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The Start-Up Diaries Podcast
3 minutes | May 17, 2022
Insights #8 | How To Pitch A Tech For Good Business To Investors
In this Insights episode Dom Raban, Co-Founder & CEO of Xploro, talks through how to pitch a tech for good business to investors, helping them to understand their ROI & ultimately how to decide if an investor is right for your mission. Xploro is a mobile application that uses augmented reality, gameplay and artificial intelligence to deliver health information to patients, reducing the stress and anxiety associated with hospitalisation, improving health literacy and fostering better engagement with health services.
27 minutes | May 9, 2022
S3 | Episode 10 | Rob Black of Beauty Bay: What 'Good' Looks Like
In the Season 3 finale of the Start-Up Diaries, Chris sat down with the Head of Tech Services at Beauty Bay - Rob Black. Beauty Bay are beauty focused e-commerce platform, that source hard-to-find brands and products for customers, with over 7000 products on site with new launches every week. In this episode, Rob talks us through his decision to leave his comfortable job in an established business to take on the challenge of a scale-up. He also dives into the challenge of influencing a team with an established culture and how he went about winning hearts and minds. Rob explains how he went about instilling mission-led values that his team live and work by and how Beauty Bay demonstrate what 'good' looks like to junior staff. He also shares one of the biggest challenges he’s faced during his time at Beauty Bay when it came to an influencer with over 2 million followers sharing a link to their website. It’s definitely an interesting one and hope you enjoy! Questions covered: Tell us about yourself and your background in tech? When making the decision to join Beauty Bay you jumped in with both feet, coming from what could be seen as a comfortable position in an established business. What made you take on the challenge of a scale-up? What made you join Beauty Bay over other opportunities? You’ve joined an established team within the business, how as a leader do you go about winning hearts and minds? You mentioned that you’re passionate about creating a mission with your team and building standards and values that they can live & work by. Why was this so important for you to build and how did you go about doing this? When preparing for the podcast you spoke about teaching junior people “what good looks like”, what do you mean by this and why do you enjoy doing it? Previously you’ve scaled teams from 14-40 people whilst restructuring to align with business growth as you go, can you talk us through this? (We have people scaling teams listening and I’d like for you to explain your method). For those listening who might currently be in comfortable job roles or well established companies, can you give some advice or even a sell for jumping into the challenge of a scale-up?
38 minutes | May 3, 2022
Insights #8 | How to Build a Roadmap for National Expansion with Modern Milkman
In this Insights episode, CTO of Modern Milkman James Renshaw talks through how they planned their roadmap for national expansion of their platform, as well as how they prepared their architecture for scaling. A great insight from an exciting start-up that's constantly in the headlines - for all the right reasons!
20 minutes | Apr 25, 2022
S3 | Episode 9 | Eliane Lugassy of Witco | Launching in Multiple Countries & Hiring Internationally
Today's guest, Eliane Lugassy is the Founder and CEO of French-based business Witco, an all-in-one app for more serviced and collaborative spaces such as offices, co-working, co-living, residences and student housing to improve communication, community and provide a one-stop shop for all of a building’s services and amenities. In this episode, Eliane talks through her decision to leap into entrepreneurship and has a very honest conversation about the challenges that she has faced as an entrepreneur, particularly as female, and how she has overcome them. We also dive into what Witco is and how the pandemic and hybrid working transformed their offering, as well as her experience launching in multiple countries at one time including the UK, Spain and Germany and the challenges that come with hiring internationally. Questions covered: Tell us a bit about yourself and the story behind Witco What made you make the decision to leap into entrepreneurship? With your product being about being in the office how did the normalisation of hybrid working change it? You’ve launched your product in multiple other countries, including the UK, France, Spain and Germany. How did you approach international launch? What were the key learning points from launching in multiple countries? Have you faced any challenges when it comes to hiring internationally? What challenges have you faced as an entrepreneur and how have you overcome them? Do you think being a female entrepreneur has its own challenges? And finally, what one piece of advice would you give to someone looking to start their own business?
6 minutes | Apr 20, 2022
Insights #7 | How to React to Challenging Situations as a Business Leader with Housemate
A bitesize moment from our episode with Lydia Jones, Founder & CEO of Housemate, sharing her insight into how to handle & overcome challenging situations as a business leader. From learning when to switch the emotion off, to knowing when or if it's time to involve the wider business, Lydia discusses everything she's learnt about navigating your organisation through a crisis.We want to hear from you! If you have any requests for topics or guests, or if you fancy being a guest on the show yourself, please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
29 minutes | Apr 7, 2022
S3 | Episode 8 | Anish Kapoor of AccessPay: Building the UK’s Fastest Growing FinTech Outside of London
Anish Kapoor, CEO of AccessPay has retired not once... but twice. After working on a series of successful disruptor tech businesses that have solved some of the most prominent problems in tech, Anish was tempted for a third time by the concept of AccessPay. AccessPay are the corporate-to-bank integration platform transforming finance and treasury operations, providing a secure digital connection to thousands of banks and payment schemes worldwide and are the fastest growing FinTech outside of London. In this episode Chris sat down with Anish and delve into the unique culture at AccessPay, how their decision to give everyone shares in the business has had an impact, as well as the future of the FinTech market in Manchester and the North-West. A great episode from a very inspiring leader!
