Founder Elizabeth Shassere is sharing her experience in building a successful revenue generating business over the last 12 months.
Tell us something about Textocracy.
Textocracy is an SMS-based texting service that allows the widest range of service users to provide comments and feedback to a provider with a simple mobile phone.
How did you get here?
I worked for 20 years in the NHS and local government as a director of public health in several NHS trusts and local authorities in England. I saw many problems that I thought could have been solved with just a little bit of innovation. Two years ago I decided to leave that career and build solutions to those problems.
What is your inspiration for creating your company?
I took part in a startup weekend whose call to action was to design something that would improve the number and representation in the public voice for councils and other public services. I had seen this problem personally in the public sector for many years. I knew there was a need for a solution, and that it could mean a great deal to many people who are never heard.
What have been your biggest challenges as a Tech4Good Startup?
Often it is assumed that because you have a social mission or want to make a social impact, that means you will provide your service for free, or that you are not interested in making money. This is not the case! Also, those organisations whose constituents stand to gain the most from having access to the service are the least likely to be in a position to purchase a new service, or rather their internal systems make buying something innovative extremely difficult.
What is your biggest learning from Dotforge?
To use your networks and ask for help. There are lots of knowledgeable people out there who have already made the mistakes and learned, and they are usually very happy to help out and save you going through the same problems.
What is the most used piece of advice you have had to developing your startup?
Don’t rush- in hiring, in buying, in committing- take the time you need to make the best decisions for your business to achieve the impact you have set out to achieve.