Chris Haslam

Technology Leader. Open Source. Investor.

I discovered Open source at University and haven't looked back since.

Whilst juggling a Software engineering degree I started Security Forums with a friend, that became a popular and well respected community covering IT security, and was later acquired by a larger established network. This gave me my first insight into open source contribution and sharing, as I contributed to phpBB from financial contributions to helping others on IRC, and advocating use of the software. During these years I taught myself Linux using every opportunity to use open source software, especially around hosting and networking

My placement year at University was at Liverpool agency Mando Group, to which I returned after graduating. Despite my education being largely based around programming, I quickly found my interests lay in infrastructure. I spent a few years in IT support, progressing to running internal networks and production hosting infrastructures. I couldn’t have asked for a better start to my IT career, and learned how important trust and integrity are in business; core values I maintain to this day.

In 2003 I moved to a startup after the dot-com bubble that wanted to make medical records available online. I set up the cross-platform hosting for the product and ran the internal infrastructure. Everything looked good with a working product, exposure & press with a management team who had previously built and exited medical companies. Unfortunately funding ran out and the company closed (the DH couldn’t solve the problem with billions either).

This gave me the opportunity to startup myself, and I co-founded Ixis. We used Drupal for the first web project and quickly decided to use it for all future builds. We bootstrapped the business with no external funding, doing a mixture of IT consultancy, web builds and hosting. After a few years we focused exclusively on Drupal, and hit the 10 year milestone whilst contributing back via a mixture of code, financially, helping others and evangelism.

I took Ixis to a 20 strong technical Drupal agency helping large organisations and companies build, scale and manage their Drupal applications. My role also evolved from being a technical hands-on sys admin to sales, growth and commercials. In 2017 I completed a management buy-out

I have also been involved building two other communities, that were also both acquired. My involvement was initially around the build and technical side, but then moved into growth and monetisation.

In 2016 I invested in 15 early stage companies, and have continued to invest in further seed rounds including M14 industries and Teacherly. I've also invested in multiple crowdsourced rounds including Monzo, Kraken & Boulder Hut.

During 2017 I co-founded WA Digital and provided mentoring to various start-ups, and helped launch a gaming community in Warrington.

In 2018 I setup open source consultancy exit(0); and have worked on projects including digital agency advisory, technical consultancy, platform migration and cryptocurrency contributions.

News & Mentions

Sep 2017 - WA Digital launches - Tech Nation
May 2017 - Ixis completes Management Buyout - Prolific North / Bdaily
Dec 2016 - Manchester agency Ixis completes two-year web infrastructure project for the British Council - Prolific North
Nov 2016 - Ixis makes city centre move - Manchester Evening news
Feb 2015 - Ixis recognised by Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office - LinkedIn / Twitter
Nov 2014 - Ixis in the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 - Deloitte / Ixis
Oct 2014 - Ixis secures two-year contract with the British Council - Prolific North
Oct 2014 - Insider 42 under 42 - Insider Media
Jun 2014 - Expansion for North West web specialist Ixis - Bdaily
Nov 2012 - Ixis announces Leafish acquisition - The Drum