Thursday, June 30, 2011


A friend of mine sent me this video which shows the beginnings of Google, one of the World's most influential companies.

More than anything else, it demonstrates the initial entrepreneurial spirit of founder Larry Page and the relationship with Eric Schmidt, the "outsider"brought in to manage Page and Sergei Brin.


Monday, June 27, 2011


Western Mail column 25th June 2011.

Last Thursday, I was over in Dublin to chair a postgraduate awards panel for the Irish Research Council on Humanities and the Social Sciences when, at 6am in the morning, I read an email stating that our appeal to get a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Richard Burton had been successful.

For those of you who have read the Western Mail over the last few months, you may have become aware that despite being the best actor of his generation, or indeed any generation, Richard Burton has never been honoured with a star on the iconic Walk of Fame that snakes around Hollywood and is visited by over 10 million tourists every year.

However, if you didn’t know this before, then you are not alone.

Two years ago, I was sitting in a pub with Geraint Jones, former head of Barclays Wales, expounding on the international success of Wales and its icons over a few beers. The talk turned to the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the inevitable bet of how many Welsh actors and actresses were to be found with stars on these famous sidewalks.

Of course, we both mentioned Sir Anthony Hopkins and Tom Jones, as well as others such as Ray Milland from a previous age of Hollywood stars. Yet the first name on each of our lists was Richard Burton, Wales’ greatest ever actor.

On checking the results later, both of us were totally shocked to find that the man with the iconic voice from Pontrhydyfen was missing from the stars that had been recognised by their peers in Hollywood. In fact, the only Burton to be found was an actor who had played a blind crewman on Star Trek:the Next Generation!

And so a plan was hatched to try and correct this injustice and obtain the star for this acting colossus who was once, alongwith his wife Elizabeth Taylor, one of the most famous people in the World.

Naturally, I considered that all we had to do was to put the great man’s name forward and a star would be handed out immediately. However, it was not as simple as that.

First of all, any potential recipient has to be nominated to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which administers the award and actually is responsible for looking after many of the attractions in Hollywood, including the Walk of Fame.

Secondly, it is no foregone conclusion that the star will be awarded, as each recipient has to be considered by a committee that can reject any application, no matter how famous the star. Finally, and more importantly, a total of $30,000 has to be raised to pay for the star and its future upkeep.

The other potentially difficult issue is that whilst around 10-12 stars are handed out to living actors, pop stars and TV personalities, only one posthumous star is handed out every year, thus making the competition harder. Last year, Buddy Holly got the posthumous star and, the previous year, it was Roy Orbison, so the quality of applications is far higher for this category than the others.

Therefore, even if the nomination was successful, money needed to be raised to deliver the star, which meant I needed some big hitters to help with the campaign.

Naturally, the first port of call was the Western Mail and Alan Edmunds, the editor, quickly organised a fundraising team which comprised of Media Wales, the Principality Building Society and the Welsh Rugby Union.

The team then decided that simply getting the money for the star wasn’t enough and so decided that we would also look to raise funds for scholarships at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama to support young Welsh talent to follow in Burton’s footsteps.

As we had yet to secure the nomination, we soft launched our appeal with a collection at the Wales-England rugby match in February, followed by an exceptional evening with Michael Sheen in March.

Then, in early May, a formal nomination was sent to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, supported by a letter by Lord Rowe Beddoe on behalf of the Burton family. We had considered leaving the nomination for another year but following the death of Elizabeth Taylor and the announcement that Martin Scorsese had taken up the option for a film on the Burton-Taylor relationship, the timing seemed right.

And so, as I mentioned, at 6.01am on Thursday morning, I was aptly doing an Irish jig around my hotel bedroom in Dublin after the announcement had come through from the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce with the simple message “Congratulations to you and the people of Wales”.

Of course, this is only the beginning as we still have to raise around £10,000 to secure the star and much much more to ensure we get as many scholarships for young Welsh talent as possible.

And this is where Welsh business can help.

Over the next few months, there will be an appeal going to the Welsh business community to support the Star for Burton appeal directly.

We will also be holding a series of fundraising dinners in California, Cardiff and London that will feature some of Wales’ current and brightest talent.

To date, some businesses have been highly supportive – we have already received a £3,000 donation from Logicalis towards the appeal, as well as a pledge of £1,000 each from the TV companies Boomerang and Tinopolis once the star was secured.

