Examples and testimonials from some
of the clients we have worked with
Nasim Khan is a London Edtech entrepreneur and education enthusiast changing the way students learnRead More
At 23, Nasim Khan, CEO and Co-founder of ED TREE is a rising startup entrepreneur and education enthusiast. Co-founding ED TREE with Yasmin Ali, their joint aim is to change the way students learn.
Living in a world where technology has revolutionised industries, the team felt the education system was still lagging behind. During university, the team spent two years dedicated to researching technologies and innovations before officially launching ED TREE.
“Our aim is to change the way students learn and for them to enjoy their education while building a positive and empowered attitude to learning”.
ED TREE offers a range of education services for students. Nasim explains, “we provide accessible and flexible online tutoring, a home learning platform for independent study. We create a story for each student through gamification so they can design and build their own character which levels up, the more a student learns.”
Coronavirus completely changed the landscape for ED TREE
Before the pandemic, Nasim had a private investor ready to invest in the ED TREE vision. Sadly, due to the outbreak and economic uncertainty, the deal fell through and the investor pulled out.
With limited resources and funding, Nasim and co-founder Yasmin, decided to push through, launch ED TREE and bootstrap their way up.
“We weren’t going to let anything stop us, not even a pandemic. It motivated me to do more. The children stuck in this pandemic were missing out on their education. I told myself it is my responsibility to ensure these children still receive access to world-class education and that’s exactly what I did and I intend to continue”
London Business Hub support – Tripling turnover and team size during a pandemic
The pandemic “completely changed our thinking and forced my hands as an entrepreneur to quickly adapt. I found the London Business Hub and met Raj Tandon, who opened my eyes to a new perspective to my approach to business.”
Highly experienced Business Adviser, Raj Tandon, worked one-to-one with Nasim, supporting the young entrepreneur with setting business goals and objectives, developing his business’ strategy and offering advice on product marketing and branding.
Raj Tandon also set-up a peer network for Nasim with other businesses in the education sector, “This experience helped me expand my network and learn from other people’s success and failures as well as share my own success and failures.”
One major issue Nasim experienced as a young entrepreneur was getting overwhelmed with his workload. Raj Tandon introduced Nasim to Agata from HR-People First, who spoke to him about managing the stresses of his business and encouraged ED TREE to apply for the Government Kickstart scheme, “thanks to Raj and Agata, I have successfully submitted my application”.
Since using the support and resources from the London Business Hub, ED TREE has expanded their team from 3 to 9 employees, “The support received increased my motivation as a first-time entrepreneur. The advice was very useful, and I learnt a lot from my time, which improved my wellbeing and helped my business to grow.”
Creating a real-time outcome and communication platform for patients and healthcare providersRead More
Founded by Dr Alex Almoudaris, TouchPoints.health is a cloud-based, SaaS communication platform with real-time reporting for the healthcare sector. TouchPoints.health solves the explicit and real-world problem of patients being discharged from hospital receiving little to no touchpoints about how they are recovering.
Every touchpoint a patient has with a healthcare service is an opportunity to strengthen the relationship, record outcomes, prevent complications, reduce unnecessary re-admissions, and drive greater clinical engagement. TouchPoints.health aims to bring these interactions into one platform with real-time analytics to maximise insights and patient care.
While Dr Alex Almoudaris has the advantage of over 15 years of medical experience, he admits that “the biggest challenge was taking a concept, turning it into a product and establishing a business from it. With little business experience and spending months on the Internet browsing through the wealth of information available on ‘How to make pitch decks’ and ‘How to create a profitable business’, it was still quite overwhelming and unsettling.”
The business found London Business Hub through an online search for business support. “I was extremely sceptical when the advert offered free business advice; it was too good to be true. I had extremely low expectations, and then I received an email from my business adviser, Raj Tandon, who set out the expectations of joining the support programme.”
After the initial conversation, “I thought this sounds exactly like what I needed, even if it’s just a bit of a conversation or advice as to what my business should go and do, but it was considerably more than that – Raj took the time to understand the business and my skillset. My focus then shifted to identifying how to start building the business. This took the shape of many different things, from talking to patent attorneys, being introduced to relevant people in the sector and discussing aspects like trademarks – none of which had been on my radar – it was very beneficial to be guided and supported that way.”
“The one-to-one support provided was excellent. Raj made me realise that a product isn’t a business; it is about the team of people, finances, good habits of accounting, trademarks, IP, and all of these things that I hadn’t even thought about.”
