adr230415-2  What a great week of dinners we’ve had. The dinner with Ari Helgason, an Early Stage Tech Investor at Dawn Capital on Monday started the ball rolling, and his successful dinner was quickly followed by a double whammy Tuesday with the founder of SaVse Smoothies dining with food and beverage startups, and Tim Jackson from Lean Investments talking money. Dinner with Mikey Howe, Founding Partner of Escape the City, finished up the dinners for this week leaving our diners truly inspired about their future aspirations. Job well done to all – here’s a quick look at what went on:

Joining the dark side
Diners at Aubaine on Monday, had the pleasure of hearing from Ari Helgason about the step-by-step process of looking for funding, how to apply for it, as well as what his company looks for when they invest. Originally coming from the entrepreneurial side of things, Ari provided an overview of his startups before he moved over to the “dark side of capital funding”. Providing everyone with tips on what you should and shouldn’t do when meeting a VC, including:

Be prepared; do your research on the investors before you meet them.

All in all, the charming Ari provided a wonderfully insightful speech, covering a plethora of in-depth questions with incredible detail and knowledge.

adr23.04.15Push, stalk and pester buyers
Starting with a background in sales, Guka Tavberidze, spoke passionately about the beginnings of his business, from taking inspiration from his Mum by making drinks like she always did, to being determined to make his smoothies cold-pressed. Interestingly, companies like innocent and Naked pasteurise their drinks which strips the fruit and veg of their nutrients. After being told cold-pressed drinks were impossible to produce many times, he finally found the right people to help him achieve his idea.

With getting products stocked being high on the agenda of many diners at this dinner, Guka spoke about how he decided to go high end straight away, targeting Harvey Nichols and Selfridges. His top tip for getting stocked in stores was, ultimately:

You have to push, stalk and pester buyers until they try your product.

Speaking regularly and highly of his team, Guka stressed the importance of hiring the right people to ensure their level of commitment and passion for the brand mirrors your own. He is a major advocate for always doing the hiring for your business yourself.

It’s hard to talk
Next up was Tim Jackson’s hugely anticipated dinner talking all things money, investment and fundraising. To set the scene, Pescatori did a fantastic job of creating a beautiful ambiance with pretty fairy lights and candles decorating the room. Tim began his speech by regaling a story about his trip to Tokyo, and how there’s a saying that,

If you go to Tokyo for a day, you come back and write a book;
If you go for a month, you write a small novel;
If you go for a year, you write an article, and
If you go for five years you won’t write anything.

Tim explained that talking about fundraising is very similar, in that, the longer you are in the business and have experience in fundraising, the harder it is to talk about it.

His speech included a summary of his past experience in startups and being a VC – so he has experiences on both sides of the industry – although he followed this up with saying, “I don’t claim to have great expertise, in fact, the longer I do this job, the more I realise I don’t have any!”

However, what he has done along the way is observe mistakes that have been made, and that was the key driver for Tuesday night’s speech. Tim covered the six key questions to ask:

  1. Why raise capital?
  2. What’s on offer?
  3. How much to raise?
  4. What’s the valuation?
  5. Who from?
  6. How?

As an example, Tim spoke about the company 37 Signals and how founder Jason Freed never got outside funding; 100% of the business belongs to him.

When you raise money, your company is a cake and you are giving away a slice of your cake. You very rarely get that slice back.

Essentially, Tim summed up fundraising with this point and explained, that you should be careful of how much you are asking for, what you’re giving up, and check first – do you really need that funding?

adr230415-1Jumping through hoops
A lot of us know the story already, getting stuck in a corporate job after going through all the ‘right routes’ of good grades, university, and jumping through the expected hoops only to end up in job that you didn’t really want in the first place! Mikey’s talk at last night’s dinner covered exactly this well-known narrative, as not only the beginnings of Escape the City, but also the backdrop for many of the members joining their community.

