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About me

Biography

Neil is a British entrepreneur and startup mentor who has been working across Europe, most notably in the Balkans, for several years. His background in the music industry led to him starting a series of tech businesses in the merchandise sector. He has bootstrapped three businesses to six-figure revenues.

His first business was a record label, on which he was also a DJ and producer. He toured the world for several years before closing the label to be the co-founder of Dizzyjam, an e-commerce and merchandising service for the independent music industry, and RampTshirts.com, the smartest online service for buying promotional merchandise for events and businesses.

As a creative and digital/tech industries consultant, startup mentor, and startup ecosystem developer, Neil has also worked with many international organizations and governments, including Downing Street and Buckingham Palace. He sat on the boards of the Welsh Music Foundation and and Ffilm Cymru Wales. As co-founder and organiser of the TEDxCardiff conference he built its reputation to the point that it would regularly sell out in under 1 minute. As co-founder of Cardiff Start, Wales’s largest startup community, he has been recognised with an “Outstanding Contribution to Cardiff ” award.

Earlier this year, Neil devised and oversaw an innovative cold email campaign that has brought the Ramp Tshirts many new customers, international attention (over 100,000 have read about the campaign), and has been written about in multiple languages as an example of how you can test smart marketing campaigns with zero budget.

p.s. If you’ve Googled me, you’ve almost certainly seen that I have a Wikipedia entry. And it’s WAY bigger than I deserve. I just want to make it publicly known that I had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that it’s more in depth than some gold medal winning Olympians and billionaire entrepreneurs! My ego isn’t quite that big. I’m happy to expand on how I think it happened. Just ask..

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Photos are here. To download click on any pic, and choose from the options in the top right. All pics taken by the marvellous Dan Green.

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Press & other relevant links

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/discover-happiest-and-unhappiest-areas-6745866

http://elitebusinessmagazine.co.uk/analysis/item/ten-business-lessons-entrepreneurs-can-learn-from-batman

https://www.theguardian.com/small-business-network/2015/nov/27/tech-startups-wales-digital-clusters-cardiff

https://www.freshbusinessthinking.com/fresh-business-thinking-power-100/

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-40889804

https://gwionthorpe.wordpress.com/2011/06/01/neil-cocker/

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/business/business-news/welsh-businesses-worried-how-brexit-12812634

A webinar delivered to 100+ Macedonian entrepreneurs during the Coronavirus lockdown.
“The future of music merch” – at Music Tech Fest London
An overview of the issues facing Cardiff’s tech startups. 2013.

24 replies on “About me”

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 🙂

Noreen

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

Great resource.

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.

cheers

Adam

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,

Gareth

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.

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).

Cheers!

Neil

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

JOCKSTRAP 5

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

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?“

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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