When people stumble on the next big thing, what pain do they experience? They simply don’t have all the skills needed in order to take that idea off-the-shelf and into the real world. Finding the people with the skills you need can be tedious and time consuming (networking events, colleagues, friends, friends of friends).
With size comes complexity, “the network effect”: As a network grows it becomes harder and harder to keep track of who is in it, more importantly what skills and expertise reside in the network - making it difficult or near impossible, to find what you need from who has it.
It takes a team, with complementary skills, to get ideas off the ground successfully. Nuklius helps you find the people with the skills you need, to build your team and realise your idea by matching it with the people & skills needed. Our matchmaking technology cuts through the complexity of the "network effect", bringing organisation to the chaos. We make it as simple as a push of a button, from knowing what you need, to being in front of the person that has it, in the shortest amount of time and effort spent. We take the your idea and what it is looking for and in return show you ‘people’ cards of the individuals who have the skills you need. For those without ideas of their own, we match them up with ideas in need of their skill sets. Simple, convenient and effective.
Nuklius has two environments; the open, entrepreneurial network where people use it find their collaborators to build their startup teams and Nuklius Platform; closed, private, walled-garden environments in which organisations can talent-map their own internal network.
We are looking to solve the disconnect between people having ideas but not possessing all of the skills required to realise their ideas. Where the idea stays just that, an idea. We do this by connecting them with the people who do. We want to remove the road block between having an idea and turning that idea into a reality. We fundamentally believe that startups drive true social and economic innovations; so the more people we can help connect to build their ideas into companies, the better.
For organisations, Nuklius can help them become more agile and speed up innovation by giving them the ability to have an intuitive map of their talent and straightforward way to connect that talent to explore new opportunities where it is needed. Organisations have started to see the value of what the ‘lean-startup’ methodology has done for the startup world and are beginning to implement this same culture and way of doing things into their own organisations (small teams experimenting with new ideas, testing concepts quickly and seeing what works). Nuklius Platform will give them the needed tool to execute on this.
Our vision is to bring entrepreneurship to the masses. Wherever it may be.
Substantial accomplishments to date
June ‘14: Started working on Nuklius over the summer.
August ’14: Stefan provided very early stage capital for Nuklius.
September ’14: Accepted into University of Cambridge Accelerate Cambridge programme.
October ‘14: Partnerships with Warwick, UCL, London Met.
November ‘14: First agreement for a ‘Platform’ with UCL for AppAmbassador programme.
December ‘14: Beta test with 52 people to get feedback and improve.
February 22nd ‘15: iOS app launched - actively promoting in the UK (London, Cambridge & Warwick).
March ‘15: Started ‘Platform’ discussions with MassChallenge, StartupBootcamp, Bethal Green Ventures.
June ’15: Started ‘Platform’ discussions with Seedcamp, and Techstars.
June '15: One of ten chosen to demo at the Technology Venture Conference in Cambridge.
We set ourselves strict measures of not becoming a freemium, advertising dependant tech company.
Alex and I are incredibly design oriented, so advertisements go against our core nature. We believe that if you're business model evolves around advertisements then you are taking away value from the end user, as in order to be profitable through advertisements you need eyeballs (them staying on the app for long periods of time). Eyeballs and value add are not the same thing. We also didn't want to charge the entrepreneurs for using Nuklius, as this contradicts our mission of helping them create their companies through adding an unwanted pay wall.
Organisations are interested in using the technology Nuklius offers entrepreneurs, internally. They want to have a private, walled-garden environment in which they can map their organisations talent and from there make it easy to match projects with the rightly skilled individuals within their organisation. We are pursuing a SaaS approach in which customers are able to create their own environments online, and invite only those they want to be part of their platform. We charge a per active user/per month fee. Our focus market/beach head is the accelerator market.
Use of proceeds
Primary use of funds: Give us a runway of approximately 12 months to prove the concept and get traction in both Nuklius and Platform side of the business:
1) Business Development (Travel, Marketing, Conferences and Exhibitions)
2) Operating Cost (Server, Software License, Font License, Office, etc.)
3) Founder Salaries
Our target market for Nuklius include university students, young professionals and individuals looking to pursue entrepreneurial careers. Our target market for Nuklius Platform, given our focus, are accelerators.
Initially, Nuklius will focus on individual entrepreneurs to build up its user base. This will be organised on a cluster basis.
