About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

Erudine icons - 20 shades of startup

Julian Lee founded Erudine in 2012 by matching the sales talent of a consultancy he acquired with software he purchased from another company that went out of business.

The company applied the software, originally designed for the engineering industry, to the financial sector to drive systems and behaviour change. After only a couple of months, they started going out to find customers and license their modified software.

Julian and his team have since started generating revenue, grown their team to almost 20 and were accepted as part of FinTech Innovation Lab in January 2014.

In the year ahead, Erudine’s two big aims are to sign up one of the large consultancies as a customer and to raise a series B round of financing.

We asked Julian about his experience and reflections on starting up

For a digital startup like yours, does location matter?

We can have core development anywhere. We will reach a point where I think we need to not have workers in the most expensive real estate in the world and have them somewhere completely different; that will come in the next year.

Erudine logo - 20 shades of startup

What policies would the UK need to help startups?

In the States, you can just get people in, work with them and if you don’t like them you chuck them out. That sounds awful, but with a small company, you’ve got to be able to say “it’s about personality fit; you’re all here ‘til nine o’clock right? You need to get on."

For fintech startups such as yours, what is your relationship with big corporates?

A lot of the larger companies are now setting up kind of capital investment funds, so KPMG have got a hundred million dollars set aside. So have the banks: Barclays has got one appearing, Goldman Sachs has had them for a while, UBS has got them. You only get to know about those if you’re kind of in the inner sanctum, which seems incorrect. Those need to be more exposed to people.