Startup Success Stories
Here’s a collection of startup success stories so that all you budding entrepreneurs can get some inspiration and see that it can really be done.
FireText is a simple and affordable online text messaging platform through which business can reach their customers with a single text in a matter of minutes. FireText caters to a wide array of businesses such as rising hotels looking for guests to fill up empty rooms, budding restaurants looking for publicity or even a charity wanting to reach out to its fundraisers. The online SMS business has the ability to reach out to anybody that owns a cell phone. For the startup’s founder Dan Parker, it all started in University when he decided to come up with an effective method to communicate with all the members in his sports clubs. Informing all players about a cancelled match was really difficult and new members were often left out. He then developed a system where a single text message could be sent to thousands of members in just a few minutes. After working in various sports clubs across UK, he already had a working business model. In 2010 he successfully launched FireText as a working business and in 2011 he won Young Business Person of the Year at the Cornwall Business Awards. Dan Parker is now focusing on expanding his business outside UK.
ToyBoxLive.co.uk is like a library for toys. You simply have to pay £24.99 per month, choose the toys you want and they are delivered to you. When you have had enough, you send them back and new ones that you choose are sent out. The website’s founder Alison Chesworth got this simple and cost-effective idea for buying and using toys from her own daughter. Chesworth believes that renting toys saves money, space and minimizes waste. Her biggest challenge was finding suppliers. However, she succeeded in helping them realize how an online toy rental firm like hers could help them generate an additional revenue stream. She publicized her business on various social networking websites and identifies her first customer as her first breakthrough. She launched and ran her startup singlehandedly for the first few months and plans on expanding throughout Europe. Her advice to all budding entrepreneurs is “Go for it! If you fail, you learn. If you succeed, you win.”
One afternoon while playing Frisbee with their dog Midknight, Roni and Ken Di Lullo noticed him squinting because of the sunlight. Roni adjusted his sports googles to fit Midknight, who soon became the talk of the dog park. People simply loved seeing a dog wearing sunglasses. The couple set up a website to showcase pictures of their dog wearing sunglasses. To their surprise, various dog owners began requesting similar sunglasses for their own dogs. In 2002, a Taiwanese company agreed to make customized dog goggles and the couple placed an initial order for 30,000 pairs. Doggles soon reached various pet stores across California and also Target and Amazon. By 2012, the startup had successfully reached arevenue of $3 million.
Paul Fisher was a freelancer who wrote a piece of software that categorized and aggregated all freelance jobs listed online to find the most suitable and relevant ones for himself. He was also annoyed by the way sites like Groupon would send him so many deals he wasn’t interested in. He realized how he already had the basic model of a system that could refine these deals to suit the needs of each particular user. He made his first deal in order to get access to a database of 3.5 million users in exchange for equity. Buyometric worked by creating a biometric profile for each of its users in order to accurately predict the deals they would be interested in. Every time a user clicked through to a deal website they had proposed, they would get a 15 per cent cut of the sale. As soon as they had access to the user database, their revenues came rolling in and they soon made £100,000 off 25,000 deal purchases.