New startups I’ve recently come across in the UK
I recently came into contact with Get Agent through their co-founder Seb Powell who got in touch via a mutual friend at the New Entrepreneurs Foundation.
GetAgent.co.uk is a property analytics startup that uses historical sales data to help home owners find the best estate agent to sell their home. Owners provide a few basic details about their property (postcode, number of bedrooms, type etc.), which are then used to shortlist the top six agents for them, based on various performance metrics including the number of properties sold in the past six months, average time of sale and percentage of asking price achieved.
Owners can then request quotes from these agents and arrange valuation visits with those they’re interested in.
A team of friends from the NEF have successfully built and launched a new business in a day! They did this at the annual meeting of the Founders Forum in London. Their startup “Dear Penny” is a text-based service aimed at improving people understanding and management of their own finances!
The guys are currently running an IndieGoGo campaign to raise some funds! Be sure to head over, check them out and support!
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/dear-penny @Brainsift #fundDearPenny
Recent NEF alumni Corbyn Munnik & Edward Winters Ronaldson have taken on the Near Field Communications (NFC) market with their venture TapNow. They use NFC technology to connect outdoor media and advertising campaigns (billboards and posters for example) to digital content. It’s an interesting and relatively new technology and I’m keen to see how it takes off.
David Galbraith is the founder of SWIG Flasks, a new startup with a great twist on the classic Hip Flask. What you get with a SWIG Flask is a stylish, handcrafted, bespoke and British made flask with a unique engraved ID which registers you as the owner. They also come in a range of very stylish and creative genuine leather pouches too!
(Formerly known as ‘PleaseCycle’).
Yomp is the brainchild of Ry Morgan, and alumni of the New Entrepreneurs Foundation. Yomp aims to promote and get more people cycling (running & walking) to work through gamification, their apps and a rewards scheme. They’ve had some great success, recently winning £25k of funding from the Technology Strategy Board, and also the “Green Shoots” category of the Lloyds TSB PEA Business Awards.
Fellow NEF’er Dhrupad Karwa recently founded Haiku Jam with his friends. Taking traditional Japanese Haiku poems and opening them up to a wider audience, Haiku Jam have produced and released the first mobile app which allows a group of users to collaborate and create Haikus together!
Birdie List is a forthcoming venture from NEF alumni Dan Gillespie & Sam Lott. A really cool concept, Birdie List provides a new way to give and receive wedding gifts through an online registry. Their approach is fresh, new and quite helpful to all involved!
High Spirit Bags
Listened to the story of brothers Josh & John Okungbaiye at the recent VMP “Everyday I’m Hustling” event – these guys took an outside-the-box look at the everyday backpack and came up with a novel and exciting new way to protect your possessions from theft – great idea!
[RENAMED: House of CB http://www.houseofcb.com/ ]
Conna Walker is the founder of online and high street retailer Celeb Boutique. Originally just an online store driven by a young woman’s dream to break into the fashion scene, the business is now taking off, with a huge fan base, an impressive list of celebrity endorsements, a store in Westfields London, and a number of international offices. I listened to Conna at the recent “Every Day I’m Hustling” Event by Virgin Media Pioneers, and was quickly impressed by her story!
I came across Full Windsor a couple of months back, possibly on the Shell LiveWire site, possibly somewhere on a cycling website, who knows?! Mark Windsor is the New Zealander and product designer behind the company and designs all of their innovative and great value bicycle accessories. Two of their flagship products are the Full Windsor mud guards, and ‘The Nutter’ a great modern take on the bike multi-tool. Some impressive stuff coming out of this startup business! Oh, and the website is pretty funky too!
The Lazy Camper
The Lazy Camper was started by Huddersfield Uni student Jacob Hill a couple of years back. Jacob spotted a place in the market for his festival/camping bundles which pretty much contain all you could need for a good weekend in a field, at a better price than the high street retailers too! Also quite a fan of his illustrations and branding.
Mike Bandar and James Vardy are two alumni from the first New Entrepreneurs Foundation programme, they like taking on stalled or struggling businesses and turning them round. With their latest venture, Toyboy Warehouse, the guys have taken on quite an interesting project! Toyboy Warehouse is an online dating site aimed at finding young men for older women, and vice versa. Since getting involved, the guys have seen the online user base of Toyboy Warehouse increase by more than 500%! Brilliant work!
Yet another great venture started by a member of the New Entrepreneurs Foundation! SnuggleMuffin is the Glasgow-based cake and catering company founded and run by Julianne Grasekamp. The make some seriously nice stuff and recently opened up a new Cupcakery & Coffee House in Glasgow centre, serving up awesome cupcakes, pancakes, waffles, sandwiches, afternoon tea, the lot! Web:
M-24 is the fantastic creation of Mat Dusting, a Product Design grad from Aston University. Mat takes used and reclaimed lorry curtains (the big tarpaulins you see down the sides of trucks on motorways!), and fashions these into great pieces of luggage. Duffel bags, iPad cases, and Ski bags are current favourites in the range!
Foldability was founded by Scottish design graduate Kyla McCallum and produces fantastic lighting fittings and decorative pieces, all from folded paper and card. I came across Foldability on the Shell LiveWire site where Foldability has recently shortlisted for the monthly awards. Really like these designs!
Grad Quiz was founded by a friend of mine, Ari Ratnakumar, and a group of his mates when they all graduated from University in the last year or so. A free online platform and a novel new take on graduate recruitment – Grad Quiz helps students and graduates build a profile and a portfolio of possible employee matches around themselves, based upon their answers to quizzes. It’s a great new concept and quick and easy to get stuck into!
Revision App recently won the Shell LiveWire Young Entrepreneur of the Year award 2013. Just before the announcement I managed to meet founder Jermaine Hogan and have a play with the forthcoming release of his mobile app. It’s great stuff and the variety of different subjects and levels of learning possible through his app is seriously impressive. Well done for winning the award Jermaine!
Tri Training Harder
Tri Training Harder was set up in 2010 by two triathlete friends of mine whilst at University in Durham. Phil Hatzis & Ed Brett setup TTH as a new provider of high quality triathlon training camps, coaching, sports kit, equipment and nutrition. Training camps are their main product and the team runs a number of camps from their base in the Algarve, Portugal, throughout the early months and into summer each year. Their products and growth as a business has been really impressive to witness over the last few years!