Archives for the month of: June, 2016

Screenshot 2016-07-06 15.25.31  This week we had the pleasure of Andy Batty, London’s General Manager of onefinestay speak at our latest travel and hospitality dinner. Dining in the private room at Jamie’s Italian on Denman Street, Andy’s fellow diners chatted about the process of taking a business from start-up to grown up.

Coming from an entrepreneurial family, it came as no surprise that Andy would delve into the world of startups. After a short stint in the army, where he learned valuable people leadership skills, Andy embarked on a career in running operations with Mars. Following a big organisation design change he orchestrated in order to make the business more efficient, Andy started an online business for Mars that created and delivered personalised chocolates to its consumers. After running the pilot for a year, he moved on to AnyJunk, then Tough Mudder before arriving at onefinestay, starting as the Operations Director before becoming the General Manager.

Screenshot 2016-07-06 15.25.41At onefinestay, they’ve pioneered a hospitality brand that gives guests the chance to stay in a distinctive home while the owner is out of town. Each home is prepared to 5 star standards, every guest is shown around, has the access to a 24 hour concierge and is provided with an iPhone that comes pre-loaded with all the info about the house. If you’re thinking it sounds like a complex logistical challenge – you’re not far wrong.

We have a complicated business model that covers 100 sq miles of London. Everything is bespoke. Each home is unique; Each house is vetted and provided as a product. We have over 6,000 sets of keys, 1,000 home owners, 10K+ of guests, and 250+ London staff alone.

After recently announcing their strategic deal with AccorHotels, Andy spoke extensively about how to overcome certain limitations of a startups – read all about it here.

Special thanks to Andy Batty for speaking, he was joined by: Dark Blue, Localoids, MyFriendsRoom, velocity, Unocodrinks, Sauce Communications, Inn Style, and Accomplish Financial among others.

Looking to network with your peers and hear from experts in their field? Why not join us for dinner?




The diners who joined Ghilaine Chan, Plug-in COO for startups and SMEs, for dinner last week  at The Anthologist left with notebooks full of tips and advice for becoming a master of execution and operations. Here are a few snippets to whet your appetite:

  1. When you are limited with resources, you need to focus and work out what is important.
  2. Read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R Covey.
  3. Have a ‘to do’ list, adding timings for how long each task will take. This allows you to focus your mind.
  4. Focus on getting one thing done a day. It takes away any faff and helps you to feel in control.
  5. Work out what you can and can’t control.
  6. Be outcome-based. Focus on the end game and work backwards.
  7. Be purposeful about being on and in your business. You need to decide the time that you are going to give to tasks, diarise and stick to it.
  8. Make time for what is important to you (hobbies, families, friends) and schedule them in your diary.
  9. Be aware of what you are good at, as well as what you enjoy doing. Make a list of what you don’t enjoy doing too – delegate this to other people.
  10. Don’t check emails first thing; don’t let others dictate your time.
  11. Plan the following day on the day before.
  12. Plan your following week on a Thursday morning.
  13. Match your task to your energy levels; know when you work best.
  14. Trust people to do a job that you ask of them. Make sure they are the right person doing the right job, and that you have given them good guidance.

For more tips and tricks from our speakers, check out our top tips blogs. Although, nothing beats meeting our speakers in person – so come join us for dinner!


microphoneSpeaking in front of people can be incredibly nerve-racking for even the most seasoned public speakers. And we have to do it all the time, whether pitching for investment or new business, selling an idea or ourselves or presenting information to others.

Cue MetaSpeech founders, Emma Zangs and Mariana Marque, who’ve built a business that helps people become relaxed and confident speakers for pitch presentations, job interviews, or even in front of a camera. Their choreography background brings a fresh perspective to this important skill. Last year, Metaspeech’s tech startup clients raised a combined £12M, including through BBC’s Dragon’s Den.

After experiencing the charms of Emma and Mariana first-hand at their Rockstar session, we just had to have them join us for dinner. They will be sharing how to speak truthfully and inspire the audience, how to be ready to handle any situation and overcome your public speaking fear and how to “own the room”.

Grab a seat at dinner to get some great tips to improve your public speaking. (Hey, there’s always room for improvement!)
Dinner is at 6:45pm on Monday 4 July at The Anthologist, The City

New to TableCrowd? Take a look at our video to see what it’s like joining us for dinner:

Check out the full run-down of our upcoming dinners too.

hephziThis week’s dinners have been all about building successful businesses, from practical tips and real life examples to being a master or execution and operations in order to run your business better. Ghilaine Chan, a Plug-in COO, spoke on Tuesday night to her fellow diners at The Anthologist, whilst Hephzi Pemberton, business founder and investor, talking last night providing insider knowledge to help avoid the problems and pitfalls that businesses commonly face.

