In this episode I pitch to get in to a startup accelerator programme. Accelerators are organisations that are supposed to help accelerate the growth of startup businesses. However getting accepted onto one is incredibly competitive. It’s harder to get onto an accelerator than Oxbridge. The majority only accept companies with a team, an MVP(Minimum Viable Product) or Protype and Traction. It is nearly impossible to get onto one or receive any sort of investment unless you meet these 3 criteria. The challenge for me has always been going from 0-1. Everyone wants to join the party when you’re doing well however there are hardly any organisations that support super early stage entrepreneurs with just ideas, so I continue to work blood, sweat and tears to get to make any sort of progress. Being an early stage startup entrepreneur is sort of like someone searching for their first job without prior experience. You need experience to get a job however you can’t get experience without getting a job, it’s a vicious cycly. Somewhere in between you have to make it happen for yourself and that’s what I’m doing with will continue to do until the dream becomes a reality. It’s so damn bloody hard however I’ve just got to continue going for it. (Spoiler Alert – My application was rejected.)
Birmingham Hackathon Session:
Part of the TRENDiPEOPLE Software Engineering & Development team are old friends from my home town in Birmingham, England. I currently live & work in London which is about a 4 hour journey from door to door by public transport. Although we mainly work remotely as a team, every so often I have to travel up there to catch up with the Trendi-Team in person. In this episode I document my work trip to Birmingham to catch up with the team. Team work makes the dream work, enjoy 🙂 In next week’s episode I pitch to a Startup Accelerator for investment…
I was invited to Speak to an audience at London College of Fashion about Entrepreneurship, Fashion, Tech and Funding. I met some amazing people predominantly fashion/tech entrepreneurs and investors. I continue to share stories of my exciting journey so far. Apologies for the poor sound and visual quality, the filming was done on a mobile phone, bootstrapping at it’s finest 🙂
“If you’re the smartest person in the room then you’re in the wrong room.” Iron sharpens iron so it’s all about surrounding yourself with individuals that are on the same mission and will help you achieve your goals. In this episode I hang with some of my talented entrepreneur friends David Gogo (A rising Start in the Architectural World(& Aliya Dirie from my support network – The Iron Circle
In this episode I take you through one of my many networking & collaborating stories. Networking and collaborating is absolutely crucial and it has been the biggest contributor to where I have got to so far. Watch out for a cameo appearance at 1.12 from The Young Entrepreneurs Meetup in London & City Panther Media
This episode takes you through behind the scenes of a typical day in the development of Simon with the Team @Modular.Global
So this is Episode #1 of my vlog documenting the highs and lows of my Tech Startup Business Journey. I’m a very private individual so I’m naturally quite nervous about putting myself out here on blast like this. It’s completely out of my comfort zone however as Thomas Jefferson once said, “…if you want something you’ve never had you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.” Life as they say begins outside your comfort zone, and I’ve just taken the plunge. Apologies in advance I didn’t realise I talk too much… I go on quite a bit but as I promised no filters. Thanks for supporting yours truly
Here’s the intro/trailer, all episodes to date are shot and edited on my iphone 6s I’m bootstrapping all the way baby. “It’s not a lack of resources, it’s a lack of resourcefulness that prevents us from fulfilling our full potential and dreams…” – Tony Robbins
After thinking about it for a very long time, I’ve decided to do it. I’m documenting the highs and lows of my Tech Startup Business Journey in a vlog that I will share on all my social media channels at least on a weekly basis specifically on my Facebook & Youtube Channels. I’m a very private individual so I’m naturally quite nervous about putting myself out here on blast like this. It’s completely out of my comfort zone however as Thomas Jefferson once said, “…if you want something you’ve never had you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.” Life as they say begins outside your comfort zone, and I’ve just taken the plunge. Apologies in advance I didn’t realise I talk too much… I go on quite a bit but as I promised no filters. Please follow & support the journey by subscribing to my social channels. Thanks for supporting yours truly.
How it all Started:
In the next series of posts called ‘How I developed an app’ I’m going tell the story of how I fought tooth and nail and never gave on a dream of developing an app/mobile platform that actually solves a problem, empowers people and makes the world a better place. I will ge into the detail of how I was successfully able to build a team, secure partnerships, develop the prototype plus live updates of the day to day grind and hustle of developing a tech startup.
In an old post (What is TRENDiPEOPLE), I wrote about how I came up with idea for TRENDiPEOPLE. However I now have to admit that at the time of writing that post, I was being economical with the truth. At that moment in time, I was not yet comfortable enough to reveal everything because I was still in the process of refining the idea plus I wrongly believed that keeping the idea a ‘secret’ would give me an advantage however I was wrong. In a later post, I will write about the issues with keeping ideas a ‘secret’ particularly with reference to tech startups and in the context of Non Disclosure Agreements (NDAs). The time has now come for me to reveal all. As we all know in the world of startups, times, things and people change. The only thing that is constant in the startup world is change.