Covering the story of how Escape the City came to be, included hearing how much Mikey hated his job and spent countless hours hiding in the toilets reading about new entrepreneurs on his iPhone, as well as the original light bulb moment. It can all be traced back to a single interaction between Mikey’s business partners’ Dom and Rob, when Dom whispered to Rob, “This is pretty shit, isn’t it?” Cue blogs, mailing lists, a huge fanbase and going global! A book deal followed shortly after, and thanks to crowdfunding from their members the team built their company into what it is today; a place for people to find exciting career opportunities and network with like-minded people.

Diners this week included: Shine Holistic, Verb Brands, Maintaino, Inspired Escapes, Lima, PixelPin, Network Locum, Streethub, UnderTheDoormat, Popcorn Kitchen, BananaBerry, CHO Gazpacho, Cinnamon Bridge, NRJ Drinks, Urban Food Fest, Virtue Ice Tea, Cocomojo, SocioApps, Much Better Adventures, PM EVO, MapSit, 1ROOF, USPAAH, The Friction, MyGravity, WishWant as well as others.

Big thanks goes out to our speakers Ari Helgason, Tim Jackson, Guka Tavberidze and Mikey Howe, as well as our partners Alma CG and Taylor Wessing.

alma&taylor

Take a look at all of our upcoming dinners here.

 

We first met Colin White, co-founder of Sumo Insight at our #MeetandEat for AdTech startups back in January. Here’s the business spotlight on his mobile market research app.

ColinCollider What’s the elevator pitch for your startup?

Sumo Insight is a ‘designed for mobile’ market research platform disrupting the consumer insight sector. We bring brands closer to their consumers by using the power of the smartphone to engage with consumers at the right time, and in the right place, for richer, deeper insight in traditional question format and multimedia responses such as video answers.


What were you doing before you launched your startup?

20 years working for blue-chip enterprises such as Toshiba and Orange.  However, I had a busy 12 months prior to starting Sumo Insight as part of the core team that re-branded Orange to EE and launched the first 4G network in the UK. The deadlines were tough but what we achieved under NDA conditions was huge for the industry, bringing forward the introduction of 4G in the UK by at least 12 months.  

If you have co-founders, where did you meet them?

A mutual friend introduced us. She knew we were both looking to do the same thing!


What’s your biggest ‘hindsight’ moment?

So many to choose from! In hindsight though, I think we would have brought our technology to market in smaller steps. Our MVP was quite developed and some of the functionality could have been brought to market in smaller stages. It’s a better process to focus the mind one step at a time!
sumotriotransparentWhat will 2015 bring?

2014 was about early adoption of our tech by brands and agencies eager to benefit from introducing mobile in their market research mix, which has brought in revenues, but, more importantly, has allowed us to work closer with real clients in real scenarios and introduce these learnings in to our business. We’re working on a Proof of Concept now which will evolve our product based on client feedback and we’re looking to launch as a MVP later this year (learning from our hindsight!). We’re also just starting to raise further investment under the SEIS scheme following our initial investment round through Collider.io last year.  

One piece of advice for someone starting a business in your sector?
Look to the USA for guidance. The market research sector is innovating faster in the US.

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

Traditional research doesn’t add context to consumer insight and it’s often slow. Capturing consumers’ stories, emotions and feedback, in-the-moment they are made via a consumer’s personal smartphone, captures a level of raw honesty you don’t get from other methodology. Faster, deeper consumer understanding! Try us with a brief!


What’s your favourite startup in your sector (not including your own)?

Mfour – doing similar great stuff in the USA.


What’s your favourite London restaurant?

Well, if you’re going to treat me, it’s Hakkasan. Big bold tastes of Asia with an electric atmosphere. If you’re not, then it’s a Pulled Pork Burger with an egg on top from The Joint, Brixton Market.


What’s your favourite meal?
One word, Pizza!

Sumo Logo centredFind more of our #BusinessSpotlights here.

