By Noreen Khan & Yvonne Lam,
Rewind just 22 months ago where MY BAKER didn’t really exist. Noreen and Yvonne were working at Deutsche Bank, both instagramming about their love of cake and highlighting amazing bakers they had found along the way. After an initial meeting over cake and coffee, they developed the idea to set up MY BAKER and from that first meeting, the now friends had a plan in place, no other than to launch the very first Cake Concierge. In January 2017, the female entrepreneurs decided to take a leap of faith by leaving their jobs to launch and run MY BAKER. Inspired by businesses like Airbnb & Uber, they knew the kind of model they wanted to replicate and turning their vision into reality was going to require lots of hard work.
‘We knew what we wanted to launch. With chain bakeries lined at every street, purchasing desserts has become impersonal and it can be frustrating to find a cake for a specific occasion, with your flavour, your style and at a reasonable price. We have created a platform which people can buy their cakes from our bestsellers or personalise them for the occasion. They can also purchase them as little as 24 hours before the big event,” says Noreen.
They set about launching MY BAKER with just £5k in the bank. The initial online platform allowed users to buy cakes from a handful of businesses around London. They then went on a funding mission, seeking out businesses through crowd funding & entrepreneur schemes that would help them build and develop their business. They used any money they raised for things such as revamping their online platform, from rebuilding its look and feel to redoing the back end technology, so that it was more time convenient and productive for the pair.
“Our interactive cake builder allows customers to specify exactly what they want, connecting them to the most suitable bakers locally. We have also now identified our most popular cakes, which we have made available to purchase instantly through our bestsellers shop,’’ says Yvonne.
They did their research and initially applied to the established Just Eat Accelerator programme which gives innovative startups £20k and 3 months worth of mentoring. The ladies were competing against 110 companies with 3 rounds of interviews, psychometric tests and pitches to the other startups. They became one of just five other startups to receive the funding and be mentored as part of the accelerator programme. This provided them with access to valuable advice and support which is crucial in setting up a solid foundation for any business.
What made the MY BAKER team stand out though was their different personalities, which the panel could see would be of benefit to the business in the long run.
22 months on and the startup now works with 100 bakers, having sold 1000 cakes this year. They have established themselves as the ‘go to’ platform for personalised baked goods. They have a selection of 70 cakes on their website and are set to expand to Birmingham later this year.
So what are their top tips to start an innovative tech company:
Research the market place
If you think you have an amazing idea and you feel you’re on to something big then you should definitely research the market. A quick SWOT analysis will inform you as to whether anyone else has already established the idea, how they go about running their business and what opportunities may still lie for your business. This might also be a good way to meet like-minded people who would like to team up so you have a stronger proposition for the market.
The Just Eat Accelerator programme was so beneficial to us in many ways. Not only was the cash injection helpful but having a mentor allowed us to sound off any elements we were struggling with and consult them about things we wanted to do and the right timing to do them.
If you are launching a website, ensure that your platform is working efficiently for you. Your website should be able to save you time & energy rather than impede activity. It should also be user friendly both for you & your staff but also for your customers. We would advise to keep testing it and ask other people’s opinions before giving the green light for any element to go live, as what you think might be the best approach isn’t always the way forward.
Social media & own marketing
One of our biggest marketing channels is our Instagram page. We have over 18k followers and the platform continues to grow. Don’t underestimate the power of your own marketing channels to help drive online awareness and sales directly to your website.
Founded in 2017, MY BAKER is the cake concierge connecting you to some of London’s top independent bakers and allowing you to create personalised & unique bakery masterpieces for all occasions. Founded by female entrepreneurs Yvonne & Noreen who both worked at Deutsche Bank, MY BAKER ensures you will never be short of a cake at your party, with a top quality choice delivered to you within 24 hours from ordering. MY BAKER is an easy to use online platform where you can shop favourites with a click of a button or create your dream cake. Choose from a variety of cakes as well as a selection of biscuits, macarons, brownies and cupcakes. www.mybaker.co