Starting a business in Cardiff: Mytii
The early-stage 3D property platform explains what Cardiff has to offer start-ups and highlights the city's best events to meet like-minded entrepreneurs...
Company name: Mytii
Founder: Richard Williams
Description: A 3D reality capture platform which makes it easy for home builders to sell new developments off plan.
What’s great about starting a business in Cardiff?
There are so many good things about starting a business in Cardiff. Firstly, Cardiff has a great quality of life as we are within close proximity to impressive mountain ranges, the coast and nice beaches, impressive golf courses, first class sports village, and the river Taff and Taff trail.
Along with the great quality of life there is some amazing support from our start-up community in Cardiff (Cardiff Start), they host monthly meet-ups, fireside chats and workshops, which gives me the opportunity to meet with other start-up founders and experienced entrepreneurs. Another important aspect of starting a business in Cardiff is the proximity to potential customers, with London accessible in two hours and Bristol, Bath and Swansea accessible within an hour. You can hop on a train and be in a meeting talking to customers by mid-morning and be back home eating tea that evening.
Cardiff’s greatest benefit is its low cost of living compared to most other cities in the UK. Mytiii started out home-based but was quickly able to rent space at Indycube Cardiff Bay (one of a number of co-working spaces that Indycube has in Wales). The space has exposed us to angel investors, a bunch of start-ups and small businesses, and free Welsh coffee! We don’t think we could have achieved this in such a short space of time in many other cities.
What business support in Cardiff have you used? How was it?
At the very start of our journey, we were pointed in the direction of Business in Focus; a government funded business start-up advice and support mentoring scheme. It helped us find our feet in the business world and was a useful tool to start the ball rolling, in fact we still turn to it for advice.
However, the best support I have received comes from just going out and talking to people within the community which lead to an introduction with David Hulston at Indycube Ventures. Huston’s experience of early stage tech start-ups has been invaluable.
Name the top three reasons to set up a business in Cardiff:
- Cost of living.
- Quality of life.
- A supportive start-up community.
Where could Cardiff be better / what does it need?
Cardiff is in need of stronger transport links within the city to connect local regions and its neighbours, which will facilitate a stronger eco-system. Hopefully the metro system that we have been promised will happen soon.
Once the eco-system has built momentum, it will bring in more start-ups, more angel investors and more success – which in turn will lead to more budding entrepreneurs having the confidence to build their own successful businesses. Cardiff has the opportunity, with the Welsh Assembly on the doorstep, to make a difference to people starting a business in Wales.
How easy has it been to access finance to grow?
I don’t think it’s easy to access finance in any city outside the major capitals. Form filling, ticking boxes and bureaucracy are just a few things that seem to get in the way if you’re applying for government support.
In Cardiff there are a number of government-backed schemes that set out to help early stage start-ups, but they have very lengthy processes and don’t seems to grasp the fast paced nature of a tech start up; as such we have not relied on them.
We spoke to a couple of angel investors, of which there are a few in Cardiff and we have been very fortunate to receive private investment from one of them, which has enabled us to begin development of our app and take the platform to market quickly.
Where do you go to network in Cardiff?
Most of the networking events that we attend are informal events hosted by Cardiff Start, or have been organised by individuals or small groups with a passion to connect with fellow founders.
The majority of them tend to be hosted in pubs around the city centre. The more formal events that we have attended are those at Cardiff’s iconic buildings like the Welsh Millennium Centre or City Hall. The Digital Hub, located within County Hall, is also another excellent resource that the city has which hosts workshops.
Where do you take a client for a business lunch/ meeting?
Being based down in Cardiff Bay, we normally take advantage of the numerous cafes and restaurants in the area. We find it hard to beat being able to talk with a client inside the Welsh Millennium Centre, or Cote Brassiere and Pure Café that overlook the building – it’s really inspiring.
Where’s great for a company night out?
For food, we would catch the shuttle train into Cardiff centre and grab a burger at the Grazing Shed or have something a bit more substantial at The Potted Pig. We would then end the evenings at the Urban Tap House or BrewDog; they stock craft beers supplied by local microbreweries.