60-second start-up: MyBuilder.com

10-15 seconds: Who are your competitors?

The phone book is still our biggest competitor. We offer so much more than a simple directory, so using MyBuilder should be a no-brainer. The challenge is simply getting people to know about the service we offer.

15-20 seconds: What's your USP?

Feedback is our special sauce. The cowboy stereotype has plagued even the best tradesmen.  Homeowners get peace of mind by reading comments from previous clients and tradesmen can build their reputation online.

20-25 seconds: How have you funded it so far?

I started out with credit cards, personal loans, friends & family. Then I won the Seedcamp startup competition, which opened the door to angel investment and funding from Travis Perkins Group and Channel 4.

25-30 seconds: What were you doing before?

Before starting MyBuilder, I was a stonemason and roofer working in Bristol.

30-35 seconds: Where did the idea come from?

I was frustrated with not having the right kind of work, when I needed it, and I've never been the kind of person who accepts the status quo. I simply felt that there is the perfect tradesman for every project out there: it's just an matter of finding them.

35-40 seconds: What's the smartest thing you've done so far?

Once I was offered £20k for 1/3 of the company. I was so desperate for money that I very nearly did the deal. I decided not to and six months later I took on investment at a valuation that was 30 times higher.

40-45 seconds: What's the stupidest?

In the early days, I set up my office in my garage, and tried work there through the winter with no heating.

45-50 seconds: If your business was a biscuit, what type would it be?

A digestive, because they go so well with builder's tea.

50-55 seconds: Which idea are you a bit jealous of?

Google. Not just because they make so much money, but because they have been able to re-define what the internet is and does.

55-60 seconds: Where are you going to be in 12 months' time?

I believe in the mission of the company, which is to help homeowners find great builders, so hopefully we will be doing that even better and on a larger scale. I hope people will start thinking of MyBuilder instead of the phone book.

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