Archives for the month of: March, 2016

helloAt dinner last week, Jim Kite, Starcom MediaVest Group‘s Strategic Development Director, covered the topic of how he works closely with tech startups by connecting them with Starcom’s existing clients (like Samsung, P&G, Lidl and Heineken to name drop a little).

Here are his top tips for startups working with a media and advertising agency to connect their products and services with established brands:

  1. Have a clear proposition. Focus on what you do well.
  2. Ensure your product is 100% ready.
  3. Pitching to a marketeer is very different to an investor pitch – research the agency and the client before you approach them.
  4. Personalise the approach to the client – show what you can do for them.
  5. Have a simple video that showcases exactly what you do.

For more great tips from our speakers, take a look at our other posts – or better yet – hear first-hand by joining us for dinner!

shaaOur women’s only dinners are a must-do for two reasons. Firstly, they allow women to share their knowledge and inspire each other and secondly, you can hear real-life examples of women forging their own career paths.

We are very excited to be welcoming Shaa Wasmund – one of Britain’s most prominent digital entrepreneurs, to speak at our latest women’s only dinner.

Her critically acclaimed bestseller ‘Stop Talking and Start Doing’ teaches you how to turn business ideas and ambitions into reality. As the Founder of Smarta, she is also one of the most connected people in the UK!

Join us for dinner where Shaa will talk about reinventing yourself to become a successful leader in your own business, the business you decided to join, as well as reinventing yourself outside of business.

Get those burning questions ready and book your seat at dinner for what is sure to be an inspirational and game-changing experience.
Dinner is at 6:45pm on Thursday 7 April at Aubaine, Mayfair.

agencyAt dinner earlier this week, Jim Kite, Starcom MediaVest Group‘s Strategic Development Director, covered the topic of how he works closely with tech startups by connecting them with Starcom’s existing clients (like Samsung, P&G, Lidl and Heineken to name drop a little). Here are his 5 reasons that agencies work with startups:

  1. Innovation
    Clients expect innovation as well as the basics from their media agency. What value is the agency adding? There needs to be constant innovation – and startups are primed to execute this.
  2. Partnerships
    Partnering is a need for media agencies as it’s a battle to keep up with all of the tech changes alone. Working with others also aids an agency’s own product development.
  3. Talent
    The average age at Starcom is 31, and retaining talent is difficult. The majority of staff at startups are millenials. The startup industry is effectively a talent magnet.
  4. Reputation
    Working with startups helps build a brand and is a differentiator. Ultimately, it’s attractive to clients.
  5. Revenue
    Startups have ‘innovation-funding’. Matching a client with a start up is new revenue, as a start up may well become a client in the future. Making the whole process go full circle.

For more great tips from our speakers, take a look at our other posts – or better yet – hear first-hand by joining us for dinner!

D&MOur TableCrowd members enjoyed themselves at two dinners this week covering the topics of how to get media coverage for your business and connecting established brands with startups. Journalist and founder Monty Munford spoke extensively on how to peak the interest of a journalist, whilst Jim Kite – Strategic Development Director at Starcom MediaVest Group – discussed how he encourages SMG’s big name clients to work with up-and-coming startups.

MontyDinner with journalist Monty Munford
As a writer for The Telegraph, Forbes, The Independent, Mashable etc – the list is long and extensive – Monty has a significant amount of knowledge when it comes to startups securing press coverage. Be sure to read Journalist rejects 98% of emails – Be the 2%. It’s a great insight into the bugbears of one particular journalist (that could quite easily be the case for many more) that came from Monty’s talk at dinner. With time being scarce in the media world, and the all important point of any story being ‘newsworthy’ – this dinner with Monty at Drake & Morgan at Kings Cross provided some fantastic advice to its diners to really drive forward any business’s presence in the media.

jimkiteDinner with Starcom MediaVest
It’s understandable that any new business will feel like it’s impossible to reach established brands and corporates, however over dinner at The Folly on Monday night, Jim inspired his fellow diners with his stance on why big names should be working with startups. By highlighting the positives of a startups, especially tech ones, it was clear that with the constant changes and advancements happening, particularly in tech, that a young startup is far more nimble in its ability to adapt to its surroundings than would be expected of its longer-standing counterpart. Jim had so many great tips we’ve created two blog articles that touch on elements of what he covered in his after-dinner talk, Top 5 tips for working with an Agency and 5 reasons media agencies work with startups.

Our speakers were joined by Innometrics, Keystone Law, JayKay Media,, Jackopaw, TrafficLight Solutions, rewardStyle, Buto, Rezonence, Drinki, Amondo, Per4mance Insight, Fly Marketing, MindSightUK, Crossing-The Travel Company, Bubblo, OneLane app, Friends Recommend It, WiseAlpha Technologies, PawMetrics, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies and Grabr amongst others.

Special thanks to Jim and Monty for speaking at dinner.

Check out our upcoming dinners to see which one whets your appetite!