 

nwd20.04.15Get ready for two weeks crammed full of dinners to send your entrepreneurial spirit into overdrive. From dining with a journalist and two of the UK’s top bloggers to networking with other women in STEM or understanding the future of fashion eCommerce, there is definitely something for everyone coming up. Before we bring you a quick overview of next week’s dinners, don’t forget it’s not too late to book on this week’s either:

  • Dine with early stage tech investor from Dawn Capital tonight [SOLD OUT]
  • Join the Founder of SaVse Smoothies for dinner tomorrow night
  • Dine with Tim Jackson from Lean Investments for our dinner on fundraising options, also tomorrow night
  • Join the Founding Partner of Escape the City for our dinner on rapid growth and building a profitable business on Wednesday night

nwd20.04.15-2Here’s what’s coming up next week:

Women in STEM: Dine with Nasrin Hafezparast, Tech Lead at Outcomes Based Healthcare
Interested in science, tech, engineering or maths? Come and enjoy dinner and drinks with your fellow female entrepreneurs working in STEM. Nasrin, the Founder of Outcomes Based Healthcare will provide an after-dinner talk, followed by an informal Q&A session. She will share her story as well as tips and insights for female entrepreneurs and women in STEM.
Dinner is at 6:45pm on Monday 27 April at The Green, Clerkenwell

Dine with journalist Edwin Smith, contributor to The Telegraph, Guardian, Independent, Evening Standard and more
Securing coverage for your startup isn’t easy! Join Edwin Smith for dinner and enjoy an after-dinner talk on how to get on a journalist’s radar. Ed is a freelance journalist, feature-writer and editor, writing about everything from culture to business, tech, sport, food & drink, style, politics and ‘slebs’.
Dinner is at 6:45pm on Monday 27 April at Mint Leaf Lounge, Bank

The Future of Fashion eCommerce: vital trends and insights for your business
Dine with eCommerce expert, Chloë Thomas. Find out where the fast-moving world of eCommerce is heading, what you need to know, and how this will affect the industry. Chloë is an online marketer, business owner, eCommerce consultant, and author of eCommerce MasterPlan.
Dinner is at 6:45pm on Tuesday 28 April at The Green, Clerkenwell

Ask them anything! Dine with two of the UK’s biggest bloggers [SOLD OUT]
Hayley Carr from London Beauty Queen and Jane from British Beauty Blogger are hosting a dinner for both brands/PRs and bloggers, followed by a brief overview of the current state of the bloggersphere.
Dinner is at 6:45pm on Tuesday 28 April at Jamie’s Italian Piccadilly, Soho

EventTech Dinner, #EventTechOCD
Join us for dinner with other EventTech entrepreneurs and professionals who can’t stop thinking and talking about EventTech. These regular working dinner sessions provide diners with the opportunity to talk about our obsession. This month’s session is centred around the development of hardware that can give greater audience engagement at events.
Dinner is at 6:45pm on Wednesday 29 April

Dine with the Founder of Bloom & Wild: from idea to launch and rapid growth
Looking to shake up the industry you work in? Then, join us for dinner with Aron Gelbard, co-founder & CEO of Bloom & Wild. They are reinventing flower gifting; ordered online or via their app, flowers arrive through the recipient’s letterbox the very next day. What a genius idea! Aron will share his story from idea inception, through the launch, seed funding and their rapid growth.
Dinner is at 6:45pm on Wednesday 29 April

For a full list of our upcoming dinners, take a look here.

 

aubaineThe wonderful weather we’ve had this week was the perfect backdrop for not only our TableCrowd dinners but also for us to celebrate in the launch of Aubaine‘s new venue in Broadgate Circle. The great team there delighted us with their fantastic French cuisine resulting in a rather long lunch break for us all. Big thanks go to Aubaine for inviting us to their soft opening in preparation for their launch yesterday.

This week we had a great turn out at our first Fitness dinner at Aubaine, Heddon St, hosted by Niall Smith of BeInspired Fitness, who said the best way to describe the dinner was “Fitness meets Tech”.

The discussions were all very different as we had individulas from startups, VCs, Tech brands and fitness professionals (personal trainers & nutritionists). Even with the different skill sets, it was a great group of people as we could talk about a wide range of topics. The venue was really good and the food was great.

