It’s GrantTree’s ninth birthday today! Our founder, Pow Tenner, is reflecting on the past nine years of the company, and how it grew from a two-person operation into one of the country’s leading government funding consultancies, while staying true to the values of Open Culture.
On GrantTree’s 9th birthday, 11.10.19, I still remember how Daniel and I started the business from the second bedroom of our friend’s house where we lived, on credit, at the time. These days we employ over 40 people and have delivered more than £120m of funding to hundreds of clients.
How does it make me feel, a colleague asked.
First of all, bewildered. It has certainly been a ride of my life. At the very beginning, I never dared to dream GrantTree would end up being the kind of company that it is – a forward-thinking workplace with self-management, radical transparency and self-set pay (which we were recently interviewed about by the BBC).
Secondly, I feel grateful. Daniel and I started the company nine years ago and got it through its first hurdles of proving the business model works, establishing our young and completely unknown brand, and securing those first clients, which enabled us to eventually start expanding the team.
The company grew to three, four and eventually over 40. I continue to be astounded by the kind of talent we’re attracting, and how our people are taking ownership of not just their work, but the company’s future. I’m grateful to all those who have been part of our journey and especially all working at GrantTree right now. We must be doing something right if the kind of people that we have attracted choose to spend half their waking time here.
Thirdly, I’m proud. Nine out of ten startups fail in the first few years of existence. GrantTree has not only survived but been profitable every single year, and without equity funding ever being raised. Here, I’m definitely grateful to all those that trust us with their business and continue working with us as their R&D Tax Credit or Grant Funding consultant. The variety and quality of our clients prove we are experts in our field, and stand out from our competitors. This is certainly a big reason to feel proud.
Lastly, I’m excited for what the future might bring. We have a fabulous new CEO, Nicky, and have expanded the team quite a bit in the last few months, bringing more amazing talent on board. We’re working on making our brand even stronger in London and beyond, and expanding our product portfolio. We are also maturing as a scaleup company, in terms of our systems and processes, to be able to serve our clients even more reliably and create a strong foundation for further growth.
As we toast to our 9th anniversary, we send a massive THANK YOU to our clients, partners, friends and fans!
Because of your continued support we are successful not just financially but also in terms of living and breathing our Open Culture values. The world of work is changing, and we are one of the companies at the forefront of this change. It’s an incredibly exciting place to be, and we look forward to demonstrating how a radical, people-first workplace can and does go hand in hand with commercial success.
So, here’s to the future worth living – and working – in!