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So in September went live, a week or so later than planned, but not too bad in the scheme of things.

Co-founder Peter Cowley and I had a vision and it was now out there, not overly polished or finessed but, as Mark Zuckerberg (allegedly) said, “Done is better than perfect.”

The thinking around VIDA is that we are a startup that helps startups. The proposition will change, the model will be finessed and it more than likely pivot a number of times, but that is all part of the startup ride and very much the philosophy of VIDA. Things are constantly changing and our business, and the businesses we invest in, will need to constantly adapt and change.

That’s our thing –  we're excited about the new (even though we don’t know what it is) and, as founders, remain curious about what's coming next and how the media, advertising and marketing space continues to be disrupted.

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So what have we achieved in the first 100 days?

We’re on target against the business plan for a full launch early next year. Tick!

We’ve benchmarked the core business hypothesis with media owners, investors, platform owners and media agencies, and the smart people we’ve met seem to like the proposition. It’s a complex beast and there is always risk, but if there wasn’t it would be too easy.

We’ve started chatting to startups and there is a real appetite amongst content creators for the VIDA solution and they want to get involved.

We have brought on board some incredible partners such as to help with our fundraising and investments.

We’re talking to some leading players in innovation, tech, media, advertising and creative entrepreneurialism about joining us on our journey as part of our advisory board, which we hope to announce in the spring.

We have moved into a unique office workspace that aims to support both entrepreneurialism and creativity, which is pretty much the heartbeat of VIDA – orange is our new favourite colour!

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We’ve spoken to some inspiring ‘thought leaders’ (and hopefully future partners) for our blog and social content – Simon Andrews from Mobile Fix and Media Kitchen, Tom Salmon from The Bakery, Dave Morrison from Nyman Libson Paul, Mark Cowan from innovation agency Happen and Nicole Yershon of Nicole Yershon Consulting, Lab for Hire & Co., and Rough Diamond.

Way ahead of schedule, we’re also having some really positive discussions with investment partners that bode well for the future.

As the founder of a startup (again) it has been an intense but exhilarating time. The words of Arthur C. Clarke are never far from my mind: “New ideas pass through three periods: 1) It can't be done. 2) It probably can be done, but it's not worth doing. 3) I knew it was a good idea all along!”

So what next? I’ve got the following on my list:

·      Build a truly exceptional advisory board of brilliant people drawn from tech, media, advertising and marcomms

·      Close our investment round

·      Finalise our first startup partners

·      Launch our first media accelerator program

·      Kick-start our not-for-profit enterprise

·      Build out our media and events team

·      Raise more money and invest in more amazing entrepreneurs and content creators

Simple as that! A massive thanks to everyone who has supported VIDA so far and bring on 2018!


Mark Maddox