We have a fantastic #MeetandEat scheduled for Tuesday 6th May.

Eleanor Ford, Head of Innovation at Time Out and Founder of LikeCube will be joining us and providing an inspiring after dinner talk on her experiences of founding LikeCube and being acquired by Time Out.

LikeCubeTimeoutEleanor founded LikeCube in 2006, following her frustration at the lack of sources for personalised recommendations for travellers. LikeCube provided innovative recommendation, personalisation and data intelligence solutions, primarily for the leisure industry.

Eleanor won support and initial finance from the National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts (NESTA), as part of their prestigious ‘Creative Pioneer Programme’ and went on to build an award-winning team (including a world leader in Computer Science and experts in Semantics and Scalability) and cutting-edge technology. Eleanor won Silver Award at the 2007 British Female Inventor and Innovator of the Year Awards, was a Finalist in the Blackberry Women & Technology Awards 2008 and was profiled in the January 2010 edition of WiredUK.

LikeCube was acquired by Time Out in July 2011.

Eleanor is now Head of Innovation at Time Out.

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Eleanor has valuable experience and insights to share. Grab your chance to talk to Eleanor one on one about your business over a delicious meal.

You can book your place at the dinner here, or check out other upcoming dinners here.

We met Matt and Chris at our entrepreneurs’ dinner with Tom Maddocks as after-dinner speaker. A bit more about them and their company, We Are 5K.

DesignreviewgroupWhat’s the elevator pitch for your business?

We are a purposely small, independently owned digital design agency based in Shoreditch, East London. We specialise in the design of digital services; working with a mix of digital applications across mobile, tablets and new technology interfaces. We combine extensive big agency experience with a boutique approach to client relationships.

What were you doing before you launched your business?

I have been delivering digital products for the last 8 years across mobile, tablets, iPTV and beyond. Once a developer / designer, I then moved on to managing large scale design and development teams for clients such as Channel 4, Intel and Virgin media for my previous employer

Where did you meet your co-founders?

I met Chris and James whilst working at ustwo, a design studio which we saw grow rapidly over a short period of time. The three of us wanted to get back to that small studio feel, whilst retaining the big company delivery standards that we had become accustomed to.  So at the beginning of 2012 we handed in our notice and each invested £5,000 (hence 5K) to get the business off the ground.

What’s your biggest ‘hindsight’ moment?

Choosing a bar as our first office – too much temptation!

What will 2014 bring?

The launch of VELA: our self initiated application for sailing enthusiasts. It’s a tool that sits across your tablet and the ReconJet to provide a connected ecosystem for the sailing community, both on and off the water. The tablet experience allows you to plan, share and sync your sailing activities, giving you access to live information through the Recon Jet glasses as you sail. Check out the concept video here: www.go-vela.com

Alongside this we will continue to design great digital solutions for our existing and new clients.

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1 piece of advice for someone starting a business in the your space?

Define your goals and values as a company before you do anything else. For us, the first three months were tough. We didn’t want to take any clients with us from our old company and as we had a clear idea of the type of projects we wanted to take on, we ended up turning down certain opportunities, even if it meant working unpaid out of a makeshift office in a private member’s club as a result.

Convince someone to use your product/service in under 50 words.

We design simple and elegant solutions to complex services, by constantly questioning and evolving our design process. We deliver the highest quality visual design and ensure the UX is best in class. Most importantly, we value our relationships with our clients and aim to deliver the highest levels of service by making them part of the team.

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What’s your favourite London restaurant?

Tricky one, as I am a bit of a foody. I am a big fan of Hawksmoor. The surf n turf is my absolute favourite and the bone marrow they do there is delicious. One place I recently went to was Tohbang, a Korean restaurant in Clerkenwell. Great food and pretty reasonably priced.

We Are 5K Director’s Bios

Matt Pollitt, 5K, Managing Director, London

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Matt has been delivering digital products for the last 8 years across mobile, tablets, iPTV and beyond. Once a developer / designer,  Matt moved on to managing large scale design and development teams for clients such as Channel 4, Intel and Virgin media for his previous employer, before leaving to set up 5K with Chris and James at the beginning of 2012. Two years on he is now fortunate enough to spend everyday working with a team of nine passionate designers and support staff delivering pixel perfect, engaging experiences across digital platforms for some of the biggest brands in the UK and Europe.

James Bracher, 5K, Creative Director, London

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James is the Creative Director of 5K, leading and directing creatively focused digital design products. With over 9 years industry experience, James has worked with many large international brands on a wide range of successful, cross-platform applications, branding, motion graphics and video projects.

At 5K, James is not only the inspirational leader to the design team, but also a hands-on senior designer, ensuring the highest standards of creative output on every project.

