Archives for category: Fundraising

We love hearing first hand from our members about their experiences at our dinners. It helps us do better – and it gives a useful insight into the experience for people thinking about dining with us. Great to hear from regular diner, Victoria Burlacu, founder of Faber Novella….

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“There are so many events taking place in London that networking can easily turn into a full-time job. While I am a great believer in the power of networking, as an entrepreneur I quickly understood that I needed to be focused and disciplined if I wanted to benefit from networking and make relevant connections.

I first went to a TableCrowd dinner over a year ago. And since then I attended 4 events. What I like about the TableCrowd events is that the team works hard on bringing high quality speakers that are relevant for entrepreneurs, and that otherwise are difficult to get hold of. TableCrowd gives you the chance to meet in person that investor or journalist that never replied to your emails. And nothing beats that in person introduction or pitch.

The fact that each event is highly curated and concentrates on a specific industry or functional expertise fits perfectly with the focused approach I am taking when it comes to networking. As we are preparing to fund-raise soon, attending a networking dinner with Matt from Forward Partners was definitely a not to be missed event. It was a great opportunity to learn about Forward Partners’ unique approach to start-up investing, do’s and don’t when fund-raising. Matt provided the group with several insights from the VC world and how to think like from an investor’s perspective. Besides having the chance to pitch to Matt’s and have his valuable feedback in an informal and relaxed setting, it was great connecting to other entrepreneurs building exciting fashion tech business.

Another successful networking event by the TC team!”

By Victoria Burlacu, founder of Faber Novella, on-line atelier for premium quality Italian-made customisable shoes.

See what’s coming up next!

We always enjoy reading about our dinners through the eyes of our members and this write-up is no exception!

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“Anyone who runs a business will quickly discover what their most valuable asset is – time. Balancing time and choosing where to spend those extremely rare spare bits is a challenge at best, especially when it comes to networking.

But when the opportunity comes along to have dinner with Carlos Espinal, Partner at Seedcamp, you can find time.

Carlos is no doubt a man who receives a relentless barrage of emails and LinkedIn messages from entrepreneurs vying for his attention (and money). So to be able to head along to a small dinner and sit opposite him whilst having a relaxed discussion around everything startup and raising money is a rare opportunity and only one that TableCrowd could put together.

Running a digital agency and growing organically through acquiring new clients, I didn’t head along to this dinner because I wanted to raise money from a VC. I was there because, like every other TableCrowd dinner I have been to, I knew how much I would learn, how many business war stories I would share and how many fascinating connections I would make – innovative people doing interesting things, from which I would learn a great deal and with whom there is huge potential to work with in the future. And I wasn’t wrong.

Hearing Carlos share his thoughts on the world of venture capital was extremely insightful. In particular watching a few of the businesses in the room pitch him before he used his framework to restructure and rebuild their pitches on the fly was impressive, and particularly useful personally given that we go through similar workshops with our clients at the start of a new website project at 93digital.

Dinner with Carlos was yet another perfect TableCrowd event, and I’m already looking forward to my next.”

Alex Price, Founder & MD at 93digital.

You can see what’s coming up soon here.

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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.

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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.

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

 

 

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?

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).
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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, Accomable.com.

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 - EliteBusinessMagazine.co.uk_48b89ffa3eb9a1bcecc0b58f0e9cfe85As 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 lastminute.com 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: