Startup Internships - Stick With What You Don't Know

Within the last 3 months Brangelina was no more, Trump Tower became Trump White House and I’ve been interning at Launch22, a startup charity that helps other startups... start up.

Google tells you that an intern is a ‘confined [...] prisoner, especially for political or military reasons’ and though probably (definitely) true for many, the freedom that came with working in a startup environment was a world away from the textbook bind of academic education. So freedom’s great and all but accepting this freedom (and its inevitable responsibilities) with arms wide open was a bit of a challenge. But! Accept I did, and these are my three months interning at a start-up business.

 

1st Month: The Thirst for Knowledge (and Caffeine).

August 2016 and fresh out of Queen Mary UoL’s academic womb, I was headed straight into a startup incubator. Second week in and I was sat for an hour, driven to make use of my lecture note-taking skills to overcome the basics of Google Adwords via Youtube. A day later I was running Launch22’s Adwords campaign – just about. For the rest of the month, I was to conquer Buffer, Mailchimp, Squarespace, all social media platforms, Excel spreadsheets and last but not least, how to change the towel holder.

Commonly enough, interning and working is thought the death of learning. The 3 or 4 years of cramming information in lectures is replaced by disappointing coffee runs and dreary tasks. However the nature of startups often means that you’ll be working in intimately smaller teams, requiring bigger responsibility, and in a business that’s probably driving for the innovation that’s defining it as a startup – aka, this is learning central. Being surrounded by startup entrepreneurs will encourage you more than most to learn but you will need to be thrifty with your learning - whether it’s Youtube tutorials or through your team. Take initiative with your learning.

 

2nd Month: Unproductive Productivity.

Having mastered changing the hand towel holder after breaking it, the path was a little cleaner. With a smaller team though comes greater participation in team growth. My role soon expanded to include Events Coordination and support in management of new interns. And while I was thoroughly enjoying opportunities I otherwise may not have had as an intern in a corporate, they were big boots to fill. The original tasks and goals I had set out to accomplish were lost in the pile. In attempts to increase productivity, my campaign managing and general managing eroded into micro managing. I was doing a lot without achieving enough.

In startups, there’ll always be a lot of work and fewer people and the temptation to achieve way too much is real, making it easy to lose sight of your own goals. Prioritising is an obvious one but easier said than done so set deadlines for yourself even if there is no final deadline - personal deadlines will keep you on top of things. Make use of those tools your team has given you to help schedule yourself (I am now an avid fan of Trello) and when there’s simply too much to do, tell your team for the sake of yourself and the business.

 

3rd Month: Launch22 Launching People.

Being a part of Launch22 and startup businesses in general can sometimes be likened to an extended stay at school or in my case, university (without the £27k price tag). There’s a lot of learning but also a lot of self-development and discipline. Launch22 was established as a startup business accelerator and while my internship here was also in development of my career, it’s more than that - it’s also a people accelerator. I was able to talk to the L22 mentors like Roy and Stephane and others who have decided to pursue their personal goals. I’ve gained insight and a ton of motivation into the concept of ‘working for fun’ and for myself.

An internship in a startup business will be unpredictable, sometimes more work than you might be used to and require an ability to adapt, but with arms wide open, these are the experiences that will build a solid foundation for your career and for your own sense of self. Entering Launch22, I was unsure what the startup business would be like - the job ad was just as mysterious – but not knowing what to expect was precisely how I learnt the most.

 

The Future of Launch22 Depends on…

A few weeks ago the Hackney Council announced that they would be raising rates by 46% due to their value perception of the area, rents and other questionable stats. Launch22 founder, Eddie Holmes, wrote a blog post about it and now comes the follow up.

Over the span of two and a half years, Launch22 London and Launch22 Liverpool have had 500 members through its doors who have formed 350 businesses and produced 90 new jobs (and counting). Story Terrace, The social shop, eRevalue and Meakabears, to name a few, are all companies that started their journey in Launch22 and have since grown to be well established businesses.

We’ve hosted approximately 300 start-up related events and our mentors have provided members with over 2000 hours of valuable mentoring. We’ve truly established ourselves as a start-up incubator helping entrepreneurs grow their business fast in the right direction and in a great environment. All this has been accomplished whilst remaining true to our identity as a charity being not-for-profit and being affordable for every one and even free to those without the means of paying the membership in the beginning. So what does it mean for us when the Hackney Council is ruthless in their quest for money? This:

The bulk of Launch22’s funds is currently sourced from membership fees with some rare donations. Our partnership with Catch22 a year ago has also given us great support. However, with the situation we now find ourselves in, we must somehow create new creative strategies for higher funds without sacrificing our pledge to make entrepreneurship accessible to everyone. One such way of going about this problem is the creation of the Launch22 Philanthropy fund.

Even if the Hackney council doesn’t see the value in the work we have done over the years and the support we have given as a cornerstone in the entrepreneur ecosystem, we want to continue what we are doing and not at the expense of our members and those we are trying to help. That is why we reach out to those in this society who do understand and value our mission. Donations will do so much not just for us, but for those who rely on our work and services.

From today onward it will be possible to donate to the Launch22 Charity Philanthropy fund on Facebook, Twitter or through our website.

We at Launch22- volunteers, mentors and members, hope that this information reaches the right people and that we can continue working with entrepreneurs and start-ups, providing them with all the tools they need to succeed.  If the downhill continues, it will mean that one of the core pillars in the entrepreneurial ecosystem will be taken away which will lead to less jobs, less innovation, less start-ups and all in all a weaker ground for businesses to launch.

Let start-ups hatch,  let Launch22 incubate.

Is Hackney Council at least 46% Crazy?

Launch22 Incubator

The impending revaluation of London’s commercial property has been making headlines recently, for all the wrong reasons as far as startups are concerned. The Evening Standard’s editorial on 10 October described how the move will have “inevitable, disastrous consequences.” Here is one small example.

Launch22 is a startup that helps other startups start up. We are a registered charity and our mission is to provide free and affordable office space, mentoring and events for early stage entrepreneurs, regardless of their background or means. Our entrepreneurs have gone on to create dozens of jobs and added to the wealth of our society. The unemployed volunteers, whom we train in the many facets of entrepreneurship, almost always go on to obtain well paid, full time employment in some of London’s leading startups, such as Fixflo and GoCardless.

One of the reasons our services have been utilised by hundreds of entrepreneurs over the past two and a half years is because Hackney’s business rates make short term, flexible workspace so expensive. Entrepreneurs already find themselves priced out of this area, and our pricing is very attractive – or indeed free.

Now our rates are going up by 46%. Talk about an inflation busting increase!

Not only is such an increase clearly extortionate profiteering but it comes hot on the heels of Hackney’s refusal to grant us discretionary rates relief, which would reduce our rates bill to zero. This is a relief that is available to any charity but whether you qualify comes down to the magnanimity of the Council to grant it (or not, in our case!).

In stark contrast, Liverpool City Council understands the value of our services to the development of the local start-up ecosystem, and have granted our Centre there full discretionary relief.

So, what does it mean for us? Simply put, we may well go out of business. That means the jobs that we create for our own team will be lost and it means one of London’s vital support networks of mentoring and educational events will be disbanded.

Fewer successful startups means fewer jobs created and a reduction in social mobility. That’s “inevitable and disastrous” for our country.

 

 

Calculated Financial Risk is Better than no Risk.

Sam Zawadzki - Apply.Property

Sam Zawadzki - Apply.Property

“100% of a small pie or 50% of a mega one” that is the question!

Launch22 member Sam Zawadzki tells us how selling equity can benefit your business.

Many entrepreneurs become very possessive over their equity, and don’t see that selling part of their business would provide them with the cash that they need to accelerate its growth!

Meeting with Sam Zawadzki, founder of proptech company Apply.Property — its evident why his business successfully took off from the beginning and his advice to start-ups was clear: “Don’t be afraid to sell equity”.

1. Selling Equity

A core plot twist to every Dragon’s Den pitch, a tycoon will offer all the money the pitcher is asking for, but ask for a greater slice of the business the pitchers are not ready to part with. Usually the pitcher is hesitant with the prospect of giving away his/her baby. But it’s this very attachment that Sam cautions against.

