TenderScout is taking some big steps in 2017! We've grown our team to eight people, moved into our own office on Harcourt Street in Dublin 2, and secured investment. And it's still only the first half of the year!
With all this activity afoot, we thought that now is the ideal time to introduce you to the team, and we're starting right at the top, with our founder, Tony Corrigan.
Tony Corrigan founded TenderScout in 2014, after realising the size of the opportunity SMEs were missing out on by not competing for public contracts. He began his career at IBM and has worked in Ireland and abroad. One of Tony’s core responsibilities now is recruiting the right team to grow TenderScout and provide superb service to our customers.
Tony, tell us a bit about yourself and your role as a part of TenderScout:
I’m from Limerick and am the CEO of TenderScout.
How do you think your position contributes to the mission and goals of TenderScout?
It’s my job to to define the mission we’re on as a company, set goals and support the team to deliver those goals.
Tell us about why you set up TenderScout?:
I came up with the idea of TenderScout when I saw a lot of great companies not winning contracts as they didn’t know how to write tenders.
For quite some time I’d been writing tenders and I was quite good at it. I thought everybody else was writing them too. I only realised that tender proposals flummoxed many people when individuals asked me to help them... Buyers also started to ask me for input on RFPs, so I got a unique understanding of both sides of the equation. I realised there was an opportunity and I used my knowledge of both tendering and tech startups to build this platform. Using technology, we eliminate much of the confusion associated with tenders for suppliers and help them win contracts.
What inspires you about working at TenderScout?
I love problem solving and TenderScout is solving a big problem for businesses. Winning tenders helps businesses increase their sustainability, protect jobs and grow more jobs. TenderScout makes a real difference to SMEs with our product and service.
How do you stay motivated?
Before getting involved with tech, I’d been passionate about music; I was following bands across the country. Being a musician or an actor sounds great to most people but it’s actually a tough life with a lot of travelling and hard work. I realised I was moved by people’s passion for what they were doing, with money and fame being a secondary consideration. I feel this was about technology.
Founding a startup is a very lonely existence - a lot like being a solo artist! You have to believe in yourself to make it because the road to success is filled with obstacles. Truly believing in what you are doing is only the level of motivation that really counts.
How would you describe the value proposition of TenderScout?
TenderScout takes away the pain of tendering, and allows SMEs to compete for - and win - business that they would have not been able to. We go on the tender journey with the client and provide support throughout the process.
Does TenderScout need to be concerned about a strong competitive environment?
Yes. We turn data into knowledge about the competitive environment for our clients. Other people could also come up with clever algorithms. Thus we need to invest in data collection and our solution in the future to maintain our innovative edge. And if we’re truly successful there’d be 50 other companies trying to do the same.
For example, when the Beatle’s started, they were innovators. In a few weeks, hundreds of bands sounding the same came up. Companies need to constantly keep innovating, then you show competitors the way.
What has been your biggest accomplishment this month?
Oh, I completed my first board meeting, plus I secured the funding from Enterprise Ireland!
Are you more of a hunterer or a gatherer?
I’m definitely not a person that waits for people to do stuff or create solutions for me. I prefer to be proactive and come up with my own solutions. So yeah, that’s definitely more the hunting part!
Any advice for your previous boss?
I worked at IBM before which is a great company with the extremely skilled employees. So I’ve seen the best of the best working together in a company. I have wondered if quantity more than the quality is the success driver, but I've discovered it’s not about how many employees you have, if they still are not skilled or motivated, you won’t make it far.
In the end it doesn’t really matter how many people you have. Even if you are only a lean team like us, the most important point is that you are ambitious and motivated to succeed and believe in your company's mission and goals.
Secret addiction: Coffee, sweets, etc…
Well, I play Candy Crush on my phone. I’m not really obsessed with it but I enjoy playing it when I’m bored. And I was fairly obsessed with video games as a teenager.