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 a range of business services.
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.
You can register your interest now for future Loop programmes.
|1||Product market fit||Nathalie Alpi|
|2||Product development||Nic Alpi|
|3||Winning grant funding||Alan Gould|
|4||Branding||Simeon de la Torre|
|5||Business Model Canvas||Roy Millman|
|6||Accounting & tax||Sandar Millman|
|8||Pitch Decks & Investment||Stuart Harrison|
|9||HR & recruitment||Nick Dean|
|11||Business Development||Jack Thompson|
|13||B Corp||Andy Hawkins|
|14||Intellectual Property||Theo Worsley|
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!
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!
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.
Nick has spent the majority of his career building ADLIB into where it stands today.
ADLIB is the UK’s only 100% employee owned, BCorp certified businesses of its kind, a technology, data, marketing, design and life science recruitment business with a mission and impact that goes far beyond recruitment.
In addition Nick co-founded, launched and successful exited via sale 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.
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.
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.
James is founder & ex-CEO of Senta, a Bristol-based specialist fintech for accountants. After a 7-year journey, Senta was acquired at the beginning of 2021, delivering the biggest ever return for crowdfunding investors.
He has 20 years experience as a consultant software architect, but is much more interested in the challenges of the startup entrepreneur: making the product fit, satisfying customers, looking after investors, and juggling the many different hats a founder has to wear.
James takes a methodical and calm approach to the chaos of startup life.
James is happy to answer any questions about the startup journey and the challenges you face along the way (and anything else!).
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.
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.
Andy Hawkins, founder of Business on Purpose, has been in business for more than 30 years helping companies transform the way they work using technology.
He also spent 5 years doing community development in Africa and a further 5 years in environmental services. These experiences are now helping clients assess and improve their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) utilising the B Corp process and B Impact Assessment.
Having supported dozens of clients across a range of sectors, as a B Leader he is well placed to provide support how, where and when it is needed.
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.
Theo has been training to become a qualified UK and European Patent Attorney over the past three and a half years and has been passionately working together with Bristol based Start-ups and Scale-ups during that time.
As a keen advocate of local businesses and entrepreneurs, Theo has been actively engaged with the Intellectual Property clinic at SETsquared for over three years now, as well as other IP clinics in and around Bristol. Theo regularly attends Bristol based events and enjoys making friends at every possible opportunity.
Theo also has a technical background in Electrical and Electronic Engineering which he makes use of on a daily basis with particular expertise in Radio & Optical communications and Power Electronics, receiving his Masters from the University of Bristol in 2017.
“The Loop programme was a treasure chest of knowledge, shared by experts and workshopped into our own businesses cases over a 6 month period. Covering every aspect of an early stage business, the sessions were invaluable as a founder. The accountability piece kept us on track & the peer-to-peer support was immense. I’ve made friends and quality expert connections that I will certainly continue to nurture in the future. A great programme for any early stage founder looking to build the foundations of a successful business.”
Nicola Telford of Views for Change
“The Loop programme was such a useful and fun way of understanding so many other areas of running our business. We met some great people, and look forward to staying involved for many years to come.”
Nikki Lefty of Bayes Price
“Loop gave me the time and space each week to reflect on my business. I have made fantastic progress this year building my business with a growing staff team. Loop gave me the confidence to change my business model and really plan for growth. Valuations of my company have been consistent at 1 million and I have been approached by business investors to support my company with a pre seed round of investment. This is exciting but the Loop has taught me to way up my options and really think about where I want to take my company. Each of the Loop experts offered really sound and clear advice, speaking from their own lived experiences. I am really clear on where I can grow and how to do it, thanks to Loop.”
Rachel Mills of Buttercup Learning
“Taking part in the Loop programme has been hugely supportive during the early stages of inception and formation of Spherics. The community created by the series of informative workshop-style sessions provided rich and ongoing support and ideas across the whole gamut of the start-up process. Thank you Loop!”
Mike Chatziapostolou of Spherics
“An incredible support and knowledge sharing network that every start-up will benefit from. This personal growth and awareness gained of ‘what you don’t know’, ‘what you need to know’ in order to be successful whilst encouraging the ‘can do’ mindset over the training and business coaching sessions was invaluable. Without question this programme will reduce procrastination, boost confidence and get you going, including successfully navigating the challenges that every start-up encounters. The value in having access to the diverse knowledge based and so many professionals, specialists in their field, is difficult to describe. Highly recommend!”
Oliver King of The Meraki Initiative
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. 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.
Where and when will the sessions take place?
Loop will be held on mostly on Zoom, with a few sessions at the Engine Shed in Bristol.
How much does the Loop programme cost?
There is no charge for the expertise; all the experts are giving their time freely. However, there is an initial charge of £195 to cover expenses.
How can I apply?
You can register your interest here for a future Loop programmes.
Who is Loop organised and run by?
It is now continuing as a collaboration of Affecton and a number of other Bristol-based businesses including Purplefish, ADLIB, Ginkgo Business Development and Sim7, who share a common commitment to help tech startups grow.
How can I contact Loop?
You can call Roy Millman on 07710 259 559, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can register your interest here for future Loop programmes.