Message from one of the founders – Paulina
Here at GrantTree, one of our key values is delivering the most tangible result we can, something I very strongly stand for. Eight years ago, before I started the company, or even knew it would specialise in R&D Tax Credits and Innovation Grants for tech companies, I used to go to lots of startup meetups, watch (usually-bearded) founders and techies drink beer and do my best to engage in meaningful conversations. While navigating my way through these events, I met a surprising number of pseudo experts, i.e. advisors/consultants/mentors to tech companies that proclaimed they could help you grow, scale up, raise funding, devise a strategy, develop personally, create a good culture and more.
The thing is, most (not all) of the time I couldn’t really understand precisely what tangible value they were adding. I also heard a lot of stories about sometimes naive startup founders paying for all sorts of advisory/consulting services and not getting much in return in terms of a pragmatic, tangible result. I started to understand the importance of having a clear value add in business which is straight-forward enough both to explain and deliver.
Tangible value of government funding
The idea for GrantTree slowly started to emerge, inspired by the concept of delivering the most tangible value possible (in this case “free money”) to tech companies. Another lesson I learnt watching startups succeed and fail was that those who do well are usually exceptional at a single thing delivered to a very specific market, as opposed to ones trying to do more or less everything for more or less everyone. Also, simple business models tend to work. With that in mind, in October 2010 I started GrantTree with my then-boyfriend (even though all my friends were worried we’d definitely split up because of going into business together) and now-husband Daniel Tenner.
Six and a half years later we have hit the £50m mark in terms of equity free cash delivered to over 600 UK tech businesses. Quite a landmark in terms of doing one thing really well, for a specific audience, using a simple business model.
I’m also excited about what the future holds for GrantTree: further development of our culture (we signed the holacracy constitution a week ago), expansion of the team and to new national markets. Creating and scaling a business is arguably the wildest adventure – and most daring school of life – there is. To see what impact our funding has for our clients – enabling them to expand, take on new members of staff, grow – is the best reward and why we at GrantTree are so passionate about what we do.
A thank you
One thought that comes to me right away about our journey so far is quiet joy and gratitude. Towards my awesome team, fabulous clients (such as GoCardless, Curve, DueDil, Kano and Stack Exchange) we continue to look up to and learn from, even competitors who keep us on our toes and push us to grow. And all those who helped us establish ourselves both on the London scene and regionally (I’m actually typing this on my iPad on a train back from Manchester). Colleagues and suppliers who helped us create our new home at Treehouse and partners who continue enabling us to achieve a wider and more significant impact.
I am immensely proud and humbled to have helped so many UK businesses realise their potential – here’s to the next £500m of government funding raised in the next 10 years!
If you would like to speak to a specialist about how to make the most out of your funding, please get in touch with us and we would be happy to explore your options with you.
Tinuke, GrantTree's fab office manager, has a big place in our hearts, because we know that a great Office Manager is the glue that holds a business together. She looks…
Can I reuse a previous claim? What’s the harm? There is a strong chance that if you’ve been continuously innovating and advancing the field of science and technology in recent…