Business News

Start-up CEO reveals journey from Olympic dreams to fast-growing software firm used by Vodafone, N Brown and Fujifilm


The co-founder of a software program start-up has described his journey from giving up his Olympic goals to being on the verge of doubling the corporate’s headcount by the tip of the 12 months and increasing internationally.

Tom Dunlop began out as a teenage badminton star, competing at English, British and European championships and had his eyes firmly set on changing into an Olympian.

However after the stresses and strains of juggling finishing a regulation diploma with being an expert, the longer term CEO determined to name it quits and focus as a substitute on a brand new profession.

READ MORE: Greater than 32,000 jobs to be created by group owned by billionaire Issa brothers

After reducing his enamel in a lot of fast-growing corporations, he determined to make use of his community of contacts to exit on his personal, founding authorized software program agency Summize in Manchester with David Smith, who serves as its chief growth officer.

The agency’s headcount is anticipated to rise to 30 by the tip of Might and double come the beginning of 2023.

Summize, whose prospects now embrace the likes of Vodafone, N Brown and Fujifilm, can be engaged on plans to increase internationally and maintaining open the potential of accepting additional exterior funding within the coming years.

Talking solely to BusinessLive, Mr Dunlop stated: “I was very much on track to go to the Olympics and stay in the sporting world.

“All through my teenage years I used to be very centered on going via the English, British and European championships.

“After that, once I got my law degree, I had to make a hard choice about whether I would get a job or go full time into badminton and commit.

“When you’re representing England as a junior it is all enjoyable and thrilling however while you get to an expert you are by yourself and flying to Japanese Europe for a contest after which coming again by yourself.

“It’s just not as fun and the pay isn’t particularly great.

“Attempting to stability that and doing my regulation diploma is not perfect both. In the end I wished extra of a psychological problem and I used to be getting fairly formidable for a profession.

“I decided to go down the legal route and one of the first jobs that I had was in the sport management world.

“I wished it to be the right mixture between regulation and my sporting background.

“It was a fun few years though and I’m glad I did it. I don’t have any regrets that I didn’t go into full Olympic mode but it was good while it lasted.”



Tom Dunlop, co-founder and CEO of Summize
Tom Dunlop, co-founder and CEO of Summize

The life abilities Mr Dunlop picked up via his time rising via the badminton ranks have been retained and repurposed to assist him navigate being a CEO of a expertise start-up.

He added: “I carried forward a lot of the lessons I learnt as an athlete into my new career.

“It informs how the enterprise is run but additionally how I view my profession.

“I always want to be the best and I have this innate drive to be better than how other people may have done their job.

“We have now a steady enchancment tradition which is principally bottling up that have and ensuring who’s on the market and making an attempt to be higher than them.

“When I looked at the tech market in particular, and saw what products there were out there, the contracts process seemed very slow and painful and not the most efficient.

“I used to be positive that I may create an answer. I felt that I wanted to do that and I couldn’t proceed to work in an business that was backward by way of how environment friendly it’s and the way it works.”



Members of the Summize team
Members of the Summize group

Any new enterprise wants funding to get it off the bottom. Except an entrepreneur has that capital themselves, founders have to safe financing from exterior traders which is usually a difficult course of and will result in the fledgling firm collapsing earlier than it has even launched.

Fortunately Mr Dunlop had developed a community of contacts via his time in Manchester which he was capable of name upon.

“Because I was a legal counsel for some very high-growth North West businesses I had already dealt with investors and corporate finance people as part of my job”, he stated.

“When it came to me reaching out to look for that initial investment I had a decent network of people that I could call on.

“One of many individuals who invested on day one was Charles Sharland, the previous AppSense chairman.

“I was then able to get in contact with Maven who manage the Northern Powerhouse Fund.

“The very nature of that fund is to put money into companies throughout the North and we match their profile.”



Summize is headquartered in Manchester
Summize is headquartered in Manchester

On his plans to develop the corporate, the CEO added: “We always want to be Manchester based but we see expanding internationally as a great way to grow the business further.

“We’re already accessing the worldwide market however we wish to quick monitor it.

“As part of those plans I do see further funding in the future but we are currently at a stage where more organic growth will start to kick in and be the primary driver in the next couple of years.

“The corporate is just not worthwhile on the minute however we’re on a plan to get there.

“However, it’s very much subject to fuelling the growth and there will be further investment prior to that.

“We are able to see the trail to profitability very clearly if we wish to however I feel all of it is determined by how briskly we wish to develop and what’s going to allow us to get there faster.”



Supply hyperlink

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.