Archives for category: Sharing Economy

Another busy week here at TableCrowd with three dinners of diverse subjects. We kicked off the week on Tuesday with a dinner about child-friendly co-working and we were joined by Cllr Sarah Hayward, leader of Camden Council for a discussion about options for flexible childcare. On Wednesday, we had tapas and drinks with Daniel Benamram from BlaBlaCar and guests from the sharing economy, whilst over at Lima Floral we caught up with Sheena Morjaria from TIS Ventures to hear about her role in the start-up adventure.

coworkCo-working and flexible childcare dinner with Cllr Sarah Hayward
We had a great discussion about flexible childcare at The Green on Tuesday night, and we were fortunate to be joined by Cllr Sarah Hayward, leader of Camden Council. Sarah has a special interest in options for women who want to continue to work after having children, and it was great to have a speaker from the political sector to join in the debate.

Sarah spoke about the difficulties of introducing flexible hours in the corporate world. Camden Council are working with small and medium business yet there are still difficulties for these companies to have flexible working hours. Nevertheless, local tech companies are the ones who are more open to workers having flexible hours. Sarah also mentioned how the integration back into the workplace for women after they’ve had children can be difficult, and this isn’t helped by the recession.

limatisDine with TIS Ventures, seed investors in UK, Middle East & India
Over at Lima Floral, we had the pleasure of dining with Sheena Morjaria from TIS Ventures. TIS Ventures is a Dubai-based venture capital and corporate advisory boutique, and Sheena was in town for just a few days this week so we were glad we caught her!

In the tech world, you either evolve or die.

For Sheena, evolution is very important for start-ups; if something isn’t working, don’t keep banging the drum. She explained how TIS Ventures works, as they are involved in investments from the very beginning. They work from incubation level right to the finish, which can be a very intense relationship. As she says:

We’re like your friends and family, but not as nice!

Despite this, she attests that people are surprisingly approachable in this arena, and encouraged her diners not to be daunted by preconceptions of venture capitalists.
masqmenosDine with BlaBlaCar – 2o million members in 18 countries
Last but not least at dinner on Wednesday, we also got the chance to hear about the evolution of BlaBlaCar, Europe’s largest ride-sharing website whose aim is to rival trains on price and convenience. BlaBlaCar’s cost-sharing model means there is no profit involved, and also their initial focus was to concentrate on making their rides cheaper than trains, as they progress, they also become more convenient as more drivers sign up. Daniel said the dream is to connect the whole of Europe so that eventually you will be able to use their service to ride from Scotland to Germany, all in the comfort of a BlaBlaCar!

The concept keeps me motivated all the time.

Daniel has been with BlaBlaCar since their early days and on Wednesday night he shared with us some of his tips on how to grow a business:

  • Adapt your product to make it relevant to each country.
  • Tackle people’s perception of your business. We worked on our insurance policy to make sure people felt confident using something unfamiliar.
  • Invest in your PR. We worked with journalists closely to ensure they understood how it worked.
  • Think about specific partnerships. E.g. we launched at music festivals as we knew BlaBlaCar would appeal to students.
  • Paid marketing campaigns pay off!

Our speakers were joined by:, Aztec Ventures, WellVine, Huntable, MyGravity, Bubblo, movivo, Winkley Studios, Third Door, Unilever, Bloomsbury Beginnings, London Early Years Foundation, Startup Mums, Deutsche Bank, Work&Wellness, Haven+Hive, Officrèche, Harden’s, Localoids, myDriver, Compare and Share, Atomico, and Indusa amongst others.

Special thanks to our speakers, Sarah Hayward, Sheena Morjaria and Daniel Benamran.

Check out our upcoming TableCrowd dinners to see if you’ll be joining us soon.

You may have heard the name ‘BlaBlaCar’ bandied around at the moment and it certainly is a company that’s made us sit up and listen, did you see that they just raised $200m? Next week, we’re lucky enough to have Daniel Benamran, the UK Country Manager of dining with us at one our new venues, Mas Q Menos. Alternatively, come and join the conversation about flexible childcare on Tuesday night at The Green, or why not swing by on Wednesday night to dine with Sheena Morjaria from TIS Ventures, a Dubai-based venture capital fund that invests in the UK, Middle East and India? Phew, a busy week ahead!

nwdcoworkTISVBlaBlaChild friendly co-working & business
A slightly different style of dinner this time, with an open discussion about co-working spaces and the future of childcare. The lack of affordable and flexible childcare options in the UK is an ongoing problem, and Ann Nkune from Bloomsbury Beginnings, who runs parent workspace sessions, and Leo Wood, director of Winkley Studios and Cooks Yard coworking spaces and PlayPen, a weekly cowork&crèche session, will be with us to lead the discussion about workspace providers and child-friendly businesses. Come along to network and share ideas about this relevant topic for parents and businesses alike.
Dinner is at 6:45pm on Tuesday 29 September at The Green, Clerkenwell.

