Archives for the month of: July, 2015

MyQaa, the mobile app for events and conferences, started a new initiative to recognise female leaders in the emerging events industry, and we are extremely proud and honoured that our CEO, Kate Jackson, was listed as one of the top 5 women in event tech!

KateHeadShotA jury panel of influencers within the industry submitted their nominations of women who ‘are currently working in event technology companies and have made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of women and the industry’. Following the review of the nominees, the jury panel chose their Top 5:

We’re also pleased with the fact that Kate’s also representing the UK in the list as well! Be sure to read MyQaa’s full blog post on their initiative as they’re hoping that ‘this group of positive role models will inspire women to join our sector and to achieve their career goals’.

We also want to recognise the other nominees as each and every one of them is doing their part in promoting women in event tech:

  • Jane Baker, 2Heads Global Design
  • Tamar Beck, GleanIn
  • Lea Bloom, MCI Group
  • Midori Connolly, AV Girl Productions
  • Stefania Conti-Vecchi, The Eventagist
  • Alda Egurrola-Wienke, Cvent
  • Iris Goldman, OLE On Location Engagements
  • Melissa Ooi, ASP
  • Steph Pfeilsticker, Hybrid Events Authority
  • Melissa Pinard, InitLive, Inc
  • Tal Shoham, Evolero
  • Courtney Stanley, eventmobi
  • Anne Tsai, DoubleDutch
  • Leonora Valvo, insightXM

Keep up the good work ladies!





This week, we had the pleasure of the CEO of Pivigo on all things big data and data science related, followed by Ryan Kohn, the co-founder of Propercorn covering getting your product stocked and selling over 2m units a month. Here’s what happened:

propercornDine with the co-founder of Propercorn
Joining Ryan Kohn, co-founder of Propercorn, for dinner at Tom’s Kitchen, St Katharine Docks last night, were fellow entrepreneurs and brand strategists looking to garner Ryan’s knowledge and expertise in building a hugely successful brand and he offered his advice to those starting a business. His 3 key points were:

  1. Understanding your ‘why’: I wanted to run my own charity, that’s my desire, that’s what gets me up every day. When you hire people, why should they get behind you?
  2. If you’re starting a business, make a list of the top 5 people in your industry who you admire. Learn from them. Take them out for a coffee and pick their brains. E.g. Ryan met with the co-founder of Innocent, they ran through the basics of wholesalers and business fundamentals. Ultimately, meet with as many people as you can!
  3. Every time you hire someone, it’s an opportunity to hire someone brilliant. They have to fit your culture and your attitude – it’s not just a job. It’s all about the people you hire. It took Propercorn a year and half to hire their commercial director.

Speaking about Propercorn as a whole, Ryan explained that they consider themselves a lifestyle brand, it’s not just all about popcorn.

We are holistic, we don’t speak badly about competitors. We focus on ourselves. We believe in what we’re doing. Champion your story and your heritage.

pivigoData Science: use data to drive your business
Dining at Piccolino, Broadgate on Monday night, Kim Nilsson and her guests spoke extensively about the growing need to utilise the ever-expanding collection of data that each and every business is accumulating. There are ways and means to use this data to a company’s advantage. Kim gave some great advice on how to start using data for your business, you can find out more here.

Our speakers were joined by: Compare and Share, Chime, Pomelo Brands, Bloom & Wild, Ucanavit, Live Unguilty, Popcorn Kitchen, Hownd, BTL Brands, Marley Coffee and Accenture amongst others.

Special thanks go to our speakers, Kim Nilsson and Ryan Kohn along with our new partner Constant Contact.

constant-contact-800x200Check out the upcoming TableCrowd dinners and see when you’ll be joining us for dinner.

Kim Nilsson, CEO of Pivigo, provided some valuable insight, at Monday night’s dinner, into why companies should be looking at using data to drive their businesses forward. If a company wants to have a competitive advantage tomorrow, they need to start investing in the field of data science today. For a start it’s more efficient, and in some cases, it can generate a boost in sales.

