QR-ious about the rise of QR (Quick Response) codes? These little boxes of matrix barcodes have been around for 20 years but haven’t really taken off until the pandemic struck us. They’ve been incredibly useful in preventing virus contraction and obviously, made it super convenient to order pints at the pub. In fact, QR code […]
QR-ious about the rise of QR (Quick Response) codes? These little boxes of matrix barcodes have been around for 20 years but haven’t really taken off until the pandemic struck us.
They’ve been incredibly useful in preventing virus contraction and obviously, made it super convenient to order pints at the pub. In fact, QR code downloads have soared 750% over the last 18 months, according to Bitly.
The pandemic widened the gap in the market and we’ve seen many QR startups be born out of the pandemic. According to Traxcn, there are over 100 QR code companies now.
Flowcode (who have recently worked with JLo) has been revolutionising the consumer marketing industry by building a connection between online and offline. Imagine seeing an advert for a brand you like on the Central line. A QR code could allow you to scan the barcode and be taken straight to the product, genius! While that sounds pretty cool, they don’t appear to have reached the London Underground yet (prioritise some air conditioning on the Central first please).
QR code startups don’t yo-yo around either, except Yoyo Wallet that is. A London based start-up, Yoyo Wallet concerns itself with payment and customer rewards. This start-up gives us the taste for the future of hybrid physical-digital shopping interactions.
Yet, with great QR codes comes great responsibilities. As positive as the rapid growth has been for this niche industry, potential questions might be raised on its impact on the occupation of service staff or security.
To end on a lighter note, instead of picking the red or blue pill, pick a QR code! Have a scan of the QR codes below.
Online dating is already a bit of a minefield. Throw a global pandemic into the equation, dating in 2021 isn’t easy. But there’s no doubt that dating apps have thrived in the past couple of years, as result. This trend isn’t likely to slow down just because COVID is coming to an end. Recognising this, […]
Weekly brief: The online dating apps shaking traditions.
Online dating is already a bit of a
minefield. Throw a global pandemic into the equation, dating in 2021 isn’t
easy. But there’s no doubt that dating apps have thrived in the past couple of
years, as result.
This trend isn’t likely to slow down
just because COVID is coming to an end. Recognising this, we look at the
newcomers entering the dating scene.
Thursday, the dating app backed by Monzo
founder Tom Blomfield, is a unique concept whereby you match, flirt and chat
during the day on a Thursday before locking in a date evening. Raising an
impressive £2.5m in funding, they’re on track to overtake the big players dominating
the dating scene.
Using real time geolocation technology,
Happn will match you with people who are
also on the app in close proximity on a daily basis. With a 100M worldwide
users and a total of £16M raised in funding, their personal take on dating sets
them apart from their competitors.
So Syncd, the dating app that matches compatible
personality types, has raised a seed round of almost £1m to grow its user base.
Founded by 2 sisters in Cornwall, they’ve used a unique algorithm, based on the
personality test to bring people together.
The online dating market value is
expected to reach £74
million this year so whether we like it or not, these platforms are here to
stay, pandemic or no pandemic.
Diversity and inclusion in the tech sector has received much attention over recent years. What’s clear to see is that the need for equality, diversity and inclusion is more important than ever. In celebration of Pride month, we’ve highlighted just a few companies who are championing LGBTQ+ equality and how they are doing it. Gousto, […]
Weekly Brief: The tech companies championing LGBTQ+ equality!
Diversity and inclusion in the tech sector has received much attention over recent years. What’s clear to see is that the need for equality, diversity and inclusion is more important than ever.
In celebration of Pride month, we’ve highlighted just a few companies who are championing LGBTQ+ equality and how they are doing it.
Gousto, the British meal kit retailer, prioritises the importance of equality and diversity in the workplace. Acknowledging that more men than women study technology subjects at higher education, Gousto prioritises recruitment training upskilling to ensure a fair selection and screening process with no bias with hope to close the gender pay gap.
Charlie HR, the complete People platform for small companies, aims to create more inclusive workspaces through a series of professional networking and mentoring events, panels and workshops.
Queer Code London is a community of programmers in London who provide support for queer people working in software development whilst engaging regular workshops and networking events for thousands of likeminded people. Popularity for Queer Code has been steadily increasing and its niche corner of the internet is attracting people all over the UK.
Lyft, the purpose-driven ride sharing service is committed to creating a community in which riders and drivers feel as though they are included and belong. The company is also partnering with major pride festivals in six cities across the nation to support its colourful community.
Regardless of who you are, finding a community that will support your career endeavours can be a welcome source of empowerment, especially in an industry that isn’t always welcoming. Here are a number of organisations committed to bringing equality to the tech industry.
