Tech Nation 2016

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The 2016 Tech Nation report was released today, and things are looking good: the UK’s Digital Industries are growing 32% faster than the rest of the UK economy, and estimated turnover is £161 billion!

Nudjed is part of the South Wales tech cluster, and we were asked to give our thoughts on what it’s like to start and grow a business in this area. Obviously, we’re big fans; CEO Warren says:

There are lots of active, supportive communities of entrepreneurs. Organisations like Cardiff Start and Welsh ICE have been incredibly valuable to us and the Welsh Government is very supportive of new business, with various technology funds, tax incentives and graduate employment schemes designed to help startups to succeed.

You can read the full report at http://www.techcityuk.com/technation/

 

Nudge Theory – The Psychology Behind Nudjed

Nudge theory is the theory behind the way Nudjed works, and it has recently hit headlines because of its application in British politics – both David Cameron and Barack Obama are fans of the theory.

It’s a concept that explains how people think, make decisions, and behave. The theory was first put forward in the book ‘Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness’, written by American academics Richard H Thaler and Cass R Sunstein, and is based on the Nobel prize-winning work of the Israeli-American psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky.

The UK Government introduced a body called the Behavioural Insights Team in 2010. Their aim was to shape public behaviour through encouraging good choices, rather than through more traditional methods such as legislation, bans, taxes and benefits. For example, they created an initiative to encourage more unemployed people to attend job interviews by sending cleverly worded text prompts – after implementing the scheme, attendance increased by around 16%, and the initiative is now used in all job centres across the UK. You can read more about the government’s use of nudge theory in this report from BBC News.

So, how does nudge theory become Nudjed? Nudge theory proposes that the designing of choices should be based on how people actually think and decide (instinctively and rather irrationally), rather than how leaders and authorities traditionally (and typically incorrectly) believe people think and decide (logically and rationally).

For example, if the NHS or other authorities wanted make people healthier, they might use tools like the official recommended daily allowance of sugar. The problem with this is that those methods don’t really have much effect on the decisions ordinary people make in their day-to-day lives – we all know that doctors want us to eat less sugar, but that doesn’t stop us from deciding to have a chocolate bar when we’re hungry.

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Nudge theory works by encouraging and enabling people to make the right choices. So, if you were to use Nudjed to encourage people to eat less sugar, we would use nudges (or ‘nudjes’, because we’re a startup and that’s the kind of thing we do) to inform people about the dangers of eating too much sugar. We could also suggest practical alternatives for other snacks you could have that are just as nice but have less sugar than a chocolate bar, like dried fruit or a trail mix with dark chocolate pieces.

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Nudjed sends ‘nudjes’ in the form of text message or email reminders, which encourage you to stay on track with the healthy challenge you’ve decided to take. When we work with organisations, we could suggest that the company provides healthier snack options in the workplace – enabling people to make the right decision.Nudjed-Logo-Colour-800x600

If you’d like to learn more about nudge theory, this article explains it very well. And if you’d like to learn more about how Nudjed can make you or your business healthier, then don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Nudjed and Edgar – Best Buddies!

At Nudjed, we like to be open about our business, from the Lean and Agile methodologies we follow to the software we use. You can read up on some of that stuff here: the Startup Starter Kit, a look inside our office, and some thoughts from our UX developer on agile development and working in CSS.

Today, we’d like to share a social media marketing secret that we swear by – and his name is Edgar.

Edgar is a social media scheduling tool with a difference. We’ve used the whole run of apps, including Buffer, Hootsuite, Tweetdeck and many more, and nothing has impressed us more than Edgar. The premise is simple – the majority of your social media updates are effectively wasted. Organic reach for Facebook posts is down to 4%, and a tweet is only seen by the small proportion of your followers who happen to be online when you post it.

Edgar works by creating a library of your social media updates, and publishes them according to a schedule that you can customise for each of your networks – and when all of your new updates are posted, Edgar goes back and starts recycling older updates that your followers may have missed the first time round!

