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  • Start-up Q&A: Bluefields

    1. Describe your business in one sentence?

    Bluefields intelligently organises amateur sport, in order to engage the amateur sport audience and capture the conversation that surrounds sports teams.

    2. Why did you set-up your own business? What made you decide to start your own business?

    That’s an easy question to answer but it isn’t short.

    For me founding startups is a life choice and there are big philosophical reasons that I chose this life. If you asks yourself why they are doing what you are doing enough times, the answer should always be ‘to be happy’; if it isn’t then maybe you are on the wrong path.

    A key thing that stops most people following their heart is that they think it is a risk. I think it is key to understand that these ‘risks’ are not really risks.

    I have always tried to look at the bigger picture. When you compare any decision you make to the fact that there are at least 100 stars in the universe for every grain of sand on Earth then you can gain some real context to your decision. (That’s a low estimate of 10^22 stars in the universe, of which our planet revolves around just one).

    Our lives and deaths, yet alone any decisions we make during them, are totally insignificant.

    Everyone knows the Steve Jobs Stanford speech right?

    ‘Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.

    Because almost everything, all external expectations, all pride, all fear or embarrassment or failure; these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.

    Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to loose.

    … there is no reason not to follow your heart.’

    3. When did you open for business?

    Just about now. Our beta is now public

    4. What were the key elements you thought about/explored before starting your venture?

    I started Bluefields.com because I wanted to shoot for the stars. I want to make a massive, worldwide company and for me the right time to try and do that is now.

    The the key elements I looked for when deciding what startup idea to persue, were a great user acquisition story, obvious revenue streams and a huge worldwide audiance. Bluefields had all three and so quickly became my focus.

    5. How many clients/users do you have now?

    We have around 650 clubs signed up to the beta (around 60k players) but we are rolling it out to them in phases. Saying that we are now accepting public beta signups too.

    6. How is your business funded?

    £100k of Angel investment in mid 2011, £10K from PepsiCo and we have just become a Seedcamp company which comes with a nice €50K bonus.

    7. How did you get involved in the tech business?

    Tech and sports are two of my biggest passions.

    8. What has been the best business move you’ve made?

    Applying to Seedcamp

    9. What has been the biggest challenge to date?

    Raising funding is too hard in the UK. Too many investors here do not understand the value of disruptive businesses and early-stage investment. They ask startups for their 5th year revenue or their EBITDA. There are some awesome investors too but there is a lot of competition to get to them.

    I think it is still going to take a while for us to get there (unless maybe the government steps in Israeli Yozma/BIRD/Incubator style)

    10. What key factors will make/have made your company successful?

    We have a great team, a huge addressable market with a key problem, a clear way to acquire users and a naturally viral product. Now we just need to execute it all. Easy Eh?.

    11. What are your plans for the future of the company?

    World domination.

    12. Is there a particular idea that you have been excited about in the market place that you wish you had come up with, or helped develop?

    It’s not about ideas, ideas are about 10-20% of a business. I have new ideas every day but they are worthless sat in the back of my notebook (Evernote actually). Too many entrepreneurs confuse ideas with businesses / execution. I get excited by awesome startups with great teams and great ambitions.

    Saying that, there’s certainly a lot of value in starting a simple B2C SaaS business (I like the business model simplicity with potential big upside). I sometimes ask myself if I should have tried that model first. An example of a great startup in that space would be twitspark.

    13. What interests you about the entrepreneurship scene right now in London, the UK, and Europe?

    The London scene is great. There is a real sense of reciprocity between tech startups. I love that. Actually we have a little group called the Startup Mafia that is all about reciprocity.

    14. What advice do you have to offer other prospective or existing entrepreneurs?

    Read The Lean Startup (Eric Ries) before you do anything.

    15. What can the government do better to foster innovation and entrepreneurship?

    Stop doing things that are ‘nice’ and actually solve the real problem; lack of capital at early stage. Look to Israel for inspiration as to how a government can really kickstart innovation.  

    16. In one sentence, how do you go about making a 4.5 times return on investment?

    4.5x? If we execute as we hope, our first investors could well make a 100x return.

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The 2Pears blog – bringing you start-ups, technews and other great things

Since you've found your way to our blog you might be familiar with the 2Pears already. You will perhaps know that we run the Music 4.5 events, bringing the tech and music industries together to discuss how bright the future could be if we all work together. You might also be familiar with our techpitch 4.5 and MUSIC techpitch 4.5 events where we give talented start-ups a chance to pitch to a panel of industry experts and investors. If you haven't heard about us, welcome anyway, this blog will hopefully allow you to get to know us better.

This blog will be run by the 2Pears team Rassami Hök Ljungberg and Petra Johansson and their Nordic partner in crime journalist Charlotta Hedman, aka Lotta. We will bring you Q&As with up and coming start-ups, technews, and the latest about our events and pitches. We will focus on entrepreneurialism and how to make a return on investment (preferably by 4.5 times). We're interested in what makes businesses and start-ups successful, what makes the tech world tick... and what is changing it. We like cocky newcomers and disruptive business strategies. If this applies to you or your company get in touch! We love hearing from you and growing our network of entrepreneurs and people who can help them.

If you're interested in issues affecting the technology sector and want to know more about funding, government initiatives, politics, infrastructure, international trade and development keep coming back. And do let us know if there is anything you would like us to cover.

We hope you will find this a thought-provoking and fun place to get your tech news. Follow us on twitter if you want to keep an eye on what we're up to and to hear about the latest blog posts as they go up.

Rassami, Petra and Charlotta

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