Here are 4 tips to ensure a more inclusive work environment:
Update Policies And Ensure Inclusive Benefits
Employers should make it a priority to revisit and update their policies to be more inclusive to their LGBTQ+ employees. Celebrating employee differences by implementing diversity or pride days are a great way to ensure their colleagues are supported. Active conversations need to be had often regarding updated policies to stress that discrimiation and harassment will not be tolerated.
Train On Inclusivity In Language
To ensure there is no exclusion of candidates, evaluate the current language used in job descriptions and replace any gender-coded terms with neutral language. LinkedIn is taking an inclusive step by introducing the option to display pronouns on individuals profiles, helping others be respectful of their identity. They’ve also added a name pronunciation tool and the option to add a cover story video to introduce yourself in a more personal way.
Hear what your employees have to say
Understanding how your company can be more inclusive is often determined by the employees so by conducting anonymous company-wide surveys, you can gain a better understanding on whether or not LGBTQ+ employees feel a sense of belonging. This is a great way to encourage staff to openly share their experiences too so businesses can learn from mistakes.
Support LGBTQ+ organisations.
Majority of companies have a ‘house charity’ who they support but additionally businesses could coordinate a group for your local pride march, donate to a relevant nonprofit or volunteer with a local charity. It’s an encouraging way to get people involved in fundraising whilst also educating your employees.
This is not a conclusive list, but it is a start to creating a more inclusive LGBTQ workplace. We would love to hear what your employers are doing to create an inclusive work environment.
How did a joke become the start of the hottest cryptocurrency to date? Dogecoin, has quickly become the quirkiest cryptocurrency on the planet with an estimated value of $50billion is ruling the market. But what makes it different and is it worth your investment? Created in December 2013 by a pair of software engineers in […]
Weekly Brief: Get in loser, we’re going to the moon!
How did a joke become the start of the hottest cryptocurrency to date? Dogecoin, has quickly become the quirkiest cryptocurrency on the planet with an estimated value of $50billion is ruling the market.
But what makes it different and is it worth your investment?
Created in December 2013 by a pair of software engineers in Portland, Oregon, the duo attracted a niche group of miners who started investing. Fast forward to 2021, its popularity has soared with their most prominent supporter being Elon Musk.
In keeping with Dogecoins investors, its active online community, mostly active on Reddit, has raised funds for many charitable causes, differentiating it from its fellow crypto competitors.
As of March 2021, there are more than 4,500 cryptocurrencies on the market and the amount of development and energy being put into virtual currencies has made it the best financial investment of the last decade. With that sometimes comes extreme volatility. Today bitcoin has become the benchmark against which other smaller cryptocurrencies are measured.
Whether or not this could be a smart investment, It’s hard to ignore the 6,000% increase it has seen in the past year. With Musk’s recent announcement of SpaceX using Dogecoin as an exclusive payment to launch ‘DOGE-1 mission to the Moon’, it has only given this meme coin more popularity, causing it to surge by 30%.
Ironically, not benefiting from the soaring growth of Dogecoin is one of its co-founders Markus. Selling all his shares and using the money to buy himself a Honda Civic back in 2015.
You have finished university and it’s time to find your first job. We’re now usually encouraged to apply to a graduate scheme, usually within a big company where competition is incredibly high. If you’re lucky enough to get into a graduate program, it can be a great experience and a strong start to your career. […]
What I Learned Working At A Small Company – A Graduate story
You have finished university and it’s time to find your first job. We’re now usually encouraged to apply to a graduate scheme, usually within a big company where competition is incredibly high. If you’re lucky enough to get into a graduate program, it can be a great experience and a strong start to your career. But, I’d argue that working at a small company, where you get real responsibility from day one, will teach you more and actually be a better start to your career.
Work In Startups being my first job out of university has been a great experience and I have learned a LOT. The learning has both been through the more traditional route of more experienced people teaching me, and through trial and error.
From day one, I’ve had responsibilities and been encouraged to figure out how to do certain elements of the job myself. Of course, there has been plenty of guidance but less of a rigid structure to what you’d expect to have in a corporate company. When you’re encouraged to think about how to do certain parts of the job and give it a shot, like being thrown in the (almost) deep end, you learn and pick things up so much faster!
At a smaller company, you are a bigger factor in the day-to-day running of the business, this does increase the pressure on you, but also gives you a voice. As soon as I had settled in, I had a say in how things were done and was involved in decision-making that related to my part of the business. I was always encouraged to share my ideas – this was even part of my goals – which opened me up to many different roles, not just tying me down to the exact job description. The best part about this was if my idea was good enough, we implemented it and I got to see the outcome – pretty cool huh?
