Opinion

The Start-Up Groups Connecting Like-Minded Leaders

Business is all about people. So why can launching a start-up feel, well, kinda lonely? Whether you’re the CFO, CMO or founder, there’s probably only one of you in the business. And it probably feels brand new. Talking to others that have been (or currently are) in the same boat can be invaluable.

That’s where building a network comes in, giving you somewhere to share experiences, discuss the industry, and bounce around new concepts. Not sure where to start? Capsule’s got you covered…


Photo by Jason Goodman

1. ICE

The International Conclave of Entrepreneurs – or ICE – is a collective of tech start-up founders and investors, all united in their aim to support high-growth tech movers and shakers. Since 2009, it’s helped build mutually beneficial relationships between the two.

Capsule’s Co-founder and COO Liam Green was lucky enough to join a recent ICE surfing trip. He returned a hero having managed to actually stand up (seriously though Liam, nice work), but most importantly, he returned having made some super interesting new connections.

ICE membership is given by local chapter Membership Committees, ensuring they continue to create a community of credibility and transparency. Learn more about joining here.

2. Foundrs

Foundrs is pretty exclusive, comprising hundreds of highly ambitious entrepreneurs. Their mission is to ‘break new ground without breaking ourselves’ – essentially, they exist to share experiences and ideas, and ultimately take the weight off launching your own business.

In their own words, imagine an essential sidekick who offers you perspectives you could never gain by yourself, has well-informed answers to your questions, and pushes and challenges you to be the best version of yourself. Sounds great, huh?

The easiest way to become a member of Foundrs is via recommendation from someone who’s already in the community. For more info, click here.

3. Startup CFO

Startup CFO is the most recognised CFO community in the UK – and for good reason. Here, you’ll find the most comprehensive peer-to-peer discussion group, complete with events and social meetups, plus a complete range of other development opportunities for finance buffs.

When Startup CFO was first established, their goal was to unite senior finance professionals from Europe’s finest start-ups, allowing like-minded individuals to pool knowledge, seek advice, and get to know one another.

If you’re interested in joining Startup CFO, complete their membership questionnaire or ask us for an intro!

4. Crafty Counsel

There’s a saying that goes something like ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’, and we’re sure it’s one that Crafty Counsel are inclined to agree with. Designed for the General Counsels and Heads of Legal in early-stage, high-growth disruptive businesses, Crafty Counsel is dedicated to injecting joy back into the legal profession.

Founder Ben White is credited with connecting lawyers around the world through creative content that’s relatable, thought-provoking, and insightful. In 2020, Crafty Counsel expanded their community space to offer members events and resources that help them achieve both professional and personal goals.

In-house legal professional looking to relocate your joy? Give Crafty Counsel a wave here.

5. COO Stories

London-based COO Stories is a community for – you guessed it – COOs in start-ups and scale-ups. It was first set up in 2015 and has since attracted around 200 members.

They host a monthly breakfast meeting at Ace Hotel, where they discuss a specific issue that one of the group is currently facing. You know that frustration explaining your job to family members that ‘just don’t get it’? Now you can share it with someone who’s been in your shoes!

They’re expanding beyond the capital and already have a community in Berlin. So, if you’re keen to join this growing tribe, get a current member to vouch for you. Otherwise, introduce yourself at hello@coostories.com.

6. London COO Roundtable

In a similar vein is London COO Roundtable – a community for start-up and scale-up COOs to join forces, share experiences, and get tips and tricks along the way.

As a member, you’ll access a curated peer-to-peer roundtable group, establish valuable COO connections, join operations masterclasses, and get the chance to attend in-person events – along with a whole host of other amazing opportunities.

The group meets every quarter and has been previously hosted by a number of different start-ups – including HouseTrip, Hailo, and Unruly – with partners like PwC, Index and LocalGlobe. Fill in a few details here to request to join.

7. Copy Club

Copy Club started as a supper club in 2014. It was Founder Lottie Unwin’s brainchild, as she tried to make the world of entrepreneurial marketing feel a little less isolating. Fast-forward eight years, and what began as a ‘drinks and a chat’ open invitation to a select few has grown to include more than 3,000 people.

Copy Club’s call to arms is ‘Marketers – you’ve found your people’, and all it takes is a quick glance around their website for you to feel at home. Trust us, if we weren’t in the insurance game, we’d be banging on the doors! Their Slack channel alone is reason enough, providing fast answers to all kinds of questions. But there are also weekly events, marketing strategy newsletters, and monthly workshops and courses to supplement it all.

Ready to pick the brains of some of the best marketing minds around the globe? Sign up.

Photo by Antenna

8. Landscape

Last but by no means least is Landscape, with their promise to make ‘fundraising better for everyone’. Founder Joe Perkins was inspired to create the investor community after struggling with what he describes as the opaqueness of venture capital funding.

In stark contrast, the Landscape team is passionate about equipping founders with the tools, products and content to empower them in their start-up journey. You can also share your investor experiences with them anonymously – helping your peers navigate the fundraising ecosystem.

Register to join Landscape here.

Whether you’re looking for a mentor, a bit of inspo from a proven success story, or just a community who ‘gets you’, we hope you’ll find it in the list here.

And when it comes to protecting your company against risk, join the Capsule club. Okay, okay, it’s not a real club… We’re a specialist insurance partner for scale-ups – fostering your growth by building an insurance plan that’s as unique as your business plan. Get in touch to find out more.

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