Our May meeting was hosted by NatWest.
"Fall in love with your customers problem - not your solution to it" a lesson that a lot of business owners we are lucky enough to work with would share with their younger selves.
NatWest Business has a knowledgeable and dedicated team of externally accredited relationship managers who provide a full portfolio of products and services to SMEs. We support business owners by using our experience and networks to help them to achieve their personal and business goals. NatWest is more than just a provider of financial services and is committed to supporting entrepreneurs and communities across the U.K.
Our Business Growth Enablers are at the heart of our Boost programme. They can:
- Boost your insight and knowledge in specialist subjects by giving you access to local talks and educational events
- Boost your connections with opportunities and partnerships. These could be within our group or through a variety of other businesses we work with - they could help you on the road to success
- Boost your skills through training and mentoring with 1:1 sessions
Charlie Bradshaw - Matrix Charlie Bradshaw started Matrix after a gap year holiday lead him to the doors of a Chinese factory and a national deal with a high street retailer to supply make-up bottles. Today, the business has over 100 staff and a £25m turnover, and he still owns 100%.
Whilst he's happy to take full credit for the success of the business over these years, the reality is that there's always been a fantastic team behind him, making it all happen. Charlie is incredibly proud of Matrix and it's achievements, but most of all, the amazing people working within it. It is Charlie's entrepreneurial drive and 'can do' spirit that underpins their culture today and as a self-proclaimed 'techno-optimist', he believes that exponential technology will have a profound and positive impact on business and society in the next few years. He actively searches, invests and mentors technology start-ups to help Matrix be part of this transformation. Charlie is a member of YPO and a Stanford, Singularity and Cranfield University alumni. Matrix has grown in service offerings and geographically to now cover all continents for factories and clients. Come and hear how Charlie has built Matrix and how he is now trying to disrupt his own business with: Robotics, 3D Printing and AI, often with the companies he has invested in.
Joe Kay - Enswarm
However, in 2010, I read a book called 'The Smart Swarm' that describes how bees work together for the good of the colony. While bees put the team before the individual, humans have evolved the opposite instinct - self survival. Humans' evolutionary obstacles prevent us from working effectively in teams in comparison with swarm insects that have high levels of collective intelligence.
However, in the same way that people can fly when they have the right tool (a plane), I realised people could swarm with the right tool. So I left the army and founded Enswarm.
Enswarm is a digital tool that allows humans to imitate swarm like behaviour. It is fundamentally changing the way people think and operate together. Its unique process eliminates human bias, office politics and group think and it motivates individuals to work towards team success.
The result of using Enswarm is increased Team Intelligence - the best outcomes become readily apparent and the most valued actions identified.
Andra Raju - Wave Café: Where We're All Valued Equally
Wave Café is a project initiated by Wave, a local community group created in 2009. Wave already runs a weekly playgroup for parents of babies with additional needs, a social group for young adults and inclusive church services. The Café will be a place where those with learning disabilities are valued and active members - not service users or beneficiaries - enabled to contribute to the running and enjoyment of Wave Café.
Here is an example of the impact they are already having: "In all the years since my daughter was born, this is the first time I could sit back and relax because she was so valued and accepted. I didn't have to worry. Those two hours were a big gift to me. You probably have no idea how much events like these are needed."
Wave Café won the audience vote for best business pitch
Jintana Khieochuam - Aequill
AEQUILL means to balance. Born from the Latin word equal, we are based on the idea that old and new worlds need to collide to strike a sustainable balance. We believe that the magic is in simplicity.
At AEQUILL we are looking to rediscover some of this simplicity to enable us to stop, contemplate, reflect, enhance and enrich our lives and wellbeing through scent and design.
Our first range of scented candles titled Mum's Aromatherapy Shop was created by Jintana and was inspired by her time helping her therapist mum blend essential oils for her aromatherapy shop. Presented in a beautiful glass container made from 100% recycled glass with the highest "green" credentials our candles are handmade and hand poured in London.
Jintana created the range to encourage others to take a breath and slow down with the help of pure essentials oils. Come and find out what lights your fire!
Jin provided each attendee with a gift of one of her candles
Download May 2018 meeting brochure (pdf)