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Work in Startups - Diana Proca chats with Startacus
by Startacus Admin
Diana Proca is the Cofounder of Work in Startups, an online jobs platform that advertises jobs working (as the title suggests) for UK based Startups.
But Diana’s business, only launched in 2011, was very much a Startup itself and Startacus was keen to find out more about the inspiration behind Work in Startups, the startup scene and some advice on recruiting your first staff members. Over to Diana to answer our questions...
Take us back to the start of Work in Startups, what made you think of your business idea and what was the gap you saw in the market?
The idea of WorkInStartups came to me while casually chatting with one of my friends about a totally random subject. I think a lot of business ideas come when you least expect them and everyone should make sure they write them down so they can follow up on them later. I know I had a lot of business ideas that were lost at the thought stage.
I remember that I wanted to join a startup as I was fed up with all the corporate style of work that in my view is killing creativity. The startup world came as a fresh breeze that encouraged me to be creative, have an impact on the business, and work with genuine people.
At that point, two years ago, I couldn’t find a single place that would show me all the startup job openings. There were a couple of tools specifically designed for internships but nothing that centralised all the startup opportunities.
So I decided to give it a shot and in two days I had the website up and ready.
Working in partnership with business Startups, what is your current impression of the startup scene in the UK?
The startup scene is very much growing. When I look at our new clients I’m amazed by how ingenious some business ideas are. And it’s getting better and better.
I believe that startups will shape the world we live in and make it better for all of us. Most business ideas have developed out of frustrations and that’s the way to go. Nowadays if you see something that is not working properly you can actually do something about it.
The UK is one of the best countries to launch a startup. The government is very supportive, the scene is constantly growing and funding and exits are becoming more frequent. London might soon become the second largest startup hub after Sillicon Valley.
What are the hardest difficulties Startups face in recruiting their first staff members?
A lot of these difficulties are related to finding highly skilled individuals that share the same enthusiasm for the business as the founders. It is very hard to find amazingly skilled people that will buy into your vision. Most of these types have already well paid jobs and they do not necessarily want to give that up just to pursue an idea.
Another thing would be learning to compromise. Although it is hard to believe it, maybe the most skilled people are not the best choice for your company. A lot of startups are not making compromises on the skills level of the candidates when they actually should.
What would be the key advantages for job applicants in considering working for a Startup?
As a person that spent 5 years in the corporate world I can assure you that startups are a better choice. Here are some of the reasons:
Meaningful work. Most startups have a mission that is often about improving the industry they work in. Working for a cause that you believe in makes a big difference in your level of enthusiasm and the quality of work that you actually perform.
Impact. Since most startups have small teams, your work will have an impact on the overall result of the business. It’s hugely rewarding.
Challenging work. Working in a startup is not easy. Most of the times you will have questions that no one in your team knows how to answer. The work will be challenging but you won’t get bored.
Learning. Being a small team means you will collaborate tightly with your colleagues and learn from them. You will also do a lot of things outside your job description so be prepared to learn a lot.
Fun. Imagine an office without the politics of the corporate world. An office where you can speak your mind and where people are genuine. Well, it can be very entertaining and you won’t have to kiss anyone’s a** to be promoted.
As a recent Startup yourself, what were the biggest challenges you faced in taking your business forward from idea to conception?
My biggest challenge was actually myself. I wasn’t sure it was a good idea, it seemed risky to go down the entrepreneurial path, I had no technical background and I was basically telling myself there was no way I was going to make it work. I had to do a lot of self-persuading to convince myself to do it.
Who within the current Startup scene has been your biggest influence and why?
My boyfriend was my biggest inspiration. He was an entrepreneur before I started and all the initial knowledge and inspiration I gathered from him.
Cheers Diana...and we wish you and the team all the best with your great and inspirational business too.
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.