Some of the Europartnerships Team