Employed as a Marketing Assistant in a large company within their grad scheme, then marketing and most probably, only marketing, is what you’ll do. This might be great and you might love it! But leaving uni, a lot of us have no clue what we will actually love or be good at. In a startup or small business, you get to wear all the hats. In my role as a Business Development intern, I was lucky enough to not be limited to sales.
My sales part of the role involved being the first contact to finalizing the sale and customer aftercare, making sure they are happy with the service. On top of that, I maintained the social media channels and created content such as blogs, interviews and newsletters. I was able to learn and be involved in product development, working closely with our developer looking for ways to improve our product as well as our internal processes to make things both faster and more efficient. I created and maintained our CRM system, giving us better oversight over our customers.
I was in constant communication with our customers both through our email and over the phone, helping them with writing ads and what to include to find the best applicants. Digging through our Google Analytics to understand where our users are coming from and where we need to put in more effort to get users from. And, most recently I’ve been doing some graphic design to improve our social media presence.
All this experience has really allowed me to understand what I enjoy doing the most and what I’m the best at doing! I’ve now successfully completed my internship and I’m leaving with a wide range of skills which has helped me decide which direction I want to take my career.
Greener Beans is our first subject in our new sustainability series where we will be talking to startups focused on a greener future. We asked Josh Ford who co-founded the company with Peter Wortsman some questions. Tell us about Greener Beans! How did it all start and what are your goals? Greener Beans is about […]
Greener Beans is our first subject in our new sustainability series where we will be talking to startups focused on a greener future. We asked Josh Ford who co-founded the company with Peter Wortsman some questions.
Tell us about Greener Beans! How did it all start and what are your goals?
Greener Beans is about accelerating the shift to more sustainable food production and consumption. We help shoppers to easily identify sustainable swaps to the grocery items they buy in the supermarket.
Having worked in the food industry for many years we are concerned about the damage our food system is causing the planet. Greener Beans gives shoppers easy and convenient guidance on sustainable food, making swapping rewarding.
Co-Founder Peter shared his initial idea with me in March last year, and we formed Greener Beans in April. Since then, we have built out how we score products and validated this with industry leaders.
This year we plan to launch our online sustainable swapping platform and measure the environmental impact these swaps are making. We know it is possible to remove millions of tonnes of carbon from our food consumption, along with equivalent savings of water and other impacts. We are actively growing the team to achieve these goals, so please get in touch.
How are you engaging your employees in your sustainability efforts?
I guess you could say it’s in our DNA. Everyone involved is passionate about sustainability and believes what we are doing will have a real difference to changing our food system . We are supported by a talented group of advisors who have been instrumental in building our model and gaining traction with our stakeholders. We are fundraising and recruiting for a number of roles, and alignment to our values and cause is key to our search.
Do you set any goals for improvement and aim to make yourself more sustainable?
I found it’s important as individuals not to put too much pressure on making everything you do “perfectly sustainable” . There will always be a more sustainable way of doing things. It’s about making swaps where you can. I try to pick off easier items and make small incremental changes along the way. Recently it’s been a focus on less, but better-quality meat and fish, and repurposing old items into toys for the cat.
For Christmas this year, my wife and I did a “try something sustainable” advent calendar. We had to give each other something new to try each day, from shampoo bars to re-usable ear buds. We’ve tried a lot of new things not all of which will be here to stay, but some will.
As a business we have the opportunity of building things more consciously from the beginning, and in many ways operating a new start-up forces you to consume less. Being a tech company, our key output is digital and we are considering how we consume data, build efficiently, and the sustainability of our providers.
What tips could you give other startup businesses to promote sustainability and have sustainability at their forefront?
Just make a start somewhere easy for you. Find the low hanging fruit in your operation and identify incremental improvements. The momentum of the collective learnings will grow in time. Engage your team and listen to and reward great ideas, celebrating the achievements in the same way you would with
other goals. One suggestion that timely is being purposeful on meeting up and office space. It’s a great way to reduce impact on travel, time and resources.
What have been your biggest challenges that have come exclusively from starting a green business?
I think generally there is a degree of confusion around the topic of sustainability. These days most people believe it’s important, but are unclear on the right action to take, and are wary of potential “greenwash”. It’s an added consideration in already busy work schedules and lives, and so any solution needs to be easy and convenient. We are very conscious of this in conversations with all our stakeholders, and in the service we are building for shoppers.
The pandemic has obviously affected a lot of startups both in positive and negative ways, how have you guys dealt with it?
