CEO reflections: pandemic lessons that drive growth | Greg Isbister, CEO and Founder of Blis


The year 2020 was full of unexpected situations. I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d be working from home with a crazy dog, a new kitten, children homeschooling – and a million critical business decisions to make before my second cup of coffee. My worlds merged unsettlingly: I would be deep in discussion with the Blis executive team regarding cash forecasts with my five-year-old son demanding, “wipe my bum!” from along the hall.

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What is the future of the Takeaway industry? | Matt Ephgrave, Managing Director of City Pantry


The takeaway industry has been one of the few sectors able to operate and thrive in the pandemic and has provided a lifeline to many hospitality businesses.. Pre-pandemic, the industry continued to grow at a fast-moving pace thanks to the rising popularity of on-demand apps, yet its acceleration reached new levels as lockdowns hit the nation. Not only were order numbers increasing, but the quality of orders improved, with an average price of orders increasing by 10% as consumers looked to ‘treat themselves’ according to data compiled by City Pantry.

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David Cohen, Founder and Chairman of Techstars | Q and A


What were the key assets you saw in Maëlle Gavet as the new CEO of Techstars and have you set a roadmap for her to follow in the ‘years’ ahead?

Maëlle has been a leading technology executive and entrepreneur for over 15 years. She began her career as an entrepreneur and then went on to become a Principal at the Boston Consulting Group from there she became CEO of OZON.ru, Russia’s largest e-commerce site (which recently went public on NASDAQ and is valued at over $9B), and then Executive VP of operations of the Priceline Group, the largest online and travel agency in the world which includes brands like OpenTable, Kayak, and Booking.com. Most recently Maëlle was Chief Operating Officer at real estate platform Compass, valued at over $6B.

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How virtual events helped move markets forward while the world stood still | Tim Groot, Founder and CEO, Grip


The events industry has seen dramatic changes as a result of the pandemic, impacting markets from healthcare and tech to food and drink as the events where they showcase their products, services and attend meetings crucial to the business were cancelled. The events industry naturally relies on the functioning and interconnected nature of other markets. At a time where normal business operations (like arranging meetings, pitching new business or collecting data) were digitised – or even stopped completely, depending on local restrictions – digital events platforms and organisers have been busy behind the scenes, adapting to connect professionals and drive innovation within a variety of markets.

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Seeing more in people: why it’s time to put potential at the heart of how we identify talent | Robert Newry, CEO and Co-Founder Arctic Shores


One day in late 2013, I was deep in conversation with a good friend about the difficulties his daughter was having in getting her first job. She was bright, curious, and full of potential. But she’d been rejected over and over again, without any feedback, after completing the same type of aptitude test each time. The tests were stressful, and she underperformed. What my friend couldn’t understand was this: why were companies so fixated on a test that not only failed to capture her intelligence, but also failed to see the strengths that made up her potential?

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Lina Wenner, Associate Partner at Firstminute Capital | Q and A


What were your biggest learnings from your time at Boston Consulting Group?
Structured thinking! Quickly scoping out a problem space then figuring out what data would be most useful to make a well-calibrated decision in cases where I have incomplete information – which tends to be the case in early-stage investing. I also make a mean powerpoint presentation…

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Amanda Jones Floyd, Investor at InReach Ventures | Q and A


What inspired you to become a VC and was there a particular lightbulb moment?
I first started thinking seriously about VC when I was at INSEAD about 10 years ago. I realised that the key skills of early stage VC were not so much in financial engineering but in understanding startup founders, market & tech trends and great product development. In the ensuing years I started angel investing and getting to know people in the industry. There wasn’t a single lightbulb moment but rather a series of steps along the way.

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The future of the commute will change our roads forever | James Blackham, CEO of By Miles


The traffic on UK roads has fluctuated hugely over the past twelve months. As the country went into its first lockdown, the public’s relationship with everyday transport methods changed almost instantly.

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Media coverage is only for big established companies, isn’t it? | Nick Braund, Founder of Words + Pixels


The media dominates our lives more than we realise. Yes, it tells us what’s happening in the world and if it’ll be sunny next Tuesday – but it also has the ability to influence and persuade. Right now, reporting on the pandemic has been essential to communicate how we must act, both legally and also morally.

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Uber’s defeat in the Supreme Court: A cautionary tale for tech companies with ambitions to upscale | Paul Jennings, Partner at Bates Wells


Dynamic technology platforms are the embodiment of the moto ‘move fast and break things’. Uber is an exemplar of this philosophy; it acquired a dominant market share in London at an incredible pace, however, at precisely the same time, it has faced a prolonged legal challenge which goes to the heart of its business model.

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