E-commerce and shopping iconsIt’s relatively easy these days to start a business by setting up an online store, but it becomes a bit tricky when you want to get people to buy from you rather your competitors – not to mention getting potential buyers to your site in the first place.

eCommerce dinner: Insider tips on increasing orders through your online store
Join us for
dinner, drinks & a chance to meet fellow entrepreneurs, followed by an after-dinner talk and informal Q&A with Alex O’Byrne, Cofounder of We Make Websites, and all-round eCommerce guru.

As part of the UK’s highest rated Shopify agency, Alex works with businesses everyday to improve their eCommerce. Over dinner, he’ll be talking about how the best online stores increase their sales, touching on elements of design, usability and fulfilment.

With clients including The Economist and Condor Bikes, Alex also teaches eCommerce at General Assembly and his business currently has a not-too-shabby 40K of online retailers reading their eCommerce advice every month.

So, jot down your questions for Alex, grab your seat at the table and join us for a wealth of practical tips that can be applied to your online store (or the one you’re planning to start!) Let’s #MeetandEat
Dinner is at 6:45pm on Wednesday 30 March at The Happenstance, The City

New to TableCrowd? Take a look at our short video to see what it’s all about:

Screenshot 2016-03-30 15.58.05Yesterday’s dinner was a great opportunity for our members to meet Nick Verkroost, a Principal at DC Thomson Ventures. Dining at one of our regular haunts, Aubaine, everyone thoroughly enjoyed the topic of PublishingTech and how changes in publishing have opened up a world of new opportunities for entrepreneurs.

Publishing is a reserved and traditional business with digital coming in to disrupt traditional revenue streams and content.

Nick’s after-dinner talk highlighted the noticeable changes in publishing tech including:

  1. Focus is on speed of communication to customers instead of writing in-depth stories. This requires a very different skillset – essentially content needs to be short and snappy with detail coming later.
  2. More and more online content is moving towards video.
  3. User interface is becoming more important as there is an increase in mobile traffic. Traditional companies are struggling with the difference in layouts.
  4. Revenue is not coming from traditional streams.

All of this has driven change in the skillset requirement of staff in the industry. So, Nick says it’s important to understand how can you transition staff to this (as well as implement it). With a dinner chock-full of publishing-related info – some other interesting points that were raised included:

  • Two thirds of website traffic on news sites is coming from other websites.
  • Facebook is the best to get people to your website. It’s the largest referrer of traffic (even bigger than Google!)
  • Facebook now wants to keep users on their site so have agreed with publishers to hold their content
  • Use of SnapChat is on the rise
  • 22% of traffic comes through mobile
  • 23% added revenue from mobile
  • Advert blockers on phones will be the challenge for next few years

Our speaker was joined by: Story Terrace, OpenPlay, TKG Group, Jackopaw, Mind Agilis, 93digital, Azoomee, Friends Recommend It, Solely Original, Smart Anchor Ventures, Collider and The Pigeonhole amongst others.

Special thanks goes to Nick for a fantastic talk and insightful Q&A session, as well as our partner Venntro.

Venntro logoCheck out our upcoming dinners to see which one whets your appetite!

starcommontyNext week sees dinners happening for those wanting to connect with established brands and those looking for press coverage. Two fantastic speakers are waiting in the wings, eager to impart their wisdom. Read on to find out more about each one, and be sure to book your place at dinner too.

Dine with Starcom MediaVest: connecting established brands with startups
As a new business, it can sometimes feel impossible to reach established brands and corporates. Even when you know your offering could be of massive value to them. Join us for dinner, drinks & a chance to meet fellow entrepreneurs, followed by an after-dinner talk and informal Q&A with Jim Kite, Starcom MediaVest’s Strategic Development Director.

Starcom MediaVest Group is a media and advertising agency obsessed with technology, data and people. They work with clients including Samsung, P&G, Lidl & Heineken (to ‘name drop’ a little). At dinner, Jim will talk about things from the other side of the table,

  • what brands are looking for
  • what challenges they face, and
  • how to grab their attention

He’ll also spill the beans with examples of how SMG brands have worked with startups in the past, together with upcoming opportunities.
Dinner is at 6:45pm on Monday 21 March at The Folly, Monument

Dine with journalist Monty Munford, writer for The Telegraph, Forbes, Economist, TechCrunch, Independent etc
The question on the lips of every business – how do you get more press coverage? One man with the answer is Monty Munford, a journalist for some of the world’s most prestigious publications on technology, and founder of Mob76 where he acts as a strategy and exit consultant for mobile, tech and digital companies.