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Edgar has saved us a huge amount of time by effectively automating our social media updates – this leaves us with more time for creating new content, engaging with our followers in real time, and getting on with other important business-type stuff. We’ve also been hugely impressed with Edgar HQ’s active community Facebook group – the team behind Edgar are consistently available to help out with any questions or problems, and the users share content, tips and solutions in an awesome friendly environment.

In short, we love Edgar – and we think you might too! You can find out more by visiting meetedgar.com. If there are other aspects of the Nudjed process you think we should cover on this blog, feel free to get in touch – just email becky@nudjed.com!

In Conversation With The Nudjed Board: Part Three

Earlier this week, we announced the appointment of our Board of Advisors. With over 100 years of combined experience, they are an invaluable asset to the company, and we’re greatly looking forward to benefiting from their words of wisdom! In this series, we ask the board members for their opinions and insights on topics including investment, health, and the South Wales startup scene.

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Q5: What do you think of the tech scene in Wales, and Nudjed’s place in it?

David Ward Walton: The tech scene in Wales is vibrant and growing, with a developing support infrastructure. Nudjed is the only health app, so it’s well placed.

Paul Watkins: I see Wales as under-represented in Britain’s tech scene. Nudjed is helping to redress the balance.

Ashley Cooper: Wales is producing a significant volume of entrepreneurial talent, much of it within the technology sector. There are some interesting and innovative products coming to market, including the Nudjed offering.

Mark Hindmarsh: I’ve been monitoring the early stage tech scene in Wales for some time now and will say that, in the last two years, I have experienced the noticeable emergence of several promising digital tech start-up businesses coming out of the country’s two main cities, Swansea and Cardiff. Nudjed is one of these new Welsh businesses that has an opportunity to scale globally and become a role model that encourages others to follow.

If you missed the previous articles in this series, you can find them here: Part One; Part Two. For more great content around health, tech and startups, follow us on Twitter!

In Conversation With The Nudjed Board: Part Two

Earlier this week, we announced the appointment of our Board of Advisors. With over 100 years of combined experience, they are an invaluable asset to the company, and we’re greatly looking forward to benefiting from their words of wisdom! In this series, we ask the board members for their opinions and insights on topics including investment, health, and the South Wales startup scene.

nudjed-advisoryboard-edit-dec14

Q3: What do you think of the health technology business opportunity and marketplace?

David Ward Walton: ‘Health’ is a huge and growing market. As a product that provides tailored nuggets of health advice for busy people, Nudjed is right on the money. And as a B2B proposition, by targeting employees though their companies, the route-to-market strategy is very do-able.

Paul Watkins: The problem that Nudjed is trying to solve is very current. There is an urgent need to find tools that lead to health improvements through behavioural change and nutrition education. Business and industry are demanding it. Nudjed’s approach gives the help that people need just at the moment when they need it during their day. A company that can provide demonstrable health and productivity improvements to a workforce is a powerful business proposition.

Ashley Cooper: The key to business performance is the performance of the people within the business. Improving the physical and mental well-being is a challenge for all organisations, in order to improve productivity and increase engagement. As a result, the potential for Nudjed as a product is significant.

Mark Hindmarsh: Health and wellbeing are becoming ever more prevalent in people’s everyday lives, be it at home or more increasingly in the workplace. This presents a significant business opportunity for a company like Nudjed to offer non-obtrusive beneficial health solutions that are affordable and which fit into and around people’s daily routines

What would you say to potential investors about Nudjed?

David Ward Walton: Nudjed is a good bet – huge market, smart proposition, committed and talented founders, great route-to-market strategy.

Paul Watkins: Nudjed has what investors look for: a differentiated product, an intelligent and energetic team that can work together, the ability to execute a plan and deliver results – and they have built something of real quality.

