This season’s Entrepreneurship Guest Lecture Series started off with Charles Armstrong, founder and CEO of Trampoline Systems LTD. UCL Classics student Carolina Mostert summarises the talk below.
Trampoline Systems LTD – Background
After studying Social and Political Sciences at Cambridge, Charles was mentored by one of Britain’s greatest architects, Lord Young of Dartington. At present, he can boast “lots of different hats”: alongside Trampoline Systems LTD, he also directs The Trampery, East London’s premier co-working and events space, and One Click Orgs, an open-source project which in March 2011 launched the world’s first platform for virtual organisations. In his own words, he was an entrepreneur since he was “a little kiddy”: at the age of seven he made his first business by renting out his eraser to his school peers. “That was the first thing I remember doing that smells of entrepreneurship”, he says.
Charles’s very first career had to do with music. He used to run different bands and work with the social entrepreneur Michael Young in the 1940s. Together, they set up a school for social entrepreneurs: “I can’t help myself from setting things up”, Charles explained. Charles’s social entrepreneurship, or “social brain” as he likes to say, was the starting point for his biggest project, Trampoline Systems, created with a friend from Cambridge. After spending time on the island of St Pancreas, whose population numbered about 80 people in total, Charles was convinced of how effective the decision-making system of tiny communities was. He therefore tried to recreate it in the larger community in which he lived. Thus, Trampoline Systems LTD came about: a software developer which specialises in analyzing large-scale social networks. One of the first main goals of Trampoline Systems was to waste as little time as possible. For instance, corporate articles are rewritten in a digital way that is acceptable to the government: by using machines, it cuts on bureaucratic time-consuming actions.