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July 2012

UCL Advances

Our July meeting was hosted by UCL Advances.

UCL Advances, UCL's centre for entrepreneurship and business interaction, exists to develop new links between UCL and businesses of all kinds and to promote a culture of entrepreneurship and business interaction. UCL Advances works to bring together members of UCL, established businesses, start-ups and investors to drive innovations that will create economic value and benefit society.

Guest SpeakerBrand Camp
Jacqueline Biggs:
What is a Brand?
Have you ever wondered what a Brand is? Is it just a Logo or a lot more and why invest time and money in designing a shiny new Logo? Think of all the rebranding exercises, that have been a waste of millions, such as, the London's 2012 logo, and the Post Office tried Consignia in 2001 and quickly changed back!
Or is there more to a Brand than just a Logo, is it the way you engage with all your stakeholders and customers and the experience you deliver. Think of major Brands such as: Mercedes, Coca-Cola, Apple, and Virgin. Come and learn about a Brand and what makes a truly great Brand and how you can build one. Jacqueline was trained by Maurice Saatchi, and has worked as a brand strategist for the last 12 years. Her ideas and brand strategies have increased sales for: Fosters, Kronenbourg 1664, Proctor & Gamble, GlaxoSmithKline, Intel and Kelloggs.
Jacqueline now runs her own marketing consultancy; Blue Lemons with a focus on delivering results that leave people feeling wildly optimistic about their business future. Jacqueline also runs Brand Camp, a training organisation for entrepreneurs, to help them build their Brands and significantly improve their marketing in a cost effective way with on going support to all the participants.

Business Pitches
Thomas Sweetman - StickyboardDo you remember going into a village centre and seeing a notice board, probably on a green or into your local library and looking at their display with announcements and notes about local activities. Wind forward to the 21st Centuary and Stickyboard: providing local areas with their own online, community driven space where people can connect with their area and build a truly inclusive community for local consumers, groups and businesses alike.
Designed to be accessible to all ages, these noticeboards allow local residents, community groups and small businesses to post their news, events and activities for everyone to see. Individual projects, and one person's initiative can be shared with the community and start to make a difference.
Following 18 months of fundraising and development, Stickyboard launched in all 33 London boroughs in April 2011 and is currently 14 months into a three year plan of deployment. Adopted as a leading social enterprise by the Nexters programme, this plan promises strong positive social impact and financial return. Stickyboard is funded through a mixture of voluntary sector partnerships and revenue from small businesses who pay to use their area's noticeboard for high quality, locally targeted advertising at a below market rates. The social nature of the platform, where local revenue supports a local resource, enhances the sense of ownership that is key to widespread adoption and success.

Tony Gibson & Debbie Hamilton -
Have you, friends or family ever suffered from a health condition which involves pain, discomfort or limitations to lifestyle? A GP/Medical Practitioner/Therapist may offer advice for a time but when you cant get any more support and have to manage alone; do you lose heart and give up? There is now a solution; Health-e-Buddy. Its an Internet based service that helps users understand their issues, obtain authoritative information and advice on their condition so they can create and implement an Action Plan with achievable goals. In contrast to other lifestyle service sites which collect user data and then offer medical products or services based on that data, Health-e-Buddy does not sell healthcare products or product placement advertising. Instead it provides help and support in addressing the users' conditions.
Health-e-Buddy brings a strong team with Debbie: formerly a Senior Manager in the NHS and as a qualified nurse, she has extensive knowledge of the NHS and its procedures. Tony brings the commercial skills and wide experience in successfully producing and marketing interactive services and finally, a strong management accountant, Marian Elsden to count the cash! They can grow organically but are considering a fund-raising to accelerate market entry.

Tony Fitch - Paratus DevelopmentsWere you aware that gearbox design hasnt changed much since the second world war, leading to a wasted fuel and excess CO2 emissions generated through inefficiencies. Tony Fitch, a creative engineer, has taken another look at the designs and come up with a novel, original, patented design for changing gear ratios to achieve highly efficient and robust products at relatively low cost using modern electronics: the Efficient Electronic Gearbox, EEG.
It is anticipated that the EEG methodology will deliver significant improvements in efficiency across a wide range of applications. The first gearbox application of the EEG methodology is a 50KW wind turbine. A manufacturer is working with Paratus to reduce the current size and cost of the generator unit by 3040%.
Two additional applications are also being considered. A Supplementary Cruising Gear (SCG) for retro-fit into the prop-shaft of smaller classic cars which did not originally have an overdrive, such as the MG Midget. By applying the reverse variant included in the patent, a marine gearbox will be designed to provide ahead and astern capability, as a replacement unit for existing hydraulic/epicyclic gearboxes. In both the SCG and Marine variants, fuel saving and CO2 reductions will be achieved. Over 100,000 has been invested so far by Tony to formulate the methodology and obtain patent protection.