The Startup Microdose - Thought-provoking podcast on entrepreneurship. Interviews with leading startup founders - unpacking their stories, opinions, quirks and wisdom. From billion dollar lawsuits to flow states and diversity...we discuss it all. Brought to you by hosts Oliver Jones & Ed Stephens.
Freddy Macnamara | Founder & CEO of Cuvva
Recorded remotely while safely ensconced in a Scottish castle, Freddy talks us through Cuvva’s master plan for fixing a broken insurance industry. Their unique, consumer-first and flexible approach to insurance offers a glimpse of what the future of consumer insurance products will look like and has won the company huge popularity among customers and investors alike.
Anthony Rose | Seedlegals Revisited
In this episode, we go back to where we started nearly 3 years ago with the brilliant Anthony Rose, founder of Seedlegals. In Anthony's signature style, we romp through the company's extraordinary progress over the last 3 years and explore the future of startup fundraising.
Gabi Matic | Director of ATI Boeing Accelerator Programme
Gabi is the Programme Director for the ATI Boeing Accelerator launched earlier in the year for aerospace startups and now in its second cohort. As an ex-founder and veteran of several accelerator programmes (including Ignite and Techstars), she has been tasked with designing the best programme for companies building the future of UK aerospace.
Robert Llewellyn - A FullyCharged Life
Robert has walked many paths and worn many guises in his extraordinary career. Known for portraying Kryten in Red Dwarf, as the presenter of Scrapheap Challenge, but now best known for the FullyCharged Show - a YouTube channel which he launched 10 years ago to advocate electric vehicles and renewable energy systems. The channel now has over 600,000 subscribers, gets 2M hits a week and stages packed-out live shows in the UK and US. For avid followers of Fullycharged, this conversation will add further colour to the background of an extremely colourful character. We discuss his first ‘engineering’ experiences on a hippy commune in Wales, how shoemaking led him to performing at the Edinburgh fringe and from there into TV, and what a conversation between him and Jeremy Clarkson might look like. On a personal note (or as my notes say, ‘insert shameless plug’), I’ve recently launched elmodrive.com - a platform allowing users to drive an electric car on a flexible subscription with the option to include everything from insurance to ‘fuel’ in the monthly payment. As part of this, I have worked with the Fullycharged team in promoting elmo’s Electric Car Suitability Tool (have a look at www.elmodrive.com/questionnaire), so this was a conversation I couldn’t wait to have and it didn’t disappoint…
Renée Elliott | Founder of Planet Organic & Beluga Bean
Renée grew up a country girl in Mississippi, but fell in love with an Englishman on a night bus and moved to the UK. She brought with her not only an unshakeable self-belief and a drive to find meaning and purpose in life, but also a concern for food provenance after being horrified by meat farming back in the US. This led her to found Planet Organic in 1994 and open the UK’s first all-organic supermarket in Nottinghill the following year. This is the story of that journey and ultimately, how her conscious awareness for her own life and those close to her, led her to step away from the company in 2013 and embark on a new challenge with Beluga Bean - a mentoring and personal development programme for both business and life skills.
Ari Last, Founder Bubble - A Lesson in Digitising Trust
Ari is the founder of Bubble, an on-demand childcare platform, helping thousands of parents quickly and conveniently arrange trusted childcare. We discuss the marketplace problem, the stigma around how you should look after your children and the value of patient capital. With investors including the founders of BetFair, Boohoo.com and Photobox and several hundred thousand active users to date, Ari and Bubble are on an exciting trajectory.
Steve King, CEO Black Swan - The Accidental CEO Predicting the Future
Steve is the founder and CEO of Black Swan, one of the most exciting and fastest-growing tech companies in Europe. Black Swan uses AI to predict the next big trend. By analysing the incessant stream of social media conversations, the product is able to predict what customers will want in 12-18 months time. Steve, who studied cognitive science and describes himself as the ‘accidental CEO’, was previously a house DJ, lost his dad’s pension on a music business and came up with the idea for Black Swan while 4 pints to the good on a trip to Canada.
Mark Loftus, CEO Characterscope - Building Character for Optimal Teams
Mark’s life ‘itch’ during over 30 years as a clinical psychologist and leadership consultant has been understanding people and understanding character. Now, as CEO and founder of CharacterScope, he is digitising all of his and his team’s experience to build advanced psychological tools which help companies to develop teams with optimal cultures and team members with strong leadership qualities. Defining those terms is something discussed at length throughout the conversation.
