EDINBURGH is welcoming one of the UK’s leading events for entrepreneurship, as the Startup Summit returns to the Assembly Rooms on the 31st October.
It is hoped that the event will inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs, help them understand what it takes to start and maintain their own business and provide all important advice for start-ups.
Gordon is the founder and CEO of Trisent Ltd, a Kirkcaldy-based company which enables their customers to gain personal benefits from their personal data, through using their unique technology.
We caught up with Gordon about his journey to create his business and to get his advice for budding entrepreneurs.
How did you get your idea or concept for your business?
“I actually had the idea for my current start-up about ten years ago while working for a different company. At that time the concept was barely technically feasible, and certainly not commercially feasible – so I waited until the time was right.”
What was your background/work experience prior to launching your product/business?
“My background is in electronic engineering and my early career was in academia, I was a lecturer at Edinburgh University. I have since founded several technology companies, so I guess I could be classed as serial entrepreneur.”
When you were starting out, where did you get advice and help from?
“When I started my first company in 1999 good advice was thin on the ground, but I did learn a lot through networking with other entrepreneurs. There was a helpful group called the MX Alliance where I networked a bit, and also regular talks and meetups at Mobile Mondays. These days I have an advisory board made up of people I trust and are worth listening to.”
What do you attribute to your success?
“My current business cannot be classified as a success yet, but I attribute past successes to perseverance and adaptability. It is always harder than you think so don’t give up and when you get it wrong learn quickly and change it. You might need to change a business model ten times before getting to something that begins to work.”
What did you wish you knew before starting out?
“I wish I had understood the importance of people in a business at the outset. Some of my toughest challenges have been people related, and when things come together it is usually because the team is working well. If you have a great technology and the wrong team it is never going to work well. With the right team and the wrong technology, the team will simply sort out the technology – it doesn’t work the other way around.”
If you had one piece of advice to someone starting their own business, what would it be?
“You need to try and maintain a positive attitude, and this is not always easy when things go wrong. My trick, which I learned from someone else, is to keep an eye on two things – the big goal and the next small step to getting there. It seems less daunting from that perspective and you can feel good about each small step.”
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