Knowledge Peers -

10th May 2012

Welcome to the
Knowledge Peers Newsletter

So Boris did it again...

We were however, delighted to meet with team Labour - Ken Livingstone and Ed Miliband - the week before the London Mayoral elections. Our CEO Chris Dines quizzed Ken about what he'd plan for growing businesses - you can see our interview with him here.

We have had a fantastic few months here at Knowledge Peers: we've launched regular live and interactive Video Casts with leading directors, have a new set of five topics which we are busy researching, and are delighted to have teamed up with a number of partners, including Valldata.

Without further ado, enjoy our round up of Case Studies, on-demand Video Casts, blogs and news below...


Ed and Ken

When our CEO had breakfast with Ken Livingstone and Ed Miliband...

Boris won London's vote in the end, but Knowledge Peers' CEO, Chris Dines, was lucky enough to grab a coffee and a croissant with Ken Livingstone and Ed Miliband before the election. Chris quizzed Ken on his would-be plans for businesses in London - and it's all on film. 

Take a look our interview with Ken here, and Chris's blog here.



We launch five new research topics for growing businesses - find out how to get involved

Every six months we’ll be investigating emerging trends and topics that can make or break a business. We'll do that by listening to businesses that are “ahead of the curve”, subject experts, Government and suppliers who are influencing change in the related market. To find out more about what we're covering, and how you can get involved, click below.

Find out more now


RAFT CEO Video Cast

On-Demand - our latest Video Cast with RAFT's CEO: setting up a company alongside a charity

Leonor Stjepic is a pioneering CEO - she has not only developed a successful charity, but has also recently launched a biotech company to run alongside it. We interviewed her live to find out more about the project. You can watch the Video Cast on demand, just click below.

Watch the Video Cast


BBC event

An Event Report:
Lessons Learnt from the BBC Switchover Help Scheme

As the Switchover Help Scheme reaches the end of its run, what better way to learn about delivering a major publicly funded contract than by asking the CEO to share his experiences? That’s exactly what Knowledge Peers did – we brought over 50 business and charity directors together at BBC Broadcasting House to hear from Peter White, CEO of the Switchover Help Scheme.

Read the full report here


Nadim Ednan-Laperouse

"The times they are a changing!" A blog from Nadim Ednan-Laperouse, CEO, WOW Toys

“Bob was right all along (no – not ‘The Builder’ – I mean Dylan)! Those never ending shifting sands that we do not see each day have moved the desert further on and a new wilderness, just like our markets, has emerged. But it’s not just about the markets, many of which are limping along like a three legged crab! Because world markets have become much more volatile it is time to re-evaluate the typical business route to access foreign markets…”

Read the full blog


Simon Duffy

Why it pays to be ethical
A new Case Study with Simon Duffy, CEO, Bulldog Natural Skincare

Bulldog’s founders were able to start their business from scratch in a progressive way, approaching sustainability in terms of body, animal, and earth-friendliness - an approach they implemented across the entire operation. In fact, market research shows that people are responding to these high ethical standards: Bulldog’s growth of 20% in a fairly static market last year demonstrates the advantages of making a product that people want to try and support…

Watch Simon's Case Study here

David Soskin

'Search Engine Optimisation: What is it, and why is it so important for your Business?' David Soskin blogs

“According to BCG, SMEs who use the web effectively (“high web users”) grow and add jobs more quickly than those who do not. Already 80% of “high web users” use Search Engine Optimization” (SEO). But only 16% of UK SMEs - less than one in five - of UK SMEs are classified by BCG as “high web users”. So the lesson here is that the vast majority of UK businesses have still much to learn about digital marketing…”

Read the full blog here


Simon Schneider

Putting egos to one side - selling your business
Simon Schneider, General Manager of Grand Challenges, InnoCentive

Simon Schneider knows all too well that egos can be barrier when it comes to merging two businesses.

After experiencing a very successful acquisition - Simon has bagfulls of experience to share about avoiding ego clashes, choosing the right advisors, and about the emotional side of selling your business. "Making gut decisions is a big part of it all".

Watch Simon's Case Study here


Hamish Horton

From family owned to Private Equity - Valldata's MBO
Hamish Horton, CEO, Valldata

Since its beginnings in 1977, how has Valldata grown and developed as a company? Hamish Horton, the CEO, shares his experience of the transition from family business to ‘investor backed’. Since Valldata's MBO, the company and management have grown used to a more commercial culture, increased financial reporting, a huge increase in marketing activity and a focus on increasing value. Was the whole process a smooth one?

Watch Hamish’s Case Study here

Nicolas Babin

Gamification: A fun and non-invasive marketing tool
Nicolas Babin, Managing Director, Groupe ConcoursMania

"Filling out a form isn't fun - make it into a game - then you capture someone's attention". Nicolas Babin is the MD of a company which is revolutionising digital marketing and market research.

It's all about making a 'boring' task into something engaging and exciting. How can gamification change the way businesses collect information, market their product and create brand awareness?

Watch Nicolas's Case Study here


Pitching For Management

Pitching for Management Series 2 kicks off next week!

“Raising cash is possible at the moment, but investors want to be clear about why your business will succeed, and that means having the right people in the business....But here's the catch 22 - you can't attract the right people when you're really small, and you can't afford them until you have money in the bank. This is where Pitching for Management is brilliant and is filling a much needed gap in the market.”

James Tweed, Coracle, pitched at Cambridge Pitching4Management and hired a Sales Director
For more success stories, click here

Forthcoming events include Edinburgh, Cambridge, Plymouth, Guildford, London and many more – to see all of the regions and what roles will be on offer, visit the P4M Eventbrite Site


The Pitch

From our friends at The Pitch 2012

The Pitch, in partnership with, invites entrepreneurs to submit their business ideas and pitch to a panel of experts for the chance to win £50,000 worth of business support.  Eighty entrepreneurs will be selected from across the UK to compete at 'The Pitch Live', a two-day event in Liverpool where four winners and 16 wild card contestants (who will compete for votes online) will be selected to go through to the Grand Final in London in November.

If you’re an entrepreneur with an idea that the world needs to hear about, The Pitch 2012 is the competition for you!


We are always looking for ways to improve, and are keen to hear your thoughts on the insights we offer - do leave a comment on our content, or get in touch directly.

Best wishes,
The Knowledge Peers Team
+44 (0)20 7831 0076
Canterbury Court, 1-3 Brixton Road, London, SW9 6DE