CDNIFY @ TheNextWeb 2014

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Written by James Mulvany, senior entrepreneur and founder of CDNify

James Mulvany2

James Mulvany, senior entrepreneur and founder of CDNify

I arrived in Amsterdam late Wednesday evening with CDNify’s marketing strategist Mike, checked into our rooms at the Citizen M hotel ready for the following days ahead. We were up bright and early on Thursday morning and made our way to the venue.

My first time at a TNW event, upon arrival I was instantly impressed with the location choice for the conference: WESTERGASFABRIEK, which is a repurposed industrial estate consisting of formidable brick buildings surrounding a circular main hall (a former gas works) oozing with character and history.

The introduction and welcome to the event was an impressive light show coupled with a well produced presentation from the founder – This seemed to really get the crowd in the mood and I felt like we were in for a great time at the conference. They talked about the free food and 5000 bottles of Heineken beer to be consumed over the next two days!

For the first day, we then broke out into the various seminars taking place, which discussed various startup themes including marketing and funding. We also watched some great pitches, it was really interesting to see how much innovation is taking place – having now owned and run an internet business myself for 10 years, I could really relate to a lot of the people telling their stories.

The second day was the main reason for attending this event for us, as we were selected to take part in the Boost startup program – effectively meaning we got a place on the floor to demo our product by talking to the attendees and also other exhibitors of the event.

The one thing I loved about this, was the simplicity of the stands – when I’ve attended events before, we’ve been given a table and bought our own banners. However, all the startups had a simple pre-printed logo already on the stand and a small podium suitable for laptop or desktop to showcase the product, this meant it was really engaging and quite intimate allowing us to really share our product with people and chat to them one on one.

When talking to a lot of the other startups, I noticed one common trend – which was they were all looking for funding and there were several representatives from VC firms at the event also. I do have some personal scepticism on the need for venture capital having ran several businesses myself, I’m a firm believer in bootstrapping ideas to validate them – again, it depends how much you want to scale. I think a lot of startups are seeking funding, without any kind of real business plan in place and thus they are effectively looking for money to pay their wages.

This kind of ‘.com bubble’ happened in the late 90s early 00s and of course there was then a point when the bubble burst the .com crash of 2001. Who knows, with the sheer volume of startups we’re seeing grabbing funding with a good idea, but no real money making knowledge we could well be heading for another crash and there are several sources on the internet which state this, so perhaps I’m not alone in my view.

We’ve bootstrapped CDNify over the last year and worked incredibly hard to build a business so it felt great to get so much interest from the other exhibitors and people attending the show. I guess building a product which accelerates your websites and apps is a good fit for a conference for startups and tech companies!

Overall, I felt like we got to talk to some great and interesting characters at the event and discover what was happening in the world in terms of technology and startups. Some really exciting ideas and products that surely will become more and more familiar to us over the next couple of years!

About the author

James Mulvany is serial entrepreneur and founder of CDNify, a content delivery network for starts, developers and agencies. We supercharge your content and accelerate your apps and websites.

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