Owen Gleadall, MerlinSoft Ltd – January 2022

I had a meeting with Dan Rathbone as part of the Connect Yorkshire EIR programme and it was very insightful and positive.  We met at 2.00 p.m. and were actually ‘encouraged’ to leave Costa Coffee in Ilkley as they tried to mop the floor under our feet.  The cafe had closed and we hadn’t noticed, so I guess that shows just what an interesting and informative session it was.  Many thanks to Dan for his time and contributions.

Charlie Herke, Splitpixel Creative Ltd – January 2022

Our session with Julian Kynaston was absolutely brilliant – he really allowed us to re-evaluate our brand with new perspective. We’re at a pivotal stage in the business direction, keen to build on the success but aware of our weaknesses and the dynamic market, so the creativity and clear cut advice Julian offered has been very valuable, thank you… and assuming we can distil some of that, has helped simplify a problem and shaped some of the thinking moving forwards.

I highly recommend Julian, he’s a real pro! Thank you Connect Yorkshire, would highly recommend the EIR sessions.

Nandish Thippeswamy, Manrochem – December 2021

We would like to thank Nick Butler for initiating and helping us to organise a meeting with EIR John McDonnell. We felt it was very useful to meet him and get his honest, forthright feedback on various challenges facing the company. He also discussed with us proposed solutions and way forward to deal with the challenges. It was reassuring to know that we are not alone in experiencing some of the challenges facing us and also that we are doing right in some areas of the business!

Paul Slater, The Change Shed – November 2021

I first encountered David Smalley when he described his journey as a successful tech business co-founder during a Connect Yorkshire event. His honest, authentic storytelling approach instantly appealed to me. He made a great deal of sense, and I thought, “This is someone I could learn a great deal from.”

Subsequently, I’ve had the pleasure of spending two sessions with David, who has mentored me in shaping my thoughts on how to take my business forward. He has a fantastic range of experience and a friendly, engaging style with a nice balance of challenge and insight.

As a result, I made significant improvements in messaging my consultancy offering to my ideal target prospects. I finished our meetings feeling energised and confident that I had made practical steps forward. I’d highly recommend David and the excellent opportunity to work with him and other mentors through Connect Yorkshire!

Sarah Valentine-Bull, Propolis Process Solutions – November 2021

The benefit of the Connect Yorkshire Peer to Peer group is getting together a group of owners of different businesses who make the time, and have the desire, to listen to each other and help each other grow their businesses. And as you get to know each other’s businesses you might find it useful to introduce them to some of your own contacts. Overall it is a great learning experience.

Mike Hall, ThinkSMART Marketing – November 2021

For me the Peer to Peer Group that Connect Yorkshire runs is a great way to establish long lasting relationships. You are with like minded business owners who help each other and learn from each other how to grow their business, it’s invaluable. As far as Connect Yorkshire more generally is concerned, the more you put into it the more you get out of it; I have sat on panels at Masterclasses which has helped raise our brand awareness.

Paul Irvine, Lasercharge UK Limited – November 2021

Prior to our meeting, Emma Dutton asked that I prepare certain documents to help her understand my business and address the areas I needed advice on. Emma is instantly likeable and made me feel very much at ease. She quickly had a grip on the strengths and weaknesses of my business and discussed different routes to market utilising new suppliers/products that would fit with my customer segments.

She also discussed the merits of strategic alliances with other companies she knows in the industry to strengthen my overall value proposition. I left feeling motivated with new ideas and a clearer direction knowing I have her on-going support.

Thank you Emma and I highly recommend other members to pursue a 121 with the EIR team.

John Foster, Fosters Bakery – October 2021

My mentoring session with Rob Whitehead was like meeting a kindred spirit. He has been there and done it in the food industry so we didn’t need to waste time on explaining simple issues and were able to work at pace.

Rob pointed out strengths in our business that I didn’t know we had but also nudged me on a couple of areas where he felt we might be weak.

The aspect for greatest payback centred around Rob’s comments that our factory was a tad old fashioned. We are a traditional industry making a traditional product, but our processes are too labour intensive. Rob’s observation encouraged us to get serious about automation and we have subsequently placed orders for a robot cell, with more automation to follow.

For me personally, Rob identified that I am very innovative and could capitalise on this by being more customer facing to spot opportunities that our sales team won’t.

I am grateful for the critical thoughts from this mentoring session, delivered without the fluff of a formal consultancy and making a lot more sense.

Charlie Breese, Sylatech – October 2021

Many thanks indeed Rachel for your time on Friday; it was a pleasure to meet with you after so many attempts and it was worth the wait from my perspective. I found it very useful and thoroughly enjoyed the nature of the debate, with some good ideas coming from it. The blank piece of paper remains blank at the moment, but I am starting to think about what needs to go on it. As your bespectacled London advisor said, ‘how can you know how to get there if you don’t know where you are going?’!  Thanks for the benchmarking piece which I shall read tonight; good of you to follow up with that.

In the meantime, thank you again for your time – it really is appreciated, and I hope that I have cause to ring you up again before too long with something juicy to discuss over a nice glass of wine.

Jamie Hinton, Razor Ltd – September 2021

There are always different perspectives and ways of looking at the world. Speaking with an Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) such as Neil Ewin challenges your thinking in valuable ways and opens your mindset to alternatives that you may never have thought of. The unique CY broad EIR panel enables people who are well placed to truly help you rather than give you bland “business advice”. Neil was able to push in a really positive, challenging way and bring confidence in the current direction.