3 Startup Founders I would invite for a Dinner Party

Our guest blog today comes from Alastair Cameron the co-founder of Startacus. Have you ever thought about who you would love to dine with if you had the chance? Well Alastair tells us his top 3 startup founders he would love to meet and eat with.


For me, if there’s one thing in life that doesn’t go out of favour (or flavour?) is good food. Good food is the catalyst for many good conversations, discussions and debates.

My networking ability on the other hand can be rather hit or miss – faced with a crowded room, sometimes networking can often be a tough cookie to crack.

But if faced with a ‘come dine with me’ like task of having to pick and choose 3 other current or recent self starter / ‘entrepreneur like’ people  to have dinner with, then networking becomes a more intriguing and interesting prospect. Here’s the 3 startup founders I’d invite for a dinner party and a few reasons why…

1 – Craig Johnston

Craig has a few attributes in his favour. Firstly he was a mighty fine Liverpool football player (some would argue that’s a reason in itself), however his real business career only happened once his football career had come to an end. He is responsible for the Predator football boot which became the football boot of choice for many world class footballers. Initially turned down by the major sport brands, Johnston kept trying and developing the boot and eventually Adidas bought into the concept. Johnston has had up and down success over the years and was even homeless for a short term, however he is proof that an entrepreneurial career can happen mid career and that good ideas can simply come from thinking logically about how a product can be improved – even if it works perfectly well (or so you think) in the first place.

2 – Simon Robinson

Some might know of Simon and I have had the pleasure of knowing Simon, albeit via email, interviews and such like for the last 18 months. But never in person! For those of you who know little about Simon, this is his background story.

The story goes that Simon went along to the school career advisor (not that long ago) and after explaining he wanted to write about music was told, because of his grades, that perhaps a career in the army was more suitable.

Whether this inspired him, or whether it would have happened anyway, Simon went on to write music reviews for major music publications and then decided to go out on his own.

His business was a year in the making, but within the last two years, his music website, Gigs and Festivals has become the most visited music website in the UK and in the top 300 visited websites in the UK full stop.

Why have him to dinner? Well I think he deserves all the credit he gets, and I’d be offering up a wee toast to say congrats too.

3 – Anita Roddick

Unfortunately this is more of a wish than a real chance, as Anita Roddick sadly passed away back in 2007. While ethical consumerism is prevalent on the high street now, back in the mid 1970’s Anita Roddick and the Body Shop were visionaries in building an ethical business and brand, when green and ethical issues were not particularly at the forefront of any business plan. Within the retail sector particularly, she is one of the originators of using a business – not only to make a profit, but to make a social impact as well. Since we’re hoping that Startacus will make a real social impact and also be a successful business too, it would be great to have had the opportunity to chat to the late Body Shop founder about doing just that.

With thanks to this weeks guest blog:

Alastair Cameron is the co-founder of Startacus – the self start society.

Startacus is an online platform offering a definitive go-to source for the enterprising individual, offering everything from funding information, startup news, inspiring stories, through to basic roadmaps for creating a business. The key innovation within the Startacus platform is a virtual workspace and incubator for individuals; creatives, entrepreneurs or otherwise to work on projects and ideas.

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