Over the last 10 years, I have started 7 business ventures. Some successful and others total failures. I learnt lessons from each one of them. I discovered weaknesses and strengths of my associates. At the same time, I discovered what I am good at as well as what I am bad at. All had something to do with technology, in some cases, trying to create new services. With 1 successful exit and 1 still running strongly, let me summarise them for you.
- 2004: ebdex – electronic document exchange (electronic invoicing) for connecting Accounts Payable (A/P) and Accounts Receivables (A/R) to facilitate faster payments. [shut down in 2006 due to partner failing to deliver]. Lesson learned: No due diligence guarantees success of partnerships. Cut your losses early. Pay on successful delivery not for the work done.
- 2006: Techcelerate – 2,300 strong tech ecosystem for tech entrepreneurs, investors and dealmakers [Got tired in 2012 and eventually closed down in 2013].
- 2007: edocr – YouTube for documents. Best way to generate maximum ROI from publicly shareable pdf for businesses [Running strongly having helped over 1.2 million prospects find suppliers].
- 2011: Northern Tech Awards – UK’s first black-tie event dedicated to celebrate tech entrepreneurship [Sold to GP Bullhound, a boutique investment bank]
- 2011: Tech Centre Manchester – A joint venture with Bruntwood, provided a dedicated office and desk facilities for tech startups at Centre of Manchester. [Closed in 2012]
- 2012: CRMPlus – first thin universal address book which synch all your SaaS products. [Closed due to front-end delivery issues. No one has yet built a successor]
- 2008: Foresight North – A research analyst firm with Dr. Angel Salazar. [Closed down due to lack of commitment by both of us and not winning any commissions – still love the idea]
Many entrepreneurs end up revisiting their older ventures and end up setting new companies to bring similar but much improved propositions to market. I have seen this happening over and over in e-invoicing space. If I had another chance, which businesses would I relaunch?
- Techcelerate – 100% sponsored
- Tech Centre Manchester – not commercially driven, but sponsored. Perhaps under not-for-profit so that it does not become a property business.
- CRMPlus – no one has cracked this problem yet.
- Foresight North – Always loved research. But no sure I want to take an active role.