Case Studies

The Accelerator Programme has already benefited dozens of businesses in Lincolnshire. Here are some shining examples of business owners who have made a commitment to the success of their businesses by participating on previous Accelerators.

Case Study 1

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Chris Wilson

Scape360

Scape360 helps its clients to show off the full potential of their physical spaces and places using a powerful all-in-one 3D platform.

Founders Chris Wilson Gina Baxter were determined to bring this new technology to UK shores.  3D virtual tours are a big hit in the US, but the UK has only recently adopted this new way of showcasing a venue. When embarking on the programme, Scape360 knew that educating UK business owners about this technology would play a significant factor in helping them achieve success. They just needed advice on how to do it.

scape-360-dolls-house-footer

The challenge

Looking for a differentiator 

As a business, you can’t be all things to all people. Yet this was something that Scape360 was trying to achieve when it first established its business. Director, Chris Wilson says, “we were trying to appeal to everyone and it wasn’t working. Our marketing efforts weren’t producing results and I knew we needed help in determining our niche.”

Scape360 found it hard to target its marketing because it hadn’t defined its audience. As an example, they were sending a lot of email marketing campaigns that weren’t producing results.

Not only that, Chris admits they were “just establishing the business and didn’t know where to start.” They were looking for advice from business owners with real-world experience and an unbiased perspective.

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Case Study 1

Chris Wilson

Scape360

Scape360 helps its clients to show off the full potential of their physical spaces and places using a powerful all-in-one 3D platform.

Founders Chris Wilson Gina Baxter were determined to bring this new technology to UK shores.  3D virtual tours are a big hit in the US, but the UK has only recently adopted this new way of showcasing a venue. When embarking on the programme, Scape360 knew that educating UK business owners about this technology would play a significant factor in helping them achieve success. They just needed advice on how to do it.

scape-360-dolls-house-footer

The challenge

Looking for a differentiator 

As a business, you can’t be all things to all people. Yet this was something that Scape360 was trying to achieve when it first established its business. Director, Chris Wilson says, “we were trying to appeal to everyone and it wasn’t working. Our marketing efforts weren’t producing results and I knew we needed help in determining our niche.”

Scape360 found it hard to target its marketing because it hadn’t defined its audience. As an example, they were sending a lot of email marketing campaigns that weren’t producing results.

Not only that, Chris admits they were “just establishing the business and didn’t know where to start.” They were looking for advice from business owners with real-world experience and an unbiased perspective.

The solution

Identifying the need to stop and refocus efforts

Since taking part in the productivity programme pilot, they’ve gained clarity on the types of businesses they’re targeting. The advice they received as part of the programme helped them drastically improve their marketing and educate their audience. And, as a result, Scape360 has doubled its turnover.

Chris says, “the programme made us realise the benefits of stopping to pause and refocus. Every quarter we schedule some time to take a step back and look at other niche areas we can target. This has completely overhauled our approach to marketing and our business strategy.”

With big plans for the future, Scape360 wants to continue building credibility within its industry.

Headshot Gray

The Verdict

From the entrepreneur

Leaving a parting piece of advice, Chris says, “don’t be put off by the application process when applying for a place in an accelerator programme. Self-promotion doesn’t come naturally to most of us but persevere. By taking part, you can learn more in two weeks than you can in six months of running a business.”

Case Study 2

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Sophie Karaer

SOKA Studio

Based in Liverpool, SOKA Studio is an award-winning graphic design and website development agency. It specialises in creating highly effective, idea-led branding, websites and promotional materials for SMEs.

After graduating with a first-class degree in Graphic Design and Advertising, and working in the industry for 5 years, Sophie launched SOKA. She says, "I believe in working with only the best individuals around, and I don't believe in being restricted by distance."

sophie (1)

The challenge

Making the cash flow

Forecasting. It's not the most stylish or engaging topic, but one that business owners have to grasp if they want their business to grow.

