Success has many fathers and some very lucky coincidences. Before my original suggestion for an accelerator in the North East, the Cloud Foundry (which turned into the Difference Engine), I failed to raise funding for a startup.
Ian Leader (now Product Lead, Calendar at Google) is a very good friend that I met at PaperX – a dotcom business formed only a few months before the meltdown. Needless to say, it didn’t work out too well for the investors that included Mike Chalfen who went on to be a successful VC at Advent Venture Partners and now Mosaic Ventures.
Ian went on to become my best man at my wedding and godfather to my second child – Angus Bradford. We had been trying to find an excuse to do a startup together – and after many suggestions we landed on building an online accounting software package known as SoSage (“Son of Sage“). Fortunately for the world, it failed to get off the drawing board and failed to raise funding from the “Proof of Concept” Fund managed by North Star Ventures (who are investors in Ignite which I founded with Paul Smith as the successor of the Difference Engine).
The primary reason for failing to raise funds from “Proof of Concept” fund was a business called Kashflow which ironically was founded (and successfully exited) by Duane Jackson – who has subsequently become a very good friend and mentor at Springboard and Techstars London.
Whilst we failed to raise funding for SoSage, we agreed to publish our thoughts on ReadWriteWeb called “Online Accounting: The Next Killer App For Google Apps“. Our first blog post also appeared momentarily on Techmeme.
I blame Duane for ensuring that SoSage (what a stupid name) never saw the light of day – and without which the Difference Engine, Springboard and multiple other accelerators would not exist today. Thank you.