Outcider was launched as a marketing consultancy in 2011 but when a client asked co-founders David Mapple and Craig Torrie for more information about how they should be using social media and online news, they saw a new niche for the business.
“We saw the opportunity to start providing our clients with the smart, concise, media intelligence they were missing,” says David.
However, they found that the available software didn't suit their needs, so set about developing their own instead. “With any new business,” continues David, “the biggest initial problem is cash flow but we needed funds to research the software before actually developing it.”
David found out about the Hub after attending a mentoring event, where he was introduced to Rob Sethna, a business advisor at the Business Growth Hub.
“Like many business owners, Dave was initially reluctant to starting working with the Hub,” explains Rob. “And that’s understandable, as people will have built their company up from a standing start and have firm ideas about where they want it to go.
“But Dave soon realised that working with someone who wasn’t as close to the business, and could stand back and take a more independent view, could be incredibly helpful.”
Rob carried out an initial audit of the company, which is based at MediaCityUK, to establish their exact needs.
“The business was looking for a strategic sounding board as well advice on funding to help develop new digital products,” he continues. “What we were able to do was find a funding scheme that fitted the business, rather than the other way round, a scenario which doesn’t help either the business or those investing.”
David continues: “We knew we had a good concept but we needed to test it and prove it, and the Hub gave us the extra nudge and encouragement we needed to do that.”
Outcider has now launched the software, which monitors and analyses news, social and political data, before filtering it into accurate alerts and concise management reports on specific issues. On the back of this they have taken on several new large corporate clients, including agencies within the media sector, who are using the software to analyse multiple media coverage for their own customers.
“The Hub gave us the kick-start we needed,” says David, “and by developing the software quickly we’ve been able to get more clients on board, and that's important to any business, whatever their size.”
And Rob adds: “David and Craig are full of great ideas and just needed a bit of impartial, outside advice to convince them they were taking the business in the right direction.
“Once we’d done this, the Co-investment Fund helped them develop a product that has already won them a lot of new business and proved such a success that they’re now investigating further investment with our colleagues at Business Finance Solutions.”
"The Hub gave us the kick-start we needed, and by developing the software quickly we’ve been able to get more clients on board"