In our line of work we get to meet hundreds of amazing entrepreneurs each year who each have a great story to tell about how and why they decided to start their own business.
Our Newcastle Startup Week festival has been created to help raise the profile and shine a light on the North East business community and the key players within it which is why we have over 50 speakers across 5 days between 15th-19th May 2017 (see our full ‘Schedule’ at http://newcastlestartupweek.com/schedule/).
We’ve also appointed some ‘Newcastle Startup Week Ambassadors‘ to help us spread the word about our event both online and offline, inspiring other people to come along to learn more about what it takes to start and grow their own business.
We’re delighted to announce that the super-talented Dylan McKee (aka ‘the most in-demand mobile app developer in the North East startup community’) and Founder of Nebula Labs (‘an engineering-driven digital product consultancy’), has agreed to be our third Newcastle Startup Week Ambassador!
1. Hi Dylan, can you please give a brief summary of who you are and what you do?
Hi! I’m a final year Computer Science student at Newcastle University. Alongside completing my degree, I’m also in the process of starting up a bespoke software house, building upon my years of industry experience building apps, with an engineering-driven focus on mobile app and backend software development for entrepreneurs, startups and forward-thinking SMEs. It’s called Nebula Labs, and I’m currently in the pre-startup stage, thanks to the help of Newcastle University’s Rise Up programme. As well as working on a traditional contract project basis, we’re keen to work with ambitious entrepreneurs and startups on joint venture projects, and also looking to capitalise on our own ideas and IP (like the ‘Parking Fairy‘ app we created last year).
2. How many people are in your business? Is it just you or do you have business partners / employees?
At the moment, Nebula Labs is myself and my friend and co-founder Nic Flynn, who’s also very much a technical person. We’ve worked together as a team on a number of hackathon projects around the region – including winning a Northumbrian Water Energy Data Hack event last September at Sunderland Software City – and we’re really excited to work on larger projects together more formally.
3. How did you get started? What was the inspiration or motivation for doing it?
I’ve been developing apps since the age of 13, working on my own ideas and projects, and also projects for a wide range of clients. I’ve also worked closely with a couple of local venture-backed startups and been involved in the Ignite accelerator programme. Nebula Labs provides a way for me to work with ambitious entrepreneurs and startups to build their MVPs and help them develop their product from a technology perspective, which is something that I see in growing demand for in the North East – as well as with a range of other interesting businesses solving unique problems using the latest technology.
4. What are you working on right now? What’s next for your business?
We’re currently working on building our brand and our marketing approach, and on getting a good stream of clients from a variety of backgrounds – SMEs, corporates, and of course some amazing startups and ambitious entrepreneurs who want their ideas built into MVP stage products and beyond. We’re also looking to participate in the Newcastle University ‘Founderships’ programme too, which is a really interesting pre-accelerator programme ran by Newcastle University that would help us to further our plans to scale up, take on employees, larger future projects, and look toward prospective investment.
5. What are you most looking forward to about Newcastle Startup Week?
The Monday and Thursday lineups both look particularly brilliant with some fantastic speakers who are in themselves quite inspirational – I’m also looking forward to the Wednesday evening afterparty at the über-slick Motel One.
We’re also excited to be building the official Newcastle Startup Week mobile app which will be very cool indeed.
6. What advice would you give to someone starting out in business / following in your footsteps?
Do stuff you really find interesting and keep at it – something will become of it even if it’s a failure which you end up learning a huge amount from, or, more positively, a huge success first time – you never know for sure until you try! That said, make sure you do your homework in terms of market research, and do listen to advisors and to people who’ve ‘been there before’ for wisdom – even if you end up going with your gut instinct in the end, you’ll become a wiser from hearing it.
Want to meet Dylan?
Get your ticket for our 5 day (+ night) Newcastle Startup Week festival in May by clicking on the link below: