31. Sideways 6

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Founders: Will Read
2014 (Launched 2015)

According to Sideways 6, nine out of 10 employees have ideas to improve the business they work for. That’s a lot of potentially lucrative innovation that could be wasted if companies don’t act to harness it.

Will Read came up against this exact problem during his time working for Sky TV. He felt unable to share or implement his ideas for improvement as he found that his line managers simply weren’t interested.

Inspired, he left his job and joined the New Entrepreneur’s Foundation where he was able to gain an invaluable insight into how to solve the problems of large organisations by working for consultancy business WM360.

This insight enabled him to launch Sideways 6 – featured in the Startups 100 2017 – to give large companies the power to harness and action the ideas of their employees, helping to improve processes, generate savings and revenue, and, most importantly, giving employees a voice.

The platform connects to communication tools like Slack, Facebook Workplace and Microsoft Yammer, allowing employees to share and discuss ideas. An integrated back-end tracks, analyses and prioritises the ideas to discover and implement the best ones.

The start-up has became a quick hit with employers and it now boasts a client list of names including Sainsbury’s, Kingfisher, ABB, British Airways, British Gas and Virgin Trains.

These clients are exclusively ‘high-touch’ enterprises with more than 1,000 employees which equates to a reach of more than 40 countries, three million employees and over 100,000 ideas.

Having cemented its growth in the UK, Sideways 6 has recently sought to grow internationally.

It recently acquired its first clients in Australia and the US and will continue to focus on its approach of ‘Ideas from Anywhere’ ; launching new integrations with different platforms.

Read’s vision for Sideways 6? To create a wider culture of innovation “where ideas are encouraged, supported, communicated and implemented with a minimum of fuss”, proving to the world that “ideas really can come from anywhere”.

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