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Find out how Craig stays top of his game at Enterprise Week

05 March 2018

Enterprise Week is delighted to welcome online gaming sensation and former Derry native Craig Thompson, aka MiniLadd, to the city next week where he will be revealing more about his path to cyber success.

As a voracious Vlogger the former Foyle College pupil has established a dedicated fan base of gaming enthusiasts who follow his gaming channel and all his activity on YouTube, catapulting him to instant online stardom. With 4.6m subscribers, Craig has a captive audience, not to mention an army of followers on social media platforms Instagram and Twitter.

Running from March 5th - 9th Enterprise Week has grown to become the biggest highlight in the North West business calendar and this year’s event features some leading figures across a range of sectors.

Craig will be taking part in the Grow event, taking place on Wednesday March 7th at Ulster University’s Magee Campus, which will focus on the journey of Entrepreneurship, from taking the first leap into the world of business, to growing an established enterprise.

Now based in LA, Craig still calls Eglinton home, and visits his family when he can escape the increasing demands of the virtual world. And with his name now adorning the new Craig Thompson Stadium – formerly City of Derry Rugby Club – it’s good form to show up at a few home games.

On Wednesday Craig will be giving local entrepreneurs the lowdown on how to turn a passion into a profitable business. Speaking before his trip he revealed that he still can’t quite believe that his hobby is now his dream job – and it’s certainly not something he takes for granted.

“It will forever blow my mind the success that I've achieved through gaming,” he admits. “It started as a hobby when I was 16 during the summer to give myself something to do - and now seeing myself with my dream job is a little ridiculous! 

“I think I realised I could make something of it around the time I went to University. I wasn't making enough money to get by but I knew at that point that I had a rapidly growing audience, a lot of connections and a lot of people behind me, and I knew this could blow up into something I couldn't imagine.

“I draw inspiration from everything, through other people’s successes, my own success, music, family, friends. To do well in business, no matter what business you're in, you have to have a lot of self-motivation. You need to have that drive to succeed, and for me, having different avenues of motivation is a big help in getting stuff done!”

When he takes to the stage on Wednesday Craig will be driving home a simple but effective message for anyone starting out – know your stuff!

“The best bit of advice I can give for anyone in any industry, would be, know the business and know the scene,” he insists. “Every industry is different so you need to do your research into what makes your specific industry work. As far as content creation goes, consistency is your best friend. It gives people more chances to discover you and find out what you're all about. For example, you could be making content for years straight and you'll get demotivated (as we all do from time to time) and with that, you quit. During that time, you could have generated content which could have gone viral but because you quit, you didn't give yourself the chance of reaping the rewards of your work. Believe in yourself, you can do it!

“The gaming industry is one of the biggest industries in the world. With so many alternative platforms, and so much money floating around, companies can spend more to make even higher quality games. Paired with the ever-evolving advances in technology, gaming will continue to go from strength to strength, whether you're a competitive player on PC or console or a casual gamer who plays mobile games to pass the time! It's an exciting time to be here.”

And a bit of diversity always helps, as Craig explains. “For me personally, I'm always looking for new ways to improve myself whether it's through content or personally. I'm working on projects behind the scenes to really boost myself up and get my name and brand out there. I’m a music producer in my spare time and my hopes are to try and release some to the world! It's always been a passion of mine so I'd love to take it to the next level. That as well as YouTube content improvements, acting, live shows, charity etc. The list goes on. I'm here to try my hand and everything and love every second of it. I love being creative and through different avenues - I'm living my dream life.”

On the day Craig Thompson will be joining another leading local light in his chosen field - TV Dragon and successful entrepreneur Peter Casey. Also hailing from the city, Peter is both a successful commentator and writer, and heads up Claddagh Resources, a global recruitment and executive search business responsible for placing high-level executives across the globe for many Fortune 500 companies.

To register for the Grow event and to view the full programme for Enterprise Week 2018 and to register please visit www.derrystrabane.com/enterpriseweek Places are limited for each event so please register as soon as possible.

For further updates on this year’s events and activities in the run-up to Enterprise Week 2018 please visit the Facebook page Business Support Derry Strabane.