Last year 11,864 tech companies were registered in 2018 alone - that’s a fair amount of startups. At times though it can feel like we are the only ones going through the good, bad and ugly times. Obviously, that’s really not the case and sometimes we need reminding of that. This point was re-enforced during my attendance at The Business Show at London ExCel last week.
I met some great founders and had plenty of interesting discussions about how we could work together in the future and as always it was great to hear about their own journey, struggles and achievements. I really get a kick out of hearing other people’s story especially when it's leading to a successful outcome. It’s a great inspiration to me and others, plus it’s also real proof that you can build something great from a blank canvas once you get that idea or see the opportunity.
Some of the founders I spoke to last week are at the same stage as us and others are picking up speed having proven their product/market fit, expanding and attracting funding. Whatever stage they are at we all have the same thing in common. We are putting all of our effort, every last drop into our ventures in the hope that we will build something great. We’re all in the same boat.
It therefore seems only fair to me that I mention some of these founders I met last week and give their own brands a bit of exposure. They certainly will not be inundated with hundreds of enquiries off the back of this blog, but I hope that by me writing about them here will show my appreciation for their time at the show and the genuine interest I had in their own journey.
So, in no particular order, here goes:
Paul Westlake - PeopleUnboxed
After hearing from Paul that they are disruptive I just had to hear what he had to say. Paul and his team have extensive experience working previously with McDonald’s and they have taken all that experience they have with people and rolled it into PeopleUnboxed to create something different. Whether it’s developing your people, digitalising your learning, or creating an engaging, values driven culture, they will work with you to future-proof your workforce. They have some interesting ways of doing that too!
With clients including TUI, Dr. Martens and Five Guys, they are making some great progress.
Kate Underwood – Kate Underwood HR
When I see a stand with HR and People I’m always curious. I’m glad I was curious to chat with Kate. Aside of her excellent track record and string of awards to her name I was interested to hear about her new app Pocket HR which she is developing. It will provide small businesses with the HR assistance they need at their fingertips. It was also great to meet her brother who is actually helping develop the app.
Simon Bell – Clockers
I had a great conversation with Simon, they help companies like us that need developers and can do as little or as much as you require. With developers in Eastern Europe they can develop projects cost effectively but still get projects delivered quickly thanks to modern technology. As a founder of different companies Simon really has his finger on the pulse in startup land and knows what startups need. So much so, he is even happy to tell potential clients their idea may not be the best and not to waste money on development until they have researched it a bit more. How many founders do you know would be that honest instead of just taking on the project and getting their fees regardless? I really like that long-sighted view and that’s why Simon will do well with his team.
No doubt we will cross paths again in the future.
Mark Stephens – Smart Recruit Online
Mark used to run an agency/consultancy in the IT sector. He could see some time ago that the market was changing, and he developed Smart Recruit. Their platform helps recruiters hire faster with some clever technology that allows you to post one job on their platform which then gets posted on various other platforms, much quicker and more cost effective than any other alternatives out there. His stats are impressive and the vision he has for his company is nothing short of fantastic. A dedicated founder who has a real passion for his business.
He had plenty of questions for me too about our app and made some great suggestions without holding back which I really did appreciate. Mark has some fantastic knowledge in the recruitment sector and to be honest, the time I spent with him I would have paid good money just for the advice he gave.
He has some exciting plans moving forward which I’m looking forward to hearing about in the future.
Thanks to all of the founders mentioned in this blog post and the others that I met but didn’t mention here. My team and I look forward to meeting many more founders at other events in the future and as always wish you every success in your own ventures.
Until next time…