The hesitancy when faced with this challenge is of course not unfounded. When you sell equity to raise cash, not only are you giving away rights to future profit but you are selling the rights to a certain amount of control over how the company is managed. However you’re also getting an experienced individual to effectively join your team, once an investor puts money in they have a vested interest in your success. They will be on your side and they will do what they can to help open doors and get things moving. An investor's time, energy and network is often far more valuable than their cash.

2. Take advantage of investment.

Sam’s own company Apply.Property started with £150,000 investment which benefited from a government tax scheme called SEIS, which protects investors. It is a low risk way to kick start your business. The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) is designed to help small, early-stage companies raise equity finance by offering tax reliefs to individual investors who purchase new shares in those companies. Their tax scheme meant that SEIS investors are not at risk of losing all their money if the business was to fail.

3. Conditioned spending. The right time to be a hoarder.

A final bit of essential advice from Sam: be cautious when spending money.

When working with suppliers try to make everything conditional on performance. This ensures that you receive value on the money that you spend. For instance, agreeing a condition on performance based purchase for advertising or PR is key.

So for those of you who are at the very beginnings of your start-up or completely in the thick of it, knowing when to spend and when to sell equity away will be a difficult task but when calculated it will always be at the core of accelerating your business.

 

3 Tips to Succeed - with Rabble

Exercising can sometimes be a bit of a drab but Launch22 member Rabble makes getting your fitness fix fun and memorable by getting you involved in numerous team games.  Having only been founded 2 years ago by Charlotte Roach, Rabble can already be found all across England (pretty impressive).

Before suffering an injury which would force her athletic career to a halt, Charlotte was training as a professional athlete and preparing to compete in the London 2012 Olympic games. Eventually, she then found herself as a construction manager in London but the role lacked the excitement and drive she was used to. Even trips to the gym were becoming a chore with no one to train with and little human interaction involved.

There had to be a more engaging way of exercising and Charlotte knew that she herself could make exercise fun and enjoyable. Leaving her day job, Charlotte began working on a business that would enable people access to much more varied, exciting and engaging team based forms of exercise. Thus became Rabble.

Speaking to Charlotte about her experiences so far, there are many valuable hints and tips for anyone looking to start their own business or even for those in the midst of a startup.

Test your product or service out before you invest any money into it.

One of the key pieces of advice I received from Charlotte was to make sure your product is viable before placing any investments into it.

It’s essential that what your product have to offer will be well received by the public. This will also force you to make tweaks to the product or service that you may not have come across before – you will never have a perfect product, but getting close to it should always be your aim.

Though garnering lots of attention on sites such as ‘meetup’ Charlotte realised that those signing up were potentially too unreliable to establish Rabble on. Alongside issues of sourcing sporting equipment, finding a reliable member base was essential.

Make sure you have a market for your product/service

This is very important. You may have the best product, but if you don’t have a clear target market or do not have a clear gap in the market for what you want to provide, then no matter how good you think the product is, it’s unlikely to succeed.

The market gap for Rabble was clear, with no company providing invigorating team games to the general public. There are many other ways that you could help you figure out whether you have a good product, for example at Launch22, there are mentors in different industries that could help guide you through identifying your target audience.

Try not to do everything yourself whenever it’s possible

One of the inevitabilities that come with starting a startup are the endless piles of work.

What is also an inevitability is the lack of funding and therefore a lack of resources and permanent employees to help support the workload, so if you’re able to find help for even just an hour, take it.

In the early days, Rabble experienced high signups but the nature of the sites Charlotte was using to attract participants meant that these numbers never guaranteed full conversion into actual members. Too many no-shows meant not enough people for team games. So, in order to fill numbers, Charlotte invited her own friends to join in – which led to good first impressions of Rabble and importantly fun games!

After listening to Charlotte, you can definitely see her excitement and passion for sports and Rabble and it’s something she wants everyone to know about. Through Charlotte’s failures and eventual growing success, there is much that can be learnt and applied to your own startup.

