The BizSpark startup of the day is MC2 Marketing, based in the UK. Below you will find an interview with Ian Mullins, Managing Director of MC2 Marketing. All the best to them and congratulations for being the startup of the day!
Tell us who you are and your role in the company:
Managing Director. This is a bit of a fancy title, essentially I am the driving force behind the company but my main role is as head of content and member relations….oh and of course going to buy the filter coffee!
What did you do before creating your company?
I was very lucky to spend the past 17 years in Media Planning, managing advertising campaigns and brand strategy for a number of UK and global brands including Emirates Airlines, Hitachi, Warner Bros Film and Lloyds of London. It was a very varied job which included anything from Consumer Targeting to Competitive Reporting to Content Generation to PR – it was a great job and so much of what I learned will be put into play now at MC2.
How do you feel being the most promising ‘Startup of the Day’ per Microsoft BizSpark?
Flattered, encouraged and a little bit excited!
What is your company’s mission?
We believe you should be able to play golf wherever you are in the world, regardless if you know anyone in that town or country without having to belong to a Golf Club. However, in short term to make the TheSocialGolfer.com site professional, respected and of course profitable but for the long term, to make sure the user experience reflects the brand mission “Meet New Friends, Play More Golf!” which will mean bringing it off the digital platform and bringing it to life in the real world!
How did you get the idea for your company?
As I got older, I was finding it harder and harder to find friends with the time to play golf (Marriages, Mortgages, babies etc) so I thought I would find a way of finding more friends without having to join an ‘old skool’ golf club (there are very few rules at TSG other than having fun and meeting like minded people!)
Tell us about your funding history. Are you currently looking for funding? If so, how much?
Not at the moment, I have used a lot of my personal saving to get the company going but I am sure we will be looking at additional funding in year two and three, as we grow.
How many employees do you have? How many developers?
3 in total, myself and two developers and of course the obvious like accountants and legal advisors – very important when you’re dealing with IPR!
Are you hiring? If yes, what are you hiring for and where?
Not yet, we are only 3 months into the project but I certainly hope to employ people as the TheSocialGolfer.com community grows!
Which platform are you building on? Why?
The site is currently only being served online but I am sure we will start to move to Apps and iPads in coming months and years. However, whilst I think is great to embrace the new technologies as they come along, you mustn’t forget your core audience or neglect the established formats, after all we are still listening to the Radio 60 or 70 years after the invention of TV.
Where do you see opportunities today in the Software/Internet area?
Hmmm, a good question, personally I see a time when it won’t be an issue of which platform you are using but more which media provider you are partnered with as a consumer – despite everyone talking about ‘convergence’ for nearly 20 years, it isn’t quite there yet and I think this will be the area to watch over the next few years.
What do you think about the BizSpark Program?
Great, I think its gives you a huge amount of comfort knowing you aren’t the only one out there when your are starting and to see so many other start-ups in one place is both encouraging and inspiring.
Do you have any advice for young Software entrepreneurs?
Yes, do your market research, get out and talk to as many people you can about your idea – talking is still the best form of communication and is great for stretching your ideas beyond your own imagination. It’s also great for building your rapport skills, which will not come from studying stats or being online.
Who’s your role model?
My Dad, he was a boat designer(actually still is) and he still gets excited about new developments or new ideas in the yacht world - despite being 72 and retiring 3 years ago!
What’s the ONE THING you would like readers to take away from this interview?
Academic studies will get you so far but getting on with people and understanding how your ideas will impact on people’s everyday lives is the key to success. That and a never give up attitude!