The Latest Meet-Up… 27th July 2017

The most recent meet-up we hosted was held at Rainmaking Loft on the 27th of July.

As the meet-up group is still relatively new, we are constantly looking for ways to make sure that anyone that attends the event gets the most out of it and has the chance to network & gain valuable insight with a wide community of people.

As the role of Cloud is maturing, IBM is beginning to focus on a single Cloud platform that is designed to help individuals and companies alike for both Data and Cognitive. This has led us to our next natural step with the Cloud Foundry/Bluemix Ecosystem Meet-Up group, which is to combine with Big Data Developers in London!

Following on from the Wimbledon Championships, the topic of our meet-up was “What Makes a Sporting Great”.  Darren Shaw (An Emerging Technology Specialist at IBM) gave a talk around how data was harnessed during the Championship, how the data can be used, and what insights can be discovered from both current and past data. To find out more about how IBM Watson was used to understand what makes great in tennis, please read Darren Shaw’s blog on IBM developerWorks here. You can also view a video of his talk here.

Over the next couple of months, the structure, theme and location of the meet-ups will continue to change as we form into Data & Cognitive Developers London!

If you are interested in the next meet-up, please join the Data & Cognitive Developers meet-up group here. Our next meet-up will be on the 28th of September, and keep an eye out for future meet-ups on the 4th Thursday of the month!


Cloud Foundry/Bluemix Ecosystem Meet-Up 06-06-2017

On the 6th of June at Rainmaking Loft, Simon Baker hosted the latest in the series of Cloud Foundry/Bluemix Ecosystem Meet-Ups.
The meet-ups are designed to promote networking between likeminded companies that have connections to Cloud, Data and AI. They enable companies to share both skills and insight, which allows them to learn how to better overcome business challenges, drive customer solutions and increase revenue opportunity.

Based in London, is a distributed knowledge base that enables machines to understand the meaning of information in the context of their relationship.
Intelligent systems currently consume data that is too complex for databases that exist in the market today. To derive knowledge, intelligent systems need to interpret the relationships in real world data sets. carries out all of the functions needed to act as a database for intelligent enterprise systems.
Whilst the platform is used solely by developers, rather than a business development team, can be used to create different types of business solutions. These include semantic search engines, automated fraud detection, intelligent chat bots, advanced drug discovery and dynamic risk analysis.

Hanhaa is a mobile services company that is focused on both Internet of Things and Machine to Machine applications. The CEO, Azhar Hussain, spoke in detail about one of their offerings. Parcelive.
Parcelive is a small piece of hardware that contains six embedded sensors that allows users to access live telemetry from inside a package, including whether or not it has been opened and the temperature it is being stored at. The product contains an e-paper screen that allows it to be easily returned and a long-lasting battery, which ensures that the data feeds continues until a parcel reaches its destination.

Founded over 20 years ago, Astia are a global community committed to creating an even playing field for female entrepreneurs. They do this by providing access to both capital and professional networks for all of the companies involved.
Astia actively identify inclusive companies and given them a route to their network of over 5000 investors. They work with entrepreneurs at these companies to create a strong relationship between them, investors and advisors, who will be able to help their companies rapidly grow.

With the speakers and attendees being different at every single one of these meet-ups, they are a great way to increase your professional network and have the opportunity to meet new people who you may not have otherwise met. If you are interested in the meet-ups, then keep an eye out for the next date and come along. We hope you see you there!

Cloud Foundry/Bluemix Ecosystem Meet-Up 26th April 2017

What are the Cloud Foundry/Bluemix Ecosystem Meet-Ups…?

The Cloud Foundry/Bluemix Ecosystem Meet Ups at Rainmaking Loft help to promote networking between likeminded companies that have connections to Cloud Foundry and Bluemix. They enable sharing of skills and insight and help companies learn how to better overcome business challenges, drive customer solutions and increase revenue opportunity.

Watson, Bluemix and Cloud…

Ross Cruickshank of the Developer Ecosystems Team at IBM began the evening by discussing IBM specific technologies.

Bluemix is a PaaS service that is based on Cloud Foundry technology. DevOps is used to build, run and deploy applications on the cloud, along with an extensive list of services supporting many programming languages including Java, Swift and Node.js.

The meet-up began with a walk through the Bluemix catalogue and an in-depth discussion of several different services, such as Insights for Twitter, within the catalogue that were both relevant to the companies and developers wanted to learn more about


Gustav Stromfelt from IBM gave a small presentation on IBM iX. IBM iX acts as a global business design partner. They work with their clients, including Nationwide, Waitrose and Jaguar, to provide insight, generate ideas and create an impact in the company. The iX teams combine observation with IBM analytics to highlight the full potential of a company. That knowledge is then translated into focused ideas that are then built and scaled to create lasting outcomes for the customers.

SPICA Technologies…

SPICA is a specialist IoT Solutions Provider that uses a combination of technical assets, hardware, software components and IoT integration expertise to help business capitalise on the opportunity that the Internet of Things represents. Their mission is to help revolutionise the Facilities Management industry with proliferation of IoT-based products, enabling FM’s, Property Owners and Tenants to offer better, cheaper and innovative new services to their clients.


