Archives for the month of: April, 2014

Last night we turned Central Working in Google Campus into an after-hours restaurant to host our #MeetandEat for beauty startups, journalists & bloggers. We partnered with Rackspace to host this dinner and welcomed a tremendous line-up of businesses, each with a journalist or blogger guest.

We had a full female guest list, which was a first for one of our dinners that didn’t target exclusively or specifically women.

MyBeautyCompareWe were joined by:

-My Beauty Compare: MyBeautyCompare.com 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 for you.

-TreatNow: Simplified health & beauty mobile appointment search for both customers and merchants. No tie in, no contracts, no obligatory hoops to jump through. Just find out who’s free now.

- Minc: Soon to launch and will provide beauty services to teams and companies around the City.

-My Showcase: If you love beauty and fashion but you are too busy for it, My Showcase will help you to find what you want by sending you some Stylists at home. How much more fun is that than traipsing round a shop, being sprayed with scent and pressurised at the counter?

-Lypsso: The first non-biased meeting point for beauty users, professionals and companies to exchange ideas and information about beauty salons, treatments and services, natural and organic beauty products and professional beauty equipment.

-Fynder: Fynder provides a simple solution to a lasting problem: the classes, treatments, services and experiences we love are harder to find and book than they should be. Fynder’s booking network allows service providers to link and list their capacity on a common platform, making it easier than ever for users to find and book whatever they’re looking for – when and where it’s right for them.

-Prettly: it helps you find and book beauty professionals for treatments to be enjoyed in the comfort of your own chosen location. Sit back and book your next beauty treatment, then simply wait for the specialist to come directly to your doorstep. It’s that easy!

-BeautySpotter: An online platform for Hair and Beauty Salon discovery. As a platform that connects Salons, Stylists and their Clients, BeautySpotter enables users to search for Salons by the work they create and window-shop for their favourite “Look” before they book with the Salon and Stylist responsible for creating it.

- YoursTrulyOrganics: Natural and organic skincare with Ecocert organic certified skincare products formulated to improve the overall condition and appearance of the skin.

Also dining with were Get The Gloss, MailOnlineLoveLaughAndMakeup, Becca RoseMediaTainment Finance and Kate Shapland.

Some photos from the evening for you to enjoy :

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To find out more about our upcoming dinners, please have a look here.

Thanks to our sponsors Rackspace for their ongoing support.

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With our BeautyTech #MeetandEat dinner happening tonight, we wanted to spotlight the startups that will be dining with us. First up is Rhea Papanicolaou-Frangista, founder of Prettly. We wanted to find out more…

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What’s the elevator pitch for your startup?

Prettly connects customers to some of London’s leading mobile beauty and wellness professionals for on-demand delivered treatments. All treatments are booked and pre-paid online. Customers just sit back, relax and simply wait for the specialist to come directly to their doorstep.

It’s that easy – no cash, no tips.

What were you doing before you launched your startup?

Before launching Prettly I completed my MBA at London Business School, and prior to that I worked for The Fine Art Fund Group, a London based niche alternative investment fund that invests solely in art.

What will 2014 bring?

Who knows what the second half will bring..

But what Prettly brings in 2014 is Beauty at Your Doorstep!

One piece of advice for someone starting a business in the beauty space?

A piece of advice for someone starting any type of business is the following: always get a good grip of the numbers behind your actions.

In today’s startup environment there are so many tools that can help you make decisions with strategic sense, that it is almost a pity not to take advantage of them. While it might be tempting to act spontaneously, the environment is demanding and knowledge backed moves will save you time and money.

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

Having a hard time fitting your beauty needs in your cramped schedule? We bring high quality professionals directly to you, even at the last minute! We value feedback immensely and all of our professionals are rated.

Try us out and we’ll give you 10% off your first booking.

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

Birchbox. They created a market for something that didn’t previously exist, and they did so with style and success. I admire that, and also love their product.

We are also participating in an event with them next week, which we are very excited about!

What’s your favourite London restaurant?

My favourite London restaurant has to be Dinings. I love the fact that the atmosphere is relaxed, quiet and understated, yet the quality of the food is truly excellent. I am always amazed by how creative and bold each dish is and I really value the restaurant’s culinary excellence and lack of pretentiousness. My favourite sushi spot in London.

Logo - 3We can’t wait to meet Prettly and find out more about her business. You can read more startup spotlights here.

Introducing Sooqini and Raj Singh who joined at our recent Sharing Economy startups dinner.

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What’s the elevator pitch for your startup?

The UK’s first task concierge and marketplace – delegate your stuff to our trusted community and be more productive at work and at play

What were you doing before you launched your startup?

I was running an Innovation Consulting firm I co-founded, based in Geneva.

Where did you meet your co-founder?

Tiago Mateus is my co-founder – we met online in a forum for INSEAD MBAs – which we both are.

What’s your biggest ‘hindsight’ moment?

Not doing enough marketing, quickly enough. Should have gone crazy and blown it all asap.

What will 2014 bring?

From our side, it brings a lot of customers, more automation, and nifty stuff like insurance. More generally 2104 is going to see more and more of us as ‘freelancers’ as the previous model of employment breaks down and melts away

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

Don’t do it unless you are ready to sacrifice everything to be successful

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

You’re busy. And you do tonnes of stuff every day that is essential, but below your paygrade. Outsource all of it to Sooqini, be more productive, have more spare time and discover a world of focus, from just £30 per month. Signup here: www.sooqini.com/personal-assistant

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

I like the zen-like nature of BorrowMyDoggie

What’s your favourite London restaurant?

Nobu. But if you mean one I can afford, just, Pitt Cue Co.

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It was great to see Sooqini last week and to find out more about their business. We also now have a new restaurant for the ‘must-try’ list!

You can read more startup spotlights here.

We had a blast last night at The Green, one of TableCrowd’s favourite venues, for our Sharing Economy Startups dinner.

We had a really nice group, many interesting startups including Compare and Share, CookistoBla Bla Car, Skyodd Ltd, Localoids, Cookisto, Benchify, About A Dress, Sooqini, OnApp and others.

Our after dinner speaker was Benita Matofska, founder 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.

Benita is passionate, enthusiastic, a great story teller and she LOVES sharing – even dreams about it sometimes. She talked about her journey from working in TV, moving into entrepreneurship, through to her involvement with the Sharing Economy (sharing a stage with Desmond Tutu and Bob Geldof somewhere in between!)

She has grown Global Sharing Day from a small project on her Brighton doorstep to a global movement, where people come to together to share everything from a showers (!!) to food to clothes. This year it’s happening on 1st June 2014 and you can find out more and get involved here.

The dinner ended with a lively debate around the impact the Sharing Economy was having on established industries, commercialisation of sharing, Government lobbying and taxation.

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

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Thank you to everyone that joined the evening and please keep up to date on upcoming dinners that might be relevant for you here.

Thanks to our sponsors Rackspace for their ongoing support.

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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.

Thanks to our event partner:

Rackspace

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.