Alastair Mitchell founded Huddle.net with business partner Andy McLoughlin in November 2006. Since inception, the firm has gone from strength to strength, attracting $4m of funding from Eden Ventures, doubling in size every two months and growing from four staff last year to 28 in 2009. Mitchell handles the commercial side of the company, while McLoughlin focusses on the product. But Mitchell would rather be the geek than the commercial guy when the pair go to the US. "We spend a lot of time in Silicon Valley," says Mitchell. "The culture there is totally different from Britain. It’s cool to be a geek over there. If you go to a bar, there’ll be a group of girls done up to the nines, really pretty girls, but they’e not there to meet the guys working in finance, they want to meet the next Bill Gates. It’s the guy in glasses, preferably wearing sandals, that gets their attention." Alastair Mitchell is one of the short-listed candidates for the Growing Business Awards "Young Company of the Year" category. He was interviewed by our panel of judges yesterday, including Will "King of Shaves" King, billionaire entrepreneur John Caudwell and investment guru Vin Murria. But it’s little wonder he emerged from his grilling calm and collected. "The judges all want to use Huddle for our nomination packs next year," admits Real Business editorial director Matthew Rock, who sat in on the panel discussion. "They hate getting the huge printed packs and love the look of Huddle." Will Mitchell take home the coveted "Young Company" prize? Join us at the Growing Business Awards on 26 November and find out!
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