Where better for innocent drinks and their business friends to hold an inspirational talk on entrepreneurial-ism than in the home of smoothies, Fruit Towers. Entrepreneurs converged on the HQ of innocent to hear from successful people from the world of business and charity. The evening saw visitors trying out new juice flavours, sampling food from local businesses, taking tours of fruit towers and listening to the stories of people who have “been there and done that”. I went along to see if I could glean some advice from some of the experts and here’s a run down…
“start small, think big”
innocent started from the idea of three friends and a market stall. After coming up with other less successful ideas such as the electric bath tub,
As this illustration shows, the entrepreneurial brain is doggedly determined, a trait that all the speakers agreed is important.
Lesson 2: innocent’s “patented-no-nonsense, having-an-idea to-start-your-own-business checklist”:
Lesson 3: “Know what you care about”
Have values and live by them. Innocent’s values grace the walls of Fruit Towers, they’re “Make natural, delicious food and drink that helps people live well and die old. Natural, entrepreneurial, responsible, commercial, generous.”
Lesson 4: “innocent’s low cost approach to the dark arts of marketing”
Lesson 5: “Talking (and listening) is good”
Keep your customers at the heart of your business.The innocent banana phone is a real thing and it’s in the shape of a banana. If you call the phone number printed on the bottles, you will actually get through to someone at innocent.
“have a purpose”
Sophie Cornish’s talk was similar to Richard Reed’s point. Her main message was:
- Have a purpose
- Own your mistakes
- Know your customer
- Test your idea and learn from your experience
- Connect emotionally
- Enjoy the process
“individuals can really make a difference”
Jeremy Gilley was a filmmaker and Actor before founding Peace One Day and becoming a Carnegie Peace Prize winner. The “one day” that Peace One Day would like to be internationally peacefull is the 21st September and the UN have said that there is already a 70% decrease in violence on that day. Jeremy’s main points of inspiration were:
Individuals can make a difference.
No’s are more interesting than yeses.
“be prepared to pivot”
Eben Upton came up with the idea for the Raspberry Pi because there was a lack of self taught coders entering higher education compared to a generation ago. As Spectrums and Commodor 64’s gave way to higher powered more complex consoles, he noticed that students weren’t equipped with the foundational knowledge that previous students had. The Raspberry Pi has since transformed into a cheap computer for developing countries and for weekend hobby hackers.
“don’t be afraid to break from convention”
Bec Astley Clarke admits she didn’t actually know what business to start but knew she wanted to start one. Her main pieces of advice were:
- There’s never a good time to start a business
- If you aren’t failing then you aren’t putting yourself out there.
“don’t underestimate the power of clear leadership”
Martin Morales didn’t even come from a restauranteur background. He had a successful career in music and found artists such as Joss Stone and KT Tunstall. His passion for food was evidently clear however as he described what exactly a ceviche was. Sounds delicious by the way and his restaurant Ceviche on Frith Street is on my list of places to visit. Here’s Martin’s main points from his talk:
- Be the first in the market
- Have a strong purpose
- Share your goals, successes and keep learning
- Treat people as individuals
- Lead by example
- Know your stuff, be an ambassador
- Team build
- Always innovate
- Have a mission / vision