My Week: Mat Clayton of Mixcloud

The Mixcloud co-founder on paying license fees, working with other startups and Cambridge's tech scene.

Last Updated: 10 Sep 2010
I live a 10-15 minute walk from my office in Cambridge, so when I wake up I the morning, I pretty much just walk straight in. At the moment, I work in Redgate’s office – they help start-ups out by giving us free desk and office space (plus a free breakfast and lunch).
I’m in an unusual situation, in that my two co-founders, Nikhil and Nico, are based in London, while I’m based in Cambridge. So we usually start the day with an all-team conference call at 10am. With me working remotely, it really helps out because I then know what I need to produce.
One of the biggest challenges we have at the moment is cash – unlike a lot of tech businesses, we don’t have funding. In fact, we’ve turned a couple of offers down, because at the time, they just weren’t the right fit. We’re lucky that we’re not in a position where we need to raise capital and can bide our time. But obviously, cashflow is always an issue. Mixcloud is in one of the most competitive spaces – paying license fees, for instance, is expensive – but it really keeps you focused on making sure that ends meet every month.
This weekend we took part in Music Hackday at the Guardian offices. A bunch of music start-ups get together and they invite users to come along and design stuff on top of their APIs. It was pretty exciting – we got a couple of guys building interesting stuff for us. One guy built an iPad app, which was great. The event went on all Saturday and into Sunday; people who were really keen even stayed overnight.

On Monday, I went to a session in a pub where a bunch of guys in the online field – programmers, etc – have a drink and chat about what’s going on. We get quite a lot of high-profile companies turning up. On Monday we had a couple of guys from the Guardian, and a few other people from large-scale sites. Then on Friday, I’m off to another event called CamJelly, where a load of start-ups and freelancers and home-workers all work in one office for the afternoon.

Cambridge actually has quite a good tech scene at the moment. It hasn’t quite taken off yet, but we’ve got the right kind of talent coming out of the university, and there’s lots of stuff going on. It’s been threatening to happen for the past few years – but everyone’s finally decided to start talking to each other, which means they’re all exchanging information and knowledge. It’s quite an exciting time, actually. Although it is still very much overshadowed by London…

Mat Clayton is the co-founder of Mixcloud, an online radio site.

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