In the heart of Haggerston, something special is happening on the fifth floor of Pandangle House; new startups are being built at a rate of more than one per month.
It’s all down to the team at ucreate.it. Founded by entrepreneur Matt Jonns, ucreate say they can help turn a fledgling business idea into a functioning MVP in just 90 days.
The company was founded 2 years ago by Jonns, who took over his family music shop at 19 and turned it into a successful online business and says he has always been a businessman who has never had to write a CV in his career.
To set the business up Jonns joined forces with Vishal Shahi, a developer he had worked with for several years. Vishal manages the Indian development team, which currently stands at 75.
Pawel Kaminski, an experienced start-up specialist CTO later joined the team in London and is the man behind ucreate’s proven approach to building start-ups. Together they oversee a team of 90, and growing.
ucreate works with startups who have a strong business idea but need help developing a minimum viable product (MVP), in other words, an entrepreneur might need a development team to help not only build their product but also validate its concept.
Jonns and his team which includes talented product managers, designers, developers, online marketing experts and angel investors describe themselves as “experts in Lean Startup and Agile methodologies” and say that “everything we do is built around this.”
The ucreate team moved to Haggerston from the Aldgate Tower where they occupied offices next door to Uber. Before that, in true hipster style, Jonns had setup and began running the company from his bedroom.
Scaling the company so quickly has been an exhausting, but triumphant effort, Jonns says.
“It’s important we didn’t just outsource the work; we needed to have creative control, and have partners on the ground out in India, with everybody invested in the success of the business. I know it’s a cliché but we have an amazing team. We couldn’t have achieved what we have done so far without our staff and start-up founders. They’re incredible”
ucreate’s business model is based around them taking an equity stake in every start-up that it works with. This allows ucreate to engage in the project as a partner and not merely as a developer.
“We’re not just cheaper than our rivals”, says Jonns, “as your creative and technical partner, we’re invested in your success; we care more”.”
One company ucreate completed work for have gone on to achieve a £100m valuation from a South African Venture fund.
There is plenty of space at their warehouse style offices for founders to come in and work alongside their allotted development teams, and potentially mix and match service providers.
One founder taking advantage is Toby Kernon, who has been a self-employed entrepreneur, angel investor and day trader for the past 16 years. The tech for his latest project, Wagonex, a sharing economy subscription car service which he hopes will allow people to hire cars over longer periods and switch models frequently, is being built by ucreate.
ucreate also offer a Development House service for more established companies, handling their development or project recovery needs.
The key to the success of a company like ucreate is for aspiring entrepreneurs to keep hatching ideas and wanting to develop them to see if they can build a fully-fledged business. ucreate will tackle a plan and run with it, the value-add coming from a combination of the technical skill of the team and their sizeable network.
Many start-up ideas never see the light of day due to the prohibitive costs and time of hiring a technical team; companies like ucreate are driving the price of developing MVPs down by practising lean, agile and creative methodologies.
It seems like Haggerston, the quiet neighbourhood between hipster Shoreditch and up-and-coming Dalston, is beginning to emerge from its noisier neighbour’s shadow.