Jason Fitzpatrick of the Centre for Computing History is to meet with one of the single most influential figures behind its collection to seek more funding as the museum gathers a head of steam in its ambitions to set up in Cambridge.
He will hope to weave some of the same magic with Hermann Hauser that saw him unexpectedly land early stage US investor and entrepreneur, Brad Feld, as a backer following an opportunistic pitch to investors at the Springboard programme.
Fitzpatrick blagged five minutes to talk about the museum back in July at the Springboard investors day before the official startup pitches and, as it transpires, landed himself an investor.
He didn't realise Feld, their as the guest speaker, was taking it all in. Quoted in the museum's announcement of the funding, Feld said: "Jason's presentation provided a snapshot of what has been achieved so far and the short summary was enough to afford a fascinating insight into the vision behind the project and convince me that Cambridge is the obvious location for a stand alone museum of this nature.
"The USA has a first-class computer museum appropriately situated at Palo Alto in Silicon Valley. Cambridge is at the heart of Silicon Fen, the UK's, if not Europe's, leading technology cluster. The city has played - and continues to play - such a vital role in the history of computing."
Fitzpatrick says Hauser has been a supporter of the museum idea from the outset, but has held off discussing funding opportunities until a site could be found. "He said find a building then we can talk about what money we need," said Fitzpatrick.
Following a couple of leads which didn't work out, Fitzpatrick says negotiations are now underway on a 10,000 sq ft site on Coldham's Road, and the meeting, which is planned for next week, can go ahead Hauser.
Fitzpatrick says the museum idea is much like a startup and that it will involve something of a leap of faith as it will only be after the launch that it can prove itself.
While the Centre, commonly referred to as the computer museum, has been close to finding other sites, they have either required too much work or not been large enough.
The museum, which already has the backing of Red Gate Software, Arm and Microsoft Research, now has enough funds to move to Cambridge and cover rents and rates for at least one year. The idea is to become sustainable by building the museum into something beyond just a display and eventually generate enough revenues to move to a larger and better site.
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