With over 10 years’ experience of working at IBM, Edoardo Comar gave a lightening talk on IBM Message Hub. Based on Apache Kafka, IBM Message Hub acts as a throughput message device allowing companies to unite both on-premises and off-premises cloud technologies and wire micro services together.

 Global AI Hackathon…

Emmanuel Korie is part of the team at who is co-ordinating a Global AI Hackathon. is aiming to bring together designers, data scientists, neuroscientists, idea generators and coders to create innovative solutions to real world problems using AI technology. The event aims to teach people about AI, it’s tools and how it can be used to improve technology solutions. Participants in the event can choose one challenge to work on, for which they can create a solution, submit their project and have the chance to demonstrate their work in a showcase.

The Next Meet-Up…

The next meet-up will again be held at Rainmaking Loft on the 6th of June between 6pm and 8pm. We will be hosting a new group of speakers, who will be able to share their insight into specific industries, events and technologies. If you would like to attend please register here.

Cloud Foundry/Bluemix Ecosystem 20th March 2017

What are the Meet-Ups…?

Run by Simon Baker, the Cloud Foundry/Bluemix Ecosystem Meet-Ups are held every 4-5 weeks at Rainmaking Loft in London. They are designed to help like-minded Cloud Foundry and Bluemix companies network and share skills and insight to help overcome business challenges, drive customer solutions and increase revenue opportunity.

Xaeus Blue…

Coming from a CTO and CIO background, Leon Koutsovasilis is a global technology leader, who focuses on strategy and delivery to help optimise company practices.

Xaeus Blue is a technology and digital business consultancy. Specialising in digital business, digital delivery and M&A support, Xaeus Blue supports various industries including Financial Services, Travel, Retail, Healthcare and Investment Management. Within these industries, the company can support disruptive digital business transformation, creating digital services and products, digital business strategy and post-deal portfolio value enhancement.

Virtual Technologies…

Virtual Technologies act as business to IT consultants, providing their customers with business advice & guidance and implementation of intranets, extranets, public websites and general systems integration. Their company consists of a network of freelance consultants with comprehensive Internet and IT skills.


Focusing on the use of Blockchain technology, Oraclize aims to provide parts of the infrastructure needed to build smart, relevant and useful decentralised applications. Their focus industry has a wide range, including Travel & Transport, Finance and Security.

One specific example of the use of their software was discussed: using Blockchain to support claims of refugees. If data from their own country, such as the destruction of their home, was stored on Blockchain, it could be used to show an element of their personal situation from whatever country they have arrived from. This information could then be used when they arrive somewhere new as refugees to prove where they have come from.

Whilst this data may not be accepted by government bodies, it could be used to support the individuals’ claims in the interim before it is determined if they are entitled to refugee status.

Transport API…

Transport API is an open platform that allows developers to create transport solutions. The platform harnesses big data from open data feeds from companies such as Traveline, Transport for London and Network Rail, to give a source of manageable data that is simple to integrate into existing systems.

The Internet of Things…

One of the most searched phrases about the Internet of Things is: “Is it real?”.

By 2020, up to 50 billion devices will be connected to the internet. The Internet of Things is a machine to machine net of sensors, actuators and processors, that allows devices that are connected to the internet to interact with each other.

Computing devices, objects, mechanical machines and digital machines are given unique identifiers. They are then given the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-computer interaction.

The Internet of Things is used across many industries, including Smart Homes, Smart Cities, Environment and Healthcare through devices such as smart metres, smart pills and monitoring patches. More data can be collected from appliances, which allows companies to see where improvements can be made to their appliance and leads to a subsequent increase in the efficiency of the appliance.

 The Next Meet-Up…

The next Cloud Foundry/Bluemix Ecosystem Meet-Up will be held at Rainmaking Loft on the 26th of April at 6pm. There will be new speakers at the event, who will be aiming to share their knowledge and insight into their specific industries and areas of technology. If you’re interested in attending the event, please register here. We’d love to see you there!

Cloud Foundry/Bluemix Ecosystem 15th February 2017

On the 15th of February Simon Baker and Ross Cruickshank hosted the latest in a series of Cloud Foundry and Bluemix Ecosystem Meet-Ups at IBM South Bank. After 4 successful events, this was the last to be held at IBM South Bank before we move the events to Rainmaking Loft from the 20th of March!

Bluemix Catalogue…

Bluemix is a PaaS service that is based on Cloud Foundry technology. DevOps is used to build, run and deploy applications on the cloud, along with an extensive list of services supporting many programming languages including Java, Swift and Node.js.

The meet-up began with a walk through the Bluemix catalogue and an in-depth discussion of several different services, such as Insights for Twitter, within the catalogue that were both relevant to the companies and developers wanted to learn more about.


BuffaloGrid focuses on using solar energy in order to provide mobile and internet services to the off-grid world, such as various locations through India and Africa. Over 750 million people have a mobile phone but have no access to electricity to charge the device. By providing them with a means of charge, on a pay-per-charge system, BuffaloGrid provides Wi-Fi to the community, so that everyone has the ability to access the internet. This increases the availability of services such as banking, health and security to individuals in developing countries.


