How two mad guys raised £2,000 for charity at ChristmasCrunch

So to explain: ChristmasCrunch this week featured a charity auction. It’s important to give back at this time of year, and it seemed obvious to auction off a LDNnudetech calendar which had created so much buzz this year for the IT-suporting charity TakeHeartIndia.

But this was no ordinary copy – it was one signed by all the ‘models’ featured. So Milo Yiannopoulos, who’d started the whole project, started the bidding and we thought it would hit maybe £500.

But the bidding just went on and on. And apart from raising a lot of money for charity, it actually became quite fascinating as the numbers just went higher and higher. In the end there were two bidders left who seemed intent on just beating eachother out.

They were entrepreneur and angel investor Steve Kennedy, and Stewart Townsend, head of the Sun Startups Essential programme for EMEA. In the end the bidding had to stop and they were both promised a signed copy of the calendar. Plus I said I’d give them their ‘5 mins of fame’ on the blog for being such good sports and raising £2,000 (£1,000 per calendar) for the charity. This happens but once a year, so here you go guys:

Stewart Townsend, who runs Sun’s Startup Essentials group in Europe, the Middle East and Africa says “It was a mad night, and I now own a very expensive calendar, but for a fantastic cause indeed.” Stewart works with startups, to help support them moving forward, by offering technical support as well as commercial support at Sun. He runs events, gives startups PR, and wants Sun to be “a helping supportive vendor” to startups, like with their servers. Most of the events they do are in their office in London and average of 4-6 a month – a central london location for free for people in the tech space.

Steve Kennedy has been in the industry for over 20 years. Initially designing hardware and programming in the medical electronics industry, then a stint at Cellnet (allegedly as a programmer, but rapidly moving into systems admin and network admin, designing and rolling out their wide area tcp/ip network in the early ’90s). After 5 years of trying to persuade Cellnet that the Internet was going to be big and being told that no-one would ever want the Internet at home let alone on their mobile phone Steve joined a small start-up called Demon Internet in 1994 and helped it grow to the largest consumer ISP. Demon was consumed by Scottish Telecom to become THUS. He had a variety of jobs at Demon/THUS (such as Head of Product Futures) eventually leaving for Textic in a business development product/technology role and investor. Steve has invested in several companies including Inkd, Rummble and Spoonfed as an Angel, is helping Speedsell get investment and is involved in a couple of stealth start-ups. He also occassionally writes for websites and trade press and blogs.