TechHub Member Spotlight: Florian Siepert & Niels Bischoff

Fresh Traders & Mindmatters: A TechHub collaboration

When Niels Bischoff started out at TechHub, he wasn�t the "stereotypical twentysomething whizz with a mobile-photosharing-coupon idea". No, Niels had amassed five years of experience in the fresh produce industry, working as a buyer for Sainsbury�s with growers in South America. What Niels did know was that a lot of what was happening in his industry was inefficient and slow and costing people unnecessary time and money.

He had an idea of how to fix that. The problem? He didn�t know how to develop the technical solution to his industry�s problems.

Enter, fellow TechHub member Florian Siepert of mindmatters. Having come to London from a web development agency background in Hamburg, Germany, Florian got in touch with Niels through TechHub�s online member network. In early discussions, the two decided that starting with a web dev agency would probably be the worst thing Niels could do. It would block paths to investment and rack up unsustainable long term development costs.

Following on this, Niels founded Fresh Trader and Florian focused on helping get Niels in touch with potential technical co-founders. They interviewed and assessed candidates together, focussing on pragmatic full stack devs with early stage product experience. Assessing Github accounts, discussing agile methodology and concepting early stage product development can be a daunting task for non-technical founders and this is where Florian�s expertise in working with development teams kicked in.
After a few weeks, they took on Mike Kelly, who turned Fresh Traders from an idea into a proper tech startup. Measured against an agency�s offer for an initial three month to MVP development that Niels had received, Fresh Trader�s runway had now more than doubled. Since Florian and Mike (who has since joined TechHub) started to work on the project, they quickly identified how to validate their assumptions not in three months, but in a week.

The road to startup success for Fresh Traders will be as rocky as any other startup, but due to the collaboration with Florian, Niels and Mike now feel that they�re at least headed in the right direction.

And it all started at TechHub!