"There is a constant effort from every single person in SETsquared to help. In other organisations, you find people cannot afford the time to help everyone, but SETsquared is unique in what they do, and they're a great group of people."
Georgios Michalakidis, managing director, Thoughtified
Aaron Mason, managing director, Thoughtified
- Start date: 2009
- Website: www.thoughtified.com
- Market sector: internet
- Location: Surrey
- Investment raised: self-funded
- Number of employees: 11
- Company turnover: £260,000
Thoughtified creates cloud-based software solutions. It focuses on developing intelligent software for internet-based systems. Its projects have included an asset management system used to track the locations of India's entire wild tiger population. In August 2013, the company was acquired by the ai Corporation.
What was the vision for the company and what problem were you aiming to solve?
"We had both just finished a master's degree in 2009, and we saw we had a common interest in software. We made a decision to do something we liked, which is building applications. Aaron had an idea for a conservation management system, which is where we started."
June 2011: won SETsquared Graduate Enterprise Award
November 2011: received TSB grant
October 2012: received second TSB grant
August 2013: acquired by the ai Corporation.
"When we had the initial idea, we approached the university's enterprise unit and they said that it sounded like a sensible business case, and gave us a £5,000 grant to start developing the software. A few weeks later we had our first prototype."
"We were introduced soon after this to Ben Partridge at SETsquared, and we started work on our ManagePlaces product. We received funding under the University of Surrey's Business and Enterprise Student Support Scheme (BESSS) to help us develop this software."
"We have been members of SETsquared since 2010, and had a couple of desks at their premises at the University of Surrey science park which we used once or twice a week. About a year later, we moved into the building full-time."
"In 2011, we won the category for best graduate start-up at the competition organised by SETsquared. We really appreciated the publicity from this award."
"In fact, the award helped bring us to the attention of the Technology Strategy Board (TSB). With help from Jonathan Hodrien at the University, we submitted an application for a £57,000 SMART grant from TSB. In November 2011 we received the grant, which was to develop our healthcare dashboard solution."
"It's competitive to apply for a TSB grant, and they are over-subscribed, but the 2011 grant was a good opportunity to develop this software. Since then, we have received another £51,000 grant from TSB to create our decisions without boundaries online meeting solution, LastMeet.
"There is a lot of mentorship activity within the technology centre. SETsquared is keen to help with the start of businesses, putting on workshops, and finding the best individuals to run them. They've helped us to transition from being students to running a full-time company."
"Overall, SETsquared has helped us grow our business with workshops in anything from sales to managing product to working with staff."
"SETsquared also introduced us to our mentors, and has put us in touch with many interesting and useful contacts. We met people just through being in the incubator space, including one of our best designers. Even if SETsquared isn't actively introducing us, they are facilitating contacts."
"Initially we got free membership, and then we received a pre-revenue rate, which is half the price you'd normally pay for desk space. On top of that, the workshops are all free."
"SETsquared is flexible, and understand the problems of start-ups. The flexibility could be in something as simple as getting meeting space, or contacting someone after hours to ask for a second opinion when we had a response from a customer."
"Following the acquisition, we will continue to work in advanced web development and will focus on predictive analytics and visualisation of big data, particularly in the financial sector."