The first step is to find an office. At the moment, we’re in a business startup incubator in Manchester, which has been great for our first year, but to turn it into an actual, scalable business, we need proper offices. So we’ve spent the week viewing offices in the city centre. We’ve seen a massive variety – everything from services offices to ones where you just move into a room and sort things out. The good news is, we’ve potentially found one – although nothing’s been signed yet.
There have also been meetings with potential investors. It’s just kind of happened as a result of some awards that we won: people said, come and meet us, speak to this person – it’s a been a bit of a domino effect, really. It wasn’t intentional, but at the moment, we want a small amount to take us to the next stage. Maybe in a year or two, we’ll be after massive VC funding to roll it out everwhere.
Last night, my business partner Simon and I were at a networking do. We get invited to quite a few networking things – there’s a lot going on in Manchester. It’s very similar to London in the kinds of businesses that are going on – although I’m not sure it comes together like it should. The scene is a bit more fragmented up here than it is in London – there isn’t a place to be on a Friday night to meet other startups.
That said, we’ve never thought about moving down to London. In fact, all the stuff that goes on in London, all the TechCity stuff, really annoys us: anything outside the M25 doesn’t get a look-in, when there’s actually some really good stuff happening. Laterooms.com is a Manchester startup, and one of our clients founded GoCompare in South Wales. There are plenty of examples of successful startups outside London.
I’m between apartments at the moment, so I’m commuting from south Manchester, Cheshire way. I’m mixing it up between the train and the car, but if I’m in the car, it usually means I arrive in the office with road rage. Evenings are always different: we often work late, then either have networking things, or, because there’s a nice social atmosphere in the office, we go out for drinks. When you’re running a startup, it’s just really random – whatever’s going on.