Stuart Logan is the CEO and co-founder of Clowdy.com, an innovative file sharing platform for creative-minded people. He's also the UK winner of this year's Creative Business Cup, a competition designed to showcase and support entrepreneurialism in the creative industries. Having survived an intense pitching process before our panel of creative experts - and come out on top - Logan will soon be making his way over to the international final in Copenhagen. Before that happens, we caught up with him to discuss his involvement in the Creative Business Cup so far and its importance for all those starting out.
"We were just looking for different things that Creative England would be able to support us with and we saw an article on there and put forward the proposal,” recalls Logan on hearing about the competition. "To be honest, I didn't think anything would come from it, I thought perhaps it was more physical product focused. I guess I did it on a whim, so I was very happy to be brought through to the final five,” he says. "I thought it'd be a good experience and a good chance to pitch and meet interesting and essential people but again, I didn't think we'd win.”
How wrong he was, but maybe we're getting a little ahead of ourselves. For those unfamiliar with Clowdy.com and the service it provides, allow Logan to explain in a little more detail: "Clowdy is a platform for media distribution for any creative, whether they're musicians, filmmakers or photographers, they can add any file, upload it and share it onto Clowdy or onto third party platforms,” he explains. "We support any media type and we've got a pretty strong following of creators that keep coming back and using Clowdy to distribute.”
Clearly, Clowdy.com was already at a relatively advanced stage when the Creative Business Cup arrived on Logan's radar but he saw it as a great opportunity to progress the platform and gain some valuable feedback. "It was really good, I enjoyed it,” reflects Logan on the pitching process. "It was nice to meet the other entrepreneurs and I enjoyed the actual pitch environment, it was very different to previously times I've pitched to investors where you're literally stood in a room in front of twenty or thirty people and there's very little interaction until questions at the end. This was quite fun,” he says.
"I think we had a bit of an advantage as we were a little further down the line from inception of the idea to where we are now than the other four companies. I felt quite lucky in that sense, I think that was certainly a help,” he adds, however that's not to say that those still in the early stages of development shouldn't apply. "If you have a really innovative product that you knew had a definite market place and was going to go places and you thought the strategy through and knew what the pitfalls in the product are so you know how to answer any questions on that, you'd still have every chance of succeeding,” he suggests.
As for his advice to those starting out; knowing your weak points and being able to adapt are both key, "Focus on solving one specific problem is the advice I'm always given," says Logan. "What's the problem and how can you solve it? Then just keep reiterating and focusing on that question, ‘What's the problem?' I think being nimble and agile and able to change quickly is critical too, you really need to be able to move quickly.”
It's a technique that's worked well for Clowdy.com. As Logan prepares to take his product to the international Creative Business Cup in Copenhagen later this year, this recent success comes as a welcome surprise. "I was just incredibly pleased,” he smiles. "It's nice to have the backing of people with a lot of experience, for them to be able to see the value in your product and see the potential in it is really positive.” It's also an experience he'd definitely suggest to other SMEs, "You get to meet some really interesting entrepreneurs and get your product scrutinised by industry experts for free, which is invaluable really. The feedback you get from those guys, companies pay thousands of pounds for and it's a really good platform for launching your product and getting it out there to another market. Hopefully that's what this has done for us.”
For more information on how to enter the Creative Business Cup, head here.
To find out more about our Business Funding options, head here.
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