Archives for posts with tag: entrepreneurship

Cross-posted from the Angel Academe blog:


Mentors and entrepreneurs at the EA16 launch

Last week we launched this year’s Entrepreneur Academe to a full house at the City of London’s City Centre suite. This is the third instalment of EA, and once again we’re delighted to have the City of London as our partners. We’re mentoring 10 women-led tech startups this year and the calibre is clearly very high. Wednesday was the opportunity for the businesses to introduce themselves to our network of mentors, investors and partners and lay out what they’re looking to get out of the next 9 months with EA.

David Pack, Partnerships Manager at the City of London kicked off the afternoon with a brief talk outlining why they support the programme and how important this kind of collaboration is to them.


Sarah outlines EA success to date

He was followed by our own Sarah Turner, who talked about what had been achieved by the programme to this point, in terms of growth and funds raised. Headlines for last year’s cohort include an average 100% in turnover with 6 companies achieving  a 200% increase, and £1.5m so far raised in investment.


Raremark’s Julie Walters tells the entrepreneurs what to expect from the programme

Raremark, a community platform for sufferers of rare disease and their families is one of those companies that raised, and took the opportunity on Wednesday to announce a successfully closed round of £680k. The company’s CEO and founder Julie Walters talked about her experience of the 2015 programme and told this year’s cohort how to get the most of the sessions and mentors.

Anjali Ramanchandran, a great friend to Angel Academe has been one of our EA mentors since the get-go. She talked about how to ‘hook up’ with the mentors either in person or through LinkedIn, and what kinds of mentoring relationship they could look for, from a simple chat over a coffee through to a more sustained relationship – and all points in between.

We then got down to the meat and potatoes of the afternoon, with each company giving us a 5 minute presentation, outlining the company’s history to this point, their ambitions over the coming year and their specific asks.

Chime Advisors, co-founded by Angela Bradbury, is “reinventing the expert network” and provides answers to research questions on niche topics for consulting and PE firms through phone calls and surveys with experts via sophisticated tech.

Coo, co-founded by Shilpa Bhandarkar, is a new kind of parenting platform whose first product is a group communication & calendar app that helps build parent communities.

Grub Club, founded by Olivia Sibony, is a discovery platform for unique dining experiences. Chefs set up restaurants in underused spaces & sell tickets to their dinners via the website.


Headliner’s Maria Hayden

Headliner, co-founded bye Maria Hayden, connects live musicians, bands and DJs directly with event planners to book for corporate events and private parties.

MeeTwo, co-founded by Kerstyn Comley, is a webapp offering moderated peer support and expert advice to help teenagers deal with everyday anxieties.


Metafused founder Madhuban Kumar

Metafused, founded by Madhuban Kumar, uses artificial intelligence with real time data to enhance marketing decision-making and driving automated proactive intelligence.

Pilio, founded by Catherine Bottrill, provides energy analytics to businesses and households seeking to make energy and cost savings.

Pivigo, co-founded by Kim Nilsson is building the trusted marketplace for data science projects, disrupting the data consultancy market, and democratising data science.


Mush founders Katie Massie-Taylor and Sarah Hesz

Mush, founded by Katie Massie-Taylor and Sarah Hesz, is a web-based platform that connects mums with other mums in their locality, and was described on Wednesday, only half tongue-in-cheek, as “Tinder-meets-NCT”.

We’re hugely excited about working with this year’s cohort, and look forward to to first of this year’s expert sessions – SCALE (getting the basics right to grow).

Join us as a mentor?

Our mentors include experienced entrepreneurs, angel and institutional investors and business leaders from the Angel Academe community and partner organisations. As well as extensive experience of starting, running and growing businesses, they bring specific expertise in finance and fund-raising; sales, marketing and PR; technology; law, accountancy and people management.

We provide them with an opportunity to get to know some exciting women-led businesses over a period of time. If you would like to join our amazing pool of mentors, we would love to hear from you. Please tell us a little about yourself.

