Our September was hosted by Nabarro.
Nabarro is a major corporate law firm operating in a number of industry sectors and legal disciplines. They have 125 partners leading approximately 400 lawyers offering a broad range of corporate legal services to major national and international clients.
Everyone including: Vince Cable, the Government, and the Bank of England are all aware that SMEs, particularly micro and start-up businesses are being starved of cash by the banks as it is too risky and hard, even with the funding for lending scheme. Thank heaven for the growth in Peer to Peer lenders and equity investment providers. There are now a plethora of these organisations, with more joining the fray every day, many are unregulated and the sector has been largely ignored by the authorities inc. the FSA/FCA.
Hear from Lois and Bill about all these developments; the most exciting thing to happen in SME funding EVER, Explosive growth: 2012 - $1.5 billion, 2013 $5 billion: Staggering 230 % pa growth. Google just invested into Lending Club at a $1.5bn valuation!
Crowd investing is now legal in Canada & UK and countries that have copied UK FSA regulation model.
Funding Circle, one of the grand daddies in the UK, 3 years old has funded over 2,500 companies with £135m of loans from 50,000 individuals. The Government has given them £20m. Crowd Cube has funded £9.3m in 54 companies & raised £1.5m capital for themselves in 24 hours! Bank to the Future just launched and raised £320k for 9 deals so far. Seeders launched in mid-2012, funded £1m deals so far.
Aduna is an Africa-inspired lifestyle brand with a focus on health and beauty. Their products are based on some of the most unique and remarkable plants from across the continent, all produced by small-scale farmers. Their first range introduces baobab - The African Superfruit with the highest antioxidant capacity of any fruit in the world, and the potential to deliver sustainable income to 8-10m rural households.
Aduna means "Life or World" in Wolof, the local language of The Gambia. Their mission is to breathe the vibrancy of Africa into the daily lives of people around the world, whilst creating a virtuous circle that feeds positive impacts back to the source.
Aduna was Co-Founded by Andrew Hunt and Nick Salter, who bring together over 30 years of sales and marketing experience for companies such as Pfizer, Heinz, Panasonic, Dun & Bradstreet and United Business Media. Andrews previous Africa-inspired enterprise won a 2008 UN World Business & Development Award. He has also been a lead consultant to the World Bank on horticultural development projects and holds an MBA from Oxford.
Lascelles Lawrence - ERA - MondialAre you bored with what you are doing? Do you have over 10 years experience in a particular industry? Would you like to be your own boss? Lascelles has the solution. He and a very experienced team are setting up ERA, a franchised top end recruitment operation for senior executives, managers, professionals and technical people who are seeking alternative work due to redundancy, or disillusionment of working for a large corporate. The ethos of the new firm is: "People First in Business" and "Enabling Better Futures" for both clients and candidates. Services offered will be across the range inc. Retained Search, Search and Selection, Contingency Recruitment and Vacancy Advertising as well as Candidate Generation Services.
ERA will deliver an extensive range of training and support to their franchisees, including:
online recruitment training and refresher webinars, process software system to manage the entire recruitment process, bespoke candidate screening and assessment tools, database support and candidate generation, dedicated marketing support and a full accounting, invoicing, financing, timesheet and payroll service. Lascelles has brought together a very strong team with 80 years experience of building and exiting businesses as well as in depth recruitment. The team have generated multi-million T/O's and employed up to 30 staff. Looking for a new role? Chat to Lascelles!
Michael Brookes - Free TurretLarge investment banks can easily spend £8m or more to equip their dealers with voice "switch boards", called Turrets, a massive investment. Trader voice technology is based on a model that has seen only minor changes in 30 years, whereas other mass-market voice technologies have advanced considerably, such as Skype. Free Turret is building a new architecture and system to provide trader voice services at a fraction of the cost of the current architecture.
Trader voice technology traditionally relies on three elements, the turret, the infrastructure and the private wires. Free Turret believes that each of these elements is out of date and is ready for replacement:
Free Turret intends to create a system that will embrace newer and more advanced technologies in order to remove many of the problems and costs associated with existing trader voice offerings, by implementing a Cloud-based peer-to-peer eturret application running on standard PC, tablet and mobile phone hardware. 'Skype-for-traders', if you will. Voice recording will be handled in the cloud.
Free Turret have a dream team with Michael, Shaun Bennie and Brendan Quinn, bringing over 25 years hands on experience in trading rooms with, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Barclays JP Morgan Chase and RBS.