To visit Rabble, Click Here

 

 

 

 

 

Story Of Launch22

Launch22 was born in early 2014, the offspring of an unholy alliance between cousins David Hardman and Eddie Holmes. Having mentored dozens of young people through the Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme, alongside running his own proptech businesses, Eddie felt that those same young people would benefit from a venue where they could develop their intellectual and social capital, at no cost, in the UK’s leading startup area, Tech City. Oh, and also have somewhere really cool to hang out with other entrepreneurs!

Following a stint volunteering in a Burmese school, David was encouraged to follow his dream of building a meaningful charity and Launchpad Labs (our original name!) came to life.

Supported by the generosity of some very lovely people (step forward, Viv, Craig, Anna, Harry and others) we secured a property in Shoreditch and opened for business in June 2014.

Providing free and affordable workspace, mentoring and regular events turned out to be much more of a logistical challenge than it might sound and, through necessity rather than design, we started our intern programme. This programme is open to unemployed people and, over the course of a three-month period, Launch22 provides a sandpit for people to learn about and practice entrepreneurship through helping us run the charity.

We’ve had so much help along the way from over 25 wonderful volunteers, without whom we simply could not function. It’s to our pride and their credit that almost all of those people are now in full time education or employment, including with some of the UK’s hottest startups.

Along the way, we were introduced by one of our members to Catch22, a national charity working with disadvantaged young people. With well-developed programmes in education and employment, but none in enterprise, it was a natural collaboration and, with the help of an investment from Catch22, LaunchPad Labs became Launch22 and used the money to open our second centre in Liverpool. We figured that if our model worked there, with some of the lowest rates of enterprise per capita and some of the highest rates of disadvantage, then it would work anywhere!

Today we have two operational self-sufficient incubators and are planning further expansion around the UK. We’d love to hear from you if you’d like to get involved with us or simply chat about the kind of issues and people we work with. As a charity, we are proud to have an independent informed viewpoint on entrepreneurship and social enterprise.

Finally, all of this would be for nothing without the input of our members and we are proud to have worked with entrepreneurs and businesses from all walks of life and all sectors. We believe that entrepreneurship support should be available to the greatest number of people, regardless of whether their business ideas are designed to become global operations or local community focused social enterprises.

 

Get in touch!

The Launch22 team

University is great, but internships make a difference.

Traditionally, earning a University degree was a guaranteed sign of future success, a direct route onto the job ladder. But in today’s job market this is no longer the case. The number of students going to university is increasing each year and the current job market for graduates is slowly improving but is not as it once was before the recession hit.

I completed a 3 month marketing internship position with Launch22, starting as soon as I finished my last university exam. I studied business at University, however I learnt much more about business in 3 months as an intern than in 3 years of reading about business from a textbook. There’s not much to gain from learning the leadership styles that were prevalent in the 50s, 60s or 70s.. SO here are a few of my thoughts on what a Launch22 internship has meant to me.

It’s tough out here. Employers are claiming graduates do not have the skills they are looking for and as a result, grads are struggling to get a job they feel their years of education should have prepared them for. 21% of under 25s in the EU are unemployed after coming out of University and Peter Cappelli of Washington Post suggests “employers have unrealistic expectations of candidates and are unwilling to train new hires”.

A 2:1 degree no longer guarantees you a job offer. Graduates who have some work experience or who have completed an internship may be able to separate themselves from the rest of the candidates however. Internships can be a fantastic way of getting ahead with the benefits including the following:

1. Learn more about your field or industry: For individuals who have studied a broad subject such as ‘business’, there are many areas to specialise in after you graduate and it can be tricky to choose the specific industry you want to go into. An internship is the perfect way of testing the water.

2. Decide if this is the right path for you: Before applying for internships you need to do your homework. How many times have you heard students or graduates say “I don’t know what I want to do with my life?”. An internship in a field that you are considering is a great start to answering this question. You get to find out if you would enjoy pursuing this career path as well as learning about other possible paths whilst doing it.

3. Develop and build upon skills: A significant flaw many graduates experience is their lack of confidence in their own abilities in the real world. An internship is a place where you can develop these as well as learn new skills that are hugely advantageous to have in future employment opportunities.