We also had the Thinkadelica dinner hosted by James York on Wednesday evening, along with the #WINdinner at Mele E Pere hosted by Amalia Agathou. The Thinkadelica dinner is a bi-monthly dinner for professionals across the tech and startup sector, whilst the #WINdinner is specifically for female VCs. If you’re keen to be invited, do connect with James or Amalia via the TableCrowd site.

Diners this week included: Piton Capital, Dawn Capital, Techstars, Rainmaking Loft, LampKicking, Metaform Technology, Sport on Spec, Fynder, The Leisure Database Company, Mind Agilis, Live Fit, Wireless Fitness and Total Training amongst others.

Here are some snippets from the evenings:

Screenshot 2015-04-16 13.47.09Screenshot 2015-04-16 10.51.19  Screenshot 2015-04-16 10.42.38

Screenshot 2015-04-16 10.42.10 Screenshot 2015-04-16 10.33.36

To see all of our upcoming dinners and to secure your seat, click here.

This week’s #BusinessSpotlight is none other than James Middleton, a regular diner at TableCrowd who’s currently working on two startups, Street Stream and Kerbi. The two services go hand in hand, so with Kerbi launching this spring we thought we’d find out more about its big brother, Street Stream.

James_profile_picture

What’s the elevator pitch for your startup?
Street Stream is a bit like Über for couriers. We make arranging a delivery or shipment as easy as hailing a cab is now, thanks to Über and Hailo. You simply enter the pick up address, delivery address and package details on the website and submit it. An alert goes out to nearby independent couriers (on bikes, motorbikes and in vans) and they submit quotes. You can rank the couriers on prices, proximity to pick-up point and customer rating. You can “favourite” your preferred couriers.

The market for deliveries in London is huge and many small businesses are badly served by the large courier companies. The aim is to de-mystify the world of couriers and make it simple and friendly to use. Remember what a nightmare it was getting a mini-cab before Über – you had to dial through a series of numbers not knowing who was available, who was reliable, who knew their way around the city etc. The courier industry is much like that now. The plan is to change that.

What were you doing before you launched your startup?
I was working as a financial economist in the City for a large asset management company.

If you have co-founders, where did you meet them?
There are no co-founders at the moment. It’s entirely bootstrapped.

What’s your biggest ‘hindsight’ moment?
All IT projects take much longer than you think and you have to be patient; don’t buy things unless you know you will really need them. I have definitely wasted some money.

What will 2015 bring?
Street Stream is launched in London and the plan is to get it up to scale here, as well as moving to other cities. Street Stream’s sister product, Kerbi launches in the spring.

One piece of advice for someone starting a business in your sector?
Network! Bounce ideas off people. Talk to people about their areas of expertise. There is an unofficial currency of favours among entrepreneurs who know that what goes around comes around. If nothing else, it provides emotional support when you are wrestling with the headaches startups have.

Convince someone to use your product/service in under 50 words.
Street Stream is an easy-to-use way to arrange deliveries. Whether you are a small business sending samples of your product, a shop trying to impress customers with a same day delivery, or whether you are an individual who simply wants to arrange a delivery at a convenient time and location, then Street Stream should make your life easier. It is simple to use. The goods are insured and the couriers on the platform are all conscientious.

What’s your favourite startup in your sector (not including your own)?
I’m a big fan of Bizzby which has a similar model but for handymen and cleaners.

What’s your favourite London restaurant?
The Reading Room at Claridges but it’s for special occasions only!

What’s your favourite meal?
Chinese crispy roast duck.

streetstreamFind more of our #BusinessSpotlights here.

