We’ve had a busy week of TableCrowd dinners this week. On Tuesday, we had the pleasure of dining with Priyanka Karunanithi from Octopus Ventures, early stage investor, and she shared her special tips on investment to a select group of female founders. Over at Lima Floral on Tuesday, our diners were treated to a very special intimate dinner with Philipp Pointer from Jumio, who led a discussion all about vision and product. We finished off our week’s dinners with a lively debate about social media featuring the expert social media strategist at Tom’s Kitchen in St Katharine Docks. For all the tips and tricks that our diners were privy to, read on below…
Fundraising dinner for female founders with Octopus Ventures
At Aubaine on Tuesday night, our female diners were in the spotlight with a dinner especially for female founders. Our speaker was Priyanka Karunanithi who shared with us her advice. For example, how do you get in touch with VCs?
Network, network, network. It’s a very network-driven industry.
Priyanka confirmed our suspicions that dining at TableCrowd is not just a great evening out, but also a fundamental part of building your business and gaining investment (all the more reason to book your next dinner ). Other ways to get in touch:
- Use Twitter or social media to engage directly or with their portfolio companies.
- Go through their current trusted network, e.g. portfolio CEOs, industry experts, lawyers that work with young companies or accountants that work with young companies.
Got your VCs contact details now? Don’t forget these golden rules before you get in touch with them:
- Know what kind of fundraising you want going forward.
- Figure out what you want from a venture capitalist investor.
- Do your homework – research which venture capitalist firms are out there.
- Start the conversation well in advance.
Want a brief guide explaining how to present to a VC? Check out Priyanka’s short guide here.
Turning visions into products dinner with Philipp Pointner of Jumio
Also on Tuesday night, we were over at Lima Floral in Covent Garden for an intimate dinner with Philipp Pointner of Jumio. With over $36.7m in funding, Jumio is a leading identity management and credentials company that helps businesses reduce fraud and increase revenue while providing a fast, seamless customer experience.
Philipp has grown up with fintech, being instrumental to product at paysafecard and First Data before joining Jumio.
So what is the point of having a vision when facilitating product strategy?
A vision is about why a company exists in the first place.
This means every company will mean something different when they talk about their vision.
Making money is not a vision. Making money is a consequence of a vision, but it doesn’t qualify. Making money alone is not enough.
Philipp shared Jumio’s vision of enabling people to pay online anonymously resembling cash payments that take place in real life. Their vision encompassed the fantasy scenario of a day in the life of a Jumio user. In their vision, their product is being used for every single transaction, from breakfast to travel to work to night time.
A vision makes a difference and changes people’s behaviour. From the product side, a vision is something that may not necessarily be possible right now, but it is something that will be possible in the future.
‘Tales from the trenches’: How to win using social media dinner
On Wednesday night we were over at Tom’s Kitchen dining with Kaushal Tailor, expert social media strategist. Kaushal first started out running the social media strategy at BBC Asian. She found that the BBC was in fact quite a conservative environment, and particularly male-dominated, and she had to convince a whole network of old-school Asian people to understand what social media was! Her career has flourished since then and she has now just finished working for Youtube and Google. She shared her tips for social media strategy for start-ups:
- Trial and error. No one gets it right first time so don’t be afraid to start somewhere.
- Put out regular content. Kaushal’s previous client, BBC Asian, were getting unfollows and unlikes due to sporadic postings. BBC Asian is now learning about consistency – constant branded content across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.
- Concentrate first on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, then Tumblr and the rest. Put your energy where the important channels are, so if your users favour Facebook, then stick to Facebook!
- Get feedback from your users in order to get your product going. This will ensure the campaign has a legacy.
And don’t scrimp on staff, even if you are a small fledgling business. It will show in your results.
Although start-ups try to be frugal, strategist and social media manager are 2 different roles. Even if you are a small team, your results will not be as great if you try to combine both.
Ultimately, social media is about making mistakes, learning through trial and error. For more tips on this topic, check out Kaushal’s post about how to win at social media.
Our speakers this week were joined by: Freestak, Flair Atelier, Unbiasapp, Niwa, Scrubbingtons, Atollo, Piggyback Property, LifeShifter, iDefigo, Jumio, AvePoint, Weaver Digital, Management Today, RATP Dev UK, ShopStyle, LCCA, Born Social, Nabas Legal, Insane Logic, Board Intelligence, Smarter Queue, Make Happy, JC Decaux and UK Study Centre amongst others.
Special thanks to Priyanka, Philipp and Kaushal for their fantastic advice, and also to our partner Constant Contact