Archives for category: Startup Dinners

pavegenJoin award winning entrepreneur Laurence Kemball-Cook for dinner next week, and hear the story of Pavegen, a flooring technology that generates electricity from the kinetic energy of footsteps. That’s a pretty neat piece of tech!

Laurence will be sharing tales of fundraising and rapid growth (their CrowdCube raise exceeded their target by 253%), trade missions globally, rubbing shoulders with governments and the UN and playing a key part in inspiring environmental change around the world. This dinner will give a great insight into the clean-tech space as well as the entrepreneurial journey of taking an idea and turning it into a valuable business. So, grab a seat to meet with Laurence in a private dining setting and talk to him about what you’re working on, as well as to hear about his achievements and success with Pavegen.
Dinner is at 6:45pm on Wednesday 10 August at Aubaine, Regent Street

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.

subscribeOur speaker, Felix Rossknecht, spoke at a recent dinner about building a successful subscription business, here’s what he had to say about how to make a subscription model work for your business.

There’s a few areas to consider when thinking about how to make subscriptions work for you and your business, these are product, flexibility and experience.

Customers care about your product, not the subscription. It’s the product they buy into and the subscription can be a ‘hassle’ from a customer’s perspective. You need to make sure you put the consumer at the heart of the user journey.

The first interactions between you and your potential consumers is crucial so it’s important to make them aware of the benefits of the subscription model.

We’re doing this for you, to make your life easier.

By being flexible and transparent with the subscription process, you’re enabling consumers to get into a habit of receiving your product and thus avoiding a high churn rate. When it comes to flexibility, subscription models do have a bad rep from legacy (think gym or phone memberships that are notoriously difficult to get out of!), so make sure the model fits around your consumers’ existing habits and behaviours. Make sure you can answer the questions, how much do they consume? How often? Are there any gaps? And so on.

Don’t make a business out of ‘tying people in’ instead you need to get people to trust you! Be open as a business.

Finally, make sure once the customers are set up that you show them the benefit and make it carefree.

Build a space for emotional engagement, you want your consumers to look forward to their shipment. Make the product exciting and develop a cracking tone of voice. To get the experience right, you must know your customer and their lives (inside and out!). Think about the user journey, every renewal phase, every experience has to be customer friendly and have a good interaction. From the packaging to the ease of receiving the shipment – it has to excel and be hassle-free.

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?



015If you’re looking to do a spot of networking, why not get some insider knowledge while you’re at it? Up next week we have media expert Tom Maddocks talking on how to get journalists interested in your company, as well as Tracy Doree, founding partner of Spring Partners chatting about getting investment for your business.

Getting journalists interested in your company. Dine with expert, Tom Maddocks
Getting press coverage for your business can be vital to boost growth, drive awareness and reach new markets and customers. Join Tom Maddocks for dinner, for top tips and tactics for reaching journalists and getting them to snap up your story.

You’ll probably know Tom from his former role as a reporter on BBC2’s ‘The Money Programme’. He is acknowledged as one of the UK’s leading authorities on media training and presentation coaching, having been quoted in publications including the Sunday Times, Independent and Financial Times. He has over twenty years’ experience as a journalist and broadcaster, working in TV, radio and the national press.
Dinner is at 6:45pm on Tuesday 19 July at Aubaine, Mayfair

Meet the investors: Tracy Doree, founding partner of Spring Partners
Tracy Doree understands things from your side of the table. She’s an entrepreneur at heart, with one the fastest exits we’ve heard of under her belt. She 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!

Tracy is now founding partner at Spring Partners, an active London based venture capital fund.

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 20 July at Piccolino, City

brekkiwWe also have a fab, intimate breakfast happening just for founders. Our CEO, Kate Jackson, hosts a relaxed and informal breakfast for you founders to expand your network whilst sharing problems and solutions with other founders.
Breakfast is at 8:45am on Tuesday 19 July at Aubaine, Broadgate Circle


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.


We had a fantastic evening with Andy Batty, General Manager of onefinestay where he spoke at dinner about taking a company from start-up to grown-up. (Read the #AfterDinnerRoundup here.)

What limits start-ups is a perception that a shortage of funds is the problem.

