Manchester's 20 Hottest Startups Final Stage

Eddie De Lewis and William Morris are the Founders of Final Stage, a new platform that allows organisations to share top talent with a community of employers; in exchange, they get access to the shared talent pool from the other great companies who contribute.

“A startup is only as good as the people running it and any successful start-up will have to graft hard for it to work.”

Final Stage can be thought of as a pre-vetted and exclusive LinkedIn. It already has clients such as Bloomberg, Grant Thornton and Capgemini who are using talent sharing to better their recruitment practice. Founders Eddie and Will first met in primary school BACK in 1995. Both bring different skills to the table with Eddie setting up previous ventures and Will gaining private banking experience in LA. They teamed up in 2014 to found student-led recruitment company Ali-Quantum which was the catalyst behind their latest venture, Final Stage.

What makes Manchester a great place to start a business?

Building a business in Manchester gives you the advantage of gaining exposure quite quickly. The news of a new business or founder will resonate with key players within the Manchester community. Manchester is significantly cheaper than London yet still boasts great talent, international travel links, top universities and world-class sporting teams which attract the best companies to the city.

Read More: AMAGAZINE Manchester’s 30under30 

What makes a great startup in 2018?

Dedicated and committed founders. A startup is only as good as the people running it and any successful start-up will have to graft hard for it to work.

What inspired you to start the business?

At my previous recruitment company Ali-Quantum, we used to see fantastic talent go through a lengthy process with employers and if they weren’t hired within our limited client network we’d watch them go elsewhere and secure a great role. We had one particular instance where a candidate from Harvard University went through a three-month process and fell short at the last hurdle for being too charismatic. This was the catalyst that identified an obvious inefficiency within the recruitment market.

What makes your business stand out from the crowd?

We offer a solution that no one else does. Talent sharing is a new market and we are the first players in this market. Our solution decreases the cost per hire, improves hiring efficiencies and betters the recruitment experience for candidates.

What surprised you the most when setting up your business?

Everything takes a lot longer than you think, but we learnt that pretty early on. The technical challenges were something we underestimated and we didn’t realise how hard it would be to find technical talent and actually motivate them to work in line with our culture.

What keeps you motivated?

Having ungoverned time has always been a huge motivation to strive further. In addition, bringing a product to market that genuinely does something different and adds significant value to our clients and users. We’d then like to see ourselves in a position to use our status and wealth to help others less fortunate than us.

How does your business help give BACK to Manchester?

We are in a list of companies which contributes to the local economy and hires local talent. Further than that, if all goes to plan, Final Stage will be another Manchester success story which can only be positive for the city when attracting future founders.

What are your business goals for the next 3 years?

Establish our brand as the market leader, develop a culture that helps attract the best talent and grow sustainably.

Read More: Manchesters 20 Hottest Startups features the most inspiring startups and stepups in Manchester talking on industry and our future. 


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