Meet the Makers X The Food Startup Revolution (Video)

On 4th March 2015 we held our fourth monthly Meet the Makers, an innovation event held at the Publicis Drugstore. This one was all about food and we heard from 5 different food startups accelerating in the UK and beyond, challenging traditional sales models and existing brands alike.

Meet the Makers X Traveltech

Meet the Makers X TravelTech
Wednesday 29 April 2015, 7pm-9pm
The Trampery Old St, home to the Publicis Drugstore


Please join us for our next monthly innovation event at the Publicis Drugstore.

This time our focus is on TravelTech.

We’ll look at the pioneering companies, technologies and solutions that are changing how consumers select destinations, book accommodation and transport, and other aspects of the travel sector.

We’ll meet some of the entrepreneurs who are innovating in the travel industry including:

MiniBar Meets CultureTECH


On May 14th, Minibar is teaming up with CultureTECH, Northern Ireland’s innovation festival, to showcase some of the most exciting tech startups from across NI.

Every September, CultureTECH welcomes tens of thousands of people to a week-long celebration of digital innovation and technology. Now they’re bringing a piece of it to London with 5 amazing young companies in tow, and plenty of hospitality to be had.

We’ll be following the usual Minibar format with drinks on arrival, a series of five minute presentations and even more drinks to finish.

This event is part of the Digital Shoreditch festival programme and is kindly sponsored by ILEX. 

RSVP now:

Companies presenting on the night include:

CADshare enables engineering companies with a global footprint to deliver their infrastructure projects with agility and speed, by combining a powerful sharing portal with innovative tools for true engineering collaboration. Leveraging the inherent talent in a global engineering team presents a significant challenge for many companies. At CADshare we believe centralised communications, data mobility and engineering context are the key to unlocking this potential.

CultureTECH host the largest technology and creative industries event in Northern Ireland, run one of the largest education outreach programmes and deliver a variety of innovation programmes across technology, the arts and social innovation. They’re also responsible for sticking Minecraft into every secondary school in the region.

Rotor delivers a new method of music video production. Without any knowledge of editing or production techniques, users can generate high quality videos in less than 30 minutes and at a fraction of the normal costs. Upload your track, choose a video style from our catalogue, load in some video clips and go. Rotor does the rest.

Using unique beacon and wifi technologies, Local Mobile Marketer makes location aware advertising affordable for everyone from single site businesses to international brands including Heineken and Harley Davidson.

MiniBar Monthly Meetup – March 2015

MiniBar Monthly Meetup
17 March 2015
Mother London, The Biscuit Building


We are happy to announce that for next MiniBar event on 17 March we are partnering with FinTech company Yodlee, who will be joining us all the way from Silicon Valley to tell us about their developer and start up programs.

Here’s some info:

— Built on the foundation of Yodlee’s 15 years of aggregated consumer financial data, Yodlee Interactive empowers visionary entrepreneurs, partners, and developers to build the next generation of disruptive and innovative FinTech solutions using the award-winning Yodlee platform. Through their APIs, they help you bring innovative FinApps to market more quickly using the richest consumer transactional data in the world.

More to follow in the next few weeks. In the meantime please sign up to our Meetup group and secure your place at the event here:

Until then,
Your MiniBar Team

If you are interested in presenting, or sponsoring an event please get in touch via hello at

Meet the Makers X The Food Startup Revolution

Meet the Makers X The Food Startup Revolution
Wednesday 4 March 2015, 7pm-10pm
The Trampery Old St, home to the Publicis Drugstore


We are happy to announce our fourth monthly ‘Meet the Makers Prescription’ – an innovation event held at the Publicis Drugstore.

This time we are having a cool mix of food start ups ranging from innovative tech companies that provide different and innovative solutions to food buying and distribution to new emerging brands and products.

There is a new wave of food start ups accelerating in the UK beyond, which challenge traditional sales models and existing brands alike. Some of the hottest Venture Capital deals are happening in the food space.

//Our presenters:

  • Pomora – Adopt an olive tree – Alun Johns (co-founder)
  • TheCaterClub – Discover local caterers and restaurants – Ingrid Marsh (founder)
  • ProperBeans – Baked beans turned posh – Ben Mason (founder)
  • Oppo Ice Cream – healthy luxury ice cream – Charles Thuillier (founder)
  • MagicTab – The menu of the future – Dave Thompson (founder)


Meet the Makers X The Rise of Digital Currencies

Thurs 29th Jan saw the third prescription of our monthly innovation event ‘Meet the Makers’ held at the Publicis Drugstore.

This time our focus was on the rise of digital currencies and their potential to disrupt traditional finance models, as well as an explanation of the more basic fundamentals – what actually is Bitcoin and what does it mean for us?

After a drinks reception in the amazing Ballroom space, the 100 strong crowd of Publicis staff, clients and agency friends settled down to listen to four presentations by the entrepreneurs currently transforming finance.

First up was Paul Gordon founder of Quantave, the company connecting traditional finance firms to digital currency liquidity pools. Paul gave a much-needed introduction to how Bitcoin and blockchain work, followed by an overview of the emerging digital currency start-up landscape.

Aleks Nowak COO at XBTerminal, the point of sale app that enables Bitcoin payments in stores, continued by explaining the relevance of Bitcoin in the offline world and how it can work for Bricks and Mortar merchants, particularly in the developing world. Ray da Silva then introduced PayWithBolt, whose mission it is to make revenue profitable by taking away the pain of managing lots of different types of payments.

We wrapped up with Robert Sams, CEO at fin tech start-up Kryptonomic, who looked at the future for a Decentralised Clearing Network, leading with the question if we can transfer digital currency on a blockchain, then why not transfer stocks, bonds and other assets on a blockchain too?

A really interesting and informative evening and a huge thank you to all of our speakers for taking part. Check out the video to see some of the highlights.

The next Meet the Makers will be taking place at the Drugstore on March 5th and will be all about food. Keep your eyes peeled for more details coming soon.

Hack-ney-thon 2014 Update

We are very happy to announce that 3 of the 8 completed hacks have now been taken forward by the council in their continued commitment to adopt working solutions. That’s a pretty good average for our first hack and a great sign of the council’s support for such work.

All hacks are listed here:

1. Based on the Italian Job hack, the council’s Registrars department are now engaged in a commissioning conversation with Booking Bug.

2. Based on the Hackney Properties hack, the council’s property services have asked team member Jamie Copeland (freelance developer) to prepare a budget for implementation.

3. Based on the Fix Hackney hack, the team have been in conversation with the council’s ICT department about using the dashboard visualisation tool.
Lastly, the council have had follow up conversations with teams from both the Planning App and Hackney Treasures hacks.

In light of these successes we are now planning further Hack-ney-thons to take place sometime over 2015. To make sure you receive any announcements please join the MiniBar Meetup group here:

Codemaker demystifies the world of code

Text: Clara Guibourg

A desire to learn more about how programming works united the 12 participants who gathered for MiniBarLab’s CodeMaker course, hosted by Publicis Drugstore on Thursday.

“I’m a complete novice,” said participant Diane Gracie, 30. In her work as senior accounts director at Publicis, she often comes in contact with developers.

Diane Gracie
Diane Gracie

“This is quite helpful for understanding what my clients are talking about a little better. And it’s really interesting how it all fits together,” she said.

So what’s the course about?

“Computers are like great complex abacuses,” instructor Peter Brownell, from Code Positive, tells his attentive students.

In other words, CodeMaker takes care to really start at the beginning, before moving swiftly through the next 4,000 years or so of tech history. From a hands-on crash course in HTML and CSS to how exactly programs talk to each other through APIs, CodeMaker covers a lot of ground in just a few hours.

“The point is not to turn people into programmers, but to understand the principles behind it,” said Christian Ahlert from MiniBarLabs.

“One thing people don’t have a lot of is time, and in daily life we often have very little time to reflect over how even your own website works,” he explained.

With Codemaker, MiniBarLabs hope to get people to see technology as an investment,rather than a cost, and the course has been held several times a month for over two years now.

It may sound like a lot to get through in an afternoon, but the audience at Publicis Drugstore seems rapt.

Peter Brownell from Code Positive demystifying code for his students.
Peter Brownell from Code Positive demystifying code for his students

“We do tend to have a lot of exhausted people in the room at the end of the day,” admits instructor Peter Brownell.

“It’s fun to see the shift. Participants usually go through a phase of confusion in the morning. It’s great to see the transition sometime half-way through, with everyone suddenly cheering up as they start to understand HTML.”

One thing CodeMaker focuses on is Open Source software and the merits of a ‘hacker culture’.

“This hacker isn’t someone who’s going to steal your credit card details, though,” Peter Brownell clarified.

Instead, it’s about a community sharing, modifying and improving code together – a network model that’s become the dominant form for software development, explained Brownell, hoping to get his participants to choose a “bazaar model” over a “cathedral”.

As the course concludes, Peter Brownell summarises what he hopes his students have learnt about code:

“It’s not that obscure, and it is something you can understand.”