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September 2009

City Business Library
Our London meeting in September 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
Barry Shaverin -

Barry Shaverin first presented SpareKeys.com to 3Cs in April 2006 and he recounting how his business pitch at that meeting provided the connections, commitment and capital to build the Company.
Barry started SpareKeys.com in 2005 and raised 150,000 from an investor introduced by an ex colleague. They grew SpareKeys.com - a complex key tracking system, accredited and with 24/7 availability, a national storage and delivery capability, a branded website and B2C marketing. They went on to raise a further 200,000 through the London Business Angels network an opportunity generated after a pitch at the 3Cs.
The company developed new products to take advantage of their network (SpareMobiles.com and SparePlastic.com), and focused on B2B sales, marketing the service to banks, credit card providers, insurers and auto rescue organisations, going direct at first, and later through three large companies that specialise in creating marketing bolt on packages for these institutions.Indeed, it was one of these three companies that has recently created an opportunity for exit.
Barry told us about his journey - attracting and working with investors, constantly adapting plans and keeping the company afloat through tough times.
Business Pitches
Alive and Giving
Melissa Johnson,
Alive and Giving
Alive and Giving is an innovative and new online charity fundraising solution aimed at facilitating considered giving. The website serves several functions, but is designed to support a potential donor in finding the charity that suits them by providing the operational information they require to make a considered decision.
The business was conceptualised as a solution to the growing frustration of donors with the aggressive and coercive tactics employed by fundraising companies. Our concept has grown from personal experience of working in face-to-face and telephone fundraising in the U.K. and Australia, and seeks to capitalise on the recent media coverage promoting alternatives to the current, coercive, on the street methods. While appreciating the importance of traditional fundraisers, the high commission rates and aggressive methods often employed within the industry are not conducive to minimising fundraising costs and the recruitment of long term committed donors, both of which are essential to charities.
Alive and Giving has won 5 awards for innovation and growth potential to date and has recently partnered with one of the UK's top online dating companies.

Harold Forbes -
Millions of potential users of renewable energy are holding back the implementation of systems because they are overwhelmed with the complexity, confused by the choices, lacking the time to learn it all, wanting better understanding of their options, and eager to find a trusted source of non-biased information.
Developed in California for a global launch, SunReports is freemium webware that helps users by providing a step-by-step methodology to help users plan, configure, source and monitor their renewable energy system. This lets users see before hand what their return on investment (ROI) may be and provides monitoring services post installation to verify performance. With the UK Feed-in-Tariffs to be launched in 2010 and UK Renewable Heat Incentive in 2011, this is sure to be a growth area, especially as UK solar generation costs are expected to reach grid parity by 2013.
Developed for domestic and small commercial users, SunReports revenue will come from subscriptions, commissions through lead generation, display and email advertising. The demographic of the user base is extraordinarily compelling and attractive to advertisers of renewable energy systems.

Giffin Lorimer -
Deffinity brings together experts in Service Delivery, Total Cost of Ownership, Project Management and Marketing to create a unique service model that helps our clients improve the effectiveness of their customer-facing activities.
Using a combination of consulting, services and proprietary software, we build a unique solution for each organisation that is designed to adapt as its needs and capabilities evolve. Our solutions increase customer satisfaction, process efficiency and staff productivity. Moreover, staff morale improves as they have less bureaucracy, enough time to do their jobs well, and happier customers to work with.
Our service offerings include consulting, BPM, hosted software and outsourced process administration. We deliver in phases, starting with a customer portal and standardising information sources, processes and activities to create a leaner, faster and higher quality organisation capable of delighting its customers. Subsequent modules improve internal processes, resource utilisation and management insight.