Mustard recently raised a €400,000 pre-seed investment from Tribal.vc.
Pitch your concept, please
The concept is simple. Instead of software engineers applying to work for companies, companies use Mustard to apply to interview and hire pre-screened developers.
How long have you been in business?
Mustard was formed in 2014, but this version of the product has only been open to the public for the last 60 days or so. Previously we had built and run a web app focused on the hospitality market, but because of our successes in building a tech team, we quickly refocused our efforts on the industry we know and love. (Mustard recently raised a €400,000 pre-seed investment from Tribal.vc.)
What did you want to be ‘when you grew up’?
An architect. I’ve always loved building things. I studied Venture Management and Computer Science in University, and now I get to build things online, which suits me more I think.
What’s your ambition now?
If we can maintain the atmosphere we get to work in every day and still keep growing at this rate, I will be a very happy man.
What’s the most important thing you have learned so far in business?
I think a lot of people in tech suffer from imposter syndrome, including me, but having the courage just to get started was one of the pivotal points so far for me.
What was your biggest ‘mistake’ in business so far?
Forgetting to take it easy. Earlier in my career, before Mustard, I got way too wound up by the small things, and eventually burned out. I think that happens to a lot of people with big ambitions, so I suppose I’m lucky that I have had the chance to learn from those mistakes and now I make sure to find time to do things other than work.
Who inspires you in the business world?
It’s usually friends who I perceive to be a couple of steps ahead of me; that inspire me more than the Richard Bransons of this world. I’m lucky enough to have a couple of good friends who just blow my mind every time I hear about what they are building and doing.
What historical figure would you choose to join for dinner?
I’m a big F1 fan, and I would love the chance to pick Ayrton Senna’s brain.
If you were ‘ruler for a day’ what would you do to change the business or social climate in this country?
Answers to this question always sound a bit bitter, and unappreciative. We’ve had a lot of support from the government, so I don’t feel cynical about the system overall. That being said, I do think we need to find a way to be more selective with the startups that receive government support. Entrepreneurship is not for everybody, and sometimes in Ireland, we have an attitude of “anybody can do it” without asking them to validate their concept first. I think this is linked to our relatively high failure rate in this country.
Did you receive any supports to start your business and what do you need most at this stage of your business?
Yes, through NDRC and EI. Both were pretty excellent in their support I have to say, and I don’t think we would be where we are without their help. For now, our primary focus is growing our product, sales and marketing teams to keep up with market demand. Luckily, that’s what we do in Mustard, so it shouldn’t pose too much of a problem.
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Images from Shutterstock and Mustard.ie.