21 minutes | Mar 29, 2022
S3 | Episode 7 | James Davison of Mobysoft: Empowering a Remote Workforce
In this episode, Chris sits down with James Davison, Chief Technology Officer of Mobysoft, a business that provides software & data driven insights that help social housing providers manage rent arrears efficiently. Coming from a background in large enterprises such as ITV, Thoughtworks and RazorFish, taking on the challenge of the CTO position at tech for good start-up was no small task. From technical challenges to developing a culture based on social responsibility, all whilst working largely remotely, James talked us through it all. He also touches on the importance of their mission as a tech for good business and how they seek to challenge the perception of social housing organisations.
4 minutes | Mar 25, 2022
Insights #6 | How to Determine if You're Ready to Take Investment with Financielle
In our latest 'Insights' episode, Laura Pomfret - Co-Founder of financial wellness app Financielle - explains how you can determine if taking investment is the right thing for your business, and, how to know if it's the right time to do so. After initially bootstrapping her business, Laura talks through how she became open to the idea of Angel investment despite currently having a 'debt-free' business, exploring the pros and cons of seeking investors.
26 minutes | Mar 15, 2022
S3 | Episode 6 | Rob Brockington of Claro Money: Marketing A Product Consumers Don't Yet Understand
In this episode, Chris is joined by Rob Brockington, CEO of Claro Money, a start-up wealth management platform aiming to create a new generation of investors who are both ethically and financially informed. Rob spent 12 years working on the trade floor of banks and climbing the corporate ladder, until 2019, when he decided to take the leap into start-up life. The inception of Claro Money was far from straightforward, as Rob discusses in the episode. But through a strong belief in his idea and the courage to make a series of daring decisions, Rob has built a product that is set to make serious waves in the increasingly crowded FinTech market. With a 3x increase in downloads of personal finance apps post-pandemic, Rob talked us through the unique strategy Claro took when it came to marketing their product and getting users onto the platform. As well as the challenges that have come along with it.If you're interested in being a guest on the Start-Up Diaries podcast, we'd love to hear from you! Please get in touch by emailing email@example.com or via our LinkedIn Page.
30 minutes | Feb 28, 2022
S3 | Episode 5 | Richard Mabey of Juro: How An Award Winning Culture Breeds Customer Success
In the first episode back since our short hiatus, Chris is joined by Richard Mabey, Co-Founder & CEO of Juro, an all-in-one contract automation platform that helps legal counsel and their teams to agree and manage contracts in one unified workspace. Juro has a glittering list of clients including Deliveroo and Cazoo. Juro was recently voted the no.1 start-up to work for in London for 2022, and in this episode, Richard dived into exactly what makes Juro such a great place to work - from their exceptionally crafted culture, to their award winning methods for attracting the right employees to the business. He also discusses how a strong customer success function has been integral to their success as a SaaS business and how they have navigated the pressure for rapid growth that often occurs post VC investment. This was a really great episode with an engaging and incredibly people-focused founder, give it a listen and hope you enjoy!
8 minutes | Jan 27, 2022
Insights #5 | How to Secure Your First Round of Fundraising with GC Angels
A bitesize moment from our episode with Jessica Jackson, giving you inside knowledge from an Investment Director on how to land your first round of fundraising. Including the do's, the don'ts and how to formulate an engaging pitch deck. If you want to hear more insider tips, listen to the full 'VC's Guide to Fundraising' episode back in Season 1!
8 minutes | Jan 13, 2022
Insights #4 | How to Build A Value-Led Business & Align Your Talent with The Data Shed
In this bonus 'Insights' episode,CEO & Co-Founder of The Data Shed, Anna Sutton shares how to build a 'value-led' organisation and how to select & implement the right personal values for your business. She also gives her insight into spotting this value-led mindset within candidates when hiring and what to look out for. Interested in being on Season 4 of the show? Get in touch with our host Chris McGowan, Head of Manchester at Burns Sheehan on LinkedIn!
5 minutes | Dec 21, 2021
Insights #3 | How to Find the Right Hybrid Working Balance with PixelMax
In this bonus episode, Co-Founder of PixelMax, Shay O'Carroll shares his insights into finding the right Hybrid working balance for your business as well as how to ensure staff wellbeing whilst working remotely. PixelMark is one of the hottest start-ups in Manchester right now and offers a 3D & fully immersive hybrid working platform & are taking the industry by storm.Interested in being on Season 4 of the show? Get in touch with our host Chris McGowan, Head of Manchester at Burns Sheehan on LinkedIn!