Lord Karan Bilimoria, CEO Cobra Beer - Brewed Smooth
Against the advice of family and friends, Lord Bilimoria started Cobra Beer in 1989 from a thirst for a truly exceptional beer to go with Indian food. Cobra now has a market share of 98% of all licensed Indian restaurants in the UK. But the journey was no easy ride, with the business a hair’s breadth from failure on no less than three occasions over the years. This is the fascinating story of passion, ingenuity and determination to realise the dream of building one of the world’s best beer brands.
Stephen Welton, CEO Business Growth Fund - An Alternative Recipe for Driving UK Growth
Stephen is the founder and CEO of the Business Growth Fund. Under his management the BGF has invested over £2bn into growth businesses in the UK and Ireland, making it the largest fund of its kind, in the world. Stephen talks us through the founding story which involved raising £2bn from some of the biggest banks in the aftermath of the financial crisis. He also provides an insightful and optimistic take on the UK’s business outlook for the future, whatever happens in whatever Brexit takes place. It’s a fascinating and articulate account of the state of the industry!
Rod Beer, MD UKBAA - Why Angel Investment Matters for the UK
Rod is the MD of the UK Business Angels Association. The UKBAA is the national trade association representing the interests of business angels and the early-stage investment space. The mission is to connect the angel investment eco-system into a coherent landscape for financing high-potential entrepreneurs. Rod talks through his experiences as an investor, how that lead to his current role and why the work they are doing at the UKBAA is so important for the future of our industry and our country.
Luke Heron, CEO Testcard - The Rise of Predictive Healthcare
Luke is the founder of Testcard, an award-winning and venture-backed medtech startup which allows users to test themselves for a number of medical conditions at home and receive instant results. Luke is a highly experienced founder and he gives us a candid and humorous account of the successes, failures and learnings that have led him to this point in his career.
Lu Li, CEO Blooming Founders - By Female Founders for Female Founders
Lu is the founder and CEO of Blooming Founders, a co-working space and support network focused on nurturing and scaling women-led businesses. She is also the author of ‘Dear Female Founder’, a collection of letters written to their younger selves by female founders around the world. Our discussion focuses on Lu’s experiences as a female founder and the particular challenges faced by the growing number of female entrepreneurs in the business community.
Rupert Hunt, Founder SpareRoom - How to Make or Break a Flatshare
Rupert is the founder of Spareroom which he started in 1999. He had moved to London seeking fame and fortune as a musician with the best band name of all time. But the biggest struggle he faced was finding somewhere great to live. He is one of the seminal examples of a startup founder solving their own problem. 20 years later Spareroom has 2 million visitors a month, is rapidly expanding in the US and has never raised a penny of investment…
Dr Jack Kreindler, Founder CHHP - Optimising Entrepreneurial Health & Performance
Jack is the founder of the Centre for Human Health and Performance on Harley Street in London. Formally trained as a doctor but not constrained by it, Jack vexed his superiors by persistently dabbling in ‘silly computer stuff’ and spending time with Douglas Adams, creating the universe in ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’. This 'silly computer stuff' turned into several venture-backed companies and couple of exits. But the 160-hour working weeks it required to be a doctor and an entrepreneur, left Jack physically and mentally spent. He used the returns from his companies to start the Centre for Human Health and Performance where his world-class team helps elite athletes, cancer patients and now entrepreneurs to optimise their health, wellbeing and performance.
Pär Hedberg, Founder STING - Planting Sweden's Startup Fields of Gold
Pär is the founder of Sting, an eco-system for startups based in Stockholm that empowers entrepreneurs to build global companies. Since 2002, Sting has supported 241 startups (an astonishing 70% of which are still active), helping them attract a combined 429M euros in private capital. We discuss Sting’s systems-based approach to startup coaching and their innovative financing vehicles improving outcomes for entrepreneurs, investors and even the Swedish government. We also talk about why Sweden has more unicorns per capita than any other country; and discuss the Dali Report which explores the cognitive traits common to successful founders.
Nikolai Hack, Co-Founder EXO Investing - The New Wealth Management-as-a-service Eco-system
Nikolai is the co-founder and COO of wealth management platform EXO Investing which he started with school friend Lennart Asshoff in 2016. Backed to the tune of €16.5M at seed by ETS Factory and Ariane De Rothschild, their mission is to unlock private banking for everyone. The platform allows users to build a unique portfolio and keep it optimised daily by using AI algorithms built over 30 years at ETS Factory. But as we discover, the EXO platform is only the first step on a greater mission to build something much bigger for the fintech/finance-as-a-service eco-system…
Will Wells, Hummingbird Technologies - The Farms of the Future
Will is the founder and CEO of Hummingbird Technologies. The vision for which came to him on a hospital bed during a two-year fight with cancer. Happily recovered, Will is now realising that vision, using the most advanced machine learning and computer vision techniques to deliver actionable insights on crop health. The company, which is backed by investors including James Dyson and Horizons Ventures, has won numerous awards including the CogX Best AI AgTech Product and the 2019 KPMG Best British Startup. Will gives us an inspiring account of how he and the team are optimising sustainable farming practices and transforming the agriculture industry.
Julien Callede, MADE.COM - How to Break it to Make it
Julien founded e-commerce giant Made.com in 2010 alongside Brent Hoberman, Chloe Macintosh and Ning Li. The company posted revenues of £173 million in 2018 up 37% from the previous year as it continues to expand geographically and refine its service in existing territories. He stepped back from his executive role at Made in 2017. He now works as a mentor, advisor and investor for promising entrepreneurs and their startups. Julien gives a meticulous account of the Made.com journey from concept to success as well as some insights into his future projects including mental health tech and blockchain-based asset management.
Andy Watson, Founder Sherpr - Delivering Spotify, Snickers and Sports Equipment
Andy was one of the early employees at Spotify. In his 5 years at the company, he helped launch it to the UK, US and Singapore and saw the company go from just a handful of early users to over 50 million in 2014. After Spotify and a trip to Burning Man, he launched airport app, Flio, before stepping back from his executive role there to start Sherpr in 2017. Sherpr is a door-to-door delivery and concierge service for sports equipment partnered with the likes of IronMan, Rapha and the British Heart Foundation. Andy is a load of fun and shares some excellent practical advice as well as giving us a candid account of his battle with anxiety at Spotify.
Kenny Ewan, Founder WeFarm - The Digital Ecosystem for the Biggest Industry on Earth
WeFarm is the world’s first peer-to-peer knowledge sharing platform for farmers. In just a few years, 1.5 million farmers have signed up and over 260 million messages have been exchanged leading to tangible improvements in farming outcomes and quality of life in some of the most challenging places in the world. Backed by a host of impressive investors including Local Globe, Silicon Valley-based True Ventures and Skype & Atomico founder Niklas Zennström, the vision is to become the global network for the biggest industry on Earth. Kenny is committed to enacting meaningful and positive change in the world by marrying commercial techniques with an impact-driven approach. His execution of this so far has been masterful and is a lesson to all entrepreneurs at this critical moment in human history. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
Kwame Ferreira, CEO Impossible.com - Building a Future We Want
Kwame’s mercurial career includes roles as a professor of design, a filmmaker and the founder of the most successful record label in the history of Portugal. His true calling is the solution of meaningful problems from a design, engineering and systems perspective. After meeting model Lily Cole who was working on a gift economy app called Impossible, together they decided that the Impossible brand could be so much more than one product. They now describe Impossible as an innovation agency, where they aim to create impactful solutions and enact positive change in the world using their own ‘planet centric design’ methodology. Their current projects include: Fairphone – an ethical smartphone; Bond Touch – wearable tech that connects loved ones; Navify – a cancer diagnostic dashboard; and Wikitribune – a crowdsourced news publication designed to combat fake news in collaboration with Wikipedia founder, Jimmy Wales. Enjoy!
Peter Briffett, Founder Wagestream - Fintech's Solution to Payday Poverty
Peter is a serially successful entrepreneur with a number of exits under his belt. His most notable was to Microsoft in 2006. That business then went on to become the most successful post-acquisition product in Microsoft history, earning Peter a congratulatory email from Bill Gates. He was also Head of LivingSocial in the UK when it and Groupon were the fastest-growing companies in the world. His latest project is Wagestream where his mission is to make payroll streamable and so put an end to payday poverty cycles while boosting employee motivation and retention. Peter is a Guinness World Record holder and a lively and entertaining character.
