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March 2011

UCL Advances

Our March 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 Speaker
Keystone Law
Tony Watts, Keystone Law
Crowd Funding

The internet and social networks can help you raise investment in your business. Crowdfunding is not a term of art and can include donations, sponsorship, pre-sales, borrowing and investment. Each method carries with it certain risks, but none more so than investment-based schemes. The promotion and offering of investments (along with some other activities) is a heavily regulated area with serious civil and criminal penalties for breach of the rules.
Crowdfunding schemes have been used in many different sectors from football to film, but no matter the sector, entrepreneurs considering crowdfunding should ensure they understand what the law will allow. This presentation has been put together to give an overview of the relevant financial services legislation.
Our speaker, Tony Watts is a lawyer at Keystone Law, specialising in Financial Services, on which he also lectures. In his career he has worked for a range of household names including Barclays Wealth where he was Co-head of Legal.
Keystone Law is an innovative law firm that delivers an expert personal service at cost effective rates through its use of technology and modern working practices. Keystone Law has particular expertise in business funding, IP and IT.

Business Pitches
Sven Stoecker -
myFairPartner Ltd
myFairPartner is the first completely online temping agency in the UK and aims to replace the traditional, local recruitment models by delivering a low cost, self-service platform, open for business 24x7. This enables a mark-up fee of only 50 pence an hour, which aims to shake up an entire market sector and forever change temping, a £22 bn industry with more than 10,000 agencies. The platforms advanced tools include an 'automated agent' (our search engine), interview and shift scheduling, an interface for managing all employed + potential candidates as well as automated invoicing to get the money in quickly!
The product was released in June 2010, delivering first revenues when the beta launch for clients took place. myFairPartner today already has 8,000 candidates seeking jobs and over 100 businesses signed up.
Sven, the MD, brings a very strong business management background with technology companies and managed over €100 million of revenue, based both in the UK and Europe. The Head of Technology, Blair McDougall, brings a strong track record of delivering innovation, leading teams across 3 time zones for both on-line and off-line applications.

Darren Miller - gifts2mobile.comHave you ever been in trouble for forgetting a gift until the birthday, or anniversary, or Xmas or party, consign those embarrassing moments to history, use G2M to instantly create a gift that can be spent on line, on mobile or in a real store.
While there is one direct competitor, G2M has many competitive advantages, especially the creation of a bar code voucher, allowing the holder to spend it with ease, either on-line or off- line in a store. G2M aims to become the industry leader of the gift voucher sector within 2 years, currently worth £1.5bn pa and growing at 9% annually.
G2M has already secured accreditation for a secure payment gateway using Barclaycard and Card Commerce. G2M will attack a much wider audience than traditional gift cards and generate revenues from multiple channels. The team taking this exciting product to market brings extensive high street retail and branding experience including: House of Fraser, Reiss, SPACENK, Debenhams. Watch out for G2M coming to your mobile phone in the very near future!

Prem Gyani & Charlie Lass -
Over the past 15 years, the benefits of ecommerce have been increasingly impacted by a single growing problem. The inability of an online retailer to successfully deliver the parcels to them is simply unacceptable. Consumers are frustrated by the average 55 minutes it takes to pick up the parcel they ordered for delivery to their home. Logistics companies are frustrated by the £782m in costs involved in multiple deliveries and collection. The problem needs to be solved.
Dream for a moment: Imagine that on every street there was a place to collect your parcel. Imagine that this place was within a few minutes walk or drive from your home. Imagine that it was safe and secure and was actually selected by you. Imagine that this place was open from early till late. Great dream eh!
Prem has also assembled a dream team, including one of Adam Crozier's team who was responsible for creating Parcel Line. Charlie, who we know from Viapost and AIControlPoint, joined him as co-Founder in December.
Key to success, Prem, Charlie and the rest of the team have taken a customer focussed, rather than industry or technology view of the problem and its solution.