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July 2011

City Business Library
Our London meeting in July was hosted by the City Business Library.

The City Business Library is a public reference library specialising in current business information which is intended to be of practical use. They have electronic and printed information on British and foreign companies and subscriptions to a number of company information databases. You can use them free of charge in the library. Their collections include business directories, economic background reports, business periodicals, financial and trade statistics and guides to doing business in other countries.

Guest Speaker - Simon Acland
Simon AclandSome Venture Capital insightsAre you an entrepreneur looking for funding? And always wondered what venture capital was all about and if it could help you to accelerate your business and get rich? If only it were that simple.
Simon drew on some of the material from his recent book: Angels, Dragons and Vultures - How to tame your investors ... and not lose your company. He explained some of the things that VCs are not good at and explained and explored the issues to look out for before you take an investors funding. And once you have their cash, that is only the beginning, so he also talked about how best to manage your investors in order to win through to a successful exit - selling your company, that is, not leaving it!
Simon Acland was a successful venture capitalist for over 20 years. He was MD of Quester, one of the UKs most active early-stage technology investors with over 250m under management. He has been a non-executive director of more than 30 companies. He has been involved with many successful trade sales and flotations; he has also had his share of failures and thinks he has learned from them.

Business Pitches
Johnathan Agnes - foodityEvery week, millions of mums approach the checkout with trepidation. They've no idea how much their shop is going to cost. They're not sure if they've actually got seven days of balanced meals in their basket. The problem is that the time required to properly plan a shop isn't available to busy mums. That's why tens of thousands of delighted mums are using foodity to plan their weekly shop. They can shop on line (automatically) and download the meal plan and recipes. Sound like a dream come true? It is available now from foodity at their showcase site http://resourcefulcook.com.
foodity has a blue chip team including developers with a strong track record of building data heavy web applications and advisors in senior roles at major agencies like Ogilvy One. They are already getting noticed pre launch, BBC's Olive Magazine, said in its lead editorial that foodity is 'a glittering opportunity'.
Now the test marketing is complete, the priorities are getting to revenue generation by: extending the ecosystem of brands, publishers and retailers; developing a tool that optimises web recipe content to maximise web traffic, and revenue generation together with some unobtrusive widgets that will enable brands and publishers to also earn revenues. Why dont you try foodity?

Personal Development Bureau
Rupert Honywood -
Personal Development Bureau
Have you thought about how the hundreds of thousands of public sector workers that are facing job loss can find useful and gainful employment to capitalise on all their skills and knowledge? Rupert through his network of specialists has launched a comprehensive service offering practical help to encourage people to find their mission and purpose so that they can go into a new career, or start their own business. Initial targets are those leaving the Police, Armed Forces and the Fire Service followed by other areas..
Official estimates of job losses are 28,000 police, 17,000 armed forces and around 50,000 NHS staff over 4 years plus job losses from central and local government. The initial services will include: Transition Support, Mentoring and Training, Practical Career and Business Services, Business Planning and Business Simulations. Rupert has identified a variety of revenue streams to support the business. Already in place are 3 focused web sites and a 170 strong team of specialists to deliver these services. He has previously built a membership based organisation with 160K members and 1,000s of affiliates generating national press and TV coverage. Can you help Rupert to extend the Personal Development Bureau service so it has the potential to touch thousands of lives?

Gustavo Gorenstein - TipgainDo you make recommendations to friends, relatives and colleagues on products and services that you like? Well, now you could get a reward for it. Tipgain is an innovative service to help retailers and consumers extend promotions from a retail outlet with their friends through social media and get an instant reward. This involves simply using a mobile phone to scan a QR Code on a promotion display. The Tipgain web platform, that manages retailers and issuing of QR Codes, links to social media services and also provides management analytics. There is an easy to use free mobile app for consumers.
The real benefit of Tipgain is to increase footfall and conversion rates and capitalise on social media activity and the trusted networks of friends and relatives. Clients pay a 50 monthly subscription for unlimited use of the platform. Tipgain also takes a 1% commission for each sales lead.
Tipgain has a very experienced international team of 3, all of whom have started businesses and had blue chip mainstream roles and met at UCL. Tipgain won the UCL Entrepreneurs' Challenge 2010 this year and has just completed a successful Proof of Concept with Costa Coffee and has another lined up with a sports shop in Soho.