70: Behind the scenes in setting up a cafe and restaurant with Paul Rawlinson from Baltzersens and Norse

How do you set up a cafe and restaurant with zero experience? This was the question I had for Paul Rawlinson, formerly a Platoon Commander and Training Officer in the British Army.  I interviewed Paul in the new premises for his Scandinavian inspired restaurant, Norse, in my home town of Harrogate (North Yorkshire, UK). Upstairs Downstairs Norse used to share a small kitchen in the basement of Baltzersen's, Paul's successful (and also Scandinavian inspired) cafe. Service prep during the day was not ideal as everything had to be prepared in a small basement kitchen, then moved upstairs in...


56: Turning down a grad scheme to set up a drinks company - James Shillcock, Founder of Vivid Drinks

In this interview I talk to James who is the dynamic founder of Vivid Drinks. James saw an opportunity to bring a healthy version of iced tea to the UK market. This category is huge globally but not big in the UK. The popularity of green tea has been rising in the UK and Vivid Drinks seems set to capitalise on a drink that focuses on improving our mental energy. Having worked for Deloitte for a year prior to university he was due to start on their graduate scheme but delayed his start date to get some start up experience under his belt. He worked for a start up tea company which gave him...


MDE 49: Uninspired by graduate schemes on offer he scratched his own itch, Rob Blythe of Instant Impact

Rob Blythe and his co-founder Felix Mitchell set up Instant Impact four years ago from a Starbucks coffee shop. They have grown their specialist recruitment company to 20 employees housed in an office in London and are on target to hit a turnover of £1 million this year. Meeting all their candidates face to face, and providing quirky guides to living in London as benefits for their candidates, the company is on a mission to help change the perception of the rather tarnished image of the recruitment industry. The idea for a company specialising in finding graduates jobs and internships...


MDE 40: Inspiring children with Jedi mind tricks, Chris Burgess of CBiS Education

How do you capture the imagination of children who are disengaged? Show them how to move a remote control car using their mind, that’s how! A request from a teacher to go and show off some robotics the company had been developing for the military led to a whole new revenue stream and is now the sole focus of their business. What you will learn in this interview:  What Chris has learnt in the ups and downs of business The mistakes he has made What his strategy has been for funding the business Why his company is unique in it’s offering Book ‘Pitch anything’ - Oren Claff Favourite...


MDE 27: Jane Kenyon, the Inspiration Diva for teenage girls

I’ve known entrepreneur Jane Kenyon for several years, including a spell in a Mastermind group she ran, so I was delighted to learn that she has a new book out. DIVA WISDOM - Find Your Voice, Rock Your World and Pass It On! contains a very personal account of her own entrepreneurial journey, which saw her raised by a millionaire, entrepreneur father, kicked out of the family home at 16, and go from homelessness to a degree, three postgraduate diplomas and an MBA by the age of 28 - all through a lot of hard work and a heavy night-school attendance. “I definitely did it the hard way,”...