Last night was a chance for startup founders and entrepreneurs to wind down with others over food and drinks around the topic of investment. Our expert for the evening, William McQuillan from Frontline Ventures gave an insightful talk after dinner on how to secure a meeting with an investor and how not to. Frontline Ventures is a pioneering early-stage venture capital firm, believing in ideas and investing in passion. They focus on the needs of the new wave of technology entrepreneurs, investing in the best teams, who build capital-efficient businesses in high-growth markets. We had an interesting and useful Q&A that helped diners answer all their burning questions on the topic.

William said of the night:

“I was genuinely impressed by the quality of entrepreneurs who’d attended. Nice format, good food, smart people.”

We were joined by diners from SilkFred, MyBeautyCompare, MyCarGossip, MyCognition, Fans Choir, StreetBees, Crypta Labs, Twizoo, Savoo and lots more. We dined on delicious Pan Asian food at the Clerk & Well.

Here are some snippets of conversation of the evening:
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Here are some photos for you to enjoy:
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We’re proud to partner with Alma Consulting GroupEurope’s leading R&D tax relief and innovation specialist.

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We had a sold out dinner last night at the hip Ask for Janice restaurant in Smithfields. The theme of the night was ‘how to get exposure for your business’ and we couldn’t have asked for a better after dinner speaker on the subject, Alex Wood Editor at Tech City News. Delicious food & wine was served and the evening ended with a lively Q&A and some further informal networking. Everyone left having gained a good insight into online publishing.

We were joined by some fascinating founders, professionals and startups including Netberg, Pass the Popcorn, Cookbooth, Revolut, Lexoo, Kwanji, Pearlshare, Apppli and many others.

Here are some snippets of conversations from the evening:

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We’ve got an exciting calendar of dinners planned over the next few weeks. Check them out here.

Samantha’s been to a few of our dinners, most recently our ‘Growing your Fashion Business’ dinner – which is pretty apt as she’s Head of Sales & Marketing at unique urban fashion brand Bill+Mar. We caught up with her about her role and family business (her sister founded the label in 2010) – Thanks Samantha!

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What’s the elevator pitch for your business?

Bill+Mar is an urban womanswear label that designs fashion forward, accesible collections for girls who want to stand out from the crowd.

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

My business partner is my sister Rosie, who founded the label in 2010. I joined in 2013 to develop the website and take over the digital marketing and social media as the brand was starting to become more established. People always ask what its like working with my sister. We’ve always been close and have a good working relationship, but it does help that our skills are very different so whilst we discuss everything, the person with the expertise on something makes the final call.

What’s your biggest ‘hindsight’ moment?

I don’t have one paticular monment – yet! Its more a gradual learning. You have to be clear on your vision for the brand and the goals you want to achieve. Its important to be open to constructive critisism and advice, but at the end of the day you have to focus on what you want to stand for, for us its the signature Bill+Mar style, and not be swayed by other people or easy options that may dilute the brand identity.

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What will 2015 bring?

We’re really excited about the SS15 collection, I think it’s our best yet, and we are also going to be doing some exciting collaberations – so watch this space!

1 piece of advice for someone starting a business in the the sector

Before you set up your company – fashion label or any other – go on holiday one last time. Lie in the sun, drink loads of cocktails, take in the sites and enjoy every minute, as you’ll be working pretty hard once you start!

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

If you want to be able to walk into a room and stand out, whilst feeling confident, comfortable and sexy in your outfit, shop at Bill+Mar

How would you describe TableCrowd to someone who’s never heard of it before?

A great opportunity to meet with like minded people in a relaxed sociable environment and expand you business network, contacts and understanding on a range of subjects.

Have a browse of our upcoming tables here.

A great group of fashion folk gathered around the table at the Green Restaurant in Clerkenwell last night for dinner around the theme of ‘Growing your Fashion Business‘. Diners enjoyed the after dinner talk by Pan Philippou, known for growing many successful fashion brands from Diesel to Ben Sherman. It was followed by a lively Q&A, further networking, drinks and plenty of business cards were exchanged.

We were joined by a diverse bunch of innovative entrepreneurs and startups including Bill+Mar, SilkFred, BuyMyWardrobe, Be-Snazzy, Grabble, StyleCompare, Five Feathers, BODJO, Finery Fabrica and many more.

Here are some snippets of conversations from the evening:
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And here are some photos of the night for you to enjoy:
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We’ve got an exciting calendar of dinners planned over the next month. Check them out here.

We’ve had the pleasure of meeting Axel at a couple of our FinTech dinners – he even spoke at our most recent one in partnership with Innovate Finance. We caught up with him about his own mobile technology startup Indoorz, an innovative indoor mobile navigation solution. Let’s hear about it from him…

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What’s the elevator pitch for your business?

Indoorz is an innovative mobile technology that enables indoor positioning and wayfinding for visitors,customers and employees in large venues. Indoorz is multi platform (works on iOS and Android), has a quick set up process with low cost of installation and maintenance requirements and is ubiquitous, meaning most smartphone users can enjoy it today, for free.

Indoorz was founded in 2013, and was in stealth mode until May 2014. Currently it has a team of 14 strong individuals, with backgrounds ranging from Computer Science experience at MIT,Microsoft and Imperial College with client experience in Tesco, Scottish Power and Ford as well as Ex-Google, Level39 and payment technology companies.

Indoorz is a member of Level39, Europes Largest Tech accelerator as well as Cognicity, Canary Wharfs Smart City initiative.

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

3 Co-founders, who met out of sheer serendipity. A mutual friend introduced us and recommended we should have a coffee, which turned into a very fruitful new relationship.

What’s your biggest ‘hindsight’ moment?

We focus on indoor navigation, and until we understood that this is what we should master, we tried going down the “proximity based marketing” approach, which although very promising, is a very complicated approach that requires for the brands that we are in conversation with to have a bigger marketing budget.

What will 2015 bring?

High-growth for Indoorz. We are about to launch two large internationally well known retail mall projects, following this we will make our technology available to any third party who would like to integrate navigation into their existing proposal.

1 piece of advice for someone starting a business in the the sector

Understand the clients pain points, and try to solve it in the simplest way possible. Don’t try to put numerous add-ons thinking it will add more value, in the begining it will just make things more complicated! Also, gather a killer team, which makes the whole difference in execution.

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

Meeting friends in Westfield, but where are they? It’s so huge inside! Luckily I can share my indoor location and connect with them straight away. Problem solved.

How would you describe TableCrowd to someone who’s never heard of it before?

Cool people from all walks of life sharing industry focused content and stories over delicious food, all organised by a friendly and awesome team.

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Thanks Axel, we’ve loved hearing your story and look forward to seeing you again at a dinner soon.

Are you thinking about raising investment for your startup?

We’re hosting an evening of food, wine and conversation all about this topic to help people navigate this crucial stage. We’ll be dining at the lovely private dining room at the Clerk & Well in London and enjoy an after-dinner talk and informal Q&A with William McQuillan, partner at Frontline Ventures. William will talk about how to get a meeting with an investor, and how not to.
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William is a Partner at Frontline Ventures,  a pioneering early-stage venture capital firm, believing in ideas and investing in passion. They focus on the needs of the new wave of technology entrepreneurs, investing in the best teams, who build capital-efficient businesses in high-growth markets. Take this chance to meet William and to talk to him over dinner about what you’re working on.
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We’ll be dining on a feast of Pan Asian food in the lovely private dining room upstairs. The cost includes 2 courses and drinks.

We’re proud to partner with Alma Consulting Group – Europe’s leading R&D tax relief and innovation specialist.
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Guest post by Lowri Clarke, Head of Editorial at evvnt

The thing I love in life is creating technology products that actually work” says Richard Green, CEO of evvnt and recent after dinner speaker at Tablecrowd.

Tablecrowd is partly responsible for the recent developments at evvnt – namely the team up of two event tech companies: evvnt and Eventsneaker at one of our dinners back in March.

