Oliver Littlejohn

CodeBase is a technology community based in Scotland. We run entrepreneurial programmes, curate events, and host startups in our buildings.
💫 Your brief bio
I'm Oli, Head of Partnerships at CodeBase. I'm interested in startups & community building - my thoughts on both right here: bit.ly/2CV8ia6
Edinburgh, Scotland
😁 Fun fact
Edinburgh Zoo has a penguin called Nils Olav who has the rank of Brigadier in the Norwegian army (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nils_Olav)
E2C Vision
We work directly with approximately 100 startups in Scotland, and provide mentorship for hundreds more via our partnership with Eagle Labs. We built what we do off our own back - completely bootstrapped, unfunded either privately or publicly. We're in a fairly unique position of ownership and community focus that I think lends itself well to being owned by the community. We struggle occasionally with the dichotomy of being a landlord and a community organiser - sometimes the motivations don't gel. Community ownership would allow greater transparency and direction both in terms of providing space for startups and the programmes we run. In terms of time frame, it's hard to imagine it happening in less than five years, potentially more like ten. We're still a young company, and although we've grown a lot we still have a lot of aspects of the internal organisation to make more robust before we consider a community offering.
Whether or not CodeBase is a candidate for E2C, I can't say. But, we have a huge voice in the UK in the startup world. We provide mentorship to all the startups in the Barclays Eagle Lab network, as well as our tenants. We run programmes that help early stage entrepreneurs. I gave a talk recently for our Creative Bridge programme, a large part of which was dedicated to Unicorns and Zebras, and defining what success means. I touched on E2C ever so briefly, and would love to boost my knowledge. It's so fresh and evolving and exciting!
Time in operation
Baby steps - I want to build a way to communicate the value of E2C internally within team CodeBase before we consider next steps to approaching the community.
E2C journey so far
Most of my knowledge of E2C has come from the cohort, so not much I can share with people beyond that. What I have certainly learned is that it's a far from trivial transition, and requires significant buy in and work.
E2C journey ahead
Two things: 1) Internally, I need to take the learnings back to the team and discuss the idea more to understand how people feel about it. 2) More logistically, understanding what an E2C might look like from a financial/legal perspective would be great. I'd love to hear from someone who has done it based off being a landlord and community organiser.