How did you start off and when?
I registered Catapillr in February this year, having left my job in 2018 to focus on launching the company. Leaving the corporate world behind was a huge decision but something that I’m really proud I did. ?H
owever, I didn’t leave my job until I was certain that I fully understood the issues I was trying to solve and had developed the first iteration of a workable solution. This meant competing a lot of research, not just from the perspective of employers or parents but also from the childcare providers well. From the conversations I had, I could sense the real frustrations that everyone involved was facing and the need for a fresh approach to childcare funding. The Government’s decision to close the childcare voucher scheme gave me further confirmation that a new solution was required.
What have been your biggest challenges to get where you are today?
Time is always a challenge! As a Father of three, whose wife also has a professional career; work and day to day life is a challenging balance and is an area I'm always working on.
Rationalising the huge vision we have for the impact that Catapillr could have into our core values and objectives was a difficult process. We feel we have the right ethos for the launch of our company but still have many other ideas that we plan to introduce to further help working parents to manage their childcare in a positive way.
Having the self belief to try something different from my previous career has, at times been challenging, but we are fully committed to this idea, believing it will have a positive impact on the lives of working parents. At times I have found it difficult to see how to progress with what I wanted to achieve and have found that being able to talk through ideas has been very productive. I am fortunate that I have a wide network of friends and family that have been incredibly supportive and provided a range of perspectives. This has helped us to see more clearly the route we need to pursue. The support of my family has been invaluable to me as well.
What are you most excited about in working at Barclays Eagle Labs?
Eagle Labs has provide us with the opportunity to meet with an extensive range of people. They have been both considerate and supportive, offering a range of practical advice. Everyone has been welcoming and friendly. The space itself is well thought out. The open plan set up is bright and airy, allowing a good thinking space. The opportunity to talk to other people and discuss ways forward is mutually beneficial to all of us using this space.
Barclays have provided a range of practical solutions, such as 3D printing, meeting spaces, links to local businesses and network opportunities, all have been invaluable for a start-up business such as Catapillr.