Jumpstart, the UK research and development tax expert, is redefining its direction of travel in order to maintain and enhance its position as the most innovative pure-play specialist in the sector.
The strategic path being mapped out by the new managing director Scott Henderson will bring increased clarity and intensity of focus on the value proposition Jumpstart is offering its increasing portfolio of clients.
Mr Henderson, who took the helm at the Edinburgh-based disruptive enterprise earlier this year, aims to keep the company open for business to everyone, as it always has been, while at the same time providing high-intensity service for strategically identified sectors.
He has also appointed a new sales director, Chris Anderson, formerly of UK renewable energy and waste management specialist Viridor, to lead a sales team which has increased by eight people over the past year.
Mr Henderson, who has held senior roles in marketing, sales, operations and finance with AEGON, Scottish Widows and RBS, said: “Jumpstart’s growth trajectory has been fantastic historically. It has been a leader in the market and has earned remarkable market share.”
“The company has had a very unique proposition. However, over recent years, competition has become very fierce, with a lot of new players simply copying what we do and how we do it. This includes the kind of people we hire, the approach we take and even the content on our website.”
Mr Henderson’s aim now is to reinforce Jumpstart’s leading position, recreate its unique edge and re-emphasise the differentiation between the company and its imitators.
He said: “It is a redefinition of our strengths. It will clarify where we are really outstanding and make clear why our clients value us. As we win new business, we will do our research on their motives and expected outcomes. We will narrow our focus on who we want to aim at.”
The new focus is intended to replicate the growth spurt which saw Jumpstart’s turnover soar from around £1 million in its early years to £4 million in the financial year ending in October 2016.
Mr Henderson is predicting a similar figure for October this year, to be followed by an exponential rise to between £6 million and £10 million over the next three to five years.
The company, which was established in 2008, now has 46 staff, including 14 technical analysts, more than half of whom have PhDs in their specialist fields.
It is this depth of expertise which allows Jumpstart to use technology and science to understand client’s research. This, in turn, allows it to better match the research to HMRC’s qualifying criteria for tax relief and produce more accurate, robust and defensible claims.
Speaking of his new position, Mr Henderson said: “This is simply the best role I’ve had in my career so far. I have been surprised at the range of amazingly interesting customers with whom we engage.
“Because they are all being innovative and moving their disciplines on through research and development, they are highly enthusiastic – and it is quite infectious. It reminds us of the value that we add to them by allowing them to do more research.
“The staff at Jumpstart are also quite remarkable. They are engaging, straightforward and committed. They have a real spark and they are all highly intelligent. It makes such a difference.
“It’s great to be in a growing business again.”