Smartup was co-founded by Frank Meehan, Brent Hoberman, Henry Lane Fox and Jonnie Goodwin.
Frank started with Ericsson in 1994 as a coder and troubleshooter, lived in Singapore and HK, and then joined Hutchison Whampoa in 2001 and was responsible for the technical integration of the first 3G(WCDMA) networks around the world, launched under the Three(3) brand in multiple countries in 2003.
He then ran the Three Groups’ global handset business, and developed and launched a range of products (Skypephone and INQ1), which pioneered mobile and internet communications.
Frank was selected as part of the 2012 Wired UK Top 100 in tech, and Vanity Fair’s The Next Establishment list 2010.
Previously, Frank was with Horizons Ventures (HK), representing them on the Boards of Spotify, Siri, Summly, Affectiva, Bitcasa, Fixmo, DoubleTwist, Ginger, Desti and Magisto.
As established entrepreneurs, the founders get inundated with emails, LinkedIn messages and people begging for advice:
How do I scale?
How do I raise cash for my startup?
How do I hire a CTO?
The idea behind SmartUp was to be able to give this information to all the entrepreneurs out there who have amazing ideas but just need to know the tips and tricks of the industry to get ahead.
They want to motivate, inspire and grow entrepreneurship globally.
Brent Hoberman, co-founder and Chair (Sold Lastminute.com to Sabre for $1.1 billion in 2005) and other investors were all faced with the same question: « how do we mentor and scale? »
They want to pass on their knowledge to all founders and make starting your own business more feasible and accessible, hence Smartup was born.
Smartup is a virtual mentor designed to help entrepreneurs make decisions, giving them contextual advice and learning recommendations.
What they have learned since from the experience
They have learnt so far that entrepreneurs can be anyone, anywhere.
Just recently, they spoke to a 50 year-old entrepreneur stuck in a boring job for a big corporate organisation looking to launch his startup, but he just needed the confidence and reassurance.
They also spoke to a 15 year-old kid in China with an incredible idea, which will now soon come to fruition.
They have learned the world is becoming more streamlined in the way of business.
Businesses are just beginning to adopt a more ‘startup’ way of thinking.
The way of doing things like big corporates are old, tired and costing them millions.
Decisions take weeks to get made, and what should be an email thread is a two hour meeting.
There are too many structures and hierarchies, and corporates need to see what startups do well and learn from them.
Innovation, flair and speed in operation is very much a way of the future.
What were the hurdles and how they resolved them
This is the first time something like this has been done on an app, so learning how to best create mobile content in a lean, interesting way has been a challenge for them.
Anyone can write a blog on a website, but actually turning mentor insights into quizzes and explaining complex ideas to beginners in clear structures mobile format is difficult.
They have a fantastic team of content writers who are now experienced in this and they do a lot of user testing.
Suggestions to future entrepreneurs:
– Take the first step; you don’t have to do everything at once.
– Prove your idea has some validity and trust yourself.
– The biggest mistakes are the ones we don’t make.
Where to find Smartup:
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/smartup.io