Norfolk Business Awards 2019

Sync The City 2017 winners reveal event was career-making as competition returns to Norwich

PUBLISHED: 13:38 15 November 2018 | UPDATED: 14:14 15 November 2018

The Safetypoint team with judge Ian Watson, centre. Picture: Tim Stephenson Photography

The Safetypoint team with judge Ian Watson, centre. Picture: Tim Stephenson Photography

Tim Stephenson Photography

Six Norfolk entrepreneurs will be reflecting on their first year of working tirelessly on their labour of love project, which was catapulted to success thanks to winning a Norwich tech competition last year.

Sync The City returns to Norwich this evening, and was won last year by lone worker safety app Safepoint.

The event sees teams build and launch a digital product in 54 hours with the winner taking home a £2,000 prize.

The team behind Safepoint have revealed that a year on, they want to man the business between them full time as the product closes in on launching to market.

Co-founder and chief executive Callum Coombes said: “People told me: ‘You have to do Synch The City if you want to launch a tech company in Norwich.’”

Safepoint is an app which allowed lone workers to check in with their team whilst out on a job.

“We didn’t have time to think about the product’s potential during the event, we were just too busy coding and throwing together a pitch. I think we had about four hours sleep the entire weekend,” said Mr Coombes.

The team says the impact of winning the event was huge.

“The Norwich tech community have all heard of Synch The City, and because we had won it allowed us to approach people for support or funding and they knew we were good,” he said.

“The collaborative nature of the tech community in Norwich means that people offered us support at a generously discounted rate, and were more open to having conversations.”

The team has a range of skills from designers to financial managers; David Pooley is chief technology officer, Matthew Rumbelow is head of design, Nichita Misin is head of business development, Ryan Smee is a product owner for web and James Rogers is product owner mobile.

Mr Coombes said: “We’d each like to work a day a week on it, so it’s the equivalent of it being worked on full-time. I don’t have a house or a mortgage like some of the others, but there’s definitely that risk there. But we know it’s a real world and an important problem – it could save people’s lives.”

Mr Coombes returns to the event to welcome this year’s cohort at Norwich’s OPEN tonight, for the hackathon event which will run until Saturday night when the winners are announced.

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