Here is Kim’s list of what companies need in order to start to implement the use of data within their business:

  • First and foremost, is the data
  • The right tools are also an absolute must
  • Data scientists who are trained specialists
  • Commitment from the senior management team
  • Culture change and acceptance within the business on a whole, and
  • Finally, for people within the business to cooperate

With Kim’s firm belief that data is going to revolutionise the world – and why not, there’s an abundance of the stuff just sitting there waiting to be put to work – it’s surprising that most companies aren’t doing it. Her prediction, however, is that in five years time any company that doesn’t have data scientists working their magic will be at a distinct disadvantage.


constant-contact-800x200We have great pleasure in announcing our newest partner Constant Contact, and as they’re sponsoring their first dinner with us tonight (Propercorn’s co-founder is speaking at a dinner hosted at Tom’s Kitchen, St Katharine Docks), we thought we’d catch up with Minal Patel, their Senior Marketing Manager to find out more about the company and what they do.

What is Constant Contact?
Constant Contact is an online marketing platform for small and medium organisations. Anchored by our world-class email marketing product, our tools help SMEs to generate repeat business and find customers. We also partner with marketing agencies and consultants who help SMEs with their marketing – we provide the tools; our partners provide the services. This partner programme is designed to give agencies and consultants the support they need to grow their client base and sell more services. Our local team is on hand to work closely with our partners to provide help with marketing, business development and insight in to the world of SMEs. We’re a fun bunch to work with and we’re waiting to help your business flourish.

HeadshotWhat’s your role?
I’m the senior marketing manager – but I don’t just manage. I roll my sleeves up and get stuck in to projects to support our existing partners and also to find new partners we can help. Working for me is a great guy called Colin Price. He makes sure our partners have the marketing tools they need to find new clients and that they have the training they need to be successful, and in turn, that they can help their SME customers be successful.

What were you doing before you joined Constant Contact?
I worked for a company called SMART Technologies. They make interactive technologies for education and business and I was part of the EMEA marketing team. I had a lot of cool gadgets to play with – I’m a tech geek at heart!

What were the firm’s [or industry’s] biggest developments in 2014? 
In 2014, after extensive testing, Constant Contact introduced the first all-in-one marketing platform specifically for small businesses, integrating together all our tools—things like email, social, event management, and more—to bring SMEs everything they need to drive repeat customers and reach new ones.

What will the rest of 2015 bring?
Constant Contact in the UK is going from strength to strength. We have a strong base of partners who do a great job of helping their clients. We know that we can support more businesses, like those of our partners, to make the lives of SME owners easier. Our focus will be to make this happen.

ConstantContactConvince someone to use your service in under 50 words.
If I had had Constant Contact when I worked at SMART Technologies, I know our marketing ROI would have been much stronger. If you’re not a tech geek, like me, or simply don’t have the time, then having the support of our partners is invaluable. For those who prefer to do it themselves, our tools are built to be easy and affordable, giving anyone the opportunity to be their own marketer. Digital marketing is not an option for SMES, it’s a must.

What’s your favourite London restaurant?
This is a tricky one – there are so many. I think I’ll have to say Benares. I went there with my husband for a birthday treat for him. All of it was delicious. Although, given that I love food, pretty much anywhere in London is great.

If you are interested in becoming a TableCrowd partner to #MeetandEat with our community, then please get in touch at Here’s a full list of our partners.

We had a lovely chat with Tammi-Lee Fazldeen of YogaFloats earlier this month, where she filled us in on her summer yoga community project in partnership with Islington Boat Club. At TableCrowd HQ, we’re always up for a bit of Yoga and mindfulness. Take a look at Tammi-Lee’s Business Spotlight to see what she’s offering for Londoners this month to raise funds for the Youth Programme. IMG_3598 What’s the elevator pitch for your business?
Celebrating Yoga this summer! YogaFloats is a world exclusive in unique outdoor Yoga experiences: A Floating Yoga pontoon in the heart of Islington City Road Basin where you get a boat ride to class and back.  A Summer project in partnership with Islington Boat Club to raise funds for the Youth Programme. Open to all Londoners, Yoga teachers, local business and corporates to explore the benefits of yoga.

