How to Nurture Global Ambition: A Chat with John Bradford of Springboard [Wamda TV]

by Gulay Ozkan,   January 9, 2013

Springboard is an intensive 13-week mentor-led business accelerator program based in London and Cambridge that offers entrepreneurs office space, seed capital and over $150,000 of free services. More than half the companies that enter Springboard have raised a second round of funding.

At the Webit congress in Istanbul this past October 2012, Springboard co-founder John Bradford discussed investment opportunities for regional companies and whether location matters for businesses that want to go global.

Irish-born Bradford has concluded, based on his experience, that location does not matter. “The wonderful thing about globalization is that it allows you to have a global ambition. Somebody described to me, where do you live, and he said 1B. That’s the first seat in the front row on a airplane. That’s what you want to encourage. you want to keep people moving and meeting other smart people,” he says.

Bradford went onto say that none of the teams in this year’s cycle at Springboard are from the U.K; rather, they are from Shanghai, South Korea, Lithuania, Romania, Germany, New York, Austria, and the west coast of the US. “They spend 13 weeks in a room and we push pizza under the door,” he says of the boot camp experience. 

When it comes to the Middle East market, Bradford says, “after the UK and Germany, Turkey is the third most-interesting market. I see Turkey as a nation of potential entrepreneurs.” 


Gulay Ozkan has more than 12 years experience in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. During this time, she has met more than a thousand entrepreneurs and evaluated many startups in incubation centers, techno-parks and universities. She was one of the key figures behind Turkey’s first technology incubation center, launched by Ericsson in 2000, where she worked with leading telecoms operators from China to South America. She and the team were instrumental in building the Turkish mobile VAS market. In 2007, Gulay founded GEDS Business, a consultancy company focused on innovation and entrepreneurship in technology industries across Europe and the Middle East. She is also the founding president of a Turkish project-management NGO called PMI TR. She holds a BSc and an MSc in electrical engineering from ITU in Turkey and UNL-Lincoln in the US. She can be found on her website, or on Twitter at @GulayOzkan.

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