FT Start-Up Stories-logo

FT Start-Up Stories

178 Favorites

More Information


United Kingdom


The Financial Times's Jonathan Moules talks to entrepreneurs about building successful brands, giving birth during a funding round, and rebuilding a reputation in the wake of bankruptcy. Real stories from those who've done it, from idea to exit.




A winning idea

A crowded train journey home after a Chicago baseball game provided the inspiration for Katie Hill-Gottesman's Commuter Ads business, as she tells Jonathan Moules

Duration: 00:22:57

Europe's tech pioneer

Bernard Liautaud's startup was the first French company to go public in the US back in the 1990s. He describes how he steered the company from idea to exit and now advises other European companies hoping to take the same route.

Duration: 00:22:53

Building a successful team

Cal Henderson and his collaborator Stewart Butterfield started out with the aim of creating a successful video game but ended up doing something completely different.

Duration: 00:18:23

Blazing a trail for cycling safety

Emily Brooke wanted to help solve the worst problem faced by urban cyclists - safety. She tells Jonathan Moules how she went about it.

Duration: 00:21:11

Beating off the competition

Will Dean tells Jonathan Moules how a legal challenge acted as a catalyst for the growth of his extreme sports business Tough Mudder.

Duration: 00:19:07

Series 4: Plugging into the global maker movement 2/10

Jane Ni Dhulchaointigh imagined a product for fixing things that would help end the global throw-away culture. She tells Jonathan Moules how she turned her idea from a fun concept into a reality.

Duration: 00:21:53

Framestore and the Soho creative cluster

William Sargent founded his visual effects company over 30 years ago in London’s Soho district, and tells Jonathan Moules that the location was key to the early success of the business.

Duration: 00:19:37

Live panel debate: living in a world of optimism

Six entrepreneurs who have featured in recent episodes of FT Start-up Stories discuss survival strategies and key ingredients for success with Jonathan Moules in front of an invited audience at the Financial Times in London.

Duration: 00:24:54

Series 3: The Coconut Merchant 10/10

Al Shariat trained as a lawyer, but then took a job with the UNDP in Iran, working on microfinance and other projects. It was this experience that inspired him to change direction and set up a business providing ethically-sourced coconut products to western consumers.

Duration: 00:16:18

Mixcloud and the art of bootstrapping

Mix cloud, a music streaming service, got off the ground and achieved profitability without any external funding - something highly impressive and unusual in the world of tech start-ups. Nikhil Shah tells Jonathan Moules the story.

Duration: 00:19:47

Series 3: The intelligent vending machine 8/10

Phil Davidson is a bit of a health nut, and was frustrated when working long hours as a broker in London that he couldn’t find healthy food in the office vending machines. So after a spot of travelling, he decided to design his own.

Duration: 00:16:57

Series 3: Market research from the grassroots 7/10

Tugce Bulut's market research business Streetbees uses social media and mobile technology to gather data from paid volunteers in 87 countries

Duration: 00:16:11

Series 3: The surgical robot maker 6/10

Engineer Paul Roberts and his co-founders spotted a need in the market that was not being met for a device that could make keyhole surgery more widely available to patients all over the world. He now has a 50-strong team working to bring the devices to market.

Duration: 00:16:51

Series 3: Working with investors 5/10

Nino Sebastiao had trouble finding European backers for his untested tech start-up based in Portugal. But he found US investors more willing to take a gamble because they understood the technology behind Feedzai's fraud detection service.

Duration: 00:16:09

How to thrive in a downturn

Gary Grant found that his "ethical" approach to business that put people before profits, helped his toy shop chain thrive when others were closing down.

Duration: 00:15:32

Discovering that missing ingredient

Daniel Reilly made a mistake that is all too common among tech entrepreneurs. He failed to test the strength of demand for his product before launching it onto the market. But the experience left him with a renewed respect for founders and helped him to discover what he really wanted, he tells Jonathan Moules.

Duration: 00:14:50

Teaming up with entrepreneurs

Lopo Champalimaud, wanted to expand his online marketplace for health treatments rapidly across Europe. He chose the unusual route of recruiting other entrepreneurs who provided both local knowledge, an existing customer base - and a new name for the business.

Duration: 00:16:26

Series 3: Launching by stealth 1/10

Shakil Khan and his co-founder kept their student accommodation website out of the media spotlight during its early years while they tested the market and its global potential. He tells Jonathan Moules why he thinks this was the right strategy

Duration: 00:14:16

Series 2: The serial entrepreneur 10/10

John Stapleton co-founded a successful food business in the UK and then sold the business with the idea of setting up a similar venture in the US. As he tells Jonathan Moules, things didn't quite go to plan.

Duration: 00:13:43

Series 2: The surfing cure 9/10

Richard Walton moved to Costa Rica to take up surfing after a health scare prompted him to rethink his work-life balance. He tells Jonathan Moules how it worked out.

Duration: 00:14:15

See More