28 June 2011

Sheffield Inventors Group: Kin Kam and the iiCAP

Dr. Kin F Kam has quite remarkable scientific credentials. Excluding his undergraduate study, he has spent 12 years in advanced physics including 5 years of nuclear fusion research at Culham. He now has his own company known as Inclusive Innovations Ltd. based at the University of York which promotes his inventions.

Two of Kin's latest inventions are the iiCAP, a special baseball cap that holds glasses in place, and the iiCLIP. a device that connects the wearer's glasses to any type of headgear. Kin came to Sheffield Inventors Club on 6 June 2011 to discuss those inventions.

Kin took his audience through every stage of his journey: his tussles with the examiners at the Intellectual Property Office and the State Intellectual Property Office in China, his excursions on Dragon Den and his attempts to market his product. In the course of his talk, Kin gave us some tips that worked for him on patenting and marketing, We wish him all the best with his inventions.

The speaker at the next meeting of the Inventors Club on 4 July 2011 will be Richard Campos, one of the group's founder members. The theme of Richard's talk will be "Developing Products for a Commercial Market". So it should be good. The meeting takes place at 18:00 on 4 July 2011 at Sheffield Central Library, Surrey Street, S1 1YZ. Further information can be obtained from Lyne Hinchcliff on 0114 273 4736, email information.library@sheffield.gov.uk.

Kin's New Website
Since his talk Kin has let me know that he has launched a new website at http://www.iiclip.co.uk/ where you can learn everything you could possibly want to know about his iiCLIP.

19 June 2011

Cascading Cakes and Style Sheets: Digital Consortium's Summer Party

It is always satisfying to see a local business do well - particularly one that is run by friends. Online marketing and web development company, Digital Consortium, of Sowerby Bridge near Halifax, has done very well as you can see from its portfolio and awards. I have known its founder, Liz Robinson, through Bmedia and other connections for years and have collaborated with her on several projects.

Last Friday afternoon the company threw a party. They called it an "English Tea Party" and invited guests to enter a cake competition. This photo shows that there was no shortage of entrants. As one of the few guests who didn't quite get round to baking a cake - though I like to think it may have been because of my skills as an arbitrator - I was asked to judge the cake competition together with Liz and a young gentleman called Scott who is about to gain some work experience with DC.

We judged the cakes for both taste and appearance on a scale 1 to 10. One being "utter rot" and I am afraid I can't remember the superlative for 10 but it seemed to me to be nigh on unobtainable. In fact, I gave several entries top marks and I don't think anyone got less than 6 from any of the judges. The standard was very, very, very high indeed.

The overall winner was Sarah who baked some delicious cup cakes with the DC branding. But it was a very close win. Another of my favourites was a "Google cake" baked by a father and
daughter team. It was iced to resemble the Google landing page. There were other two lovely cup cakes, two lemon drizzle cakes, yummy chocolate cakes and many others.

But Sarah was a worthy winner and the look on her face was a picture. If only I had the presence of mind to record her facial expressions and squeals of delight.

The photo doesn't really do justice to Sarah's dress which was lovely. A full skirt with lots of frothy petticoats. As delicious as a morning cappuccino on the shores of Lake Maggiore. And Sarah wasn't the only lady to look terrific. Rosy also wore a lovely dress as did Liz herself and all her colleagues.

The party was a great opportunity for me to meet not only DC's staff and customers but also the animators, developers and other contractors who have contributed to the company's success. There is a small but growing cluster of creative businesses in Sowerby Bridge and it will be interesting to follow their progress. We wish Digital Consortium and its community the best of luck.

PS. Liz Robinson writes:

"I just needed to let you know that there were two trophies with equal weighting (best looking, best tasting) and the best looking one was won by Karen Rossi - the wife of the chap who owns Greenhouse Telecom who provides us with phones and broadband (local company from Hebden Bridge) - I am waiting for the official photographs, but there's one Rosie took here http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150290054216449&set=a.10150289213141449.370974.67382961448&type=1
I will send over links to the proper photographs when I get sight of them.
Thank you again for coming, and for your kind words in your blog piece. Sarah will be overjoyed with your appreciation of her dress - she's been waxing lyrical about it for a while."
That's true, Liz. Thanks for the reminder and the photo. I had a long chat with Karen. Also an interesting discussion with her husband about elasticity of demand for superfast broadband. That will be the topic for another post. Congratulations Karen. If Sarah's dress was as delicious as Cappuccino your cake was as pleasing to the eye as Paladian architecture. And it was good to taste too.

PPS. I've just seen the photo. Karen is the lady receiving the cup from me. Liz is the lady with her palms outstretched just between us. See what I mean about her lovely dress. And you should have seen her shoes.