Ten months ago, Lawrence Dore, 31, and Debbie Wosskow, 26, resigned from Brunswick and set up Mantra PR. Armed with just two computers and one phone in the corner of a solicitor's office, it took them less than a year to establish Mantra as a thriving new-economy PR company.
'You do sit there panicking the night after you've resigned,' says Dore. 'But Debbie and I knew we were bloody good and that the worst that could happen to us was some dented pride if it didn't work.' Although most start-ups avoid heavy recruiting in their first months, Mantra already has 27 staff - five of whom were recruited in the first three weeks. They now have 18 clients and a turnover of pounds 1.7 million.
With expertise in financial PR as well as the new economy, Mantra is a hybrid and arguably the first of a new breed. From early on, it was able to chase top-level fees and attract top clients, such as Yahoo!, Benchmark Capital and Olswang.
The founders aim to be pre-eminent in their field. 'We want to be the only people you talk to when you need information on new-economy companies,' says Wosskow. The pair recently visited American PR firms in San Francisco's Silicon Valley and several informal partnerships are planned in the short term. And in the long term, expect to see Mantra go international.