Cisco UK & Ireland Blog

Introducing our Start-Up Hub

December 10, 2015

Tom Kneen, head of business development, British Innovation Gateway (BIG), Cisco

The numbers thrown around for some tech valuations are eye-watering. Jack Dorsey’s Square is set to debut on the NY Stock Exchange after an IPO that will raise about $279 million. Snapchat is now valued at $15 billion. Uber is looking to raise as much as $2.1 billion in a financing round that would give the car-booking company a valuation of a whopping $62.5 billion. What all of these companies have in common is that they started life as tech start-ups. They all started with an idea….

An idea which was trying to solve a problem. Success was in no way guaranteed. For any of them. 

Setting up your own business takes guts, savvy and determination. But even when you’re blessed with those things in abundance, as any successful entrepreneur will tell you, it’s tough. Really tough. And once you’ve made the decision to go for it, you’re set to experience a multitude of challenges along the way.

There’s taking the seed of an idea, to fully visualising it. Accepting a less-than-normal (sometimes non-existent) salary, to being surrounded by family and friends who don’t quite understand what you do (and why you do it). From building a team, to securing funding to keeping that team in employment.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Just like leadership can be a lonely place at the top, being an entrepreneur can feel like an isolating place.

So at Cisco we’re launching a new community to address these things. Welcome to the Start-Up Hub: a place for you to bounce ideas around and share experiences. A place to come with your headaches and pains. To hear from experts with advice, points of view and their own experience. These experts have been handpicked, by us – and are ready (and willing) to help you out.

In the coming weeks and months you’ll be seeing loads of content from ourselves and, more importantly, our hand-picked team of experts and industry insiders. There’ll be content from fellow entrepreneurs, offering tips and advice, and sharing their own experiences. You’ll also hear from experts with specialisms in areas such as law and investment to patenting and PR.  From the educational to the inspirational, we’re aiming to make the lives of start-ups that little bit easier.

Do you have any burning questions or insights you’d like to share? The topics in our Start-Up Hub are driven by demand so do let us know what you’d like to see covered. Also, drop us a line if you’d like to get involved …

Start up Hub Stamp copy

Leave a comment


  1. Sounds great Tom, would be keen to be involved.

  2. Looking forward to catching up Tom on your plans.

    Speak soon


  3. That’s a great initiative Tom, well done. Likewise, I would be pleased to support in any way I can.

    best wishes

  4. Great news Tom,
    We would be delighted to join or participate.

    Kind Regards