Starting a business in Swansea: Veeqo
Swansea's TechHub resident discusses life as a start-up in the city, the cost of office renting, and where to source talent...
Company name: Veeqo
Founder: Matt Warren
Founded: February 2013
Description: Veeqo is a single online system that allows retailers to manage orders, inventory and shipping in one place, enabling retailers to ship more in less time while providing real-time customer sales information.
What’s great about starting a business in Swansea?
It has a very low cost of living, which means running a business is easier, rent is cheaper, staff are cheaper while at the same time we have a golden sand beach and mountains surrounding us, providing fantastic quality of life.
What business support in the city have you used? How was it?
We are members of TechHub, where are our start-up is based, it provides a fantastic environment surrounded by like minded start-ups. They have free weekly events ranging from practical workshops to inspirational speakers (such as CEO of JustEat which recently floated). Both Universities are very helpful and we have hired team members from both with help from lecturers in promoting jobs we have available.
Name the top three reasons to set up a business in Swansea:
- Beach and sea – An amazing environment makes it an awesome place to unwind and relax after a tough day in the office
- Cheap rent and cost of living – Very important for a start-up which is often pre-revenue as you can survive for longer on less
- Two fantastic universities ready to supply talent – With over 200 computer science students rolling out every year, there is good chance to get good talent
Where could Swansea be better / what does it need?
We need more start-up success stories to help grow the next generation, the city also needs faster links to London by train.
How easy has it been to access finance to grow?
The Welsh government have many grants available for companies starting out including tech start-ups. We have been supported by the Welsh government Digital Development Fund, which has really helped us expand faster.
Another amazing Welsh government scheme is the Jobs Growth Wales, which effectively pays the first six months salary for up to five employees (who are aged 25 or under). Nearly all Welsh start-ups use this scheme to grow their team quicker than they normally could.
Where do you go to network in the city?
TechHub where most of the other start-ups meet up.
Where do you take a client for a business lunch?
The tallest building in Wales which has a restaurant on the top floor – Grape and Olive – with amazing views over the bay and beach.
Where’s great for a company night out?
Wind Street is full of bars and clubs and there is a huge variety to choose from!