Ecademy unveils new chairman with ambitions to turn business network around with £1.5M investment

Ecademy Sale to Lyndon Wood

Wood’s investment, set to be ‘of up to £1.5 million’ is set to form a key part of the online business community’s ambitions to turn around the reversal of fortunes it has seen over the past few years.

Ecademy established itself as a ‘dynamic membership organisation’ aimed at small and medium business owners, providing entrepreneurs with networks and contacts to help them grow their businesses, but with many turning to the likes of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter as engagement tools the network has been struggling over the past few years.

This new deal, which will see original co-founder Penny Power own 25 per cent of the new company with her husband Thomas Power becoming the company’s CEO, comes less than a year after the Triumphant Events’ founder Daniel Priestley and serial entrepreneur Jeremy Harbour tried to save the network last year in a deal reportedly valuing the site at just £1.

However as founder and chairman of www.Constructaquote.com and Moorhouse Group, one of the UK’s top 100 insurance brokers, Lyndon Wood brings a wide range of commercial experience to Ecademy and will work with the founders to invest in the development of the community.

In February this year, he published Diary of a Fortune Hunter, a manual of his entrepreneurial experience and advice. In his new role, he will provide investment to help business owners share their knowledge and assist each other in growing their businesses. He will also oversee the building of a new online platform for Ecademy, due early next year.

Thomas Power, co-founder and new CEO of Ecademy, commented: “We are delighted to announce the arrival of Lyndon Wood as the new chairman of Ecademy as we further invest in the development of the community. He has an outstanding track record as a successful entrepreneur and he brings a wealth of creativity, connections and business acumen that will fuel the future growth prospects for Ecademy.”

Lyndon Wood commented:“Thomas and Penny have built Ecademy into a powerful and highly interactive community for thousands of entrepreneurs. We now have a significant development budget and a great vision which we will use to make Ecademy the best and most useful business social community in the world.”

About Paul Jones

Business Matters Editor

  • David H

    Gosh I was sure I left a comment earlier? Censorship?

  • Tin Soldier

    The only way Thomas Power ever makes any sense is if there’s censorship.

    • Timmy Pewer

      Oh yes, “la la la la la, I can’t hear you” [fingers in ears]

  • Verity Uberalles

    Interesting to see that factual comments on this thread have been deleted.

    Hilarious.

    To summarise.

    Lyndon has bought a business he claimed has 650,000 members. Sadly even the former owners eventually agreed this was ridiculous but it seems like Lyndon did not do his due diligence.

    “Thomas and Penny have built Ecademy into a powerful and highly interactive community for thousands of entrepreneurs.

    Lyndon – in fact, they had driven it into the ground to sell it for a quid a year ago. The new owner was then looking for a new sucker and instead found a savvy business man in his own sphere but who perhaps hasn’t done his homework on this one and has perhaps swallowed claims that aren’t actually quite as he’d expect.

    I am embarassed that this site has edited comments as that is exactly the kind of thing that Ecademy (particularly the Powers) used to do when their inaccurate claims were questions.

    Please don’t do it again BM.. I expect better

    • Steven S

      Always critics always cynics always nay sayers. You maybe right but consider you could also be very wrong. Take a balanced approach its always the best one or you just look like an idiot. (see how quick you jumped on BM without even waiting) Oh and wish any business well.

      • Verity Uberalles

        Lyndon claimed 650,000 users. That’s a fact Jack.

        The Powers sold the business for a quid after years of declining membership and participation under their steering. That’s a fact too Jack.

        I believe the editing concern was reasonable, and I have responded very positively to the prompt customer service message.

        I prefer to deal in facts rather than just open my mouth and accept anything shovelled into it. I appear to know more of the facts than you on this occasion, so while I applaud your enthusiasm, I suggest you direct it where it’s needed. Lyndon has proclaimed himself a big boy. If you want to defend the situation then please concentrate on facts rather than whinging about negative people. Alternatively, vent your spleen towards all those people you’d term negative that have created huge businesses. I think that the list of uncritically positive business leaders of fortune 500 companies is quite short.

        I’m far from an idiot Steven and suspect I can continue making cogent arguments with my facts based approach while you have to resort to school yard taunts.

        • Navid Corning

          Analysis of a week of activity on the blogs suggests the following.

          https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Ag80YS9LvhU0dE9UalBMOVBlTzdsSFlxYy1TazU2NHc

          Grades –
          Nil – Basic MemberTick – VerifiedPN – Power NetworkerBS – Blackstar subscriptionBSL – Blackstar Life

          In a week, Ecademy had 166 active users posting blogs or commenting.167 blogs were posted, by 72 people.There were 1078 comments made on those blogs.
          130 of those comments (12%) were made by 1 person – Robert Craven.Another 61 comments (5.6%) were made by another – William Buist.
          72 people started blogs. (0.01% of users)96 of the 167 blogs (57%) were posted by just 16 people.11 of the 167 blogs (6.6%) were posted by one person, Suzy “find a model” O’Connor.
          While looking into the preceding figure, I made another bizarre discovery.Suzy is a paid-up Power Networker, who should not be confused with another paid-up Power Networker – Suzy O’Connor.No accident. On March 14th 2012 she posted the same blog from both accounts.Her 11 blogs during the week analysed attracted 1 comment, by über-commenter Robert Craven, whose considered input was “Quite right!”.
          So, bandying around a figure of 650,000 members seems a little disingenuous when the active members in a given week are 166.

  • businessmatters

    No comments have been deleted. We don’t do that unless they are illegal/offensive etc. Returning visitors will notice that tonight we are in the process of going live with a new look to our site and we can only assume that there is a slight hiccup in the previous comments showing as they are there and are all visible if you click the community icon in the discussion toolbar.

    • Jim

      Maybe they were not deleted deliberately, but at least two contributions have disappeared. Maybe it’s a software problem.

      • businessmatters

        Yes, we are looking into this as we can see the other comments, but this piece appears to have 2 URLs and the others comments are on the other one. We do apologise that this happened in our overnight upgrade and are seeing what we can do to resolve it.

        • Jim

          Thanks- your customer comminications are excellent! There’s another glitch. I posted as ‘Jim’ with my correct email address – as I have with this post – but I appear above as Steven S!

          • Jim

            Well – that one is now fixed – well done.

  • Verity Uberalles

    Thanks for the explanation 🙂

    I don’t think you can get to the comments via the community button. You can see the comment count but the link returns us here.

  • Keith Stoddart

    Sometimes a change of leadership and direction is good and I for one wish ecad all the very best.

  • Just me

    I left Ecademy because of Steve holmes. He is a vile man and he wishes people die horrible deaths and hounds people and is a huge bully and a hypocrite. I was intrigued by this takeover and went back but see the same horrible behavior. Nice people left and were silenced by the team and Holmes stayed. He writes poisonous emails about people and justifies this as this being the truth. Why tolerate him? Now he’s attacking the new owner. I don’t understand. Make a new start. Remove the dead wood that created the atmosphere on this thread with their lies and abuse of power and toleration of bittter bullies like Steve.

    When the psychophants and Steve Holmes have gone I might return. I met some cool people on there but it’s ruled by weak thinkers and business performers at present.

  • Simon

    I see that Thomas & Penny Power, or Lyndon, has seen sense and the Power’s have announced that they are no longer staying on as minority shareholders or as the new Ecademy CEO. http://www.ecademy.com/node.php?id=179444 This is the best decision all round, apart from actually letting the company fold as a whole clean and fresh start is what is needed.

  • Rajan Baliah

    Ecademy was a great place to network.
    Thanks to Thomas & Penny Power. I hope Lyndon Wood will be able to drive Ecademy to better success!

    Rajan Baliah
    DR Heart Automobile
    Malaysia

  • FruitTravel

    Am i the only one, too late to recognize that Ecademy is now Sunzu ? :-/

    • dianabyron

      Yes I recognized it too late to save my profile and all my contacts!

  • Emma Walsh

    Sunzu, the new name for Ecademy, is absolutely awful. No idea what it is trying to be and the same waste’s of space that used to be all over the old site are still there! Lyndon Wood has just wasted £1.5M

    • dianabyron

      Yeah, I loved Ecademy and built very well on it, until SunZu, some infantilized Chinese version, and all my data lost….and a name that ruins the original concept…

  • Jim

    Well – two years on and it looks like SunZu has been abandoned by its new owner – judging by members’ comments here: http://www.sunzu.com/articles/sunzu-update/