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September 2012

Taylor Wessing

Our September meeting was hosted by Taylor Wessing.

Taylor Wessing is a leading International law firm with a single-minded approach: to help its clients succeed by thinking innovatively about their business issues.
Taylor Wessing numbers around 900 lawyers working across 22 offices in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, offering an integrated service across the full range of practice areas, with core strengths in corporate, finance, real estate, IP and private wealth. The firm also has particular expertise in advising clients in North America, Brazil and India.

View from Taylor Wessing
View from the meeting at Taylor Wessing (photo by @amcewen)

Guest SpeakerTaylor Wessing TechFocus
Simon Walker -
Taylor Wessing.

Have you ever wondered how you would put together investment documents for a Business Angel investment? Simon has the answer!
Simon is a partner at international law firm, Taylor Wessing. He has advised on numerous venture capital investments, acting both for funds as well as companies and on various acquisitions. Simon's work ranges from advising technology start-ups through to companies receiving growth capital and onto exits. Simon leads the Taylor Wessing's Tech City initiative and opened their office on Great Eastern Street. Simon previously set up their very successful Cambridge office and specialises in working with those involved in the technology, cleantech and life sciences sectors.
Simon led the initiative to develop a free set of standard investment documents for VC investments and has recently launched a similar, comprehensive set of free investment documents for early stage business angel investments. It also includes a very useful guide on how to use the documents in the hope that they will help to educate the entrepreneurial community and speed up the investment process, not to mention keep costs to a minimum. They are available on the Taylor Wessing web site and can be found at: http://www.taylorwessing.com/twtechfocus/
Simon presented an overview of these to the 3Cs meeting. Simon regularly speaks at conferences and briefing sessions and is a member of the British Venture Capital Association's Technology Committee.

Business Pitches
Craig Fletcher -
Aquamesh Technologies
Aquamesh is developing a new product based on knowledge gained within the mining industry to create a low energy sensor network for farmers that will reduce the amount of water used in irrigation by 10% 50%, thereby giving large cost savings together with a predicted yield increase of crops.
Aquamesh recently was awarded a grant for a feasibility project in a competition run by the UKs Technology Strategy Board on the subject of water security. The project starts in October 2012 and runs for 6 months.
It is estimated that water use for human purposes has multiplied six-fold over the past 100 years, more than twice the rate of population growth. In many parts of the world, the availability of fresh water is becoming increasingly unreliable. The sustainable and secure supply of water of good quality and quantity is a major challenge for modern societies. The global water market is forecast to grow to US$770bn a year by 2016 as a result, offering clear business opportunities based on innovative ways of saving water.
Wireless network usage in the agricultural industry of precision farming is not new, but what Aquamesh brings to the market is wireless expertise based on the development of low energy wireless systems in aggressive and difficult environments like mining and marine installations.

Good Night Lamp
Alex Deschamps-Sonsino -
Good Night Lamp
Do you ever feel that you could do more to stay in touch with family, aged relatives and special friends around the world to show you care and are thinking about them? Here is the solution - Good Night Lamp is a set of internet-connected lamps that allows families and key friends to stay in touch in a remote but warm ambient way. As you turn on a Big Lamp it triggers a network of Little Lamps, you have given away to friends and family, to turn on too! Revenue will be generated by sales of the product, online and in highly specialised retail environments. Finding friends and relatives to give Little Lamps to is easy, as GNL online connects to your Facebook and Twitter network and GNL will send the Lamps to them directly. With more than 1M Britons living abroad and 1.6M Europeans living in the UK there is a clear marketplace for connecting our everyday lives to our loved ones back home.
Alex used to run a smart product design studio, Tinker London, which introduced the Arduino platform to the UK: an open source hardware prototyping platform and peaked at 12 staff, and is therefore well versed in the challenges of dealing with hardware/software/product innovation. Currently in the prototyping stage and looking for access to funding of 100k to set up production for the product.

Miquel Ballester Salva -
We are a social venture that aims to change how the electronics industry work, from mining to recycling, using the most ethical practices in each stage of the life of a mobile phone.
Producing it fairer, selling it better, enjoying it longer and discarding it properly. It is not about the most advanced technology, but about how technology is conceived.
Together: Working with frontrunners in social values at each stage, from mining to recycling.
Fair: Increasing in fairness step by step putting social values at the core of everything we do. Helping level the value for all the people involved in our activities.
Creative: we use all the power of creativity in all levels of our organization innovating new operational methods, increasing the participation of the crowd and using open design principles.
Open: we believe in open structures and system as a driver for innovation and transparency.
We develop a mobile phone that is a mean to an end. The mobile phone becomes an statement of the mission of the company.
FairPhone is a venture by medialab, Waag Society, development organisation ActionAid and communication agency Schrijf-Schrijf. The focus of the Waag Society is: science, sustainability and innovation. There are a wide variety of people working on the project including Miquel Ballester, a student at the Technical University in Delft currently finishing his masters on Strategic Product Design, part of the core founder team of this enterprise.