With a weekly technology column for The Telegraph in the UK and Forbes in New York, and regularly writing for The Economist, MIT Tech Review, TechCrunch, Mashable, Wired UK and The Independent (what a list!), Monty is definitely someone in-the-know when it comes to securing media coverage for your business. Join Monty and your fellow entrepreneurs for a delicious two course dinner and hear him spill the beans on how to get exposure and coverage for your startup over a glass (or two) of wine.
Dinner is at 6:45pm on Wednesday 23 March at Drake & Morgan, Kings Cross

If you’re new to TableCrowd, take a look at our short video for what to expect when you dine with us:

frog In celebration of International Women’s Day, we held one of our regular women’s only dinner on Tuesday night with Anita, Randy and Tamar as co-hosts. This series is all about women sharing ideas and learning around personal and professional development; what better way to spend the evening of International Women’s Day than at a inspirational dinner. We also held one of our popular investor dinners too – read on to find out what went on at both: kathleenDinner with Kathleen Saxton, founder of The Lighthouse Company & co-founder of Advertising Week Europe
We had the pleasure of organising a women’s dinner at Jamie’s Italian in Piccadilly with the impressive Kathleen Saxton as the after-dinner speaker. As the founder of The Lighthouse Company, Kathleen has built a business that represents talented individuals globally and works with the most interesting and forward thinking businesses, both in creative and media industries. At dinner, Kathleen provided her fellow female diners with her top tips along with the current trends in media recruitment such as the difficulty in retaining talent these days as more and more people are looking to be their own boss, and the increase in focus on people having a diverse skill set.

Be authentic. Be you, otherwise you are incongruous with yourself and people will feel it

She also highlighted how important it is to find an older, wiser person to learn from, to be a coach and a mentor for you. As well as knowing your own strengths and knowing your brand inside and out too.
ballooniverseMassive thanks go to Natalie, Head Balloonista at Miss Ballooniverse for surprising us all and very kindly creating balloon corsages for all of her fellow diners and our wonderful host too!

Dinner with Joe Krancki, Partner at Frog Capital
Our dinner with Frog Capital‘s, Joe Krancki was a gorgeous dining experience at The Happenstance with great service and a fantastically secluded private dining room away from the ‘pumping’ music going on upstairs. The guests were chatty and excitable (as is usually the case with a speaker in growth equity!) many of them having dined with us before.The food was well received by all, coming out like clockwork and providing the perfect catalyst for a long night of conversation. The majority of diners were founders of companies at various different stages and eager to hear from Joe on what he invests in.
frog2Joe was full of information and energy during the after-dinner talk explaining to his fellow diners that Frog Capital usually invest at later stage companies than those in the room. Regardless of this, his advice was very well received including a “rate yourself as a CEO” pack that he handed out. This showed guests what Frog look for in the leader of a company; the packs were eagerly stashed away in bags for some late night reading under the bedside lamp no doubt.

Be an execution based CEO, instead of an interpersonal one.

Our speakers were joined by: Piton Capital, i2i Events Group, Phrasee, Avangate, Workshare, Archive Document Data Storage, AOL, Per4mance Insight, EnergyDeck, Framestore, Ballooniverse, Veyring, Innometrics, Jackopaw, MixMatchMe, Oliver Wyman, Snyffle, Sentenial,, Huge, Amondo, Giggypop, JB Cole Limited amongst others.

Special thanks go to our speakers Kathleen Saxton and Joe Francki, as well as our partner Wellers.
Wellers for site

whisperPart of Caroline’s fantastic after-dinner talk last week at Aubaine included her 3 ‘p’s for PR – Perspective, personality and perseverance.

  1. Perspective (and peg)
    One of the problems with startups is that they are obsessed by what they do and as a result they forget to think about the bigger picture. To combat this, ensure you think about how your business fits in with the world of news as a whole. Answer the question – what can you peg on to?Become an expert in something. Once you’ve established this by talking about your experience and expertise, you won’t need to pitch your company. The speaking and knowledge you have gives you credibility, which in turn means that you no longer need to pitch your company. Know your specialist subject inside and out; become the person that journalists go to. Ultimately, be useful to journalists and think about how you can help them.
  2. Personality
    Establish who has the personality in your team. Utilise that to your advantage. Generally speaking, people want to hear from women. Always be thinking about what makes your people (or you) that bit different.
  3. Perseverance
    Remember, it’s not personal. So be sure to take everything with a good pinch of salt. Don’t be disheartened, and don’t lose the relationship you’ve built with the journalist(s).

For more insight from Caroline – check out the dinner’s #afterdinnerroundup, and to hear first-hand from one of our speakers – take a look at the upcoming TableCrowd dinners.

investmentOne important question that needs an answer for a multitude of reasons is a relatively simple one – what sets you apart? Do you know the answer? And if you do, are you able to explain it succinctly? One particular situation where knowing this comes in handy is when you’re off scouting for some investment.

Wouldn’t it also be useful to get an insight into what an investor looks for when they invest in entrepreneurs and companies? It’s a bit of a no-brainer really – of course it is! So, this week we have the pleasure of Nick Verkroost, Principal at DC Thomson Ventures, joining us for dinner to provide an after-dinner talk on what he looks for when he invests. Nick will also be covering the exciting new tech in the publishing sector. DC Thompson have been in the publishing game since 1886, and is one of the leading media organisations in the UK, covering everything from newspapers, magazines and books to new media, digital technology and broadcast media.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab a seat at Nick’s table, share what you are currently working on, and meet your peers over a delicious meal and a glass of wine (or two!).
Dinner is at 6:45pm on Wednesday 16 March at Aubaine, Heddon St