Archives for the month of: May, 2014

In the words of one of the diners, “I went away with a warm fuzzy feeling” – we did too! What a lovely evening we had last night at our Entrepreneurs’ Dinner at The Clerkenwell Kitchen. We were joined by some interesting businesses including Startacus, Propel London, SoPost, Fynder, User.lyEvergrad, Adaptation Project, Axonn Media, Bookimbo and more. Great crowd, delicious food and very interesting chats.

Our after dinner speaker was Jonathan Grubin, the ultimate self-starter. It was great to hear Jonny’s story. He created his first startup at the age of 14 and he hasn’t stopped since. Still in his early 20s, he’s the founder of SoPost, which started out with the vision of letting people send free physical and digital gifts to their friends via social media without needing to know a delivery address and has moved into a marketing platform for brands. He has an impressive client list already, which includes brands like Rimmel. He talked about the trials and tribulations of fast growth and how he relies on instinct for many decisions. Just hours away from closing a funding round, we look forward to hearing what happens with Jonny and SoPost in the next 6 months.

Here are some pictures for you to enjoy:

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Cheers everyone for being part of the dinner. Many thanks to our new partner PropelLondon and of course to Startacus for co-hosting an event we really enjoyed.

Propel London is an award-winning recruitment consultancy supporting Marketing, Advertising, Creative and Technology within the digital world.

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We had a great night at The Green for our Social Enterprise #MeetandEat dinner in partnership with Inspiring Adventures last night. Our after-dinner speaker was Eugenie Teasley, founder of youth charity Spark+Mettle.

We were joined by some interesting businesses including MyCognition (read their spotlight here), Poached Creative, WriteLaTeX and more.

It was great to hear from Eugenie. She founded Spark+Mettle to help people flourish. Spark+Mettle is a youth charity that enables less privileged young people to build character strengths, soft skills and networks. They run a six month personal and professional development programme for a handpicked number of 18–24 year olds, as well as developing online tools and leading offline events, workshops and retreats. They have already supported and helped 1000s of children.

She talked about her motivations for starting Spark+Mettle, the need to balance work and family life, the highs of receiving funding and growing her team, the best £1,000 she ever spent (on the original branding!) and the need to adapt as the business developed from an idea and vision to something real and again as it grows and matures. It was an absolute pleasure to dine with Eugenie.

Here are some pictures for you to enjoy:

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Thanks to everyone that joined us. It was a good night full of social enterprise chat and tasty pie!

Thanks again to our sponsor Rackspace for their ongoing support!

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Let’s meet Eugenie Teasley, founder of Spark+Mettle. Eugenie is our after dinner speaker for tonight’s Social Enterprise dinner. We can’t wait to hear her story tonight but first let’s have a taster:

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What’s the elevator pitch for your startup?

Spark+Mettle is a youth charity that enables less privileged young people to build character strengths, soft skills and networks. We run a six month personal and professional development programme for a handpicked number of 18–24 year olds, as well as developing online tools and leading offline events, workshops and retreats.

What were you doing before you launched your startup?

On maternity leave, trying to figure out what to do next. I’d previously been a teacher in south London, before doing a Masters in Education at Berkeley and working for an inspiring non-profit in San Francisco called 826 Valencia. I knew I wanted to do something that provided pastoral support to young people, but didn’t know what. It was only when there were a lot of cuts to youth services, that I thought I’d try to do something myself.

What’s your biggest ‘hindsight’ moment?

It’s really boring, but set up a CRM system right from the start! And keep adding in. I had good intentions, and just failed.

What will 2014 bring?

New projects, new office and hopefully lots more partnerships with youth organisations and other companies wishing to explore experiential ways to boost leadership capabilities and character strengths.

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

Branding is everything. The first funding we got, we used to develop our logo and brand. It has stood us in remarkable stead ever since.

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

If you’re officially young (under 25), we can help you figure out what you’re good at and how to fulfil your potential. If you’re officially not young (that’s over 25, folks), we can do exactly the same, and you get to enable a young person to do so too at the same time. It is a fun, illuminating win-win all round.

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

Task Squad (coming out of vInspired)

What’s your favourite London restaurant?

The Japanese Canteen for a sneaky lunchtime bento box, or Dabbous for a mega-magical one off dinner.

STAR6So glad to have you on board Eugenie! Can’t wait to meet you at our dinner. For more startup spotlights go here.