What were you doing before you launched your company?
I was self employed as a community yoga facilitator with kids and family commitments.

If you have co-founders, where did you meet them?
My co-founders are friends of friends and we met at Islington Boat Club

What’s your biggest hindsight moment?
A Start-up fund should ideally be acquired before starting up!

What will the rest of 2015 bring?
Lots of Summer Yoga fun at YogaFloats, including community fundraisers and workshops in collaboration with other teachers, using yoga as a bridge to connect different worlds. Team building Yoga sessions for local businesses and corporations continuing popular classes, such as AcroYoga and Family Yoga. We will also be launching Teen Yoga and Mindfulness classes as well as Friday Evening Sunset Yoga nibbles and mocktails…!!!!  Then loads of planning for next year.

One piece of advice for someone starting a business in your sector?
Look at data and statistics before creating a timetable or schedule (i.e. find out what people are already doing and what they currently want).

IMG_3932Convince someone to use your product/service in under 50 words.
Do you love Yoga and beautiful outdoor locations?  How about supporting local charities providing positive and empowering activities for young people in London? YogaFloats is providing a platform for different Yoga Classes and workshops on a floating pontoon in the middle of City Road Basin at the Islington Boat Club. 

What’s your favourite startup in your sector (not including your own)?
Acro Yoga with Erica Montes

What’s your favourite London restaurant?
I really enjoy going to Mildreds in Soho

What’s your favourite meal?
Thai fish cakes.


Find more of our #BusinessSpotlights here. If you’d like your business featured on our blog, email with the title: I want to be a #BusinessSpotlight!


150727 NWDWith the summer holidays well and truly underway (although the weather would have you think otherwise!), TableCrowd HQ has a few dinners lined up for those of you that haven’t absconded to far off lands this coming August. Be ready for September though, as we have loads of exciting dinners waiting in the wings just for you! Here’s what’s happening next week:

London Beauty Queen & British Beauty Blogger dinner [SOLD OUT]
Hayley Carr (London Beauty Queen) and Jane Cunningham (British Beauty Blogger) are hosting their latest dinner for the beauty blogging industry on the changing nature of the bloggersphere: disclosure & collaboration. They will be joined by brands, PRs and bloggers from the beauty world, who will hear them spill the beans on how the landscape will change and touch on the best way to collaborate for success.
Dinner is at 6:45pm on Tuesday 4 August at Obica, Fitzrovia

Dine with Leila Rastegar Zegna, founding partner at Spring Partners: using your network to grow your business
As founding partner of a new early stage venture capital fund based in London, Leila will be providing an after-dinner talk and informal Q&A on how to use your network to grow your business. Leila is an entrepreneur and investor across both the UK and UK. She has raised $70m for two ventures in Silicon Valley, and has strong ties in both London and Silicon Valley tech scene.
Dinner is at 6:45pm on Wednesday 5 August at Lima Floral, Covent Garden [SOLD OUT]

Take a look at the full list of upcoming TableCrowd dinners.

For those of you who are new to TableCrowd – have a look at our video to see what it’s like when you join us for dinner:

internationalgrowthAt our dinner with Paperless Post’s GM UK & Senior Director of International Expansion, Caroline Harding-Gelbard, provided her fellow diners with her recommendations on globally expanding a business:

  • Be prepared to ask the right questions
  • Try to find a way to let your customers lead the way – don’t just commit to an area just because it’s big, go where the demand is!
  • Translation is expensive – most consumers can navigate an eCommerce site. Do you really need to translate the website?
  • Find a way to drive some sales before you explore a market – start shipping there in their currency and see if there’s any response
  • Start the localisation process by trying to find an agent or country manager who speaks the same language as you
  • Seek good legal advice when organising your operational elements including legal, finance, hiring, website, shipping, returns etc
  • Look at ASOS – it’s a good example of international expansion
  • Maintain simplicity with flexibility to increase your chances of success

Recommended Reading: The Inside Story on How SurveyMonkey Cracked the International Market

To hear first-hand the great advice that speakers at TableCrowd offer their fellow diners, come join us for dinner.