4. Gain valuable networking contacts: One of the biggest benefits to completing an internship is the contacts you gain and the people you meet. I was fortunate enough to meet some fantastic people who have helped me land a new job and notify me about unadvertised job opportunities.

5. Get your foot in the door at a company: Recruiters have confirmed that 32% of this year’s entry-level positions are expected to be filled by graduates who have already worked for their organisations — either through paid internships, industrial placements or vacation work.

6. Learn about the world of work: Although most students and graduates have worked before (perhaps at a bar or two) it is not likely to be anything like an internship role. The value in seeing how a business is run, experiencing your day to day tasks and interacting with a team as well as your customers is incredible.

You can find out more about Launch22’s internship program at www.launch22.co.uk or email info@launch22.co.uk

What’s your niche? The Trials and Tribulations of a Mobile App Startup

Being a startup entrepreneur involves endless battles, but when your product is also a mobile app, you’re faced with a whole lot more challenges that come with the fast changing and super crowded market.

From conception to crippling failures (and everything in between) — Laura Sagen, creator of the Behere app which allows you to create shared experiences with your next door stranger, tells us of her experiences on the mobile startup road and the importance of knowing your niche market.

 

The Idea.

No stranger to solo travelling, Laura had expected her trip to Japan and the meeting of locals to be a fun process but to her surprise, she had felt more of an outsider than a neighbour. Laura began her search for a resolution and the initial ideas of an app that would instantly connect you to strangers with similar interests were formed.

 

Coding without actually knowing code.

Armed with your idea for a mobile app, one of the greatest trials you will encounter as an app startup is the battle of coding. You’re swimming in ideas but how do you turn them into reality? Unless coding is your second language, you will need to either learn it, or scour for someone who knows it (preferably both).

Laura’s role as a managing consultant at Ernst and Young was a world away from app development and though finding herself completely consumed by her app, Laura lacked the background in coding that would bring her ideas into a tangible tech reality. Laura opted to search for developers at various tech meetups but again, this in itself was a challenge.

As it stands, the demand for skilled developers is incredibly high but reaching these developers seems to be a shared difficulty. WorkInStartups is a great place to find your future developer and vice versa, the site lists startups that are constantly in search of developers. Resident mentors at Launch22 like Joaquim Canet of Develapps are also code wizards with an abundance of knowledge to share. Even searching in your local tech universities can be rewarding. 

 

Know Your Niche. What’s a business without a plan?

Even with a functioning product, a business will struggle without plans to get from A to B. An inevitable part of a business plan and (unfortunately) one of life’s biggest questions that you musn’t avoid asking yourself is ‘how would this product have monetary value? Is it profitable?’

April 2016, Behere faced harsh criticism for its weak business plan and Laura reached an all time low — the mobile app was at a standstill but Laura would come to find the app’s need for a niche as their answer.

Developing your mobile app in a niche market is especially important with the sheer number of mobile apps being created - making for a crowded market. Establishing a clear focus for your app and defining your perfect target group (keeping in mind that you don’t want to be so niche as to not have a large enough reach) is essential for reducing the number of competitors you will need to tackle later on. Key point: to begin building your app with your niche in mind rather than shoehorning an app into a niche.

Laura and the Behere team have decided to place a strong focus on selling B2B. For Laura, the very corporate world which she once belonged to and believed socially stifling would essentially become her niche market. Her app now currently aims to deconstruct the corporate concrete buildings into a thriving “social ecosystem” and allow companies to build a more successful sense of company community with the app.

Lastly, and in the words of Laura, “Done is better than perfect” — to imagine is great but to create is fantastic. Rather than mulling over a project, whether it will work and whether it will gain traction, do it.

 

 

Start-up tips: Marketing skin bugs

How do you market skin bugs from a start-up base in Silicon Roundabout? A skincare line, Gallinée, has used the tactics of the tech start-up to market a unique skincare line that looks after the good bacteria in your body.

