At the recent Auckland CloudCamp, a few of us got talking and thinking about what a tight network of SaaS/Cloud businesses could achieve – kind of a “united we stand, divided we fall” approach. Down here in Canterbury we have a surprising number of players in this field – all doing great stuff and all, to a certain extent, isolated from the good advice, talent, shared marketing budgets and just plain support of their peers.

To this end we’ve been thinking about developing the CanterburyCloud. So what’s the CanterburyCloud? – well it’s a lot of things. In part it’s a network where start-ups can leverage the communal wisdom of their peers. It’s potentially a co-working space where companies can work and bounce ideas off like-businesses. It’s potentially a marketing platform – a network of businesses that can, to an extent, share marketing budgets and evangelise each other’s products. I guess at the end of the day it’s about creating a Cloud Centre of Excellence in Canterbury – taking the legacy of companies such as Tait Electronics and Jade, and mixing it with a healthy dose of agility and web savvy.

We’re keen to hold an unconference to explore this opportunity – it’s not going to be a tech event, rather it’s going to look at business models, strengths and weaknesses and the general appetite for working together. We’re going to hold the event on Friday 30 October at the Canterbury Development Corporation Training Room 1, Level Two, 193 Cashel Street Christchurch. We’ll be kicking off at 1pm. As is de rigeur for a tech event, there will be pizza and drinks afterwards and (hopefully) a general vibe of positivity and can-do throughout. Telecom New Zealand has generously come to the party and is sponsoring the event – so a big thanks to them for that. Thanks also to CDC for providing the venue.

For those of you who aren’t accustomed to the unconference format, here’s a nice definition courtesy of Wikipedia;

An unconference is a facilitated, participant-driven conference centered around a theme or purpose. The procedural framework consists of sessions proposed and scheduled each day by attendees, mostly on-site, typically using white boards or paper taped to the wall. While loosely structured, there are rules at BarCamp. All attendees are encouraged to present or facilitate a session.

The plan is to have six – eight sessions of around 20 minutes each. As is the norm for this type of event, session planning will happen on the day – come along pre-armed with ideas for topics!

So… who’s keen to come along and explore life on the edge? Feel free to register here, or email smina@memia.com your intention to attend. See you all there.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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