About me

My first business was Plastic Raygun records, set up with friends soon after graduating. I spent the following years travelling the world as one half of Phantom Beats, releasing records, DJing for hundreds of thousands of drunk people, and having a top ten hit with one of our artists. And that was the start….

I am now a creative and digital/tech industries consultant, working with lots of organisations (including Downing Street, Tech City, Welsh Government, Cardiff Council etc), and delivering talks on creative business etc…

I’m the founder and managing director of Dizzyjam, an ecommerce and merchandising service for the independent music industry.

I’m a co-founder of Cardiff Start, a network of digital and tech startups in the city. A bit of backround here.

I was also the founder of NOCCI, global network of creative, entrepreneurial, or just downright interesting folks. I founded this in 2007 but it is currently on an indefinite hiatus.

I sit on the board of directors for the Welsh Music Foundation, helping it represent, support and develop the commercially viable music sector in Wales.

Alongside Claire Scantlebury I founded Ignite Cardiff, a regular informal community event that encourages people to share their ideas, passions and thoughts in 5 minute rapid-fire talks, and TEDxCardiff an event that brings world class speakers to Cardiff in order to inspire, inform and entertain. Both events are free, and organised voluntarily to encourage networking and knowledge transfer among the creative, web and business communities.

In early 2009 I set up a quick, temporary wifi map just for Cardiff, but the idea rapidly expanded to other cities and other countries. I am now in the process of setting up a global wifi map with Chris Duran. He lives in Australia, and we have never met. An internet business in the truest sense! It will be a “wikipedia of wifimaps”, and truly user generated.

I’m an occasional social media trainer (but very much don’t consider myself a true expert) and have helped my friend DK deliver sessions all over Europe to the likes of UNICEF.

I’m also training for a triathlon, and tend to like doing something a bit physically challenging each year. The more outrageous the better. 100km endurance walks and marathons completed I’m looking for 2011’s challenge already. Got an idea for skiing across the arctic circle, or walking to Outer Mongolia in moon boots? Let me know, as I might want to join you!

There’s lots of other bits and pieces. If you’d like to know more just get in touch…

23 Responses to “About me”

  1. Nigel Robinson 8 September, 2009 at 9:35 pm #

    Hi Neil

    Your note in the tent made me laugh! Hope your on good form thought i would say hi

    All the best


  2. noreen blanluet 10 October, 2009 at 12:06 pm #

    Hi Neil,
    Any chance you could add the option to subscribe to your blog by email? I’m too erractic in checking my Reader but would love to keep abreast of your writings easily (and lazily) by having them plonk into my inbox…
    Hope you’re good, take care :)


  3. Neil Cocker 13 October, 2009 at 8:03 am #

    Hi Nigel,

    Only just seen your comment. Hello!

    Noreen. That’s added. Let me know if it does/doesn’t work for you.


  4. Marc Heatley 28 May, 2010 at 12:16 am #

    Amazing what you find out innit. Just had a look at (and updated a couple of venues on) the Cardiff WiFi map.

    Great resource.

    • Neil Cocker 28 May, 2010 at 10:56 am #

      Thanks Marc!

      Brand new Wifimap site coming veeeery soon…

      Coffee/pint sometime?

  5. Adam wyatt 7 June, 2010 at 2:40 pm #

    Hi Neil

    Caught your talk at the Bath camp last week, very entertaining. I work with a couple of record labels (NRK and SUAD) so it was interesting to hear your story. If you should need any design or know of any labels that do be sure to give me a shout.



    • Neil Cocker 7 June, 2010 at 5:14 pm #

      Thanks Adam. Glad you liked the talk!

      Like your site – good stuff…

      Will bear you in mind for future projects.



  6. Samantha Minas 21 July, 2010 at 9:29 am #

    Hi Neil

    Would like to meet up and talk about mentoring. In the process of setting up a mentoring programme for young social entrepreneurs in Wales.

    Cheers Sam

  7. liveincardiff 29 September, 2010 at 1:13 pm #

    Hey Neil,

    I am really impressed by your wifi service having found it while compiling my own, and I was hoping you could permit me to embed it on my website, with full credit given of course!

    I am working on an events listing website for Cardiff, which offers fully comprehensive listing on behalf of the venues, along with all sorts of other information services, and it seems like you are a guy who knows Cardiff very well! I would be very grateful for any feedback you could offer. The address is liveincardiff.co.uk and is still work in progress, but the information side of things is starting to take shape. My email address is liveincardiff[at]gmail if you feel the need to contact me directly!

