Paul Walsh’s Curry 2.0 was held last night in Jaipur in Dublin and was stonkingly good. A great mix of people from different backgrounds spent the night talking about tech, business and naan.
I started badly by sitting down next to someone and asking them if they were with Microsoft, given that they were wearing a blue monster t-shirt. It turned out to be Dennis Howlett (Accman) who took great good-humoured umbrage.
My longest conversation of the night was with Joe from PutPlace and Ben from Microsoft Mobile. Three strongly held viewpoints on the future of mobile and search and apps and the desktop and the jesusphone were expressed. None of which is re-printable, all of which was deeply interesting.
The “pitch to a waiter” turned into “pitch to Sanjay the head chef”. This was great fun and useful too. We had everything from Robert Loch spoof-pitching Joke-Eoke (Karoke for people who cannot sing) to several mobile pitches, my own LouderVoice pitch and a few others. Highlight for me was a pitch done by one of the guys in Punjabi - know your customer! The winner, as selected by Paul, Sanjay and Brian Caulfield, now gets a networking trip over to London including OpenCoffee and an Internet People dinner.
Once the scrummy food was done, Paul kicked off a round-table on general topics related to networking and access to investors in Ireland as compared to London. He made some good points about the lack of a networking culture over here and had a couple of sharp comments for EI which I felt that Ruairi answered well. Dennis Howlett countered with the simple fact that there is far more money in London and people flock to where the money is. I know that’s what we’ve basically decided to do since May.
My contribution to this conversation was just that we shouldn’t rely on EI to arrange anything for us but we do expect them to help communicate what we are doing to other potentially interested parties. I was particularly talking about Open Coffee but it also includes it@cork, Soho Solo, Curry 2.0, Paddy’s Valley and any other networking opportunities. EI should be in the role of facilitiator for all of these initiatives, using that uber-rolodex to make sure those who should know about events hear about them.
Ruairi made some very refreshing comments regarding how R&D; grant aid is provided to Irish companies and how new models need to be examined given the iterative nature of Web2 businesses. I don’t know how far along they are in discussing this in EI, but it’s important we see changes soon.
I had to leave early which was a pity since we really needed to extend the round table to discuss YCombinator, SeedCamp and similar ideas. Ireland is crying out for something like this and I’ll be blogging shortly about one possible way of bootstrapping it.
A huge thanks to Paul for arranging the night, I hope we see more like it soon. Actually, apart from the it@cork summer bash, we haven’t even had a blogger dinner in Cork in quite a while. Anyone up for something in the next few weeks?