Young entrepreneurs: Will Read, Sideways 6
11 years on from his eBay business at 13, Read is the founder of a tech start-up which counts British Airways as a client and is on set for £1m in revenue...
Name: Will Read
Company: Sideways 6
24-year-old Will Read wants to change the status quo; starting with his business Sideways 6.
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Operating in the enterprise technology sector – a space which he says is traditionally “lots of middle aged men in suits selling to each other” – Read has established a vendor management platform which helps companies manage ideas and engagement and claims to offer a new way of doing things.
Launched in April 2015, and backed by £100,000 in angel investment, Read’s platform has already attracted the big guns – British Airways is a client – and is profitable less than a year into trading with projected turnover set to reach £1m for 2016. The young tech entrepreneur has also recruited a team of seven employees to operate across London and Minsk, Belarus.
So where did this drive to launch his own business come from? As a teenager, Read says he got a taste for entrepreneurship after launching an eBay business and selling sweets at school and this ‘taste’ then followed him to university where he set up a sound-speaker rental company. After university, he secured a graduate job at Sky but left fairly quickly because he “didn’t feel empowered to put his ideas forward” and the concept for Sideways 6 begun to take shape shortly after.
Today, Read has ambitious plans for the business and, with expansion into the US and Australia currently underway, is set on Sideways 6 becoming the go-to platform for FTSE100 companies.
Yet, while Read says being younger has enabled him to bring new ways of thinking to the table, he’s still got some convincing to do of potential customers that don’t like ‘different’. He says that “some would-be clients are still more comfortable buying from older people at more traditional vendors”.
Here’s hoping they can look past age. We certainly can…