The most significant benefit of the advice and support from London Business Hub was teaching me that businesses are infinitely more than just a product, service or widget.
“More time has to be invested into developing the business in many other ways. The product and service you deliver are in some respects secondary, because you might have an amazing idea, but in isolation it’s not a business if you have no team to deliver it.”
The impact “has been extremely positive by helping me direct my efforts on what we should focus on in the business. Specifically, Raj signposted me to the Global Business Innovation Programme (GBIP), which is an extremely competitive programme that helps ambitious companies collaborate with and expand into new markets. The purpose of the specific GBIP we applied for was to explore transatlantic collaborations and incorporate cutting-edge innovation into our business. It came at a poignant moment because we had just finished our MVP (Minimum Viable Product). We were looking to onboard technologies beyond our company’s capabilities. With Raj’s guidance, he helped us apply for the programme, and we were delighted to have been accepted into it. Only a dozen other companies or so from the UK are accepted, so it’s certainly transformative for the business to have the opportunity to meet, have conversations and collaborate with other tech companies in the space.”
Furthermore, as a result of success in being selected for the GBIP, TouchPoints.health has been accepted onto the Innovate UK Edge programme which offers extended business support with a dedicated growth specialist.
Dr Alex Almoudaris continues, “The other significant impact has been working to turn the product into a business. The ability to have someone business-minded who is likely to have seen and heard it all before at the end of a phone or email you can ask for advice has been hugely beneficial.”
On a personal level, for Dr Alex Almoudaris, “to have somebody to reach out to who is entirely independent and doesn’t have any motivation or personal gain, giving you advice has been reassuring. There is a definite element of trust with the sole aim of bettering the company, which I think is rare.
“If you’re a serious business owner, want to develop a business, and are willing to explore different avenues, I recommend that you reach out to the London Business Hub and have an initial conversation; there will be something they can offer that will benefit you and your business.
“I think the best advice would be to give as much time to building the business as you do to the product or service you offer.”
“Without the help of London Business Hub and Raj’s guidance, these opportunities would have never come about.”
Hear how Private Drama Events pivoted its business to overcome the challenges brought by the pandemicWatch The Interview
Read how this much-loved institution received invaluable support to push through the challenges posed by the COVID-19Read More
The So & So Arts Club was founded eight years ago with a vision to form a broad community of people from across the creative industry, to open doors and build a supportive network and platform to develop professional paid opportunities.
Founder and Artistic Director, Sarah Berger started the business after 32 years as an actress, using contacts from her career to offer support and encourage people to collaborate. The business continues to pave the way in breaking down barriers for people who might have found it hard to break into the performing arts, bringing people from across generations and ethnicities together to generate paid work.
Like many other small businesses, the COVID-19 pandemic introduced immediate and disastrous circumstances for Sarah’s business. The business had to close down during lockdown and was unable to reopen for the foreseeable future. Financial implications led to future commitments and programmes being postponed and difficult decisions regarding staff along the way.
Initially the So & So Arts Club reached out to look for financial aid and business advice, to help pivot and restructure the business in order to survive. The business adviser Raj Tandon provided general business advice specific to the industry. Moreover, he provided avenues for seeking financial help and connected Sarah with helpful contacts such as the Hammersmith and Fulham council who could support the business. Sarah found great comfort in having a listening ear and professional guidance that wasn’t emotionally driven to help with the club’s particular set of challenges in a complex and ever-changing situation.
Sarah’s first objective was to save the venue, due to its value as a community hub. Seeking support proved to be most vital during this tough period, particularly when Sarah became ill with COVID-19 and had to go into self-isolation.
Sarah was also able to access support from City Hall, including a free webinar on applying for the Culture Recovery Fund and setting up a campaign on the Mayor of London’s Pay it Forward London programme. View ‘The So & So Arts Club’ Crowdfunder here. The campaign closed on 25 October 2020.
Due to the support and advice, she received, Sarah has made key business decisions, such as renegotiating terms with the landlord and restructuring the venue to maximise the use of space. Sarah handed over the responsibility of running the cafe part of the venue, thereby relieving some of her financial burdens.
Additionally, financial support received through the advice offered has enabled Sarah to finish building work and maintain the venue until it can return to normal service.