150420 dinners

With Easter and the lovely long bank holiday weekend well and truly behind us, the next few weeks are crammed with great dinners for you all to enjoy. So, without any further ado, here’s what’s happening next week:

Dine with Early Stage Tech Investor at Dawn Capital
Join Ari Helgason for dinner where he will be talking about what he looks for in the companies he invests in. As an Early Stage Tech Investor at Dawn Capital, Ari is also a former entrepreneur with operational experience in London and New York. Take this opportunity to meet Ari informally over dinner and talk to him about what you’re working on, his involvement in the Y Combinator startup accelerator, or even his extensive relationships with Silicon Valley.
Dinner is at 6:45pm on Monday 20 April at Aubaine, Heddon Street

Dine with Tim Jackson, partner at Lean Investments
This dinner is perfect for those at the crossroads of looking for investment but not sure which road to go down. Should you raise money from VCs, angels or crowdfunding? Tim Jackson, in addition to his role as Partner at Lean Investments, is the leader of Europe’s biggest AngelList syndicate and will be providing advice during his talk and Q&A for startups that have a product but need money to scale it. 
Dinner is at 6:45pm on Tuesday 21 April at Pescatori, Fitzrovia

Dine with founder of SaVse smoothies
Guka Tavberidze will be sharing his success story and provide valuable insights into getting products stocked in the UK and Europe. An award winning fruit and veg smoothie, SaVse is currently stocked in Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, Wholefoods, Daylesford, Boots and Planet Organic, totalling 1200 UK stores and 400 across Europe. Not too shabby for a company that launched in January 2013. 
Dinner is at 6:45pm on Tuesday 21 April at The Green, Clerkenwell

Dine with Mikey Howe, Founding Partner at Escape the City
Every entrepreneur’s dream is to build a business that rapidly grows and is profitable too. As one of the first equity crowdfunded businesses, Escape the City has a rapidly growing community of over 200,000 talented professionals starting businesses and pursuing meaningful career paths. Join Mikey for dinner and hear him talk about the ESC journey, including their rapid growth, crowdfunding and the road to profitability.
Dinner is at 6:45pm on Wednesday 22 April at The Green, Clerkenwell

With May fast approaching us, we also have these newly announced dinners:

For a full list of our upcoming dinners, and to secure your seat, click here.

It’s been a while since the TableCrowd team have had to sit exams, and in our day revising invariably meant sticking post-its to every surface available. George’s ingenious educational app is definitely paving the way of the future of exam preparation for generations to come. He joined us for our #MeetandEat for Edtech startups and journalists back in February where we had the pleasure of speaking to him about his business. Find out more about Gojimo as part of this week’s #BusinessSpotlight.

EduAppWeb028_MG_6699 - Version 2What’s the elevator pitch for your startup?
The free app to help you pass your exams.

What were you doing before you launched your startup?
Studying! I first had the idea for the app when I was 17, at school studying for my A Levels. I couldn’t find an app to help me so I set about creating one. I dropped out of Stanford University in March 2013 in order to concentrate on running the business full time.

If you have co-founders, where did you meet them?
It’s just me!

What’s your biggest ‘hindsight’ moment?
We started out creating apps for other companies, building apps around their content. It was a great way of making contacts and learning about the industry, but with hindsight I wish we’d had the courage to focus on Gojimo sooner. It’s far more satisfying to be working on your own product and to be able to have complete control over the whole development process.

What will 2015 bring?
2015 is going to be huge for us. We’ve just launched Gojimo in beta on Android and the web, alongside our existing iOS app. We have a host of new functionality in development and we continue to release new content practically daily in the run up to exams in May. On top of that, we are launching in South Africa in April and are looking to build our user numbers in the US as well.

One piece of advice for someone starting a business in your sector?
Ask lots of questions. Look for mentors or like-minded founders who can offer advice and the benefit of their experience. You might not like what you hear, or choose to take their advice, but at least this way you go into things better informed.

Convince someone to use your product/service in under 50 words.
Gojimo makes revising for your exams easy. Over 150,000 free quiz questions covering every major GCSE and A Level in one place – all mapped to your specific exam board. Get answers in an instant, complete with explanations, plus you can track your progress over time.

What’s your favourite startup in your sector (not including your own)?
I’m a big fan of the guys at Show My Homework. Their product answers a very specific need giving schools, students and parents an easy way to manage homework, and their platform is very clean and easy to use.