Though not exactly what comes to mind of when you think about the ‘infamous’ Silicon Roundabout Marie, Founder and CEO, has used the ‘new school’ tactics of the tech start-up to accelerate her business. Gallinée is now one of many success stories from the Launch22 family. As a skincare line Galinée wants to take care of your micro biome (all the good bacteria in your body). We spoke to Marie to find out what she needed for a successful business.

1) Prototyping

There’s always a certain excitement when that brilliant idea for a business strikes you however the preparation and dedication to be ahead of the curve saw Gallinée excel that idea into reality.

3 months before Gallinée officially launched they had a prototype ready and waiting. The product was distributed to a handful of journalists and some key retailers to try. When it came to actually getting the product on the shelves it was about persistence, but also about innovation: in such a crowded market, buyers appreciated the unique product. Gallinée is the first skincare brand taking care of your good bacteria and talking openly about it. It does antagonise part of their audience but the public opinion is changing very quickly in their perception of bacteria.

2) Make sure you have the right help.

As much as some of us hate to admit, we all need help sometimes. We don’t know it all, so consulting the right person is an essential part of the process to turn ideas into reality.

When it came to raising money crowd funding was a full time job in itself. Marie found Kelly Angood from Indiegogo, who provided the crowd funding help for Marie’s business. If you can catch one of Kelly’s workshops, go for it. Launch22 mentors Joaquim Canet and Benjamin Schnau can be added to the list of helpful names, talking through Gallinée’s kickstarter campaign and reviewing business plans.

Gallinée had a full marketing plan for their Kickstarter campaign. The results turned out to be more than just money with 800 presold products, early consumer feedback and interest from certain retailers.

3) Don’t be afraid to talk.

Never be afraid to talk about your project. A lot of entrepreneurs are scared people are going to steal their idea. Actually no one is going to steal your idea. People will try to help you. What’s going to make it work isn’t the idea it’s the hard work you’re going to put behind it!

From working in a business incubator Marie has had access to the wealth of knowledge from the business experts that are the Launch22 mentors.Working in a space where other start-ups are doing the same as well, being afraid to talk about your idea could only harm your business.

So there it is. Gallinée, a small skincare line in the heart of Silicon Roundabout making lots of noise and gaining serious ground in the beauty industry. If you’re interested in the Launch22 business incubator don’t be shy and arrange a visit.

 

Startups…Don’t be afraid to make young hires!

Starting a business is not rocket science, IT’S A LOT HARDER… Okay, so this may be a slight exaggeration, nonetheless, starting up is not easy. A lot of resources, skills and bucketfuls of luck are needed. It’s safe to say that a single founder certainly can’t do all of this. A team of like-minded, driven individuals is key. The tricky part in that case is figuring out who to hire.

Startups…Don’t be afraid to make young hires!

Do you hire someone with 20+ years experience or a fresh faced 19 year old? Stereotypes have been created about young people (we’ll say 18–25), most notably of their inexperience and the inability to take on responsibility. This can be true to a certain extent, however there are many more attributes young hires can bring to the table, and with the right leadership, the shortcomings mentioned above can be successfully developedSo, let’s get into it.

Enthusiasm

A young person tends to bring fresh zeal to a team. They will have new ideas and novel ways to approach challenges. Your challenge after hiring them will be to channel this newfound enthusiasm into productive work.

Information sponges

They soak up information like it’s going out of fashion! As it could be many’s first job they are eager to learn as much as possible about new software, methodologies, skills. Just make sure you are focusing their learning so it is relevant for the job at hand. There isn’t much use in someone learning a coding language when they are focusing on sales.

Not jaded by previous experiences

More mature employees will have had different jobs in different industries and some may have been jaded by those experiences. Having to learn new habits and break old ones can also be a challenge. Young people are more like a blank canvas, with only good habits to learn.

Tech enabled

Young hires are digital natives. They grew up with the technology that your business is using, this allows them to pick things up relatively fast. Brooks’ lawI believe can be applied when taking on any new hire but if they already know their way around the software, this loss of productivity can be minimised.

Employ the talent of tomorrow today

The Elon Musks and Mark Zuckerbergs all started somewhere, could it be within your startup? Aspirational entrepreneurs will constantly be seeking new challenges, if this is nurtured within your own startup then you never know what could happen in the future! They may not stick around forever so make sure you get the most out of them before a young hire decides it’s time to move on.

