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.

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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.

    Welcome To The Startup Starter Kit

    TSSK

    Hello, dear reader, and welcome to The Startup Starter Kit!

    Here at Nudjed, we put a lot of time and effort into researching different strategies to make sure that our business venture launch was as successful as possible.

    This has worked out pretty well for us so far – we recently secured £125k investment from Finance Wales, and another £90,000 of external investment. We are also set to roll out a pilot partnership scheme with Superdrug over the next few weeks, and have developed several other important B2B relationships. We’ve also made our fair share of mistakes, which have helped us to learn a lot and adapt our strategy.

    We know how hard it can be to build a business from scratch, especially when you’re operating outside of the established tech hubs such as Silicon Valley, London, and Tel Aviv, and without the help of a startup accelerator programme. That’s why we’ve decided to share our knowledge and experience here, for other entrepreneurs to use, learn from and build on.

    Over the following weeks, we will be publishing a series of blog entries detailing how we created our own path to success, and how you can do the same.

    We’ll also be making available copies of the resources we use, which may help you, including:
    – our staff handbook
    – content sharing guidelines
    – contract and job description templates
    and other supporting documents that will help you to build and run your business.

    We’ll be discussing how to create an investor network, the importance of preparation, finding sales targets, and running a successful seed round, amongst many other things.

    Find the first part of The Startup Starter Kit, Reasons for Raising Investment, here.

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

    If you have any questions or comments about anything at all, please don’t hesitate to get in touched on Twitter (@nudjed) or via email.

    We look forward to your feedback!

    Reasons For Raising Investment

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    The Startup Starter Kit aims to equip you with everything you need to build a successful startup. For us, part of that process was completing a seed round – we raised investment from private backers, and also secured £125k from Finance Wales.

    However, it’s important to think before you decide to start asking for money. Raising investment is not a consequence of ‘being in business’ – it’s a strategic endeavour. You have to know why you’re doing it, and how it fits into your vision. These are the reasons we found to be valid for raising money:

    • Fast – We want to go faster, because the opportunity is closing

    • Big – We can’t make the most of this opportunity without more resource

    • Hard – The barriers to entry are high (for anyone)

    • Value – We need more than money, investment from experts validates sales

    These are the reasons we decided were not valid for raising (on their own, or in combo):

    • Hubris – We want to do it to be cool

    • Confusion – We don’t know what else to do

    • Herd – It’s what everyone else is doing

    You and your co-founder/board/advisors need to sit down and seriously question why you want to fundraise. What strategic value does it add to your market opportunity?

    Once you’ve figured that bit out, record it.

    If the strategic value changes, don’t get caught chasing money you don’t want. Believe me, you feel stupid for doing it.

    Find the first part of The Startup Starter Kit here; the next part, ‘Building An Investor Network’, is now online 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

    Building An Investor Network

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    An investor network will hold you in good stead for the remainder of your start-up career (let’s hope it’s a long one!). By building these connections, you’ll learn a key skill for any founder, how to leverage someone else’s assets to a mutually beneficial advantage.

    Validate the people you know

    Know which people in your network are potential investors. Three good questions to ask before you ask for money:

    • Inexperienced – Have they owned any part of a business before?

    • Finance – Do they have disposable income to hand?

    • Scared – Are they open to the risks of investing in businesses?

    If they answer ‘no’ to any of these questions, you’re fighting an uphill battle. Here’s the best ways we found to deal with ‘no’ on each front:

    • Inexperienced – Are you open to learning/trusting us? (plan for that)

    • Finance – Are you likely to have any change in the near future? (timeline that)

    • Scared – What are you least comfortable with? (then de-risk it)

    If you’re in a position to move forward, the next questions validate them as an investor in YOUR opportunity:

    • Range – How much do they normally invest? Does it match your targets?

    • Stage – What stage do they get involved in? What risk do they look for?

    • Sector – Are they comfortable with your target sector? Do they add value?

    This is the killer area for ‘good’ investors. Plenty of the investors we’ve connected with, just aren’t going to put their money into Nudjed. Not because they don’t like us, but we don’t match their investment profile.

    If that’s the case, shake their hand, ask for any advice or referrals they could give you, and ask if they want to be kept in the loop in case either of your situations change.

    It’s also a good idea to remember that the investor relationship goes two ways – if at any point you decide that the investor isn’t right for your business, or is wasting your time with no real intention of eventually investing, then you can be the one to respectfully withdraw your interest.

    However, if they do fit your profile, there’s only one question left to ask:

    “What would it take for you to make an investment in this business?”

    Right now you’re looking for clear, objective reasons that they will invest. If they’re not clear, they’re either stalling, or you’ve sold them too hard. Back off and do a follow-up email.

    If they have objective reasons, then align them with your road-map, agree a timescale and continue to build the relationship:

    “We should have paying users on the system by December. If that’s the case, would it be OK for me to invite you for a coffee then, to look at a potential investment?”

    Connect with investors you don’t know

    Here are the three ways we’ve succeeded in meeting new potential investors:

    • Referrals – “We’re building a seed round at the moment, do you know anyone with an interest in investing in startups like ours?”

    • Networks – Mixers, breakfasts, pitches; anywhere with investors in a room. Pay to get in if you think it’s worth it – then use the questions above to validate them.

    • Chance – At Nudjed, we believe in ‘Presence’: if you’re in the room, be in the room. Make connections, take opportunities. Ask people what they do!

     

    You can find the previous part of The Startup Starter Kit, ‘Reasons For Raising Investment’, 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