We are publishing an interview of Matt Kuppers, Founder & CEO, Startup Manufactory (London-based Startup Consulting Firm).
Q.: Please tell us about the founders
Ans: I am the founder of Startup Manufactory and lead the team whilst nurturing the firm’s growth. Active in the startup industry since 2008, I have worn multiple hats including launching new businesses, teaching entrepreneurship, and advising governmental organisations.
I am also an independent Expert to the European Commission and consulted the London School of Economics on an innovation project, the institution where I was a Ph.D. student.
My education included certification in Science Entrepreneurship at the University of Oxford and leadership courses at an international Military Academy.
Q.: Please tell us about the investors (if any)
Ans: Startup Manufactory has not needed investors’ money for growth. We do understand the importance of cash management during early stages of a startup and practice a lean organization. The fact that we ourselves work as a startup helps us understand the challenges that a startup faces during its nascent and growth days.
Q.: What is the problem you are trying to solve? Can you share with us any insights that led you to believe that this is a big enough problem?
Ans: Startup Manufactory began when many of my friends left corporate jobs to start their own business. Despite being highly specialised in their respective professions, most of the founders needed help with vital elements of their business such as Market Research, Financial Models, Business Plans, and Fundraising.
Due to better cost control, most of the founders appreciated the convenience being able to source expertise on demand rather than committing to full-time employees. This is particularly important during the early stages of a venture. As demand continuously grew, I started putting a team of entrepreneurs together – Startup Manufactory was born!
Each member of Startup Manufactory has launched/managed one business on their own and so is able to better understand the entrepreneurial challenges. This helps us serve our clients better.
Q.: Tell us about the Product / Solution. Explain how you went about the Product-Market Fit Process.
Ans: Startup Manufactory provide:
- Consulting to Start-ups:
Most of the start-ups have basic business requirements initially and fall short of budget to employ full time or short of time to manage interns & freelancers. On top of that is the lack of entrepreneurial spirit required from your team. Startup Manufactory answer these pain points with our services and our entrepreneurial experience. Our servoces for start-ups include Business Plans, Financial Models, Business Models, Market Research, FinTech Compliance and Consulting.
- Teaching Entrepreneurship:
The advantage of teaching entrepreneurial skills is that they are not uniquely relevant to an entrepreneurial career path. After all, you can be an entrepreneur in any field. Having proof of such a range of business relevant skills would make for an attractive candidate in most fields. Therefore, as the skills taught in entrepreneur courses are generally applicable to all areas of industry and do not pigeon-hole creativity and opportunity to a specific career. However, the benefits of entrepreneurial teaching spreads further than being purely personal; it is also good for society. Entrepreneurial innovation and new enterprise are essential for a country to be globally competitive, with new technologies creating new jobs. Startup Manufactory’s services include Lecturing, Talks, Masterclasses, Technology Transfer and IP Commercialisation
- Advising Governments:
There is a strong desire from the governments today to stimulate economic and job growth via the application of entrepreneurship and innovation. This trend was boosted by the success the iconic “technopreneurs”. Today “science” or “technology” parks can be found scattered around the world. They usually follow a similar format, with universities and R&D centres co-located with the park, and venture financiers hovering nearby looking for deals. Most have been supported by government policy. What governments want is to replicate Silicon Valley and the formation and growth of what have been described as “entrepreneurial ecosystems”. However, despite significant investments by governments into such initiatives, their overall success rate is mixed.
Being part of the start-up ecosystem, Startup Manufactory understands the requirements of the ecosystem. We are in a position to consult governments on Ecosystem Development, Policy and Research Programme Evaluations.
Q.: What were your assumptions when you entered the market, learnings that you have? Who in your mind is your ideal customer? Do you have at least one of them signed up?
Ans: We were looking to sell the shovels needed by gold diggers.
Q.: How are you pricing the Product? What is the logic behind it? What is the model you are following – Free / Freemium / Premium etc. ? Explain your thought process.
Ans: Dynamic pricing.
