Every time I go to a meet-up I wonder if it will live up to expectations, or be the one that brings the whole concept of entrepreneurship sharply into focus; too many ideas, not enough tangible results? Well, if that doomsday scenario should ever materialise, nobody’s telling last night’s attendees. Another intriguing set of pitches and concepts, people!
Irfan, our host, put on a great show, greeting each of his guests personally, and working the group expertly, so that each pitch felt up close and personal.
The timing of the pitch section was also good, first allowing time for the group to mingle, exchange business cards and swap ideas.
I met some great people at last night’s event, although trying to keep pace with each of the businesses was pretty challenging. Irfan, bring a microphone next time!
Ethereal Star, the blogger, and Indrek, from the Czech Republic, opened and closed the proceedings. Sadly I can’t track down the blog, although I am waiting for Indrek to call me with details of his business!
Raphael was in the UK to promote a French start-up, with big business backers, which can help you to organise your business offering and bring all of your business needs under one roof. A one stop shop. Raphael spoke with passion and aplomb. Could he be the best French import since Arsenal FC!
Craig, a South African but long time London resident soaked up the atmosphere and dispensed some sage advice, whilst discussing his own options; blogger and creative, proud creator of the morbidly fascinating blog “Skull Appreciation Society”, it was great to meet someone with obvious talent, choosing to follow his dream.
Andy, an experienced entrepreneur with a share in a student accommodation and property business, Zion Flats, is partnering with the Metro newspaper’s head of marketing to offer a full service marketing and strategy consultancy, agencyguys.com.
Andy made it clear that his first love is not bricks and mortar, but working with entrepreneurs to bring their products to market successfully; Agency Guys take a hands on approach, which explains the higher fees involved. This is a Company that would partner best with an established start-up that has the means to grow quickly, and with Andy’s help, in a dynamic and productive fashion.
One of the more curious pitches came from James at Housahedron who, with his admittedly bewildering, for non techies at least, contraption, won the hearts and minds of his audience. More information on James’ “Weather map of your home” can be found on his website Housahedron, including details of an installation at the National Energy Foundation in Milton Keynes.
Expect to see more of Housahedron as companies harness the power of a tool that can build a 3D model of your home in seconds; and as this is an open source project, expect usability and versatility to be key features.
One attendee who couldn’t keep his hands off James’ contraption (oo-er!), was David Beirne, founder of Bright Potato, a London based Creative Design Studio. From their offices in West London, Bright Potato are specialists in the kind of weird and wonderful design concepts that can delight and confound expectations in equal measure. Check out the website, www.brightpotato.com.
David’s philosophy allows him to see beauty, and potential, in the everyday, and we, the public, are the lucky beneficiaries. Craftspeople and interior designers take note.
If creative is not your thing, how about a little financial speculation? Martial gave us a full and frank disclosure concerning his Company, GC Capital, which promises to deliver returns of up to 5% per month by offering spreads on the FX market. If Martial’s bullish claims could be backed up by his impressively turned out business partner, he still faced a fierce grilling from his fellow entrepreneurs, but handled their questions professionally and courteously.
Martial is hoping to gain FSA authorisation soon, although his persuasive offering is up and running, and backed by an informative and interesting website.
N.B. There was at least one other feisty FX trader in attendance, however sadly I cannot track her down on the meet-up site. Small in stature but with big ideas, please identify yourself to this blogger!
Neither last nor least, Amanda Tak had waited patiently for her chance to tell us about Global Dorm, a Start-up that began when Amanda, a student at Cambridge and active at the union there, visited rival university town Oxford, but couldn’t get the lowdown on what was going on for students that weekend. Global Dorm was born; it’s mission? To unite Student’s Unions across the UK and internationally, making sure students never miss out on an opportunity to let their hair down, or improve their minds, or probably both!
Ok, this is really the last one; although first a quick thanks to Rafia Begum, photographer in chief, and a quick plug for her interior design Company, Rafia Design. Be insprired, be enhanced, and indulge!
Richie Rich, the American former head of trading at Barclays Capital, had a taste for the gee-gees that led to him buying a horse named “TheFatCatInTheHat”. Well, here we had an American, in a hat and a half, but was he a fat cat too? Well, not if he keeps drinking his unique health drink, think water without the impurities.
A plucky volunteer was asked to compare the merits of his drink versus beer, and ordinary tap water, using a variety of instruments and electrical gadgets which I hadn’t seen since my GCSE Chemistry days.
All the gear, but a good idea? Sadly, this was another attendee I’ve been unable to track down. He will be in the UK for a while yet, and invited us all to a follow up lecture where he planned to reveal the secret of his ground breaking sounding goods. I’ve got a window in my schedule: details please!
Thanks again to Irfan for organising, and selecting a fitting venue in the Anthropologist, just off Threadneedle street. Plenty of good ideas, lots of follow up, maybe a great opportunity to break the Bank!
next event, Entrepreneurs Networking Night, hosted by Irfan, also at Anthologist, is on May 19th.
Raphael Moraly: IT entrepreneur; can be found on meetup.com
Craig, blogger and creative; founder of www.skullappreciationsociety.com
Andy Leite; Commercial Director; Agency Guys; Andy@agencyguys.com
David Beirne; director, Bright Potato; email@example.com
James; Housahedron; firstname.lastname@example.org; @housahedron
Martial; Director; GC Capital; www.gccapitalfx.com
Amanda Tak; Global Dorm; details to follow
Health drink demonstration; details to follow