Greener Beans was formed during the pandemic so it’s all we have known so far. We embraced flexible remote working from the start to allow for the added life challenges. Being a smaller team, it’s been easier to stay connected, and we have learnt an added appreciation for face-to-face interactions. Online shopping has experienced significant growth this year, and consumers are becoming more conscious to sustainability. Both of these have enhanced the relevance of what we are building. I think the pandemic has made investors more cautious and at the same time broadened their consideration set of potential investments.
They are also hiring a Tech Lead at Work In Startups, click here to take a look!
Here at Work In Startups, we’re on a mission to champion the best and most exciting startups in the UK. To support this, we’re starting a new blog series highlighting some of the most innovative and fast-growing startups around. Follow us as we interview startup founders and employees across the country and find out more […]
Here at Work In Startups, we’re on a mission to champion the best and most exciting startups in the UK. To support this, we’re starting a new blog series highlighting some of the most innovative and fast-growing startups around. Follow us as we interview startup founders and employees across the country and find out more about their goals and ambitions, what the future holds and (for all you startup jobseekers out there looking for the inside scoop) what they look for in a prospective employee.
This week we talked to James the founder of Bearable.app a handy app that has the potential to change your life. Putting all facets of your wellbeing under one app, making keeping track and communicating with your doctors a breeze.
Tell us about Bearable! How did it all start and what are
When I was dealing with my own health issues a few years ago, I became tired of being sent from consultant to consultant to diagnose me, frustrated that I was not able to give them a clear, overall picture of my health for the last few weeks or months. I started tracking things in a spreadsheet, which was useful, but not convenient, and it was not easy to gain insights from this mass of data or send reports to doctors.
I searched for a mobile app to track my symptoms, but many of these seemed limited in customisability, and felt cold and clinical to use, it was almost like filling in a medical form, so hardly enjoyable to use regularly. There was nothing seemingly built around the patient. On top of this, I didn’t want to have to use 6 different apps to track my symptoms, diet, medication, mood sleep and exercise. Not only is this overwhelming, but why would I want to keep all these things in separate apps when each can impact one another?
So I set out to make a mobile app which helped people with chronic conditions to keep all health tracking in one place. By doing so they could not only come more prepared to doctor/therapist appointments, but could also gain unique insights as to how their mood and symptoms are affected by their daily activities and health factors such as medication, exercise, diet, sleep, and even their social life.
Most importantly it is built around the patient, so we have made it as intuitive, customisable and user-friendly as possible. It ultimately needs to be enjoyable to use if someone is to make it a daily habit.
What are your values as an ambitious startup?
I want to empower people to feel more in control of their health conditions. Studies have shown better outcomes for that patients who are more actively involved in tracking and managing their health conditions. This could also potentially yield efficiency savings for countries’ health systems through more personalised commissioning and supporting people to stay well and manage their own conditions better. Privacy is also incredibly important to us, hence why we don’t ask for lots of personal information like other apps – only their e-mail address. All health data is encrypted on our servers, therefore only only readable by the user. We want users to have full control over their data, therefore we’ve made it easy for them to delete and export everything from our app.
With your current knowledge and what you’ve learnt so far, is there any advice would you give yourself back when you were just getting started?
We got a lot of feedback from the users, via surveys and posting on our community on Reddit, however qualitative analysis is not enough. Looking back, we should have done more quantitative analysis and gained more insight into how people were really using the app, as often this is different to how they say they are using it.
Somewhat connected to this, we were also guilty of falling into the “Next feature fallacy”, i.e. that the fallacy that the next feature you add will suddenly make people want to use the entire product. Simply throwing new features at your users will not work if you don’t have an understanding of your user lifecycle.
What is next for Bearable and what are the goals for
We hope to become the best comprehensive health tracker available. We not only want to help millions of people with chronic health issues to better manage their condition, but we also want to work with research institutions and clinicians to create a separate app specifically for them. The goal of the Bearable Pro app is to make studies and diagnoses more efficient by making it easier for researchers and clinicians to collect a richer data set from their patients and then manage/interpret this data. With our user friendly, patient-centric app, we know that we will be able to improvepatient engagement. It’s crazy to think many researchers and clinicians still give their patients paper forms to fill in.
What are some of the top things people seem to be
learning about themselves using your app?
Our users are often find that, since tracking their health regularly they actually have more good days than they first thought. In that sense it’s given them a real sense of perspective over their well-being. Many have also discovered some useful insights using our app, such as correlations between health factors such as medication, sleep, diet, exercise and their physical and mental health. For example one user discovered that the more caffeine they had, the worse their headaches were. While another user discovered that regular meditation appeared to have a prolonged effect on both increasing their productivity and reducing their anxiety levels.