In 2019, SOKA Studio was ready to take on employees but struggled to map its financial growth. Founder and Creative Director, Sophie Karaer says, "I struggled with the aspect of forecasting. I needed advice on how much of a risk it would be to take on an employee. I needed help with the next stages of growth."

Sophie got her business to a certain point by using her initiative and working off her gut feeling. She decided she needed extra input if she wanted to go from a one-man-band to a prestigious agency.

Not only that but because Sophie had developed SOKA with no outside help, she felt as if she was "winging it". This made her anxious. She felt as if she was going through the motions with no goal or plan for the future.

The Solution

Gaining a grasp on the money side of things

By taking part in the accelerator programme in 2019, Sophie learned from other more established business owners. They helped her to nail down her thoughts, put a business plan in place, and understand the process of forecasting.

Since then, SOKA has taken on three full-time employees. Sophie says, "without taking those first steps and joining the programme, I wouldn't have expanded."

The pilot also helped Sophie understand the process of applying for business awards. This knowledge helped them secure the Micro Business of the Year award at the Lincolnshire Technology & Innovation Awards 2019.

SOKA now has clarity on where the business is heading and understands how to strategise. Sophie says, "the pilot has really helped me to cement my vision for SOKA."

Close up of couple searching online information about legal document details with laptop, family studying important contract terms and conditions typing filling internet application form on website
Sophie Karaer Head Shot

The Verdict

From the entrepreneur

When referring to the importance of spending time on your business instead of in it, Sophie says, "it's worth taking the time out of your business to pause and reflect on what you're doing because you get caught up in the running of it.

The programme helps you to do this and to take a look at your processes from an unbiased perspective."

Soka-logo (1)

Case Study 2

Sophie Karaer

SOKA Studio

Based in Liverpool, SOKA Studio is an award-winning graphic design and website development agency. It specialises in creating highly effective, idea-led branding, websites and promotional materials for SMEs.

After graduating with a first-class degree in Graphic Design and Advertising, and working in the industry for 5 years, Sophie launched SOKA. She says, "I believe in working with only the best individuals around, and I don't believe in being restricted by distance."

sophie (1)

The challenge

Making the cash flow

Forecasting. It's not the most stylish or engaging topic, but one that business owners have to grasp if they want their business to grow.

In 2019, SOKA Studio was ready to take on employees but struggled to map its financial growth. Founder and Creative Director, Sophie Karaer says, "I struggled with the aspect of forecasting. I needed advice on how much of a risk it would be to take on an employee. I needed help with the next stages of growth."

Sophie got her business to a certain point by using her initiative and working off her gut feeling. She decided she needed extra input if she wanted to go from a one-man-band to a prestigious agency.

Not only that but because Sophie had developed SOKA with no outside help, she felt as if she was "winging it". This made her anxious. She felt as if she was going through the motions with no goal or plan for the future.

The Solution

Gaining a grasp on the money side of things

By taking part in the accelerator programme in 2019, Sophie learned from other more established business owners. They helped her to nail down her thoughts, put a business plan in place, and understand the process of forecasting.

Since then, SOKA has taken on three full-time employees. Sophie says, "without taking those first steps and joining the programme, I wouldn't have expanded."

The pilot also helped Sophie understand the process of applying for business awards. This knowledge helped them secure the Micro Business of the Year award at the Lincolnshire Technology & Innovation Awards 2019.

SOKA now has clarity on where the business is heading and understands how to strategise. Sophie says, "the pilot has really helped me to cement my vision for SOKA."

Close up of couple searching online information about legal document details with laptop, family studying important contract terms and conditions typing filling internet application form on website
Sophie Karaer Head Shot

The Verdict

From the entrepreneur

When referring to the importance of spending time on your business instead of in it, Sophie says, "it's worth taking the time out of your business to pause and reflect on what you're doing because you get caught up in the running of it.

The programme helps you to do this and to take a look at your processes from an unbiased perspective."

