We recently caught up with CEO of MyXupo, Raj Sark, who shared his insights into growing a successful IP-rich business. MyXupo, an application and accompanying device which enables you to locate lost items such as keys, has featured on the BBC programme, ‘Dragon’s Den’, as well as winning a prize at the ‘Strathclyde Den’ event.
MP: Can you tell us a bit about how MyXupo began?
RS: The MyXupo concept emerged in 2009 when my then girlfriend had lost a laptop, travel purse at London Heathrow. We had an assignment for our Innovation Management class and I needed to come up with a business idea. Based on my background in mobile tech, I thought what if there was an App to locate valuables and a tag. It won a prize at ‘Strathclyde Den’ event. The tech. was not suited at that point, many years later when it became more fitted and based on a battery technology I conceived, I filed a patent and turned it into a business that went into the real Dragons Den (BBC season 14).
MP: What was your biggest challenge when growing the company?
RS: There are always interesting and multiple challenges with such a journey. If I had to pin down one thing it would possibly be access to growth capital. For technology/ market innovations of this nature it is a challenge to compete with well-funded American counterparts. While we have often been made 6-figure investment offers incl. on Dragons’ Den the nature of the game often can require significantly more funds to rapidly grow market share.
RS: We have always focused on sustainable growth, organic market share development and profitability (that includes very aggressive control of the bottom line). We invested heavily in our Intellectual Property (IP) portfolio which I am confident will create significant shareholder return for each of our early investors.
MP: Can you give us one piece of advice that you could give to a company that is looking to scale up?
RS: Work very very hard on building systems and processes that can become self managed. Delegate responsibility and let go where needed. Entrepreneurship is about leading not managing. A startup just like life is about the journey, not just the destination. Don’t only wait for a big pay-day; enjoy the ride too.
MP: What does the future hold for MyXupo?
RS: Having recently brought on board our new non-ex Director Mr. Watkins (former MD, ACER Computers) we are excited about the growth prospects through key partnerships and license development of MyXupo with bigger market players.
MP: How has IP100 helped you?
RS: I have always believed in this initiative. It helps liven up IP which can often be a somewhat dull/ not so fancy aspect of business. It helps to cement the importance of IP in today’s business world.