Archives for category: Business Dinners

This week we had two completely different dinners on offer to our community, a fundraising dinner with Bill Earner, and an intimate dinner with Mahdi Kazemzadeh on the topic of Trading in the Middle East. We also had a selection of member-hosted dinners, including the monthly Foundrs dinner hosted by Grabble‘s co-founder, Daniel Murray, a legal industry dinner, and #ImpactWomen dinner with Servane Mouazan from Ogunte. If you’re interested in hosting your own dinner, take a look here.

Here’s a quick overview of what happened at our TableCrowd hosted dinners:

mahdiTrading with the Middle East
With an intimate dinner on Monday night at Aubaine, Heddon St, our group had the pleasure of dining with others keen to understand the Middle East market, and in particular the effect the lifting of sanctions has on trading with Iran. Mahdi Kazemzadeh, founder of Afraz Advisers, has a positive outlook for Iran’s future and spoke extensively on the huge opportunities that exist in the country.

Iran gets lots of sun, lots of wind, but it needs a robust framework in place to encourage future generations to invest time and money into this area.

billearnerFundraising Do’s and Don’ts
We had the pleasure of hosting our first dinner at the wonderful Jamie’s Italian London Bridge, where Bill Earner, Managing Partner at Connect Ventures, provided an after-dinner talk on the do’s and don’ts of fundraising. His refreshingly candid approach gave his fellow diners a clearer picture of what they can expect from VCs and how best to interact with them. Take a look at his top 5 tips here.

Our speakers were joined by: Analyse-Concept, Bloomberg, Global Pacific & Partners, Camrosh, Zoom labs, StratexSystems, BananaBerry, IOD, Management Today, Limeclip, Stickyworld,,, Smarty, Bridezooki, eRentz,, SaaScribe Media, Henchman App, and Zakzetter amongst others.

Special thanks to our speakers Mahdi and Bill, along with our partner Wellers.

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

We met Jimmy for the first time at our dinner on the topic of scaling fast & fundraising with the founders of the tech startup Mopp. He liked the concept so much he approached us to host his very own dinner, which of course we gladly accepted! We’ve just co-hosted our first dinner with Jimmy and the Institute of Directors on the hot subject of the Sharing Economy on the 25th. Read more about Jimmy, the IoD and his interest in this growing sector…

jimmy iod

What is the Institute of Directors?

We’re one of the oldest business groups in Europe, with a Royal Charter that requires us “to promote the conditions favourable to entrepreneurial activity and wealth creation.” We have 34,000 members from all over the UK, covering every conceivable sector and background. Our main focus is on supporting individuals, start-ups and SMEs with everything from tax advice to work spaces. We also have a large policy team who produce original research on everything from energy and infrastructure to innovation and disruptive technologies.

What were you doing before you joined the IoD?

I previously worked in political communications, starting out on Boris Johnson’s first Mayoral Campaign in 2008 and since then for a range of financial and tech clients.

What were the biggest developments in 2014?

The extent to which we continue to cram our entire lives into a smartphone. I haven’t had one for the last few weeks and it’s complicated pretty much every area of my life from travel to finance.

What will 2015 bring?

Further disruption of the traditional industries, combined with a real devolution of power and autonomy to regions, cities and individuals.

iod night

How are you involved in the Sharing Economy?

The IoD has a real interest in this area and in what it represents for the future of our economy. We hosted the founder of Uber, Travis Kalanick, at our recent Annual Convention and our members really engaged with the case he put forward about the potential benefits of his business philosophy. We have just launched a report on the subject calling for the Government to extend the ‘rent a room’ scheme to the whole of the sharing economy, and increase the tax free allowance of earnings in this sector to £10,000.

Why did you want to start a TableCrowd table on the subject?

I attended my first one with the Pete Dowds and Tom Brooks, the founders of Mopp, and thought it was a fantastic evening with lots of likeminded people sharing ideas and talking about the future of our economy. I knew immediately that I wanted the IoD to be part of that debate, and that we are in a good position to contribute.

What’s your favourite London restaurant?

Tremendously difficult question, but probably the Big Easy or Hawksmoor …

Thanks Jimmy, it’s been wonderful catching a glimpse into what you do and your plans for the future.

For our upcoming tables, click here.

Guest post by Lowri Clarke, Head of Editorial at evvnt

The thing I love in life is creating technology products that actually work” says Richard Green, CEO of evvnt and recent after dinner speaker at Tablecrowd.

Tablecrowd is partly responsible for the recent developments at evvnt – namely the team up of two event tech companies: evvnt and Eventsneaker at one of our dinners back in March.

Im always impressed by entrepreneurs who do things that go above and beyond the job. So Kate who owns and runs TableCrowd called me up to ask me to sponsor the EventTech Tablecrowd dinner. I just loved her passion and I thought “for that kind of money why not?” So we showed up and were surrounded by people that all had an event passion which was cool – this community of people who were all there for the same reason. Have some food, have a beer and talk about the event space. It was there that I met Mark and Elliot from eventsneaker.

evvnt sneaker

This is what Tablecrowd is all about – networking, learning and creating opportunities.

After a very short space of time we realised we were a better business together” says Richard. He summarises the proposition:

“evvnt is the brawn. We distribute an event and market an event but Eventsneaker is the brain – they take the conversion from the clicks and they track it to a sale. And they’ve done that in a partnership with Eventbrite. It occurred to me if we could bring together the brawn of evvnt and the brain of Eventsneaker we would have the brains and the beauty, which I thought was really interesting. So we went on a journey with them figuring out what it would take for them to come on board.”

‘Lucky’ he calls it…

Table crowd was a chance to meet like-minded people and have lively conversation. Kind of lucky really – without it I wouldn’t have a Head of Technology and a Developer sitting in my company with the passion and love it takes to do a good job. To me that is priceless.

Thanks Lowri and Richard for sharing, we love hearing stories of fruitful collaborations that were sparked at one of our dinners. Keep ‘em coming!

We had a great dinner last night at Apulia Restaurant, feasting on South Italian food and wine, and discussing how to build online presence and media coverage for your business. The VP of global comms at Swifkey, Ruth Barnett, joined us as our after dinner speaker and shared her tips and tactics on how to gain more exposure online. We had a diverse bunch of people there from various businesses, including a fondue pop up, a fashion brand and a natural skincare line.

Here are some snippets of conversations from the evening:
swiftkey twitter

And here are a few Instagrams from the night:
Screen shot 2014-11-05 at 09.51.42

Thanks Rackspace for your ongoing partnership.

We’ve got an exciting calendar of dinners planned over the next month. Check them out here.

If you’re looking to spread the news about your business and gain more exposure in the press, come along to dinner and discuss tactics and PR strategies with like-minded entrepreneurs. We’ll enjoy a delicious meal & drinks at the hip Ask for Janice restaurant followed by an after-dinner talk and informal Q&A with Alex Wood, editor of Tech City News.
alex wood blog

Tech City News is London’s leading resource of news, events, analysis and comment on the capital’s technology sector. Their aim is to be the destination of choice and voice of the community and companies driving the growth in the digital capital of Europe. Alex Wood is the Editor in Chief of Tech City News. He is also a visiting lecturer in Online Journalism at City University, London and a regular contributor to CNN, Sky News, BBC News, The Telegraph and the Guardian.

Alex will be spilling the beans on how to get exposure and coverage for your startup. Take this chance to meet him and ask all those burning questions, informally over dinner.

The £37 booking fee includes private dining experience with speaker, 2 course dinner with wine plus highly curated and relevant networking.


We’re proud to partner with Rackspace

Are you confused about how companies are valued and want to find out more?

We’re hosting dinner for professionals and startups to do just that on Wednesday 29th October. We’ll enjoy dinner and drinks followed by an after-dinner talk and informal Q&A with Karri Vuori, Director or Corporate Finance at Charles Stanley Securities, who’s going to shed some light on this often complex topic.
company valuations

Karri is a brilliant speaker with a wealth of experience and knowledge to share. He focuses on both mergers and acquisitions and on fundraising – private equity transactions through to IPOs. Constructing (or deconstructing!) company valuations is integral to what he does. Karri has advised, among others, on the recent £84m sales of System C Healthcare to McKesson Corporation, the £195m take private of Nord Anglia Education by Baring Private Equity Asia and the sale of Pearl & Dean by STV Group. You’ll have the opportunity to ask Karri any questions and discuss the topic informally over dinner.

Here is a little taste of what he’ll be sharing on Wednesday:

“Looking forward to lifting the lid on the dark art of company valuations. Having worked across buyside and sellside M&A as well as IPOs and fundraisings, the issue of what a company is worth is always at the forefront of the most difficult issues to tackle. For example, how can a pre-revenue tech business worth hundreds of millions when its profitable competitor might be worth a fraction of that? What do buyers look for and how do sellers maximise their valuation? How and why do valuation metrics vary across industries?”


