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April 2007

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Our April meeting was hosted by Simmons & Simmons.

Guest Speaker

Matthew Dixon, Director of London Operations, ip21

In a knowledge economy, intellectual property (IP) is increasingly important, but what are intellectual property rights and how do you use them? This presentation from Matt Dixon will give a whistle-stop overview of the kinds of intellectual property protection available to British companies, and how these can be used to secure the value of a business. The presentation covers trade marks, patents, copyright, registered designs and confidential information and aims to give business executives enough understanding that they can identify the intellectual property issues in their own business and seek relevant advice. For participants with some experience of intellectual property, the presentation will fill in the gaps in their knowledge and provide an opportunity to ask questions on specific issues.

Matt Dixon is a Chartered Patent Attorney and European Patent Attorney. As Director of the London office of ip21 Limited, his practice concentrates on advising British businesses of all sizes on the protection of their intellectual property, particularly in the electronics, telecommunications and software fields. Matt is a member of the Press and PR Committee of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys for whom he participates in free advice "clinics" for the general public. Matt is a regular contributor to intellectual property awareness events, particularly at the advice sessions organised by Ideas21 at the British Library Business and IP Centre. He has lectured on intellectual property for entrepreneurs at Imperial College and Tanaka Business School.
Business Pitches

Alison McKnight, Chief Popperating Director,
Ear to Ear Ltd
Ear to Ear popcorn

For upscale 18-45 year olds (and their families) who are looking for an alternative snack to crisps, Ear to Ear produces a range of popcorn in flavours commonly found on crisps. They have developed unique savoury flavours specifically tuned to the British palate. In contrast to other snacks, the product is made using hot air, rather than hot oil.

Our customers are sophisticated and have discerning tastes. Ear to Ear is a gourmet product made with high quality ingredients and so our price is not geared towards the low cost end of the market. Our image, our consumers and our suppliers are all upscale.

Popcorn is the 2nd fastest growing snack market in terms of sales value, with an estimated 33% growth in value of popcorn market over 5 years. Market sales of popcorn in the UK are currently 76 million annually. In other industrialised countries, popcorn accounts for 10% of snack food market compared to only 1.7% in the UK, therefore the potential UK market could be as high as 270 million.

Ear to Ear was launched in 2006 by Americans who grew up in the American Midwest the heart of corn country, where people take their popcorn very seriously. UK consumers have a narrow perception of popcorn mainly due to the cinema snacking experience, which can hardly be described as high quality, Ear to Ear want to change peoples idea of popcorn and show them it can be a tasty everyday snack and a great alternative to crisps.
Stableview TV
Becky Gibson, Managing Director, Stableview
StableView - a revolutionary new system which not only offers the ability for owners to view their horses safely and securely from anywhere in the world, on demand over the internet, but also provides a full equestrian centre & livery stable management system as well as being an asset when seeking British Horse Society approval.

The concept behind StableView is simple - to utilize the latest technology to allow you to take advantage of a reliable, cost effective video streaming and management system, saving you time and money as well as adding value by allowing horse and pony owners the access they desire

Azhar Hussain - Reward Mapping
Reward Mapping logo

Reward Mapping pushes the state of the art with a people-centered and credible approach to appraising performance and allocating reward.

RM is a performance management platform that closes the divide between company strategy and employee motivation. By radically evolving the traditional PM process, RM links rewards to the values that makes an organisation the success it is aiming for.

Appraisals are often resource draining processes based only on recent performance, thereby divorced entirely from organisational strategy and meaningless to both employer and individual. Whilst great in theory, they leave much to be desired with scaled across a large and diverse population.

RM is a web-based, peer-review platform that delivers succinct "maps" of the competencies and values throughout every level of an organisation. The system operates a discretionary points allocation system which is underpinned by powerful algorithms to allow organisations to map the relationships of value within a company.

Absorbing powerful advancements in technology, RM identifies crucial relationships and behaviours that are both driving and restraining an organisation.

RM utilises the strengths of traditional peer feedback but breaks through its limitations: it delivers a credible, multi-source, ongoing picture of human resource rather than an isolated snapshot of the recent past. RM powers organisational culture by recognising key values, while individuals benefit from empowerment and realistic career development.