New to TableCrowd? Here’s what dining with us is all about:

It’s been a good week for dinners this week, first off we had Caroline Harding-Gelbard of Paperless Post on growing your business, followed by Lawrence Barclay from DN Capital talking to us about what he looks for in the companies he invests in. Here’s the low down:

ppostPlanning for international growth
As always, this was a relaxed and friendly TableCrowd dinner at Lima Floral in Covent Garden, where Caroline Harding-Gelbard spoke enthusiastically about international growth and gave an insight into what you should and shouldn’t do. It may well sound like an obvious statement, but one of her best pieces of advice was to,

Go where the demand is!

This means choosing a country or area for a better reason than, “because it is big”. For more of her tips, take a look here.

Screenshot 2015-07-23 09.21.24

Dinner with early stage investor from DN Capital
Lawrence Barclay joined his fellow diners at Aubaine in Dover St, where he provided a comical and honest approach to his talk after dinner. He immediately charmed the room by announcing that he’d just written his notes on the back of a business card!

Introducing DN Capital as a Tech-interested venture capital firm with a fund of €150m, Lawrence spoke of his personal background starting in big tobacco before moving into pharmaceuticals. Lawrence then entered consumer investing, at which point, he briefed the table on what he would expect to see from an investment meeting, starting with stating:

We need to look for businesses that have multi-billion dollar potential

So, what matters to Lawrence?

  • The team – the average horizon is 8 years so it’s important to work with great people; their track record is important
  • Market
  • Product
  • What terms of investment are you willing to accept?
  • Passion – it’s key. You HAVE to be obsessed with what you are doing
  • Empathy
  • Humility

As a final note, Lawrence recommended Take Eat Easy, a new company he’s investing in that’s expanding across Europe. ppost2Our speakers were joined by: SaaScribe Media, Clocked, RATP Dev UK, Digital Score, The Partners, Klusstr, Compare and Share, EarlyBird, eRentz, Torsion Information Security, S-Company, Zoom Labs, Product Hunt, Kiwi Girl, London Early Years Foundation, Wicked Uncle, and EarlyBird amongst others.

Special thanks to our speakers Caroline Gelbard-Harding and Lawrence Barclay, along with our partner Wellers.

Wellers sponsor size


Check out the upcoming TableCrowd dinners and see when you’ll be joining us for dinner.

200715 NWDIt’s all about finishing the month on a high, so we have four dinners next week just for you:

Data Science: use data to drive your business.
Understanding your company’s data can be the key ingredient for success. Join us for dinner with Kim Nilsson, CEO of Pivigo, who will be giving an after-dinner talk, and informal Q&A on data science.

If you’re new to “data science“, it is the extraction of knowledge from large volumes of data – and there is more data out there than ever before, which calls for new ways of analysing and processing.

If you understand your company’s audience, you can better target them with products and services; you can tailor offers specific to their tastes. If you understand their behaviour, you can use this information to secure loyalty and create a more valuable offering.
Dinner is at 6:45pm on Monday 27 July at Piccolino, Broadgate

Parent & family startups: Dine with the Founder of Baby2Body
Our latest ‘Tech Stories’ dinner sees Melinda Nicci, Founder of Baby2Body give an after-dinner talk, and an informal Q&A session on starting and maintaining a thriving business. This dinner is perfect for people with businesses that focus on providing products or services to parents and/or families.

Melinda will share her story of building Baby 2 Body from the ground up into a thriving business that has secured coverage in magazines and broadsheets, as well as raising funding from top London fund, Forward Partners.
Dinner is at 6:45pm on Tuesday 28 July at Tom’s Kitchen, St Katharine Docks

Dine with the Founder of PROPERCORN: Getting stocked and selling 2 million units a month
How do relatively new brands manage to get stocked in major stores and supermarkets across the UK? Let alone sell millions of their products each month!

