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January 2008

British Library

30th January 2008
Our January meeting was hosted by The Business & IP Centre at The British Library.

Guest Speaker
RDP Associates
Mike Boreham - RDP UKMike has worked in technology industries for the last 23 years. He started out as a Systems Engineer with IBM in the mid 80s working on networking, PC and RS/6000technologies. In 1994 he moved on to work in product development and product marketing, including two years in frontline sales

Since 1999 he has been working as a freelancer for technology companies. He provides a variety of services to his clients, all aimed at maximising the impact of their technologies on the market. This includes anything from creating original products to gaining breakthrough sales for new products to large marketing programs. Along the way he has co-launched three start-up companies as well as returning for periods under contract to IBM. Most recently Mike teamed up with Canadian R&D tax credit specialists, RDP, in March 2007, to become their first Technical Associate in the UK. As a Technical Associate, Mike applies his understanding of both technology and the development process to identify all eligible projects within an organisation for the HMRC R&D Tax Credit program. As part of the process he then works through with the claimant to successful filing of a claim and receipt of the tax credit.

You should note that up to 4th April 2008 you can claim back up to 6 years of R & D Tax credits, from the 5th April it will only be one year, so get your skates on!

Business Pitches
Shane Lake, HungryhouseIt took about 2 years of hard graft from conception of the idea, to the date of launch - February 16th, 2006 - something that would be fun and easy to use, and help solve many of the traditional problems faced by the frustrated foodie looking for a good bite to eat. The website launched with just 12 restaurants serving the Putney area of London, and about 6 months was spent tweaking and polishing the process, before it was decided to expand across London toward the end of 2006.
In December 2006, Tony and Shane were approached by a young, energetic London lad who had actually been attempting to set up his own similar version of hungryhouse. Having run out of time and money on his own project, he realised that if he wasn't going to beat them, he'd better join them. The hungryhouse team grew to include Marketing Manager and 3Cs member, Graeme Horne.
Throughout late 2006 and early 2007, restaurant recruitment was a focus, with the goal being to cover London by mid to late 2007. At the same time, improvements were constantly being made to the website and back-end systems to keep the service as beneficial to both its customers and partner restaurants as possible.
Having spent most of their savings getting the business off the ground, like most small business owners with grand ideas, Tony and Shane realised they needed investment. And, like most small business owners with grand ideas, they were soon to find out how difficult that process really was. Various meetings with banks, government agencies and angel investment firms followed with varying degrees of success - but no investment was forthcoming. It seemed only hungryhouse customers realised how great an idea this really was!

Hungryhouse at Dragons Den
Having applied to the Dragons' Den for Series 4 in 2006 without any luck, Tony and Shane applied again for Series 5 and much to their delight, made it through to the filming. Needless to say, the idea of pitching an investment proposal to 5 wealthy individuals is hard enough, but doing it in the environment of a TV studio doesn't really compare. The co-founders of hungryhouse, Tony Charles and Shane Lake, entered the Dragons' Den on Monday 19th November, and received an offer of investment from Duncan Bannatyne and James Caan.
Shelley Katz, Podium Sound
Shelley Katz
Podium loudspeakers are quite literally a world first: a full-range panel loudspeaker system. Using transverse waves induced by a tapered line-array to propagate sound through a floating panel, all of which is designed and built in Cambridge UK. Our designs have no ribbons (even though we love ribbons), no electrostatic devices (even though we love those too), no cone drivers, no sub woofers and no crossover.
Shelley Katz holds BMus and MMus in Piano Performance from the prestigious Julliard School, and a PhD in the research area of Cognition of Expression in Music from the University of Surrey.
He also fulfills duties as one of two Musicians in Residence at the ISC - Queens University.
The exacting sonic requirements for all Podium Sound loudspeakers derive from Shelleys background as a world-class musician.

Ian Rogers, ContactClean.com
ContactClean.com is an email change of address (ECOA) directory. We provide a range of ECOA and email finder services for individuals, companies, Internet Service Providers, Email Service Providers (email direct marketers) and "Customer Relationship Management" tool providers. Software is provided as Open Source, access to the database is licensed for businesses and free to individuals.
If someone changes their email address, registering with ContactClean can help ensure all their friends are kept up to date. But more than that, we can notify companies like energy suppliers, Internet shops, banks etc. (with the user's permission) while also making sure the new address is never given out by us to spammers!