For business owners, 2018 comes packed with opportunity. There's the potential to sell products and services to larger brands and/or government, the distinct opportunity of international trade, ever-increasing access to finance, and the availability of digital technologies that, if harnessed, can help you be more profitable and productive.

These are topics to be covered by entrepreneurs who've been there and done it at the ScaleUp Series.

This is a new series of events, hosted at The Office Group locations in London, that's intended to offer secrets to success from proven entrepreneurs, exploring the practical opportunities they maximised, and the personal confidence and conviction required along the way.

Praveen Vijh of Eat Natural will talk about how he started a business in the healthy snack sector, with no knowledge of the sector, but how this didn’t stop him from building a business that is now stocked in all the major retailers in the UK, and overseas.

Lovecrafts.com founder Nigel Whiteoak has just raised £26m for his online craft community, and will outline the preparation required to perfect a pitch and business model that attracts such considerable interest from funders.

Dhiraj Mukherjee co-founded Shazam in the early 2000s. It's the music identification app that is one of the top 20 most downloaded apps of all time. Dhiraj will talk about he and co-founders worked to perfect the business model and grew a fast-paced, globally recognised company, before selling to Apple. 

Alicia Navarro started Skimlinks to automate the affiliate marketing process on behalf of publishers. It's a company now achieving success across the globe with operations in the US and UK. Alicia will talk about how she has overseen this growth and from where support was sourced when required. 

AO.com founder John Roberts, as final speaker, shows the very clear benefit of embracing the web as he tells the tale of starting and growing AO.com into a household name and electrical retailer and what led to his decision in February 2017 to step away from being CEO after 17 years at the helm.

The events would not be possible without the support of O2 Business, a telecoms company with an entrepreneurial spirit at its core.

If you’re focused on the opportunity that 2018 can deliver, sign up below to join us to hear the stories of entrepreneurial success and create your own.

Praveen Vijh, co-founder, Eat Natural, Monday 23 April, Thomas House Lounge, London 

With no knowledge of manufacturing or cooking, Praveen Vijh made a bold move with co-founder Preet Gawal in 1997 to set-up what is today one of the UK's most successful health food companies. Today their bars and cereals are sold in all major UK supermarkets and the brand exports globally into key markets including the Netherlands and Scandinavia. They employ near on 300 artisans to create their healthy delights.

Join Praveen on 23 April

Nigel Whiteoak, founder, LoveCrafts, Wednesday 16 May, Stanley Building, London

In 2012, Edward, Cherry and Nigel launched LoveCrafts after watching the makers they love search endlessly for inspiration and materials online. They were motivated by one simple goal: to build a community that would support and unite makers worldwide, a home where they can be inspired, connect, share and create. Today they have over 80 staff and customers in 97 countries.

Join Nigel on 16 May

Dhiraj Mukherjee, founder of Shazam, Monday 9 July, Tintagel House, London

Shazam was founded by four entrepreneurs in 1999. It's a smartphone app that gives you the name and artist behind the music playing around you. When it launched in 2002, Shazam had 1m songs on its database and took 15 seconds to process a user’s request.Today, it can take as little as two seconds to comb through 30m songs and can cope with remixes, background noise and cover-band versions. The company took 15 years to meet profitability and in 2016 it was valued at $1bn.

Join Dhiraj on 9 July

Alicia Navarro, CEO & founder, Skimlinks, Monday 24 September, Thomas House Lounge, London

Skimlinks is the leading content monetisation service for online publishers. The company works with thousands of sites around the world: blogs, newspapers, content sites, blogging platforms, forums, social shopping and web apps. Skimlinks helps sites earn referral income from the content they write, without requiring any effort, resource, or change to current processes. It's a completely automated solution, with no impact on user experience or editorial integrity. 

Join Alicia on 24 September

John Roberts, founder of ao.com, Monday 12 November, Tintagel House, London

In the year 2000, John Roberts was in the pub with his friend, who bet him £1 that he couldn't sell appliances online and so he took up the challenge! In 2014 the company was voted number 4 in the Times 100 Best Mid-Sized Companies to Work for and won the Customer Service Initiative award at the Oracle Retail Week Awards. The company went on to float on the London Stock Exchange.

Join John on 12 November

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