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