60 Seconds With...

Our latest ‘60 Seconds With’ feature showcases our very own Mentor, Pauline Moran! After discovering she was dyslexic on her return to University as a mature student, Pauline has dedicated herself to facilitating fellow dyslexic and right-brained dominant creatives in the world of entrepreneurship using a variety of approaches. Read about her story and what makes her tick below!

Pauline hard at work here at Launch22.

Pauline hard at work here at Launch22.

When did you first get involved in business/entrepreneurship?

I was actually an entrepreneur at the age of just six! I was always designing and making products and I would sell them to our neighbours. During the school holidays, I recruited my siblings to help with the sales and we formed our own little family industry.

Quite an early starter then! Where did you go from there?

I originally studied fashion textile design yet ended up selling graphic design in some up-market locations in London such as Covent Garden and The King’s Road. One Christmas, one of my products filled the double window display of one of London’s most well-known card shops. After getting into yoga and meditation, I decided to follow a completely different career in natural medicine- something I had dreamt about vividly as a child. I then took five years out and moved to Spain to decide exactly which health discipline I wanted to follow.

Tell us about your life abroad.

I booked an apartment in the south of Spain for six weeks which transformed into a fabulous four years in Andalusia plus a year in Italy teaching English. I had hoped to get a job in a teaching academy but within two years I had developed my own private language teaching business. I finished this break off with a five-week trip to India which was the final influence on my choice to become a naturopath.

What next?

I spent eight years at University then came home to Liverpool to crash at my Mum and Dad’s house. During the process of attempting to set up my own clinic, I recognised there was a huge gap in provision for dyslexic entrepreneurs. The facilitation I provide needs to start at school as a career option. 

What drives you?

I’m driven in my business because I am passionate about improving the opportunities and facilities available to dyslexic/ right-brained dominant entrepreneurs. Research has shown that more than one third of entrepreneurs are dyslexic. Many bright, creative kids are lost in mainstream education- I am committed to changing this!

What is your proudest career achievement?
I have two! One would be moving to Spain without a job, knowing only two words of Spanish and starting a business. Four years, later I was able to hand the enterprise over I had developed to someone else. 
The second would be finally achieving my degree in naturopathy. Converting from arts to science was a struggle for this particular right-brain dominant!

How do you relax in your spare time?

I teach meditation once a week for free as a sort of giving back gesture and it’s something I get a lot back from too. I have a good social life and particularly enjoy dining with friends. I also enjoy the social element of working with Launch22. The other real passion of mine is traveling.

Speaking of travelling, where is your dream holiday destination?

Tough question! I have three. One would be Marrakesh in Morocco and happily, two airlines have just started flying there from Liverpool. I’d also love to visit Belize as I have friends there. Finally, Venice during the quiet season for its culture and promised romance!

Launch22 members can benefit from Pauline’s advice and mentorship totally free of charge here at Launch 22. Click here for membership options!





February Member of the Month

Our member in the spotlight this month is photographer Tim Collins, whose ‘Amsterdam Photo Safari’ has been featured in National Geographic’s 2017 Cool List!  

We sat down to talk with Tim about his photography and business:

S: How did you get started with photography and your business?

T: “Well, when I was growing up I never thought something like that was possible. Coming from a working class family getting a ‘good job’ was becoming an electrician and that never interested me. So, I went to university and studied psychotherapy because that was another ‘good job’ to go into, but when I finished that it didn’t feel right. I went to Amsterdam and I was only supposed to be there few weeks but it turned into five years!”

S: What inspired you to stay there for five years?

T: “I was inspired by everything there but I didn’t know anyone so I would just ride around on my bike discovering these amazing places, and I started to take pictures of it, of different things and people that I thought looked cool. I stumbled across this 1950s’ style Barber shop and when I looked in I could see these massive men covered in tattoos with big beards. I wanted to photograph it, I was a bit shy then but I went in asked would I be able to take some shots, they told me to come back the next day, so I did.”

S: Were you building your portfolio up by this point?

T: “I hadn’t got paid for that one, and I just carried on taking pictures of cool places in Amsterdam. I started to get a following and I guess people started to see the pictures on Facebook and I got contacted by some lifestyle editors that wanted me to take pictures for them. Then a director got in touch with me, he was making a film and wanted to know the best places in Amsterdam. I started thinking: ‘you know what this is going really well; I should do something about this.”

S: What did you do?

T: “I thought I was onto something because I was taking local people out, and they were saying how amazing it was and that they didn’t know half of these places existed. I decided to set it up as a business called Amsterdam Photo Safari. I would just take people to my favourite places in Amsterdam, not before long people from all over the world were coming! I was showing them all these places and at the same time I was getting to refine my photography. I had to stop doing the photography tours because I was getting too busy, so I brought some friends to help me out and that’s still going. It’s become so well known that it got featured in National Geographic’s 2017 Cool List!”

