The times are changing. How do you innovate an analogue industry?
Harry Molyneux, founder of BuildUpp, had the big idea of transforming the construction industry. He’s met his challenges along the way but, as the saying goes, if it was easy it wouldnt be worth doing.
BuildUpp is a platform which aims to bring together professionals from across the construction industry to enable them to network and assemble project teams more efficiently.
As part of our new Problem Solvers series, we will be exploring some of the hurdles small business owners have had to overcome, and the lessons and advice they would pass on to other budding entrepreneurs. In this instalment, we will be looking at how to innovate stagnant industries.
The platform was only launched a few weeks ago, so it is very early days for BuildUpp. So far everything has gone to plan, but Molyneux was keen to stress that the platform will never really be finished as the process of tweaking and improving and transforming the construction industry will be ongoing.
I had the idea nine months ago and spent six months finding the right people to do it with, said Molyneux.
He met with several developers before meeting the right one Andrew McDonough. He didnt have a lot of startup cash, and so was hoping to find someone who would be cheap or work for equity.
the first three people wanted money, and they werent right anyway, he said. And then I met Andrew the lucky thing with Andrew is he’s worked in the tech industry for a very long time, he’s very experienced and sees a lot of ideas. I think he recognised BuildUpp as a potentially very successful idea, and that’s why he agreed to do it for equity.
One of the main challenges Molyneux has faced so far on a personal level is the burden of carrying a startup business on his own.
it’s overwhelming if you think about it it’s a big, big idea, trying to create a networking place for the entire construction industry.
However, although the pressure of owning a startup is one of his biggest challenges, it’s also his driving force. it’s a big challenge, but I felt like this is going to be difficult but fun and it is.
Molyneux also said he has a great support network, and he isnt shy about speaking to everyone and anyone he can about his idea along the way.
once, I saw this kid coding in a coffee shop and I just went and sat next to him and said Ive got this thing Im doing I literally just speak to anybody.
Letitia Booty is a special projects journalist for Business Advice. She has a BA in English Literature from the University of East Anglia, and since graduating she has written for a variety of trade titles. Most recently, she was a reporter at SME magazine.