Happy 1st Birthday Ship Shape
2021 has been an extremely positive year for Ship Shape.
Incorporating in July 2020 amidst a pandemic, founders Daniel Sawko and Alistair Baille and Miguel Neumann had an idea to democratise funding in the U.K. Along with pulling together a great team working remotely from day 1, Ship Shape has grown and naturally evolved as challenges and opportunities presented themselves.
In November 2020, Ship Shape was given grant funding by Innovate UK’s Sustainable Innovation Fund. This enabled us to develop and scale technology that is now the backbone of Ship Shape.
Within a year we have achieved what might easily take several!
Grown a no-code solution to a fully stood up AI and NLP platform
Our first trial customer: October 2020
Our first paid customer: December 2020
Shortlisted as a Fintech and Start-up of the Year 2021 (link)
Finally began to meet in person for the first time
Joined the amazing Fintech Wales Foundry Accelerator (link)
Launched a new website
And soon to be opening our new office in Wales at the Cardiff Business Technology Centre!
As a company born in the midst of the pandemic, Ship Shape has been an odd-one out from day 1. We have been fortunate enough to work with some amazing people who have helped at every step of the journey so far. From those with us from the start, to those who regularly give up their time to advise us, we are extremely thankful for your contribution and continued support in growing Ship Shape.
hip Shape’s vision is “Unleashing world-changing ideas by bringing together data and human networks”, and the first step towards this is our recommendation engine Fathom. Over the past year, Ship Shape has developed an investor search platform, with some secret sauce that we can’t reveal, but let's say its pretty darn impressive.
"Ship Shape does what Crunchbase can't do - find the person that looks for investments in your space. A great service!"
- David Putts, Chief Growth Officer at Billon
As with milestones like today, it offers the chance to reflect. Our CEO Daniel Sawko and COO Alistair Bailie, answered some questions about the past year and what the year ahead holds.
1) As Ship Shape turns 1 years old, what are your emotions and feelings?
DS: I’m really proud and excited. We’ve come from an idea in our minds and no money to a working platform that is making a difference to paying customers (plenty to do still!) and a brilliant team! We’re privileged to be in this position.
AB: Pride in the team and our achievements, excitement as we talk to customers as our Product/Market hypothesis is being validated (and refined), relieved that the hypothesis is validated so I haven’t been wasting my time.
5) How have you grown as a person over the past year?
DS: Sideways! (Only a bit). On a serious note, I’ve learned the importance of balance, of multiple contingency plans, of measuring prospective investors by deeds not words (though words are important).
We try and run a company based on the same principles as ‘turn the ship around’ - that ultimately we each want to be the masters of our own sphere and giving that level of control and initiative ultimately leads to better outcomes and a tighter team and better culture. I’ve grown by trying to get out of the way of other brilliant people doing so.
10) Ship Shape has gained significant traction in the past year and is starting to cement itself in the Welsh community, so why Wales?
DS: There’s an amazing ecosystem growing here. There’s talent, there’s excellent support from Fintech Wales, Universities like Cardiff, UWTSD and Swansea. There are people from Welsh Government and Business Wales like Cath Orton, Simon Ripton, Rachael Bayona and others - they want to see you succeed! I was lucky enough to spend lockdown in Swansea, it was great to see how many entrepreneurs there are in Wales, now we just need to open up access to the capital that will see them succeed and grow the next British unicorn!
16) What is your favourite tv character and why?
AB: Probably Kerry and Kurten from This Country. It’s exaggerated, but I recognise in them many of the people from the village I grew up with. DS: Sir Humphrey from 'Yes Minister'!
To read the full interview click here and discover more about Ship Shape the co-founders behind it.
We would like to thank our valued customers who have been with us and advisors who we have built strong relationships with. Finally, we would like to thank our investors who have supported Ship Shape throughout. Your belief and trust in Ship Shape is recognised and greatly appreciated, in more ways than we can express. Your personal commitment through advice and networking is valued just as much as any investment.
The first year for Ship Shape has been one of learning and excitement, and we look forward to the journey that lays ahead. Congratulations team, let's drop anchor for a moment to celebrate and then set sail into the next year!
“Since joining Ship Shape at the start of November 2020, I have been privileged enough to watch it grow as a company. Reflecting back on how far we have come makes me excited as to what the future may hold!” -
“I joined Ship Shape in January of 2021. I was excited to join a young company and I immediately felt like I had been there for years. As a team, we strive on the trust and value that Daniel and Alistair encompass. I think that has really contributed to our growth and I can’t wait to see how we grow over the next year!” -
Daniel Sawko , CEO
Alistair Baillie, COO
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