Simultaneously, we will begin marketing Nuklius Platform to accelerators. We have already begun discussions with a number of innovation-based organizations that have expressed strong interest in using Nuklius Platform for their own activities, including, UCL Decide, Bethnal Green Ventures, Startupbootcamp & MassChallenge.
The rollout is planned to be on a geographic priority basis with the following being the expected order – Cambridge, and London to begin with, then other key UK and Dutch clusters, Silicon Valley after a year (depending on progress in Europe).
Characteristics of target market
- UK - 70% increase of new venture creation amongst under-35's in UK (2006-2013).
- Europe - Government backed initiatives to stimulate startup clusters (TechCity, StartupDelta, LeFrench Tech, Budapest Runway 2020, Startup Lisboa, LaunchPad Denmark).
- USA – 514,000 startups founded in 2012.
Nuklius Platform Accelerators:
- Europe counts approximately 100 accelerators with close to 140 active programs.
- USA counts over 1,100 accelerators.
- It seems that accelerators have a difficult time keeping alumni engaged with the new cohorts as well as facilitating introductions (manually intensive and costly).
- In UK from 2011-2014 there has been a rise of 110% in incubator and accelerator programs.
"It's often better to start in a small market that will either turn into a big one or from which you can move into a big one." - Paul Graham, YCombinator.
The way we see it each tech cluster (as an entity) is comprised of nodes - each adding value to the cluster in their own way. But all have one coherent mission between them and that is to help more startups get created and succeed. Important nodes include universities, workspaces, meetups, etc.
Instead of us reaching out to the individuals within communities ourselves we sell to the heads of the nodes, getting their buy in and support - turning them into evangelisers who then go and shout it from the mountain to their own community. Since the app is free we believe they are all happy to do so. On top of this we are getting people whom we call 'Community Champions' to evangelise, spread and share the excitement and word of Nuklius in their close environments (this is a volunteering position - they do it because they want to be part of an exciting startup, they get to expand their own network and they get free stash). Creating a grass-roots movement.
Nuklius will also be engaging with the individual tech clusters through events such as meet ups, guest speakers, etc. We have already been hosting events for students at the University of Warwick, called Campus Startup (a meet up for entrepreneurial minded or interested students to get together fortnightly and pitch ideas, meet cofounders, discuss problems, etc.).
For Nuklius Platform, the reason we have decided to focus on accelerators is because we have relationships with many of them in our own networks, so we are using our network to get in the door and get them set up.
The idea behind finding people and skills isn't new. We are simply proposing to do it better. Our focus is entirely on making the process of meeting people who have the skills you need a quick, convenient and effective one. Removing all the unnecessary roadblocks and replacing it with good design, user experience and bite size information.
Our competitors include Founder2be, CoFoundersLab, CollabFinder, Bizoogo and FounderDating. All of these products are web based products, we feel that as though some are better than others they all approach the issue in the same way causing a massive amount of information overload and quite frankly makes finding people a tedious task.
Our team is core to our success, we have two experienced entrepreneurs and the backing of Accelerate Cambridge and its many mentors/advisors.
There are various things we have learnt through working on this over the past 10 months:
1) It is absolutely crucial to get the buy in and adoption of the tech community - this we aim through going to hackathons as well as getting Nuklius evangelists amongst the tech crowd.
2) People really don't like networking. It's tedious and tiring and if you are going with a mission it can be very exhausting and inefficient. We want to save people the opportunity cost of death by networking.
3) People don't want essays when looking for people. We don't operate in churning through tons of information. We want bite size information. This is something we have taken into account and integrated into the user experience and overall design approach to Nuklius.
4) Within a network everyone doesn't know everyone. Even though you are part of a company/organisation you definitely don't know everyone and especially not what everyone is good at. We are going to provide a tool which makes it easy again, helping spread up innovation through making it simple to form teams with the rightly skilled individuals.
We built Nuklius to be as intuitive and user-friendly as possible, a lot of effort was put into the user experience of the app. This is important because at the end of the day it is the people who are going to be using it, if they don’t feel that it benefits them, or that it is too complicated to use - then no marketing in the world can bring them back. We believe that the best products market themselves, through their design, value-add to the end user and ease of use.
Nuklius has already been successful in helping two entrepreneurs meet through the app and set up a company. If entrepreneurs can use it to build companies we strongly believe the same can be said for helping organisations pull together project teams quicker and better than is currently done today.