Buildily: Elemi Atigolo
Name: Elemi Atigolo
Company name: Buildily
Location: Greater London
Date launched: April 2018
Tell us what your business does:
Buildily is a business accelerator platform created to help start-ups, businesses and their entrepreneurs to ‘Start, Build And Grow Easily'.
Our mission is to help entrepreneurs overcome critical obstacles that often come up within a start-up’s life cycle. We have created a platform designed to help start-ups and businesses every step of the way. From tools to help you get started and launch, to building traction and accessing mentors and funding, we are there to help.
Buildily was created to improve lives and help support entrepreneurs get their business off the ground. With this intent, Buildily contributes a portion of every purchase of our Startup Package on our platform to the organisation Lendwithcare, an initiative of poverty fighting charity CARE International UK.
Lendwithcare is a revolutionary CARE International initiative to help some of the world’s poorest people work their way out of poverty with dignity. It makes micro credit loans to entrepreneurs in 10 countries to start up and build their own businesses.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
As entrepreneurs who have worked with start-ups and business owners over the years, we have found that there are many start-ups and businesses still looking for additional help beyond the resources which are currently available.
How did you know there was a market for it?
Having worked in business advisory, private wealth management and advising on EIS and VCT, I have gained experience in understanding businesses and investing in businesses.
What were you doing before starting up?
Before founding Buildily, I was a partner at one of the UK’s largest private wealth management firms, St. James’s Place Wealth Management. I successfully built a business and client base from scratch to managing £20m for high net worth/ultra-high net worth private clients and businesses.
I advised CEOs, managing directors, partners and entrepreneurs on areas such as mutual funds, private equity, early stage investments through Venture Capital Trusts and Enterprise Investment Schemes and business planning.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
I have always been interested in business from a young age – I remember even in school I ran my own tuckshop (sweets and snacks) as part of my school's entrepreneur programme (Business Club).
Although this was my first taste, it really started for me after I completed my postgraduate masters degree at business school.
After graduating, I started my first company at the age of 24 – an online platform for creatives and musicians to showcase their talent (“think NME meets Facebook”) – which in 2004 was a new concept.
But, like most entrepreneurs, this first idea lacked a lot of the business structure and fundamentals I felt it needed and I closed the service, as I felt I didn’t know enough about building a business beyond ‘just a good idea’.
Describe your business model and how you make money
We offer a start-up accelerator package which includes a free website, email and domain and up to £17,000 worth of benefits for start-ups.
We run an online accelerator programme, and our curated programme package is designed to help you get prepared to take the next step. Whether that means starting a business, applying to a seed accelerator or pitching for investment.
Launch Me is a great digital age program to help you master the art of business through online video education. We take no equity and include benefits over £20,000 from leading organisations such as Google, Amazon and Hubspot.
What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
Creating a network and partnership list of leading companies such as Google, Amazon and Hubspot, plus founding partners of established businesses, to help support entrepreneurs was difficult.
Although I had been used to making presentations and investment pitches, presenting my unique idea to gain support from these companies, experienced entrepreneurs and partners was a challenge – however, after many hours, emails and phone calls, the results surfaced.
What was your first big breakthrough?
Getting amazing feedback and support from the major organisation who have partnered with us.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Despite having experience, advising at some of the highest levels to both business owners and heads of corporations, and having built a business from scratch, I was still a start-up entrepreneur and went through the same thoughts and feelings most entrepreneurs go through.
I had set myself a huge goal – build a start-up to help other start-ups and businesses to start, build and grow; I had been used to working efficiently and effectively making time in my day, instead of trying to ‘find time’.
Something I learnt and recommend to all businesses owners is make time, never try and find it. I worked 12 to 13 hour days building Buildily, waking up at five a.m. to start my day at six a.m., building, coding and creating.
Although I thoroughly enjoyed the process and launch, I also had my challenges.
Where do you want to be in five years' time?
We are on a mission to help over 10,000 start-ups through our online platform on their journey. In five years we would like to have succeeded.