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'How to profile you and your business'

Posted on 05/11/2014

Last week the King’s Commercialisation Institute welcomed Baroness Dido Harding, CEO of the TalkTalk Group, and Cath Kidston MBE, Founder & Creative Director of Cath Kidston, as part of their launch event 'Communications; How To Profile You & Your Business' for Enterprise Connect Series Four. The keynote speakers took to the stage to discuss the journey of their companies, which both began as start-ups, and offered business tips and advice to a packed Greenwood Theatre. 

The public talk, hosted by Vice Principal (Research & Innovation), Chris Mottershead, marked the start of the fourth series of entrepreneurial events that form part of the Enterprise Connect initiative. King’s Commercialisation Institute encourages and promotes entrepreneurialism and business innovation at King’s by regularly hosting a variety of activities including seminars and workshops to support both aspiring and established business people. 

Dido Harding was first on stage to explain the process of how the TalkTalk Group came to be, from its establishment in 2006. She explained how the company implemented their innovative idea of offering free broadband as the only UK provider at the time to do so, and revealed the challenges the consequential rapid expansion posed to the new business which she described as a ‘teenage octopus’. Commenting on the public’s perception of TalkTalk, Baroness Harding said: ‘Our customers say that we’re a cheap challenger. We aspire to be a smart choice.’

Cath Kidston was interviewed by Maxine M. Taylor, Director of External Relations at King’s, and answered a series of questions on how she transformed an initial idea of fun, vintage products into a successful business and recognisable brand. She described how as a start-up she had no contacts but saw a gap in the market and started to design classic prints with a bright and modern twist. Asked on the difficulties she faced, Ms Kidston discussed how she went about recruiting the right people she felt understood her concept and how her lack of further education beyond A-levels affected her self-confidence. Reflecting on her success, she said: ‘The biggest challenge was learning from my mistakes. I had to learn step by step.’

Both entrepreneurs then answered questions from the audience about their companies, from issues of brand identity to inspiring employees and being successful women in business. 

Following the talk, members of the audience were invited to participate in Enterprise Connector Pods – a one to one session with an expert mentor – through which they could talk though their ideas for start-up companies. 

To register and for more details on the next Enterprise Connect event 'Launching Your Business: How Best To Execute', visit the Events webpages

Visit Enterprise Connect and King's Innovation on Facebook and Twitter.

For further information about King’s visit our ‘King’s in Brief’ page. 

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