By way of a quick recap, I came up with the idea for TRENDiPEOPLE in 2010. At the time I realised that the fashion and beauty industry in particular the media in its current state mainly promoted and to this day still promotes a negative & distorted image of beauty. I believe that everyone is a unique and beautiful individual. I wanted to do something that empowers people. The initial idea was a simple website that enabled anyone to upload and tag brands plus items that they were wearing. In doing this I wanted to create an equal playing field where anyone could kick-start a real time trending fashion look. Essentially the platform was meant to be a place where anyone could kick-start and discover real time global trending fashion. However there were two massive issues with that idea. In 2011 the costs of developing social platforms was extremely expensive, having only just completed university at the time it was a challenge to secure funding for the idea. Despite that I was actually able to develop a prototype which we tested however I decided to park the idea due to the enormous costs that were required to make it work. There was also the potential challenge of developing a viable revenue model. The main source of revenue was meant to be advertising, however as we all know, in order to make any sort of decent advertising revenue, you need to have a massive audience. The biggest challenge is two fold. Firstly how do you develop that audience and secondly how do you fund and sustain the operation while building the audience and more critically before you become profitable. I decided to park the idea for a while.
Fast forward 2013-2014 I lived in Cardiff City for about a year. During that time I had a massive Afro & beard. At the time, the nearest black barber shop was 45 minutes away from where I lived. Meaning that a round trip plus time taken waiting for and having a haircut and beard trim would be on average around two to two and a half hours. This was obviously an inconvenience that I could do without. One day as I was wondering around the shops in Cardiff City centre I bumped into another ‘brother’ i.e. black dude with a sleek hair cut. I stopped and asked him where he got his hair cut. He then proceeded to give me a number for a mobile barber that would make his way to my place. When I rang this mobile barber, he turned out to live only a couple of streets down from me. He was at my place in less than 10 minutes and in less than 30 minutes he had got my fro and beard looking sharp.
Light Bulb moment.
It was at this time that I noticed that there was a problem which needed to be solved. This is when the idea for TRENDiPEOPLE was resuscitated. That problem being that there are plenty of people with skills in beauty and fashion i.e. Hairstylists, Barbers, Makeup Artists/Beauticians, Nail Artists & Fashion stylists. They have skills however in most cases do not own a saloon and/or do not have a job moreover they need a way to find clients and earn revenue. On the other hand, there are clients like myself and other busy professionals that would love the convenience of having these sort of services on demand. In a nutshell as of today, TRENDiPEOPLE is an on-demand app for Finding & Booking Mobile Freelance Fashion, Hair, Nail, Beauty, Stylists that come to you. This is done based on location and reviews. The updated idea is still consistent with our original founding values. We believe in empowering people, simplifying things and making the world a better place. We promise to remain true to those values as we continue to evolve and grow. The first version of the platform will be launching in 4 weeks. If you have any skills in fashion and beauty or have any friends that do and would like to set off with us on an exciting journey then lease help us spread the word. Leave us with your email address here (www.trendipeople.com) and we’ll contact you as soon we are ready so that you can test and give us feedback of how we can make TRENDiPEOPLE better for you.
In Part two I will explore how I was able to build a team and the resources required to get the Mininum Viable Product(The First Version) of the platform out of the door.
Yours (i) truly,
Over the past 12 months I’ve met over 200 aspiring and inspiring entrepreneurs, artists and creatives all across the country specifically in my local stomping grounds in London and Manchester. The motivational speaker Jim Rohn once famously said that we are the average of the five people that we spend the most time with. I therefore tend to spend most of my time around creative, artistic and entrepreneurial individuals and events because I’m a combination of those three qualities and skills. I recently decided to start interviewing these individuals because they have really interesting and inspiring stories to tell. I will be sharing these via my Youtube Channel and Facebook Page once a week.
In 2016 I made a conscious decision to network more and increase the number of my enterprise skills training workshops which is how I got to meet all these interesting people.
I believe that creativity and storytelling can be used as a way of inspiring, motivating and empowering people. The aim is to inspire, motivate and empower others to make that ever so brave decision of embarking on the journey of pursuing their dreams. For the average person, it’s almost impossible to meet such a diverse range of artists, creatives and entrepreneurs. The plan is to shoot and edit an interview between 7 – 15 minutes that can be watched during a work lunch break or during that daily commute to provide a motivational boost. Look out for some very insightful and surprising interviews coming up.