Why did you join the Barclays Black Founder Accelerator?
To understand the opportunities that Barclays is providing to help entrepreneurs. To learn, grow, network and find partnership opportunities.
Why did you want to start your business?
The idea was founded by Roy May who was coming to a tipping point at the time when being an event organiser across the UK and internationally. The common tedious processes such as paper clips board, excel sheets to manage guestlists, and table booking was becoming a nightmare. Imagine a regular Saturday night when you have two-door pickers and 15 promoters, and each promoter is wanting updates on their tally of guests who they believe have entered the venue. While the door picker is trying to manage the long queues and check physicals ID the door picker has the aggressive promoters demanding answers. The most problematic part is handling cash and to ensure no counterfeit notes are being used and ensuring each staff member is paid on time. While Rory began writing out the idea from mind to paper he approached brand competitor at the time and friend Kelston Smith (me) who is the second founder as his experience in events management and working for several large corporate technology companies helped simplify the idea by adding a digital ID, E2E cashless payment system and the brand name ‘ListMe’ As the two founders began to refine the requirements and feature set the search for a CTO was looming. We found a CTO and we began to develop the idea from paper to code. We know local authorities don’t have the capacity and the data to protect from crime in hospitality & festivals, while abuse, racism, violence, and spiking are increasing. Our solution captures each person's social footprint. We want to build trust within a verified ecosystem with trusted brands/venues.
What would be your desired outcome from this programme?
Longterm partnerships with local authorities and/or secure further investment.
Which entrepreneur inspires you the most and why?
Elon Musk: from my understanding and reading his story he appears to have overturned every 'no' and used his own capital to create such life changing technology. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates with their ideas and concepts helped change the world as we know it today. Elon Musk appears to be that way inclined.
Drake: This might seem like a weird mention however at the time when Drake first appeared on the scene his style and approach to music was the opposite of the current styles at the time. He opened hip-hop to a new uncultured and/or untapped audience. He added another algorithm in hip-hop as the melodies and his music captured hearts of many. His strategic choices to what and how he does things has affected the fashion & entertainment industry. Strangely he still faces a battle to what he said in an interview in 2020 that he still is not recognised as a Black man in the industry. It is another opinion if what Drake has done is a positive or negative for the future young generation that listens to his music however that’s something outside of his control.
What has been your biggest win in your entrepreneurial journey?
The ability to turn ideas into a reality. Getting people to believe in your ideas is a huge challenge. The above is a broad answer however every hurdle when trying to be successful feels like a win when achieved.