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  • Simon Lamkin

Startup - where to start? It's just hard, right?

So a few months back, I came to that point where an opportunity came my way to start contracting with a known associate (customer #1) that really wanted to me to help them out on a critical project that needed some help.

I hovered over the Companies House page and pondered about whether this was the right thing and whether this was "just going to be too hard"! Why don't I just start calling some agency contacts and looking for interim CIO/CTO work and carry on doing what I had been doing for my whole career... working for somebody else.

Ten minutes later - LamTech Solutions Limited was incorporated - 4th March 2019, for stats fans like myself. Better go and put the kettle on to celebrate and build up to register myself for VAT.

Thirty minutes and one coffee later - I'm registered for VAT. Wow - that was actually really easy. Should I have made this leap sooner?

Then onto the easy part, phoning up my bank manager and opening a business bank account... are. you. kidding. me. In my own words, I have been "stupidly loyal" to my high street bank for over 30 years - they have my bank history, my mortgage, my credit cards - they probably know more about me then I know of myself.

I fill in some online forms

Two days later, I chase them for an update.

Two days later, I fill in some more online forms.

Three days later, I get an introductory call from my Business Banking Manager

Two days later, I chase them for an update.

I'm staring frustrated at the 'new supplier form' from Customer #1 that has only been missing the bank account number over 10 days now and realizing that actually this IS really hard and I shouldn't have started this crazy notion of running my own show.

An angry tweet later and an old friend and serial Entrepreneur & Startup Guru Andrew Walker pointed me in the direction of Starling Bank - one of these disruptive young fangled startup thingummies.

5 minutes later I'm staring at the missing piece of the jigsaw - a bank account number, a sort code and a welcome to Starling Bank email.

2 days later my shiny new debit card arrives in the post.


So, why do we need startups? Why do we need to disrupt the norm? Why do we have to break the mould of "we have always done it this way?"

The above is a great example of why - the UK Government has done an amazing job on going digital. Starling Bank and today Capital on Tap Credit Cards (approved credit terms for a 4 month old company in 5 minutes and not a sheet of paper in sight) have gone and not only broken this stinky mould they have crushed the pieces and burnt them and could well be scattering these ashes on the graves of the UK Banking Sector for good.

Long live the startup. Love the startup.

High Street beware; shape up or ship out.

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