On Tuesday we held our annual Ones To Watch Party at the fantastic Google offices in Victoria, London. Joining us for talks from three inspiring business minds were our fresh-thinking Ones To Watch candidates for 2013, along with some returning Ones To Watch alumni and the Freshminds Talent team.
This year’s guest speakers were Joshua March, co-founder and CEO of Conversocial and a former Ones to Watch candidate, Sarah Drinkwater, EMEA Acting Lead, Google+ Local Community, Google and Will Butler-Adams, Managing Director of Brompton Bicycle.
After a quick introduction from our MD James Callander, Josh kicked off proceedings with a very honest account of his rise from being a broke student to becoming an industry pioneer in social media customer service. Failure was not always a bad thing, he said, as you can learn from your mistakes and move forward. A prime example of what you can achieve through sheer determination and refusal to give up, Joshua emphasized the importance of keeping work in-house and learning new skills to help grow your business. These things will enable you to keep control and maintain a clear commercial vision.
Sarah Drinkwater manages Google + communities across EMEA. Obsessed by social-media with a strong editorial background, Sarah sold the importance of being curious in business. Sarah believes that taking a wide interest in business and new technology is key in keeping your product current and progressive. Liaising with her team from Berlin to the US , Sarah was an advocate of self-knowledge, knowing your business limitations as well as your strengths and then seeking out people who are better than you and can add value where you need it most.
Rounding off the evening with a colourful and enthused talk was Will Butler-Adams, MD at Brompton Bicycle. Will’s passion for his business was clear from the outset. Originally intending to take an MBA at INSEAD, Will was introduced to the inventor of the Brompton Bicycle via a stranger he struck up conversation with on a London bus. Seeing potential in the project, Will took a chance, put his MBA on hold and followed his gut instinct. 10 years later, Will is MD of a multi-million pound company that exports to 33 markets world-wide. Self-confidence, the ability to communicate and inspire others were high on Will’s must-have qualities for aspiring entrepreneurs. He also noted the importance of keeping control of your brand, particularly when exporting to markets further afield. Will’s departing tip was ‘do not be scared to fire people’, manage your business confidently and only employ people better than you.
After an hour of inspiring talks, our candidates were left to network, chat with the guest speakers and enjoy the always tasty Google hospitality. We hope everyone who was at the event had a fantastic and productive time and we look forward to welcoming you back next year.