Dine with TIS Ventures, seed investors in UK, Middle East & India
We’re so pleased that Sheena Morjaria, Managing Partner of TIS Ventures, will be providing an after-dinner talk and informal Q&A at dinner whilst she is in town for a couple of days from Dubai. She will be talking about when she invests, the differences between the markets in the UK, Middle East and India, as well as the strategic advantages of having an investor across multiple regions. Get face time with Sheena at this dinner and discuss some of the ideas you’ve been working on.
Dinner is at 6:45pm on Wednesday 30 September at Lima Floral, Covent Garden

Dine with BlaBlaCar – 20 million members in 18 countries (*hot off the press, just raised $200m)
Daniel Benamran, BlaBlaCar‘s UK Country Manager,  will be sharing their story, expansion strategy and how the company plans to continue to grow to gain global control and domination of the car sharing market. Daniel’s experiences bring him a global vision of the challenges inherent to scaling a business. This dinner will be an amazing opportunity to network with others in the sharing industry as well as talk to Daniel informally over a delicious dinner.
Dinner is at 6:45pm on Wednesday 30 September at Mas Q Menos, The City

Take a look at the full list of upcoming TableCrowd dinners here.

For those of you who are new to TableCrowd – take a quick gander at our video to see what it’s like when you join us for dinner:


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With a really relaxed atmosphere, fellow sharing economy enthusiasts joined Alex Stephany, the CEO of JustPark for dinner last Wednesday 27 May at Jamie’s Italian, Piccadilly. Everyone was extremely welcoming, and the conversations flowed naturally throughout the evening.

During his talk, Alex spoke about how amazing he found that something as simple as parking can create social capital and meaningful experiences. His top tip for the evening was:

It is better to under promise and to over deliver to customers.

Here’s some snippets from the evening:

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Alex was joined by: TreatNow, Omnifone, Vrumi, eRentz, Cult Beauty, Martialytics, myDriver, Lexoo, Burson Marsteller, amongst others.

Big thanks to Alex Stephany for speaking, and our partner Mangostorm Media.



150527 NWDWe’ve had an immensely busy week of dinners so far this week, covering everything from wedding and property tech, to street food, media coverage, investment and of course, playing the stock market. Next week, we see May’s dinners culminating with a fitness industry dinner on Tuesday and a sharing economy one on Wednesday.

After dinner talk from the Co-Founder of Tribesports
As part of our fitness dinner series, we have the pleasure in welcoming Andrew McDonough, CTO of Tribesports to this month’s dinner. He will share Tribesports story in an after dinner talk and informal Q&A.
Dinner is at 6:45pm on Tuesday 26 May at The Green, Clerkenwell

Sharing economy dinner with JustPark
After securing the largest ever equity crowdfunding round in UK history, it’s safe to say the CEO of JustPark knows a thing or two about the sharing economy, building a community and securing investment. Find out more from Alex, a global expert on the world-wide trend of sharing when you join him for dinner on Wednesday.
Dinner is at 6:45pm on Wednesday 27 May at Jamie’s Italian Piccadilly, Soho

Click here to see a full list of our upcoming TableCrowd dinners.

For those of you who are new to TableCrowd – have a look at our video to see what it’s like when you join us for dinner:

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We had two fantastic dinners this week, with a group of entrepreneurs and founders dining with Julian Blake, editor of TechCityinsider, at Mint Leaf Lounge, and our sharing economy dinner with Compare & Share and Jumio at City Social, Tower 42. Here’s a quick catchup on what went on:

Getting media coverage is all in the timing
There were questions aplenty at Tuesday night’s dinner with TechCityinsider’s Julian Blake. The evening was supercharged with a buzzing atmosphere and a group of chatty diners. Julian spoke knowledgeably on how best to sell your startup story, putting particular emphasis on what he would be interested in as a journalist. It was a great opportunity to identify what separates startups that are featured by TechCityinsider and the ones that don’t make the cut.

One of the most important pieces of information garnered from Julian was that the most important element is timing; a startup needs to be at the right stage before they approach the journalist. During the lively Q&A session, which included answers to what makes one business stand out from another, and the best ways to contact a journalist, there was a discussion about the use of PR companies. Whilst there are benefits and pitfalls, Julian did explain how he works closely with some PR specialists and, at times, relies heavily on their recommendations. Ultimately, it was a successful evening spent dissecting the mind of an experienced journalist.

City Social has the best toilets in London. Fact.
Our sharing economy dinner definitely experienced private dining with spectacular views at City Social this week, which was the perfect backdrop for, Chief Sharer at Compare & Share, Benita’s talk on her bizarre sharing economy experiences. The dinner was also a fantastic opportunity for diners to meet the Jumio team, and find out more about their technology that improves ID verification processes which is vital for sharing economy companies. James Fletcher of Jumio said:

The evening had great food, an interesting crowd and was well organised by hosts. TableCrowd is an all round good experience I would recommend.

Diners this week included RentMyItems, Grub Club, TrustedHousesitters, GoCarShare, GetTaxi, Girl Meets Dress, Liftshare, UnderTheDoormat, 1ROOF, TheJobPost, Street Stream, GrantTree, DayThrill, Rawduck as well as others.

Here are some snippets from the evenings:

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Thanks to our partners Alma CG, Compare & Share and Jumio for the involvement in these dinners.


For more TableCrowd dinners, take a look here.


150316 dinnersBefore we cover next week’s dinner, it’s not too late to join our dinner with Julian Blake, TechCityinsider’s editor. Julian will be talking about how to tell the story of your startup, whether to attract coverage or generally progress your business. We also have our much-anticipated sharing economy dinner which is invite-only and being held at the fabulous City Social, Tower 42.

Next week, we have:

Dine with Solvej Biddle
Another of our ladies only dinners, this time Female Business Owner of the Year, Solvej Biddle will be sharing her story, as well as tips and insights for other entrepreneurs. As a successful Dragon’s Den business investment. Solvej is the founder of Content & Calm, a multi-award winning range of children’s travel products. The business currently boasts supplying the UK’s biggest retailers as well as retailers and distributors in 21 countries.
Dinner is at 6:45pm on Monday 23 March at Aubaine, Heddon Street

MyBeautyMatches’ digital beauty dinner
Social media is key to any business these days, so we are incredibly excited about our latest beauty dinner, hosted by MyBeautyMatches. London Beauty Queen’s Hayley Carr, who will be talking about using social media to accelerate your brand, as well her top tips and insights, will join diners for this upcoming instalment.
Dinner is at 6:45pm on Tuesday 24 March at Jamie’s Italian, Piccadilly

Dine with Daniel Murray, Grabble’s founder
It’s the ‘Tinder for fashion’ app that everyone is talking about, after all, it has just been named best app by Apple in 34 countries. Daniel will be discussing his journey with Grabble, including smart marketing and his top tips for others in the sector. Grabble has just closed a £1.2m seed round, so you can also expect plenty of insight into fundraising for your startup at this dinner.
Dinner is at 6:45pm on Tuesday 24 March at Rocket City

Finally, we can announce our exciting new dinners just for you:

For all complete rundown of our upcoming dinners, click here.

090315 dinners

It’s a busy week this week at TableCrowd, which is great news for our last minute diners as there are plenty of tables to book on before it’s too late. For startups in pre-seed and seed stage, our Seedcamp dinner tonight is a must. Freelancers should join our networking dinner with Greg Dillon and meet other freelancers tomorrow evening.

As part of International Women’s Day we have our dinner celebrating women social entrepreneurs also on Tuesday night. And finally, you’ll find some of the TableCrowd team joining Ivan Retzignac, from, at our e-commerce dinner on Wednesday. Because, who wouldn’t want to hear from the CEO of the largest and fastest-growing e-commerce businesses in Europe?

Next week, we have:

Dine with the editor of TechCityinsider
Are you keen to tell the story of your startup, but not sure how to go about it? Julian Blake, editor of TechCityinsider will be talking our diners through how they can promote their startup business through the media, whether it’s for attracting coverage or to assist the general progression of a company.
Dinner is at 6:45pm on Tuesday 17 March at Rocket, Holborn.

Sharing Economy dinner in partnership with Compare and Share & Jumio
On behalf of Compare & Share and Jumio, credentials management specialists, we have the immense pleasure of organising an exclusive, invite only VIP Sharing Economy evening of great food and stimulating conversation. Benita Matofska, Chief Sharer at Compare & Share and winner of numerous awards including 2013’s Ogunte Women’s Social Leadership Awards for Best Social Business Leader UK & Worldwide and Natwest Venus Business Award for Inspirational Woman, will be speaking at the event.
Dinner is at 6:45pm on Tuesday 17 March at City Social, The City

We have also just announced an upcoming dinner for the Fitness Industry, this is a new series of dinners hosted by BeInspired Fitness. The first dinner takes place on Monday 13 April.

Feel free to take a look through all of our dinners here.


Last night saw the gathering of some of the leading professionals and entrepreneurs in the Sharing Economy space. And what an exciting space it is. The sharing economy is estimated to reach 50% market share in key sectors such as holiday accommodation and car-sharing/car rental by 2025. We dined at the prestigious Institute of Directors on Pall Mall, who kicked off the evening with a short introduction followed by lovely food, wine and networking.