The fundraising team is grateful to all three firms for supporting the cause, but it would be great if many more from the Welsh business community make the effort to not only celebrate Richard Burton, but to ensure his legacy lives on through supporting the talents of young Welsh actors and actresses.

That, even more than the Hollywood Walk of Fame Star, would be the real legacy for one of Wales’ greatest sons.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


"Congrats to you and the people of Wales!"

That is the message I received earlier this morning from Ana Martinez at the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which has responsibility for the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

To be honest, I haven't been able to stop the smile off my face today, even when chairing a postgraduate research awards board at the Irish Research Council, which made many of the esteemed academics sitting around the table wonder why I was finding such pleasure in Ph.D applications on Irish History, management studies and humanities!

The BBC has already run the story and it is starting to go viral globally, which is good news as we still need to raise money for the star.

We are having a meeting next week to discuss our strategy but I have already been in touch with Welsh expats in LA who are hoping to do a fundraising dinner in the Autumn.

I hope we can also do one here in Wales and in London, as well as holding a film premiere (the Apollo in Port Talbot has already promised us a night for the Wild Geese). That should raise the rest of the money needed for the star as well as the extra we want to create scholarships at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

When there seems to be a recent tendency to talk down everything that is good in Wales, the Star for Burton campaign will hopefully remind us of what a great nation we are and how we can produce the talent to compete with the best in the World.

Monday, June 20, 2011


Western Mail column 18th June 2011.

This week, Sir Roger Jones, serial entrepreneur and former chairman of the Welsh Development Agency (WDA), made an impassioned plea for the return of an independent body similar to the WDA which would be controlled by a private sector board with strong trade union representation.

Responding to the House of Commons Select Committee on Welsh Affairs, Sir Roger's evidence focused predominantly on the fall in inward investment since the WDA was finally closed as part of the Bonfire of the Quangos back in 2006.

Yet whilst the attraction of foreign direct investment was the main role of the agency in the 1980s and 1990s, it is easy to forget the revolutionary role that it played in developing the World's first regional enterprise strategy, the Entrepreneurship Action Plan for Wales.

One of the first calls for the development of a ‘regional enterprise strategy’ came in a paper  I wrote whilst a Professor at the University of Glamorgan which, on examining the enterprise policies of local authorities in Wales, called for a co-ordinated regional approach to end confusion regarding the development of support for Welsh entrepreneurs and small businesses.

A year later, an economic policy document published by the then Welsh Office proposed the development of such an initiative, to be taken forward by the WDA which had, during the preceding years, concentrated its efforts on securing inward investment as the panacea for Wales’ economic ills.

As the economic strategy document - Pathways to Prosperity - stated at the time, ‘It will be important to ensure that existing initiatives to support new businesses and related action to promote entrepreneurship are brought together under a clear, integrated programme of activity.  We will therefore establish a new Entrepreneurship Action Plan for Wales.’ 

In 1999, the private sector led Entrepreneurship Action Plan (EAP) was launched as the first regional enterprise strategy of its kind in the World. Whilst managed by the Welsh Development Agency (WDA), it fully involved businesses, universities and voluntary bodies in its design and implementation.

Its success is clearly demonstrated by the fact that, between the period 2002 and 2004, the number of new enterprise births in Wales went up from 8,970 to 11,525, an increase of 28 per cent.

Unfortunately, when the WDA fell in 2006, so did the EAP. And the result? During the period 2004-2009, Wales experienced a 28 per cent decrease in the number of new businesses being created in Wales, reversing all the tremendous success of the previous three years.

I remember very well the last meeting of the implementation plan, when civil servants refused point blank to allow the EAP to continue, with the end of the WDA conveniently used as an excuse to get rid of what was undoubtedly one of the main policy successes of the first years of the Assembly Government. Indeed, since the abolition of the EAP, there has been a steady decline in the focus of government policy on entrepreneurship and its importance in revitalising the Welsh economy.

The good news is that the EAP looks set to make a comeback. Unfortunately, this will not be in Wales but in Scotland, where five enterprise organisations have formally requested that the Scottish Government establishes a similar national entrepreneurship strategy to the EAP so that the economy can be revitalised. In contrast, the worry for Wales is that the current government seems set to focus much of its effort over the next five years on the development of so-called large anchor companies, with entrepreneurship being a poor second.