Chris Matlub, Operations Director, London

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Chris is the Operations Director of 5K, ensuring that all of our projects are professionally managed, transparently tracked and delivered to big agency standards. His 10 + years of experience in the digital industry include overseeing the production of video games for various platforms and ensuring delivery of large scale mobile projects such as the Barclays Pingit application on iPhone and the H&M application on iPhone and iPad.

Since founding 5K in 2012 with Matt and James, Chris has helped to structure an agile approach to creative workflows, with an inclusive approach to making sure our clients are involved in every step of our projects.

It was great to meet the team and hope to see them again at a future TableCrowd dinner!

We are looking forward to our upcoming #MeetandEat. This time it’s for people working in FinTech startups & those aspiring to move into the space. The dinner is happening on Wednesday 30th April at The Green in Clerkenwell.

The after dinner talk and Q&A is with Michael Kent, FinTech entrepreneur, investor and founder of Azimo the London based global mobile and internet money transfer company.

Azimo MKAfter beginning his career in the financial service practice at Accenture, Michael held senior positions M&A positions at WPP and News Corp before founding the Small World Financial Services Group. He grew the business from inception to be Europe’s largest independent money transfer company with over $4.5bn annual transactions. He went to Cambridge University and got an MBA from INSEAD.

Michael has a wealth of experience to share on fundraising, regulation, deal-making and his journey so far as an entrepreneur in the financial services sector.

If FinTech is your thing, then do come along and take the opportunity to talk to Michael one on one about your project over a delicious meal.

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You can book your place at the dinner here, or check out other upcoming dinners here.

Thanks to our partners for supporting this dinner, Taylor Wessing and Blick Rothenberg.

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We’re always pleased when people manage to network successfully at our networking dinners. It validates our raisen d’etre!

We’re really excited to have been the forum for evvnt to meet Event Sneaker. They met at our dinner for events startups and within days, evvnt acquired Event Sneaker in a shares deal. Together they will be a very powerful force in the events industry. You can read the full story here.

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We’d love to hear more stories on your experiences about who you met, what you did and whether it made you happy. Reach us at hello@tablecrowd.com or @tablecrowd.

We have partnered with My Beauty Compare  and founder Nidhima Kohli to host a #MeetandEat for BeautyTech startups. Its happening on Tuesday 29th April at Central Working, Google Campus and is a chance for London’s beauty startups & beauty journalists and high profile bloggers to break bread, network, share experiences & contacts.

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My Beauty Compare finds the best beauty products for your profile. It combines the world’s premier beauty price comparison site together with your beauty profile to deliver personalised best product matches out of the 1,500+ skin care, makeup, body, hair and fragrance brands they work with.

We’ve invited 10 startups and each is bringing a journalist or high profile blogger as their guest.

Let’s meet & eat!

If you would like an invite, please get in touch at hello@tablecrowd.com or @tablecrowd.

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Introducing Zomato and Kimberly Hurd who we met at our recent FoodTech startups dinner.

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What’s the elevator pitch for your startup?

Zomato helps anyone who loves food and drink to never say ‘the usual’ again.   

We are the go-to source for restaurant information and help people make smart and personalised decisions for whatever type of eating or drinking experience they are in the mood for. In London alone, we list in-depth information for over 20,000 restaurants ranging from menus, photos, ratings and reviews to over 30 other details like the modes of payment they accept and opening times.  

For instance, we are the only way to find a restaurant open at 7am, which is dog friendly, serves ginger ice cream, has outdoor seating, and takes credit cards.

Whether you are looking for a local kebab shop for a quick takeaway or the most recent Michelin starred restaurant for a special evening, you’ll find it on Zomato.   

What were you doing before you joined Zomato to head UK?

Before joining Zomato, I was a Director at the World Gold Council, responsible for global product, partner, and market development in the financial services and have over 10 years’ experience in growth strategy, product management, and new product development in Asia, Europe, Mexico, and the US.  After exploring the world through my love of food, I came to London to do my MBA   at London Business School – which is how I became interested in entrepreneurship and start-ups.

What’s your biggest ‘hindsight’ moment?

Not starting sooner.  

What will 2014 bring?

International expansion, product development and team growth. 

We’ve launched a revamped version of our product on 9th April – the changes were commissioned based on feedback which mostly came from our UK consumer base. Zomato now allows users to build and rely on their own network of trusted social recommendations. 2014 promises to be a good year for us otherwise too – we’re expanding into continental Europe, with Portugal and the Czech Republic already in the works, and continuing to expand in the UK – estimating 3x growth in the UK alone.

1 piece of advice for someone starting a business in the food space?

