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January 2018

Marks & Clerk
Our January meeting was hosted by Marks & Clerk.

Marks & Clerk has long been recognised as one of the leading patent and trade mark attorney firms across the globe, with eight offices across the UK and a further eight in North America and the Asia-Pacific.
You will find that our patent and trade mark attorneys together with our associated firm of solicitors offer a comprehensive range of intellectual property services - covering patents, trade marks, designs and copyright. This includes obtaining protection worldwide, portfolio management, strategic and commercial advice, licensing, enforcement, due diligence and litigation.
In addition, Marks & Clerk Consulting offers a wider range of services, complimentary to our mainstream services including IP valuations as well as product and design consultancy services. You can also access the extensive international network and intellectual property connections that we work closely with around the world to receive an integrated world-wide service.
The size and extent of our resources means that you will find expertise covering an incredibly diverse range of technologies and industry sectors all under one roof. This differentiates us. The broad technical expertise of our team along with full understanding of the commercial issues you face means that you need look no further for your intellectual property partner.

Guest Speaker

James Vellacott - Cherryduck
Nine years ago, James was jumping out of helicopters in Helmand Province, camera in hand, to capture wartime stills for newspapers. A year later, with wife Michelle (an Actress working for a news publisher) created Cherryduck - a video production & studio business after their bosses requested video. With little experience, James taught himself to edit and began to send short video blogs back from the front line. Similarly Michelle, with a couple of tutorials from James, began to shoot and edit behind-the-scenes videos for fashion, lifestyle & makeup shoots.
Shooting video needs professionals from: Producers to Camera Assistants, Gaffers, Editors and crew.
Another hurdle is cost. Shoot locations, cameras, film lighting and prop hire, paired with the high pressure demand for fast video turnaround, often outstripped budgets. James and Michelle's solution was to keep everything in-house; Cherryduck became a 'one-stop shop for video content', delivering good, cheap and quick video.
With 21,000 sq ft of space comprising 6 video & photography studios, all the lighting, camera, equipment and props you could need, Cherryduck truly is an agency for the digital age. James and Michelle have recently purchased a further 8,000 sq ft next door to expand and are inviting like-minded companies in the creative industry to collaborate and share it.

James showing some of his Afghan photos

Business Pitches

Jelte Liebrand - savvy navvy
savvy navvy
Smart navigation - savvy navvy calculates thousands of permutations in milliseconds to work out the optimal route. It considers wind forecasts, tidal predictions and even historical information about how you sail your yacht. Simply pick your destination and let it do the work for you.
Jelte took part in the Clipper Round the World yacht race in 2014. He had plenty of sailing experience, but racing from San Francisco to New York was quite a bit different from anything he'd done before. Sailing thousands of miles off-shore, he learnt how difficult navigation can be. Updating charts, downloading weather forecasts, predicting boat speed, avoiding squalls with 50+ knots of wind; it all took hours and hours below deck, plotting courses on a computer whilst hanging on at a 45 degree heel. Jelte became convinced there was an easier way.
He spent two years researching and building the foundation for savvy navvy and in July 2017 he left his job at Google to get his vision of easy, safe navigation out to every sailor on the water. Unlike all the other charting apps out there, savvy navvy is not just a tool, it has the intelligence to simply become your navigator!

savvy navvy was voted best business pitch at the meeting

Jelte - the problem with charts

Mike Coyle - Tonik Sound
Tonik The future of music instrumentation; despite electronic music's growing popularity, it still suffers from many problems. Professionals have the money and resources to create augmented instruments, but amateurs are left struggling. Tonik bridges this access gap, in the same way the raspberry pi and arduino bridged the gap to electrical engineering and computing for beginners. Mike has proven success in leading innovative hardware startups; his previous startup sold over 50,000 units in it's first year, and was featured in: Gizmodo, GQ, FastCo, Cool Hunting and Designboom. Mike's team includes a former Communications Director at Sony Music.
The first product will be Pulse, which you attach to your acoustic guitar, and it modifies the vibrations within its body. Effects like delay, distortion and reverb come straight from the the guitar with no pedals, wires, or amps. Now you can have all of your effects in the back of the tour bus, or at the top of a mountain, without worrying about finding power or access to your rig. Be free to play anywhere!
Mike has embarked on his SEIS funding round provide the funding to promote the launch of Pulse on Kickstarter and bring Pulse to the mass market of aspiring electronic music Maestros.

Mike demonstrating Pulse

Download January 2018 meeting brochure (pdf)