Now we’d like you - the great Startacus public to get involved by deciding who the Self Starter of the Year should be. Here’s how...
Simply read over the short pitches and then cast your vote for your fave.
But since this isn't simply a popularity contest we've limited each of you to one vote each (or at least one vote per device used and to the best of our tech ability!)
Votes can be cast until Monday 26th January and the winner of the 2014 Self Starter of the Year will be announced on Wednesday 28th January. What a great start to the New Year for one lucky self starter and Startacus member.
A massive thanks to all that pitched too - of course you are all winners in our eyes!
Imagine you’re 50 something, with a successful career behind you and a comfortable lifestyle. What do you do?
Retire early, let your flat out and decide to travel around the world? Or ditch the day job, employ a couple of University grads (one of whom happens to be your son) and create an App for Londoners on a budget? If you guessed that I opted for the latter, you’d be right. My start-upFrugl was borne out of my own frustration with trying to find fun things to do in London that didn’t cost the Earth. It started as vague idea back in 2009 and eventually materialised into an App in 2014. In between there were lots of fits and starts until eventually, with the help of my co-founder, a couple of Shoreditch based developers and more than a little of my own money, it became a business. The past 12 months have been the most challenging of my life as I have had to learn about technology, running a digital business and networking. There were many highlights but winning the Smarta Mobile of the Year Awards was one of the big ones for us. Winning the Startacus of the Year Award would be a great start to 2015. Prashant Lagisetti
I’ve given up a lot during these uncertain times… a well paid and stable career, financial security, a comfortable lifestyle, weekends, and my sanity. Why?
To build something that could help millions of global citizens. That thing is Localoids, a community that brings people of the world a little bit closer together, by sharing skills, knowledge, language and culture. I’m not a techie (far from it) and I don’t have a background in start ups. I’m just an ordinary guy trying to build something extraordinary. I’m proud of what I have achieved so far with Localoids. But it’s just the beginning of the most insane rollercoaster I will ever experience. I do love thrills though, so I’m strapped in for the ride. It’s a massive task, and I can’t do it by myself. I need the help of my team, all you global citizens and the amazing Startacus partners. Should I win, I will really make the most of the brilliant Marketest market research. It’s crucial for me to understand what’s happening when I make strategic decisions. I’ll also make use of the valuable services offered by Huddlebuy, Moo, Net Lawman, Penelope, Creative barcode and Innovation Bank.
Bodopods are rapidly deployed, solid panel, disaster relief shelters that give security, comfort and privacy to displaced people. Bodopods stands for Buy One Donate One pods.
I’m currently developing a smaller version for the camping market that offers users a much comfier experience but also the knowledge that their purchase has gone some way to helping a family or person who needs shelter to survive and to rebuild their lives. A percentage of those profits will be used to fund a better disaster relief shelter that can be purchased for a realistic price by the UN and International Federation of Red Cross. This is a huge task to take on but if you vote for me and I win, then you’ll be one of the first people to have helped me achieve my goals. Given the task in hand, the fab prizes will help no end with me achieving this, with access to market research, innovation bank and so many other great prizes. I’m going to need as much help as I can get!
The last year was year one in my small business and I know I achieved so much; self starter of the week, a feature on the Startacus website (which I had many people reach out to me about) as well as other various badge awards over Twitter.
I attended the Business Show and baked for Neville Wilshire (BBC3’s The Call Centre), I was interviewed for a newspaper and my business was featured in one for being shortlisted for Best Start Up of the Year in the Lambeth Best of Business Awards. All of these amazing things are why I feel myself and my business should win self starter of the year. So much has been achieved just from me alone working so hard to get noticed out there. The prizes would be so helpful to name a few I’d be able to get some market research done on a larger scale, Penelope would help for taking calls when I’m unavailable and I’d be able to get some more legal documents sorted out and more business cards. The last year has been a whirlwind for me and I’m truly honored to have been a Self Starter of the Week.
The One Pound Challenge was a business adventure to see what could be achieved from just a £1 investment in one year. It was a year for me to work full time to invest and reinvest in a variety of self led projects, in order to develop my one-pound coin into my first graduate salary.
After a year of hard work my £1 investment had grown to a little over £20,000 net profit.
Yet, the purpose of the challenge was to do more than just earn me enough money to not have to get a ‘real job’ for a year. I want the story of my journey to inspire and encourage people to get their dream business off the ground. Best of all, having started from £1, which incidentally I had found on the floor, it means everyone has access to what they need to do this… everyone has a pound they can spare to try something with! With this in mind I have recently written and released a self-published book and begun speaking at various entrepreneur events to inspire other self-starters.
It’s always an honour to pitch for a personal award but also feels a little narcissistic. Why should I be considered when so many deserve it? What makes me better? Honestly, I cant tell you; all I can do, is give you the facts from the past year and let you decide.
In the past 12 months I have: Grown the social enterprise, YENA, from a humble, local event with a static website, to an organisation of 7 people and growing, an expected 12 locations by 2016, with 4 venues confirmed already and set to launch this year. Built and launched a new website for YENA with social networking capabilities already suggested as having the potential to be a ‘young LinkedIn’. Arranged a merger for the creative agency I run and launched sub-brands to cater to personal-branding clients. Been interviewed on radio, been invited to the houses of parliament and even by NASA to cover a rocket launch in California.
It’s been a big year for me! Self-starters make things happen - 2014 for me saw things start to and 2015 will continue the same way. Perhaps you’ll agree and consider me as self-starter of the year.
Since packing in my full time agency job in January 2014: I started Profoundry, a one man Digital Consultancy helping businesses maximise the benefit from their digital presence. With some small self funding this business has managed to turn over £33k in its first year.
I have worked hard using education, ethics & training to break down the barriers, jargon and misconceptions associated with the Digital Marketing industry. I have built up a business blog gaining over 4500 visits a month from 30+ blog posts. I have shared my experience and advice in articles and interviews on Startacus, Channel 4 News, The Guardian, Real Business and many other publications. I have actively promoted Manchester, my home town, as a Top 5 city for startups. I have been lucky enough to visit and review conferences including MADE Festival and Web Summit.
All this was achieved by embracing the Self Starter spirit which taught me self-confidence, self-reliance & self-sacrifice. With your support I hope to learn and accomplish even more in 2015!
In 2014 BeBirbal was accepted into the startup programs of prestigious organisations such as Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon and Rackspace because of our ‘exciting potential for growth’ according to Facebook’s Fbstart acceptance letter. Being supported and associated with these companies is testament to the potential we and they think, BeBirbal can fulfil. 2014 was a very exciting year for BeBirbal. Between May and December we built an app, released it on the apple app store, were featured in local and national business magazines and websites such as startups.co.uk, pitched for investment, launched a marketing campaign with the Uber app and were given service credits totally £50,000 from Amazon, Facebook, Parse, Stripe and Mailchimp. But as with any startup each day has been challenging to build and grow. Bootstrapping the business has been rewarding but stressful and finding reliable people to work with is no easy task. Being a self starter is about dedication, energy and focus and whilst sometimes these levels drop it’s important to keep moving forward and remain passionate about the project.
It would be a fantastic achievement for BeBirbal and an exciting start to 2015 to win and an incredible motivation on our startup journey.
Now make your vote count!!
Click on the image below or the handy link included here and vote for who you think should be the Startacus Self Starter of the Year and good luck to all the finalist below!