FT Start-Up Stories

Six entrepreneurs who have featured in recent episodes discuss survival strategies and key ingredients for success with Jonathan Moules in front of a live audience at the Financial Times in London.

 

Al Shariat trained as a lawyer, but then took a job with the UNDP in Iran, working on microfinance and other projects. It was this experience that inspired him to change direction and set up a business providing ethically-sourced coconut products to western consumers.

 

Mix cloud, a music streaming service, got off the ground and achieved profitability without any external funding – something highly impressive and unusual in the world of tech start-ups. Nikhil Shah tells Jonathan Moules the story.

 

Phil Davidson is a bit of a health nut, and was frustrated when working long hours as a broker in London that he couldn’t find healthy food in the office vending machines. So after a spot of travelling, he decided to design his own.

 

Tugce Bulut’s market research business Streetbees uses social media and mobile technology to gather data from paid volunteers in 87 countries

 

Engineer Paul Roberts and his co-founders spotted a need in the market that was not being met for a device that could make keyhole surgery more widely available to patients all over the world. He now has a 50-strong team working to bring the devices to market.

 

Nuno Sebastiao had trouble finding European backers for his untested tech start-up based in Portugal. But he found US investors more willing to take a gamble because they understood the technology behind Feedzai’s fraud detection service.

 

Gary Grant found that his “ethical” approach to business that put people before profits, helped his toy shop chain thrive when others were closing down.

 

Daniel Reilly made a mistake that is all too common among tech entrepreneurs. He failed to test the strength of demand for his product before launching it onto the market. But the experience left him with a renewed respect for founders and helped him to discover what he really wanted, he tells Jonathan Moules.

 

Lopo Champalimaud, wanted to expand his online marketplace for health treatments rapidly across Europe. He chose the unusual route of recruiting other entrepreneurs who provided both local knowledge, an existing customer base – and a new name for the business.