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Focus on a Founder with Joe Parry and Ramsey Faragher – Celebrating 10 Years of Community

last modified Sep 02, 2020 11:33 AM
This week we are featuring two ideaSpace alumni - Joe Parry of Cambridge Intelligence and Ramsey Faragher of Focal Point Positioning. Congratulations to Focal Point Positioning who are celebrating their 5 year anniversary this week - we wish them all the best as they head into the next 5! Read on to hear from Joe Parry who joined ideaSpace in 2011 and Ramsey Faragher who joined in 2016.

Joe Parry Ramsey Farargher
Joe Parry – Cambridge Intelligence

Tell us a bit about yourself 
I'm the founder of software company Cambridge Intelligence, which started in ideaSpace back in 2011.  Back then it was just me, but I grew the team to about six people in ideaSpace before we moved out into our own office space in 2015.  I'm originally a technical founder - I wrote all of the first product initially - but have grown more interested in the commercial and financial aspects of the business as it has grown.  I hold the CEO role now, which covers the whole business.  

How is your venture doing?
The company is doing pretty well.  We've been profitable every year - even during the COVID crisis. We have about 50 employees, and more than 200 customers, including some big government and commercial names.  We're about to launch our 3rd product this summer which will innovate in a whole new area for us which is exciting.

What advice would you give to a founder starting out?
Ship.  When I look back at the first version of our main product KeyLines, it was incredibly light on features.  But it did a few things very well, and that was enough to get us started on the journey. 

Customer's money is 10X more valuable than investor's money long term.  Customers will give you honest product feedback, credibility, references, testimonials, and ultimately more revenue in future years when you make more products.  Plus, if it doesn't work out with a customer, you can always part company and others will take their place.

How is being part of the ideaSpace community helpful to you?
At the early stage, being with other founders going through various pain points was a great learning experience.  I loved meeting the networks of people around ideaSpace.  The desks were great for staff as they arrived, even if they were rather narrow :-).  I found talking through problems was helpful, and finding suppliers was easy.  ideaSpace allowed me time to focus on the product and company without having to worry too much about the boring bits at the start.


Ramsey Faragher - Focal Point Positioning

Tell us a bit about yourself
I’ve had a rather interesting career so far - undergrad and PhD in physics at Cambridge, then off into the Defence sector where I had the great fortune to work on a huge variety of problems and platforms, all the way from nuclear submarines to martian rovers and plenty of things in between. Following a short stint back in academia I saw the opportunity to create the technologies that now exist as my startup company’s main products and took the bold step of setting a company up around the vision rather than just writing a bunch of papers about the ideas instead. Life as a founder CEO is incredibly busy, I work every single day, but it’s worth it, we are trying to get our software into every single smart-device on the planet with a GPS chip in it, and that’s no mean feat. 

How is your venture doing?
We are a B2B enterprise, and each deal we target involves putting our IP onto millions of devices, so we are looking for a small number of high value deals. We are in a relatively good place after 5 years, we have signed deals with a couple of companies already and shipped our first product to a customer last year. We are in the middle of negotiating a major deal with one of the most famous smartphone manufacturers on the planet, and closing that will be the next major milestone in our story, it’s the pathway to being in hundreds of millions of devices next year.

What advice do you have for other founders?
Advice for other founders… don’t forget that every founder should be trying to hire themselves out of having to do any work. Your team is the most important thing you can build - your product can be copied but your team can’t, so build an amazing team with a clear understanding of your vision and you can outstrip your competition every time. And don’t forget that your Board is part of your team. You’ve got to ensure everyone throughout the entire company understands the vision and the strategy or you will waste a lot of energy herding cats.

How has being part of the ideaSpace community been helpful to you?
ideaSpace was key to taking the proto-company off kitchen tables and into a more professional-feeling working environment. We met some key contacts through ideaspace who still help out and advise the company; I think it is a certainly critical part of the Cambridge start-up scene.

Focal Point Positioning in the Board Room at ideaSpace CityFocal Point Positioning at ideaSpace

To find out more about Cambridge Intelligence or Focal Point Positioning please visit their website.

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