When you go to a conference and you see someone passionate about what she is doing, you realise that entrepreneurship is the best thing in the world. People who believe in what they do and recruit other people who have their same vision are changing the way we live. At What Next, a student conference organised by Manchester Entrepreneurs, we came a cross Alex Depledge, the CEO of Hassle, a company that we have already reviewed last year.
What we saw was a woman who had never thought about being an entrepreneur, but ended up being one, by loving what she started. Hassle is a website that connects people such as cleaners, tutors, personal trainers, and driving instructors, with the public. The main focus is on cleaners, but as she said they are about to expand and enlarge their ecosystem.
Three people from Accenture decided to leave their daily job and start something by getting into an accelerator, Springboard, which has recently become part of the Tech Stars ecosystem. With a different name and a completely different business plan from what they have today, these three people started Teddle and got into the twelve weeks program offered by Springboard.
After completing the “acceleration”, the co-founders realised they weren’t going anywhere and that’s why they pivoted by changing what they were doing from the roots. That’s why they bought the domain name Hassle and started a new venture together. As Alex has recalled, this is just the beginning of a three years journey that won’t end tomorrow, but aims to become an international brand.
Hassle has gone through a first seed stage of approximately £23k and in 2013 closed its first venture round with a £255k investment. The venture round has given them the possibility to expand and to start looking at Europe and different locations in Great Britain. What I loved about Alex’s keynote was the passion that she had for what she’s doing.
When you find people who had never thought about being an entrepreneur, but found out that they were able to create and build, Muhammad Yunnus’ quote comes to my mind:
All human beings are entrepreneurs. When we were in the caves, we were all self-employed…finding our food, feeding ourselves. That’s where human history began. As civilization came, we suppressed it. We became “labor” because they stamped us, “You are labor”. We forgot that we are entrepreneurs. (Muhammad Yunnus, Nobel Peace Prize winner and microfinance pioneer)
Hassle is an example of those businesses that grow slowly but gain momentum every day. We are not talking about Whatsapp, that reached a $19 billion dollar valuation in less than five years, we are referring to businesses that are looking ahead thirty years, but they are undertaking this path milestone after milestone. The company is generating more than a million in revenues per year. They are currently operating in London, but they are looking to expand nationwide in the next months, starting from Manchester, where they have already launched.
In 2013, Hassle was nominated the best startup of the year at the Tech City News Elevator Awards. I believe this is just the beginning for Hassle, which is in a billion dollar industry that can be easily exported in other countries city by city. One thing is true, whether you are selling eggs or trying to make the next big thing, you will always have to learn how to code and that’s what one of Hassle’s co-founders did as soon as her daily job was miles away.
Thirty minutes of keynote can be easily summarized in four words:
“I bloody love it”. (Alex Depledge)