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.
With the growing concerns for environmental changes and new regulations being put in place, the demand for Electric vehicles (Ev) has gained momentum globally, increasing the value of the transportation industry by 36.3% in terms of value from 2020 to 2028. To keep up with demand and with the threat of a ban on new […]
Weekly brief: The next generation of electric cars.
With the growing concerns for environmental
changes and new regulations being put in place, the demand for Electric
vehicles (Ev) has gained momentum globally, increasing the value of the
transportation industry by 36.3% in terms of value from 2020 to 2028.
To keep up with demand and with the
threat of a ban on new cars and vans that operate on fuel from 2030, UK
startups are contributing their innovative solutions to the EV sector.
Arrival are redefining the future of public
transport by developing and manufacturing zero-emissions solutions whilst
advancing their own software and material systems. They raised an impressive
£342milion in private investment back in November.
Riversimple are a UK-based hydrogen car company
specialising in personal mobility solutions whilst boasting no environmental
impact. With the only emission being water and the refueling time lasting only
minutes, Riversimple are appealing to the environmentally conscious and savvy
eFOLDi are turning things around in the assisted mobility sector by creating a
foldable and compact range of mobility scooters. One of the first of its kind,
eFOLDi is building an iconic smart brand for people with reduced mobility and
with a successful first round of funding, the demand is being met.
The clear 2030
deadline is driving investment into the future of mobility so it will be
interesting to see the development for the next generation of Electric
Vehicles. Maybe we will have flying cars after all!
2,500 startups and with £345million collectively raised in funding, Scotland is steadily making moves within the UK startup space. Scotland is just getting started with consistent growth being delivered every year. So who is worth keeping an eye on? With Scotland being the base for some of the UKs most successful “unicorn”companies, Sky Scanner and […]
With Scotland being
the base for some of the UKs most successful “unicorn”companies, Sky Scanner and Brewdog to name a few,
it’s no surprise that a generation of fast growing tech businesses are
Technologies in Edinburgh are on a mission to make the
agriculture and animal health sectors more sustainable. A unique joint venture
between the University of Edinburgh and two investment and business development
partners with global networks aids the company’s success.
3 ‘futurecorns’ are responsible for the employment of 500 people alone.
a SaaS platform based in Edinburgh,who have recently announced plans to create
12 tech jobs to fuel its global expansion all in effort to support the city’s
mission to be a centre for tech excellence, provides businesses with brand
insights and offers advice on how to increase their revenue and traffic.
Impressive clients include a recent partnership with Pepsico
to power their eCommerce growth in Europe.
start-ups raised £1.3
billion in the whole of 2010. They raised the
same amount in the first three weeks of 2021.With continued policy innovation,
research investment, and the right talent, the UK is on track to become the
heart of the European tech ecosystem.
Startup equity Whether you’re joining an early-stage startup, with seed funding or a startup that’s already raised big chunks of venture capital, it’s important to know the (at the very least) basics of equity. Most startups will offer equity as part of the compensation package, coming in the form of stock options that allow you […]
An Intro Into Startup Equity: 5 Things To Consider
Whether you’re joining an early-stage startup, with seed funding or a startup that’s already raised big chunks of venture capital, it’s important to know the (at the very least) basics of equity. Most startups will offer equity as part of the compensation package, coming in the form of stock options that allow you to buy shares at a prearranged price in the future.
1. Majority of startups never reach the market
You must keep in mind that a startups chances of succeeding are low, even if the idea/product is great there are often external factors at play that cause the failure. If a startup goes bankrupt whatever equity you had becomes worth nothing.
Do your own research into the company, every kid sounds perfect when described by their parent. Look into the company and its product, do you think this is something that can be successful.
2. Understand what equity is and how it works.
Option: You will be given the option to purchase the shares at a certain price that won’t change.
Vested: You will be given the share but will have to work for X amount of time to unlock the rights to it.
3. Ask questions.
Unless you are applying for a very high-up role, chances are you won’t be able to negotiate for anything other than the number of shares. Even so, you should be asking questions such as.
What is the value now?
Is there an exit strategy?
What is the timeframe?
Do they have a value estimation when the exit happens?
How much of the company do you own with your shares?
Can you sell your shares, and what is the process if you leave?
4. With the previous points in mind and it’s time to negotiate, remember that your salary is what you are living off right now. A potentially large pay-out in 5 years will not pay your rent today. Make sure you are not giving up a large amount of salary for a maybe payment later down the road.
You do not have to tell them what you are currently making or what you made in your previous role. Instead, ask them what range they have in mind for the role.
Research, research, and research. Know what the going rate is for your skillset, what could you be making elsewhere. Ideally, you’ll be in discussions with other companies as well and can give them an indication of what you could get there.
Come in with a plan, have a minimum salary and salary/equity value in mind before you sit down at the negotiation table. It makes it easier to draw the line during the talks. Know what is more important to you.
Remember that you are there for a reason if you’ve got far enough to be discussing equity, they value your skillset. Keep that in mind when negotiating and understand you are there to bring value to the company and should be compensated accordingly.
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 Rikke and Pippa from Borrow My Doggy a fantastic service uniting people without dogs with people that have dogs and need help. They have made life much more bearable during lockdown for so many people.
Tell us about BorrowMyDoggy!
BorrowMyDoggy is an online community that connects dog owners with local, trusted do borrowers who are happy to help take care of a pooch for walks, weekends and holidays.
We operate across the UK and Ireland
with thousands of new members joining every week. When an owner shares their
dog with a local borrower, it’s a win-win (or woof-woof) situation for
● Owners have peace of mind that their
dog is well taken care of by a trusted borrower
● Borrowers get to enjoy happy doggy
time, which they otherwise wouldn’t have
● Dogs enjoy extra exercise, spend less
time alone and most importantly receive more love and affection.
How did it all start and what are your goals?
I came up with the idea for BorrowMyDoggy in 2012 when I was looking after my neighbour’s beautiful chocolate Labrador for the day. While enjoying my day with Aston, I thought “there should be a website where dog owners can have their dogs taken care of by people who absolutely adore dogs and miss having a dog in their life.”
All owners need to be away from their
pooches sometimes, and there’s often no need to pay for a dog walker when there
are lots of people, just like me, who adore dogs but unfortunately can’t have
them (due to work, travel etc.), who would love to take care of a dog for free.
In addition to this, it would allow owners and doggies to get to know more
people locally and spread lots of happiness.
Our aim is to leave ‘Pawprints of
Happiness’ on the lives of dogs and people by building local communities where
dog-lovers give a helping hand taking care of local pooches, simply because
they love dogs.
What are your values as an ambitious startup?
Our values are focused around being
fun, happy, caring and thankful. Our community is at the centre of everything
we do at BorrowMyDoggy. We wouldn’t exist without our lovely members and it’s
thanks to their feedback, requests and recommendations that the site has
evolved in the way it has.
With your current knowledge and what you’ve learnt
so far, is there any advice would you give yourself back when you were just
You have to be passionate about what
you do and believe in the difference that you can make. As an entrepreneur
setting up a brand new business, there is so much to learn so just embrace the
fact that there will be lots of things that you don’t know and be open to
asking questions. Also, always listen to your customers and only develop
something that they will love to use. Finally, take an active part in the
startup community, which is incredibly inspiring, and always help others
whenever you can.
What is next for BorrowMyDoggy and what are the
goals for 2021?
At the moment we are focusing on making
BorrowMyDoggy the best it can be for our existing members in the UK and Ireland.
Last year we saw the launch of a new app, which we continue to work our tails
off on in 2021. We would love to help make a positive difference to as many
dogs’ and people’s lives as possible.