The twin engines of the Welsh economy are large firms and entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, if one of those engines malfunctions or is not given the right amount of fuel, then the economy will simply go round in circles and eventually run out of steam. This is what the WDA recognised back at the end of the 1990s - that a strong inward investment strategy needed to be balanced by a strategy that encouraged entrepreneurship and indigenous business growth.

And only this week, the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey indicated, as many of us have predicted, that it is the small firm sector that is leading job creation as we emerge out of recession in the UK. Yet the focus of the current government, driven by the influence of the CBI, seems to be on larger companies whereas growing economies elsewhere are seeking new ways to encourage greater entrepreneurship.

After over 20 years as an entrepreneurship academic, I still believe that if government, businesses and universities work closely together, we can still develop a real renaissance in entrepreneurial activity in Wales. The Entrepreneurship Action Plan was a real and successful attempt to do this until it was stopped by policymakers who put the short term imperatives of Assembly politicians ahead of the economy of our nation.

Certainly, if it is good enough for Scotland, and other countries, to consider adopting a Welsh policy success, then there is no reason as to why Wales cannot also do the same and bring back a strategy that will revitalise and reinvigorate entrepreneurship, and the economy, in Wales.

Friday, June 17, 2011


As I am at the annual World Conference on Entrepreneurship research, here is a video of President Barack Obama launching the presidential summit on entrepreneurship, talking to young muslims about the importance of enterprising people around the World.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Currently in my favourite European city, Stockholm, where I am presenting a refereed paper at the International Council for Small Business World conference with my colleague and good friend Professor Magnus Klofsten of Linkoping University.

We have been working on it for the last six months and it probably still needs a bit of work over the summer to get it ready for a decent journal. Hopefully, comments from the session will help that process.

And just to make sure that the organisers get their pound of flesh for my three day visit, I have also been asked to be a panelist on three workshops. The first two, on enterprise education and regional development are well within my area but the third, on entrepreneurship in the European Space Industry, is pushing the comfort zone!

According to the workshop organisers - Spaceport Sweden -  this workshop will focus on the  development and cross-fertilisation of the space and creative industries create unforseen opportunities for service innovation, cluster cooperation and entrepreneurship in the global economy. It aims to engage the audience in a discussion about the vast opportunities cross-fertilizing the both industries to create new products and services globally. If nothing else, it will be interesting!

Therefore, looking forward immensely, not only to catch up with old friends from across the World, but to get some time to see the fantastic city of Stockholm.

See below for what you are missing!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Daily Post Column, June 13th 2011

Back in May, the Welsh Conservatives’ increased their Assembly Members to fifteen, leapfrogging Plaid Cymru to become the official opposition party.

However, thanks to the electoral system within Wales, Conservative wins in the Mid and West Wales region meant that leader Nick Bourne lost his own seat.

As a result, one of the first acts of the Welsh Conservatives following the election was to seek a new AM to lead the group during the next five years of the fourth Assembly for Wales.

Whilst political commentators had seen Jonathan Morgan, the AM Cardiff North AM, as the heir apparent, he also lost his seat to the former MP Julie Morgan during a bruising election battle.

So, those of us who are members of the Welsh Conservative Party are now faced with a choice between two highly able Assembly Members, both of whom were first elected in 2007, but have very differing styles and approaches to the future of not only the party, but to its policies in Wales during the next five years.

Since joining the Conservative Party, I have come to know both Andrew RT Davies and Nick Ramsay, the contenders for the leadership of the Welsh Conservatives, as able and committed politicians who are not only dedicated to their jobs, but will go the extra mile on behalf of their constituents.

Both are equally capable of leading the Welsh Conservatives during the next important period of devolution but, like every other member, I only have one vote when the election process starts on Friday.

So, as many people have already asked me who I will be voting for, I have no hesitation in declaring for Andrew RT Davies as the next leader.

That is no reflection on Nick Ramsay, as I feel he will one day lead the Welsh Conservative Party in Wales. Certainly, being only 36, time is on his side. However, as a member of the party, I have to consider whose is going to be the best for the party over the next five years and, in my opinion, Andrew is the right person for the job.

Since Andrew was elected to the Assembly in 2007, he has quickly built a reputation as one of the hardest working members, both in terms of his contributions to the plenary sessions and submitting questions to government Ministers.