SimpleFinance has developed a financial planning tool that allows individuals to get their finances in order without having to go to the effort and expense of seeing a financial advisor.

From late 2016, until the final pitch day on the 23rd of January, IBM was involved in the VentureSpring Future of Finance Challenge. The aim of the challenge was to find a FinTech start-up that had an idea that had the potential to revolutionise the financial industry. Ideas ranged from chatbots to help individuals make better financial decisions to payment applications that use facial recognition to improve transaction time and security. SimpleFinance was one of the finalists in the challenge, who then got the opportunity to have 6 minutes to pitch their company to a panel of judges from IBM, NatWest, Level39 and Tech.London.

To read more about the Future of Finance Challenge, please click here.


Somerco is a business development company that focuses on developing jobs within specific industry sectors. They work with government and business professionals to build an increased customer base and therefore help drives sales and increase trade both in the UK and abroad.

Blockchain and Smart Contracts…

Blockchain is a decentralised ledger technology that can be used to exchange both digital and physical assets. It works by creating a digitised chain of transactions that can’t be modified. The benefits of using Blockchain in a company include reduction in settlement time, reduced risk of collusion and increased trust in processes.

A widely-used aspect of Blockchain is Smart Contracts.

Smart Contracts consist of a computer program that facilitates, executes and enforces both the negotiation and implementation of an agreement. They are becoming more common in company practice as they aim to provide a level of security in the documentation that is much higher than that achieved by using standard implementation procedures and thus reducing the time and cost that is associated with standard contracting.


 Artificial Intelligence is the ability of a computer to perform an activity, such as visual and speech recognition, which would normally require human intelligence to perform.

Data predicts that within 10 years, every application that runs will contain some element of AI. In business, AI can be used in 3 main ways:

Virtual assistance and information, such as the use of chatbots to help improve customer experience.

Gaining insights from both structured and unstructured data. Approximately 80% of digital data is unstructured, which means that if all of that data can be analysed then much deeper insights into companies and markets can be obtained.

Automation. Time-consuming processes have the potential to be automated. This means that more time can be spent doing work that will have a visible impact.

In 1947, during a debate at the London Mathematical Society, Alan Turing spoke about the potential of intelligent machines and the impact that they may have on jobs. He spoke about the uncertainty of whether the increasing use of AI would result in the creation of jobs or the loss of jobs, as processes became automated, or whether the computers would enable jobs to become more prosperous and interesting as the machines assisted with the more time-consuming work.

Rainmaking Loft…

 Rainmaking Loft is a co-working space for over 200 entrepreneurs in London, with various other locations around the world. They aim to provide start-ups with a great work environment that allows entrepreneurs to further develop their work through collaboration with others in the community. Starting from the 20th of March, the Cloud Foundry/Bluemix Ecosystem Meet-Ups will be held at International House, 1 St Katharine’s Way, London, E1W 1UN.

Future Meet-Ups:

Cloud Foundry/Bluemix Ecosystem – 11th January 2017

The Ecosystem Partner Meet Ups at IBM South Bank exist to promote networking between likeminded companies that have connections to Cloud Foundry and Bluemix. They enable sharing of skills and insight and help companies learn how to better overcome business challenges, drive customer solutions and increase revenue opportunity.

The Software House Catalogue has been created to be a central hub of information about ecosystem partners who have the potential to offer greater insight into certain parts of IBM software that they are working with, such as Watson and IoT. Companies listed on the website must offer an application that either runs on or is deployable to Bluemix. The idea for the website resulted from these series of meetups and the appearance of demand to have a point of contact to gain information on how to develop on Bluemix.

Vikram Shah of AviSpace opened a discussion on what the attendees thought would be the best way for a developer to use Bluemix for their startup; should they build their software on Bluemix and use the software throughout their entire development process, or should they build their software elsewhere and then deploy what they have onto Bluemix. This led to students from Imperial College London and University College London expressed an interest in finding out more about how a developer would go about taking an idea and taking through the stages from concept to deployment in the market.

Market research is one of the key first stages when you have an idea that you want to try and develop. This research will tell you whether there is a gap in the market that your idea could fill, whether there is a need for it and whether there will be any current competition. The following key stages involve obtaining intellectual property, branding and creating a business plan.

One aspect of starting up a company that most startups take is to become part of an accelerator program. These programs are designed to provide extra resources and advice from individuals in the field to boost a startup and give it wider exposure to the community and potential funding.

One of the most important things is having a well-functioning team put together to bring an idea to life from a concept. This is done by finding a team of likeminded individuals who have a passion about a certain industry and who want to solve current issues in that industry. One of the easiest ways to find your team is through meetups, developer forums and hackathons.

A Hackathon is a sprint-type event that encourages computer programmers, graphic designers, interface designers, project manager and other software developers to come together and work on an idea based around a current issue within a specific industry, such as healthcare. Hackathons can be beneficial to startups as it gives them and their idea exposure to the developer community. It also gives them an opportunity to find likeminded developers that they would want to work with on a project in the future.

For more details, please click here