Demand less pay

Are you a bootstrapping startup? Young talent will demand less pay which can really help you stretch out that cash cliff.

Not afraid to fail

Taking risks is a tricky one. An individual with years of industry experience will naturally be more risk averse, which is necessary in some lines of work, however startups are all about risk taking and you want someone who is not afraid to leap into those chasms of uncertainty to get results.

With the exception of filling very technical roles, hiring and training young people can be a huge benefactor for your fledgling startup. And besides, if you don’t take them on, the corporate world will!

Get a Head Start during the slow month of August.

August is notoriously known for being a slow month for business. A time where responses to emails take that bit longer, a time where the out-of-office email is seen ever more frequently. This is because people are using this time to go on their holidays during the summer months. We all know that it can be frustrating for anyone that is still working on making their start-up successful, if during a whole month of the year, clients, suppliers and partners are all M.I.A, and it could make you feel like maybe you should do the same as everybody else and disappear for a couple of weeks, but there are true benefits to using this time to your advantage.

As a start up company, there is so much for you think about and do, that sometimes parts of the business gets neglected, and that is definitely not what you want to happen. So why don’t you use this month to concentrate on some of the aspects of the business that you may not have paid as much attention to, especially parts of the business that could help to move the business forward if a little extra time was dedicated to it.

Another benefit to working during the August month is that the type of distractions that you would have had to handle alongside your general work in the start up like dealing with other businesses enquiries will become less frequent, as generally the people at the other end of the phone are probably relaxing on a sunny beach somewhere enjoying their summer holiday. That leaves you with the opportunity to concentrate and work on your business and do the things that you started your start up for in the first place. Whether it was to show off your exciting new product or to evaluate previous results to try and find ways of being far more efficient once August has ended and people are coming back from their holidays.

All in all, even though August is notoriously known for being a slow month for business, that doesn’t mean that you and your business has to slow down as well. Use this time to prepare your start up, so that once your competitors and partners all come back and are ready to go, you well have a well earned head start, and I believe that is essentially what a lot start ups wish they had when the work starts to pile up.

 

Emotional Intelligence: How to pitch to a Venture Capitalist and shine.

Emotional Intelligence: How to pitch to a Venture Capitalist and shine.

No matter how convinced you are that your business has legs, a venture capitalist will see it going nowhere unless they are convinced that you can teach it to walk. It’s really not down to your cashflow forecast or your market research. Unique Selling Point? Not always the deciding factor either. The single most important factor a VC will consider before investing in your company is the people running it. Bottom line: if you can convince them that you are the entrepreneur who is going to make them a lot of money, you’re set.

To Uni, or not to Uni? Why University is not the only choice after all.

To Uni, or not to Uni? Excuse the cheesy line but how else am I meant to get peoples attention on this?

10+ years ago, the general consensus was; university will get you a well paid job and comfortable lifestyle. However, in recent years, with the rise of tuition fees and seemingly increased competition in post grad positions, I believe there are so many more opportunities available to young people.

Can Detroit follow in Shoreditch’s footsteps and become a startup hub?

Can Detroit follow in Shoreditch’s footsteps and become a startup hub?

Detroit is a city in the middle of a renaissance, In the 50’s the city was famous for its industrial dominance, cultural variety and automobile innovation — It was a city that was thriving. 30 years on and Detroit was at the peak of its suffering — major automobile manufacturers had left the city, there was ongoing racial tension, political corruption, a nickname of “stab city” and economic turmoil that left the once thriving city broken into pieces.

Top four things I learnt from my Launch22 Internship

When I graduated from university with a degree in Biomedical Science, I didn’t have a plan for what to do next like most other graduates. I knew I didn’t want to work in a lab or continue with masters or PhDs like my classmates, so I needed to find experience elsewhere. Since I’ve always had an interest in tech and I wanted to try something completely new, I looked for roles in start-ups. When I saw the vacancy for a Marketing Intern at Launch22, I applied right away!