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Keynotes at The National Franchise Exhibition

Keynote speaker Ed Hollands

Ed Hollands | Founder of DrivenMedia

Friday 5 October

12.45 - 13.15 | Theatre 1

From The Roadside to Dragon's Den 

Ed Hollands is the 24-year-old entrepreneur behind DrivenMedia, the Midlands - based advertising agency which creates mobile billboards on commercial trailers for brands, organisations and businesses.

He got the idea of mobile billboards on an early morning walk when he saw traffic – including several large, plain lorries – queuing at a busy roundabout as rush hour traffic began to build. He realised the scope for offering companies a different type of marketing opportunity was huge. 

DrivenMedia entered the public consciousness in February 2018 when Ed appeared to pitch his idea on Dragon’s Den and the programme was aired. Ed has known for several months about his success yet had to keep the knowledge under wraps. His enthusiasm in the Den was picked up by several Dragons and one – Jenny Campbell, the Cashpoint Queen – invested in him. Since that time she has been supporting him in building his business.

Ed will be discussing the highs and lows of building a business from scratch, and how to turn early mistakes into the foundations of success.

 Keynote speaker Driven Media

Keynote Speaker Lauren Dorling 


Lauren Dorling | Founder of Solesmith

Saturday 6 October

13:30 - 14:00 | Theatre 1

Put Your Best Foot Forward

Solesmith began as one of those lightbulb moments realising there was a business opportunity for (of all things) socks! Using the spare bedroom as a workshop, founder Lauren Dorling set about to create high-end personalised socks aimed at the giftware market. Since its small beginnings, the business has gone from strength to strength. Solesmith now design and hand-finish every pair in Burton-on-Trent with thousands of pairs of socks sold every month to destinations all over the world.

Thanks to wholesale contracts with major retailers including Notonthehighstreet, as well as through direct sales, the personalised sock brand was named one of the top 100 UK startups in 2017 by Startups. It has also custom-made socks for This Morning and Eastenders, as well being featured on Buzzfeed.

Lauren, who helps to design and personalise each of the special mementos for everything from weddings to birthdays, graduations to Christmas, exams to anniversaries, will be talking about her journey growing the business from an idea to success, as well as looking at what the future holds for her cult brand.

Keynote speaker Solesmith

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