Here’s Andy’s top tips for start-ups:

  1. Create an employee brand as well as a company brand.
  2. You need to try to keep your staff… Start ups often recruit then cull as money runs out but acting like this means you lose your skill and talent, creating a culture of fear of job loss.
  3. Go for the minimum level to prove your concept; avoid paralysis through perfection. Invest in tech but do it cheaply.
  4. For tech, only build in-house what is totally necessary. Try to work with what is already available.
  5. Don’t break the brand.  With hindsight, the team at Tough Mudder realised they’d expanded too quickly and that affected cash flow. This meant when they entered the German market, they had a limited product in order to save money. This in turn impacted the customers’ experience which essentially ‘broke’ the brand concept.
  6. Both Tough Mudder and onefinestay use the Net Promoter score as they’re both customer-focused. It is key to any customer-specific business. A high Net Promoter score drives repeat business. Use this!
  7. Have a strong brand. Think Tough Mudder’s Orange Headbands. Understand what your customer wants.
  8. Understand what your customers are willing to pay for. Make sure everything is of value and is really what the customer wants. (They may think they want it but will they if you take it away?)
  9. Employ People Managers. Make sure your people can see a career path; accept that staff won’t be there forever as people don’t have a ‘career for life’ anymore. Good people managers are game changers. They save money. They keep the work force happy and improve quality.
  10. It is better to have 100 people who love you and they will tell everyone else. One person will tell 10 people about a bad experience. One person will only tell one person if it was a good experience. Look after your first 100 customers. (TC Editor: Although social media takes this concept to a whole new level!)
  11. Have amazing customer service and satisfaction. The turning point for onefinestay was when AccorHotels came along and they needed to buy us because they realised we had fab customer service and satisfaction. And an amazing brand, of course.
  12. Control and management. You need this. You need checks and balances. Ensure you have clear KPIs. onefinestay takes smart decisions about cost cutting and demonstrated to AccorHotels that we had the right people and the right expansion plan.
  13. Have two important guidelines and principles to operate by. For onefinestay, they are:
    – How would you want your grandma treated if she was a customer?
    – How would you want your friend’s house treated?

For more tips and tricks from our speakers, check out our top tips blogs. Although, nothing beats meeting our speakers in person – so come join us for dinner!


The diners who joined Ghilaine Chan, Plug-in COO for startups and SMEs, for dinner last week  at The Anthologist left with notebooks full of tips and advice for becoming a master of execution and operations. Here are a few snippets to whet your appetite:

  1. When you are limited with resources, you need to focus and work out what is important.
  2. Read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R Covey.
  3. Have a ‘to do’ list, adding timings for how long each task will take. This allows you to focus your mind.
  4. Focus on getting one thing done a day. It takes away any faff and helps you to feel in control.
  5. Work out what you can and can’t control.
  6. Be outcome-based. Focus on the end game and work backwards.
  7. Be purposeful about being on and in your business. You need to decide the time that you are going to give to tasks, diarise and stick to it.
  8. Make time for what is important to you (hobbies, families, friends) and schedule them in your diary.
  9. Be aware of what you are good at, as well as what you enjoy doing. Make a list of what you don’t enjoy doing too – delegate this to other people.
  10. Don’t check emails first thing; don’t let others dictate your time.
  11. Plan the following day on the day before.
  12. Plan your following week on a Thursday morning.
  13. Match your task to your energy levels; know when you work best.
  14. Trust people to do a job that you ask of them. Make sure they are the right person doing the right job, and that you have given them good guidance.

For more tips and tricks from our speakers, check out our top tips blogs. Although, nothing beats meeting our speakers in person – so come join us for dinner!


hephziThis week’s dinners have been all about building successful businesses, from practical tips and real life examples to being a master or execution and operations in order to run your business better. Ghilaine Chan, a Plug-in COO, spoke on Tuesday night to her fellow diners at The Anthologist, whilst Hephzi Pemberton, business founder and investor, talking last night providing insider knowledge to help avoid the problems and pitfalls that businesses commonly face.

Practical tips & real life examples from successful business founder & investor
Hephzi Pemberton and her fellow diners enjoyed dinner at The Happenstance, along with a fantastic evening of networking and tips for building a business. As a business founder and investor, Hephzi began her career in investment banking before moving into headhunting and launching her first business Kea Consultants. Helping her guests to avoid the common problems and pitfalls that businesses face, she shared nuggets of information varying from customer relations and negotiating to hiring your team and learning how to say no. Hephzi’s top ten tips can be found in full here.


