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Entrepreneurship – 7 business ventures in 10 years

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.

  1. 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. 
  2. 2006: Techcelerate – 2,300 strong tech ecosystem for tech entrepreneurs, investors and dealmakers [Got tired in 2012 and eventually closed down in 2013].
  3. 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].
  4. 2011: Northern Tech Awards – UK’s first black-tie event dedicated to celebrate tech entrepreneurship [Sold to GP Bullhound, a boutique investment bank]
  5. 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]
  6. 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]
  7. 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?

  1. Techcelerate – 100% sponsored
  2. Tech Centre Manchester – not commercially driven, but sponsored. Perhaps under not-for-profit so that it does not become a property business.
  3. CRMPlus – no one has cracked this problem yet.
  4. Foresight North – Always loved research. But no sure I want to take an active role.
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