Our third winner is….

We’re thrilled to announce that the third Catalyst Centre winner of 2014 is…

Fusetab!

Fusetab was founded by Chris Frost, an expert software engineer who has experience of working with new technologies in a start-up environment. We caught up with Chris to find out why he’s decided to go it alone and start a business and his hopes for Fusetab.

How did you come up with the idea for Fusetab?

Fusetab is a simple and effective platform that brings together all external and internal applications from an individual’s work and home life into one place, no matter where they originate. Its main aim is to seamlessly bridge the gap between multiple work and personal devices and applications whilst maintaining a degree of separation and control of the data. For example, you can manage both your home and work calendars and contacts, your LinkedIn profile, Salesforce and your bookmarks etc so that they are all synced into one place, whilst always being able to track which account the information comes from and remove it if desired.

The initial idea came to me when I was trying to sync and control my own home and work data across a variety of devices and accounts from lots of very different providers. I really struggled to find anything that met my needs, so, being a software engineer, I thought I would build it myself! 

I believe that I’m not the only one with this need and feel that businesses can gain by solving this problem for their employees as well. My idea is that Fusetab is made available to consumers to buy themselves and that businesses can purchase packages for their workforce which will make their employees’ lives easier.

What stage is your business at right now?

So far I’ve been heavily focused on market research and working on an initial product to test the market to find out what works. I had an interesting time at the Enterprise Apps World Conference in June, where I learnt a lot about the solutions currently being offered.  

Why did you decide to apply to the Catalyst Centre?

I know that I need to learn a lot about the skills and mechanics of starting a business. I like that the Catalyst Centre focuses on very early stage ideas that will probably need to evolve as the business develops. Simply being surrounded by other founders and mentors will be great as well giving me people to bounce ideas off and share the experience with. I’m local to Southampton, so not having to move to London to find such a fantastic programme is a big advantage for me.

How did your pitch go? What did you learn from the judges on the day?

I’ve done a lot of public speaking in the past and I spent a lot of time going over my content in advance so I was confident about my pitch. I’m very happy with how it went and I had fun with all the questions from the judges. Even so, I realised that some parts of my pitch need to be refined to more clearly communicate the concept. It also made me face up to some problems I might have with my business model. This experience alone has already forced me to adapt my approach and refine my ideas. I’m looking forward to more constructive criticism in the future and using this to make Fusetab even better.

What are you hoping to achieve during your time at the Catalyst Centre?

I want to make Fusetab into a viable business and learn as much as I can along the way. It would be good to get some paying customers before the six months are over as it will prove that I’ve found a solution to a real problem that people will pay for.

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?

Running a successful start-up called Fusetab! If I’ve created something of value: a small company with an awesome team and products that make people’s lives better, I’ll be happy. In the future, I hope to have a range of products that solve related problems for both consumers and businesses. I’m really motivated to make business applications as simple to use as consumer applications, so reaching as many employees as possible is a big ambition. 

The judges were extremely impressed with Chris’ innovative software engineering skills, and are looking forward to seeing how this start-up will evolve during its time in the Catalyst Centre.