We’re looking forward to seeing Duncan again this week at our Social Enterprise dinner in partnership with Inspiring Adventures. We last saw him at dinner with Tom Maddocks, ex-reporter for BBC2′s ‘The Money Programme’. We wanted to find out more about his startup, MyCognition.

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What’s the elevator pitch for your startup?

MyCognition is a cognitive health company making video games to measure and train cognition. We improve educational outcomes in schools, enhance employee wellness in business and reduce cognitive decline in healthcare.

What were you doing before you launched your startup?

Working on my last business in Australia.

Where did you meet your co-founder?

We were both leaders in the Entrepreneurs Organisation and met at Global Leadership Conferences.

What’s your biggest ‘hindsight’ moment?

Always plan, it creates direction and justifies your purpose.

What will 2014 bring?

Success! By moving from proof of concept phase to development of commercial products.

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

Don’t be attracted by the shiney objects. Keep your focus.

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

Cognition is thinking, learning and remembering. Increasing cognition will improve your performance at work, reduce stress and help your decision making. Your cognition is measured online, then you play a video game that is personalised based on your assessment. The game then adapts as your cognition changes.

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

Officevibe make employee engagement fun with gamified platform.

What’s your favourite London restaurant?

Tuscanic, Old Compton St, for authentic, delicious lunchtime Italian in traditional surroundings. Not what you expect in Soho. Or Nobu, as where else can I get bacon on my cocktail? (Smokey margarita)

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Thanks Duncan! You can read more startup spotlights here.

We’ve teamed up with our friends at FixFlo to co-host dinner at Google Campus for London’s PropertyTech startups to break bread, network, share experiences & contacts. The dinner is invite only, with each startup bringing a journalist guest.

On the guest list:

  • FixFlo: Guided tenant repair reporting software makes property repairs simple. Suitable for property or block managers.
  • Locatable: Provides you with a single dashboard to manage your home and optimise its performance.
  • 1 Roof: Provides housing services and building and sustaining affordable homes and healthy neighborhoods.
  • CherryBird: Bringing students, landlords and agents the tools they need for fairer, easier and stress-free lettings.
  • EnergyDeck: Makes it easy to track consumption data for different categories and sources – from electricity to travel, and from utility bills to smart meters.

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  • PayProp: An automated transactional platform for the property management industry that is both easier to use and more powerful than existing solutions offered by banks and traditional software vendors.
  • WigwammWith just a few taps, Wigwamm’s Listing App puts you days ahead of the competition.
  • Movebubble: A community marketplace for owners, renters and contractors to list, find, manage and maintain rental properties from anywhere in the world and on any device.
  • We Are Pop Up: Helps businesses find short-term commercial space for retail, art, design, dining, social and specialty projects around the UK.
  • Hyperoptic: The first residential broadband provider to offer a 1GB symmetric (i.e. upload and download speed) service.

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We’ve hosted dinners of this format previously for foodtech, fashiontech, musictech and others and have had journalists joining us from TechCrunch, TNW, Huff Post, Tech City News, Tech City Insider and pretty much all the broadsheets, creating really useful connections for the startups that attend.

We can’t wait to bring everyone together over a good meal! Thanks to our sponsor Rackspace for their ongoing support.

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We are very excited to host “Tales from the Trenches: Finding the right tech talent for your team” on 4 June. Our “Tales from the Trenches” series of dinners feature interesting and successful startup founders who share their journey or their expertise on a particular topic in an informal after dinner talk.

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We’ll enjoy dinner, drinks & a chance to meet fellow entrepreneurs, followed by an after-dinner talk and informal Q&A with Hire Space’s Co-Founder & CTO: Will Swannell and Dean Hume.

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If you’re not technical, finding the right tech people to work with, whether co-founders or team members can be a challenge. Dean Hume will talk about how to attract and hire the right techies for your team and non technical Co-Founder, Will Swannell, will talk about how he got it right, after getting it oh so wrong for a year.

Make sure you don’t miss out and book your seat here. For any questions about this dinner, you can reach us hello@tablecrowd.com or @tablecrowd.

Thanks to our new sponsor Elance for their support!

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We are pleased to announce that Eugenie Teasley, Founder of Spark+Mettle, will be joining us and giving an after dinner talk with Q&A at our Social Enterprise Startups #MeetandEat dinner (28th May). We’re hosting this dinner in partnership with our friends at Inspiring Adventures.

Spark+Mettle is a youth charity which helps young people uncover their potential and harness it to a fulfilling career.

