Bath-based Cloudfind was founded in 2011 and its automatic file tagging technology has found applications among industries as diverse as creative, financial services, construction, property development and real estate.
Cloudfind helps teams to collaborate by radically simplifying how they access information stored in the cloud, so it’s more simple and quicker than ever to locate documents from thousands or even millions of files with just a few clicks.
We spoke to Sebastian Toke-Nicols, Founder & CEO at Cloudfind (pictured above left) to find out about the tech startup’s progress and the innovative work they’re doing in this era of the cloud.
“I set up Cloudfind as I saw a burning need to improve the way that we manage information and particular in businesses whose success largely depend on the collaboration of people working in teams,” says Sebastian.
“I set up Cloudfind as I saw a burning need to improve the way that we manage information”
“Whilst at Deloitte, Geneva and Cramer I had realised that existing information management tools and techniques were really ineffective. That was because they forced people to manage information by physical location ie. in folders.
“They did this because that was the way that personal computers have worked since MS Windows introduced its first operating system. The result is that files get lost because people are inconsistent in where they store them and that the more files that are stored the worse the information fragmentation becomes.”
“Humans on the other hand,” says Sebastian, “think in terms of subjects and people and tasks. So if you could automatically label files and emails with the correct topics then it would be incredibly simple to find and share them.”
Share smarter: Cloudfind could enable millions of businesses to collaborate more quickly and efficiently
Sebastian says that customers, partners and employees are the most important successes: “People make or break businesses whether you are selling to them, partnering with them or working with them. I feel incredibly lucky that I have managed to get to work with some really great people in each of these categories.”
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And he loves the area too, after all, what’s not to like in and around Bath and Bristol? But it’s the talented people that attracted the tech startup to Bath. “The advantage of being in Bath is access to some fantastic people who are completely committed to this beautiful part of the country,” he says.
Instant tagging: Cloudfind enables you to work faster, turning a 10‐minute activity into three clicks
And there are many businesses that have been going well in the region over the last few years that Sebastian really admires. “Zynstra, of course, which has experienced some stellar growth over the past couple of years and is led by many of my ex colleagues from Cramer. But also some of the smaller companies like DoodleMaths, Claritize and Cognisess who contribute so much to the startup fabric of the area.”
“One of the things I found out early on when setting up a business is that one completely underestimates the amount of support that one needs”
“One of the things I found out early on when setting up a business is that one completely underestimates the amount of support that one needs,” Sebastian explains.
Bath Innovation Centre to the rescue
It’s fortunate that Sebastian found the University of Bath Innovation Centre, which helped support Cloudfind and helped the tech company get started. “The Innovation Centre was great in both providing support when I knew I needed it and also when I didn’t,” says Sebastian.
So what does Sebastian know now that he wishes he knew when starting out? “The unit of time goes much faster in a startup that it does everywhere else. The net result is that everything takes longer than you would like it to as everyone else has many other things to address rather than doing what you want them to,” Sebastian explains.
“And also becoming a qualified accountant before embarking on the business would save one a fortune in fees and hassle!”
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