David Hickson, Founders Factory - The Pragmatic Art of Startup Fundraising
David’s 20-year career contains some remarkable highs: overseeing Lastminute.com’s $1.2bn exit to Travelocity, merging mydeco.com with Made.com, founding Tribesports and raising £2m from Adidas, acting as an NED for Simba Sleep and now as part of the founding team, alongside Brent Hoberman and Henry Lane Fox, of award-winning accelerator and incubator Founders’ Factory, (where we are fortunate enough to record these podcasts). But this glittering CV which David describes as ‘a drunkard’s stumble rather than a best laid plan’ is only part of the story. Despite the security of a wonderful career and loving family, David has been hospitalised by acute mental illness on three occasions. A story which he bravely shares at the end of the episode. This is by far our longest podcast - a testament to the breadth of David’s experience. His story and life learnings are entertaining and thrilling, while his strong views on the early-stage startup eco-system and fundraising will be of specific interest to entrepreneurs, investors and corporates.
Dr Barney Gilbert, Founder Forward Health - Connecting Healthcare
Barney studied at Oxford and Harvard Universities before working as a doctor for the NHS. His experiences juggling multiple pagers and sending faxes (yes, faxes!) on graveyard hospital shifts led him to start Forward Health with fellow doctor, Lydia Yarlott, and serial entrepreneur Philip Mundy. Their product is already saving healthcare professionals time and improving patient outcomes by providing a secure, efficient system for communication and collaboration. Featured in every big publication you care to name and with $5.2m in total funding since launch in 2016, their ultimate goal is to connect healthcare around the world.
Pip & Nut and Young Foodies - How to Succeed in the F&B Sector
This conversation is with Thea Alexander and Pip Murray. Thea is the founder of Young Foodies – a community platform supporting food & beverage startups as they try to get off the ground and achieve scale. They have helped a number of brands become market leaders in their niche including: WheyHey, Mallow+Marsh, Plenish and Pip&Nut. Pip is the founder of all-natural nut butter phenomenon Pip&Nut. Now stocked in most major retailers, Pip&Nut is the foremost UK nut butter brand. In combination, they give us a detailed expose on many of the key obstacles facing challenger food and drink companies in today’s and tomorrow’s markets.
Simon Beckerman, Founder Depop - Democratising E-commerce
Simon is the founder of Depop – a peer-to-peer social shopping app for creatives which boasts over 10 million members and $43m in funding to date. Simon started out in design and publishing. He created innovative sunglass brand RETROSUPERFUTURE, an experience which included an interesting collaboration with Kanye West. He also spent 10 years running PIG, one of the most influential independent magazines in Italy; and credits his experience there as one of the driving forces behind his idea for Depop. Simon is a product genius and draws upon the work of not only business people but also architects, artists and philosophers as he strives for mastery with the Depop product.
Wil Harris, Founder Entale Media - The Podcast Revolution
Wil disappointed his mother when he abandoned a career in corporate law to start ChannelFlip Media. Apparently he had a 'good feeling' after waking up one day with a business plan scrawled on a napkin. Six years later, on Christmas Eve, he sold the business to TV production giant News Corp. His mother was very pleased. He then became Head of Digital at Condé Naste. Managing a team of over 100, he was responsible for creating a digital presence for their many prestigious publications including Vogue, GQ and Wired. He is now the founder of Entale who are revolutionising the production, discovery and listening experience of podcasts and other audio content. With a host of amusing stories from his glamorous career and some incisive insights and predictions regarding the future of content and entertainment, Wil made for a great guest.
Bill Liao, Serial Entrepreneur & Investor - How Purpose makes Anything Possible
A serial entrepreneur, investor, philanthropist, diplomat, and author; Bill founded not one but two unicorn companies in the 80s and 90s. His ambitions are now always driven by the purpose of creating a 'world that works for all life'. His work includes: - CoderDojo, a volunteer-driven community which teaches coding to kids in 107 countries -WeForest, which aims to combat climate change and support communities through forest restoration and has already planted 20 million trees. He is also a General Partner at SOS Ventures and founded the world's first biotech accelerator, RebelBio. He lives on a small farm in Cork, Ireland where he lives as sustainably as possible and has not set foot on a plane for 10 years. He is a charismatic speaker and regularly hosts masterclasses in persuasion. It's hardly surprising then that we found this conversation inspiring.
