Geek 'n Rolla – Tech Startups Rock! – April 21, London

It’s my pleasure to announce a grand day out for tech startups old and new to share real, hard-core knowledge about their experiences on April 21st – an event we’ve dubbed “Geek ‘n Rolla” in a light-hearted homage to a certain movie which also pulls no punches. You can buy early-bird tickets already here.

Geek’n Rolla is sponsored by Viadeo one of the largest professional social networks in the world, and supported by UK Trade and Investment, as well as NESTA, the National Endowment for Science, Technology & the Arts.

This is as much an event for would-be entrepreneurs as it is for startups already ‘doing the business’. If you are passionate about being disruptive and thinking big, this is your event. With the economy on a major downer, one of the few uppers left is the zest and creative energy tech startups bring to the world – that’s what Geek ‘n Rolla is setting out to showcase and celebrate.

Our speaker line-up is probably the best ever for an event of this nature.

Our speakers include:

Inma Martinez, Stradbroke Advisors – Digital Media Strategist & Venture Capital Investor

Reshma Sohoni, Seedcamp

Joe Drumgoole,

Andy McLoughlin,

William Reeve, Serial Entrepreneur and Investor

Fred Destin, Atlas Ventures

Ryan Carson, Future of Web Apps / Carsonified

Nic Brisbourne, DFJ Esprit venuture capital

Leisa Reichelt, Freelance user experience consultant

The day will include a series of panel discussions, interactive sessions, keynote presentations and, at the end a TechCrunch Pitch! competition, followed by an evening party. The event is designed to bring together startups, investors and key industry players for great networking, TechCrunch style.

Peter Crosby, COO of Viadeo, says: “We are delighted to be sponsoring such an important event in the UK tech calendar. Viadeo’s growth began with a small bunch of networking entrepreneurs and we are now the biggest professional network in China and one of the largest in the world. So we recognise just how vital it is to network, collaborate and get inspired.“

We are also working with UKTI to get startups up to speed with their pitches with some free training. See below for details.

RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects)
66, Portland Place
Nearest Tube: Regents Park, Great Portland Street and Oxford Circus

The venue/location for the networking party will be sent to registered attendees prior to the event.

We still have a few sponsorship opportunities and there will be a dedicated exhibition area available for companies to show off their products. If you are interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at the event, please contact Petra Johansson on petra[at]

About Viadeo
Founded in June 2004, Viadeo quickly established itself as the place to be for professional networking in Europe and beyond. Since then, with more than 7 million members (as of January 2009). Viadeo is essential for those who want to:

• Increase their business opportunities (to discover new clients, staff and business partners)
• Enhance their visibility and their online reputation
• Manage and develop their network of professional contacts

Viadeo’s members consist of business owners, entrepreneurs and managers from a diverse range of businesses both start-up and well established. Each day Viadeo attracts more than 10,000 new members; 40,000 new connections are made and over one million profiles are viewed. Based in Paris (head office), Viadeo also has offices and teams in the UK (London), Spain (Madrid and Barcelona), Italy (Milan), China (Beijing), India (New Delhi) and Mexico (Mexico City). The company employs 200 staff worldwide.

UK Trade & Investment is the government organisation that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. We also help overseas companies bring their high quality investment to the UK’s dynamic economy – acknowledged as Europe’s best place from which to succeed in global business.

UK Trade & Investment offers expertise and contacts through its extensive network of specialists in the UK, and in British embassies and other diplomatic offices around the world. We provide companies with the tools they require to be competitive on the world stage. For further information please visit or telephone +44 (0)20 7215 8000.

NESTA is the National Endowment for Science, Technology & the Arts. Its mission is to transform the UK’s capacity for innovation. NESTA Investments has the largest portfolios of early-stage businesses in the country and is a leading authority on how to grow new ideas. We have strict investment criteria, and work with companies that have high potential for growth, are at seed or start-up stage, and have the potential to attract syndicated support. When we do invest, we aim to maximise our investment by assigning mentors, part-time managers or specialist support. We also stimulate imaginative solutions to pressing social issues and shape policy to help the UK meet its national innovation

Programme: See here for the schedule

Pre-Geek ‘n Rolla Pitch! Workshop
Geek ‘n Rolla will provide a small number of start up companies with the opportunity to pitch to investors and key industry people. These people are frequently being pitched to and often complain about the quality of the presentations they see.

So if you need to brush up on those pitching skillz, sign up for the pre-event Pitch! workshop sponsored by UK Trade & Investment and supported by the British Libary and IP Centre.


Pitch! takes place on 7 April 2009 at the British Library where Julie Collins will cover all aspects of successful pitching, including preparation, delivery skills, overcoming nerves and networking the hell out of the opportunity.

To sign up, contact Petra Johansson via petra (at)

Please note:
Only qualified startups may apply to participate in this workshop. Startups will be able to chose to join the morning session (10.00-13.00)or the afternoon session (14.00-17.00). A maximum of 2 participants per startup may attend. Please note that participation in the Pitch! workshop does not guarantee that your startup will be pitching at TechCrunch Pitch! on 21st April 2009. The TechCrunch editorial team reserves the right to select the pitching startups.

Geek ‘n Rolla is an event programmed by TechCrunch Europe and organised by TwistedTree in association with rassami.