APP development Business Business Plan Cape Town co-working Digital Entrepreneur Entrepreneur Network Hot Desk Infographic Internet Investment Pitch Shared Office SME Social media Start-up Uncategorized

    Seeking investment? The Supper Club Angels’ Tips to a Winning Pitch

    The Supper Club is the UK’s leading membership club exclusively for fast growth entrepreneurs of mid-sized businesses, encouraging business leaders to inspire, support and challenge each other in the pursuit of business growth. http://www.thesupperclub.com/

    By The Supper Club (UK) 

    Are you seeking investment?

    Raising money for SMEs and start-ups is not an easy job and one of the many challenges that entrepreneurs face. Angel investors can be a valuable option and source of funding, support and expertise.

    Our Investment Club runs twice a year, offering you the opportunity to raise investment via our panel of vetted and experienced entrepreneurs. With a combined turnover of around £150M our Supper Club Angels can offer expertise in a variety of sectors such as; technology, gaming, property, logistics and business services.

    In such a competitive environment, having the right information is your best tool. Here are our Supper Club Angels’ top tips on working up a winning pitch:

    Investors often look to invest in the people ahead of the business. Be confident, speak in plain English and ensure you come across as polished. Make sure you explain who your team is and why they are the right people to drive success.

    The scalability of your venture is what will appeal to investors so aim for an exciting but realistic outlook. Emphasise existing revenues and customers if you have them as these will give investors a lot of confidence. Be clear on the risks and how you will address them.

    State what your own personal investment in the venture has been or will be. Investors will not put money in if you haven’t put in some of your own cash and time. Investors will place a premium on you if you work in your venture full-time as this demonstrates your commitment.

    Keep your business plan short, around 2-3 pages, be concise, focus on what the reader needs to know and remove any fluff. The plan should explain clearly how you deliver value to your customers and extract value from them along with a realistic financial projection.

    Get to grips with the finances! Whoever you are pitching to will want to see that you have a very tight plan, know every future figure and know when you’ll see return etc. Avoid a hockey stick plan that relies on sudden massive growth – it won’t be believable.

    Investing in a business is never going to be something an Angel takes on lightly. Of course your pitch needs to reflect you and your business, but the recipe to success is based on your power to inspire confidence, reliability, passion, ability and integrity.

    Follow The Supper Club on Twitter for more great tips on growing your business @TheSupperClubUK

    October 06, 2014
    APP development Business Cape Town co-working Digital Entrepreneur Network Hot Desk Internet Shared Office Social media Start-up

    THE FUTURE OF COWORKING AND WHY IT WILL GIVE YOUR BUSINESS A HUGE EDGE

    deskmag-coworking-3342

    HERE ARE THE NUMBERS THAT SUPPORT THE CASE FOR COWORKING–AND WHY IT’S NOT JUST FOR STARTUPS OR FREELANCERS ANYMORE.

    Fun. Friendly. Inspiring. Collaborative. Productive. If you wouldn’t define your workplace with any or all of those terms, you may have to ditch your own desk and take a seat at a coworking space near you. Even if you aren’t an entrepreneur or freelancer, the benefits of coworking, according to Deskmag’s annual Global Coworking Survey, are pretty hard to ignore: 71 percent of participants reported a boost in creativity since joining a coworking space, while 62 percent said their standard of work had improved.

    The study also found that half of all coworkers access their work space around the clock–with only 30 percent preferring to work during normal business hours. “The future of work should not be dictated by space or place, but by the individual and the tasks that he or she has to deliver,” Regus CEO Mark Dixon tells Fast Company. “Many employees are now measured by output and productivity, and not just 40 hours spent sitting at a desk. Workers and the companies for which they work are increasingly realizing that they need to provide and utilize a wide range of workplaces to accommodate an increasingly diverse workforce with very different expectations of what work is, and where and when it should happen,” he explains.

    That’s why Dixon says, companies such as Google, Amazon, Twitter, and half of the Fortune 500 offer their staff temporary spaces at Regus to hold meetings or to get work done on the road. Regus offers flex space to more than a million people a day worldwide.

    Dixon notes that coworking allows for businesses to test new markets relatively risk-free. “Our research tells us that today anywhere between a third and half of all workers are flexible and mobile. Four years ago flexible working was the reserve of quirky marketing agencies and IT shops. Today, it’s a way of life influenced by the growth of the freelance economy and the need to expand the top-line by market expansion,” Dixon explains. For example, Regus plays host to real estate agencies that ironically don’t have their own real estate. Instead, they give all the agents cards to check into a nearby coworking center when they need to print materials or get paperwork done.

    Compared to a traditional office, Deskmag found that an overwhelming majority (90 percent) of coworkers said they got a self-confidence boost, likely due to the fact that many spaces are filled with supportive communities that enable creative collaboration.

    Dodd Caldwell, founder of Loft Resumes and MoonClerk, has been coworking for two and a half years in Greenville, S.C. Most recently, he’s sharing space with otherstartups at Iron Yard. “We’re a pretty curated coworking space, so even though we’re made up of different companies, we’re all fairly kindred spirits,” Caldwell asserts. By running his small businesses in a curated coworking space, he says, “I get the advantages of the culture of a medium-size business without having to deal with most of the downsides that come with it, like bureaucracy.”

    I GET THE ADVANTAGES OF THE CULTURE OF A MEDIUM-SIZE BUSINESS WITHOUT HAVING TO DEAL WITH MOST OF THE DOWNSIDES THAT COME WITH IT.

    One of the main advantages to coworking, Caldwell says, is the ease of collaborating with other companies sharing the space, many of which don’t have more than three people. “Sometimes that’s just tapping someone outside of your team on the shoulder and asking their opinion. Other times, it may be a 15-minute whiteboarding session with a developer on another startup.”

    The ability to approach problems from a variety of angles is the undercurrent running through coworking spaces like Secret Clubhouse. Originally established by Rick Webb (cofounder of The Barbarian Group) in September, the Secret Clubhouse addresses a simple, but critical, need for entrepreneurs in the already crowded coworking scene in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn: it gives them a place to sit every day and take advantage of being elbow-to-elbow with other startup impresarios.

    In the disastrous aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, those seats were filled with staff from Gawker, Foursquare, Tumblr, and Vimeo, whose offices didn’t have power. Now that things have settled down, manager Alison Vingiano says Secret Clubhouse isn’t quite filled to capacity of 35 desks, but those who are working from there can work alone or plug into the local tech community through hosted events or just from hanging out in the basement lounge, which is appointed with a pool table, musical instruments for impromptu jam sessions, as well as food, drinks, and cushy seating.

    Vingiano says that while collaboration is now a main focus of Secret Clubhouse, “a lot of it happens naturally.” Between hosted meetups and skill-sharing events, Vingiano says Secret Clubhouse members are encouraged to announce positions for hire or talk about what they are working on.

    Contrary to popular opinion that an open environment like the Secret Clubhouse is just as distracting as a coffee shop, 68 percent of those polled by Deskmag said they were able to focus better, and almost as many (64 percent) reported they were better able to complete tasks on time.

    Scott Hinson, lab director at Pecan Street Inc.’s new Pike Powers Commercialization Lab, is going to be in the unique position of fostering collaboration in the space, while also helping the companies working there to stay focused and retain privacy.

    The $1.5 million lab, located in northeast Austin, will be officially opening in May to promote research, commercialization, and education tied to smart energy grids, advanced information technology, clean energy, and health care applications. As the nation’s first nonprofit smart-grid research lab, it’s going to give smaller businesses the ability to use equipment like a spectrum analyzer that would cost roughly an engineer’s annual salary, without the huge investment.

    The challenge, according to Hinson, will be to keep proprietary projects a secret. But he’s not overly concerned. “We just have to be conscious of who can’t be around whom [when scheduling work],” he says. In addition, the facility has security controls such as thumbprint readers and secure Internet access. If need be, says Hinson, they can wipe all data from computer terminals every time someone new sits down to use it.“As long as we set the right expectation we can minimize challenges,” Hinson says. “If you set the expectation you get a place to do really cool stuff and there might be some other folks that are doing that too, so we can avoid it from the get-go.”

    Dixon believes that the flexibility to “work your way” is leading to greater productivity and job satisfaction. He points out a recent survey conducted by MindMetre in which 64 percent of U.S. employees are happier with their jobs today than they were two years ago because of the increased flexibility and shift towards a clearer work/life balance. “In addition, there is a plethora of research that shows flexible workers experience lower levels of work-related stress and higher levels of work satisfaction,” Dixon adds. “The healthiest option for employers and employees is to continue to work together to redefine the parameters of work, and how it is conducted and rewarded.”

    –Do you cowork, and how has it changed your career? Leave your tips in the comments below.

    September 22, 2014
    APP development Business Cape Town co-working Digital Entrepreneur Network Hot Desk Infographic Internet Shared Office Social media Start-up Uncategorized

    Settled in our new home!

    Happy Spring from our new home here at CTO. The move was quite painless and the reward simply awesome. What a space LEVR creations have given us. Light, airy and spacious with a beautiful shared kitchen that’s definitely big enough to swing more than a cat in, light and airy bathrooms and a meeting room big enough for 6 people comfortably.

    I’ll not bore you with too much text, let me rather show you!

    We have spaces open, so give me a shout & spread the word. R1,500 a month and that includes internet & meeting room.

    Have a great month folks.

    Lizelle

    3 Man Pod

    Renderheads Pod

    Looking to the entrance

    20140822_091733

    Great size desk with option for a shelving unit to right

    IMG_20140818_072737

    Desk with a view? Sunrise…

    IMG_20140818_070827

    Middle 4 Man pod

    20140818_102535

    Lunch/Coffee bar counter area

    20140818_103009

    Reception

    20140822_080610

    Spacious communal kitchen

     

    Our entrance

    Our entrance

    Early morning light.

    Early morning light.

    20140818_102920

    The Dudes

     

    September 01, 2014
    Business Cape Town co-working Entrepreneur Network Hot Desk Shared Office Start-up

    CTO2.0 (update)

    Our shiny new office space is taking shape. It’s been a struggle at times but all the hard work is paying off. Our opening date is on track and we’ll be sure to keep you posted on our opening party of course.

    20140606_092208

    On site.

    The space. Once we cleared all the previous debris this is what we were left with. A blank canvas. LEVR creations have been doing a fantastic job managing the project and seeing their design come to life is just amazing. Tobias and Ann-Marie have surpassed our wildest expectations not only on the design, but cleverly making use of absolutely every bit of material for the project. Their ethos and mission as designers and architects is to reuse and recycle as much as possible by giving it new life and this is absolutely true on this project.

    The interest has been phenomenal already with at least 6 enquirers coming in weekly to view the space. Interest in exploring co-working as an alternative to traditional office space keeps growing. Reservations on the new space is in full swing, so get in touch if you’re interested. Nearly 60% of the new space has been booked!

    I can’t wait to move in!

     

    June 27, 2014
    APP development Business Cape Town co-working Digital Entrepreneur Network Hot Desk Infographic Internet Shared Office Social media Start-up Uncategorized

    Who’s who in the CTO zoo

    What I love most is the variety or eclectic mix of of folks in here at CTO. This was one of my biggest drivers, to ensure that we didn’t exclude professionals / entrepreneurs etc. from the space. Here’s a list of the “who’s who in the CTO Zoo”. Please do check out their websites for more on the work they do.

    Amy, one of 2 graphic designers in CTO and works for a London based agency Top Left Design

    Dylan & Meagan – represent a US based company, OrderTalk, providing telephone support for their US customers

    Brandon – founder & owner of ASA Media who’s most recent creation is the smart phone APP, Awesome South Africa *be sure to check this one out*

    Shane, Richard & Rhido – 3 very talented developers who work for a UK based company, RenderHeads creating some very clever augmented reality and interactive digital displays.

    Michael – Owner of Solutions WEB and our only resident website designer providing Internet Solutions to SME’s

    Angus – African Storybook Digital founder and also Producer: Carte Blanche. Category Winner: CNN Africa Journalist of the Year

    Denise – our most recent member at CTO is here from Germany doing a post doc project for the University of Johannesburg 

    Brigitta – runs an independent knitwear company with her mom which is supplied to some top brand retailers in SA

    Ronelle – our 2nd graphic designer in the office with her company, Graffic Traffic and also the founder / creator of TREK Survival Gear that is stocked by Cape Union Mart and Outdoor Warehouse across South Africa.

    Scott & Daniel of BETVIP – Bitcoin enthusiasts operating a secure, licensed (Curacao) enterprise-grade sportsbook solution with a full team of customer support representatives, bookmakers/traders and developers.

    Rob – a financial analyst who works for UK based hedge funds, which is mostly pouring over spreadsheets 😉

    Sean a former Durbanite who runs the sales and marketing for a US based company, Alcobond in Cape Town

    Annie – Tour operator in Cape Town for a UK based company, Jacada Travel “Private Luxury Tours & Safaris”

    John – founder and owner of Big Blue Sky Tours… he’s out alot so we only see him when he is catching up with his admin 😉

    Lizelle(that’s me) operating LVR business to business Ltd from CTO – Marketing/Lead Generation/Telemarketing services

    entrance CTO

    April 30, 2014