Ten Smart CEOs: (No. 2) Felix Leuschner, Stylistpick


Felix Leuschner founded Stylistpick in November 2010, initially as a subscription only accessories retailer. Over less than 24 months he has cultivated a careful formula to navigate a well populated fashion market to bring the concept of curation to ecommerce in an ‘entertainment led’ way.

A philosophy that places celebrity ambassadors and stylists at its heart, such as Cheryl Cole, Felix has found support and funding ($20m to date) from a discerning group of individuals and VC’s including Accel Partners, Index Ventures and Fidelity Growth Partners. Having launched a French version of the site in May 2012 and looking to do the same in Spain this month, we caught up with Felix for our ‘Ten Smart CEOs’ series.

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As Silicon Roundabout startup Flubit prepare to relaunch, we catch up with CEO Bertie Stephens!


FlubitSilicon Roundabout-based Flubit originally launched as a demand-driven group buying site in August 2011.

From £50,000 in funding 14 months ago, the Flubit business plan has evolved quickly, and having recently secured $1.75m is set to relaunch this summer with a new model still focussed on user demand, but without the group-buying element.

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Our focus on Silicon Roundabout’s ‘hottest startups’ continues; today it’s Teamly!


TeamlyAmongst some of the gloomiest reports of European contagion the jubilee celebrations have not been the only ray of sunshine to offer balance and encouragement to us all!

Last month Teamly and their founder Scott Allison announced that 500 Startups, the VC Fund headed by Dave McClure had included them in their summer accelerator programme.

We could devote this piece to gaining an understanding as to the self confident and compelling sales pitch Scott gave to Dave McClure at their initial meeting that influenced McClure’s decision to stay in touch. A piece for the future perhaps!

Of more interest today is understanding exactly what Teamly is all about?

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It’s Monday and we continue our focus on some of Silicon Roundabout’s ‘hottest startups’; today it’s Tribesports!


tribesports.com

It would be very easy to dismiss Tribesports as simply a social network for sportspeople!

However the approach and desire adopted by three former executives from Mydeco, Steve Reid, David Hickson and Jenna Anians, as well as co-founder Andrew Mcdonough, since launching in open beta in June 2011 convinced investors to act boldly and support the Tribesports evangelists with a £1.8m Series A funding round (December 2011) in addition to the £280k Seed round raised in 2010.

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Over the next 10 days we catch up with some of Silicon Roundabout’s hottest startups; Today it’s MarketInvoice!


Market invoice logoOver the next ten days we wanted to focus on some of Silicon Roundabout’s hottest startups; Today we catch up with Charles Delingpole, co founder of MarketInvoice!

What do you do when Eurozone contagion dominates the press in the public domain creating an almost unprecedented draining of confidence in the business world? What if this culture of near crisis begins to seriously impinge on cashflow?

Charles Delingpole and Anil  Stocker launched ‘Silicon Roundabout’ based MarketInvoice in July 2010.

Transformational and forward looking MarketInvoice is a welcome addition to the tech ecosystem providing small businesses with a method of discipline that avoids them being potentially burdened by the problem of late paying clients.

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‘Marketing is dead’ said Kevin Roberts, CEO of Saatchi and Saatchi. We asked two Silicon Roundabout entrepreneurs if they agreed!


The headline in The Drum magazine (May 11th) read ‘MARKETING IS DEAD… or so said Kevin Roberts when addressing the Institute of Directors conference recently – shocking words considering he is chief executive officer at one of the world’s biggest advertising agencies’ (Saatchi and Saatchi).

The piece offers a few choice highlights from Roberts explosive speech; “Marketing is dead. The role of marketing has changed now. There is nothing new anymore. If marketers are just hearing about something going on then it is already old in today’s world. The further up in a company you go the stupider you become and the further away from new things. Speed and velocity is everything today. Marketing’s job is to create movement and inspire people to join you…”.

We asked two leading Silicon Roundabout entrepreneurs from the world of ‘Marketing’ whether Kevin Roberts was right and what the future held for their own businesses?

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Rob Moffat of Balderton Capital reflects on Incubators and Accelerators in Europe


Balderton CapitalRecent interviews with startups in Silicon Roundabout have focused increasingly on funding and mentoring. We thought we would start the week with a guest blog by Rob Moffat of Balderton Capital who is involved with portfolio companies such as Housetrip, Wooga and Archify.

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Litigation in the digital world; Kemp Little and Wiggin give us The Lawyers’ view!


In the second part of our piece following the Financial Times article ‘The curse of innovation’, we asked two leading law firms Kemp Little and Wiggin whether they were concerned about a potential future cycle of IP disputes “spilling over from the smartphone industry into the broader online world” and what value non-competes really have for small companies?

First, Kemp Little.

Smartphone litigation – should you be concerned?

You can’t really escape the press coverage around the large number of patent disputes involving smartphone companies. This growing trend of litigation in the mobile sector has, in part, been caused by some of the major players purchasing vast patent portfolios for strategic purposes – either to actively assert against competitors, or to use as a defensive measure against anyone who seeks to sue them for patent infringement.

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Concerned over litigation in the Digital world? We asked two leading entrepreneurs and two prominent Law firms!


FundApps and TweetminsterThe Financial Times (Thursday 10th May) ran a full page article ‘The curse of innovation’ reporting ‘Escalating courtroom battles over intellectual property’.

We asked two leading entrepreneurs and two prominent law firms whether they were concerned about a potential future cycle of lawsuits involving Intellectual capital, Non compete agreements, Patent infringement and corporate governance issues spilling “over from the smartphone industry into the broader online world”?

Today it’s the entrepreneurs.

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Colette Ballou on hiring a PR Agency!


Ballou PRColette Ballou is the founder of Ballou PR. With a client roster that includes Eventbrite, Seatwave and Shopping.com she is well placed to give us the inside track about what to think about before hiring a PR agency.

It’s heartbreaking when an agency-client relationship doesn’t run smoothly, and one of the number one causes is that expectations aren’t aligned. So here are a few things to think about to make sure this doesn’t happen to you, and a few bonus tips on how to be an irresistible prospect for a PR agency.

First and foremost, PR takes time: count on six to nine months to really gain traction if you are starting from scratch. It’s a long-term investment; one-off projects here and there are not fully effective. You can’t just show up with your press release and get coverage – that happens about 5% of the time, and only if it’s really interesting news – a huge fund-raising, a truly breakthrough product or service, or it ties into current news or trends. It usually takes months of educating your target press about what you do and it’s value before you can get coverage.

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