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Olivia Stiles of Kingsley Napley on Angel Academe:

I hadn’t had any real experience of working with entrepreneurs until I joined the Corporate and Commercial team [at Kingsley Napley] in September last year. I have to say that without exception, the entrepreneurs I have come across have been bright, astute, driven and incredibly focused people. Certainly no time for hanging out in Starbucks or pressing snooze; they have all been “do-ers”. I got a further insight into the world of entrepreneurs and angel investing when I attended my first Angel Academe event in October last year.

Angel Academe is a female friendly (but not female-only) angel investor group which provides, mentoring, non-exec advice and investment to technology focused startup businesses and entrepreneurs. Kingsley Napley are a sponsor of the Angel Academe and provide legal support to the investor group, drafting the heads of terms, investment agreements and ancillary documents when an investment is made and follow the process through to completion of the deal and the transfer of investment funds to the company.

More on the Kingsley Napley blog.

Reposted from Angel Academe:

Last night saw the fifth of our networking events, and a return to the City offices of our sponsors Thomson Reuters – and what a packed evening (and for that matter packed room) it turned out to be.


As ever, I kicked off the evening with a general introduction to the Angel Academe mission, and a round up of what we’ve achieved so far. The real step change for us came with the establishment of an investment group of around 40 angels that’s met four times since September; we’ve screened 50 businesses and 10 have pitched to us. At the time of writing we have two in the investment pipeline.

But we had big news to announce as well: we have just closed our first investment in Buddybounce, the online tool to engage the “superfan”. Later in the evening Buddybounce founders Emma Obanye and Giulia Piu chatted about their experience of working with us and we were really gratified that to hear them talk about the value we bring as a network – beyond the money (though that’s nice too, of course!)

Our other bit of news – which we announced here last week – is that we’re working with the City of London to deliver a year-long mentoring programme for female entrepreneurs working in the City’s neighbouring boroughs. If you’d like to enter the programme, you can apply here, and if you feel you can offer your skills as a mentor, then please get in touch here and tell us how you think you can help.

I was followed by Arthi Thana, from Thomson Reuters’ Global HR IT Services team. Arthi talked about the mentoring at TH and succinctly summed up the crucial two-way nature of mentoring: “What is key to success is the level of commitment to the relationship that each party puts into it. Just showing up and shooting the breeze isn’t useful”. Quite.

We then had our usual “inspirational angel” slot – this time ably filled by Angel Academe associate Kerri Mckechnie, who used a mindmap to show us how her life comprises juggling some very different spheres: being a finance director, angel investor, entrepreneur (she’s the co-founder of My Wild) and a mother.

Screen shot 2014-03-05 at 21.22.57

And then, of course, we had two pitches, from two very different businesses.

Vicky Brock is CEO of Clear Returns. She talked us through the enormous impact that returns have on e-commerce; something like £20 billion a year internationally! Clear Returns helps reduce this burden through the use of big data and predictive algorithms.

Debbi Evans is founder of Libertine, a smart magazine “for interested women” that dares to believe women might be interested in reading about anything other than fashion and beauty. Debbi is currently looking at taking the publication online and establishing it as a multimedia brand.

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Naturally, we finished the evening off with wine and plenty of chat. I was delighted with what a great turn out we had – and a real mix of new and familiar faces. Many thanks, as ever, to Thomson Reuters for hosting the event. We’re already looking forward to our next one on May 13th.


Cross posted from the Angel Academe blog:

We’re just a week away from this year’s first AA networking event, held at the London offices of our sponsor Thomson Reuters. Here’s how the evening is looking…

We’ll be gathering over a coffee from 5.30 and then we’ll have introductions at 6 from Angel Academe founder Sarah Turner and Aarthi Thana, Global HR Business Partner, IT Services at Thomson Reuters.

This month’s “Inspirational Angel” talk will be from Kerri McKechnie, Director at My Wild and our associate on the City of London Entrepreneur Academe programme.

We’ll then have pitches from two very different businesses and entreprenuers: Vicky Brock, CEO at Clear Returns and Debbi Evans, Founder at Libertine.

And of course we’ll finish off the evening with drinks and networking. If you’d like to sign up for the event head over to our Eventbrite page.