Held in April 2013 and hosted by our partner Ashridge Business School, the focus group was an opportunity to speak to 11 business leaders from innovative and disruptive UK start-ups. Gaining insights and tips from the personal success stories of this group was an inspiring and affirming experience for us. You can watch each of our SME trailblazers in their own words on the clips below.
Zipcar UK - Mark Walker, General Manager
Mark Walker, General Manager of 'Zipcar' explains why the Zipcar for Business model has been so successful in the UK, and attributes it to three key factors: cost effectiveness, convenience and flexibility.
Crunch - Darren Fell, Managing Director
Darren Fell, CEO of 'Crunch' explains how moving away from traditional methods helped his accounting business to thrive and grow in the face of one of the hardest economic climates for over a decade.
Housebites - Simon Prockter, CEO
Simon Prockter, CEO of 'Housebites' explains that transparency across the company, as well as encouraging constant innovation has seen his unique takeaway business thrive and grow. Simon attributes closely monitoring his online feedback to helping him beat the competition.
Citysocializer - Philip Macartney, Commercial Director
Philip Macartney, Commercial Director of 'Citysocializer' explains that a constant hunger to keep going, and a 'just do it' attitude has helped Citysocializer thrive and grow despite the current economic situation.
Lawyers on Demand - Jonathan Brenner, Co-founder
Jonathan Brenner, Co-Founder of 'Lawyers on Demand' believes that a 'more for less' attitude and a constantly evolving business model which adapts regularly for customer needs has allowed his freelance lawyers business model to thrive and grow.
Upad - James Davis, CEO
James Davis, CEO of 'Upad' explains that having a clear vision and being transparent and brave enough to share the ups and downs of his business with staff has attributed to the success of his online national lettings agency.
Central Working - James Layfield, CEO
James Layfield, CEO of 'Central Working' shares his understanding that the recession has changed the way people work and being in the right place to create his product at the right time has allowed his freelance working spaces succeed despite the current economic downturn.
Concept Cupboard - Adam Ball, General Manager
Adam Ball, General Manager of 'Concept Cupboard' shares his belief that hard graft and a bit of luck, combined with being prepared to take every opportunity as it comes has allowed his crowd-sourced creative business to become a success.
WeQ4U - Matt King, Managing Director
Matt King, MD of 'WeQ4U' suggests that having a unique proposition and supplying products with a strong, clear consumer demand has allowed his unique call centre queuing products to gain popularity. Matt puts his success down to listening to customer feedback.
The Sandpit - Simon Campbell, CEO
Simon Campbell, CEO of 'The Sandpit' believes that hard work and following your gut instinct contributed to the success of his business. Simon is proud of the fact that in his company excitement and the freedom to grow as a person are seen as equally valid as earnings as benchmarks of success.
Brompton Dock - Mark Antwis, Managing Director
Mark Antwis, MD of 'Brompton Dock' explains how having a great team around him, as well as a completely unique proposition, has helped his bicycle sharing scheme thrive and grow in the face of one of the hardest economic climates for over a decade.
Funding Circle - Elizabeth Obee, Head of Marketing Communications & Partnerships
Elizabeth Obee from 'Funding Circle' shares her belief that using data in an innovation fashion, as well as using technology to stay ahead of the competition has allowed her Peer-to-Peer funding platform to become a success. Elizabeth believes you can never underestimate the value of a good team.
Smarter Business Blueprint - Focus Group
The group of 11 entrepreneurs all contributed fully to the discussion and shared their unique insights into what makes a successful start-up. Watch the summary of the focus group here.