Im always impressed by entrepreneurs who do things that go above and beyond the job. So Kate who owns and runs TableCrowd called me up to ask me to sponsor the EventTech Tablecrowd dinner. I just loved her passion and I thought “for that kind of money why not?” So we showed up and were surrounded by people that all had an event passion which was cool – this community of people who were all there for the same reason. Have some food, have a beer and talk about the event space. It was there that I met Mark and Elliot from eventsneaker.

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This is what Tablecrowd is all about – networking, learning and creating opportunities.

After a very short space of time we realised we were a better business together” says Richard. He summarises the proposition:

“evvnt is the brawn. We distribute an event and market an event but Eventsneaker is the brain – they take the conversion from the clicks and they track it to a sale. And they’ve done that in a partnership with Eventbrite. It occurred to me if we could bring together the brawn of evvnt and the brain of Eventsneaker we would have the brains and the beauty, which I thought was really interesting. So we went on a journey with them figuring out what it would take for them to come on board.”

‘Lucky’ he calls it…

Table crowd was a chance to meet like-minded people and have lively conversation. Kind of lucky really – without it I wouldn’t have a Head of Technology and a Developer sitting in my company with the passion and love it takes to do a good job. To me that is priceless.

Thanks Lowri and Richard for sharing, we love hearing stories of fruitful collaborations that were sparked at one of our dinners. Keep ‘em coming!

We had a great dinner last night at Apulia Restaurant, feasting on South Italian food and wine, and discussing how to build online presence and media coverage for your business. The VP of global comms at Swifkey, Ruth Barnett, joined us as our after dinner speaker and shared her tips and tactics on how to gain more exposure online. We had a diverse bunch of people there from various businesses, including a fondue pop up, a fashion brand and a natural skincare line.

Here are some snippets of conversations from the evening:
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And here are a few Instagrams from the night:
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Thanks Rackspace for your ongoing partnership.
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We’ve got an exciting calendar of dinners planned over the next month. Check them out here.

If you’re looking to spread the news about your business and gain more exposure in the press, come along to dinner and discuss tactics and PR strategies with like-minded entrepreneurs. We’ll enjoy a delicious meal & drinks at the hip Ask for Janice restaurant followed by an after-dinner talk and informal Q&A with Alex Wood, editor of Tech City News.
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Tech City News is London’s leading resource of news, events, analysis and comment on the capital’s technology sector. Their aim is to be the destination of choice and voice of the community and companies driving the growth in the digital capital of Europe. Alex Wood is the Editor in Chief of Tech City News. He is also a visiting lecturer in Online Journalism at City University, London and a regular contributor to CNN, Sky News, BBC News, The Telegraph and the Guardian.

Alex will be spilling the beans on how to get exposure and coverage for your startup. Take this chance to meet him and ask all those burning questions, informally over dinner.

The £37 booking fee includes private dining experience with speaker, 2 course dinner with wine plus highly curated and relevant networking.

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We’re proud to partner with Rackspace
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Last week 25 professionals and entrepreneurs gathered in the upstairs dining room at the Green to discuss business and technology links between the UK and Africa, all over a delicious meal and wine. We were happy to welcome Leslie Onyesoh, CEO of Kwanji, to speak about his entrepreneur journey in this space over dinner.

Kwanji is a UK based tech start-up working to simplify foreign exchange mechanisms for small businesses. Leslie started his business to make a change in the way international trade and payments are carried out, a system that, according to him, is unfair and unethical. In his insightful after dinner talk he covered the importance of building a good team, selling to your neighbour, racism in fundraising, international expansion plans for Kwanji as well fielding questions from the room.

Here are some helpful tips we picked up from Leslie for succeeding with your business:

1. Expect to get your hands dirty

2. Be passionate. Expect knock backs and deal with them!

3. Give people access to your product

4. Find key strategic partners

5. Your customers know best -see how they use your product

Here are some photos of the night to enjoy, taken by Peta Grewal from Kwanji:

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We dined on a lovely 2 course meal courtesy of the Green in Clerkenwell.

Thank you to Rackspace for partnering with us.

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