Practical tips & real life examples from successful business founder & investor
Hephzi Pemberton and her fellow diners enjoyed dinner at The Happenstance, along with a fantastic evening of networking and tips for building a business. As a business founder and investor, Hephzi began her career in investment banking before moving into headhunting and launching her first business Kea Consultants. Helping her guests to avoid the common problems and pitfalls that businesses face, she shared nuggets of information varying from customer relations and negotiating to hiring your team and learning how to say no. Hephzi’s top ten tips can be found in full here.


Run your business better: be a master of execution & operations
Joining Ghilaine Chan on Tuesday night at The Anthologist, TableCrowd members had such a treat being inundated with loads of ideas and tips to help in the execution and operation of their businesses. We rustled up a little blog post on Ghilaine’s top tips, just for you. Covering everything from being effective and outcome-based to being purposeful and planning, planning and planning some more! Ghilaine also provided insight into hiring the right people for your business too, including stressing that cultural fit and value fit are key to having the right team behind you. Ultimately, Ghilaine believes that to drive focus you need to know why you are running your business. It sounds so simple, doesn’t it?

Our speakers were joined by: Buto, Fixflo, Solely Original, Per4mance Insight, Kiwi Gray, Propelia, Casey, Pathio and TalentYard amongst others.

Special thanks to our speakers, Ghilaine and Hephzi, as well as our partner Wellers.Wellers for siteLooking to network with your peers and hear from experts in their field? Why not join us for dinner?


hephziThe fabulous Hephzi Pemberton gave some superb tips to her fellow diners at dinner this week. (Check out the #AfterDinnerRoundup here.) Take a look at Hephzi’s top ten tips and tricks for building a business:

  1. Treat everyone like a client
    We treated our candidates all like potential clients. This gave us all the right attitude. It doesn’t matter what business you have, people matter. Have this at your heart of your business; it is your reputation, after all.
  2. Stay close to your clients or investors (they pay your bills)
    Building a deeper relationship is really important. Invite them to dinners. Stand out from what your competitors are giving them for relationship building. Be proactive and creative with the relationship.
  3. Learn to negotiate by pro
    Read a book called ‘Never Split the Difference’. It is hostage negotiation for business. Understand what the other side needs first before your own.
  4. Learn to say no
    Develop a relationship with the word ‘no’. It is a healthy setting of boundaries. As a leader it is important to say no. Stick to what you know (and know what you are good at). It demonstrates a level of confidence that you stick to your guns.
  5. Hire for potential not prestige
    Attitude, willingness, work ethic, fun, interested – this is what you’re looking for. Ask about their family. What is their greatest fear? Ask about books, films, arts, culture etc.
  6. Have a board from early on
    No matter how much of a self starter you are, you need people to talk to. Most effective are those that have buy in. You need to make sure that they commit. The board is there for the business; they represent the interests of the business.
  7. Celebrate your success!
    Gives your team something to talk about :-))
  8. Leverage your time
    Get good accountants, lawyers, great tech etc
  9. Develop yourself to develop others
    From the books that you read. Do this and learn and continually develop. Get coaching. Embed coaching culture culture into the business.
  10. Every year ask yourself why are you here
    It will take you out of your comfort zone, although, you might not like the answers!

For more tips and tricks from our speakers, check out our top tips blogs. Although, nothing beats meeting our speakers in person – so come join us for dinner!


ofsWe love the breadth of options now available to people in the travel and hospitality industry, including those provided by the pioneering hospitality brand, onefinestay. If you don’t know them already, they give guests the chance to stay in distinctive homes while the owner is out of town.

With onefinestay’s recent announcement of a $240m strategic deal with AccorHotels, we thought it was high time we organised a dinner to hear all about how they went from launching in 2009 to being all grown up.

Grab a seat at dinner with Andy Batty, London’s General Manager at onefinestay and hear all about the growth of the business, and the exciting times that lay ahead with their goal to launch in 40 cities in the next 5 years.

With scaling being Andy’s thing, both at onefinestay and his previous role as European Operations Director at Tough Mudder, he’s your man to talk to about growing your startup. So, join us for dinner to share with Andy, and your peers, what you’re working on over a delicious meal.
Dinner is at 6:45pm on Tuesday 28 June at Jamie’s Italian, Piccadilly

New to TableCrowd? Take a look at our video to see what it’s like joining us for dinner:

Check out the full run-down of our upcoming dinners too.

superheroesIf you’re interested in how to run your business better (who isn’t?), next week’s dinners are the perfect line-up to do just that. From practical tips and real life examples, to becoming a master or execution and operations. We’ve got you covered.

Run your business better: be a master or execution & operations
As a founder, you don’t always have the luxury of hiring in roles like COO or GM in the early stages, which means all the details of execution and operational challenges are just another plate to spin. So, what’s the best way to make your startup into the success that you want it to be? Grab a seat at dinner with Ghilaine Chan, a ‘Plug-in COO’, who steps into companies of 5-50 people and helps them take their vision to reality.