The pandemic has obviously affected a lot of
startups both in positive and negative ways, how have you guys dealt with it?
We have been truly ast-hound-ed (as we
like to say) by how the BorrowMyDoggy community has pulled together during the
pandemic. In the height of the pandemic in 2020 we made the decision to
recommend borrowers and owners stop meeting to help reduce the spread of the
virus. However we still saw wonderful acts of kindness from our members – from
fetching groceries and medication for one another, and borrowers walking dogs
for owners that were shielding or vulnerable, to borrowers temporarily rehoming
dogs for owners too.
Here’s most wonderful feedback we received from a BorrowMyDoggy owner
“I want to publicly thank my wonderful dog borrower María who has gone way beyond taking Purdey for her exercise while I’m in complete isolation and brought supplies and prescriptions not because I’ve asked but because she has offered unsolicited. There is some connection between dog/animal lovers and generosity of spirit. BorrowMyDoggy has brought such a caring group of people together with its organisation. Thank you.”
As the nation still faces the COVID pandemic we are still advising our community to be responsible and follow their local government guidelines, to ensure that everyone stays safe and minimises the spread of the virus.
We at Work In Startups believe that everyone should get paid for their work, regardless of age, experience, or any other factor. As more and more people get university degrees, the competition for entry-level jobs becomes tougher. Everyone is looking for something that puts them ahead of their competition, and the biggest advantage is having […]
We at Work In Startups believe that everyone should get paid for their work, regardless of age, experience, or any other factor.
As more and more people get university degrees, the competition for entry-level jobs becomes tougher. Everyone is looking for something that puts them ahead of their competition, and the biggest advantage is having experience. Getting said experience can be difficult though, as companies will naturally select the person with more experience. Creating a weird paradox of needing the experience to get experience, but you can’t get experience because you have no experience.
This desperate need for experience by fresh graduates is something companies have started to take advantage of. Offering unpaid internships because the employee gets valuable experience. Unpaid internships that are more than just shadowing or part of the intern’s studies, qualify the intern as a worker and must be paid at least minimum wage.
Experience is invaluable for people new to the job market, but unfortunately, it doesn’t pay anyone’s rent. It’s not right to expect someone to either live with their parents or hold down a second job next to your full-time job. This will also automatically exclude a large portion of the population as only a small demographic is in a position to complete an unpaid internship. And lastly how much effort can you expect from someone that isn’t getting paid?
If your company is in a place where you can’t afford to pay anyone a salary, maybe you shouldn’t be hiring just yet. There is no shame in taking it slow and building strong foundations before you start hiring people. Taking on an intern will require both time and effort from your side on teaching and guiding them through everything they need to learn.
However, there is a way that benefits both the startup and intern. The 16-24 age group has historically been the one struggling the most with unemployment, the pandemic hasn’t done them any favors in that aspect. The government is looking to fight that via their Kickstart Scheme. Adzuna’s co-founder Andrew Hunter wrote an article explaining the scheme and how it has changed since its first iteration.
If you have the skills, knowledge, and time required to properly train someone, this is a great way for a startup to get extra hands-on board without incurring extra costs.
Do Nation is our third subject in our new sustainability series where we will be talking to startups focused on a greener future. We asked Hermione Taylor who co-founded the company with Martin Warne some questions. Tell us about Do Nation! How did it all start and what are your goals? Well, Do Nation is […]
Do Nationis our third subject in our new sustainability series where we will be talking to startups focused on a greener future. We asked Hermione Taylor who co-founded the company with Martin Warne some questions.
Tell us about Do Nation! How did it all start and what are your goals?
Well, Do Nation is here to help people form healthy, environmentally
friendly habits. We do this through an online platform where anyone can either
make a pledge or run a campaign to raise pledges – pledges to do things like
cycling to work, wasting less food, or avoiding unsustainable palm oil.
It all started way back in 2009 when I was writing a Masters thesis on
the role of pledging on driving environmental behaviour change. Quite niche.
