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Why I Founded Startup Heroes

Matt Oakley - 12 February 2018
Why I Founded Startup Heroes
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In July 2017 I realised my dream and founded Startup Heroes. We are an agency with a difference. The digital age has opened the door to anybody to start an online business. Entrepreneurs have never had it better.

But with every opportunity comes risk. Most of the creative talent chasing their dreams online are not from a technical background. There are accountants, pharmaceutical researchers, manufacturers, sports coaches…the list is endless. Ambitious individuals from all walks of life are taking their future into their own hands.

It’s a brave world and one that I’m excited to be a part of. By trade I am a software developer and over the past 15 years I’ve worked alongside many new businesses. I’ve helped to build ecommerce stores, mobile app, SaaS platforms and more.

Many of these ventures have gone on to succeed but some were not so lucky. I’ve seen what makes a startup thrive. I’ve see what makes a startup fail. Along the way I’ve shared in the excitement, the sadness and I’ve learned something each time.

In 2017, I’d been CTO for real estate news startup, Infabode, for three years. I’d joined as employee #1 and turned an MVP into a revenue generating platform. Alongside the CEO, we’d raised funds via investment and crowdsourcing.

It had been an exciting journey but as the platform neared its Series A investment, the startup journey was coming to an end. I thought long and hard about my future. Was I destined to remain CTO of a growing SME? Would I be happy keeping the platform ticking over and answering to a board of big investors?

The excitement of startups is what drives me. It gives me the rush that adrenaline junkies chase. A startup is fast-paced, ever changing, always exciting. You’re building something new, solving problems for people and selling the idea at every moment.

Why a Startup Agency?

Having parted ways with Infabode, the obvious next step would be to seek another CTO role with a fresh startup. I’d have had no issues in securing a role but something didn’t seem right.

I had all this experience in building startups from the ground. I’ve had a hand in everything from formation to marketing, development to admin, team building to sales.

My job titles have ranged from co-founder to CTO, business analyst to software developer. I’m a startup addict with a passion for every aspect of the journey. Why tie myself to one startup when I could be experiencing many?

Before joining Infabode in 2014 I’d co-founded, managed and sold a small but successful digital agency in Suffolk. Along with our small team of developers and designers, we’d build hundreds of ecommerce stores and apps for startups and SMEs.

Digital agencies had been my bread and butter early on in my programming career. They provided the ladder for me to climb but they don’t scratch that itch. Tap in “digital agencies near me” on Google and you’ll have a handful within 10 miles of your location.

But of those agencies, you’ll find few that can offer the experience and expertise to build a successful startup. Tell them you need an MVP and you’ll be greeted with a blank stare and the offer of a Wordpress site.

Look to the big cities, you’ll start to find agencies offering SaaS platforms and MVPs. They’re using all the right tech and they only employ the best-of-the-best. All this comes at a very steep price. They’ll tie you in, lock you down and drain your budget dry. They’ll leave you with a solid MVP but nothing left in the tank to push to market. But never fear, for a 40% stake in your future profits they’ll be happy to market the product on your behalf!

This leaves many entrepreneurs with little option than to seek a contractor or to spend their seed money on an in-house team. But it never seems quite right. You’re an accountant, a pharmaceutical researcher, a manufacturer, a sports coach… Are you really ready to manage the entire development of a product?

That’s where Startup Heroes comes in. When you hire us, you get a technical partner. A team led by an experience startup addict and we want to share in your success.

We use a mixture of in-house expertise with a select few consultants which we bring in when required. Our promise is to identify and supply all the skills needed to make your new business a success. And we’ll do it without leaving your bank account dry.

I honestly believe that Startup Heroes is a breath of fresh air. We’re the peg that fits the hole between digital agencies and big-city software developers.

We’re already working on some exciting projects but it’s early days and there’s plenty of room for more. Why not give us a try?

Let’s build something together!

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Let's build something great together!

We're working with some great companies and we'd love to add your startup to that list. Get in touch today for a free consultation with one of our Heroes.

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