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October 2019


Taylor Wessing
Our October meeting was hosted by Taylor Wessing.

Taylor Wessing is a full-service international law firm working with clients in the world's most dynamic industries. We take a single-minded approach to advising our clients, helping them succeed by thinking innovatively about their business issues.

Our focus on the industries of tomorrow has enabled us to develop market-leading expertise in: Technology, Media and Communications, Life Sciences, Private Wealth and Energy

We are proud of our reputation as a forward-thinking firm and support clients wherever they want to do business. Our 32 offices around the world blend the best of local commercial, industry and cultural knowledge with international experience to provide proactive, integrated solution for our clients.

Taylor Wessing TechFocus
TW Tech Focus is an online portal providing guidance to tech companies at various stages of the corporate life cycle, ranging from start-ups to companies entering commercialisation.




Guest Speaker
Simon Ford - Zingela Making things happen to build businesses
Simon's early career was in financial services and trading businesses, in South Africa. He was headhunted into a struggling Financial Services Division of a large trading organisation. He restructured and re-generated the operation by developing a high- performance team that turned the business around and went on to facilitate a management buyout of the division. Rapidly grew this new business and within 2 years divided the business into two - the UK financial services and investment division became Thomson Lockwood Brooks. The South African business became Thomson Marshall Ford and both continued to grow rapidly and were successfully sold 5 years later.
More recently Simon's focus is to help both Blue Chip organisation as well as SME. For Blue Chips the focus is to provide workshops, coaching and strategic planning in leadership, sales, engagement and performance to develop and embed the positive behaviours that impact their bottom line. While for SMEs the focus is to become a 'commercial partner', working with them, capitalising on their resources to: accelerate growth, minimise risk, become operationally leaner and maximise value when exiting the business.
We heard about Simon's impactful career, both in South Africa and latterly in the UK, and his top tips and insights into driving your business to success.

Simon Ford
    Simon Ford



Business Pitches
Rural Handmade
Konark Ogra - Rural Handmade Have you ever wanted to have a unique hand made piece of furniture or ornament but been unsure of where to buy it so that you know it is ethically sourced and will directly benefit the crafts people who made it? Rural Hand Made is the answer: "Connecting rural artisans to the global consumer market"
Rural Handmade is a disruptive, design excellence based, direct-to-consumer brand. Our aim is to revolutionize, develop and promote untapped human capital. At Rural Handmade we partner with Small enterprise that have the right skill but lack innovation and access to global markets.
Artisanship has been a human-centred economic activity of giving form and meaning to local raw material and converting them into aesthetic and utilitarian product. "We just make it better." We have sold over 3000 products in UK, Spain, France & Germany. Our focus is to strengthen our global presence with a direct to consumer model. We are also strengthening our operational presence by collaborating with clusters and Women Groups in South East Asia. Rural Handmade's future is aglow with possibilities to develop long-lasting handmade sustainable products with shared prosperity and social-economic impact on the lives of millions. So, go on and help us bring shared prosperity to every corner of the world.

Konark Ogra
    Konark Ogra

Best Milk
Julia Sarno - Best Milk Breast milk is the best way to build a strong immune system in humans but millions of mums struggle to produce breast milk but wish their child to be raised on natural breast milk due to the precious immunological properties of breast milk.
Breast milk is the only food a baby needs 5 times a day in the first 6 months of its life to build strong immune system; then for another 6 months as part of a healthy diet. Infant Formula milk - a substitute to natural breast milk - lacks those immune system building properties because it is not made of breast milk, but of a dried cow's milk.
Some unchecked breast milk is sold online directly from mums and wet-nurses but there's a high chance of it being contaminated with viruses (i.e. herpes, HIV, syphilis), antibiotics, nicotine, alcohol. As of 2019 there is no laboratory that would professionally screen breast milk against all pathogens, offering mums easy delivery of safe breast milk for their babies. Best Milk in the first private Milk Bank offering all-inclusive service of delivering top quality breast milk directly to parents who cannot breastfeed their child. Once Best Milk is on the market it will take a good share of UK 263m Formula Milk market, as a superior food for infants.

Julia Sarno
    Julia Sarno

Gunna
Melvyn Jay - GUNNA GUNNA is an exciting new craft soft drinks brand, on a mission to transform 'old school' soft drinks in the same way that craft beer revolutionized the corporate lager market.
Only real tastes real. We make uncompromisingly good craft soft drinks packed with natural juices with less than 5% sugar and no artificial colours or flavours.
Our 4 delicious drinks, beat established competitors like San Pellegrino, Fentimans & FeverTree in taste tests and our recipes draw inspiration from around the world. We pack our cans with real ingredients that deliver interesting, complex and characterful flavours.
Our last round overfunded by 64%, now we're back giving investors that missed out the chance to come on board!
We've generated strong traction with several national customers now stocking GUNNA - Sainsbury's, JD Wetherspoon, Asda, Co-op, NISA, Ocado, Amazon and many more. This year we also signed a distribution partnership with Euro Food Brands, who have a 70 person sales team and great trade relations that is further accelerating our distribution build.
Our vision is to become the no.1 craft soft drinks company, so join us on our mission to revolutionize the soft drinks market.

GUNNA was voted best business pitch by the audience

Melvyn Jay
    Melvyn Jay




Download October 2019 meeting brochure (pdf)