However, one of Sarah’s biggest benefits was a confidence boost – helping her stay motivated to steer her business through the challenges of COVID-19
“I would wholeheartedly recommend the London Business Hub as it has been an invaluable source of advice and support for both the business and me personally. At a time when the pressure seemed insurmountable and I came close to giving up, it gave me the strength and purpose to carry on.”
Newly launched unisex, sustainable kids’ shoes sought help to grow the business. Hear what Ali McLeavy has to sayWatch The Interview
Support to help launch a refillable and non-single use plastic packaged liquid handwash for the homeRead More
Swiss-born, Martina Schwarz is the founder of Blackmarket, a refillable and non-single use plastic packaged liquid handwash for the home. Prior to Blackmarket, Martina worked at Proctor & Gamble in Geneva, first as a Packaging Designer and later heading up their creative studio. She then moved to Unilever, where she worked primarily on their beauty and personal care brands.
Martina had often wondered why no one was looking into ways to create more sustainable and environmentally friendly packaging. “I remember one of the last projects I worked on was a Dove handwash in a refill pouch. I said it should be possible to do things better and not create all this unnecessary plastic”
Realising there was a gap in the market and that she had the industry know-how to create the products to fill this need, Martina left full-time employment to start Blackmarket in 2020.
Blackmarket manufactures personal hygiene products that are environmentally friendly, sustainable, and avoids the use of single-use plastic. Their flagship product is an environmentally friendly waterless soap concentrate packaged in a safe material, which dissolves when it comes into contact with warm water and acts as a thickener for the soap.
Because the refills are waterless, they weigh 95% less than traditional brands, reducing carbon emissions from transport and providing an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional liquid soaps.
While Martina has the advantage of having a master’s degree in business and ten years of experience in the beauty and personal care industry, she admits that starting her own business was one of the most challenging things she has attempted. “Everything takes longer, it costs more, and your revenue is, you know, not even close to what you’re hoping for.”
There is so much to consider as a start-up, it is pretty hard to know where to begin and what to focus on. Unlike working in a corporate organisation, where Martina had access to a team of people and many support services, being an entrepreneur means doing everything yourself.
Martina counts herself lucky to have stumbled across the London Business Hub right at the beginning of her entrepreneurial journey. She was excited and inspired by the variety and support available to her. “I joined every single webinar that was offered to me, and I actually found I gained the most from the ones I had no clue about.”
The one-to-one support provided by her business adviser Raj was of particular assistance to Martina. “I think one of the great things about Raj is that he is an actual entrepreneur. The level of experience Raj gave really helped me personally and my business.” Martina realised that Raj understood the challenges faced by the fledgling business in a way that someone who was not a business owner might not, and his advice was invaluable in establishing Blackmarket’s offering.
“I think one of the key points is that it has given me confidence and helped me see a little bit clearer in the long term”, she continues by adding, the uncertainty of entrepreneurship can feel scary in the beginning and the help and guidance provide by Raj went a long way to assuage her doubts.
Her newfound confidence also prompted her to enter Blackmarket into The University of the Arts, London’s Creative Enterprise Awards, ultimately winning an Innovation award for her product as well as applying for Innovate UK’s Women in Innovation award for 2022/23
Martina successfully raised finance through crowdfunding, launched the business, has seen good traction and a steady increase in sales. Inspired by this validation, Martina is now working with Raj at Innovate UK Edge to help her grow and develop a mass-market refillable liquid hand wash brand aimed at major retailers and supermarkets.
inspired by working with Raj, Martina has been invited to speak about entrepreneurship and her journey with Blackmarket at various universities and other institutions. Martina hopes to get more involved in mentoring and coaching, to share her experience with other young entrepreneurs and advise that support is out there.
“I think one of the great things about Raj is that he is an actual entrepreneur. The level of experience Raj gave really helped me personally and my business. I think one of the key points is that it has given me confidence and helped me see a little bit clearer in the long term”.
An innovative virtual reality road safety training software sought help to develop international partnerships and launch the MVPRead More
Francis Kodak Design Lab – An award-winning design and innovation consultancy offering virtual reality immersive training to improve road safety.
Founded by Ferenc Boroczky and with offices in London and Budapest, Francis Kodak Design Lab is an award-winning design and innovation consultancy. Using a unique blend of business strategy, technology, gamification and creative know-how, the company offers world-class training experiences.
Ferenc’s mission to make our roads safer and he has created anet360 – a virtual reality and immersive learning platform designed to improve road safety for those who drive for their occupation.
