How long have you been a Founder for?
Are you a first-time or serial Founder?
What's your backstory. How did you come to be a Founder?
Bit of an odd story. I loved tech and startups but was so sick of crappy startup content I decided to create my own. Ended up launching a company called Startup Van and travelled the world interviewing founders with the backing of large corporate companies like WeWork, Salesforce and Oracle.
Pretty much every founder I met expressed an interest in creating content for their startup, but didn’t have the time, money or expertise to do it. Off the back of this I launched Dream Factory, the only content creation house for startups based right in the heart of Shoreditch.
What has been the highlight of your Founder career so far?
Getting the keys to Dream Factory Shoreditch was for sure a highlight. It didn’t feel real, and even to this day coming to open the shutters feels a bit surreal.
What has been the lowlight?
The stress of turning away a lot of money from an investor who I knew wasn’t the right fit. That was a horrible fearful day which ended up being many sleepless nights.
How did you come across Landscape?
I actually interviewed Joe for Startup Van when he launched Landscape VC. Now he’s a Dream Factory member and I’m featured on this. Circle of life.
What is your biggest challenge right now?
Having to hire staff to grow because everyone is stacked, but hiring means everyone is more stacked. We’re in that awkward growth phase.
What's the biggest mistake you’ve made so far and what did you learn from it?
The first 6 months I didn’t leave any time for myself, I felt every second counted and if I wasn’t working the chance of success was slipping away. I’ve learned if I don’t work late into the night and all weekend the business still grows and thrives. That being said, these evenings and weekends still happen, but I have a brilliant team who I trust more than anything. I’m lucky to have them.
What piece of advice would you give to other people in similar position as to you?
The best ideas can come from the downtime. Go for that catch up with a mate, take that stroll and once in a while snooze that alarm.
What is the most frustrating thing you find about the startup fundraising ecosystem?
Hard for me to say personally because all my investors are angels, both in name and nature. (Not just saying this because I’m raising again lol) Although I do meet founders who are raising every single day, I see how stressful it can be. The stress of ghosting is real, VCs are much better off being direct and constructive.
What you would like to see change in the startup fundraising ecosystem within the next 5 years?
I’d like to see a platform where great people in the ecosystem can find deals for VCs and get the best founders funded in a streamlined way where everyone wins… Oh wait ;)