Part 1 - "Start Now". Vincent Haywood Founder of Braqes starts his Startup Diary with a call to action to all wannabe entrepreneurs....
"I almost called my startup some sort of Mexican name, the reason being that I was chilling on a beach in Cancun when my girlfriend told me to stop talking about it and just do it.
I’d made this mistake a few times, coming up with what I thought were amazing ideas and solutions for apps and software. I have a notebook of diagram after diagram showing how my ‘inventions’ could work and change how people do things. That was it though, they were just drawings. In some cases a new startup would roll out and it would be my idea or something pretty close. Every time I would say to myself I need to get off my arse and do something. I didn’t.
It was then, over a fourth margarita and my girlfriend giving me a kick up the ass that I agreed. I whipped out my trusty moleskin and got to work. Yes, I know - yet another diagram, but this time I was determined. Maybe it was the holiday, being away from London and having time to think, maybe it was the clear mind and relaxed state or maybe I was a little drunk.
Two years later I’m raising funds for round one of Braqes. Not to say it’s been a smooth journey, there are some serious ups and downs (of which I’ll tell you about later) but here I am about to take an idea from a notebook to its next level.
The point I’m trying to make in this first entry is that I should have started this years ago. Instead of sitting around and talking or moaning I should have been where I am now about two years ago. Procrastination sucks. You can read book after book about getting over it but it's instilled, and all it does is stop you from getting to the end game. Preventing you from making what you have dreamed up a reality. I grew up in South Africa and if you didn’t pass your exams you were held back a year - the best advice I received was that every time you were held back it was a year’s salary gone. (Granted a 16yr old is probably more interested in other things, but thinking back now that teacher had a point) So every year I talked about it was one year less to opening my offices, one year less to generating revenue and probably one year less to exit.
Seeing as this is my first entry on Startacus I thought I would explain a little about me and the tool we are launching. Braqes is a tool for the PR industry. Its one of about five of a suite of products born out of frustration with various processes and software in the media industry. The first part is Braqes PR, a tool that is going to give back time to PR professionals and help them generate the reports they need. We are an underdog in a competitive world, but have a few tricks up our sleeve.
My name is Vincent, I currently hold a job as head of digital at a prominent PR agency - by day I’m running campaigns for some big brands and at night I’m building Braqes, networking and holding meetings with my two business partners. I won’t lie, it’s tough, and most nights I’m hitting the sack at one or two in the morning. (I’ll be talking about finding that balance later)
Over the past two years I have found the resources to build and roll out version 1 of Braqes, I have learnt so much about finance, something that used to bore me to tears, yet now I love it and I have learnt about how powerful networking is. I have presented at various pitching events all over London and have met some amazing people. I have med mistakes, I have wanted to give up and I have taken on the detractors.
I want to tell you about what Braqes has been through, what I have learnt, things I used to move forward, what drives me, who drives me, mistakes and successes. I also hope to document the things we go through when we finally secure that funding and how we roll out the investment. Across hiring, building, admin and what comes with all of that. Hopefully you can learn something from this, or teach me something more
In the next 1-2 months I hope to secure funding for Braqes and roll out its next version - which according to my notebook is going to be amazing.
So in conclusion to this intro, whatever idea you have right now, start. They aren’t called ‘maybe I startup next year’ or ‘I can’t startup till next month’ they are called ‘startups’ for a reason. Every day missed is a day further away from the end game. Lets see how this goes...
Mi-IDEA Manchester Networking Event
27th Sep 2016
The teams from CISCO and Manchester Science Partnerships have teamed up to create Mi-IDEA, a post-accelerator designed to foster and nurture digital innovation in the North West of England.