Archives for the month of: July, 2016

SEOAs many of us are aware, search engine optimisation (SEO) is a form of marketing that means your business will appear more highly in the organic search rankings on Google. It is important for credibility, awareness, traffic and ultimately, new customers. Done right, it can bring the highest ROI of all forms of marketing. So “doing it right” is the topic at next week’s dinner. with Simon Schnieder, founder of SEO agency Blue Array, and all-round SEO expert.

Previously Simon headed up SEO for some of the UK’s leading brands and start-ups including; Zoopla, Mail Online and Yell.com. Simon will be taking you through the Zoopla case study and giving plenty of SEO tips and tricks that can be applied to your business to make a measurable impact. Join us for this great opportunity to meet Simon, get the inside scoop, as well as to enjoy dinner and drinks with others who have SEO on their minds.
Dinner is at 6:45pm on Wednesday 3 August at The Happenstance, The City

announcement-icon copyUpcoming TableCrowd Dinners

10 Aug – Dine with 5x TED speaker & CleanTech founder, Laurence Kemball-Cook
24 Aug – What’s the next step for you & your business?
06 Sep – Dine with Seedcamp
07 Sep – Dine with Forward Partners

Sign up for free and start joining our dinners

Screenshot 2016-08-01 16.19.42This week’s dinners covered the topics of marketing and fundraising, with speakers from the investment and media worlds. Tom Maddocks, ex-BBC2 reporter and now one of the UK’s leading authorities on media training and presentation coaching.

Dinner with Tracy Doree, founding partner at Spring Partners
As part of our ‘Meet the investor’ series, Tracy Doree spoke extensively about the fundraising process and how to do it successfully. Having experienced fundraising from both sides of the table, Tracy was perfectly positioned to assist with her fellow diners questions about being at the helm of a business that was seeking funding.

Screenshot 2016-08-01 16.19.58

Dinner with Ex-BBC2 reporter and Media Expert, Tom Maddocks
With some 20+ years experience as a journalist and broadcaster, working in TV, radio and the national press, Tom Maddocks was a fantastic speaker for our TableCrowd members joining him for dinner at Aubaine in Mayfair this week.

As a former reporter on BBC’s The Money Programme, Tom turned his experience in the media industry into making him one of the UK’s leading media training experts, having been quoted on the subject in The Sunday Times, Independent, FT and other publications too. Tom shared his knowledge with his fellow diners to help them get coverage for their businesses. With top tips and tactics for reaching journalists shared over dinner, each diner left with the tools to help drive awareness for their business to boost growth and reach new markets and customers.

Screenshot 2016-08-01 16.20.19Our fab speakers, Tom and Tracy, were joined by Friends Recommend It, Attest, Sivgen, Hatch, Reed Travel Exhibitions, Pixelgroup, Decca Capital, Jamae Immigration Law Group, Veyring, thebrunettecupcake.com, REVL, USPAAH, Faber Novella, Unocodrinks, CityMunch, Inn Style, Silver Curve, AtlaSense, tosay, INK amongst others.

edtech

The next EdTech dinner is firmly in our calendar so please add it to yours too; Bethany Koby, founder of Technology Will Save Us is joining as our after-dinner speaker next week. Technology Will Save Us creates the most accessible ecosystem of DIY gadget kits and resources that help families, educators and young people make, play, code and invent using technology. They recently won Best Hardware Startup at the Europas.

After Raising £1.2m from London-based VCs, doubling in size last year, and getting being stocked in John Lewis too, who better to chat with about succeeding in EdTech than Bethany? Book your place at the table to join the conversation, meet Bethany and to hear the Technology Will Save Us story – as well as to meet your peers over dinner and a glass or two of wine.
Dinner is at 6:45pm on Tuesday 26 July 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.

subscribeOur speaker, Felix Rossknecht, spoke at a recent dinner about building a successful subscription business, here’s what he had to say about how to make a subscription model work for your business.

There’s a few areas to consider when thinking about how to make subscriptions work for you and your business, these are product, flexibility and experience.

Product
Customers care about your product, not the subscription. It’s the product they buy into and the subscription can be a ‘hassle’ from a customer’s perspective. You need to make sure you put the consumer at the heart of the user journey.

Flexibility
The first interactions between you and your potential consumers is crucial so it’s important to make them aware of the benefits of the subscription model.

We’re doing this for you, to make your life easier.

By being flexible and transparent with the subscription process, you’re enabling consumers to get into a habit of receiving your product and thus avoiding a high churn rate. When it comes to flexibility, subscription models do have a bad rep from legacy (think gym or phone memberships that are notoriously difficult to get out of!), so make sure the model fits around your consumers’ existing habits and behaviours. Make sure you can answer the questions, how much do they consume? How often? Are there any gaps? And so on.

