Scaling up

It feels timely for us to write a little update. Not just to embolden and promote ourselves with self-congratulatory, start-up rhetoric. Though of course, this feels wonderful. Rather, to recognise some of the contributions that other individuals have made recently.

It is well documented how brutal the process of establishing a company can be. So we are incredibly proud to be embarking on this process together as a group of three co-founders; George Unsworth, Mehmet Duran and Alper Turktas. Aligned with our vision of a more efficient and effective financial sector, Mortar brings together the technical expertise and sector experience necessary to deliver positive change for our clients and their customers across the finance and property landscape.

Our founding co-incided with time spent with PwC, culminating with presentations and conversations with PwC's real estate client base. A big thank you to Oliver Daniel and Stephen Meager from PwC's Scale-Up programme, as well as to those in the PwC community that contributed to an enormously beneficial and demanding period for us as founders.

Mortar was selected to participate in PwC's first ever PropTech programme.

Working with technology and having a vision for its function and purpose is not enough to establish traction as a start-up. The amount that we learnt through exposure to PwC's corporate client base and the preparation that was provided to us from PwC's teams has been invaluable in establishing Mortar's use-cases; helping us in understanding how our clients can build effective business cases for the adoption and implementation of our products.

The difficultly for start-ups to do this effectively was demonstrated perfectly by our floundering attempts to respond to David Maloney's consistent, repeated retorts of 'So what?'; asked in preparation for our engagement with a potential client. I ask this question of myself and our products now on an almost daily basis. 'So what?', repeated, is a wonderfully cruel way in which to break the confidence of any wannabe tech founder trying to sell a vision before having a good product. Please be gentle if you put such questioning to use.

David's remarkable workshop on Market Positioning was matched by Paul Fifield's passion in delivering his own Sales and Marketing masterclass. Whilst chastising us for not knowing what an SDR was (Sales Development Representative) Paul did well in selling to us the need to establish a source of predicatable revenue as a start-up and highlighted the required methods needed to obtain it - a blended pipeline for lead generation.

Being in the company of experienced founders created a safe and professional environment in which to challenge and test ourselves. At such a crucial stage in the development of Mortar we have entered into the new year galvanised as a team and well prepared for the demands that growing our company will bring. As we concentrate on collaborating with our new clients our focus remains firmly on making sure we build for them what it is they actually need and require. Flashy tech and impassioned visions do not a product build.

I would like to thank Harry Briggs, Phil Guest from Revcelerate, Anna Caryk and Anne Blackie for their patience and support with my pitching and presentations; and Gareth Lewis, Beth Evans and Craig Hughes for their insights into the real estate sector.

Thank you for all the support from the other companies selected for the PwC Scale-Up PropTech programme. I am enormously happy to have met David Toplas, David Mead, Nrinder Singh, Liberty Bollen, John Mitchell, Craig Pask and Mo Salam from Hop Homes; James Shaw from Edozo; Riona Hegarty from Over-C; Mike Connors from Dimension 10; Tim Hill, Grant Hyslop and Clare Hyslop from Keyzapp; and Victoria Wiesener and John FitzGerald from Your Keys.