Recap: Founders’ Friday September 2019. Key Insights.

Founders Friday September Event
Photo made by Sam James

Founders’ Friday is a monthly networking and speaker event which connects founders with other entrepreneurs and stakeholders within the ecosystem. Sponsored by FreeAgent and Sintons Law, the September 2019 edition featured talks on Brexit-proofing your business, pre-scaleup opportunities, blockchain, immigration law, and more. Check out our key take-aways here!



Part 1: Insights

#1 Brexit is coming?

With the Brexit deadline approaching next month, the ‘B-word’ did not escape this month’s Founders’ Friday edition. Founders and entrepreneurs should prepare themselves for the potential implications of Brexit on their business.

For the tech community: we shared COADEC’s ‘No Deal: A guide for Startups’ publication which flags the top ten issues tech startups may face in the case of a no deal exit. The guide is available for free online.

For the communications community: The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) are hosting a free brexit briefing at PROTO on Friday, 4 October. You can sign up via Eventbrite.

For everyone: The Department of International Trade (DTI) have put on various brexit readiness events around the region. Check them out on their website.


#2 Thinking of working internationally? There’s support for that.

Whether you’re a creative working with an international client, or a startup looking to launch a product in a new, international market; the Department for International Trade (DIT) has support available to help you explore global opportunities and understand legislation surrounding tax, export and more. Contact your local DIT Trade Advisor for more information or pop along to one of their events and roadshows.


#3 Aspirations to scale? Apply for the pre-scaleup bootcamp.

Scaleup North East are now accepting applications for their next pre-scaleup bootcamp, which will commence in November 2019.. The two-day bootcamp helps entrepreneurs with grow aspirations to develop an action plan, refine their value proposition, and understand their facts and figures.

The programme is best suited for entrepreneurs with an annual turnover of at least £100k and 20% in annual growth, but will also consider smaller companies as long as there is a strong aspiration to scale and capability to do so within three years.

To express your interest in the programme, visit the Scaleup North East website.



Part 2: Startup Show & Tell

#4 Let’s make growth support inclusive

Andrew Esson, Founder at Esson Partnership, reminded us that different sectors must be able to access targeted growth support that is suitable for them. Most current support focuses on a one-size-fits-all innovation approach, with non-tech industries risking to be left behind.

Andrew’s new startup. Esson Partnership, focuses on providing business and growth support for the manufacturing and engineering industries. Support can include development of a competitive advantage, upskilling, and improvement of systems and processes.


#5 Endoxa is disrupting the way people learn from textbooks

Edtech startup Endoxa helps visualise argumentation for dense study books. The platform segments inferences and conclusions to highlight argumentation, therefore clearly outlining different views and fallacies suggested by authors. The software is particularly valuable for textbooks that are difficult to read and where arguments are not clearly outlined. Endoxa is currently targeting law subjects but may expand into other subjects later.

Follow Julian Plumley, the Founder of Endoxa, on Twitter and stay up-to-date on their latest activities.


#6 North East Ltd is using the blockchain to develop smart contracts that can change lives

Startup North East ltd, uses blockchain to collect real-time GPDR–compliant data from a variety of sources and uses this information to automate smart contracts.

In his talk, founder Charles Holmes used an inspiring example of how these contracts could be used to help save lives. Using the scenario of a volcano eruption, North East Ltd could use its technology to receive real-time data on risks of further aftershocks, the impact on infrastructure and accommodation, and more. This data could help generate automated contracts, encouraging organisations to make new transports available in response to the emergency and facilitating immediate hotel bookings.

North East Ltd is currently on the Oracle startup programme. Keep an eye on their Twitter to stay updated on their progress.


#7 Congratulating Jon on his startup anniversary!

Just after the break, we took a moment to celebrate the work anniversary of Advertise1. Jon started his marketing and web development company at Newcastle Startup Week. Within the span of a year, he expanded from part-time to full-time self-employment and is now working with clients globally. Congratulations, Jon!


Part 3: Masterclasses

#8 What is your Unique Survival Purpose (USP)?

What’s stopping you from starting or growing your business? Limiting beliefs, confidence and fear were among the key reasons provided by founders in our audience. To overcome these barriers, Inspirational Speaker and Wellness Coach, Shumba Wileman, encouraged the audience to find their Unique Survival Purpose. The reasoning behind this is that if you follow your true passion, you will naturally thrive.

To reiterate this example, Shumba showed us a picture of a tree. The USP of a tree, she said, is to grow and survive. It doesn’t matter if there are obstacles in the way, such as fences, as the tree will grow through them. Follow your USP and don’t let barriers hold you down.

Shumba’s book, Bliss from Within, is coming out soon. Keep an eye on her Twitter for updates.


#9 Recruiting someone from abroad? Your quick guide on VISA legislation

Are you thinking of recruiting new talent, and potentially appointing someone from abroad? Fiona Campbell, Associate at Sintons Law, gave us a quick overview of international employment law. If you are thinking about recruiting an international individual, you may be required to sponsor their VISA. Sponsoring a VISA means that the individual will have a right to remain within the UK for as long as they are employed by you. In addition, when appointing international talent (in need of a VISA), you need to provide evidence that there isn’t another suitable candidate for the job who may not be required to go through the VISA process.

For more information about employment law, contact Sintons Law or pop by one of their free drop-ins every Wednesday at Tuspark Newcastle Barclays Eagle Labs.



These were our key insights for the Founders’ Friday session in September 2019! Do you have any tips or insights of your own? Let us know by commenting below, mentioning us on Twitter, or posting on our Facebook timeline.

Want to come to our next Founders’ Friday event?

Tickets for our monthly Founders’ Friday events are on sale now for just £5 (+ booking fee) here. (Alternatively, you can buy a 5-day ticket for our Newcastle Startup Week festival in May 2020 for just £150 (+ booking fee) which includes free entry to all our Founders’ Friday events here).


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