In conversation with FundApps CEO Andrew White
An Irishman born in Scotland, raised in Dublin, and having spent the majority of his career in Germany, Andrew White is the CEO of FundApps, a financial services software firm. He lives and works in Shoreditch – and loves it!
G: Tell us about your start-up, FundApps
A: FundApps was founded in 2010 to provide cloud software to the hedge fund industry. Traditionally, financial services software is hugely expensive and horrible to use. We are changing that by bringing in intuitive web applications that help fund managers get the job done more efficiently and economically.
G: What were the biggest obstacles in launching your company, and how did you overcome them?
A: As we sell to businesses, the most difficult obstacle is the one of trust; ensuring that fund managers are comfortable using our services, despite being a relatively small company. However, due to our cloud-based software and monthly licensing model we can largely remove any barriers.
G: What would you say has been your most memorable moment since launching FundApps?
L: It’s been a great ride so far. Doing presentations in the likes of Bank of America, Morgan Stanley etc. as the founder & CEO of your own company is an amazing feeling. But then again, getting the first client to sign up was probably the most memorable moment as it meant we were suddenly profitable!
G: Can you give us a few ‘Do’s and Dont’s’ for setting up a new company?
DO: Network, network, network. Be persistent. Become a member of TechHub, which is a great community for people involved in start-ups. Check out SiliconDrinkabout, which is every Friday somewhere in Shoreditch.
DON’T: Sit in your bedroom coding away and thinking you’ll become a millionaire. It takes a lot of luck and good timing (and of course hard work) to become successful. It probably won’t happen the first time, but DON’T give up.
G: Why did you choose Shoreditch in launching your start-up?
A: London is the world’s most international city, and Shoreditch is the perfect microcosm in London. I have all the technical & creative resources I need within easy reach and can still walk to Bank in a couple of minutes. You can feel the creative buzz just walking around Shoreditch, it’s hugely inspiring. Oh, and the great bar scene helps too.
G: What does the ‘Silicon Roundabout’ have to do to compete with Silicon Valley?
A: I don’t think Shoreditch needs to compete with Silicon Valley. The Silicon Roundabout will develop organically on its own and carve out its own unique niche. London has other strengths such as the proximity of the financial services industry, which Silicon Valley doesn’t have.
G: Who/what are your favourite entrepreneurs/start-ups in Shoreditch?
A: Elizabeth Varley, CEO of TechHub. Elizabeth is a dynamo and a great presence in Shoreditch. She knows the entire tech industry, and has breakfast in No. 10, but still will pop across to the pub to discuss your latest business idea.
Michael Acton, CEO of MindCandy. Michael has done the business – started, nearly-failed, pivoted and become a huge success. He’s always to be seen out at Silicon Drinkabout and he plays a mean game of 5-a-side.
G: What does the future have in store for Shoreditch?
A: Shoreditch is in a great position to become even more important within London. With the Olympics coming up, the TechCity initiative happening and the government & mayor doing their best, Shoreditch has a bright future.