Edinburgh entrepreneurs leap into new business venture

Edinburgh entrepreneurs leap into new business venture

An entrepreneurial duo in Edinburgh have used the leap year's ‘extra day’ to set up a fully-fledged new eco-business, from scratch, in less than 10 hours.

Charles Henderson from Climate Futures, and Tim Barlow, head of Attacat Digital Marketing, launched thewoodpicker.com to make it easier for users of biomass heat to manage their fuel supply, by improving the transparency and access to the wood pellet supply market.

Initially, the business provides a price comparison and sourcing service for buyers of bulk wood pellets, enabling them to find good quality, price efficient fuel online.

The duo recognised a gap in the market for a service that made finding and ordering biomass fuels more intuitive.

Barlow said: “Charles and I have been toying with a number of new business ideas, but finding the time to put them into action is never easy. 

“When we heard the guys at Fatbuzz were using the leap year ‘extra day’ to raise money for a local hospice, the idea struck us.

“Why not use our extra day to start a new company? Developing a new business is often a long, drawn out process, but it really needn’t be.

“What we have done today is prove that a business can be set up cost effectively and quickly - as long as you have a good idea and the right expertise and tools at your disposal, anything is possible.”

Thewoodpicker.com will initially offer a free service, focusing on helping customers find bulk (‘blown’) pellet wood fuel delivery quotes.

From there, Tim and Charles plan to add more biomass products and services, as well as monetise the offering.

They also plan to bring on a new member of staff to run the day to day operations and manage customer feedback.

The new business was set up with less than £1,000 of investment and the duo received support from staff at Attacat and students from the Edinburgh School of Business.

Between 9am and 7pm, the team worked diligently on market research, creating a company name and brand, building a website, undertaking market research and developing marketing plans, setting up supplier lists and developing the online tools and resources that lie at the heart of the offering.