After dinner, Debbie Wosskow from Love Home Swap gave an insightful talk about her review of the Sharing Economy for the UK Government and extensive experience through her Sharing Economy business. The report goes live today.

We were joined by some innovative entrepreneurs and startups including The People Who Share, GoCarShare, StepUp, Senselab, ShowSlice, JustPark, Coadec and many more.

Here are some snippets of conversation and photos from the evening:

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We hope to see you at another dinner soon – check out what’s coming up here.

We were proud to partner with the IoD on this Sharing Economy dinner.


We’re looking forward to seeing Prash tomorrow night at the travel dinner with the head of the travel at Facebook Lee McCabe as after dinner speaker. It’ll be a lively one and we’re excited to hear new insights, make interesting connections and enjoy good food & wine. We caught up with Prash ahead of the dinner to find out a bit more about his travel startup Localoids. Over to you:

What’s the elevator pitch for your startup?

Localoids is an international community with a simple aim: we want to help each other with anything we can, whether we’re travelling or at home. It could be local advice or experiences, language practice, skills and knowledge or hospitality. We want to create international friendships and, ultimately, a helpful global neighbourhood.

What were you doing before you launched your startup?

I worked as a wealth manager for over 10 years, but I’m now free of the corporate noose.

Prash Localoids

What’s your biggest ‘hindsight’ moment?

In hindsight I would not have wasted several months negotiating with potential tech founders, only to be let down. I would have started building straight away with freelancers, as I’m doing now.

What will 2015 bring?

We’re very excited at Localoids and hope to get the business and social model working really well, before expanding across Europe and eventually, around the globe.

1 piece of advice for someone starting a business in the the sector?

Don’t waste time trying to find a tech co-founder. Try to prove the business model with research and customer development, then hire freelancers to build it. Once you have something tangible, you’ve got a much better chance of finding people to join you. By the way, I’m still building.

Convince someone to use your product/service in under 50 words.

If you love meeting interesting people, learning new things and helping others out, you’re a Localoid. We connect like-minded Travellers and Locals for fun, adventure and understanding. Join our growing tribe and help bring the world a little bit closer together. What are you waiting for?

How would you describe TableCrowd to someone who’s never heard of it before?

TableCrowd is a platform that connects people around interesting topics, to chat over a nice meal. It brings together like-minded people for networking and lively discussion. Once you sign up on the website you can join a table or create one of your own, based around whatever you want. Others can join and voila, you have a dinner party with interesting friends you haven’t met yet!

localoids logo-01

Connect with Prash and Localoids

Thanks Prash and wishing you all the best with Localoids! See you at the dinner table soon.

We met Sam at our recent Sport & Recreation dinner where businesses in the space came together to connect, share ideas and find ways to collaborate. We wanted to find out more about him and his startup OpenPlay.

sam parton open play

What’s the elevator pitch for your startup?

OpenPlay is a web and mobile platform which connects sports facilities to the public. It makes it easier for the public to find and book facilities such as tennis courts, football pitches and sports halls particularly in parks, schools and community sites.

What were you doing before you launched your startup?

I was at a previous startup called WhipCar, the world’s first neighbour-to-neighbour car rental service. If you owned a car you could rent it out to someone else. Unfortunately it failed despite going nationwide with 19,000 car owners signed up but I learnt some valuable lessons and it gave me good startup experience.

If you have co-founders, where did you meet them?

My co-founder Ian is the CTO and I met him via a co-founder network. After meeting up a couple of times we launched OpenPlay four months after meeting and have been together ever since (as business partners).

What’s your biggest ‘hindsight’ moment?

Wasting time trying to engage with sports bodies. You can spend a lot of time and energy trying to engage with them and not get anywhere.

What will 2014 bring?

There’s not much of it left, but hopefully more venues and activities with online booking on OpenPlay. We’re also working on some key partnerships to help accelerate things which we’re very excited about and we’re bringing out an accompanying iPhone app to make life even easier for people wanting to get active.

1 piece of advice for someone starting a business in the sector

You will have to be extremely patient as there are huge barriers to entry for startups in the sports industry. It is hugely public sector dominated and it takes time to get credible. Don’t go into expecting over night success and be prepared for a fight!

Convince someone to use your product/service in under 50 words.
Save time and effort finding and booking sports facilities such as tennis courts, football pitches and activities in London by logging on to OpenPlay. You can even find other sports partners in London to play with. You’ve got no more excuses to sit on the sofa now!

Thanks for joining us Sam. Hope to see you around our table again soon!

open play logo

To learn more about our upcoming tables, go here.