7 minutes | Dec 21, 2021
Insights #1 | How to Create Accountability in the Workforce with Bionic
In this bonus episode, James Lomas, CTO of Bionic & former CTO of Compare the Market gives his insights into creating accountability in the workforce and how to build this into a successful career framework. Interested in being on Season 4 of the show? Get in touch with our host Chris McGowan, Head of Manchester at Burns Sheehan on LinkedIn!
6 minutes | Dec 21, 2021
Insights #2 | How to Maintain Culture Across the Business with Zaptic
In our second 'Insights' episode, Founder & CEO of no-code platform Zaptic shares how to develop & maintain a culture to be proud of across your business & how you can spot attributes in potential candidates that compliment your culture. Interested in being on Season 4 of the show? Get in touch with our host Chris McGowan, Head of Manchester at Burns Sheehan on LinkedIn!
28 minutes | Nov 18, 2021
S3 | Episode 4 | Laura Pomfret of Financielle: Leaving A Salary To Bootstrap A Start-Up
After successfully monetising her financial wellness plan on Instagram, Laura Pomfret decided to leave her well paid job to bootstrap her very own start-up: Financielle. Based on 'The Financielle Playbook', the app offers a step by step guide to taking taking control of your money and being financially well. In this episode, Laura chatted to Chris about the idea behind was she terms 'The Couch to 5K' for money, and why she decided to take a leap into entrepreneurship... even if it was reluctantly. She also talked through how she transitioned from a non-tech background to becoming a tech-leader and her experience with the North-West tech world. As well as discussing decision making around product market placement and how to avoid chasing competitors.
20 minutes | Nov 8, 2021
S3 | Episode 3 | Richard Milnes of Zaptic: Becoming 'Dangerously Agile'
Richard Milnes is the Co-Founder & CEO of Zaptic, the no-code platform connecting frontline manufacturing teams. Unlike some other founders, Richard didn't have his 'big moment' on his first try as entrepreneur, or even his second... or third. Zaptic was the product of 5 pivots, and a 'dangerously agile' planning methodology that has since become a firm part of the company culture. In this episode, Richard talked us through the method behind the madness in his radical planning techniques, as well as why he turned down VC funding... and then changed his mind. A truly refreshing taking on foundership and shaping a start-up culture!To sign-up to be the first to get your hands on the Winter Edition of Technology Market Report & Salary Guide, follow the link below and it’ll be sent straight to your inbox upon release! https://burnssheehansurvey.typeform.com/to/b5S8x50v
32 minutes | Oct 18, 2021
S3 | Episode 2 | Shay O'Carroll of PixelMax: Revolutionising The Hybrid Working Experience
PixelMax are the 3D technology software business revolutionising the hybrid working experience through the power of their fully immersive 3D worlds. From delivering box office branded virtual events, to recreating your office floor, PixelMax are a start-up hot on everyone’s radar right now. In this episode, Chris sat down with Co-Founder Shay O’Carroll to hear all about the whirlwind story behind PixelMax and how they’ve taken both the events and hybrid working industry by storm. Shay also chatted through some of the challenges he faced in the early stages around investment and the pitfalls to look out for. We also delved into the future of hybrid working and its effect of employee wellbeing, launching in the US and his unique approach to team feedback. To sign-up to be the first to get your hands on the Winter Edition of Technology Market Report & Salary Guide, follow the link below and it’ll be sent straight to your inbox upon release! https://burnssheehansurvey.typeform.com/to/b5S8x50v
26 minutes | Sep 20, 2021
S3 | Episode 1 | James Lomas of Bionic: Driving A Tech Transformation
In our first episode of Season 3, we’re joined by James Lomas, the newest CTO at Bionic, a B2B comparison platform for business essentials. Bionic are a long-term onsite recruitment partner of ours and in this episode we’ll be talking through their transition into becoming a tech-centric business, the war for Tech talent and the topical question of flexible working-policies. James also delved into his vision for the future of the businesses and his reasons for leaving Compare the Market after 10 incredibly successful years.
62 minutes | Aug 12, 2021
Season 1 & 2 Roundup - 1 Year Anniversary Special
Host Chris McGowan reflects on the key takeaways from just some of our incredible guests across season 1 & 2 , including Michael Brennan, Jessica Jackson, Mo Aldalou, Lydia Jones, Heather & Tom Staff, Chloe Barrett, Dom Raban, Anna Sutton, Andy Still & Ashley Lockwood. This episode will cover key areas within the Start-Up journey including culture, funding & investment, mental health, some of our guests biggest challenges & advice for future founders. Thank you all for your support, comments, shares and reviews over the past year. We couldn't do it without you!
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