Giles Rhys Jones, CMO What3Words - Only Three Words to Save the World
Giles is the CMO of What3Words. What3Words is one of the truly visionary companies on the current UK tech scene. They have addressed the world by dividing it into 57 trillion 3x3 squares, each with a three-word label. Already used by Mercedes, the United Nations and the Mongolian postal service to name a few, Giles talks us through the astonishing applications and efficiencies created by a flawless address system. Giles is a master storyteller and thrilled us with tales of the creative ways he is bringing a new address system to the world including a treasure hunt in collaboration with Tomb Raider.
Ed Klinger, CEO Flock - The Golden Age of Drones is Nigh
Ed is the founder of Flock – a UK government & Silicon valley-backed insurtech platform disrupting the insurance industry with its real-time risk assessment and pay-as-you-fly model. Flock’s first product caters to the $100bn drone market. We learn how Ed’s academic background in engineering and then AI and government policy set him on this path (and allowed him to meet Elon Musk along the way). We also talk about the current and future applications of drones; and what they might mean for the future of our cities and our world.
Sergey Musienko, Founder Atlas Biomed - The Gut as a Gateway to Personalised Wellness
Sergey is the founder of Atlas Biomed. Atlas is a personalised healthcare company empowering individuals to take control of their health through actionable recommendations based on gene and microbiome tests. We discuss the exciting potential of this space; Sergey's experience at Silicon Valley think tank, Singularity University; and the weird and wonderful symbiosis between us and our gut bacteria including the 'gut-brain axis' and its link to weight loss and depression.
Julian Hearn, Founder Huel - Sustainable Fuel for the Human Body
Julian is the entrepreneur and marketing wizard behind Huel. Huel is a 'nutritionally complete' food product which aims to change how we produce and consume food. The 'hockey stick' growth of the business since launch in 2015 attests to its wild popularity with 20 million+ meals sold already. The company is on course for revenues of £58 million this year and anticipate a $1bn valuation in the next few years. We learn how he used SEO smarts to generate £2m revenues per year for his voucher codes business which he then exited before starting Huel. We dig into the hows and whys of the Huel mission and discuss the landscape of the future of food.
Emma Sayle, Founder Killing Kittens - The Changing Landscape of Sex & Sexuality
Emma is the founder of notorious adult party brand Killing Kittens which focuses on empowering female sexuality. Emma is widely hailed as the UK’s foremost female ‘sex entrepreneur’. We learn how she built the Killing Kittens empire which now holds events for its 100,000+ members all over the world as well as sex seminars and workshops on top of a thriving online dating community. We also discuss her latest product ‘SafeDate’, an app plugin aimed at making dating safer. Emma delighted us with salacious tales and impressed us with her knowledge and unshakeable conviction in the mission that has brought her so much success.
Maya Pindeus, CEO & Founder Humanising Autonomy - Our Future with Machines
Maya Pindeus is the CEO & Co-Founder of Humanising Autonomy who are using deep machine learning to become the standard for communication between autonomous systems and people. Their first product, Blink, is computer vision for autonomous vehicles which can understand even culturally-specific human gestures. We discuss architecture, city design, deep learning and the unknown reality of a symbiotic future with autonomous machines. We ask how deeply can communication between man and machine go? And what will that mean for the future of our world?
Devika Wood, Founder Vida - Success & Meaning from Tragedy
Devika is the co-founder of care platform Vida. Motivated by her 12-year experience looking after her grandmother who received care from over 150 different carers, Devika is on a mission to harness technology to deliver personalised in-home care to the elderly and disabled. A former Googler, breast cancer research scientist and health policy advisor, she has been featured in Forbes’ 30 under 30 and in the Top 10 women changing the world by Glamour Magazine. She is also part of the Mayor of London’s ‘Female Founders Mission’ and is helping pioneer the future for women in tech. The need for a carer is something we all inevitably experience. This is the touching and inspiring story of one woman’s mission to make the care industry more human through technology.
Andy Shovel & Pete Sharman - The Beginning of the End for Meat?
