Little black book: the tech scene

So if you've had your million-dollar tech idea but aren't familiar which type of networking is right to find investors, tech journos and like-minded entrepreneurs hanging out at, it's time to get studying - start with Smarta's handy guide to everyone, everything and everywhere in the UK's tech industry.

Smarta has compiled a list of the best contacts, events, investors, journos, blogs, mailing lists - and, well, just about anything else tech and web-related you can think of - so that anyone on the outside can access the wealth of knowledge currently circulating around the UK (but mostly London) tech and web scene.

We've tried to make it as comprehensive as possible, but are sure we've missed people off. We'd like to keep this as a live document so please leave comments or email us - editor@smarta.com - with suggestions and we'll look to update. Anyway, here we go - use the tabs below to navigate between sections.

Tech royalty | Need to know | Blogs, magazines, newspapers | Journalists | Investors | Corporates | Events | Enterprise initiatives | Websites

Martha Lane Fox

The founder of holiday booking site lastminute.com, Lane Fox is web royalty: not only has she transformed the way we travel, but she may be about to transform the way we surf the web when her tenure as the government's digital 'champion' begins in e;arnest. As well as founding Lastminute, Lane Fox also started private karaoke business Lucky Voice and sits on the boards of Marks & Spencer, Channel 4 and mydeco.com - her old business partner Brent Hoberman's venture.
Find her: blogging at marthalanefox.com; @marthalanefox; interviewed on Smarta.

Michael & Xochi Birch

Having met at Imperial College, serial entrepreneurs Michael and Xochi Birch launched their first business, BirthdayAlarm.com, in 2001, swiftly moving on to establish Ringo.com, one of the earliest social networks, which was sold to monster.com for an 'undisclosed amount'. It was with tweeny social network Bebo, though, that the Birches had their biggest success: in 2008, the site, which has more than eight million users in the UK alone, was sold to AOL last year for £417m.
Find them: Now based in Silicon Valley;  interviewed on Smarta.

Loic Le Meur

The founder and chief executive of Seesmic, which produced Twitter applications Seesmic Desktop and Twhirl, Le Meur is also responsible for the largest tech event in Europe, LeWeb, which saw 4,000 bloggers, developers, designers and entrepreneurs descend on Paris for the third year in a row in 2008 - all of which contributed to him being named alongside Steve Jobs and Jon Stewart as one of the 25 most influential people on the web by US magazine Business Week.
Find him: at his blog at loiclemeur.com; at French President Nicholas Sarkozy's right hand as chief adviser on matters of the web; @loic; locking horns with British tech columnist Paul Carr.

Jason Calacanis

Currently the chief executive of user-powered search engine Mahalo, Calacanis remains one of the most powerful people on the internet purely because he has been fronting very successful web companies for such a long time: he co-founded blog network Weblogs, Inc; founded media company Rising Tide Studios; worked as general manager of 90s web giant Netscape; and even edited the Silicon Alley Reporter, a monthly publication chronicling New York's tech scene in the 90s.
Find him: blogging at calacanis.com; @jasoncalacanis.

Tim Ferriss

As someone who is fluent in six languages, holds a world record in Salsa and a national championship title in kickboxing, Ferris could easily win the award for most infuriating person on the tech scene - but it doesn't matter, because he was also named Wired magazine's 'greatest self-promoter of all time' in 2008. Ferriss rapidly built up an army of followers (and critics) after his book, 'The 4-Hour Workweek' became an instant bestseller in 2008: in it, Ferris details how he made a fortune by 'outsourcing his life' and 'the management secrets of Remote Control CEOs'.
Find him: Blogging at fourhourworkweek.com; showing off his moves in the gym; @timferriss; tapping away at his computer anywhere, as long as it isn't at a desk; hanging out with Digg founder Kevin Rose; interviewed on Smarta.

Jeff Pulver

Self-proclaimed 'voice of VoIP' (that's internet telephony to those less accustomed to acronyms), Pulver came to fame when his 'Pulver Order' proclaiming VoIP is not a telecommunications device was adopted and passed by the US Federal Communications Commissioner. Pulver has now turned his attentions to internet video, as well as running various conferences including the 140 Characters conference - a conference which looks at Twitter 'as a platform and as a language'. Enough said, really.
Find him: Blogging at pulver.com; @jeffpulver.

Richard Moross

With his characteristic combination of black shirt, blue jeans and white shoes, Moross is among the most distinctive members of the British tech crowd. Moross founded online printing company Moo, which produces instantly recognisable mini business cards, back in 2005 and has grown more than 100% each year since. Moo's overarching message is one of fun, and it translates in the company's internal culture: for his 30th birthday, the entire Moo office dressed up as Moross. Who says being the boss means you can't be fun?
Find him: Blogging at Yo, CEO; Behind the camera - Moross is a surprisingly talented photographer; @richardmoross; jetting to the US to oversee operations in Moo's new Rhode Island office; interviewed on Smarta.

Michael Acton Smith

Having found success with cheeky gadget website Firebox , which he founded with friend Tom Boardman (see below), Acton Smith left Firebox to set up social gaming company Mind Candy in 2004, where his first game, Perplex City - touted as a 'global treasure hunt' with players using magazines, newspapers, television, the internet and more to solve a puzzle and win a £100,000 prize - attracted a cult following. The success clearly wasn't enough: Acton Smith started London networking events company Super Tuesday with Judith Clegg in 2006, and his current project, kids' social gaming site Moshi Monsters, was tentatively hailed as 'the next Google' earlier this year by The Times.
Find him: Reclining at Paramount, the members' club at the top of London's Centre Point he invested in; @acton; interviewed on Smarta.

For more tech royalty see:

  • Brent Hoberman, Julie Meyer and Doug Richard (investors)
  • Mike Butcher and Bill Thompson (journalists)

The black book (use tabs to navigate):

Tech royalty | Need to know | Blogs, magazines, newspapers | Journalists | Investors | Corporates | Events | Enterprise initiatives | Websites

 

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