Name: Matt Leach
Course: MBBS Medicine
Tell us more about Geotekk and Limpet
The company (Geotekk) is built on a strong ethos and belief that anything which serves to reduce stress and worry in our lives enables us to be happier, get more out of life, and live more.
Having both had bikes stolen, and experiencing first-hand the stress theft causes, we believed we could develop a next generation smart security alarm for our valuables; initially we would target bikes and motorbikes. The alarm would address a gap in the market, serving as an effective theft deterrent as well as keeping the owner connected through an intuitive app - this product would be Limpet.
How did UEA Student Enterprise help you?
UEA Student Enterprise were a great help to us, particularly in the run-up to, and throughout, our investment process. We had an incredibly ambitious target of £230,000 to raise in order to launch the business; particularly challenging as we were pre-revenue with no proven sales record. We regularly visited Finbarr and his colleagues as they were a great sound board for us. We were also able to practise and refine our all-important investment pitch, getting some useful feedback. This pitch would ultimately go on to help us secure the £50,000 UEA ‘Scale It’ investment as well as the remainder of the capital we needed.
What would you say are the most challenging things about launching a startup?
Two things stand out:
- Finding the right people to work with – everyone will tell you that they can help you, but some people will certainly be better than others. Unfortunately, some may even be more of a hindrance, so be judicious, working with the wrong people can be costly!
- Managing the numbers – any business is going to be money hungry which is a particular concern when you are pre-revenue. Create a cash flow spreadsheet, or get help with it if you need to, but make sure you have full control over your costs and cash flow, both current and future; once the money dries up, so does your business.
What piece of advice would you give to university students who want to become entrepreneurs?
It’s hard to answer this without using cliques, but many apply. You will, without doubt, experience dizzy highs where things couldn’t be better, as well as daunting lows where the temptation to throw in the towel is stronger than ever. But you never really fail at anything until you give up, so keep going, the rewards at the end will be worth it!
Another thing to consider, if you haven’t already, is teaming up with someone. Nobody is good at everything, so having a business partner who brings differing skill sets that compliment yours will dramatically increase your chances of success. In those challenging times, you can also pick each other up. Remember, the whole is worth more than the sum of the parts!
What are your plans for the future?
With operations based in Norwich, UK, we have plans to access multiple markets around the world, releasing a range of bespoke attachments for many of our valuable possessions. A range of innovative security solutions will also follow, built around people’s lifestyles.