Ground-breaking platform, Broadstone, is a new-to-market, game-changing online recruitment marketplace for both jobseekers and employers in the private security industry.
It enables businesses to benefit from a cost-effective, on-demand workforce and compliant vetting, while individuals can gain access to the best security jobs in the UK with ease – promoting jobs which have the benefit of flexible working and better pay rates.
Having a game-changing idea is the currency of all great entrepreneurs. But when those often once-in-a-lifetime thoughts come along, getting them off the ground can be the hardest challenge of all to overcome.
Prior to launching his start-up business, Broadstone Director and Founder Tom Pickersgill worked in the private security industry for three years as a business development manager, where he tapped into unique insights into the industry and his ideas took root.
Tom explains: “The private security industry is a £5bn marketplace, with over 400,000 individuals working in the sector, but it has a high turnover rate which creates a constant recruitment challenge, not to mention issues around vetting.
“It was clear that the industry needed to embrace technology. We saw the golden opportunity to disrupt the market but just didn’t have the funds available to create an initial MVP (Minimal Viable Product) to showcase to potential investors.”
Tom used a loan from the Start-Up Loans Company to develop a MVP to show investors which, ultimately, provided some very strong validation for their model. He then went on to raise a seed round of investment to further develop the platform and release V1 to the wider public and private security industry.
Tom approached the Hub for support and was matched with Shiraz Anwar, who is a start-up advisor with specialist creative, digital and tech experience.
Shiraz explains: “From our first meeting, Tom impressed me with his in-depth knowledge and understanding of the game-changing disruptive solution he wanted to bring to market.
“Our primary focus was getting Tom investment-ready. This involved linking and preparing Tom to pitch to investors; working through the feedback; de-risking the investment through strategically pivoting the original idea; getting SEIS and EIS registered; building IP and high barriers to entry for competitors; and identifying first key hires so when investment came through they could get off the ground straight away.
“But equally important, if not more so, was to nurture Tom’s resilience, hustle, patience and never-give-up attitude. He’s definitely a young entrepreneur to watch!”
Tom went on to meet a number of investors, both angel and institutional, and quickly found the perfect fit who shared his vision of what the business could grow to be. Broadstone received £200k from Maven Capital, one of the UK’s most active SME investors, appointed to manage £57.5m of NPIF which enables dynamic regional businesses with innovative products and access to finance services.
Tom explains: “We’re proud to receive Northern Powerhouse Investment Funding (NPIF) which we’ll use to build and scale-up the business.”
Broadstone has exciting growth plans which they hope will put them at the forefront of change within the industry, improve compliancy and attract people to work in security.
The business is currently in the process of extending its team of software developers. They then plan to turn their attention to attracting the right talent to build commercial teams and community managers as they take their platform to market.
“Phase one will see us build a market leading platform, which is set for launch early in 2018,” explains Tom.
By 2020, Broadstone hope to attract over 60,000 individuals by working with some of the UK’s leading private security employers on their platform.
Tom adds: “It’s very competitive when trying to attract talent in Manchester but the tech community here is rapidly growing.
“We’re already putting plans into place in regards to future hiring and how we ensure we source the very best talent. This includes the intention to build strong relationships with the leading universities on our doorstep, alongside the wider business community, to achieve our growth ambitions.
“Shiraz has provided fantastic support and advice. But mostly he has been someone that I’ve been able to chat to about my current thinking and helped pull my thoughts together.
“Being a business founder can be very isolating, but having somebody there to talk through the progress I’ve made, the plans I need to execute and the challenges I experienced invaluable.”
The Manchester-based start-up is based in the city centre at Bruntwood’s NEO Building, a newly-refurbished contemporary co-working space.