In a new series of articles I look at the stories behind the startups and see how they came to be. In this first post we hear from James Critchley, CEO & Founder of cloud.IQ to find out why he left behind a secure career to found a Tech City startup aiming to make enterprise apps accessible to businesses of any size.
Over to James…
A year ago I left the relative safety and security of a job within an established, successful company and decided to create a new start-up, based in London’s Tech City.
In my previous role I helped huge companies like B&Q, Vauxhall and BT run multichannel campaigns, making it easier for them to communicate with their customers using SMS, email and voice. I knew small and medium sized businesses across a range of industries would also benefit from this technology. However, existing systems were too complex and expensive for SMBs who also didn’t have the resources to run the systems.
This is why I set up cloud.IQ last year. Our aim is to offer a simple and cost effective version of the ‘multi-channel’ marketing systems used by the big guys to the SMB market.
The first challenge was to get the funding to help me build a team that could create the product and take it to market. We were lucky enough to receive £2m from Bridges Community Ventures, whose founding chair is Sir Ronnie Cohen. Bridges Ventures needed to know we had the proven technology alongside an idea that had the potential to open up a whole new market. The funders were also very interested in how our product could help charities, government departments and SMBs.
For us, once we had the funding secured it felt right to move to Tech City – the vibrant heart of London’s tech scene based around Shoreditch. This has helped us recruit and retain the best tech talent in the UK, but it also means we are part of a much bigger and inspiring collective of companies all trying to disrupt established ways of doing stuff. There are now over 3,000 tech companies all within a mile of us, creating ample opportunities to network and share ideas. We were part of the recent showcase Digital Shoreditch where start-ups present their proposals to investors, other start ups and customers.
A year on and it’s been hugely rewarding to receive feedback from our customers on how our services are helping them create new conversations that impact positively on the business. From reducing the number of appointment ‘no-shows’ in medical practices to helping an online fashion boutique convert more sales. I believe, we are meeting our goal of levelling the playing field for all businesses when it comes to marketing technology.
Although, it’s still early days but at a time when the government is looking to SMB’s to help reboot the economy, what started as a simple idea is beginning to evolve and provide smaller companies with the conversion tools essential to becoming successful.
Based in Shoreditch, cloud.IQ provide easy to use and affordable conversion tools for businesses who want to increase revenue from their online activity and accelerate their online conversions. cloud.IQ help businesses convert their web traffic in to customers. cloud.IQ have been doing it for 10 years for major blue chips around the world. In 2013 cloud.IQ launched the same platform but on a self-service model to give all businesses access to this critical technology. Register for a free audit on http://www.cloud-iq.com/, or call 0845 498 9426 for more information.