No market is so saturated that a good idea and a passionate and energetic team can’t crack it. If you have an idea that you believe in, go for it. Find the right people and the rest will follow.

Convince someone to use your product/service in under 50 words.

Where can you get halal and vegetarian friendly brunch with a roof terrace and a bar on the 1 sunny day in London? Where do you go next for a quick bite and the last drink when the pub closes at midnight?  Who serves maple bacon burgers?  We know you have specific dining and drinking wants and Zomato has the answers. 

What’s your favourite startup in the food space (not including your own)?

Startups in the mobile payment and loyalty card space – hard to narrow it down, watching: TabbedOut, YoYo, Zapper, and Spleat just to name a few.  

What’s your favourite London restaurant?

I don’t believe in A favourite – you’d have to be more specific :)

Logo_500px X 500pxIt was great to meet Zomato and to hear more about their business. You can read more startup spotlights here.

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It was great to see Jessica and Anna, founders of Alkame Smoothies at last week’s Food Startups dinner. Here’s a bit more about them and their business.

What’s the elevator pitch for your startup?

Alkame Smoothies makes fresh green smoothies. Our smoothies are packed full of natural ingredients and contain mainly leafy greens and some fresh fruit. They are additive and preservative free and contain an abundance of vitamins, minerals and fibre.  Alkame’s aim is to offer a green smoothies and health food (think chia seed puddings, raw brownies and vegan cakes) delivery service to corporates in the city to offer a hit of healthy goodness to those keen for greens and non processed snacks while stuck in an office. We hope to then open up individual drops to areas such as Notting Hill and Chelsea.

What were you doing before you launched your startup?

Both of us started out as lawyers in the City. Anna still is working for a US law firm and Jessica is working part time alongside Alkame.

Where did you meet?

We met at university and have been friends ever since.

What’s your biggest ‘hindsight’ moment?

We are pre launch, so nothing major as yet. I would say one hindsight moment would have been the time initially spent worrying about the name and logo. I think we procrastinated a bit on that, when we should have been worrying about it less and cracking on with the idea!

What will 2014 bring?

Good things hopefully! 2014 is a big year for Alkame Smoothies as we are hoping to launch in the next couple of months. We are targeting a number of corporates in the City for our delivery service as well as the health and wellness community. We are also speaking to some coffee shops about possibly stocking our smoothies, which is exciting.

1 piece of advice for someone starting a business in the foodtech space?

Get in touch with the rest of the foodie community, we have found that people are very approachable, encouraging and supporting willing to share ideas.

Convince someone to use your product/service in under 50 words.

Fresh, green and delicious smoothies made from all natural ingredients and full of leafy greens that provide an abundance of vitamins, minerals and fibre as well as a natural energy boost.  What more could you want from a smoothie?

What’s your favourite startup in the foodtech space (not including your own)?

The Whole Pantry (health food blogger turned app maker) and Graze

What’s your favourite London restaurant?

Petersham Nurseries in Richmond as the food is fresh and delicious and the setting is lovely. The Dock Kitchen in West London is another favourite. Jessica is holding her wedding there in the summer. The food is again, fresh and delicious and the setting is really cool and design led (being owned by Tom Dixon).

You can read more startup spotlights here.

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We are very much looking forward to our Sharing Economy startups #MeetandEat. The table is booked for Thursday 24th April and the venue is The Green in Clerkenwell.

With Global Sharing Day on 1st June fast approaching, we wanted to bring our Sharing Economy startups together over a good meal. We’ve partnered with Compare and Share to host this dinner and Benita Matofska, will be our after-dinner speaker.

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Benita is Founder and Chief Sharer of The People Who Share, a global campaign to build a Sharing Economy and the pioneers behind Global Sharing Day. She’s also Founder of Compare and Share the world’s first comparison marketplace of the Sharing Economy. Dedicated to social innovation and the power of ideas, she is the winner of the Ogunte Women’s Social Leadership Awards for Best Social Business Leader UK & World 2013, Winner of the Natwest Venus Business Awards in the category of Inspirational Woman 2013, an RSA Fellow, an Innovator in the Finance Innovation Lab, an Innovator in WWF’s food sustainability initiative, Tasting the Future and pioneer of future conscious business models via her work with UnLtd Future. Her 25-year career spans broadcasting, communications, business development, community development and charity campaigns.

Do come along to meet Benita and to talk one on one about what you’re working on, over a delicious meal.

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You can book your place at the dinner here, or check out other upcoming dinners here.

Thanks to our partner, Rackspace.

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Last night we dined at The Yard in Shoreditch. One of TableCrowd’s old favourites, one of the reasons being the yards of pizza which are great for sharing!