This course can help improve driver reaction time by 20% and reduce training costs by 50%. Combining machine learning, traditional training methods and 360-degree immersive video technology, it simulates everyday driving situations to help students improve their skills and, ultimately, help make our roads safer.
In June 2019, anet360 was selected as one of the top 50 companies to watch in the UK by the Creative Industries Council.
With innovation being at the heart of the business, Ferenc’s main challenge was to validate the product through partnerships to establish traction and demonstrate product market fit
Highly experienced Business Adviser, Raj Tandon worked one-to-one with Ferenc to truly understand the business objectives, get clarity on developing the business offering and messaging, stay focused and give highly valuable advice and support.
To support Ferenc’s ambition to build partnerships with companies and technology providers, Raj helped Ferenc find new business partners and revamped their pitch deck substantially, leading to more conversations with potential future investors.
In partnership with road transport consultancy Transformation Ltd, Ferenc has now launched the UK’s first Immersive Driver CPC consortium, to help companies offer smartphone-based immersive learning experiences to drivers earning their certificates.
Francis Kodak Design Lab’s are also working with Tobii Pro on their next innovation – to design unique solutions using an eye-tracking device.
“The London Business Hub and their knowledgeable and experienced advisers can help your business achieve your goals and get clarity on your messaging. The work we have done with Raj has helped us enormously to do just that, and the result – we have been selected for an exclusive pitch session for an accelerator program in Duisburg, Germany!”
London based luxury clothing brand sought help mitigate the challenges posed by the COVID pandemicRead More
Cucumber Clothing is a 100% British made luxury clothing and nightwear brand for women, catering for sizes 8-20, using a revolutionary intelligent fabric that keeps consumers looking and feeling cool. Made in London, the clothing company was founded in 2017 by Eileen Willett and Nancy Zeffman, having recognised the need for stylish, sustainable sleepwear and loungewear.
Since their launch in 2017, Cucumber Clothing has been featured in numerous publications, from Vogue, The Sunday Times Style Magazine and Dragon’s Den to Lorraine TV, with hundreds of testimonials from happy customers.
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic introduced various challenges for UK businesses. Cucumber Clothing had developed a solid plan for 2020, but the crisis put those plans on hold.
In an effort to manage and mitigate the impact of COVID-19, the owners registered with the London Business Hub Adviser Programme, to receive free one-hour support from a highly experienced business adviser. Financial support was needed, which started a conversation about financial assistance and the type of Government schemes available.
Additionally, Eileen and Nancy both sought advice on growing the business and improving their conversation rates, seeking to prepare for the post-COVID-19 business landscape.
A comprehensive diagnostic of the business was carried out during the first meeting, which led to an agreed resilience action plan for the COVID-19 lockdown and beyond, as well as offering expert advice to help address urgent areas of concern, such as cash flow.
To help grow the business, Nancy & Eileen were encouraged to focus on new priorities beyond the need for financial assistance and suggested using the time available to improve the positioning of the website to increase conversions and drive sales.
Nancy & Eileen were encouraged to re-think their current messaging and develop a sales strategy. To help grow their business globally, they were connected the female entrepreneurs and with the Department for International Trade (DIT) to explore opportunities to expand into new regions outside the UK.
The business applied and received the Bounce Back Loan in May 2020 which greatly supported its outlined plans. Despite the COVID-19 crisis, Cucumber Clothing recruited a new member of staff to assist with the marketing of the company.
The company received a proposal from a new fashion platform to list their brand. In addition, they signed an agreement with a company in the Netherlands to start selling the business’s clothing in their store, thus expanding their sales outside the UK.
The regular meetings helped the founders to think strategically and objectively about their business and helped them map out their vision despite being in a time of uncertainty, which in turn, has helped refine and enhance their strategies to achieve success.
“Our company has benefited both from the adviser’s long-ranging business expertise, which has helped to plug some gaps in ours, but also from his ability to be creative in his problem-solving. In each session, he has thrown light on areas of our business that has helped us to reassess and improve our approach. He has very much tailored his advice to our individual business needs and in this has been generous in sharing his many contacts.”
“As Co-founders of a start-up, we often find ourselves so deeply entrenched in the day-to-day of our business that it can become difficult to look at things objectively. Raj’s help has given us the opportunity to open up our vision, which in turn, has helped refine and enhance strategies towards success.”
Eileen Willett & Nancy Zeffman Founders & CEO of Cucumber Clothing
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