At the same time, I was planning a big cycle ride from London to Morocco, and decided that rather than asking friends to sponsor us by donating cash to an environmental charity, it’d be way more impactful to ask them to pledge to take action instead.
And so Do Nation was born.
For several years, we focused on offering a platform that anyone could
use to raise support for their own challenges or events, asking their friends
to ‘donate by doing’. However, we soon learned that we could have far greater
impact (and earn some much needed income!) through working with businesses –
opening up our platform for them to use with their employees, helping them to
actively engage employees in sustainability and climate action.
It’s been a total roller coaster of a journey, but after years of
banging loudly on closed doors we’re finally finding the world has woken up to
the importance of climate action and the game has totally changed.
We’re now working on a bold new project looking to encourage 1 billion people to take climate action by 2030. Yep, you read that right. One billion.
How are you engaging your employees in your sustainability efforts?
Ha, great question!
Our bread and butter is helping other
companies to engage their employees in sustainability – from innocent drinks to
Siemens Plc; HelloFresh to Automattic. That’s what we’re known for.
But this question has made me realise that
as our team grows, we should do more to make sure our own employees are leading
the way in their own lives! Noted.
Having said that, we do have several pioneering policies in place – we were one of the first to sign up to Climate Perks, whereby we earn an extra day’s annual leave by picking slow travel options over flying (when travel is allowed again…), and we have a very environmentally focused office stewardship policy.
Do you set any goals for improvement and aid to make yourself more sustainable?
Yep – we set an ambitious target last year to reduce our own team’s carbon emissions to 1 tonne of CO2 for every 1,000 tonnes CO2 that we help our users to save.
AKANet Zero x 1000.
We’ll achieve that in two main ways: firstly, by reducing the carbon footprint of our website (i.e. making it far more user friendly, and shifting to carbon neutral servers); and secondly by vastly increasing our user numbers.
What tips could you give other startup businesses to promote sustainability and have sustainability at their forefront?
It may not seem like a top priority
when you have 101 other things to be doing, all at 100 mph, as any start-up
does. However, getting environmental policies and processes set up right when
you’re small is far easier than leaving it until you’ve grown and systems and
cultures are embedded.
You’ll likely have employees who are passionate about sustainability – let them put that passion to good use, give them responsibility for setting up a green team or leading your Net Zero Taskforce. There are lots of great guides out there to help them along, this list from the B Corp Climate Collective is particularly handy.
What have been your biggest challenges that have come exclusively from starting a green business?
For years, the challenge was simple: earning income. There was no
shortage of people and businesses wanting to promote climate action and support
our work – they just didn’t want to put any budget towards it.
Thankfully Martin and I were stubborn and optimistic though, and we found ways to bootstrap and muddle through. And now the economics of climate action have shifted heavily, and now the challenge is quite the opposite: keeping up with demand! Hence why we’re recruiting…
The pandemic has obviously affected a lot of startups both in positive and negative ways, how have you guys dealt with it?
We’ve been a fully remote team for
years. When the pandemic hit, we were a team of four working remotely from
Scotland, England, France, and Austria. That, combined with having a purely
digital product, meant that we escaped lightly.
However, our service isn’t exactly
business critical, and so we soon felt the squeeze thanks to clients deciding
to ‘wait out the uncertainty’. But after a few months it came clear that that waiting
wasn’t an option, the interest began to boom again.
For all the s**t it’s created, one good
thing the pandemic has done is its woken people up to the importance of
listening to science. And as a result, more people are taking action to avert a
true climate crisis than ever before, with stronger resolve and determination
than I’ve ever seen.
Having been battling this ground for
over 10 years, building up a strong reputation in the sustainable business
world, we were in a great position to grasp this market opportunity. Our team
has grown by 300% in the last 6 months, and expect to double in size again over
the coming 6 months.
It’s been exhausting, but you won’t catch me complaining…