Andy met Pete while looking for a co-founder for his burger delivery idea which became Chosen Bun. They were ahead of the curve given the subsequent rise of Deliveroo and made a quick exit after successfully growing the company, even sending a burger into space. Their latest project NOT(MEAT) is bringing delicious plant-based meat alternatives to the mass market. We try their NOT(Chicken) strips live on the episode and are astonished by the likeness in texture as well as flavour. They make for a highly entertaining duo and offer some great insights into the FMCG industry, the unsustainability of livestock farming and the future of food consumption. Whether you’re a vegan, budding flexitarian or simply interested in the FMCG space, it’s worth a listen…
Dr James Field, CEO LabGenius - Accelerating Evolution with AI
Dr James Field is a leading scientist in the field of synthetic biology. He set up LabGenius while completing his PhD at Imperial College London. He is a winner of the prestigious BBSRC Innovator of the Year award for early career impact and was featured on Forbes' 30 Under 30 list for Science & Healthcare. James is also a fellow of the prestigious Synthetic Biology Leadership Excellence Accelerator Program (LEAP). As founder and CEO of LabGenius, he has overseen the development if EVA - an autonomous AI-driven evolution engine for the discovery of high-value protein components. The company uses this cutting-edge technology to develop new biological products in partnership with world leading multinationals. Their current focus areas are creating novel therapies for unmet clinical needs and “advanced materials” for the UK Ministry of Defence. The company has raised $3.7m in funding from venture capital firms led by Acequia Capital. We discuss: - the history and current landscape of synthetic biology - the genomics of sexual attraction and how intuitive knowledge is hard coded in our genes - gene editing and its ethical implication in this brave new world - how Science Fiction is a thought experiment for examining our own humanity - the challenges of becoming a CEO from a scientist If you like Sci-Fi and want to know why a ruby red grapefruit is red, you’ll enjoy this one!
Oleg Fomenko, Founder Sweatcoin - Steps to Universal Human Health via the Blockchain
Oleg Fomenko is the co-founder of Sweatcoin, the fastest-growing health and fitness app in history. The app gamifies keeping fit by converting users’ steps into virtual Sweatcoin which can be exchanged for rewards. In December 2017, Sweatcoin hit 10 million users and raised Series A funding from several US-based VC firms. Oleg tells us of his big plans for 2018 and beyond. These include expanding into every country, listing as a trade-able currency on the blockchain and partnering with governments. Before Sweatcoin, Oleg founded music streaming company BloomFm which he grew to 1.2 million users in the UK and raised £16m in funding before unforeseen circumstances forced him to close the company. We talk about how he channelled this disappointment into Sweatcoin. We also discuss his formative years in the Soviet Union/Russia, evolutionary biases and ethics in tech, the potential of the blockchain and why mountain excursions and silent retreats are an excellent antidote to the modern world. Oleg is a fascinating blue-sky thinker with incredible insights to share.
Pip Jamieson, CEO The Dots - Creating Creativity through Diversity
In this episode, we speak to the inimitable, Pip Jamieson. After stints in the British civil service, then with MTV (actually launching MTV in New Zealand aged just 24), Pip founded a ‘LinkedIn for creatives’ called The Loop in Australia. After exiting this, she returned to the UK and its £76bn creative sector to replicate that success. From her houseboat by King’s Cross, she started ‘The Dots’ which is on a mission to connect 1 million creatives this year and is now going viral across the sector. The conversation ranges from river-dwelling and persuading Dizzee Rascal to play the first ever inflight gig, to LinkedIn’s failing current model and its potential shift towards becoming a media company. We talk about the importance of creativity not only as a bottom-line force for success, but also as a vehicle to finding meaningful and fulfilling work. Pip is a Sunday Times Top 100 Entrepreneur, an outspoken advocate for diversity in the workplace and a champion for dyslexics worldwide. We have a good discussion on diversity issues in the work place, on its important role in the creative process, on avoiding unconscious cultural biases and on how companies like The Dots are working to create more equality of opportunity. Pip is a lively talker with great stories; and her mission is impactful with the potential to change the way we work and collaborate.
