Northern Stars: Hannah Chaplin, Receptive

Northern Stars: Hannah Chaplin, Receptive

Tech North crowned its first constellation of Northern Stars late last year. Sheffield's Receptive was one of the lucky ten, and we spent some time with Hannah Chaplin to understand just what makes her business shine.

Tell us all about your business, in 100 words or less…
Any software company that has a product gets loads of feature requests from internal teams (like sales, account management & support) and their customers of all sizes.  There’s a gold mine of value in that information but at the moment it’s too hard to access so it can’t be used properly.

Receptive gathers all feature requests centrally - all users can prioritise what they need then we show the software company who feature requests have come from, how those requests align with the company strategy and which features will add the most value to the business based on development effort.

And how would you explain it to your Grandma?
We enable businesses to build software that their customers love but in a way that supports the growth of the business too. It’s not just about building what your customers want; you have to build what your business needs.

Where did the idea come from? What motivated you to start your own business?
Myself and co-founder, Dan Dukeson, were previously running a software company and Receptive was born out of experiencing problems with feature request management first hand. The motivation was seeing a massive problem in a growing market that no-one was addressing. The best part is that we are using our own product to build a business we’re incredibly proud of.

Have you raised finance so far? If so, how?
Yes. We raised a seed round this September from 3 entrepreneurial angel investors who have a lot of experience in startups, software & technology. They are an incredible extension to our team and it’s a great dynamic working alongside them.

What are your most and least favourite parts of your job?
I love that everyday is different, that we’re working in a space that simply didn’t exist when I was growing up, that technology and the problems you can solve with it are changing all of the time and that we can create a team & business then see how far we can take it.

I honestly don’t have a least favourite part; I feel very privileged to have this opportunity and to be working in such an exciting space.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I simultaneously wanted to be a footballer, guitarist, skateboarder and archaeologist. I still do 3 out of the 4 as hobbies… will let you guess which ones!

How did it feel to be crowned one of Tech North’s Northern Stars?
Amazing and totally unexpected. There’s so much good work going in the region and I feel incredibly proud to be in the position to help raise the profile of Northern technology companies further. I hope that Northern Stars will inspire other people with great ideas to give them a go too.

Which of the prizes do you think will be of most value to you and your business?
The prizes are fantastic and I think each one will add something to our business. We enjoyed Techcrunch in London and are we’ve very much looking forward to the SXSW Festival in Texas.

What’s next for you, and where do you see your business in a year?
We’re really finding our feet and starting to sell to enterprise-sized clients which is something that we weren’t expecting to do for another few months. We’ll carry on building the team, focussing on creating the best possible product and reaching out to software companies that badly need our help.

In a years time Receptive will be well established and seen as part of the stack that software companies need to enable them to build fantastic software - that’s great for them and for software users everywhere.

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