In the simplest of terms, she’s all about helping to run your business, making it more productive, efficient and customer-focused, by looking at what isn’t working and creating scalable and robust processes and programs to take a business from start-up, through scale-up and beyond.

Join the conversation about how to save time and money, increase motivation and improve customer relationships. With the wealth of experience and knowledge Ghilaine has, make sure you also take a list of those burning questions you have for her to help you run your business better.
Dinner is at 6:45pm on Tuesday 21 June at The Anthologist, The City


Practical tips & real life examples from successful business founder & investor
Being a founder can, at times, be a ‘learn as you go’ experience, which is why, at TableCrowd, we think it’s so important to hear from those who have built their businesses successfully so they can share their knowledge with those following in their footsteps.

With that in mind, we’re looking forward to joining Hephzi Pemberton for dinner where she will be sharing 10 practical things to help you succeed with your business, using case studies and real life examples.

Hephzi, is an investor and business founder. She exited her business, Kea Consultants, in 2015 and is now developing two new businesses, The Inspire Movement and The Missing Middle. Grab a seat at dinner with Hephzi and get the nitty gritty details, alongside your peers, and leave armed with some great insider knowledge that will help you avoid the problems and pitfalls that businesses commonly face.
Dinner is at 6:45pm on Wednesday 22 June at The Happenstance, The City

New to TableCrowd? Take a look at our video to see what it’s like joining us for dinner:

Check out the full run-down of our upcoming dinners too.

Screenshot 2016-06-15 12.49.57 Last night we had a fantastic evening at Aubaine  for our female members with phenomenal Mary-Louise Angoujard, founder and Managing Director of Rapporta, a consultancy firm specialising in leadership coaching and training. Mary-Louise shared with her fellow diners her tips on presence, body language, vocal impact, assertiveness and quiet confidence. As a specialist in leadership and women’s leadership development in particular, Mary-Louise spoke about personal impact and presentation skills as well as covering her background in communication, consultative selling and people development.

Screenshot 2016-06-15 12.50.19Special thanks to our speaker, Mary-Louise, who said:

The dinner last night was hugely enjoyable for me – it was inspiring to have the opportunity to connect with so many amazing, talented and successful women. The topics we discussed certainly seemed to resonate with everyone and they seemed to find my talk interesting. I trust they will also find the tips and insights helpful and practical [too]. I very much appreciate the opportunity to join last evening and look forward to more TableCrowd events!

Once again, the wonderful Natalie, aka Miss Ballooniverse, provided corsages for her fellow diners, she also commented on the dinner:

It was an absolutely brilliant evening. The speaker Mary-Louise was exemplary. The other ladies attending were just fantastic. Food and ambience at the restaurant perfect. Thank you. I cannot wait to the next one I attend.

Mary-Louise was joined by: #EmbraceYourAmbition, Hello HR, i2i Events Group, Per4mance Insight, Phrasee, Microsoft Store, Miss Ballooniverse, Reed Exhibitions, BearingPoint and Activision Blizzard amongst others.

To join our next #WomensOnly dinner, make sure you follow our Women’s Dinners. Find the full list of upcoming dinner here.


Screenshot 2016-04-22 18.03.39The Anthologist in The Square Mile is a beautifully trendy venue with a crowd that is winding down from a days work blending in nicely with the smart restaurant goers.
Tuesday night’s TableCrowd dinner saw Jonathan Keeling, Head of Partnerships, talk to his fellow diners about the importance of partnerships for new businesses with limited resources, as well as how to maximise this for your growth strategy. Jonathan worked previously at Pavegen as part of the founding team that eventually raised through the CrowdCube platform itself so he had a lot of first-hand experience to share with the group.
Jonathan kicked off the talk with a summary of his background and moved on to speak about CrowdCube. He covered where it started (a Devonshire garage!), where it is now (taking up the majority of the crowdfunding investment market) and where it is going (looking at tackling some of the growing issues with this new type of investment).
As predicted the Q&A took the night all the way to close, as everyone took turns in getting out their views on the subject. Jonathan spoke of the platforms growing base of VC investors and how they increase the necessary due diligence required in valuing a team and overall business. He spoke of the growing amount of investors and mentioned that many new investors are brought in by particular pitches. It will be interesting to see how CrowdCube can convert these one-off investments into long-term regular investors.
The night’s most notable point was that:
Crowdfunding has many many benefits to both investors and companies raising money but the ability to raise further funding is perhaps easier through a typical angel or VC channel. However, crowdfunding will get better in this area as it matures.
Special thanks to our speaker who was joined by PixelPin, Barclays Capital, Buto, Solely Original, Techspace, OneLane app, Treniq, Inkpact, Dental Capital Partners, JobLab,