But it is not only Andrew’s skills within the chamber which are important. It is his knowledge and experience outside the assembly which are the very attributes the party needs at this time.

Prior to his election as an Assembly Member, Andrew worked for over 20 years in the agricultural industry and was active in supporting a variety of voluntary organisations. More importantly, as a partner in a family farming business, he is personally aware of how Labour’s policies have failed Welsh businesses over the last twelve years.

Most important of all, Andrew is prepared to listen to everyone’s opinion and ensure that it is not only a small clique in Cardiff Bay that influences politicians, something that will resonate with members across North Wales who feel that the Assembly needs to do more for the whole of our nation.

Indeed, on the day when he was made the Shadow Business Minister, Andrew phoned me to discuss his brief and, more importantly, to ask for a list of North Wales businesses to visit immediately so that he could ensure that their opinions on the Welsh economy could be put forward in the Chamber as quickly as possible. That is why he is in North East Wales today listening to the views of local entrepreneurs.

When the fourth National Assembly for Wales starts in earnest in the Autumn, the Welsh Conservatives will need to have a strong and robust leader who is prepared to challenge the Labour Party on each and every policy.

He must expose the lack of delivery that has been the byword of every single Labour-led administration since 1999 whilst ensuring that the Conservatives build on their recent support across the country.

As someone who would certainly place himself on the pro-devolution, progressive side of the party, I believe Andrew R.T. Davies is the best man not only to take the Welsh Conservatives forward to the next step of devolution but, more importantly, to challenge the current Labour Government over its policies during the next five years.

I hope that other Welsh Conservatives will take the same view as they cast their vote for a new leader during the next few weeks.

Monday, June 13, 2011


Western Mail column June 11th 2011

Some people may have thought that they were watching an episode of “Ashes to Ashes” when George Osborne, in his first full budget, announced that twenty one new enterprise zones would be created across England.

In fact, that has been the knee-jerk reaction of many critics to the new scheme, namely that the enterprise zones created in the 1980s by the then Conservative Government simply did not fulfil expectations.

For example, they point to research that indicates that as much as 80 per cent of jobs created in areas such as The Docklands in London were displaced from other places and that each job cost £23,000 to create.

However, there is one major difference between the old model from thirty years ago and the one proposed by the current Government, namely that the new enterprise zones will be focused on areas of high growth potential, not those that are in industrially declining areas. In addition, the enterprise zones will focus on creating new jobs through key policy interventions including a business rate discount worth up to £275,000 per eligible business over a five year period, simplified planning rules and the roll out of super-fast broadband. The government also announced that companies in some zones would also be given direct financial support through a regional growth fund.

To date, a number of enterprise zones have been created in England, with more to be announced over the next few weeks. Whilst the policy only applies across the border, Wales has received an additional £10 million, under the so-called Barnett consequential, to plan for a similar intervention here. However, there has been no announcement from Cardiff Bay as to whether this policy will be replicated or not.

In isolation, that would not be an issue, but it would seem that a number of areas bordering Wales are lobbying for very hard for enterprise zone status, including Cheshire and Warrington, Gloucestershire, Heart of the South West, Lancashire, Stoke and Staffordshire, the Marches (Shropshire and Herefordshire), and Worcester.
If any of these areas are successful in their bids, then there is a real danger that any businesses looking to invest in Wales may consider these areas instead, especially as grant incentives for industry were abolished by the last Labour-Plaid Government.

In fact, the threat to the attraction of investment to Wales is best exemplified by the decision, last week, to award enterprise zone status to a 70 hectare site near Bristol Meads Railway station, a move which the city council have said will create 4000 new jobs. This has already set alarm bells ringing in Cardiff, with business and civic leaders worried that businesses may consider relocating away from the capital city over the next few years.

Whilst there is, in reality, nothing stopping the Welsh Government from pushing ahead with enterprise zones in Wales, cynics will argue that politics will get in the way of what is a perfectly rational economic development policy. But if Wales, under a government of a different colour, is reluctant to follow England in this respect, then perhaps the way forward is to create something different, something which adds a Welsh devolved flavour a Whitehall policy.

Let’s consider one way forward. As the new Minister for Business has said that she will continue to follow the sectoral approach developed by her predecessor, then why not initially consider six enterprise and innovation zones for Wales based on these sectors?

