Back in 2012, Janna Bastow and Simon Cast started to build ProdPad, a software solution designed to help product managers manage their product roadmaps and make better product decisions. With headquarters in Brighton, life started to get a little more complicated when they started to hire remote employees in the Midlands!
Thankfully, Stratford-on-Avon District Council’s Venture House Business Centre was there to save the day. Venture House provided the remote workers with the same opportunities for collaboration and face-to-face interactions as the core team in Brighton. Having that kind of support is important to the whole team at ProdPad, to make the best possible progress in building software and defining processes around how to help customers be successful.
Liz Love, Chief Customer Officer, was the first Midlands employee. She explained how useful it was to have somewhere to meet with her colleagues.
“We started out by using the hotdesking and co-working space as a place to meet every week or fortnight, mainly so that we could have some human interaction, as opposed to working from home. The Centre has a friendly yet professional vibe and it was really useful to have face-to-face conversation with colleagues. We definitely made great progress in a number of key areas. We also made use of the formal and informal meeting spaces and got some of our Brighton colleagues to come and visit us “up north” at the Centre. They were able to focus on important initiatives in a place away from the main head office. As time went on, and we gained another Midlands colleague, it made sense to move into our own office, so that we could have more privacy as well as somewhere to house our equipment. Moving into a serviced office at Venture House has been cost-effective and helped us to work together in a more efficient way.”
“Venture House has enabled ProdPad to flourish, so much so that we need to move on to larger premises to allow the business to grow further! It has been a fascinating time at Venture House and we are sad to be leaving the friendly and helpful team there. Their support and facilities have allowed us to grow the ProdPad team with ease and we look forward to continuing our journey in beautiful Stratford-upon-Avon.”
Venture House is owned and managed by Stratford-on-Avon District Council and was set up nearly 4 years ago to support small businesses and those looking to start a new business venture, as well as local homeworkers and budding entrepreneurs. Anne Solomon, who manages Venture House, commented: “ProdPad has really made the most of the workspace Venture House has to offer and I am delighted that we have been able to support them for part of their journey as they now move on to larger office space in the town.”
Anne went on to say “Our Centre provides flexible and innovative space that can work in different ways for different people. Many of our clients also benefit greatly from the business advice, support, free networking events and training that we offer.”
Venture House works closely with partners such as the CW LEP Growth Hub and the C&W Chamber of Commerce to deliver a complete service to micro and small businesses. Anne would urge every small business owner, whether established or brand new, to make contact with the Centre to find out how it might be able to assist them and their business.
Written by Prodpad and Venture House