Ashley Cooper: Nudjed presents a significant opportunity to invest in a fast-growing business. The potential is massive and the possible returns significant. Tech businesses can grow very fast and can command very high values, as we have seen with the likes of Facebook and Whatsapp.

Mark Hindmarsh: No investment in an unproven start-up is a sure thing, but Nudjed is as good as any and, in my opinion, has what it takes to succeed: a great team, a compelling proposition and a huge addressable market opportunity in a hot topic area that effects everyone, health and wellbeing.

Keep your eyes peeled for more from our board over the next few days – follow us on Twitter to make sure you don’t miss a thing! If you missed yesterday’s article, you can read it here.

Board Members Fact Sheet

NUDJED BOARD MEMBERS – KEY FACTS

David Ward Walton

  • Business and Marketing Consultant
  • Presentation Skills and Pitch Coach (runs masterclasses throughout the UK)
  • Business experience includes: Saatchi & Saatchi, Sony, GTECH, Lyons
  • Entrepreneur – three successful businesses built
  • Also a Board Member with Publicate Ltd and Quiz For Biz Ltd
  • @davidwardwalton
  • uk.linkedin.com/in/davidwardwalton
  • Paul Watkins

  • Chairman of Nudjed Advisory Board
  • Executive Coach based in Geneva, Switzerland
  • Non-Executive Director for Agroceutical Products Ltd
  • Member of the European Mentoring and Coaching Council
  • Also a registered ski instructor and open water diver
  • Previous roles with IBM, Corsair Inc., and Micron.
  • ch.linkedin.com/pub/paul-watkins/1/92a/87b
  • Mark Hindmarsh

  • Serial Entrepreneur & Business Development Professional – helped start Active Imaging (AIM listing – 1996), yet2.com (sold to Scipher – 2002) and Coull
  • Also an advisor and investor with Verticly, KlausTech, Shomei, Dizzyjam
  • Previous exits with SearchRev, Analog Analytics and JiWire Europe
  • @MarkHindmarsh2
  • uk.linkedin.com/in/markhindmarsh
  • Ashley Cooper

  • Founder of TES Aviation Group, CEO 1995-July 2014; NED July 2014-Dec 2014
  • Business Coach and Mentor; Big Ideas Wales Role Model
  • Previously: Rolls-Royce Aero Engines, GE Aircraft Engines; Biotec Services International (NED)
  • Board Director and Investor in multiple businesses
  • Founder and Director Catalyst Growth Partners
  • @AshleyGCooper
  • uk.linkedin.com/pub/ashley-cooper/17/781/48a
  • For more information, visit www.nudjed.com/press or email press@nudjed.com

    Finance Wales Announcement

    We’re thrilled to officially announce today that we have secured £125,000 in investment from Finance Wales – we’re the first company to benefit from their new investment fund!

    This is huge news for us, as it represents a vote of confidence in what Nudjed is doing as a business and our future potential. We’ll be using the money to increase the size of our engineering and delivery teams.

    Economy Minister Edwina Hart welcomed the news, saying, “The Wales Technology Seed Fund provides exciting technology start-ups like Nudjed with the backing to become leading Welsh technology businesses of the future, boosting the Welsh economy and supporting business growth. Nudjed will also be able to benefit from Finance Wales’ links with other early stage investors.”

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    Nudjed co-founders Warren Fauvel and Neil Atherton with James Henderson of Finance Wales.

    This news is especially exciting considering the news last week that in order to tackle the obesity crisis, the government will be giving funds to businesses to encourage their staff to lose weight. Nudjed is ahead of the curve in this regard, as we offer B2B service specifically designed to make whole offices healthier – you can read more about that here.

    Neil Cocker, CEO of CardiffStart, the largest community of tech entrepreneurs in the region, believes that this windfall is good news for other South Wales businesses. He commented: “The Nudjed team are really pioneering in their field and within the community. If anyone can succeed, these guys will!”

    For media enquiries, visit our press page or email press@nudjed.com.

    Communicating Progress

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    Once you’ve established your investor relationships, it is important to communicate progress and keep your investors on board.

    Showing momentum is everything

    This seems pretty obvious, but it bears repeating: good news will drive engagement. This doesn’t mean hyping everything you do, but it does mean portraying yourself in a positive light. Ideally, you want to touch base with a potential investor at least once a month, with some real tangible progress. After a while, people will join the dots and assume that your business is gaining traction before you even start talking.

    Things worth communicating

    The golden rule for founders here is:

    Value your potential investors’ time

    Don’t waste it with things they won’t care about. Here are some of things we’ve learnt go down well:

    • New team members – especially if they have strong expertise

    • Product sales/partnerships – with potential to scale

    • Product features – big, relevant updates

    • Changes to the market – particularly legislative, macro-investments

    That’s not to say there aren’t more, but this is the level of ‘news’ that is worth sharing – meeting up with someone to tell them you’ve hired a new junior developer is not really big enough.

    On top of that business-related ‘good news’, you can then work your own network to find something hyper-relevant to their interests. For example:

    • A link to an interesting rival/market report

    • A connection with a potential partner

    • A sales lead they can immediately action

    Showing you can add value to everything else they do is a demonstration that you know how business works – that you can hustle.

    Making the connection

    Now you have some good news to share, here’s an example of how you could plan to pitch a connection for a second time:

    Intro Email

    Hey Bob,

    Hope you’re keeping well?

    I bumped into Fred (CEO of Company X <weblink>) the other day and he mentioned they were looking at their CRM system. I mentioned your CRM, and he said he’ll take a look at it. Do you want me to do an intro email?

    Nudjed is taking up most of my time at the minute, we’ve just taken on 3 new devs to handle our B2B customers.

    If you have a spare slot in the next fortnight, I’d love to sit down for a coffee (hint – I’m probably going to pitch you for investment!). If that sounds like something you’re into, we’d love to have you on-board!

    Let me know what you think?

    All the best,

    Warren

    If Bob decides to message back in the positive, move to step 2. If not: apologise, re-validate him as an investor, and connect with him in a month if it’s still worthwhile.

    Remember the rule, though –

    Value your potential investors’ time

    At the meeting

    When you do sit down to talk about investment, be prepared. In fact, be over-prepared. 90% of the work you’ve done may never get shown in the meeting you make it for – but three weeks later, in another meeting, someone will ask about your projected cost of acquisition in year 1, and you’ll be able to pull up a spreadsheet and play with the figures in front of them.

    There are two reasons you won’t close a deal:

    • You aren’t ready for investment

    • They aren’t ready for investment

    Do everything you can to ensure it’s never you who is not prepared.

    Full Disclosure: At Nudjed, it’s almost always been us who were not ready. That’s why we’re sharing this roadmap with you; so you can learn from our mistakes.

    Things you should definitely have ready for every investor meeting:

    • A 2/5/10/30 minute pitch: tell your story, explain the product.

    • Rough financials –

      • Current monthly burn-rate

      • Basic P&L for user base

      • Broad idea of costs to market

      • Breakeven point

    • A reason to invest immediately. Hint: Make them feel like you can do it without them.

    • An investable plan –

      • How much do you want?

      • How much do they get?

      • What’s it for?

      • When do they get it back?

    Always answer honestly; even if you’re ashamed of it. If you’re embarrassed, improve it. And always, always ask the awkward questions – the ones you’d prefer to avoid.There’s nothing more important in an investment relationship than full disclosure.

     

    You can find the previous part of The Startup Starter Kit, ‘Building An Investor Network’, here.



    To be the first to know when we publish installments of The Startup Starter Kit, and keep on top of our other great news and content, sign up to our mailing list: nudjed.com/newsletter


    The Roadmap – Part One: Finding A Market

    Nudjed-StartupStarterKit-Roadmap1

    The ‘Roadmap’ section of the Startup Starter Kit is an outline of the background research you’ll need to do and the steps you’ll need to take to get your business from the ‘idea’ stage to a viable business. One of the first things you’ll need to do is identify a target market – you have to know, before you start, that there is a demand for your product.

    Timescale: 1-2 weeks

    Skills: Secondary Research

    Success: A market that matches your aspirations, with 3 killer stats to back it up.

    Failure: Repeat this step until you find one.

    Sometimes, brilliant ideas are too niche. It’s one thing to find great traction in one region, but if you’re hoping to build a $1bn business, you should probably check your market exists elsewhere.

     

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    We believe in missionary businesses – ones where people are motivated to serve a cause as much as make money. Solving the obesity epidemic with technology was the thing that got us excited when we started Nudjed. Plus, it’s a huge business opportunity, that exists globally, within similar market conditions. To read more about Nudjed’s target market go to www.nudjed.com/market

    For Nudjed, we target Health and Wellness, particularly obesity and offices. Here’s three of our killer stats (there’s plenty more though):

    • 64% of the UK adult population are overweight or obese (Guardian, 2013)

    • We lose 111 million sick days each year, costing the UK economy £29bn (ONS, 2013)

    • Health and fitness apps are growing 87% faster than any other app market (Flurry, 2014)

     

    We found good sources for information were Mintel, Neilson, Google Trends, Pew, Academia.edu, The Office of National Statistics and the usual range of news outlets. Basically, anywhere that could offer breadth or depth of secondary market knowledge.

    Read the next part of the Roadmap, Defining Your Vision, [here].

     

    You can find the previous part of The Startup Starter Kit, ‘Communicating Progress’, here.

    The next part of the Roadmap, ‘Defining Your Vision’, is here.
    To be the first to know when we publish installments of The Startup Starter Kit, and keep on top of our other great news and content, sign up to our mailing list: nudjed.com/newsletter


    The Roadmap – Part Two: Defining Your Vision

    Nudjed-StartupStarterKit-Roadmap2

    The ‘Roadmap’ section of the Startup Starter Kit is an outline of the background research you’ll need to do and the steps you’ll need to take to get your business from the ‘idea’ stage to a viable business. If you’ve come to this in the wrong order, start with part 1, Finding A Market. This section is concerned with defining your vision and your target demographic.

     

    Timescale: 2-4 weeks

    Skills: Primary research

    Success: Create a valid business idea you can pitch in 10 seconds and the profile of an ‘early adopter’

    Failure: Repeat this step till you get something

    You need to understand what value/benefit you’re bringing to the market. For this you’ll need insights. I believe in the value of insights over ideas. Defined as:

    • Insights – Problem or value misalignment identified by a targetable demographic.

    • Ideas – A range of potential solutions to an insight.

    By structuring your work in this way, you become fixated on solving a user’s problems, not proving your own ideas are right. To date, we’ve conducted over 400 user interviews, which has driven a huge range of insights and even more ideas.

    No business plan survives first contact with users

    • Steve Blank

    To get this process down, we’d recommend reading ‘Running Lean’ by Ash Mayura. Though it’s a little idealistic in how neatly the examples fit, we found it invaluable in getting our research processes in order.

    It’s particularly worth using the Lean Canvas regularly, to record your vision (we still use them now). To read more about the Nudjed Research process, go to www.nudjed.com/research.

    The second thing we’d recommend is reading Steve Blank’s work (either on his blog, in his book, or via Udacity). Steve pioneered the idea of start-ups as different to established businesses. His mantra – get out of the office, or you won’t learn anything – is one Nudjed holds very close to our hearts.

    You can find the previous part of The Startup Starter Kit, ‘Finding A Market’, here.

    The next part of the Roadmap, ‘Making a Sale’, is here.


    To be the first to know when we publish installments of The Startup Starter Kit, and keep on top of our other great news and content, sign up to our mailing list: nudjed.com/newsletter