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Agily Partner leads EIC workshop on how to grow your business using external experts


Experts are an often-overlooked resource for accelerating small business growth: gaining advice and guidance from external experts such as non-executive directors, advisory boards, consultants and advisors on aspects of:

  • upscaling
  • innovation commercialisation
  • partnering
  • technology
  • funding
  • talent acquisition and retention.

Following on the EASME Academy workshop she delivered in Copenhagen in April 2018 on the subject, Virginie Vinel was invited to deliver "Never Eat Alone" workshop at the 2018 European Innovation Council (EIC) Innovators' Summit in Berlin. She organised the format, the activities, secured and briefed the speaker, animated the event and reported on the findings.

EASME Horizon2020 SME Instrument beneficiaries discussed how to use non-executive directors, mentors, consultants to grow their business and shared their experience in a World Café format.

The workshop was introduced by a lively presentation from Ian Gosling, the Founder of London-based Autto.io. They developed a Software as a Service (SaaS) easily that automates repetitive tasks and documents for law firms and in-house legal departments, regulated industries and professional services companies.

Photo caption: Ian Gosling, Autto.io Founder

He shared how challenging growing a business can be and how he had overcome some of the hurdles using different sorts of experts throughout the enterprise journey.

"Leading an innovative SME is a contact sport - you are going to get knocked down from time to time.  It's important to have the right people - experts and advisors - in your corner.  They will help you duck more blows and get up more quickly if you do take a hit.", Ian Gosling, Autto.io Founder

SME instrument beneficiaries were reminded that the coach is the ideal facilitator to help identify, recruit and manage experts as well as to identify the right time and the best expert type for each stage of the business growth.

Virginie Vinel is a coach for Horizon2020 SME Instrument since 2016 as she has personal experience of upscaling an SME, of collaboration with external experts and of Board roles. She shares her +25 year consultancy experience in innovation management and go to market strategies with CEOs and Founder of SMEs seeking to commercialise innovation such as software, SaaS, AI, AR and IoT technologies.

Photo credits:  European Commission/ Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises