Archives for category: Fundraising

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,, REVL, USPAAH, Faber Novella, Unocodrinks, CityMunch, Inn Style, Silver Curve, AtlaSense, tosay, INK 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.

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.

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



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,,, 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?

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.

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,

scalingPartnerships are vital for every business, but are especially vital for new businesses with limited resources.

We’re pleased as punch to have Jonathan Keeling, Head of Partnerships at Crowdcube, spill the beans on how to effectively build partnerships into your marketing strategy over dinner and a few glasses of wine next week.

At Crowdcube, the world’s leading equity crowdfunding platform, Jonathan is responsible for building quality partnerships to sustainably scale the platform whilst generating significant value for both entrepreneurs and investors alike.

Secure your spot at the table and get the lowdown from Jonathan on how to partner up successfully as well as how you can work with others (perhaps those around the table..) to further grow and develop your business.
Dinner is at 6:45pm on Tuesday 31 May at The Anthologist, The City

announcement-icon copyUpcoming TableCrowd dinners

7 Jun – Building a successful challenger brand
9 Jun – Ladies only dinner on assertiveness and confidence
21 Jun – Run your business better22 Jun – Practical tips & real life examples
& more

How to secure VC investment for your tech startup - the weather continues to turn warmer, and the nights become longer, there really is no better way to spend a weekday evening than doing a spot of networking over a delicious meal (and a glass or two of wine). Next week sees us hearing from the founder of Index-backed mobile banking app, Osper on FinTech, fundraising and changes faced in the banking industrty on Tuesday night. Wednesday’s topic is all about when and how to fundraise, with Tracy Doree, founding partner at Spring Partners providing the after-dinner talk.

Dinner with Osper’s founder
Join us for an evening with Alick Varma, founder of Osper, a mobile banking app for young people and parents. Over dinner, Alick will be sharing his story including tales of fundraising and succeeding in FinTech, as well as the changes that are shaking up the banking industry as we know it.

Osper has raised over $10m of funding and is backed by Index Ventures and a whole host of entrepreneurs, including co-founder Brent Hoberman and the founders of Skyscanner and Soundcloud. Join the conversation at the table, meeting Alick and your peers discussing new banking, fundraising and the future of FinTech.
Dinner is at 6:45pm on Tuesday 24 May at Aubaine, Regent Street

Dinner with Spring Partners’ Founding Partner
Get the lowdown on fundraising! When’s a good time to do it? And how do you go about securing those vital finances for your business?

Who better to answer those questions than Tracy Doree? Not only is she a founding partner of Spring Partners, an active early stage venture capital fund based in London, she’s an entrepreneur at heart, with one of the fastest exits we’ve ever heard of under her belt. Tracy 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!

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 25 May at The Clerk and Well, Clerkenwell

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

olegTwo great dinners this week covering the tech story of how became an IPO, with a dash of growth hacking thrown in for good measure, and what role a startup accelerator can play for founders and entrepreneurs building their dream.

Dinner with Freelancer
On Tuesday night, we were joined by Joe Griston, Director of People and Talent at Freelancer for dinner at The Happenstance. Joe’s after-dinner talk covered the Freelancer story, from tech startup through to IPO.

Whilst living in Australia, Joe met a guy (Matt Barrie) at a dinner party who had set up Freelancer. Matt told him the story of how he was looking for someone to do data work for him, managing to find him online. It was a difficult process and he thought there was something to develop here. So, Freelancer was born.

freelancerWith an abundance of passion for growth, Joe spoke about how in a start up you do everything you can to help the business. He set up HR in 6 months, and was responsible for doing the IPO. Having never done it before, he met with everyone he possibly could.

Don’t ever do this if you have a heart condition!

When Freelancer IPO’d they had the most successful first day of trading, starting out at 50 cents, by the end of the day they had reached $2.5 Australian dollars.

Joe explained over dinner that when you scale, people want more product. From Sydney, Freelancer opened up in Manila, then launched in Vancouver, London and now Jakarta and Buenos Aires. As a Director in the company, he was responsible for growing it and the HR people side of things.