    I hope you’re well,


  8. Rhodri Thomas 21 October, 2010 at 9:08 am #

    Hello Neil

    Will we be seeing you at the Emergence conference on the 28th October in Cardiff?

    I have sent e-mails to Dizzyjam giving details.

    This will be a rare opportunity to meet with two leaders in sustainability and the arts in an intimate seminar setting – Alison Tickell, Director of Julie’s Bicycle and Paul Allen, Director of The Centre For Alternative Technology (CAT).

    Julie’s Bicycle have pioneered an analysis of the environmental impacts of bands, orchestras and touring theatrical and dance productions and now support the creative industries with practical tools for reducing their impacts and hence saving money.
    CAT have been offering alternative visions of the future based on technological innovation for the last thirty years. Their Zero Carbon Britain report describes in detail the journey to a more sustainable future. Paul is challenging artists to develop positive visions of the future instead of the dystopian nightmares depicted by films such as Age of Stupid and The Day After Tomorrow.

    John McGarth of National Theatre Wales will conduct his own analysis and there will be plenty of opportunity to share opinions and perspectives.

    The arts and creative industries have a heavy impact on the environment and this is often overlooked. But this is one industry which can have a disproportionately positive impact. Change is coming whether we like it or not but we can be masters of that change if we embrace the cultural changes that accompany technological and environmental change. So if the arts don’t have something to say about the greatest threat humanity has yet faced then are they simply there for entertainment and the vanity of self expression?

    Emergence is a Cynnal Cymru – Sustain Wales project developed in partnership with British Council and supported by Chapter, The RSA Fellowship, Culture Colony and UE Solutions Ltd.

    • Neil Cocker 21 October, 2010 at 9:42 am #

      Hi Rhodri,

      I’m afraid I can’t make the event next week, but it looks very good.

      I didn’t receive any email (can you try again to neil@… and I’ll tweet out about it).



  9. Gareth Daniel 16 November, 2010 at 7:01 pm #

    Hiya Neil

    I have recently set up my business Altern8media Ltd, we work with artists to develop and deliver promotional campaigns for our clients.

    I follow you on Twitter and was a member of Nocci so am aware of your expertise and experience.

    If possible I would really like to meet with you and discuss what Altern8media is all about as I think you may be interested and hopefully we can strike up a mutually beneficial relationship.

    Please take a look at the site and I look forward to hearing from you!

    Kind Regards
    Gareth Daniel
    07825 836 773

  10. Seymor Arse aka ade 5 October, 2011 at 7:12 pm #


    Hi Neil, its ade from way back in the day when you guys did the student night at the Emporium and you decided having us 5 guys (Jockstraps) would be a goood idea! Well as you know it was but that another story, I am after some help please. Chris aka Guy Normass is heading to Sydney to live and work and play!! We are all meeting up end of October in Manchester and are planning on giving him a fab leaving present and I really need any photos old flyers etc you or any of the others may have. You can contact me on my work e-mail reception@heywoodmount.co.uk I would love to catch up thanks pal. Rememeber the Brittany Spears night….Zeus is sh*T being chanted by 800 students:) hope to speak soon thank you Ade

  11. Louis 14 November, 2013 at 11:38 am #

    man, you RULE, BIG fan of your work

  12. Louis 14 November, 2013 at 11:40 am #

    A couple of New Jersey hunters are out in the woods when one of them falls to the ground. He doesn’t seem to be breathing, his eyes are rolled back in his head. The other guy whips out his cell phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps to the operator: “My friend is dead! What can I do?”

    The operator, in a calm soothing voice says: “Just take it easy. I can help. First, let’s make sure he’s dead.” There is a silence, then a shot is heard.

    The guy’s voice comes back on the line. He says: “OK, now what?“

    • Louis 14 November, 2013 at 11:41 am #

      Good one louis

      • Louis 14 November, 2013 at 11:43 am #

        oh thanks ma, you’re awesome

  13. Katherine 9 November, 2014 at 12:40 am #

    Hello Neil! I am Katherine doing journalism in Cardiff University and I am so interested in your experience. Is there any chance that I can interview you? I would be really appreciate if you agree to. Contact me please!


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