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Eugenie created Spark+Mettle in 2011. She calls herself an aspirations agent. She loves enabling young people (and others) to realise their aspirations whilst at the same time connecting them with the people, ideas and organisations who can help get them where they want to go.

Everything I do, I do it with others, and none of it would be worth anything to anyone without these other awesome brains.”

We can’t wait to hear her story about how she built her startup. Book your seat to get a chance to #MeetandEat!

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We almost met Adam at our #FinTech dinner but despite a admirable effort, he was beaten by the Tube strikes. We still wanted to find out more about him and his Startup Satago:

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What’s the elevator pitch for your startup?

We believe businesses have the right to Get Paid On Time. That’s why we are building Satago: automated credit control that takes the hassle out of chasing debtors. We’re committed to helping companies get paid faster so they can spend more time chasing new customers and doing the work they love.

What were you doing before you launched your startup?

Prior to Satago I was the first employee in the UK at Palantir Technologies, helping the European presence grow from a few people to over 80 engineers and analysts when I left in October 2013, some 3 and a half years after joining the team. Prior to that I was working at Detica on large Government projects

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

I met Steven, Satago’s founder, via an online advert during his six month long search for a technical co-founder, which he blogged about here.

What’s your biggest ‘hindsight’ moment?

We’ve had many hindsight moments to date but the most practical tip we can give as a result of our hindsight is to understand the size of your fund-raising round in relation to the market. Make sure you pick the right people to pitch to, whether that is Angels (small size), syndicates (medium size) or VCs (large round), you can waste a lot of time pitching to the wrong people!

What will the rest of 2014 bring?

2014 should see some rapid growth for us, we will be exhibiting at the Great British Business Show on 15th & 16th May, plus we have a great revision to our core product in the works which will be released between now and the show. We are also in the process of hiring our first employees, currently interviewing for a developer, a designer and a business development position.

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

For somebody getting in to the FinTech sector in general I would strongly advise people to really do their research on competitors, customers and opinions on the current market. As a mentor in the arena I have seen so many great ideas that have suffered from potential founders not properly checking out the competition and the current appetite for solutions (or lack of it) in the market.

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

If you spend time chasing your customers for overdue invoices, then you should check out Satago. From automated, escalating email reminders, through letters in the post, to getting an experienced credit manager on the phone to your customer, Satago can take the pain out of keeping control of your cash-flow.

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

There are so many other great startups in the fin-tech arena, but one that has impressed me recently from an end-user perspective is TransferWise – they may not be the most innovate or the most ground breaking, but it is a well presented product that is easy to use and does exactly what it says on the tin.

What’s your favourite London restaurant?

Aside from the Michelin starred restaurants in London, which I rarely go to but relish visiting, a recent favourite is the roof garden restaurant Babylon, next to High Street Kensington tube station. Being able to watch the sunset over a rooftop garden while eating great food is pretty cool.

Satago Logo - blue horizontalWe hope to meet you next time Adam!

See what’s coming up soon here or read more startup spotlights here.

Our new partner Propel London will be joining us at their first dinner in just two weeks – dinner for entrepreneurs that we are co-hosting with Startacus.

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Propel are an award winning recruitment consultancy supporting marketing, advertising, creative and technology in the digital world. They believe that the digital industry is dependent entirely on the professionals that work within it. Their skills, their imagination and their insight are what makes the UK digital landscape the most exciting in the world.

Their job is to match talented professionals with opportunities from digital employers, be they industry stalwarts or the next big thing. Whether you are in technology, agency, client-side or creative, Propel are here to help digital people and digital employers build great employment relationships.

Overall, they make talent count.

Basically, they recruit for companies with a need for digitally skilled professionals. Propel supplies permanent and contract candidates, as well as offering an executive search service for high calibre roles.

We are really happy to welcome them on board as a partner and can’t wait to see them at to our tables!

We’re very much looking forward to welcoming a tremendous group of PropertyTech startups to Central Working in Google Campus for our PropertyTech Startups #MeetandEat on 2nd June, 7pm.

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We’ve partnered with our friends at FixFlo to host this dinner. Fixflo is the leadings repairs software for rented residential properties. It is used by property managers (landlords and letting agencies) across the UK.

This dinner is invite only – each startup is inviting a journalist as their plus 1. For the startups, it’s a great networking opportunity and for the journalists, it’s an easy way to meet everyone on the scene in one night.

The guest list is filling up and will be announced soon.

If you haven’t received an invite and think you should have, please get in touch to hello@tablecrowd.com or @tablecrowd.