To book your spot at the table at the lovely South Italian restaurant Apulia on Weds 29th October, click here.

Africa is definitely rising. International tech powerhouses like Microsoft, Intel, Google and IBM are increasingly targeting Africa for investment, opportunity and growth. We’re hosting a dinner with the Africa Technology Business Network to build a bridge between the tech communities in the UK and Africa. The goal is to foster collaboration, skill sharing and co-innovation between the two tech ecosystems.

We’ve got a brilliant after dinner speaker lined up, Leslie Onyesoh, CEO and founder of Kwanji, a UK based tech start-up working to simplify foreign exchange mechanisms for small businesses. He started his business to make a change in the way international trade and payments are carried out, a system that, according to him, is unfair and unethical.

leslie kwanji blog

He wants to create a level playing field for global e-commerce from which all businesses can benefit, regardless of size or location. Kwanji achieves this by developing a comprehensive and complementary suite of tools which together bring ‘point and click’ efficiencies to international trading. The Kwexc platform, the first service to be delivered by Kwanji, is an online foreign exchange portal which enables small businesses from all over the world to choose the best foreign exchange mechanism and transaction rate at the touch of a button. It can best be described as ‘’ for foreign exchange.

Leslie says:

“We saw that businesses are at a competitive disadvantage when trading internationally. Foreign exchange is complicated, time consuming and expensive- SMEs just do not have the expertise or resources to get the best deal. We have developed Kwexc to level the playing field.”

We hope you’ll join us for his fascinating talk and a chance to meet him and other entrepreneurs over a relaxed dinner. We’ll be dining on a 2 course meal at the lovely Green Restaurant in Clerkenwell.

Book your seat at the table on Thursday 23rd October here.

Let’s #MeetandEat

We’re happy to partner with Rackspace for this event:


The private dining room at the Green Restaurant in Clerkenwell was packed full of brilliant people and travel startups last night. We dined on a delicious 2 course meal & wine and enjoyed the after dinner talk by Lee McCabe, head of travel at Facebook. He shared his tips and knowledge for travel marketers on how to best make use of this popular and influential platform. The Q&A at the end sparked some lively discussion and lots of useful connections were made.

We were joined by some incredible travel startups and companies including Much Better Adventures, Travelex, Sumak Sustainable Travel, Localoids, Touriocity, Tripster, What Now Travel, Travelex, BlaBlaCar & many more.

Travel logos

Here are some photos of the night for you to enjoy:

3 2 1 4-2

Here are some snippets of conversation on the night:

Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 10


Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 10

Good times were had and the roast lamb courtesy of The Green went down a treat. Thanks to Rackspace for partnering with us.


Check out our upcoming tables here.

Last night was our first ever Legal Innovation Dinner, in fact it may be one of the first around this theme in London! Diners gathered around a table to enjoy a gorgeous Italian meal at Piccolino’s and chatted the evening away, sharing insights & discussing potential collaborations. The dinner was hosted by Jonathan Lea from the Jonathan Lea Network.

We were joined by some great companies including Lexoo, The Legal Stop, Lawyers on Demand, The London Law Practice, Law Hackers, Legal Cheek and more.

When we asked Jonathan about the night, he said:

“It was great to meet and get to know a wide spread of different people in and connected to the legal industry who are trying to do things in a more innovative way. I already have plans to build on the connections made and hopefully many of the conversations had through the evening will eventually lead to positive things happening for everyone at the dinner. We definitely want to repeat this theme soon.”

Here are some snippets of conversation from last night:

Legal innovation tweets

Good times were had and the 3 course dinner went down a treat, courtesy of Piccolino. Many thanks to Jonathan for hosting this dinner and everyone who joined us, hope to see you at a table again soon.

Check out our upcoming tables here.

A big thank you to our ongoing partner Rackspace.


We’re really excited to announce our dinner for legaltech startups which is happening in a week’s time on 8th September. We believe it’s the first of its kind and we’ve teamed up with Jonathan Lea from the Jonathan Lea Network to host it.

The idea is to have a good meal, a bit of fun and also hopefully develop some useful conversations around the common problems we face and how some of the attendees may be able to collaborate in various ways.

We have an impressive guestlist, comprising London’s most exciting innovators in the legal space, with just a few places left. You can view the details and see who’s coming here.

We are looking forward to a lively night of conversation and insights on this exciting and growing sector.
Sport dinner 13

See all upcoming dinners here.

Proudly powered by Rackspace.