Anthony Rose, CEO SeedLegals - Nurturing the Startup Ecosystem
Anthony Rose is the Founder of multiple successful companies; his most recent, SeedLegals, was named the UKTN Startup of the Year 2017; he is also the genius behind BBC iPlayer at a time when on-demand TV represented a paradigm shift in the industry - he compares the build process to the British building an exocet missile in two months during the Falklands War. We talk a fair amount about how the SeedLegals platform works and the benefits it brings (in cost and time) to entrepreneurs raising money. Anthony also divulges some great industry-specific wisdom on the new rules for SEIS & EIS tax relief assurance for UK companies. (This episode will be particularly useful to anyone thinking about or going through the funding process.) There’s a lot too for those listening from general interest - his anecdotes about billion dollar lawsuits in the music industry and his notion of the ‘hybrid ICO’ make for an edifying listen… Anthony is the quintessence of serial entrepreneur and a charismatic well of wisdom besides. We came out of the conversation having talked little but learned a lot!
Hamish Grierson, CEO Thriva - Saving Healthcare with a Little Prick
Hamish Grierson is the CEO and Founder of personalised healthcare platform, Thriva. Hamish cut his teeth as an entrepreneur through a varied early career in advertising, hospitality and a mentoring period at Travelex thanks to the New Entrepreneurs Foundation. A serendipitous beer with Co-Founder-to-be Eliot Brooks (who has a cholesterol condition requiring regular blood tests) led to the birth of Thriva – the world’s first preventative health service. Easy-to-use blood test kits are posted to you for testing. Once submitted, your results are published to you on the platform’s beautiful interface with GP explanations and recommendations based on your results. The data built up over time will allow predictive analytics to suggest powerful, data-driven solutions to people’s health problems. The conversation digs into the Thriva solution and their plans to introduce products relating to the Microbiome and the Endocrine system. We also move into general topics including: functional medicine, genomics, the diabetes epidemic and the power of predictive data. Self-administered stool transplants and robot leeches even come up! Hamish impressed us not only with the sophistication of his knowledge regarding the healthcare space, but also his genuine concern for improving the system and empowering people to live better lives.
Alex Stephany, CEO Beam - Parking the Homelessness Crisis
When the UK tech scene started to come online in the late noughties, Oxford-grad Alex left traditional careers in corporate law and management consultancy to join Anthony Eskinazi’s startup, Parkatmyhouse, which soon became JustPark. As CEO of JustPark from 2012-5 Alex oversaw several high-profile funding rounds including the largest equity crowdfunding round for a startup in history. In 3 years, he grew revenues 10-fold and set the company on a path towards its current user base of 1.5million drivers. He is also a published author with his book on the sharing economy “The Business of Sharing” and is an active mentor for TechStars. His latest project, Beam, is a social impact startup backed by the Mayor of London. The company leverages the crowdfunding model to empower people out of homelessness. The focus is on giving each member “person-centred” support in the form of finance, training and social ties while empowering the public to lend their help in the most effective and beneficial way possible. We talk in depth about Beam and the homelessness crisis in the UK. We discuss the triggers that cause homelessness and the isolation and diminishing sense of self-worth which makes escaping the downward spiral so hard. We discuss appropriate ways for people to help and how technology like Beam is empowering people and institutions to provide the personalised “scaffolding” required to beat homelessness.
Tim Armoo, CEO Fanbytes - How to Influence People
Despite his 23 years, Tim Armoo’s reputation for ingenuity and audacious business plays precedes him, most recently as the founder and CEO of influencer marketing platform, FanBytes. A company described by the BBC as “…[owning] the mind of Generation Z”. We discuss his Tedx talk in which he describes the different manifestations of his identity from his early failures as a swimmer turned magician to his first company at 14 and his second which was acquired when he was 17. We dive into the exciting space of influencer marketing from both a brand and influencer perspective. Tim evaluates the inexorable development of SnapChat as the heir apparent of on-demand TV for the new generation. He recounts his phone blowing up with angry fan engagement after one slightly off-key campaign. And in light of this, we examine the rise, fall and possible resurgence of infamous YouTube super-influencer, Logan Paul. We then get onto Tim’s interesting approach to the entrepreneurial existence including the Eisenhower productivity matrix, Alexa-powered mornings and intermittent fasting. There’s even a recruitment plug for a cool role at FanBytes at the end… Tim has an easy manner which made for a very conversational interview. We’ve really enjoyed listening to it back!