On The Up

Reluctantly Brave: The London Fields startup incubator promoting social good

Fred Heritage | 21 November 2016 | 8 years ago

The Reluctantly Brave co-founders at their East London base
The Reluctantly Brave co-founders at their East London base
Here, Business Advice meets Adam Papaphilippopoulos, co-founder of startup incubator Reluctantly Brave, to talk about breaking industry norms and the inspiring business philanthropy of Victorian Britain.

(1) Who are you and what’s your business??

We are Reluctantly Brave Im one of four executive partners and my role is to oversee operations.

We incubate business ideas right from imagination to execution. To achieve that were part thinktank, part consultancy, part creative studio.

(2) How long have you been around for??

you’re going to start noticing a theme of strange answers to straight questions four years, and one year.

We were established in 2012, initially working on Reluctantly Brave as a side project and gradually moving partners into full time roles. For the last year weve had all the partners in the business full time.

(3) How do you make money??

We charge our clients fees.

(4) What makes you different and why should people take notice??

Two things really. First, we work end-to-end on business challenges in a way hardly any agencies or consultancies do right from when clients have the idea that they want a new product, brand, or working practice.

We will work with them to nurture that inkling, strategise how to make it real and then actually make it real with them too.

Secondly, we do that with a diverse, multi-disciplinary group of people in an incredibly lean way.

Our team could include anyone from a Nobel Prize winner to a local, Hackney school kid on any given project. This inclusion gets better results for clients than conventional agencies can achieve by harnessing the creative power of diverse viewpoints.

It also enriches the experiences of people who would otherwise never have access to this type of work, or the kinds of businesses we work with.

Oh, and we do that with a full-time team of ten. So we have none of the wasteful, imagination-killing clunkiness of the big agencies and consultancies.

(5) What was key in terms of getting started??

Explaining to potential clients why they should choose us over the conventional marketing agency, advertising agency, brand agency or strategy consultancy they would normally hire.

There’s a tendency for people to think in boxes in terms of the type of business theyd hire, even when the needs of their own business span many boxes. That took some getting used to.

(6) What’s your biggest achievement to date??

Keeping it all ours. We have multiple household-name clients, a cool office in Hackney and a great team, all without debt or external investment. And we just opened in an office in Detroit.

(7) What setbacks have you had along the way??

Uptake of our offering goes in peaks and troughs. That’s probably pretty normal for most young businesses, especially service providers whose services are designed to be bespoke, but that doesnt stop a trough feeling like a setback.

(8) In five years? time, I will be??

Managing operations across all the world’s time zones. Lean global coverage means strategic location in the coolest places that give you access to clients anywhere.

(9) What one tip would you give to others starting out??

Be brutally honest with yourself to define your offering with complete clarity and test it with people. it’s crucial to get out of your own bubble and hence out of your own way.

(10) Who are your business heroes and why?

Were all really into a number of Victorian business philanthropists. People like Cadbury, who built social good into how they ran a successful business. The idea’s not new, but most companies still don’t manage. it’s central to our business.

Were also directly influenced by Herbert Read and the Design Research Unit. They set up as an interdisciplinary consultancy and produced some of the best design work in post-war Britain by combining poets, architects, engineers and many others on projects. We see ourselves as their post-Brexit descendants.

Meet the North East Times A new magazine showcasing what one UK region has to offer

Topic

On The Up

Related Topics

Exploring the Immersive World of VR Development: Applications and Opportunities
25 September 2023

Exploring the Immersive World of VR Development: Applications and Opportunities

Read More →
Saying Goodbye: The Emotional Impact of Selling Your Business
26 April 2023

Saying Goodbye: The Emotional Impact of Selling Your Business

Read More →
8 must-read business books for new business owners
19 October 2020

8 must-read business books for new business owners

Read More →
10 Pitfalls Inventors Face and How to Avoid Them
8 October 2020

10 Pitfalls Inventors Face and How to Avoid Them

Read More →
Five dos and five  don’ts for restarting your business in lockdown
9 April 2020

Five dos and five don’ts for restarting your business in lockdown

Read More →
Why an omni-channel approach is essential for e-commerce marketing
2 March 2020

Why an omni-channel approach is essential for e-commerce marketing

Read More →

If you enjoy reading our articles,
why not sign up for our newsletter?

We commit to just delivering high-quality material that is specially crafted for our audience.

Join Our Newsletter