Don’t make a business out of ‘tying people in’ instead you need to get people to trust you! Be open as a business.

Finally, make sure once the customers are set up that you show them the benefit and make it carefree.

Experience
Build a space for emotional engagement, you want your consumers to look forward to their shipment. Make the product exciting and develop a cracking tone of voice. To get the experience right, you must know your customer and their lives (inside and out!). Think about the user journey, every renewal phase, every experience has to be customer friendly and have a good interaction. From the packaging to the ease of receiving the shipment – it has to excel and be hassle-free.

For more great tips from our speakers, check out our Top Tips posts, although nothing beats hearing from them in person. So, why not join a dinner?

 

 

Screenshot 2016-08-01 16.18.41With the idea of subscriptions gaining traction over the last 5 years, it’s not surprising that it’s now a household name in terms of business models. So, we thought a dinner with the topic of building a successful subscription business would be perfect for our TableCrowd members. Felix Rossknecht, a freelance growth consultant, provided ample advice and knowledge on subscription businesses. Working with both HelloFresh and Pact Coffee, Felix has seen the subscription model take off and help turn startups into global companies.

Screenshot 2016-08-01 16.19.18Felix spoke about the key areas to concentrate when building a subscription business, highlighting the importance of the consumers’ experience, as well as the product itself. Read all about it in our blog post, How to make a subscription model work for your business.

Special thanks to Felix, our speaker, who was joined by Senselab, 34.4, EarlyBird, The Curiosity Box, WATS.ON, Just Opened London, toucanBox, thinking bob, Friction Free Shaving, Hop Hosiery, Socialstartup.co, Lean Advantage and Purple Stone Rooms amongst others.

500startupsSpeaking with Matt Lerner, London Partner of 500 startups at dinner last week, he covered the topic of how startups can get a big, fat yes for their application to join their accelerator programme. Here’s what you need to know:

How 500 Startups invests
To date, 500 Startups has Invested in 1500 startups, in 52 countries, with offices in 29 countries. That’s a total of $250M invested, with the biggest investment being $100K. They cover pre-seed up to series A, and companies have to have traction with at least $10K revenue per month.

Distro Dojo
The programme they’re running in London is called Distro Dojo and it’s for post-seed companies.

It’s an investment and training program for post-seed companies ready to level up with intensive focus on growth marketing and fundraising.

What’s it for?
Getting your product to market.

How?
They believe the best way to learn is by doing. So they bring people into the organisation for 1 month. They spend 3 months with a company and it is all hands-on learning. They map out goals and growth strategies to test your assumptions.

Why?
They believe they’ve figured out a way to grow companies quicker.

The results so far.
20 companies have completed the programme to date, as it’s new and only been going a year, they need a bit of time to see the true results they can achieve. But so far so good!

Getting on the programme
First and foremost, the main question the Distro Dojo team need an answer to is whether they would invest in a company. (Pretty important, right?) They know that 60% will go out of business, and that they’ll make their money back on only 10%. That’s some tough odds to work against!

The nuts and bolts of it all
Each company gets $200K, along with 3 months with 500 startups, one of those being in residence. They have 3 intakes per year, with the next one happening in Berlin.

Find out more at 500distro.co

 

 

015If you’re looking to do a spot of networking, why not get some insider knowledge while you’re at it? Up next week we have media expert Tom Maddocks talking on how to get journalists interested in your company, as well as Tracy Doree, founding partner of Spring Partners chatting about getting investment for your business.

Getting journalists interested in your company. Dine with expert, Tom Maddocks
Getting press coverage for your business can be vital to boost growth, drive awareness and reach new markets and customers. Join Tom Maddocks for dinner, for top tips and tactics for reaching journalists and getting them to snap up your story.

You’ll probably know Tom from his former role as a reporter on BBC2’s ‘The Money Programme’. He is acknowledged as one of the UK’s leading authorities on media training and presentation coaching, having been quoted in publications including the Sunday Times, Independent and Financial Times. He has over twenty years’ experience as a journalist and broadcaster, working in TV, radio and the national press.
Dinner is at 6:45pm on Tuesday 19 July at Aubaine, Mayfair

Meet the investors: Tracy Doree, founding partner of Spring Partners
Tracy Doree understands things from your side of the table. She’s an entrepreneur at heart, with one the fastest exits we’ve heard of under her belt. She founded Llustre, an eCommerce business that designed and sold designer products and collections for homes – it was acquired by FAB after just 10 weeks of opening the doors for business!

Tracy is now founding partner at Spring Partners, an active London based venture capital fund.