S: Are you working on any interesting projects that you can tell us about?

T: “I just got back from doing a photoshoot on Netflix’s The Crown; that’s for a book coming out this year. I also photographed Peter King who won an Oscar award for the make-up design on Lord of the Rings. That will all be coming out this year.”

Check out Tim’s work here and follow his Instagram to keep updated: @timcollinsphotographer 


By Sarah Nisbett

Life's A Pitch

Pitching can be tough. For many entrepreneurs, it’s the most daunting aspect they face in their career.

A perfect business plan is useless if you cannot convince others of its brilliance, hence the pitch being a fundamental part of entrepreneurial success.

Weeks, months even years of planning can come down to just two minutes in the boardroom with the line between success and failure often a fine one.

Pitching should not be feared- it should be embraced. With the right preparation and know-how there’s no reason an entrepreneur should leave a pitch feeling disappointed.

So, how do you deliver the perfect pitch and secure that vital investment? Below are some top tips from industry experts:

Be Prepared- Launch22 Mentor Charles Oddy

Pitching doesn’t just happen in boardrooms at pre-arranged times. The opportunity to sell yourself and your business can often arrive in unexpected circumstances. The impromptu pitch should certainly not be underestimated in the modern world of networking. Our very own Mentor, Charles Oddy explains that entrepreneurs are always pitching: “whether they’re in meetings, on a train or on social media, they should always be ready to engage an audience in their goals and should not be afraid to ask for support.”

Charles is one of our specialist mentors who is an experienced investment professional. He runs regular workshops at Launch22 Liverpool and you can attend these for free by becoming a member! More info here

Be Enthusiastic! — Richard Branson

Having set up his first business at the age of just 16, Richard Branson has gone on to build one of the world’s most recognisable brands. Branson hasn’t made his billions by being a shrinking violet. He explains that passion is unquestionably the secret sauce of all Virgin’s businesses. Richard draws on an example regarding Brett Godfrey whose airline launch pitch was originally dismissed by Virgin Executive staff. “What I detected in Brett during his pitch was something that the executive team had overlooked: a passionate belief in the need for and viability of what he was proposing…the passion I saw in his eyes when talking about his vision really sold me.” Branson liked the idea of the airline and launched Virgin Blue (which later became Virgin Australia) — now the country’s second biggest airline!

Know Your Audience- Sir Alan Sugar

The star of The Apprentice has seen it all when it comes to pitches and certainly isn’t afraid to put people in their place- which is why entrepreneurs should probably listen to his advice! Sir Alan explains that a little homework on the audience can go a long way when pitching: “Who are you presenting to? What are their backgrounds? Is there anything topical that you can weave into the presentation to make it relevant? Do your audience want something formal or fun? Can you involve them or just talk to them? These things make a big difference.”

Keep a Clear Head- Dragon’s Den Contestant, Jennifer Duthie

One person who knows a thing or two about pitching is Jenifer Duthie who appeared on BBC Television programme, Dragon’s Den in 2014. Jenifer kept her calm in front of a tough audience and secured her customised shoe business £60,000. She put her success down to her calmness and composure and advised others to follow this principle: “Don’t rush through your pitch. Speak slowly and pause between sentences. If you suddenly forget your pitch don’t panic just take a moment to get yourself back on track”

Keep It Short- Carrie Somer, Forbes Magazine

In the world of pitching, less if often more. Quality not quantity is the general message from people in the know- including entrepreneur and Forbes Magazine, contributor, Carrie Somer. She stresses that businessmen and women simply don’t have the time to digest complex information and waffle: “The temptation may be to include lots of information, but investors don’t have time to read a long pitch. Give them enough information to bite, but leave them wanting more.”



7 Top Reasons Why Our Members Love Launch22

7 Top Reasons Why Our Members Love Launch22

1) Inspiring Environment
The layout of the hub inspires everyone who comes in. I love the open plan working area, huge windows and chill out area.” — Ray Carr, Terrapin Global Shipping Recruitment
Our space, with its large central desk structure and breakout areas, plays a huge role in creating a collaborative environment. Our members particularly enjoy the ability to take a break and play ping-pong or table football which helps develop the sense of community...

Can Detroit follow in Shoreditch’s footsteps and become a startup hub?

Today the city has a completely different identity, spirit and community that is distinctive of all previous eras of Detroit. There’s a youthful proud spring in the step of the people who remain or have moved there and are willing to change it for the better.

Top four things I learnt from my Launch22 Internship

When I graduated from university with a degree in Biomedical Science, I didn’t have a plan for what to do next like most other graduates. I knew I didn’t want to work in a lab or continue with masters or PhDs like my classmates, so I needed to find experience elsewhere. Since I’ve always had an interest in tech and I wanted to try something completely new, I looked for roles in start-ups. When I saw the vacancy for a Marketing Intern at Launch22, I applied right away!