‘I started off by study­ing law but now I am run­ning a tech start-up’

Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - News -

to keep go­ing at it and get my de­gree. I wanted to leave, my dad had his own busi­ness and I liked the idea of be­ing my own boss and that’s when I came up with the idea of Oro­son.

“I found it was re­ally hard for stu­dents to work to­gether on group projects.”

As a re­sult, Daniel de­vel­oped the con­cept of Oro­son, but with­out hav­ing a back­ground in com­puter soft­ware, he needed sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment, from po­ten­tial sup­port­ers like eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment agency In­vest NI, to get the busi­ness off the ground.

Rais­ing ad­e­quate cap­i­tal for prod­uct de­vel­op­ment has pre­sented one of the great­est chal­lenges through­out the jour­ney.

But through all of the dif­fi­cult times, he said that he has re­ceived un­wa­ver­ing sup­port from his wife, Tammy. “She has been with me through thick and thin, through the good times and the bad,” he says.

“I wouldn’t have been able to do it with­out her.

“It hasn’t been easy, but I have learnt a huge amount along the way, and we’ve had great sup­port from In­vest NI.”

To be­gin with, Oro­son worked ex­clu­sively with uni­ver­si­ties, but it switched to work­ing with busi­nesses in 2017.

“It was re­ally be­cause we re­alised that we were us­ing the boards for our own work and with the down­turn in the aca­demic sec­tor, it seemed like the right thing to do,” says Daniel.

“That’s when the com­pany re­ally took a life of its own.”

Oro­son now boasts a range of high-pro­file clients, in­clud­ing the Ir­ish Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion and Mex­i­can restau­rant chain Boo­jum.

“We are con­tin­u­ing to build re­la­tion­ships with some ma­jor cor­po­rate clients,” says Daniel.

“We’re pri­mar­ily work­ing with busi­nesses in Ire­land and the UK, but we are also start­ing to ac­quire users around the world.”

Build­ing up a strong team has also proved cru­cial in en­sur­ing the com­pany’s suc­cess, not least by bring­ing on board chief tech­nol­ogy of­fi­cer Richard David­son in 2016.

He has brought with him in­valu­able tech­no­log­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence and knowl­edge that has helped Oro­son to flour­ish.

The com­pany now has 10 mem­bers of staff and Daniel has worked hard to build up the best team pos­si­ble. “I have spo­ken to a num­ber of en­trepreneurs over the years and they have all said the same thing,” he says.

“You can have an av­er­age busi­ness idea and a bril­liant team and you will make a bril­liant busi­ness.

“You could have a bril­liant idea and an av­er­age team and it will never come to any­thing.

“You need the team to ex­e­cute your idea.”

Cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion is also ex­tremely im­por­tant to Daniel.

“We want it to de­liver value to cus­tomers as quickly as pos­si­ble,” he ex­plains.

De­spite hav­ing faith in his idea, Daniel has, of course, had his doubts over the years.

“I have never re­gret­ted start­ing the busi­ness,” he says.

“There have been mul­ti­ple oc­ca­sions where you ques­tion your­self in terms of ‘is this the right step?’ but I think it is so im­por­tant to al­ways be driv­ing things for­ward.

“We are al­ways ask­ing our­selves whether we are ap­proach­ing things in the right way and I think that’s the right thing to do in busi­ness.

“It’s im­por­tant that you aren’t afraid to fail, as long as you get back up as quickly as pos­si­ble.

He adds: “When we made the switch from the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor to the busi­ness sec­tor, we spent a bit of time try­ing to de­cide whether it was the right thing to do and there were some peo­ple in the team who were afraid of it fail­ing.

“Look­ing back, I feel like maybe we wasted three or four months when we could have made the switch where there were much bet­ter op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“I do think that some­times peo­ple’s pride can get in the way and there re­ally isn’t any room for pride in busi­ness.

“There are go­ing to be things that you’re go­ing to fail at, but while you’re do­ing that, you’re learn­ing as well and get­ting bet­ter and bet­ter at what you do.”

It’s im­por­tant that you aren’t afraid to fail, as long as you get back up as quickly as pos­si­ble Next week, the Big In­ter­view speaks to Eu­gene Lynch, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Mcavoy Group

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