Our Founder & Director Lisa Devaney is heading back to UCL, for the third year, to present her DIY PR Workshop for
Startups and Entrepreneurs this month (February 20th) for the UCL Innovation and Enterprise programme.
Her afternoon workshop will cover all the tricks of the PR trade for getting news headlines for your startup at low cost – including exercises in writing pitch emails, and press releases (discussing when to do, or not to do one), and exploring social media opportunities. Between 30-50 participants will attend the workshop, which is open to those enrolled in UCL’s Entrepreneurship Programme.
Entrepreneurship Programme Manager Oli Pinch said about the workshop:
“Lisa Devaney is an expert in PR and has worked with UCL to deliver some fantastic training in how start-ups and new ventures can make the most of their limited resources to get noticed by the right people. Any entrepreneur (or would-be entrepreneur) needs to take advantage of this opportunity and sign up to this workshop!”
Adding a bit of fun to the workshop and ice breaking exercises, Devaney has brought along funny hats in the past, and this year she’s made a Native American-style “Talking Stick” to kick things off and get participants joining in discussions.
Find out more about UCL Innovation and Enterprise here:
Our Founder and Director of Hai Media Group, Lisa Devaney, will be back at TechHub this week on Thursday, 30 November, to counsel and mentor tech startups with public relations and social media strategy, and tactics. She’s been a guest mentor for TechHub for a few years now, and is pleased to be welcomed back.
TechHub is the global community for tech entrepreneurs and startups. They support the growth of over 750 companies across the world, whether they’re founders getting started, or fast-scaling 50 to 100-person teams.
Devaney’s mentoring sessions this week will be one-on-one and open only to members of TechHub. Topics of building a communication’s strategy across media and social media platforms, executing and establishing thought leadership in a sector, and how to use social media to build a brand and engage with valuable audiences online, will all be covered, among other discussion.
With more than two decades of communications experience, Devaney has helped dozens of tech startups navigate the often confusing, and complicated, world of the modern media landscape. Some tech startups she has worked with have gone on to experience great success, winning awards, securing customers, and even selling on to larger companies for significant figures.
If you are interested in a free, one hour counsel session – Devaney is happy to provide this service. Just get in touch to: [email protected]
(This blog post is by Lisa Devaney, the Founder and Director of the Hai Media Group)
Over the last few years, I’ve had the pleasure of helping to mentor Valentine from SSSHAKE, an early-stage London tech startup, right from when the seed of the idea was taking root.
When I first met Valentine Del del Giudice, she immediately demonstrated more than a starry-eyed view of launching her start-up. She showed a well-thought out business plan, credible research into her marketplace and an enthusiastic drive that we knew would not quit – no matter what!
Well, that “no matter what” moment seems to have transpired when on 23rd June 2016, the vote for the UK to leave the European Union took place. At this point, Valentine was not even out the start gate yet with her SSSHAKE!
What’s the startup idea?
Her idea, like most of the best, is simple – there’s an app which connects you to new, unexpected matches when you shake your smartphone, Additionally, SSSHAKE hosts events and collaboration tools to offer London creatives the chance to form a solid creative network to connect and potentially collaborate with others to launch new projects. In a big city like London, Valentine’s channel literally shakes up how creative people could find and work together – no matter where they come from.
Valentine, an EU citizen from Paris, woke up on the that morning and experienced a big shock. She says she felt very sad, angry and that it seemed like everything she had valued about the UK – its welcoming, multicultural attitude – had vanished. Would she have to leave? Would she have to lose members of her team as they lost the right to work in the UK?
That was more than a year ago, but, like her app, she shook off the fear of uncertainty, and decided to remain focused on launching SSSHAKE in the spring of 2017, and not let Brexit blues interfere with her ambition to make her startup succeed.
This included running a successful crowdfunding campaign for SSSHAKE, and smashing it above her 5K target goal – she secured more than £6K. The app also secured some press at launch time. Go Valentine!
The mood these days
SSSHAKE Founder Valentine del Giudice
This week, I caught up with Valentine to find out what her mood is now in these pre-Brexit times, and how it feels to be a tech startup in “pre-Brexit” Britain, with herself an EU citizen at the helm.
SSSHAKE is proving popular, attracting a few hundred attendants at every event she runs and significant downloads from the Apple App Store, even in these still very early days. Having started the idea for her business while she was still attending university at the London College of Communication, this is her first big pursuit out of school days, and she’s smartly been cultivating support and mentoring from various advisors.
Shock from that first Brexit referendum results morning has eased for Valentine. While there may be big changes, she is ready, and up for anything that comes next, even if it means relocating SSSHAKE headquarters to a different city.
“We are not afraid of change and relocation,” she says. She’s just returned from a business trip to Paris, which is ramping up and courting tech startups to make their homes in the city,
Hotspots like Lisbon and Berlin are doing the same.
“As a tech business, we can be anywhere.”
If London doesn’t change
Right now, she explained, London is still still proving to be welcoming and an easy place to connect and grow the SSSHAKE network and business model. Filled with an international community, the city remains a gateway to the world.
Valentine’s mood is that she’ll keep her startup here for at least a few years, or more if that allows, while keeping an eye to the news and what might be in-store for her both personally and professionally as Brexit shakes out.
No matter where she lands, the future feels very promising, she happily reports.
Are you a tech startup in the UK? What mood are you in right now? I’d love to hear your story for my Hai Media Group’s blog. Email: [email protected]
NOTE: Inspiration to share this story, and help with editing the blog post, came from Keren Lerner, the Founder and head of Top Left Design.
Our Founder & Director Lisa Devaney will be back, for a second year, presenting to startups and entrepreneurs at UCL on Thursday, 2nd March, this week, with her DIY PR workshop.
About 30 attendants will participate in the workshop sponsored by UCL, where they will get insight on how to earn press coverage, and build social media presence, for their startup.
In the three-hour session, Devaney will cover:
- Developing communications strategy for your startup that will win headlines
- The tools of PR (email pitches, press releases, press lists, and more)
- Social media for startups and entrepreneurs
An honour to be part of the UCL offerings, this workshop is included with the UCL Innovation and Enterprise department. which launched last year. As part of UCL’s mission to support students pursuing entrepreneurial paths, they have seen more than 200 startups launch from the programme, including RecommendMe.
Here’s more information about UCL Innovation and Enterprise:
Our aim is to inspire a spirit of enterprise across UCL: to ensure that the economic and societal benefits of our research are fully realised. To achieve this, UCL Innovation and Enterprise brings together academics, the business community and other potential beneficiaries of our research in order to maximize its potential for commercialisation and ‘real world’ use. The goal is to secure our institution’s long-term place as a global leader in enterprise and innovation.
See more about the session here.
Looking to the new year, it may feel exciting, but also a little bit daunting. Challenges will roll, but how can you cope with unexpected events? Getting balance between business and career is one way to tackle this 2017. Stepping in to help is an upcoming Women in Food event ‘New You, New Business’ – hosted by the Female Foodpreneur Collective, happening on Thursday, January 26th in London.
In this evening gathering, a panel of inspiring speakers from various businesses will be tackling the topic of “A healthier you = A healthier Business and Career” to help you plan ahead, with health in mind, for the new year.
Hosted by Ashanti Bentil-Dhue , this event will include the following panel members:
Maggie Richards, meditation expert and certified Somatic Experiencing therapist will share how women from all walks of life can harmonise mind, body and spirit to transform life’s traumas and trials into triumphs. Her book, A Guide to Being a Better Being, is out now on Amazon.
A guest trainer from Today Fit will share how you can make your physical health a priority when building a business and career. Today Fit brings, personal training and customised fitness programmes, to anyone of any age, through online video coaching and nutritional advice. Aiming to break down expensive barriers to getting fit they help people get personalized workouts and nutritional advice, replicating the experience of 1-2-1 time with a personal trainer.
Fig & Bloom – London-based nutrition and food consultancy focused on improving health and wellbeing for the long-term. Stephanie Ridley, registered nutritional therapist, and Dorothy Barrick, holistic chef and recipe developer, combine evidence-based nutrition and culinary creativity to create fabulous tasting food; helping clients to nourish themselves easily, effectively and deliciously. Ex-food buyer and management consultant Caroline Flower co-owns and manages the business.
Pep & Lekker will be serving their gluten free ‘Gleaming Gold’ sweet potato and butternut squash soup on the evening. A great example of women in food rocking it, co-founder Susan Gafsen spent over 25 years working in leading City law firms first as a corporate lawyer before becoming a foodpreneur! Pep & Lekker believe we can support healthy clean eating with an active lifestyle.
Komal George is a pharmacist turned spice enthusiast who founded Amala Pure Health which celebrates the health benefits of turmeric. She’ll be serving her dairy free Turmeric Honey Hot Chocolates on the night.
Book your ticket here.