How to start your scaleup journey – The Daily Scaleup with Kim McAllister

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The Daily ScaleUp is back after a week’s hiatus – and have I got a cool story for you…

It starts in Codebase, one of the hottest hubs in Scotland for tech entrepreneurs.

The guys I spoke to, however, are not the much-vaunted product designers – rather the enabling service designers.

When Bad Dinosaur got in touch, I was intrigued. When I heard their story, I was excited. Here was a service that was very accessible and potentially powerful, providing a genuine stepping stone on the entrepreneurial journey.

“People come to us with an idea, usually no backing and almost always a full-time job. We help them build a minimum viable product and we help them get the funding to do it,” Russ Peterson told me.

The team has a good relationship with Scottish Enterprise and other funding organisations, so knows how to steer potential clients down the right path. An idea needs proof before it can attract funding and that’s where Bad Dinosaur positions itself.

“We’re like a tech cofounder – a Chief Technology Officer for hire,” Russ joked.

I couldn’t help but ask why they’re not taking their tech expertise and making their own millions… They do have their own software, Fitbizzle, but the fun for them comes at the design stage.

“We had a company contact us who’d been let down by another software developer who had built them a reporting tool,” Russ explained. “We spent some time with them, took it right back to ‘what do you want to achieve?’ and they completely changed their minds. They went from ‘reporting not community’ to ‘community not reporting’! We built Primary Engineer’s MVP, did phase one, phase two and phase three is being launched in the House of Lords in April.”

Russ joined founder Kyle Whittington at the beginning of the year when the two merged their businesses and have already taken on two new staff with plans to grow to eight.

I can see why he’s delighted to be in Codebase. They seem to thrive in the environment and it appears they bring their clients in on it too. Collaboration is the business model – “how can we build the right thing if they’re not telling us what they want?” Russ pointed out.

I’d keep an eye on these guys.

Kim McAllister is a Journalist & Communications Consultant and director of Impact Online

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