For example, Swansea could be made the life sciences enterprise zone for Wales whilst Cardiff could lay claim to either the creative industries or financial services. In the North, Flintshire or Wrexham would both have a strong case for the advanced manufacturing and materials enterprise zone whilst the whole island of Anglesey, the poorest county in the whole of the UK, could become the energy enterprise zone for Wales. Over time, special tourism enterprise zones could be added to these six areas which focus on developing the potential of this vital industry.

Whatever the solution, it is clear that the Welsh Government cannot allow English regions to make the most of the funding now available from the UK Government to surround our nation with enterprise zones that will, over time, attract industries away from this economy. Over the next five years, we have an opportunity for devolution to show that we can take the best ideas from all over the World, including England, and make them better through Welsh policy innovation.

Rather than burying its head in the sand, developing enterprise zones that work specifically for the Welsh economy would be a great start for this new government to start delivering for the economy.

Friday, June 10, 2011


This is an incredible presentation from MIT's Media Lab. Please perservere and go through the whole 70 slides

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


In a move that will propel innovative Welsh companies into the heart of the American venture capital market, the University of Wales has opened an office in San-Jose, the self-proclaimed ‘capital of Silicon Valley’.

The Irish Innovation Centre (IIC), a launch-pad organisation for Irish start-up businesses in Silicon Valley, has invited the University of Wales to base itself within their company in a nod to a shared Celtic heritage and entrepreneurial spirit.

Together with its affiliate organisation, the Irish Technology Leadership Group (ITLG), the Centre offers a wealth of resources to technology companies making the difficult transition across the Atlantic, including office space, legal and administrative help, conference facilities, and media/PR support.

The support network of the IIC, coupled with its location in Silicon Valley, will present a goldmine of opportunity for Welsh companies wishing to penetrate the US market. The establishment of a Welsh entrepreneurial base in the area could potentially make the US a far less hostile or risky area for Welsh investors and businessman, serving the dual purpose of diversifying and stimulating the Welsh economy.

When Professor Dylan Jones-Evans, Director of Enterprise and Innovation of the University of Wales, first heard about the IIC, he was very impressed by its concept and thought that Wales ought to have its own equivalent, which is exactly what he has set about to establish. Professor Jones-Evans said:

“It will be an office for Wales, for Welsh business and for high-technology firms that want to have a presence in Silicon Valley. Our aim is for Wales to have a foothold in the area through working closely with the Irish Innovation Centre to help a few companies to come over there and see how it works. If we are successful, then there may be the possibility of replicating the concept for Welsh companies.”

Essentially the role of the University of Wales will be to provide an office-space for Welsh companies who feel ready to present their innovation technology to potential investors in Silicon Valley, taking advantage of the soft-landing that the IIC provides to companies already based there. Professor Jones-Evans is quick to acknowledge the important role of organisations like the IIC in promoting innovation.

“It is absolutely critical to have contacts within Silicon Valley because many companies won’t have experience of the environment which makes up this innovation hotspot or, more importantly, the networks that you need to access to get anywhere in such an innovation ecosystem” he added.

John Hartnett, founder of the IIC and chief executive of the ITLG, welcomed the decision by the University of Wales to locate an office in Silicon Valley:

"Connecting Welsh technology companies to Silicon Valley is crucial to accelerate Welsh innovation. Silicon Valley is home to the world’s largest technology companies as well as the number one location for VC funding where more than 40% of all US VC Investment is transacted - Wales is now part of this with the Initiative of University of Wales locating a foothold in downtown San Jose.”

Sir Terry Matthews, Newport-born serial hi-tech entrepreneur, said:

"San Jose and the remainder of Silicon Valley continue as a major concentration of high technology companies and venture capitalists. The new Welsh Innovation Office will be a significant benefit to any new company looking to enter the market for sales opportunities or access to sources of capital. I congratulate the team on this initiative"

Phil Cooper, Managing Director at Venture Wales, a business support organization, said:

“Congratulations to the University of Wales as this initiative provides an excellent resource for Welsh firms who are considering their entry strategy into the richest market in the world. The technology cluster approach enhances competitiveness of Welsh firms through the development of a competent industry network backed by a range of local US support services which can facilitate the internationalization process. It also serves to raise the bar by requiring more Welsh firms to become internationally competitive. I wish it every success.”