Case Study 3

everfund-color (1)

William De Ath

Everfund

In 2017, Will and co-founder Christopher Burns were two people fresh out of university and set on becoming the next big tech start-up. When Will joined the accelerator pilot, they were promoting contactless solutions and digital experiences aimed at retailers. It was during the duration of the programme that they decided to pivot their idea and Everfund was established.

Everfund’s technology allows UK charities to create, share and track donation links across multiple donation channels with unique URLs and QR codes. It helps them to fundraise more effectively, no matter where their donors are.

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The Challenge

Rising above the noise and finding investment

Everfund knew it had a great concept. It just needed to grow in confidence and be given an opportunity to secure funding.

In those early days, Everfund was finding it hard to recognise a problem before it actually became one. The accelerator gave the team a sounding board and access to business advisors with experience. It helped them to channel their thoughts and turn their ideas into reality.

Not only that, the Everfund founders were getting a lot of advice from outside of the pilot and they wanted to use their own knowledge to determine what was right for them. Will says, “the pilot taught us to evaluate the noise and whether the advice we were receiving was fit for purpose.”

The Solution

Building the confidence to break the ceiling

Since taking part in the pilot in 2019, the business has built, tested and released its new product. Not only did Everfund receive investment via the programme, but they attracted the attention of GitHub co-founder and Silicon Valley investor Tom Preston-Warner, who ultimately invested in the business.

With big plans for the future, Everfund now feels confident enough to pursue more investment. Will says, “the pilot made us understand how big our opportunity is. And we’ll be keeping that in mind as we move forward.”

Male employee give flipchart presentation to smiling colleagues at negotiations, man present project or idea to happy coworkers at briefing, workers laugh at office meeting, having casual talk
Will De Ath Everfund Headshot

The Verdict

From the entrepreneur

On the Accelerator Programme, Will says, “if you’re thinking of doing something like this, go for it. You’re going to get support at a very early stage that will set your business up for the future. If you have the ability and want to do it, don’t hesitate.”

Case Study 3

William De Ath

Everfund

everfund-color (1)

In 2017, Will and co-founder Christopher Burns were two people fresh out of university and set on becoming the next big tech start-up. When Will joined the accelerator pilot, they were promoting contactless solutions and digital experiences aimed at retailers. It was during the duration of the programme that they decided to pivot their idea and Everfund was established.

Everfund’s technology allows UK charities to create, share and track donation links across multiple donation channels with unique URLs and QR codes. It helps them to fundraise more effectively, no matter where their donors are.

56229333_583055662202964_7566619369136979968_o

The Challenge

Rising above the noise and finding investment

Everfund knew it had a great concept. It just needed to grow in confidence and be given an opportunity to secure funding.

In those early days, Everfund was finding it hard to recognise a problem before it actually became one. The accelerator gave the team a sounding board and access to business advisors with experience. It helped them to channel their thoughts and turn their ideas into reality.

Not only that, the Everfund founders were getting a lot of advice from outside of the pilot and they wanted to use their own knowledge to determine what was right for them. Will says, “the pilot taught us to evaluate the noise and whether the advice we were receiving was fit for purpose.”

The Solution

Building the confidence to break the ceiling

Since taking part in the pilot in 2019, the business has built, tested and released its new product. Not only did Everfund receive investment via the programme, but they attracted the attention of GitHub co-founder and Silicon Valley investor Tom Preston-Warner, who ultimately invested in the business.

With big plans for the future, Everfund now feels confident enough to pursue more investment. Will says, “the pilot made us understand how big our opportunity is. And we’ll be keeping that in mind as we move forward.”

Male employee give flipchart presentation to smiling colleagues at negotiations, man present project or idea to happy coworkers at briefing, workers laugh at office meeting, having casual talk
Will De Ath Everfund Headshot

The Verdict

From the entrepreneur

On the Accelerator Programme, Will says, “if you’re thinking of doing something like this, go for it. You’re going to get support at a very early stage that will set your business up for the future. If you have the ability and want to do it, don’t hesitate.”

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