Joe’s top tip when it comes to hiring people was:

We only hire people that we think are better than us, that blow us away.

And there No.1 rule is: Don’t run out of money. At Freelancer, they always make sure they make a return on what they’re doing. Spending 15% on marketing, the run the business to break even. All the profits go back into the business. Using this process, the business has doubled in size every two years in both revenue and users.

masschallengeDinner with MassChallenge
As the global CMO of MassChallenge, Diane Perlman spoke at dinner on Wednesday night about the ‘most startup-friendly accelerator on the planet’. Having been around for 7 years, accelerating over 300 startups a year across Boston, London, Jerusalem, Lausanne and Mexico City, MassChallenge do things a bit differently compared to other accelerators. For starters, they’re not-for-profit, which essentially means they take no equity in a startup, each programme takes 100 teams, last for 4 months and 15 teams walk away with £25k cheques.

It may be surprising to hear that they’re an NPO in something that is inherently capitalistic, however, Diane explained that the founder’s vision came from the 2008 crash. He saw greed and land grab rather than people making more pie. So, he decided to make more pie rather than have people fighting over the same pie. Diane feels that she is working for an organisation that is trying to change the world.    

As an accelerator that is about impact, MassChallenge looks at 5 industries: Digital Health, Life Sciences, Clean Tech, Social Impact, General Retail and High Tech. Their next cohort starts in September, Each applicant is seen by 4 judges and gets written feedback.

Our speakers were joined by Guidelighter, PixelPin, Fly Marketing, Castellano, Amondo, The Good Blend, Loveandfriends, MyCognition, Shepherd and Wedderburn, TrafficLight Solutions, Amberoot, JobLab, Buto, Debut, Solely Original, ShareStyle, Rockstar Hubs International amongst others.

See what other dinners are happening that you can sink your teeth into.

Screenshot 2016-05-18 12.23.28TableCrowd members looking to get a no-holds-barred look at VC investment were in luck last night joining Alex Dunsdon for dinner at Jamie’s Italian where he spoke extensively on pitching to investors.

Alex runs Saatchinvest, where they invest up to £300k in early stage tech startups. Anyone looking to get investment from Saatchinvest gets 20mins to shine before hearing yes or no. And as they only invest in 4 or 5 businesses each year, there will only be a select few winning the golden ‘yes’ ticket. Read on for some of the wisdom imparted by Alex to his fellow diners:

Have Drive
In Alex’s experience, most investors will want to know what drives you, as the stats say most entrepreneurs won’t make it. Where does your motivation for what you are doing come from? For Alex, he wants to fall in love with the person and the product.

Be Obsessed
There’s a lot to be said about the founder that has a true obsession with their business. Alex explained at dinner, how he (as well as other VCs) love obsession. It’s pretty clear to most that an obsessed founder will not lose. Having an obsession with your product means you’ll be able to push it to where you want it to be.

Be Tenacious
Look to your users for their feedback. What do they think of the user interface? Remember that they are looking at your product from a different perspective to yours (and it’s a view that is invaluable to any company). Tenacity is paramount.

Have Users
Build your user base. Have a strong group of users that love your product. For apps, you also need to have user volume too.

Be Objective
By all means have a big vision, but always be thinking about what your objective is. How can you go from big to actual execution? Is it possible to break it down into bite-sized chunks?

Pitch Perfect
Most people write too much for their pitch, Alex recommends using a few pictures at the initial stage to tease people. Research the VCs that you are going to see and make a list of criteria for each. Spend two days prepping for each meeting, and be sure to send them an email covering why they should invest. This will save you time in the long run. Each investor will be unique so ensure you cater your pitch for each one.

Special thanks to our speaker Alex, and our partner Taylor Wessing who were joined by, Fly Marketing, Shepherd and Wedderburn, Hello HR, Showslice, Amberoot, Flair Atelier, Jambo App, Chip in, Crowdmix, Amondo, Further&More, The Pigeonhole, Nightkey, Drinki, Unocodrinks and The Good Blend amongst others.

logo-taylorTake a look at what other dinners we have on the horizon for you to join.