FT Start-Up Stories

FT Start-Up Stories

United Kingdom

The Financial Times's Jonathan Moules talks to entrepreneurs about building successful brands, giving birth during a funding round, and rebuilding a reputation in the wake of bankruptcy. Real stories from those who've done it, from idea to exit.

Episodes

Series 2: The serial entrepreneur 10/10  

John Stapleton co-founded a successful food business in the UK and then sold the business with the idea of setting up a similar venture in the US. As he tells Jonathan Moules, things didn't quite go to plan.

Series 2: The surfing cure 9/10  

Richard Walton moved to Costa Rica to take up surfing after a health scare prompted him to rethink his work-life balance. He tells Jonathan Moules how it worked out.

Series 2: The whistleblower's tale 8/10  

Ismael Ahmed, an expert in remittances, used funds from a compensation award to finance his start-up WorldRemit. He tells Jonathan Moules that a successful revenue model was key to attracting the second stage funding he needed to go global.

Series 2: The ice breakers 7/10  

John Lynch moved from Connecticut to Krakow in 1991 as a volunteer for a US aid mission designed to train entrepreneurs in the newly liberated Eastern Bloc. After a year, he decided to stay on and start a business himself, becoming an 'ice-breaker' in what was still a harsh climate for start-ups.

Series 2: The benefits of agility in a changing world 6/10  

Alicia Navarro has been dubbed the 'queen of the pivots', a process of developing a business by changing the direction of travel - and living with an expectation of constant change. She tells Jonathan Moules her story.

Series 2: Ethics versus the bottom line 5/10  

UK founder Jamie Waller tells Jonathan Moules how an ethical approach helped him get ahead of rivals in the debt collection business

Series 2: How drone detection saved Robin Radar 4/10  

Dutch entrepreneur Siete Hamminge tells Jonathan Moules how his tech start-up was nearly undone by the long lead times required to seal deals with big companies. He found an alternative use for his bird detecting radar technology and saved the business.

Series 2: Learning and the lean start-up  

The Drum is a magazine and events business for the marketing industry. It was well regarded but not particularly profitable, and Diane Young its chief executive found herself looking for ways to boost her flagging motivation. She tells Jonathan Moules how she turned things around.

Series 2: Bare Conductive and the Chinese counterfeiters 2/10  

Matt Johnson, an American entrepreneur in London, built his business on developing uses for electronically conductible paint, using open source technology. He tells Jonathan Moules what happened when he discovered his product was being cloned.

Series 2: Going wild in the woods 1/10  

Tristram and Rebecca Mayhew started their tree-top adventure business after deciding they wanted to get out of the city. They told Jonathan Moules about the risks they took, what they would do differently next time, and how it all worked out, with a little bit of luck and a lot of optimism.

Successful entrepreneurs tell their stories  

Jonathan Moules introduces a second season of his popular FT Start-up Stories podcasts, in which entrepreneurs talk candidly about their successes and failures: real stories from those who've done it, from idea to exit.

Episode 10 - How to exit your business  

In the final episode of the series, Jonathan Moules looks at the reasons why founders decide to sell up and hears a cautionary tale from Paul Collins, chief executive of M&A advisor Equiteq

Episode 9 - Going for growth  

Andrew Mullinger of Funding Circle tells Jonathan Moules why he and his co-founders opted for a rapid rate of growth and the difficulties that entailed.

Episode 8 - Defining your brand  

Branding is about more than just a logo, says Adrian Lomas of digital marketing company Blueleaf. It's about defining a clear purpose for your business and making sure everyone - from staff to customers and competitors - know what that is.

Episode 7 - How to manage when family life intrudes  

Maria Sipka was looking for a US business partner for her marketing company Linqia when she became pregnant and found herself in the middle of a crucial funding round within hours of giving birth. She tells Jonathan Moules her story.

Episode 6 - Making the most of failure  

Alex Cheatle's business had a near-death experience when he lost customers after the dotcom bubble of the late 1990s burst. He tells Jonathan Moules that the experience proved invaluable. Music: Kevin MacLeod - Off to Osaka

Episode 5 - Setting the right price  

The Brompton folding bike has grown into a global brand sold in 43 counties. During the recent downturn, it raised its prices by over 65 per cent without putting a dent in sales. Finance director Lorne Vary tells Jonathan Moules why having a bold pricing strategy makes sense.

Episode 4 - Getting close to your customers  

James Watt found the secret of success was building a community of fans for his craft beer. They have provided investment, ideas and even helped find locations for his expanding network of bars. Picture credit: Rosie Hallam

Episode 3 - Hiring  

Entrepreneur Martin Spiller tells Jonathan Moules that using recruitment professionals doesn't always make sense when you are looking to hire graduates. He found a talented designer for his design start-up by chatting to a barista.

Episode 2 - Funding  

Andy Harter funded his technology start-up with an early version of crowd funding. He tells Jonathan Moules how fans of his software provided an excellent source of seed capital and market research

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