During the winter I was also in discussion with Chris Bruno from Just Consulting about just how lonely it was in Gibraltar as a tech related business. Sure, the gaming companies are based here and employ a massive proportion of tech people. However, they are very insular and tend to huddle in groups with "Atari" or "iMaciavellian" t-shirts on. Between us however, we sort of knew a few people trying to do something different but everything was very fragmented.
Fast forward a few months and the concept of Easy.Office was born. We had the office space and meeting room setup, branding finished and the online presence created. We had created Gibraltar's first collaborative workspace.
The Gibraltar ConceptAs important as the space was, the concept was greater than the bricks and mortar. Having seen the way gaming companies had become an insulated entity we knew we had to keep the community away from falling into the same trap.
Open to allFor the community to work we have to ensure everyone is included, no matter what they bring to the table.
Open MindedCommunity members need to keep an open mind when going through their ideas, concepts and plans with other members.
Providers and Start-upsA community solely created out of entrepreneurs is going to fail. We need both start-ups and service providers such as marketing, legal and professional experts.
Community LedA start-up community cannot be created by a government agency. It is not a "fad" nor is it a big tick on a political agenda. Communities take years to develop and need to be bred, not bought.
Meet-upsMeeting other local entrepreneurs and networking is probably the biggest aspect of developing the community. Arranging regular, attended meet-ups can truly connect people.
Progress so farI would say we are about 6 months away from being able to start really putting the meat on the bones of the community. We still have an awful lot to do to get this done. It has taken 11 months to get to meet the government about the community but we are planning our first meet-up at Christmas with 60 local entrepreneurs on the invite list.
We can but try. The potential is there, we just need to start the ball rolling.