Day one of Elite Business Live has kicked off with astounding success. Dozens of business leaders, entrepreneurs and start-up owners met at the ILEC Conference hall in the heart of London yesterday to share their experiences and learn just what it takes to bring their business to the next level. The riveting event was hosted by Oli Barrett and co-hosted by Alana Spencer, who grilled our speakers about their top tips and tricks to overcoming challenges when it comes to operating businesses.
Andrea Reynolds, CEO of UK and Ireland’s leading equity funding for businesses, Swoop, kicked off yesterday’s event as the keynote speaker for the commercial business growth talk. She discussed the challenges that come with increasing the commercial growth of your company, marketing strategies and how to attract the right talent. She was later joined by Julian Hearn, founder of Huel, Jenny Knighting, founder of Nutcracker and Mark Wright, Founder and Director of Climb Online for a heated panel discussion, which seemed to focus on how to attract the right talent for your company.
The talks were then followed by the digital transformation talk hosted by keynote speaker Jenni Young, chief marketing officer of Tappit. Jenni spoke about how technology and data can transform the scope of your business and revealed the different types of technology available to scale your company, including AI and RPA. Jenni revealed how she built her entire digital platform internally without outsourcing and how this was the right choice for her. She was joined by an expert panel of speakers including Chris Southworth, Secretary General at the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Devika Wood, Founder of Vida and Deri Llewellyn-Davies, founder of BGI Group. There was a big debate about whether artificial intelligence and the rise in technological advances could make jobs redundant, but Devika explained how tech is unlikely to fully take over as majority of platforms out there still require some form of human touch in order to work, particularly with her sector in healthcare.
This was followed by a riveting panel discussion with Moneypenny, Timo Boldt, founder of Gousto, Rachel Carrell, founder of Koru Kids and Chris Abbass, co-founder of Talentful to speak about how to attract top talent and nurture the right skills. Timo spoke about how he fully embraces remote working and that it doesn’t matter where his staff are based. He also spoke about how it is important to manage yourself before managing others, and that he is now doing a part-time MBA with plans to be a certified coach to upgrade his skills and bring more into his company.
Founder of BGI Group, Deri Llewellyn-Davies then took the stage to speak about his inspirational journey before starting his own company and revealed his near-death experience scaling Mount Everest during an earthquake. He spoke about the different skill sets it requires to expand your business and how it is vital to “know what you don’t know” by admitting to your shortcomings so you can hire people that do, and explained how data is everything. Deri was joined by a panel of speakers including Richard Bearman, Managing Director of British Business Bank, Leah Moon, Head of US Legal Operations at Seedrs, Paul Conway, Director of Channel Sales at Bottomline and Simon Cureton, CEO of Funding Options who spoke about seeking advice and support when it comes to getting investment, and how crucial it is to understand finance and the numbers in order to successfully scale up your company.
Arne Mielken, Vice President spoke about the big elephant in the room – Brexit. He revealed the perils and struggles it comes with expanding your company overseas and the various challenges that come with it, particularly in a period of political volatility. He was joined by James Hyde, Co-founder and CEO of James & James Fulfilment, Greg Sutch, CEO of Intralink, Sean Blakely, CEO of British Chambers of Commerce and Marko Illincic, Group Chairman of Vistage who spoke about how some of them successfully took their businesses abroad and the common pitfalls to avoid.
The day ended off with the founder of Yo! Sushi, Simon Woodroffe’s incredible speech about how he had depression and went through a difficult divorce before starting his conveyor belt sushi chain restaurant out with no money in the bank. He successfully managed to scale his business up with several branches all over the country and explained how execution is everything. With his background in theatre, Simon wowed the room with his theatrical speech explaining how the “biz” in showbiz is also found business.
We’ve kicked off Day 2 of Elite Business Live with more inspirational speakers and panellists to share their experiences and tips. Make sure you stay tuned to our live stream at elitebusinesslive.co.uk to ask your question and tag #EBL2020.