We were joined by some regulars as well as some new faces including Get2Growth, One Fine Stay, Bla Bla Car, DreamScape, BMG Connections, My Car Gossip, Mendeley, My Dog Buddy, StepUp.io, Pinipa, Lowdown and others.

Our after dinner speaker was Tom Maddocks. You’ll probably know Tom from his former role as a reporter on BBC2’s ‘The Money Programme’. He is acknowledged as one of the UK’s leading authorities on media training and presentation coaching. He has over twenty years’ experience as a journalist and broadcaster, working in TV, radio and the national press. Tom shared some gems on how to get journalists interested in your business, including the merits of using a PR rather than going it alone, the importance of great soundbites, showing an interesting trend through running a consumer survey, using external events to help build your story and piggy backing on existing stories to capture the interest of the press. All really useful stuff and helpful for the businesses in the room.

Here are a few photos from the dinner for you to enjoy:

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photo 1 (2)xThank you to everyone that joined the evening and do keep an eye out for upcoming dinners that might be relevant for you here.

It was great to meet Madolyn and Inna at last week’s foodtech startups dinner. Today’s spotlight is on their startup, Beetroot & Beluga.

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What’s the elevator pitch for your startup?

Beetroot & Beluga is made up of two food loving friends who eat, A LOT. We’ve developed a taste and a knack for what’s good, and know what’s going to be popular. The B&B website is a personalised portal for navigating the best and ‘must know’ new openings, restaurants, bars and foodie events in London. We’ve got a growing website which runs alongside social media and a popular monthly newsletter, taking the ease out of ever needing to ask the question ‘where’s good to go for dinner?’.

What were you doing before you launched your startup?

Inna, aka Beluga, is a Chartered Accountant with an awesome business sense. She is a devout lover of food; a passion which expanded massively during her extensive travels in Europe, and from always visiting the latest restaurants on the trendy London dining scene. After kick-starting a solo voice through her blog Caviar Girl, Inna approached her long-time friend, and now business partner, Madolyn, to take on the foodie tech world with a new lifestyle diary-esque site.

Madolyn, an experienced Marketer and Producer of theatre and comedy and also Events Manager at the National Portrait Gallery, has an inherent passion and belief in the importance of bringing experiences and audiences together to encourage conversation and immersive experiences. With expertise in copywriting, content, social, SEO and all things digital communications, she delights in designing creative content, while with a keen producer eye can recognise what has the potential to excite and make people tick. Madolyn makes up Beetroot, in Beetroot & Beluga.

How did you meet?

We’re two long time Australian friends, who love, experience and natter about food. After over three years of running our own independent food and lifestyle blogs alongside one another, we decided to embark on a new collaboration which supports the London emerging and independent food and events industry.

What’s your biggest ‘hindsight’ moment?

Beetroot & Beluga is based on the Weebly digital platform. Over the past year Weebly has provided an adequate platform for the evolving site. However we are now in the position where Beetroot and Beluga is growing faster than Weebly can keep up with, leaving the site with limitations, occasionally hindering what can be achieved digitally. Weebly user tips are always welcome!

What will 2014 bring?

Beetroot & Beluga is constantly growing and expanding with on trend information, new features, additional genres and exciting topics. This year we aim to see an increase in reader giveaways which we know our readers will love, and that also support start ups, independents and new brands. We also intend to achieve further growth in audience reach through social media and networking sites.

1 piece of advice for someone starting a business in the foodtech space?

Find your niche! There is loads out there and it’s what sets you apart from the others that will drive success. We like to think we have found a niche through a curated style, personal endorsement and tone of voice.

Convince someone to use your product/service in under 50 words.

There are loads of blogs and listing sites around, but you can’t always trust the authors opinion. We trial and test anything generating hype and wade through what’s worth visiting, so you don’t have to. Our eyes, ears and taste buds are constantly on the pulse of the London restaurant and food industry so when something is hot, you will know about it.

What’s your favourite startup in the foodtech space (not including your own)?

Hot Dinners is what inspired us and got us started. Those two are always on the pulse, featuring absolutely everything from the newest chain restaurants to the coolest places we’ve been waiting years to open.

What’s your favourite London restaurant

Duck & Waffle – they love us, and we LOVE Them! Since opening nearly two years ago, D&W have consistently delivered outstanding service and an exciting and creative menu from brunch to dinner. The signature dish may be the Duck and Waffle but Head Chef Dan Doherty is constantly adding new dishes to the menu, one of the most recent hits being Ox Cheek doughnuts, which you may have seen has picked up a fair bit of press. The incredible views will also make you feel sky high, but the prices won’t! 

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The girls had some great insider tips for me. Many new places to try….

You can read other foodtech startup spotlights here.