Entrepreneurs’ Group 
Lessons from failure; or how to get 4/10 and still succeed 

Wednesday 7 February 2018

This event is sponsored by Harbottle & Lewis 

Aged 30 and 40-something, Gordon MacSween and Cliff Dennett both left senior management positions in large corporations, including Orange and HP, to go back to the drawing board, develop new technologies and launch their own start-ups. What motivates someone to take such a risk? And how do they respond when the product delivers, but the market doesn’t buy? Should they have listened to friends and family, after all? Join us for this candid discussion of what happens when successful people’s entrepreneurial ventures fail.

Cliff Dennett (LBS MBA) is Head of Business Development forInnovation Birmingham, the UK’s largest campus dedicated to digital entrepreneurs and SMEs. Innovation Birmingham has over 150 digital companies consisting of 1000+ employees all involved in digital development. As CEO of Soshi Games, Cliff built a digital music-games startup, raising circa £1.3m investment and closing significant licensing deals with bands like Queen and record labels like Universal Music and Sony. He has extensive experience across corporates and SMEs, having worked in sales, strategy and operations for IT companies including Orange, Hewlett Packard and AT&T and at SME level in the retail and motor trade sectors. As an Independent coach he helped companies such as Morgan Stanley, EFES-Pilsen and Transport For London create innovative services, improve strategy and increase personnel performance. He is also the author of three books.

Gordon MacSween (MBA 96D) spent six years in factories at Cambridge following his engineering degree, and then eschewed consulting offers post-INSEAD. Gordon was something of the ‘Arthur Keller’ of his promotion. As a member of the Dean’s List, he was then smart enough to realise there was more to life at INSEAD. He has worked mostly in B2B, but his speciality has been generalist, having made acquisitions, run businesses post-acquisition, shut down factories, offshored processes and run a SAP implementation. He headed companies and programmes in packaging, building products, patent processing and electronics, before running Captive Media from 2010 to 2017, where he ultimately accepted ‘partial success’ (aka failure) for the first time.

Paddy MccGwire is Co-Founder and Managing Director of Silverpeak, the technology sector focused investment bank. Previously, he founded Cobalt Corporate Finance in 1996, which merged to form Silverpeak, generating a stronger international platform.  He has extensive experience of creating value and a track record of successful deal making in the technology sector. Prior to Cobalt, his experience included seven years at private equity group 3i and electronics group STC plc. Paddy is a founding member of the international M&A network Globalscope which has active members on every continent, he is also a Liveryman of the Information Technologists Company.

VENUE Harbottle & Lewis LLP
14 Hanover Square, London W1S 1HP
Nearest tube: Oxford Circus
TIME 18:30 for 19:00
COST Members £25 / Members’ guests (non INSEAD) £35
REFRESHMENTS Wine and canapés

For more information on NAA events, please refer to https://my.insead.edu/event/calendar