Entrepreneur, Jonny Clark, who runs a community of 100 local early-stage tech businesses is representing Liverpool at a major conference in the US. Tony McDonough reports
Liverpool entrepreneur Jonny Clark is in the US over the next couple of days selling Liverpool tech start-ups to a global audience.
Jonny is the co-founder of Liverpool start-up, GDPR Defender, a venture offering GDPR compliance services to businesses. He is also director of the Liverpool chapter of the Startup Grind community, comprising more than 100 early-stage businesses.
Startup Grind is the world’s largest start-up community, designed to “educate, inspire, and connect” entrepreneurs. It brings like-minded individuals together via events, conferences, startup membership, partner membership, student and investor programmes.
Founded in Silicon Valley in California, Startup Grind now has chapters in 600 cities across 125 countries, collectively reaching more than 5m individuals worldwide.
On Tuesday and Wednesday this week, the Startup Grind Global Conference 2022 is taking place in Redwood City in California. And Jonny is there representing Liverpool city region and its tech entrepreneurs.
He told LBN: “Startup Grind is an excellent way to form links between startups and scaleups in the north of England, who need access to better mentorship and guidance, to Silicon Valley and the rest of the world.
“The technology economy is the future economy. If we want jobs and a good GVA, then it’s going to be through technology and innovation. That requires investment, and traditionally that has been difficult because Liverpool doesn’t have the density of businesses and investors that London or other parts of the north has.
“However, we do have a nascent green shoots community of ambitious tech startups and I’m going out to the US to represent them.”
This year’s conference will focus on “bridging the gap between web2 and web3”. There’s going to be a couple of very big announcements at the event, including a fund accelerator programme, and an education programme delivered by some of the most high-profile tech people in the world.
Jonny added: “Liverpool Startups are going to be eligible to put themselves forward for the programme. This will be a major opportunity for early-stage tech companies in Liverpool to participate in and reap the benefits of. I look forward to presenting the details of these announcements back to our chapter once I’m back on home soil.”
Jonny began his career working in sales, marketing and operations at a social enterprise recycling business in Knowsley that employed vulnerable adults and reformed offenders. He then joined Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership in an economic research and business growth role.
During his two-and-a-half-years at the LEP, Jonny rubbed shoulders with political heavyweights in the UK and EU, worked on a wide range of projects and presented research to the European Commission, Westminster Business Forum and multiple Government departments.
He went on to lead Activate, a multi-disciplinary growth programme for early stage tech companies at Liverpool John Moores University, responsible for the creation and propulsion of more than 150 early stage tech businesses.