What’s your favourite London restaurant?
Bills in Hoxton Square. It’s just around the corner from the office and we tend to migrate there for meetings or if we want a change of scene. Good food, pleasant atmosphere, free wifi – it’s got it all.

What’s your favourite meal?
I’m actually a sucker for a pot of tea and a chocolate brownie…

Logo 2 Orange

Find more of our #BusinessSpotlights here.

Screenshot 2015-04-01 10.33.10With the first official week of British Summertime underway, the TableCrowd team have been looking forward to the bank holiday weekend (even though the weather and the loss of an hour has hampered it a bit) and we also have a great roundup to share with you covering this week’s dinners with Mike Mompi from ClearlySo, Rich Pleeth, ex GetTaxi, Google and L’Oreal, as well as Ingrid Lunden from TechCrunch.

clearlyso Twitter Takeover with ClearlySo
Monday night’s dinner at The Green in Clerkenwell with Mike Mompi, Director of Early Stage investment at ClearlySo, covered a variety of topics related to social impact investment with Mike’s talk turning into a relaxed discussion between everyone, with diners asking questions and giving advice to the room. We have to give a big thank you to Clare Jones, Head of Marketing at ClearlySo who tweeted throughout Mike’s speech, effectively giving a live stream of tips and quotes via Twitter.

When you hit a roadblock, how you manoeuvre around the issue shows investors how you’ll build your business.

Did you know that 1 in 4 UK angels have made an impact investment? And that sometimes if there’s a gap in the market it means there’s no market? Mike believes that the environment is so supportive right now for entrepreneurs; it’s better than it’s ever been. So if you find an individual investor who’s values align with yours, and backs your vision, you may find that they will be willing to put in early stage capital.

Mike’s Top Tip:

If you want funding, ask for advice; if you want advice, ask for funding.

gettaxiA night of positive and supporting energy
We love hearing from our diners about how they found a dinner and one diner who joined our dinner with Rich Pleeth on Tuesday night at Rocket City gave such an insightful account, we thought we’d leave it up to him to provide this dinner’s roundup:

“The dinner you organised at Rocket City on Tuesday 31st March surpassed my expectations in every way. In truth organising a group dinner isn’t rocket science and as a ‘newbie’ I was genuinely sceptical about the whole concept. I arrived just after 6:45pm to a warm welcome. This sounds like a cliché but it was genuinely refreshing to approach bar staff, who weren’t even on the same floor that the dinner was taking place, and to say I’m here for the TableCrowd dinner and not be faced with a blank expression.

The dinner was in a private room with an ‘L’ shape seating arrangement. As I walked in people were standing around and introducing themselves – the host was brilliant in easing people into existing circles of conversation. The table had name cards so everyone knew where to sit and everyone stood up briefly to introduce themselves. Over dinner I had the pleasure to meet budding entrepreneurs at every stage of the business life cycle. It was great to hear about other people’s ideas, challenges, funding stories (or lack of!), fears and more.

To the credit of TableCrowd and its community there was a real positive and supporting energy in the room.

A nice touch was moving some people around just before dessert so you got to engage with everyone. After dessert the [ex] Chief Marketing Officer for GetTaxi Rich took the floor. His speech can only be described as pure class – sincere, honest, relatable and, moreover, he provided real-world practical insight/tips on successfully marketing your business (not an easy endeavour working for a global business worth $2-3 billion!). Afterwards, Rich welcomed questions and even gave everyone a GetTaxi code for a free ride home, which was the perfect ending to what was a perfect night.”

 

ingridA plethora of exciting young businesses
Our final dinner for this week was with TechCrunch’s International Editor, Ingrid Lunden at Mint Leaf Lounge, Bank. As usual, the food and service was top-notch, and the dinner consisted of a really interesting mix of exciting young businesses. With Ingrid opting for a more prominent Q&A style talk, she covered topics including the most interesting trend she has covered in the last year, who the readers of TechCrunch are, and how to grab an editor’s attention.

