When It Happens Panel Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting 'OXFORD NEWS' to 80360 or email
Born in the boozer, a well organised business launch
When entrepreneur Mark Wainwright sold his online recruitment website Gaapweb in 2005, he moved out of London preparing to enjoy the fruits of his labour.
But after a year or two, he linked up with his former sales director Karl Schweppe to mull over ideas for a new venture.
Mr Wainwright, 46, said: “The idea was something I had thought about for a few years.
“It seemed there was no place where I could keep all my stuff, where I could keep everything online.
“There were plenty of business applications that would do it, but nothing for the personal side of life.”
Mr Wainwright, Australian by birth and an accountant by training, came to the UK at 29 on a gap year, but ended up staying here when he married.
He said: “Karl and I used the British technique to refine our business idea, getting together in lots of different pubs in the Cotswolds.
It took them two years to develop the software, with the help of chief technical officer Dan Rosewarne, and now they have launched Journl, an online service that helps keep plans in place, and includes a diary, to-do list and calendar as well as notes, lists, reminders and secure file storage.
Journl is based in what they describe as “Oxford’s tech-hub”, the Oxford Centre for Innovation in New Road.
He feels it is the ideal home for the company.
He added: “It has all the ingredients we felt we needed for success — beautiful and inspiring atmosphere and surroundings and lots of great options for eating, drinking and shopping.”
They have 10 employees, with plans to double in size by the end of next year.
He is particularly pleased that Journl’s workforce is 50/50 men and women, which is unusual for software development.
He said: “A lot of people in Oxford work in publishing so there is a good pool of people to draw on. It’s a lovely place.
“There is a buzz here and it feels vibrant. We won’t want to be in London.
“The start-up scene is very buzzy, but the emphasis is on young entrepreneurs looking for funding.”
The two founders of Journl are using the money they made from their first venture to fund their second one.
Mr Wainwright said: “If we’re going to scale this up to other countries, we will need to look at new funding partners.
“But we want to build it up into a sustainable business first.”
They are currently offering customers free 30-day trials on the website journl.com, but eventually hope to make money by charging users a £39-a-year subscription.
For more information, go to the website or call 01865 261424.
Comments are closed on this article.