Run your business better: be a master of execution & operations
Joining Ghilaine Chan on Tuesday night at The Anthologist, TableCrowd members had such a treat being inundated with loads of ideas and tips to help in the execution and operation of their businesses. We rustled up a little blog post on Ghilaine’s top tips, just for you. Covering everything from being effective and outcome-based to being purposeful and planning, planning and planning some more! Ghilaine also provided insight into hiring the right people for your business too, including stressing that cultural fit and value fit are key to having the right team behind you. Ultimately, Ghilaine believes that to drive focus you need to know why you are running your business. It sounds so simple, doesn’t it?

Our speakers were joined by: Buto, Fixflo, Solely Original, Per4mance Insight, Kiwi Gray, Propelia, Casey, Pathio and TalentYard amongst others.

Special thanks to our speakers, Ghilaine and Hephzi, as well as our partner Wellers.Wellers for siteLooking to network with your peers and hear from experts in their field? Why not join us for dinner?


hephziThe fabulous Hephzi Pemberton gave some superb tips to her fellow diners at dinner this week. (Check out the #AfterDinnerRoundup here.) Take a look at Hephzi’s top ten tips and tricks for building a business:

  1. Treat everyone like a client
    We treated our candidates all like potential clients. This gave us all the right attitude. It doesn’t matter what business you have, people matter. Have this at your heart of your business; it is your reputation, after all.
  2. Stay close to your clients or investors (they pay your bills)
    Building a deeper relationship is really important. Invite them to dinners. Stand out from what your competitors are giving them for relationship building. Be proactive and creative with the relationship.
  3. Learn to negotiate by pro
    Read a book called ‘Never Split the Difference’. It is hostage negotiation for business. Understand what the other side needs first before your own.
  4. Learn to say no
    Develop a relationship with the word ‘no’. It is a healthy setting of boundaries. As a leader it is important to say no. Stick to what you know (and know what you are good at). It demonstrates a level of confidence that you stick to your guns.
  5. Hire for potential not prestige
    Attitude, willingness, work ethic, fun, interested – this is what you’re looking for. Ask about their family. What is their greatest fear? Ask about books, films, arts, culture etc.
  6. Have a board from early on
    No matter how much of a self starter you are, you need people to talk to. Most effective are those that have buy in. You need to make sure that they commit. The board is there for the business; they represent the interests of the business.
  7. Celebrate your success!
    Gives your team something to talk about :-))
  8. Leverage your time
    Get good accountants, lawyers, great tech etc
  9. Develop yourself to develop others
    From the books that you read. Do this and learn and continually develop. Get coaching. Embed coaching culture culture into the business.
  10. Every year ask yourself why are you here
    It will take you out of your comfort zone, although, you might not like the answers!

For more tips and tricks from our speakers, check out our top tips blogs. Although, nothing beats meeting our speakers in person – so come join us for dinner!


superheroesIf you’re interested in how to run your business better (who isn’t?), next week’s dinners are the perfect line-up to do just that. From practical tips and real life examples, to becoming a master or execution and operations. We’ve got you covered.

Run your business better: be a master or execution & operations
As a founder, you don’t always have the luxury of hiring in roles like COO or GM in the early stages, which means all the details of execution and operational challenges are just another plate to spin. So, what’s the best way to make your startup into the success that you want it to be? Grab a seat at dinner with Ghilaine Chan, a ‘Plug-in COO’, who steps into companies of 5-50 people and helps them take their vision to reality.

In the simplest of terms, she’s all about helping to run your business, making it more productive, efficient and customer-focused, by looking at what isn’t working and creating scalable and robust processes and programs to take a business from start-up, through scale-up and beyond.

Join the conversation about how to save time and money, increase motivation and improve customer relationships. With the wealth of experience and knowledge Ghilaine has, make sure you also take a list of those burning questions you have for her to help you run your business better.
Dinner is at 6:45pm on Tuesday 21 June at The Anthologist, The City


Practical tips & real life examples from successful business founder & investor
Being a founder can, at times, be a ‘learn as you go’ experience, which is why, at TableCrowd, we think it’s so important to hear from those who have built their businesses successfully so they can share their knowledge with those following in their footsteps.

With that in mind, we’re looking forward to joining Hephzi Pemberton for dinner where she will be sharing 10 practical things to help you succeed with your business, using case studies and real life examples.

Hephzi, is an investor and business founder. She exited her business, Kea Consultants, in 2015 and is now developing two new businesses, The Inspire Movement and The Missing Middle. Grab a seat at dinner with Hephzi and get the nitty gritty details, alongside your peers, and leave armed with some great insider knowledge that will help you avoid the problems and pitfalls that businesses commonly face.
Dinner is at 6:45pm on Wednesday 22 June at The Happenstance, 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.

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: