L@C TV: “How I created Lauritz.com and made it Scandinavia’s biggest auction house”

“How I created Lauritz.com and made it Scandinavia’s biggest auction house”, with Bengt Sundstrøm, founder, owner and president of Lauritz.com


We recently had an exciting Lunch at the Circle event with Bengt Sundstrøm, owner and president of Lauritz.com.

Over lunch Bengt told us about how he raised the money to start his business in three hours with a quick phone call to his banker, how he does not waste money on Google Ads (but instead use them effectively), what his next strategic moves will be and what the key difficulties are in creating an online auction house. But he did not tell us why he still does not have any serious competition in his business. Because, he says, it is a puzzle to him too.

Here’s a short video interview:

Bengt Sundstrøm is the owner and president of Lauritz, Scandinavia’s biggest auction house. In 1998 Bengt bought the small auction house of Lauritz Christensen Auctions, founded in 1885. One year later Bengt launched the online auctions on lauritz.com. It has since grown to a business with a turn-over of around 100 million euros. The business model is very different from other well-known internet auction houses (e.g. eBay). All bidding on Lauritz is done online but they also have brick-and-mortar viewing locations across Scandinavia where you can go and look at the items on sale. They also have a staff of over one hundred valuation experts. This mix of online auctions, valuation expertise and physical presence has been the key to Laurtiz’ success, says Bengt.

More information: http://www.lauritz.com/

Bengt also (accidentally) became the owner of a vineyard, Chateau Vignelaure, in Provence a few years ago, so he will also tell the story of life as a winegrower. As well as let us taste some of his wines of course. More information:http://www.vignelaure.com/ and on BKWine Magazine: Château Vignelaure – Cabernet sauvignon meets Provence.

And here are some more videos and images from the event!

At a Lunch at the Circle event with Bengt Sundstrom, Lauritz.com

At a Lunch at the Circle event with Bengt Sundstrom, Lauritz.com

At a Lunch at the Circle event with Bengt Sundstrom, Lauritz.com

At a Lunch at the Circle event with Bengt Sundstrom, Lauritz.com

At a Lunch at the Circle event with Bengt Sundstrom, Lauritz.com

At a Lunch at the Circle event with Bengt Sundstrom, Lauritz.com

Last L@C for the season, June 27: Online branding

The last Lunch at the Circle event for the season will take place on Wednesday June 27:

Managing your brand online with Bernadette Martin and Julie Vetter.

It will be slightly different than usual: 1) we will have two speakers and 2) the lunch will be in a different place, see below.

Here’s the outline:

Would you hire someone today without googling their name? Would you do business with someone without checking their web site? Didn’t think so. But how do you look online? Bernadette Martin and Julie Vetter have built a business around managing one’s online identity, online personal “brand”, and online image and reputation management. What will people find out about you? What tools do they use? And how can you make sure that they find an online picture of you that looks the way you want it to look? Bernadette and Julie will illustrate it with some surprising examples.

Bernadette Martin, founder of Visibility Branding, is a personal brand and e-reputation strategist, speaker and author of “Storytelling About Your Brand Online and Offline”.  More info on: http://visibilitybranding.com

Julie Vetter, founder of Hoi Moon Marketing, has over fifteen years experience in helping to create the online presence of over 50 clients in the fields of travel & leisure, transportation, hi-tech, wine, real estate, medical, and health. More info on: http://hoimoonmarketing.com/

When

Time: Wednesday June 27

……

Participation (and full details) on invitation only.

L@C TV: Growing your business on unknown markets, with Tom Thorelli

Growing your business outside your home country without burning your fingers, with Tom Thorelli, founder of Thorelli & Associates

Earlier this spring (what spring?) we had a lunch with Tom Thorelli, an american lawyer based in Paris. Tom is a specialist in helping companies develop new business in unknown markets, in particular to open up new business in the US, without falling into one of the many legal traps there are. Legal questions are of vital importance in the US and it is not easy to understand for an outsider. It may concern contracts, intellectual property (IP), patents and a host of other things. Tom explains:

The US market in particular, but also other foreign markets, are a challenge. It is easy to make mistakes, to think that things work as “at home” when you do business there. Many business that try and penetrate the US market, or other foreign markets, make simple and silly mistakes that can be avoided. Tom Thorelli has worked with many French (and European) companies to help them get established and win business in the US – without getting fingers burned – by taking the market and the competition seriously, by understanding contracts and legal issues, by knowing how to negotiate, and how to protect one’s interests. Tom will explain do:s and don’t:s based on his practical experiences from helping many foreign companies to success in the US.

Tom Thorelli is founder and managing partner of the Thorelli & Associates Law Firm in Chicago (Illinois). Tom is of Swedish origin (yes, again; I don’t do this on purpose!) and currently lives in Paris. And two days after this Lunch at the Circle event he will try to run the Paris marathon.

More info on: www.thorelli.com. “The law firm has five lawyers, four of which are located in Chicago. The focus of the firm is in protecting intellectual property rights; negotiating contracts; structuring companies; providing a full array of immigration service; and dispute resolution.”

L@C TV: Emilie Gobin, a design and web entrepreneur on l’Usine @ Design

The Lunch at the Circle event on February 16 was with Emilie Gobin, CEO and co-founder of Usine á Design.

A design and web entrepreneur: “how I created l’Usine @ Design”

Emilie Gobin is co-founder and CEO of Usine-à-Désign, an e-shop that sells custom made designer furniture directly to consumers at affordable prices. She will tell us her story: from how she started the company, over the challenges of raising over a million euros in capital to get it off the ground, to dealing with designers (you know!). In short, the story of how a young and successful French entrepreneur manages to survive! Emilie will speak in French.

More info here: http://www.usineadesign.com, and here: http://www.linkedin.com/in/emiliegobin

 

L@C TV: ROI in online marketing. With Sophie Callies, SO’xperts

ROI in online marketing. How can you measure success and effectiveness? With Sophie Callies, SO’xperts

Some while back we had a Lunch at the Circle event with Sophie Callie, who spoke on how to measure return on investment in marketing on the internet. Here’s a short video interview with Sophie:

Sophie talked about marketing in a digital and conversational world  where metrics are all over the place and where return on investments is very hard to evaluate. Yet an increasing part of the marketing dollars are spent online and on social media. She talked about benchmarks and best practices and will show some examples of high tech companies that are leveraging social media for pipeline building and cross-selling.

Sophie Callies founded SO’xperts in 2007, a consulting company specialized in marketing performance management.

Before founding SO’xperts, Sophie had a track record in driving marketing performance at worldwide level in fast growing companies such as Apple, Netscape, AOL, Alcatel and Cartesis. More information on Sophie here: http://fr.linkedin.com/in/sophiecallies and on her company SO’xperts: http://www.so-xperts.com/. Sophie was also a driving force in the creation of Lunch at the Circle back in, oh, 2003!

LAC TV: Marc Timmerman on talent management

Marc Timmerman was the guest at Lunch at the Circle on October 3. Here is a short interview with Marc:

Marc talks about talent management in fast changing environments with a particular focus on the technology sector; on the challenges of identifying and developing top talent, the trends for the future and the increasing complexity for leaders, and which solutions are key in making an organization be more attractive as an employer of talent.

Before joining Axiom consulting Marc was Executive Director of the European Talent Management practice of Hudson Highland group. Previous to that he led the HR consulting practice of De Witte & Morel, and was a Partner at Ernst & Young in Belgium. More information on Marc and on Axiom here: http://www.axiomcp.com/

Lunch at the Circle, April 13: Growing your business on unknown markets

Growing your business outside your home country without burning your fingers, with Tom Thorelli, founder of Thorelli & Associates

The US market in particular, but also other foreign markets, are a challenge. It is easy to make mistakes, to think that things work as “at home” when you do business there. Many business that try and penetrate the US market, or other foreign markets, make simple and silly mistakes that can be avoided. Tom Thorelli has worked with many French (and European) companies to help them get established and win business in the US – without getting fingers burned – by taking the market and the competition seriously, by understanding contracts and legal issues, by knowing how to negotiate, and how to protect one’s interests. Tom will explain do:s and don’t:s based on his practical experiences from helping many foreign companies to success in the US.

Tom Thorelli is founder and managing partner of the Thorelli & Associates Law Firm in Chicago (Illinois). Tom is of Swedish origin (yes, again; I don’t do this on purpose!) and currently lives in Paris. And two days after this Lunch at the Circle event he will try to run the Paris marathon.

More info on: www.thorelli.com. “The law firm has five lawyers, four of which are located in Chicago. The focus of the firm is in protecting intellectual property rights; negotiating contracts; structuring companies; providing a full array of immigration service; and dispute resolution.”

When & How

  • Time: Friday April 13, 2012
  • Location: Paris
  • Participation limited to 30 persons

Participation is on invitation only.

Information security in a world with both traditional IT and social networking: it’s all about people

A previous Lunch at the Circle event was on “security” Joseph Graceffa, co-founder and CTO of Advens.

Information security in a world with both traditional IT and social networking: it’s all about people.

Today it is not enough with “IT security”, it is really a question of information security, both for companies and for individuals. Wikileaks, l’affaire Renault, a Dutch web site that collects information from Facebook and blogs to show which houses are empty (to burgle) since the inhabitants are on vacation, someone “looses” (really?) a smartphone with the company’s entire client list on it…

On one side you need to avoid unauthorised access to your systems and information by having proper protection. On the other side you need to give people good tools to work with, especially when everyone is travelling or working from a home office: smartphones, remote VPN access, webmail etc. And then you have the “social networking” aspects: Today business is more about sharing and collaborating than what it was a few decades ago. And also about using Facebook, blogs, Twitter and other tools for the benefit of your company. But all this leads to security risks.

Information security is about technology of course, but it is also, and increasingly so, about people, their behaviour and awareness of the issues.

The Economist recently ran a big feature article on the subject: The Leaky Corporation. Read it here: http://www.economist.com/node/18226961

Joseph Graceffa, co-founder and CTO of Advens, will give us an introduction and insight into these questions.

Joseph Graceffa is co-founder and CTO of Advens, an information security company. Advens provides a full range of security services to medium and large enterprises in France and across Europe. Before creating Advens some 10 years ago he was in charge of network security at Decathalon and a consultant with Bull. More info: http://www.advens.fr/

 

Emilie Gobin, design and web entrepreneur: “how I created l’Usine @ Design”

The next Lunch at the Circle event will be on Thursday February 16 with Emilie Gobin, CEO and co-founder of Usine á Design:

A design and web entrepreneur: “how I created l’Usine @ Design”

Emilie Gobin is co-founder and CEO of Usine-à-Désign, an e-shop that sells custom made designer furniture directly to consumers at affordable prices. She will tell us her story: from how she started the company, over the challenges of raising over a million euros in capital to get it off the ground, to dealing with designers (you know!). In short, the story of how a young and successful French entrepreneur manages to survive! Emilie will speak in French.

More info here: http://www.usineadesign.com, and here: http://www.linkedin.com/in/emiliegobin

You can learn more about Emilie in these videos:

And:

Talent management in technology, challenges and solutions, with Marc Timmerman

The next Lunch at the Circle event will be on Monday October 3 on Talent Management:

Talent management in technology, challenges and solutions, with Marc Timmerman

Marc Timmerman is partner at Axiom Consulting.

Marc will talk about talent management in fast changing environments with a particular focus on the technology sector; on the challenges of identifying and developing top talent, the trends for the future and the increasing complexity for leaders, and which solutions are key in making an organization be more attractive as an employer of talent.

Before joining Axiom consulting Marc was Executive Director of the European Talent Management practice of Hudson Highland group. Previous to that he led the HR consulting practice of De Witte & Morel, and was a Partner at Ernst & Young in Belgium. More information on Marc and on Axiom here: http://www.axiomcp.com/

When & How

  • Time: Monday October 3, 12.15 (we will sit down for lunch at 12.30). Lunch ends at 14.00.
  • Location: only on invitation
  • Cost:  only on invitation/
    (Salade de canard confit, vinaigrette ‘poireax’ | Daurade sauvage poêlée, petit ragout Paimpol | Quetsches rôties & rafraichis, fine semoule au lait vanillé | bon vin | eaux pour ceux qui résistent | Café Balthazar – If you have “special dietary requirements” please inform me before/ the event.)

Participation limited to 30 persons