Digital agency Nothing but Epic have entered the Innovation Showcase with Padoq, their app which creates a social feed with boundaries for groups of friends, those with shared interests, or around brands and causes. MD Mike Anderson tells us about their product.
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In brief, what does the company do?
Nothing But Epic started trading in January 2015 as a digital agency delivering websites, social media campaigns, design and PPC marketing to SME's in the North of England. The business has also derisked the development of our innovative technology platform Padoq, which has come to life over the last year. As an agency, we are on track to turnover £250k for calendar year 2016 and have a team of 8 full time employees in a serviced office in Manchester City Centre. We have also recently been nominated for 3 awards at the Northern E-Commerce Awards.
What prompted you to enter the Innovation Showcase competition? Describe the innovation that you’ve entered the showcase with?
Through working closely with the Business Growth Hub to deliver our digital workshop for SME’s, ‘Digital Transformation Live’, we became aware of the Innovation Showcase competition and immediately felt it was a good fit for our business on a number of fronts. Whilst building the agency over the past 18 months, we have also been working on the development of our technology platform ‘Padoq’, which we are aiming to promote heavily over the coming months. Padoq is a mobile first community network platform, which allows people to create boundaried and functional social communities online.
How would you describe that to a novice?
A Padoq is a boundaried social feed with a purpose. This can be to arrange friend groups (i.e. weekly five a side football or a holiday), an interest group (i.e. basketball, fishing, gardening), people who want to follow or engage with a causes (i.e. Cancer treatment) or your favourite restaurant or brand.
What happens in a Padoq is seen by only the people in the Padoq and there are a number of features for users to use within this feed including: posting text, images, votes, sharing files, taking attendance and collecting money. You can also embed Padoq’s into existing websites which we see as a natural replacement to the online forum, which is often outdated and not optimised for mobile devices.
What are the biggest challenges you face?
The biggest challenge was probably the first 6 months of starting the business. After leaving our previous jobs, myself and my business partner Craig Tomkins sat staring at each other in our startup space with no clients and no money, and were wondering where to get it! We have been lucky enough to bring some older and wiser heads into the company, who have helped to guide and shape the business to help us get to where we are today.
We found that through speaking to as many people as possible, and by always delivering more than what was expected of us, great things began to happen. On a day to day level, I now feel we have an incredibly motivated team in place which can deal with any challenge thrown at us.
What are your biggest professional achievements to date?
We have had a couple of great opportunities to display our work to date, and been lucky enough to surround ourselves with some amazing people. Highlights so far include picking up an award at the Talk of Manchester awards 2015, being selected as a selected start up at the Conservative Party Conference’s Start Up Hub and completing our first round of investment for Padoq. We are looking forward to plenty more professional milestones along the way though!
How do you feel about presenting to potentially hundreds of people at Venturefest Manchester?
Excited for it! Whilst stepping out on stage is obviously daunting, we are going to be showing off something we are very proud of and have worked incredibly hard to make a reality, and I think the event itself is a realisation of how far we have come in the past 18 months. I will certainly be sure to present with a smile on my face, and look forward to hopefully seeing lots of people smiling back at me!
What would winning the Innovation Showcase mean to your business?
To win the competition would be amazing and provide us with the platform we need to take the business global. We feel we have an amazing product and culture at Nothing But Epic and winning a competition of this size would mean hundreds of other people believe in our vision for where we want to take the platform and the business as a whole.
For Padoq as a platform it provides us with a national stage to raise the investment we will require to scale the product and become a leader in the British tech industry & a true driver of the northern powerhouse.
Where do you see your company in five years time?
An international digital agency, working with some of the biggest brands in the world. As a platform, Padoq would have scaled globally, with communities including some of the world’s biggest sports clubs and interest groups using it. People will use Padoq as a way to communicate without fears around privacy or being themselves and the platform will be recognised internationally as a platform at the heart of social good.
What advice would you give to aspiring innovators?
Surround yourself with good people and work hard. Amazing things will happen. And don’t give up, because if you work hard to create something, it won’t feel like work once you are there.