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Tech City: Making government more “understandable”

10:42 12 September 2015

Paulina Sygulska

Paulina Sygulska

Archant

With the spotlight on funding for businesses in the tech world, one company wants to make it easier for start-ups to get cash offered by the government.

From grants to claiming R&D Tax Credits, GrantTree helps businesses that need to scale up by navigating the — often complex — process to secure government funding when private investment falls through, or can’t be accessed.

Now in its fifth year, the company has a turnover of £10 million and has helped more then 450 businesses benefit from more than £22 million of grant money.

Co-founder, Paulina Sygulska, said: “I am really proud of my team. We have achieved this all with hard work and organic growth — finding customers and delivering value to them as well as earning money through acquiring new clients.

“We are all about making government funding understandable. There is a lot of cynicism, particularly in Tech City, about not wanting to touch grants as they are too complicated, so part of our mission is to educate companies and to help them understand it is like any other fundraising process.

“With government funding, you have to do a lot of research. We take that pain away from companies and pride ourselves in the fact we would speak to any tech company that calls us, even if it is just to give some advice.”

Paulina said as well as helping clients, GrantTree has a different way of managing employees.

She said: “I think there is a cultural revolution in the workplace, where start ups are an incubator for social change that bigger companies may be more scared about.

“Tech City has a completely different feel; there are interesting things happening and it is not just a matter of geography and proximity to other like-minded companies, but a different type of approach. That is one of my greatest joys working with GrantTree: meeting fascinating people that have the stamina and courage to bring things that are unproven to market. One of those things is a discussion about company culture and we are part of that.

“We are company where everybody is allowed make and implement decisions concerning the business, as long as they receive feedback from people who will be affected.”

GrantTree’s future plans and ethos include being the company that businesses automatically think of to help with their alternative funding needs.

Paulina added: “With government funding, things are going in the right direction. There are more and more opportunities to encourage conversation between the tech scene and the government and an openness to listen and take feedback.

“As long as we, as entrepreneurs, have the patience to be open and collaborative with government funding bodies to be vocal about what will make things easier for us.”

For more, visit granttree.co.uk

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