Meet the Staff with Mark Gardner

We’re chatting with one of the key members of the Commercial Team at Transmit Start-Ups, Events & Network Manager Mark Gardener. Chances are if you’ve been to any of the same events as us, you will already have had the pleasure of meeting Mark. Chatty and personable, he’s the ideal personality for his role! But what exactly does an Events & Network Manager do all day? We have a little tete-a-tete with Mark as he takes us through his daily schedule.

What is your current position at Transmit Start-Ups?

Events and Network Manager

Tell us a little about your role and what it entails.

I work as an Events Manager working remotely, and liaise with the Commercial Director about events, exhibitions and workshops to attend as a delegate, exhibitor, speaker or offering one to one meetings and support. Once agreed, I negotiate costs with organisers and organise accommodation, travel and any additional support required from the team along with any relevant literature and equipment required. I attend most of the events around the the UK, engaging and interacting with visitors to the stand to ascertain how Transmit Group could support them. I also engage with other exhibitors to see if there are mutual partnership and cross referral opportunities. A bonus is when people volunteer their time to be mentors to Transmit Start Up loan recipients.

An additional role is to host the Transmit Start-Up Sprint webinars which occur every six weeks or so. This is a short informal and informative presentation about funding options available via Transmit Start Ups, followed by a Q&A session and then arranging one to one’s if required.

As a Network Manager I raise awareness of what support and resources Transmit Group can offer pre-start and existing businesses. Whenever the opportunity arises I onboard potential referral partners for the Start-Up Loans programme, signpost resource partners and mentors to Transmit along with any other relevant opportunities.

What does a typical day at Transmit Start-Ups look like for you?

Travelling to and from an event; setting up, preparing and participating – then the follow ups from any enquiries or meetings. Keeping people engaged and nurturing relationships as some people may take six to twelve months before they are ready to start a business or require funding and support.

What is your background prior to joining Transmit Start-Ups and what made you decide to join the company?

For the last five years, I’ve worked as a freelancer/contractor supporting start ups in a variety of ways: marketing, business development, mentoring. Prior to that fifteen years in the healthcare sector as a sales manager with international medical devices and wound care companies as the person who started a team or helped launch a new product to the marketplace. Prior to that traditional NE business with British Steel and British Coal as a Buyer, production controller, moving into sales, key account management and then as a sales manager setting up a sales office from scratch.

What do you like to do away from the office to relax, do you have any hobbies or other interests?

Some are work(ish) related, currently a Regional Head for the Association of Business Mentors, a host of FuckUp Nights (FUN) in Newcastle. A very amateur photographer/artist, outside of that currently working on a treatment to get funded to produce a short/documentary and attending creative classes or taking short online courses.  

What is it about working with start-ups that you like?

The variety of roles – currently the Events & Network Manager, previously the Mentoring & Partnership Manager and Mentoring Programme Manager. I’m lucky in that I get to travel around the UK attending some great events and have the chance to meet a lot of people from a variety of backgrounds, all passionate about start-up businesses.

When I joined the company back in 2014 it was still a start up with about 9 people in the office, now it is a scale up with 20 people, a few offices on the same floor along with a team in Scotland, and half a dozen or so remote workers like myself!

If you could give one tip to a Start Up Loan applicant what would it be?

If you need help or are struggling -ask for help and advice, many people and organisations are willing to help for free. Get a mentor, a sounding board outside family and friends that can be impartial and honest. Even Richard Branson, Bruce Lee and Luke Skywalker had mentors and look at how successful they were !

If you’re thinking about setting up your own business or need any advice or questions answered on the start-up process, give us a call or drop us an email, we’d love to hear from you!