Secure your spot at the table and get the lowdown on how to fundraise successfully from Tracy, who’ll be drawing on her experiences as both an investor and a business seeking funding.
Dinner is at 6:45pm on Wednesday 20 July at Piccolino, City

brekkiwWe also have a fab, intimate breakfast happening just for founders. Our CEO, Kate Jackson, hosts a relaxed and informal breakfast for you founders to expand your network whilst sharing problems and solutions with other founders.
Breakfast is at 8:45am on Tuesday 19 July at Aubaine, Broadgate Circle

 

recruitmentAs a high-calibre mentor in the valley in the US, Matt Lerner, 500 Startups’ London Partner, has been hiring and building growth team for 10 years. His main tip about recruitment for his fellow diners at the recent dinner he spoke at was:

Hiring the best people is critical.

He looks for people who are:

  • Humble. People are failing all the time; some people try to hide it.
  • Curious. People who are intensively asking questions.
  • Motivators and know how to move. Collaborative and team working can really influence behaviour.

For more great tips from our speakers, check out our Top Tips posts, although nothing beats hearing from them in person. So, why not join a dinner?

Screenshot 2016-07-25 12.53.02We had two fab dinners this week with none other than 500 startups’ Matt Lerner talking on things growth and the MetaSpeech ladies helping their fellow diners to perfect that pitch and own the room.

Public Speaking dinner with MetaSpeech
We mixed it up a little on Monday night when Emma and Marianna, co-founders of MetaSpeech joined us for dinner at The Anthologist. With a wonderfully intimate group, Emma and Marianna wove their public speaking workshop into our TableCrowd dinner format. With the fab members getting stuck in, the whole table was really engaged with the lessons that Emma and Marianna shared. Our host, Claire gave us a superb account of her experience, you can read all about it here. And, the MetaSpeech ladies sent over some top 5 tips to share via our blog. Take a look at them here.

Screenshot 2016-07-25 12.53.11Dinner with Matt Lerner from 500 Startups
Dining at the scrumptious thai restaurant that is The Clerk and Well on Wednesday evening, TableCrowd members were in for a treat with Matt Lerner, London Partner for 500 startups. As a foreigner who’s sponsored by his German wife, Matt brought up the Brexit vote and its impact not only on foreign investors (like him) but for startups too. He invests millions of dollars each year into the UK economy. As an investor and also for startups, what does Brexit mean? First off, startups need capital and people, and that is a result of trade agreements. Most startups have at least one person from a foreign country. However, London still is the best place to start a company by a mile. When it comes to investors (and investment), they don’t like uncertainty so this could mean that it will be harder to raise money for the next 6 months onwards, which is not a great story for innovation. At the end of the day, only time will tell.

Matt spoke extensively on the 500 startups programme, covering how they invest, requriements for getting on the programme, as well as deal breakers (which are always good to know). Check out what it takes to join 500 startups here.

He also covered the traits you want to find in people when recruiting, read his 3 point list here.

Finally, Matt’s top tip was:

Drive your business like you stole it!

Our fantastic speakers were joined by DK, Outcomes Based Healthcare, MyGravity, Raremark, Starcom MediaVest Group, INK, OneLane app, Host Digital, Solely Original, Zenlikefocus.com, Accomable.com, JobLab, Techspace, tosay, VisionaryLab, Wells Park Communications, Good Stories, Buto, Williams Powell and Friends Recommend It amongst others.

Special thanks to our speakers, Matt, Emma and Mariana, along with our partner Taylor Wessing.

metaspeechOur wonderful host, Claire (who’s also the CEO of Grow Movement), had such a great time dining with Emma and Mariana founders of Metaspeech that we had to share her report verbatim.
I love public speaking as part of my day job as CEO of a charity. I love to talk with passion about what I do. But how often do I get feedback? Not very often. As our story is so exciting and impactful rarely do I get feedback on my presenting style usually on the topic. So, having been public speaking in front of large operational teams in India for BT and in front of funders and volunteers at Grow movement, I felt some what nervous to do this. After so much experience, had I been doing it wrong all these years?!
The great thing about the event was the MetaSpeech instantly made everyone feel like a team. Relaxed and all in it together. The top tips they gave during the workshop were always backed up with a why and an example which made learning easy.
So how did Claire do? Well, here are her top 5 tips she took away from the dinner:
  1. The presentation starts before you reach the stage. The style of walk you have gives you confidence.
  2. When you arrive at your speaking spot, pause before you start talking.
  3. Limit hand gestures. Use for emphasis. Too much movement without purpose takes up brain space in your head and, for the listeners, it distracts them from what you are saying.
  4. Look at your audience by moving your shoulders.
  5. I stand funny! I stand naturally with my right hip out. This reduces my height and presence on stage and can give me a girly appearance, which is not what I want when I am after donations!
So does Claire feel like she’s been ‘doing it wrong’ all these years?
No but I can do better!
For more great tips from our speakers, check out our Top Tips posts, although nothing beats hearing from them in person. So, why not join a dinner?