Dine with Ryan Kohn, co-founder of PROPERCORN, who will be speaking after dinner about how he launched a super-brand in under four years, as well as sharing his top tips for start-up success in the food sector. Launching his business at the height of the recession and against some huge competition, PROPERCORN’s story is really inspiring. And they’re now taking their next steps into exporting to other countries in Europe too.
Dinner is at 6:45pm on Wednesday 29 July at Tom’s Kitchen, St Katharine Docks

Growing an eCommerce business: From your first user to an international business
Meeting people that have ‘been there‘ is immensely important when working on your business. Will Wynne, founder at Arena Flowers, one of the leading online florists in the UK with operations globally (both b2b and b2c), will be providing an after-dinner talk, followed by an informal Q&A at our latest eCommerce dinner. He will be sharing tips and insights for growing your eCommerce business from the ground up as well as learnings from mistakes he made along the way.

Before starting Arena Flowers, Will worked at a private equity firm in the City and before then he was one of the marketing guys at eBay UK. Will is also co-founder and MD of Smart Pension for auto enrolment into workplace pensions. He has a wealth of experiences to share over a glass or two of wine. Take this chance to meet him and ask all those burning questions, informally over dinner.Dinner is at 6:45pm on Wednesday 29 July at Jamie’s Italian, London Bridge

Take a look at the full list of upcoming TableCrowd dinners.

For those of you who are new to TableCrowd – have a look at our video to see what it’s like when you join us for dinner:

alexwood2It’s always a good week when we get the pleasure of having a dinner at NatWest’s private dining room at Drummonds overlooking Trafalgar Square. Guests joined Alex Wood, Editor-in-Chief at The Memo (ex Tech City News) whilst we had Yoni Assia the founder of social trading platform, eToro speaking at another dinner. Catch up here on what happened:

alexwoodDine with Alex Wood, Editor-in-Chief at The Memo
Reveling in the experience of dining in NatWest’s private dining room at Drummonds, Alex Wood spoke after dinner on how to secure online, print and broadcast coverage for your business. As a tech journalist, Alex spoke extensively about everything from the diverse nature of media and why someone would want coverage, to the state of the media. With The Guardian losing £39m a year and there being 6 tech PRs in London to every journalist, securing coverage for your business is a difficult road to walk down.

When a journalist says no, it doesn’t mean no. It means not right now.

Alex believes that all journalists are good people and their primary motivation is telling other peoples’ stories – so give them your trust. His last words of advice were:

Be yourself. Be honest. Say good things, say bad things, just say something.

In doing this, Alex explained, “you will be surprised at the support the press will give you in following your dreams.”

etoroDine with Yoni Assia, founder and CEO of social trading platform, eToro
Dinner at Pescatori on Tuesday evening had Yoni speaking openly about starting eToro and how it’s become a leading social investment network, in 140 countries, that can be described as Facebook meets Barclays. eToro allows people to invest in different markets, and invented ‘copy trading’ where every person becomes an investment manager, allowing you to follow them and copy people. Resulting in everyone building mini portfolios.

As Yoni has been addicted to trading capital from a young age and is also fascinated by technology, he naturally began asking questions, like: How do you create a new type of user experience in the world of finance? How can you attract millions of investors?

His biggest advice for founders embarking on a startup is that it doesn’t get any easier – the bigger the company, the bigger the crisis!

People say start-ups are a roller coaster at the beginning, but in truth it doesn’t stop!

Yoni closed the evening discussing the companies he admires, including Disney, Apple, Google and Facebook – companies that have vision, values and strategy. Those that are audacious and courageous enough to talk about the future.

Our speakers were joined by: Digital Score Ltd, Fidelity Worldwide Investment, PixelPin, iomart, Swapforex, MediaMath, ClearMacro, Ztudium, Above+Beyond, WorkLife, Like Minds, UK Study Centre, Kiwi Girl Limited, The Accountancy Cloud, AirDates App, The Partners, Google, Grist, and Pavegen amongst others.

Special thanks go to our speakers Alex Wood and Yoni Assia and our partner NatWest.

NatWestCheck out the upcoming TableCrowd dinners and see when you’ll be joining us for dinner.