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An Exciting Year for the Forsyth Group

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It’s been an exciting year for the Forsyth Group and as the end of the year and holiday season approaches, we’d like to reflect on our most recent placements with some incredibly innovative companies who are revolutionising their industries.

Outernet (www.outernet.com), is a global network of central city hubs designed to elevate the culture and commerce of the world’s great cities through the largest, most immersive digital experience. The crown jewel of Outernet London will be The Now Building in London, which will bring epic scale to content providers via 360-degree, 8k floor to ceiling screens. Every day will be a new experience for local providers and aims to be a constant and timely source of news, entertainment, and immersive digital experiences to an expected 400,000 visitors per day.

We recently successfully placed their Chief Operations Officer.

Another client, Vantiq (www.vantiq.com)  is moving into a very different business model and is also at the cutting edge of technology. Named as the Best Platform as a Service 2018 as part of the annual SIIA CODiE Awards VANTIQ. The CEO approached us about hiring their EMEA & General Manager of France, followed by their DACH Sales Director. Their hugely talented existing team is set to grow, and we were very proud to be part of their journey by placing both executive positions.

VANTIQ’s platform is particularly suited to building applications that must sense streams of data from devices, systems and people: analyse the data as it comes in: and then enable actions in real time. This technology is revolutionary for operations involving manufacturing, supply chain, field services, fleet management and many more.

Upgrade Pack (www.upgradepack.com) is another of our exciting placements in a very different industry that is a leader in technology applications. Upgrade Pack works with leading airlines and hotels around the world to offer exclusive deals on upgrades that are not available anywhere else. Upgrade Pack helps clients to retain and attract customers and gives consumers access to upgrades, whether it be a hotel suite with a better view or the comfort of a first-class seat.

We worked with the Upgrade Pack team to find them a Non-Executive Director with the background and network that could help them in their next stage of growth and fund raising.

NEF Live 2019 Demo Day

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On the 29th January Rosemary was pleased to attend New Entrepreneurs Foundation (NEF) Live’s 2019 Demo day held by Neeta Patel in Guildhall’s historic Old Library and Print Room, in London. This was their largest event to date and a great success, with a large range of companies on exhibition and pitching, from mobile technology to food and drink. There were 60 companies exhibited and 16 pitches altogether.

One particularly impressive company was Just Wears, a clothing company who have invented the ‘most comfortable underwear for men.’ Their underwear is made from a sustainable fabric made from wood and produced in a non-toxic way, which is a great focus to have as the clothing industry increasingly focuses on sustainability. They also have a unique pouch design that contributes to the comfortable fit as well as an anti-roll waistband to prevent them from slipping. They aim to start an ‘underwear revolution’ for men, and they seem to be right on track.

 

Another company that stood out was Techir who work with breakthrough technology in wireless optical laser-based communications called Free Space Optics (FSO). FSO technology has many benefits over other technologies including the ability to transmit terabit levels wirelessly, far more than any other technology. Though the technology was previously held back from mainstream markets, Techir has removed the issues preventing this. They are able to help deliver high speed, low-cost wireless in developed and developing countries, as well as removing the need for skilled engineers to help with installations. We are excited to see what Techir can achieve next!

 

Thank you very much to all those who organised the event and a big congratulations to all of the impressive companies who exhibited and pitched. It was a truly stimulating and inspiring day.

 

Techstars Demo Day – London Accelerator 2018

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On the 9th October we were delighted to attend the Techstars Demo Day at the beautiful Royal Institution. The day kicked off with an introduction from Techstars’ Managing Director, Eamonn Carey. He explained that this year, Techstars has been focused on their worldwide network, travelling to 30 countries and meeting hundreds of teams to select the ten who presented at this year’s event.

All ten pitches were all very impressive, including a broad range of companies from search engines to organic fruit and vegetables.

 

We were particularly impressed by Pesky Fish, a business who are trying to revolutionise the seafood supply chain. Through their market platform, they enable fishermen to sell directly to London chefs, which means the fish is delivered on the same day and is fresher. This greatly benefits the fishermen who can get a fairer price for their fish. As well as benefiting the environment as it enables people to see what fish is in season, and what fish is more sustainable. It lowers the amount of wasted fish and fish thrown back into the ocean.

 

 

 

Another company that caught our attention was Kencko. They aim to increase fruit and vegetable consumption by providing a product that is a convenient way to get 2 of your 5 a day. Their sachets contain freeze-dried organic fruit and vegetables, which can be mixed with any liquid (water or any milk) to create a delicious drink. The process they use to create the product is the same as that used by NASA, and preserves all of the nutritional value of the fruit and vegetables. The product also lasts for up to 6 months.

 

 

Another company that we found interesting was Let’s Enhance. Their platform launched in November 2017 and uses machine learning algorithms to increase image quality. The platform automatically enhances resolution and removes image noise as well as restoring compressed images. With over 500,000 users already, this platform shows promise of even more growth as they move onto video.

 

 

Thank you to everyone who organised the event and a big congratulations to all those who pitched. It was a truly fascinating and inspiring day!

The Next Women Pitch Competition

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On the 20th September, Rosemary had the pleasure of being invited to be a judge at the semi-final of the Next Women’s pitch competition at the Embassy of the Netherlands. The panel of judges included Rosemary, Sacha Engels , Jo Goodson , Angel Gambino and Alex Pitt.

 

There was a total of nine semi-finalists who pitched their businesses to the panel, all competing for the grand prize of €20.000 investment. Four out of these nine were nominated to go to the final in Amsterdam.

 

Particular congratulations to the winner of the semi-final, Not.corn:

Not.corn have created a healthier alternative to popcorn – popped sorghum. Though it has been eaten around the world for decades, this is the first time it has been sold in Europe. It’s gluten free, vegan, high in fibre and comes in three flavours; cinnamon, sweet and salty, and sweet chilli.

 

The other semi-final winners were:

Isbel.:

Isbel is an online service that aims to provide digital relationship and sexual health counselling for women. Their therapy model focuses on efficiency and involves completing a virtual self-assessment, which is used to match clients with a care team, including a therapist, a sex educator and a medical professional.

 

MTArt Agency:

MTArt Agency. Founded in 2015, MTArt Agency is an innovative agency that is much needed in the art industry. Their impressive pitch detailed the work they do and they showed how they have accelerated the careers of many artists. They do this through curating the best of the art portfolios they are sent – over 200 a month – and connect them to sellers, commercial partnerships and the press.

 

Getmine:

 

Getmine are trying to redefine health for women to include sexual health.

 

Congratulations to all of the winners and good luck for your pitches at the final in Amsterdam on the 4th October.

“Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast” breakfast event review

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 On the 8th of February we co-hosted a Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast breakfast event with Silicon Valley Bank at their Finsbury Square office in East London.

 

The inimitable Oli Barrett kicked things off and did a masterful job of energising the crowd before the caffeine kicked in. Brett started the morning session with a presentation (Video here & Slideshare here) on why culture is a company’s greatest asset and what high growth companies like Hubble, Duel, AudioBooks, CharlieHR and Skimlinks are doing to live their values, and develop and embed their company’s culture.

Oli moderated the panel discussion (Video here), the panelists were:

  • Suarav Chopra – CEO Perkbox

  • Rob O’Donovan – CEO CharlieHR

  • Alastair MacLeod – MD Solera

  • Rosh Wijarathna – Director UK Corporate Banking SVB

  • Colette Ballou – CEO Ballou PR

The thing about culture is there is no right or wrong culture. The other thing about company culture is that it doesn’t have to be a happy family and this was demonstrated during the panel discussion where Alastair MacLeod discussed Solera’s brutal culture. Solera recently exited for $6.5 billion.

 After the panel session I sat down with Nilan Peiris to discuss the culture that Transferwise has built. The company’s culture is the magic that’s enabled them to scale from 60 to over 600 people in two and a half years (Video here).

 

 

Company culture is clearly a hot topic right now as we had over 100 CEOs, co-founders and investors join us for a sold out breakfast event, which also had a wait-list of 140 people.  

 

 We will be hosting additional events around company culture. Sign up on the home page if you would like to find out more. 

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