Goodbye Coventry! Hello Birmin'g'ham!
I have left Coventry for good, I have moved to Birmingham!
Moving was hectic, in trying to be economical (I saved about 40 pounds), I had to make 3 trips from Coventry to Birmingham carrying about 5 heavy bags each time. but it would have been a lot harder without having my man Jude, drop me at Coventry train station on two occasions. Thank you sir!
Why I left
I have several reasons for leaving Coventry, top of the list that nothing happens in Coventry. If London is Lagos, then Coventry is Benin. Without the University (in my case Warwick) Coventry might as well be sold to France. Ok, enough of the slamming of Coventry. It is not that bad it used (I get am before no be propati) to be the centre of manufacturing but since the rise of China, everything manufacturing has gone to the far east. Poor ‘Coventrians’!
The actual reason I moved is that Joel and I were looking for an ideal Internet startup base to launch OnePage from (outside London) and Coventry was high on the list but to do that, we needed other startups in the area. Like Paul Graham said, Startups need other startups around to thrive. I tried pushing for a startup hub centred around Warwick University but as time went on, I realised I had neither the muscle nor the time required. So I knew my time in Coventry was up.*
*Of course i will be coming to Warwick at the slightest opportunity, I love that Uni!
Deciding on Birmingham.
When I wrote the blog post “What is wrong with the UK startup scene?" I got to know of Entrepreneurs for the future exactly what I was trying to push for. It came in the form of a comment from Simon Jenner (you see why you should always blog your thoughts?). The Birmingham City council is trying to stimulate the region buy supporting startups. So the possibility of being with other startups was the first motivation of considering moving to Birmingham. There are also a lot of Internet activities going on in the area; Multipack, Birmingham Social Media Cafe, Birmingham Bloggers, to mention a few) .Secondly, I thought I should move to a city. Birmingham is the second biggest city in the UK by population (although 10 times smaller than London). So it was a worthy consideration.
Why not London?
London is too expensive! Although I could have got a moderately priced place ‘near’ London, it would not be London. I have always believed if you live in a city, you should live in the city, not nearby. e.g Kubwa is NOT Abuja, no, ‘Redeemed camp area’ is NOT Lagos. Luckily I live near the city centre in a place called Digbeth. Though it is in a formerly rugged part, I can walk to the City centre! I look on the bright side 🙂
Another reason Birmingham appeals to me is that it is small enough to create the family startup scene I have always dreamed of. Since the people of Birmingham are serious, let us see how we can get this city on the European startup map.
- There are about 2 Chinese restaurants and 4 pubs for every person in Birmingham. Seriously.
- It is quite cool when your local shopping area is Bull Ring (I have noticed some coded areas like the Rag Market though) and you pass where they audition for X-Factor on the way to your local pub.
- My I stay about 30 seconds walk away from St Annes Catholic Church. My problem is not that they might be having revival at 1am but that I will have no good excuse for missing mass!
- We (yes we) have two Clubs in the Premier league (Aston Villa and Birmingham City) . I now have a chance of seeing my Man U when they are in town!
Joel will be moving in form Sheffield in the next few day. I would like you all to wish him the best of luck. It takes great courage to decide to live with Oo for ANY length of time.
So anytime you are in Birmingham, give your boy a holla, I will come meet you up. I mean Birmingham, not near Birmingham.