An interview with Tech Entrepreneur: Adam Roney
Today, in celebration of National Entrepreneurs’ Day, we have the pleasure of shining the Corecom spotlight on tech entrepreneur, Adam Roney: Co-Founder and CEO of Calls9.
Adam launched digital consultancy, Calls9, in 2011, alongside business partner (and former colleague at Eversheds Sutherland LLP), Pete Mills. The company has grown and achieved great success, working with innovative and reputable companies such as Euravia, Interlaw, Activision Blizzard and Jimmy Choo.
To get you inspired, we asked Adam about his entrepreneurial journey – from developing the Calls9 business idea, to transforming it into a reality, and to where the company is today.
- When and how did the idea of Calls9 come into being?
“The idea for Calls9 came to mind after myself and my business partner had been working in the legal sector for a couple of years. We saw how the legal profession was struggling to embrace new technology and that clients were demanding increasingly flexible access to information. By taking advantage of the latest mobile and cloud technology we are able to build innovative solutions that make it easier for legal professionals to connect with their clients and offer a better service.”
- What has been the strategy behind your expansion and growth?
“We initially started life as a technology consultancy re-selling other people’s software. However, it quickly became apparent there was a gap in the market which could only be fulfilled if we started building our own software. This gave life to our cloud platform which now powers everything we do. By staying close to the technology in this way we have been able to adapt over time and remain innovative.”
- Calls9 started its business journey from two people and now you have ten employees. How have you achieved this?
“When we started it was just the two of us working remotely. We now have a team of 10 and an office in the centre of Leeds. The key is making sure you hire people who are passionate about your mission and love working on challenging problems. A lot of the time we are undertaking engineering or industry firsts. You need a pioneering team ready to go on that journey with you.”
- What are the biggest challenges you faced at the time of starting Calls9 and what are the present challenges you face?
“The biggest challenge we faced was the lack of an integrated start-up community in Leeds. In the early days, you need people who have been there before you and are willing to share their ideas and experience. I am pleased to say the situation has changed today and there is a much wider support network in Leeds for growing businesses. Our biggest challenge now is probably the same as any technology company – staying laser focussed on where the market is heading and making sure we are prepared for the road ahead.”
- What’s your advice for new tech start-ups and students seeking careers in tech?
“I feel that industry experience before starting a company is currently under-rated. This isn’t to say you can’t come up with a great idea in your dorm room but we might have knee-jerked from the job-for-life mentality into the never-needing-a-job mentality. I personally gained a huge amount from my legal career prior to setting up Calls9 in terms of experience and building my network. I would encourage anyone thinking about setting up a company to see if there is some way of getting relevant commercial / sector experience before you start.”
Calls9 runs a number of networking events and initiatives for entrepreneurs and business start-ups, including their Start-up Bootcamp. Click here to watch the first of four videos, all about the start-up scene in Leeds.
Does this inspire you to take the plunge and join the entrepreneurial world? Get your ideas documented, gather feedback and constructive criticisms, and start taking steps to make them a reality.