MY WEEK: James Clarkson, founder and CEO of Adventoris

James Clarkson and his team have just signed off on a £600,000 investment round, now he's getting ready to launch a new product

by Gabriella Griffith
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013
This week has brought to an end a long journey of trying to secure funding for my startup: we’ve finally signed off our £600,000 deal. We started looking for funding way back in September of last year, so you can see how long these things  take.
 
We have had plenty of offers of investment along the way, but wanted to hold out for the right opportunity – we could easily have raised £1m but the more you raise, the more equity you give away and you start to lose control of your business.
 
It all goes back to a eureka moment I had in the shower in 2011, when I came up with the idea for Adventoris and our first product SwiftCloud. I realised how the advent of mobile technology could be really beneficial to small businesses and my co-founder Tim and I came up with a commercial plan of how we could put it together.
 
Since then, we have been developing the product and going through the funding process to hire more developers and get the product ready for market.
 
This week, we have been finalising the legal papers, liaising with the lawyers of all parties involved - we have a syndicate of institutional investors and the Angel CoFund on board now.
 
Unfortunately, we still have to be hush-hush about our product SwiftCloud, we can’t reveal any details about it until we launch in November. It’s still in development and we’re hoping to have the beta test model ready within the next few weeks.
 
Now we have the investment signed off, we’ll be hiring more people to help get the job done. We expect to take the team up to 14 staff in the next six to eight months so there’s plenty of hiring to do.
 
We have lots of space for the new starts: we are based in the fantastic 3M Innovation Centre in Huddersfield, built specifically to house startups like ours. It’s a great place to be based – we had the official opening ceremony with Prince Andrew and Sir Patrick Stewart last week.
 
I tend to get to work around 9am every morning – I’m no morning person so that’s early enough. I need at least two coffees before I can really get going and then the days are filled with planning our platform. I always make time for a run along the Huddersfield Canal at lunchtime, I do around four or five miles – I’d recommend it to anyone.
 
In the evenings I leave around 6pm and travel back to my home, in the picturesque Holmfirth – it’s where Last Of The Summer Wine was filmed.
 
I know my hours are pretty forgiving at the moment but things will change when the platform is ready to launch. I’m going to be the spokesperson for the product so my family and I are prepared for the fact I’ll be on the road a lot, speaking to prospective clients. I’ll be working very hard over the next twelve months but I’m up for it. I’d rather work 12 hours straight on something I love than a few hours on something I don’t care about.

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