Since the inception of the Start-Up Diaries podcast back in July, we’ve had the privilege of speaking to several inspirational and innovative Founders and Leaders who are busy juggling life's everyday responsibilities, as well as building and running their own incredibly successful businesses. One of the recurring themes we’ve found over the last 3 months has been clear - the life of a start-up Founder and Entrepreneur is not as glamorous as some social networking sites can have you believe. With the pressures of fundraising, building a team, fostering a culture and establishing a profitable and sustainable business, not even to mention the addition of a global pandemic, it certainly isn't a job for the fainthearted. 

We’ve pulled some of the insights and advice shared by passionate tech Founders on our Start-Up Diaries podcast, as they reflect on their learnings and experiences as Entrepreneurs.

It’s not as easy or as glamorous as it can be made out to be!

For Michael Brennan, Co-Founder & CEO of Tootoot - the pupil voice and safeguarding app trusted by over 15,000 teachers - one of the first reality checks as an Entrepreneur came to him after his first investment pitch.

Student accommodation platform Housemates isn’t the first start-up venture for Founder & CEO Lydia Jones, who also built her own fitness app back in 2014. Building a team of passionate and adaptable individuals has always been a key challenge Founders face, but it became even more crucial as Covid struck and teams were forced to work apart. Lydia found that the last 7 months has been a particularly stressful time, but having a supportive team and network helped them react to the situation together.

Building a business requires a hell of a lot of hard work

Erin Short, CEO & Co-Founder of Avail - the mobile software agency revolutionising the haulage industry - was recently named Young Digital & Tech Professional of the Year by Insider. But he says the journey it took to get there wasn’t always an easy one:

You will learn a lot about yourself throughout the experience

Joey Xoto co-founded the multi-million pound video content platform Viddyoze following his success as a digital marketer and videographer. He found one of the challenges of evolving with the business was knowing when to hand over the reins in order for the business to grow. 

It’s important to establish your own coping mechanisms 

Before founding her EdTech business Immersify Education, Chloe Barrett was busy training as a Dressage Rider, with an aim to secure her place in the British Dressage team. She says that a lot of the skills she developed through her sporting background have helped her to become a stronger Founder and leader. Chloe’s found that making time for sport outside of work has been crucial for de-stressing and allows her to come up with her best ideas.

It’s worth it all in the end, but you need to be dedicated to what you set out to achieve

So there you have it, an insight into the minds of 5 passionate Founders & Entrepreneurs making waves across the UK tech industry. And whilst the journey of a Start-Up Founder may not always be a smooth one, it’s clear that having the right people behind you on the journey and making time for yourself and your mental wellbeing are crucial for helping you drive the business forward even through the toughest of times.

If you’ve got an entrepreneurial itch that just doesn’t seem to go away or would like to hear more from inspiring business leaders about their journeys of building and scaling Start-Ups, you can listen to all episodes of the Start-Up Diaries podcast on iTunes & Spotify.

Have you got a question you’ve always wanted to ask a tech Founder? If so, get in touch with the man behind the microphone, Head of Manchester Chris McGowan, or our Community Lead Becca and help shape the conversation of our next episode.

Listen to the full episodes below:

S1 | Episode 1 | Michael Brennan of Tootoot: Scaling A Start-Up

S1 | Episode 4 | Erin Short of Avail: Making Tough Calls That Can Make Or Break

S1 | Episode 6 | Joey Xoto of Viddyoze: The Power of Your Network - Growing A Business Organically

S1 | Episode 10 | Lydia Jones of Housemates: What It Takes To Be A Good Leader

S2 | Episode 1 | Chloe Barrett of Immersify Education: The Power of Learning


Check out some of our latest episdoes:

Manoj Varsani & Marco Ferrari of Hammock : Listen Now

Lydia Jones of Housemates : Listen Now

Mo Aldalou of Tech Nation : Listen Now

Chloe Barrett of Immersify Education : Listen Now

Chi-Chi Ekweazor of Assenty & The Female Tech Founder : Listen Now

Mike Todd of Near-Life : Listen Now