Loop is a growth programme for founders of tech startups based in the south west of England.
Loop alleviates these issues by providing participants with exclusive access to a hand-picked panel of experts – each representing a different area of business growth. The idea is to provide practical, helpful advice across everything from investor relations to accountancy to marketing and PR.
The result? Founders end up spending less time trying to master these issues, and more time growing their business.
Each session focuses on a specific business topic and is led by the expert in that field from our expert panel. They are run as a roundtable event with all participants in attendance, and consist of a blend of talks, workshops and Q&A discussions.
|1||Product market fit||Nathalie Alpi||9 June 2021|
|2||Business Model Canvas||Roy Millman||23 June|
|3||Winning grant funding||Alan Gould||7 July|
|4||Branding||Simeon de la Torre||21 July|
|5||Product development||Nic Alpi||28 July/4August|
|6||Accounting & tax||Sandar Millman||1 September|
|7||Legal||Ben Harris||15 September|
|8||Pitch Decks & Investment||Stuart Harrison||29 September|
|9||HR & recruitment||Nick Dean||13 October|
|10||PR||Joanna Randall||27 October|
|11||Business Development||Jack Thompson||10 November|
|12||Final Pitch||Many||24 November|
Roy is committed to helping tech businesses grow by applying his experience in accounting, tax and management consulting.
Roy is a Chartered Accountant with over 30 years experience in advising businesses. He has acted as mentor and coach for senior executives in FTSE companies, as well as startups. He founded Affecton in 2002 having worked as a tax partner at EY in Australia and London. Roy is a believer of turning ideas into action. Roy will be available as mentor to all participants throughout the Programme.
Joanna Randall is an award-winning senior communications consultant and the founder and managing director of strategic communications consultancy Purplefish.
With 25 years’ experience in the public relations and marketing sector, her previous roles include head of PR at McCann Erickson and managing director of PR at ThirtyThree. Joanna, who has specific expertise in issues management and the crafting of multi-channel communications campaigns, was recognised as one of the Top 100 Influential Women in the South West in 2018 and is a dedicated mentor and diversity campaigner.
Marketeer, business manager and co-founder of CookiesHQ , Nathalie is the go-to woman for planning and strategic growth.
She has over 8 years experience working with companies that wish to scale, making sure every part of their business is accounted for including product, customer journey and team. Nathalie’s strength lies in her ability to provide clarity to entrepreneurs who are looking for actionable steps to achieve growth. With an infectious positive attitude, Nathalie will not shy away from confronting issues head-on and will make sure that no stone is left unturned!
A branding and messaging specialist, Simeon owns and runs the SIM7 creative agency, which is based in Bristol and has a roster of cross-sector clients.
Simeon has worked in marketing for over 20 years and prior to founding SIM7, was a creative copywriter working for national and international brands and agencies.
Simeon’s particular area of expertise is distilling an organisation’s proposition and values into a brand that is engaging and drives business success. SIM7’s mission is to produce work that isn’t just creative and attractive – it delivers quantifiable returns and has a transformative impact on a company’s bottom line.
Co-founder of Invest West, the platform for businesses to meet investors, Stuart has many years of working within the high-tech sector helping businesses with their growth ambitions and helping them get ready for investment.
Having moved to Bristol to help open the original Oracle office, he is now probably best known for being the founder and co-director of FinTech West which is the representative body for FinTech in the region. He is a University of the West of England Business Fellow and Mentor in Residence at UWE TE plus a Visiting Industrial Fellow at the University of Bristol, mentoring at its QTEC (Quantum Technology Enterprise Centre) facility.
Alan supports technology, engineering and R&D companies in proposal writing, project management and business improvement.
He specialises in the interface between government and SME’s: he has helped over 30 ambitious companies win grant funding, land government contracts and develop profitable products and services. Working with big companies or government departments can be lucrative and doesn’t have to be onerous with carefully tailored processes that provide the right levels of compliance.
Hustler, entrepreneur and tech fanatic, Nic is the co-founder and CTO of CookiesHQ, a Bristol-based software development agency.
From a very young age, Nic used his entrepreneurial mindset and technical skills to develop products for businesses and has often gone against the grain to provide outside-the-box solutions. Never shy of a challenge, Nic has built his company from the ground up and the testimonials from his clients and team members speak for themselves. A word of warning: Nic has a skill for card games so don’t challenge him to one!
Sandar is passionate about accounting, tax and innovation - a great combination to help tech startups.
Sandar is a Chartered Accountant and has worked with SMEs and high networth individuals, specialising in accounting and tax, as well as management consulting for large corporate tax departments. Sandar believes that accounting and tax shouldn’t be just about compliance. It should help you understand your business better and focus on opportunities for growth, whilst taking advantage of available grants and tax credits. Affecton is committed to helping tech startups.
Ben has over a decade of experience of working in the legal sector and is passionate about working with start-ups and scale ups.
He has helped a large number of businesses raise finance through funding rounds, dealing with both small family and friends rounds through to series A venture capital fundraising. He regularly acts for clients on mergers and acquisitions, management buy outs and buy ins, joint venture arrangements and shareholder agreements.
Ben is a trustee and company secretary to St Werburgh’s City Farm and a director at The Bristol Cable, a local media co-operative.
Nick has spent the majority of his career building ADLIB into where it stands today.
One of the UK’s only BCorp certified businesses of its kind, a technology, data, marketing and recruitment business with a mission and impact that goes far beyond recruitment. In addition co-founding and launching TechTalent Academy. A business that builds careers through the development of new tech skills and transforming companies with diverse talent. Finally he’s also co-founder of enable sales recruitment, a team who work with tech start-ups to build out their business development functions.
Jack is a Business Development Consultant who works closely with early stage founders on their growth strategy.
Over the last 15 years Jack has worked in a range of creative agencies and B2B tech companies, consulting at C-Suite level with organisations ranging from startups to multinationals. He now uses that experience to help his clients create and implement effective business development strategies and achieve their business goals.
What is Loop?
Loop is a growth programme aimed at providing founders of South West-based technology startups with all the information they need to run (and grow) a successful business.
How does it work?
The Loop programme consists of weekly Zoom sessions held over six months, with a break in August. Main sessions held fortnightly focuses on a different business topic such as accounting, marketing or product development, and is chaired by a local expert in that topic. There will be informal feedback/coffee mornings in between the main sessions. Find out more about the structure of Loop here.
Who are the experts?
Each expert has been hand-picked due to their experience not only in their arena of business, but in working with technology-based businesses. Find out more about Loop’s expert panel here.
Who can apply for a place on Loop?
Loop is specifically for the founders of technology-based startups based in the South West of England. Our experts have been selected due to their experience in the technology sector, so non-tech businesses won’t be considered.
Where and when will the sessions take place?
Loop’s sessions were originally due to be at the Engine Shed, near Bristol Temple Meads railway station. However due to the restrictions arising from the coronavirus outbreak, they will now be held on Zoom. The sessions may go back to the Engine Shed when it is safe to do so.
How much does the Loop programme cost?
There is no charge for the expertise; all the experts are giving their time freely. However, there may be a small charge to cover expenses.
How can I apply?
Who is Loop organised and run by?
Loop is was founded by specialist accountants for tech startups Affecton, and creative marketing agency Workbrands, in 2019.
It is now continuing as a collaboration of Affecton and a number of other Bristol-based businesses.
Interested participants in the 2021 programme are invited to complete the registration form.