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  • Start-up Q&A: Pepper

    1. Describe your business in one sentence?

    Social mobile application connecting friends through live music.

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

    We became aware of a problem and believed we had the expertise to fix it. The app is a product that we have wanted for a while and didn’t trust anyone else to do a good job on it.

    3. When did you open for business?

    April 2011

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

    Concept development and competition in the marketing place. Almost all of the application was mocked up before we started out.

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

    Currently up to 500 clients including Mitchell & Butlers and The Royal Albert Hall. Launching the mobile app in February.

    6. How is your business funded?

    Private investment.

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

    Both David and I previously worked for a tech start-up in Brighton called ParcelGenie. We got bitten by the bug and felt that music was the best area to apply our skills to considering our backgrounds.

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

    Having a dedicated sales/business development team.

    9. What has been the biggest challenge to date?

    Getting buy in on concept before it has been developed.

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

    The design of the app and concept. It has mass appeal and is easy to understand why people will use it.

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

    Global expansion, develop the Pepper brand. Introduce new forms of interaction between users and their mobiles.

    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?

    Not really, that’s why we created Pepper

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

    It’s vibrant and very exciting to be a part of. Being a company based outside of London we thought we may be slightly isolated, however the caliber and quantity of startups in Southampton is very high as well.

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

    Get into the habit of wearing odd socks. If you’ve got time to be matching them up then you’re wasting time that could be spent pushing your business further.

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

    Better grants for taking on graduates. They are next to useless when they come out of university and have such high expectations on their salary. Yet they are highly motivated and can be molded a lot easier than more experienced staff. It’s a considerable risk to take them on as a startup, but it would be a risk worth taking if it could be supported in some way by the government.

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

    Be outrageously ambitious and try and make a 10 times return, if you fail you’ll probably end up making 4.5.

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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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