YABA may be best known for matching entrepreneurs with investors. What’s less common knowledge is the power of the Association in bringing together angel members in new business ventures.
Intuitive Business Intelligence Ltd is a prime example of this. The company was started by YABA members Tony Bray and Roger Stocker and evolved from an initial discussion at an investment forum in 2009. Tony and Roger had previously been in competition, each owning highly successful document management software companies. They met regularly at prestigious awards ceremonies and sold their respective companies within a few weeks of one another in 2007.
After exiting his company, Roger’s time was fully occupied, spending several months at the bedside of his young son, who was receiving treatment for a brain tumour. After his son’s recovery in 2009, Roger joined YABA to take advantage of the networking opportunities and reconnect with fellow business angels. It was at his first investment forum that he bumped into some familiar faces, one of which was Tony.
“YABA was invaluable to me for its networking opportunities,” says Roger. “I was interested in the propositions on offer, but the connections I rekindled and the new ones I made were instrumental in the formation of this new venture.” With a common goal of creating a market-leading business intelligence solution and their wealth of commercial expertise, Roger and Tony decided to start a business together. “We spent 14 months researching and developing our business intelligence dashboard, before launching it in January this year,” says Roger.
From their own experience, Tony and Roger knew that most business managers and directors spend too much time sifting through reports to find quality business information and not enough time focused on growing their businesses. The software solution they developed helps to address this issue. Intuitive Dashboards links to the existing data within a business, including financial and accounting, HR, CRM and spreadsheets, providing a consolidated viewpoint of key business information, depicted in a graphical dashboard format. This enables business owners and managers to easily view potential issues and shortfalls in performance as well as enabling them to see trends and opportunities they might normally miss.
“We consulted a number of investors to find out what information they needed to spot business problems and react to them instantly,” says Roger. “There is a huge market for our product and we’ve made sure that the software is cost-effective and can be implemented quickly, so that businesses can reap the benefits of our dashboard within a matter of hours as opposed to months for other business analysis software.”
With the business up and running, both Tony and Roger are employed full-time promoting the product, and aren’t currently looking for new investment opportunities. However, they plan to continue attending investment forums and members’ social lunches, because as Tony says, “The networking opportunities are a valuable part of being a YABA member because networking remains an important aspect of the way that we intend to build awareness of our products.”