Email the Global Academy ( for more information about opportunities for Welsh businesses 

Monday, June 6, 2011


Western Mail article June 4th 2011

Last week, I was in Tunisia for the OECD, the global economic development body.

The aim of the mission was to support the development of enterprise education within Tunisian universities in order to help more young people to develop their enterprise and employment opportunities.

It was a fascinating couple of days not only to experience the dedication and passion of the participating academics but because, only five months ago, Tunisia started a revolution that has since swept through the whole of the Arab world.

For many of us living in the UK, this small North African nation that is located between Libya and Algeria is seen predominantly as a Mediterranean holiday destination.

Yet the country has a rich and varied history encompassing the great empire of Carthage whose most famous general, Hannibal, nearly defeated the might of the Roman Empire. Indeed, even when the Carthaginians were eventually conquered following the third Punic War, their country became of enormous strategic importance, earning the sobriquet of the "bread basket of Rome". The importance of food production continues even today, with farming accounting for eleven per cent of a local economy that is amongst the most developed in Africa.

Since the end of Roman rule, Tunisia has been subject to the rule of a series of empires, changing hands as the tides of history ebbed and flowed over the centuries until, in the 1950s, the country managed to wrest control from the French Government which was vesting itself of its colonies and protectorates in North Africa.

For thirty years, Tunisia flourished under the leadership of its first President, Habib Bourguiba. However, any sense of nationhood that had been developed quickly disappeared when he was deposed by Zine el Abidene Ben Ali in 1987 in a bloodless coup that led to growing corruption for the next two decades with the only beneficiaries being supporters and friends of the ruling family.

That is until November 2010 when the actions of one young man changed the entire geopolitical environment across North Africa and the rest of the Arab World.

When government officials closed down his business, 26 year old Mohamed Bouazizi decided that a stand had to be made. It was an extreme and desperate one - pouring petrol over himself before setting himself alight in protest at the way he had been treated by the police and government officials.

When he died of his burns a few weeks later, it sparked the so-called “Jasmine revolution” that not only brought down the Tunisian dictator Ben Ali, who fled to Saudi Arabia, but began a domino effect that quickly spread to other Arab countries including Egypt, Libya and Syria.

During my short visit, I had the opportunity to speak to a number of ordinary Tunisians about the current situation. The revolution had, they said, brought a new vibrancy and urgency to the nation, ushering in an era where people were united in ensuring that the new democracy succeeded and that deep-rooted problems such as unemployment and low living standards could finally be addressed. And yet concerns were also voiced that the old regime could reassert itself at any time, especially if the rest of the World did not support the new interim government.

Therefore, the news last week that both Egypt and Tunisia will be offered around $20 billion in loans by G8 is both welcome and timely and should be followed by further support from funders such as the World Bank and the European Investment Bank.

In fact, the way ordinary Tunisians expressed their hopes and fears was a revelation to someone who, like in the UK, takes their democratic rights for granted. Of course, the real test will be in the Autumn, when the country votes in a general election that will determine the fate of this North African nation.

Certainly, everyone I spoke to during my short visit looked forward eagerly to exercising their right to vote and to then moving quickly to developing a new Tunisia that could, with the right support from the EU, the World Bank and other bodies, become a model for democracy across the rest of the Arab World. I can only hope that when I return at the end of this year, their dream - and that of millions of ordinary Tunisians - will finally have been realised.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


The photos from the British American Business Council (BABC) event last month in San Francisco have finally arrived.

This was the final day morning session with myself, Melinda Richter (Prescience International), Peter Moore (EA Sports) and Lt General Sir Robert Fry (McKinney Rogers) discussing innovation (yes, I am wearing the University of Wales tie for all to see!)

The most important thing about conferences is not the speech itself but the contacts you make - I have already linked up Melinda with the Institute of Life Sciences in Swansea and Peter with a games company in Wales.

I also hope to get Sir Robert, who was born in Penarth, to return home soon to give a lecture on his exceptional career.

A successful event all round!


Interviews with Steve Jobs, Ted Hoff, Lew Wolff, Scott Cook, John Gage and John Warnock discussing Silicon Valley's convergence of high-technologies, start-ups, the venture capital industry and the arrival of the microprocessor - the personal computer became a reality.