All the budding entrepreneurs in attendance took careful note as Ingrid explained the importance in timing; warning not to approach a journalist unless they were ready for their story to be told. Ultimately, you should let the business reach the point where the press will be interested in what you’re doing. The evening ended with guests continuing to drink and chat, sharing stories, swapping invaluable contacts and advice.

Diners this week included: RentMyItems, World in London, Filisia, S-Company, Stickyworld, Digital Impacts, Mosaic Ventures, The Work Crowd, PM EVO, Articheck, YouTeam, Mind Agilis, Tibba, USPAAH, Kerbi, MixMatchMe.com, MyBeautyMatches, HelloHub, Cycle Syndicate, SilkFred, Bloom & Wild, Fare Exchange, Brilliant Basics, Hyghlyne, Piton Capital, Tech City News, Doctor Care Anywhere, and Rook amongst others.

A massive thanks goes out to our speakers Mike Mompi, Rich Pleeth and Ingrid Lunden and our partner Mangostorm.

Mangostorm-logo1To see all of our upcoming dinners and to secure your seat, click here.

 

We recently caught up with Alice Revel, founder and Editor of Running in Heels at our dinner with James Wise of Balderton Capital. Take a look at this week’s #BusinessSpotlight, delving into the future of her startup.

ALICE PIC 4

What’s the elevator pitch for your startup?
Running in Heels is an online magazine for intelligent, stylish women: think Vogue meets The Economist. Our USP? Opinionated, in-depth features on society, culture and politics alongside sophisticated, stylish content on fashion, beauty, travel and lifestyle. It’s also the only online magazine that mirrors content with an eCommerce offering, enabling readers to buy what they read about in a seamless experience.

What were you doing before you launched your startup?
I studied languages at UCL and then worked for a magazine in Italy, as well as consulting for luxury fashion and beauty brands on digital strategy and future trends.

If you have co-founders, where did you meet them?
I was introduced to Caroline Rolfe by a contact of a contact! Caroline is a real asset to the business – she has over 12 years experience in launching and running websites for luxury brands including Clinique, Belstaff & Links of London. She’s also a member of the Institute of Digital Marketing’s Digital Council and lectures on their digital marketing diploma course.

What’s your biggest ‘hindsight’ moment?
Nope, no regrets, ever! I’m a firm believer in things happening for a reason and always learning from your mistakes. They’re what make you stronger, both professionally and personally.

Screenshot 2015-03-26 13.17.00
What will 2015 bring?
Running in Heels is already an established brand with a desirable and engaged audience – it’s a highly scalable business model, which is why we’re in the process of seeking investment. There’s absolutely huge potential for revenue growth, so this is a really exciting opportunity.

One piece of advice for someone starting a business in your sector?
Get as much advice as you possibly can from people in your sector. I’ve found that most people are incredibly generous with their time and sharing their experiences which can really inform how you run your business. Remember to be generous with your time, experience and contacts too!

Convince someone to use your product/service in under 50 words.
Bored of gossip, diets and celebrities? Want more from a magazine? Our unique mix of substance and style is what you’ve been waiting for.

What’s your favourite startup in your sector (not including your own)?
In terms of online magazines, I think Get The Gloss is fabulous – well-written, informative, fun and a great on-the-go read. When it comes to eCommerce, I love what Lyst are doing and Buy My Wardrobe is definitely a game-changer. Apps-wise, DePop and Stylect are two of my favourite recent downloads.

What’s your favourite London restaurant?
Far too many to list! If I have to pick just one….I really love Sunday in Barnsbury for their sublime brunch menu. But it’s like asking me to choose a favourite parent!

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You can read more #BusinessSpotlights here.

Our partner Alma CG has kindly whizzed over their infographic on the myths behind R&D Tax Relief. So whether you were under the impression that it doesn’t apply to your business, or if it’s completely new to you, we definitely recommend taking a look at this little gem:

Alma R&D Tax Relief Myth Buster infographic 12.11.14 final