Q.: How did you get your first customer?
Q.: What is the big picture of your startup? Is this Product leading to something bigger? If so, how?
Ans: The bigger picture is to contribute to the startup ecosystem. (See our Wikipedia for more details)
Q.: What is the insight that you have about this market, which no one else has? Uniqueness about your Startup.
Ans: The unique point of Startup Manufactory is that our team is made up of entrepreneurs and not employees. All our team members have launched or managed business on their own; thereby bringing to the table a clear understanding of business challenges and the solutions.
We focus on the Start-up Ecosystem while being a part of it. This helps our clients leverage not only our experience and skill-sets but also our collaborative network within the European Start-up Ecosystem.
Not surprisingly, we have also been given the nickname ““McKinsey for Startups”.
Q.: List all the names of the core Team Members, along with their Designated Roles – How you see them evolving over time. What would be each of their Skillsets? – Elaborate also if any of the team members has a specific domain expertise.
Ans: Our core team members include:
- Matt Kuppers: Matt is Startup Manufactory’s founder and leads the team whilst nurturing the firm’s growth. Active in the startup industry since 2008, he has worn multiple hats including launching new businesses, teaching entrepreneurship, and advising governmental organisations. Matt is an independent Expert to the European Commission and consulted the London School of Economics on an innovation project where he used to be a Ph.D. student. He certified in Science Entrepreneurship at the University of Oxford and completed leadership courses at an international Military Academy.
- Jean-Bernard Tanqueray: Jean-Bernard is a wealth & asset management expert with 19 years of experience in investing in both businesses and public capital markets for single family offices and institutional investors. He is also a hands-on investor with multiple FinTech startups.
- Letitia Seglah: Letitia is an independent consultant providing business management services to clients including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, HSBC, and Blackrock within a Chief Operating Officer function. She delivers frameworks implementing Front Office Risk and Controls, Conduct Risk, First Line of Defense, and Regulatory Initiatives. Letitia is a financial modelling ace and has worked with a number of FinTech startups helping them with all things financials, strategy, fundraising, and FinTech Compliance.
With our core team members, Startup Manufactory brings insights and experience in business of Start-Ups, Family Offices, Fund Raising, Fintech and Renewable Energy.
Q.: Who do You Perceive as Your Competition?
Ans: From a traditional point of view, other consulting companies could be our competitors.
But with Startup Manufactory itself being a team of entrepreneurs with flexible services, we collaborate with all Start-up Ecosystem Stakeholders to achieve success for our clients.
The reward for Startup Manufactory is to witness the transformation and the growing sense of purpose in our clients as they progress in their business. In essence, our team looks at projects as an opportunity to have an impact, learn, grow, contribute, and be recognised.
Q.: What would be your goal to accomplish in the next six months?
Ans: Sign up more governments and top-tier universities.
Q.: What message do you want to convey to fellow entrepreneurs?
Ans: The best way to predict your future is to create it!
Q.: Any other information you would like to share?
Ans: Startup Manufactory has also launched Angel Academy. Though start-ups are quite important for any economy, we should not forget the fact that 9 out of 10 startups fail. Atleast half of them are funded by an angel, so 4 angels fail too. We, as part of the Start-up Ecosystem, would like to change that!
Angel Academy is an angel investing training course that teaches the principles of angel investing, startup valuations, taxation, includes an intensive exercise, and has also real startups pitching where the acquired skills can be applied straight away.
Our first batch was in 2016 and we have another training session coming up this year on 15th July 2017.
Thanks Matt. Best of luck!
More details about Startup Manufactory:
Launch date of Startup:
Startup Manufactory was launched in November 2013. Four years on and Startup Manufactory has served 50+ clients ranging from HNWIs, to SMEs, universities, and a governmental organisation. With over 40+ talks and public speaking engagements across the European Union, Startup Manufactory now has become a fixture in the EU startup ecosystem and our ecosystem has grown exponentially.
Startup Manufactory Ltd
77/91 New Oxford Street