Chris Airey, Craig Tomkins, Malcolm Evans, Mike Anderson, and Paul Addy are the founders of Padoq, a community network platform designed to allow organisers to better manage and engage with their communities.
L to R, Chris Airey, Craig Tomkins, Malcolm Evans, Mike Anderson, Paul Addy of Padoq
“Starting a business is a rollercoaster ride, but will be well worth the reward if you follow your passions.”
What makes a great startup in 2018?
Being a great startup in 2018 requires more than just a great idea. People expect a startup to continuously engage with its user base when developing a product. It’s no longer enough to just develop a product, send it out into the world and expect people to adapt their lifestyle around it. Users expect a product that integrates seamlessly and works more efficiently than their current systems. They expect to have a say in how the end product functions, and for companies to operate in an ethical manner. If your startup can’t meet these expectations, even a fantastic product can’t make up for it.
What makes your business stand out from the crowd?
Padoq approaches social media from a different angle than others in the market. Instead of leaning on the monetisation of personal data, Padoq gives data control back to the users. We allow users to create an ‘untethered’ social media profile, where they can be themselves in the groups they choose to join. We also plug payments into the social experience, allowing users to easily send and receive money in an organised fashion within their communities (or Padoqs as we call them!).
What makes Manchester a great place to start a business?
Manchester is a passionate city where everyone has an attitude towards both helping each other and pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved. In terms of starting a business, there is an amazing community, a ton of events all packed into a city which costs less than half the price of living in London.
What inspired you to start the business?
The original inspiration for starting the business was when one of our founders Mike saw his father using old-school online forums for his Kawasaki motorcycle club. Mike couldn’t understand why his father was using such outdated technology and didn’t move to a newer solution. We quickly realised that there was a gap in the market for a community organisation platform – so we set about making Padoq!
What surprised you the most when setting up your business?
I think everyone says things are going to take a while and there are going to be long and hard days when starting a business, but until you are in the throws of doing it day to day it is hard to realise the pressure and ups and downs you will go through. Starting a business is a rollercoaster ride, but will be well worth the reward if you follow your passions.
What keeps you motivated?
There is nothing better than seeing a vision come to life. For us designing a product, it is really cool to think something up over a few beers and then be playing with that feature a few weeks later. Being able to put these ideas into a product you can use with others is really exciting.
How does your business help give back to Manchester?
We like to host regular events in the region. We recently had 20 MBAs from Manchester University into our offices for a Beer and Pizza night. I think it is important to engage with the community around us and inspire the next generation of young entrepreneurs.
What are your business goals for the next 3 years?
In the next 3 years, we would like to scale our platform Padoq to a critical mass of users. We’d like us to be in a position where our product speaks for its self to the extent where people recommend it to others in the street.
Our first annual ‘Manchester’s 20 Hottest Startups’ feature is our pick of the most inspiring startups and stepups in our city. If you’d like to be featured in 2019’s ‘Manchester’s 20 Hottest Startups’, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.