What do you get when you put 12 I.T. entrepreneurs on a bus to London?
I was recently asked to shoot a photo essay of an Informatics Ventures event in London. To spice things up and to show the world the level of work that goes into their EIE events the Ventures team asked me to capture the whole shebang from start to finish. The event was part of the annual EIE series (Engage Invest Exploit). Each delegate was looking for varying levels of backing, advice or involvement, all 12 would be pitching their ideas to a room full of curious Southern investors while the Ventures team were looking to show off what Scotland has to offer in the realm of technology/business potential.
The bus trip down to London was eerily quiet as each team focused on their task and prepared for their presentations. I'd get an occasional glance over a laptop or a casual grimace as they rolled over to catch up on some sleep. Once we'd arrived and checked into our cosy Waterloo hotel we fractured off in groups to head out for food and a couple of measured drinks.
The next morning was another early start. Heading over to Burlington House and the Royal Society of Chemistry to set up and rehearse before the event itself, after months of prep, kicked off. Nervous pacing, banner hanging, sound engineering and slide editing eventually gave way to that same quiet focus I had met on the bus. Who knew CEO's got so nervous.
The event itself went off without a hitch each team presented their ideas and propositions beautifully and after some well earned Dinner, Cava and Whisky it was done. Come what may.
The next morning we all checked out (some more slowly than others after a few less measured post event drinks) and boarded our now familiar coach ready for the long trip home. There was again plenty laptop gazing and whispered phone calls. The previous two days intensity had given way to exhaustion, but everyone was a little more relaxed and comfortable in each others company. There was more chat and even the odd burst of hilarity, and as we crossed the border listening to the best of the 'Red Hot Chilli Pipers', drinking Cava from soft plastic cups I think we were all thinking the same thing... "for God's sake will someone turn off those bagpipes"