A Bristol-based startup has led the way in creating e-signature tech to help with productivity and overcome location barriers. Signable‘s digital software allows documents to be sent, signed, and returned easily without the use of printers, scanners, or pens.
Having been supported by business accelerator programme Entrepreneurial Spark, founder Olly ‘Le Grande Fromage’ Culverhouse has seen his business grow from a one-man band to a team of 6 – now based at tech incubation centre – the Bristol and Bath Science Park, with its clients’ documents being sent all over the world.
Like a lot of startups, the idea came from humble beginnings, Signable started when Olly was running a web-development company and quickly recognised the problems that came with chasing clients to sign documents. So he made his own solution to the problem, and soon the e-signature tool that was designed for internal use started getting good feedback, and Signable was born.
Time-saving, tree-saving tech
Signable’s web-based app allows customers to get their documents signed quickly, legally, on any device, no matter where they are in the world. It works as simply as just uploading your document, filling in who is going to sign it, specifying on the document where you want them to sign and then the technical team get to work behind the scenes. Signable will send the signer an email with a unique link where they can click and sign the document, which will then get passed back to you.
“The world is adapting to technology quicker than ever and as a result today’s consumers expect convenience from businesses”
Signable tells us, “To send a document to a client of yours 5,000 miles away through the postal system and it will arrive a week later. Every year millions of trees are cut down only to be turned into paper for our offline documents. These documents need to be delivered, emitting harmful gases into our atmosphere from vans, lorries and planes. We understand that the world is adapting to technology quicker than ever and as a result today’s consumers expect convenience from businesses.”
Signed, sealed, delivered
Signable’s ultimate goal is to make people’s lives easier, more productive and more convenient every day through these electronic signatures. This clear concept is something that was picked up by Entrepreneurial Spark. Soon after being accepted onto the scheme (where you can benefit from office space, training, advisors, and other business mentoring), Signable has been selected to become ‘Nesters’ – the next round of business incubation offered by the Natwest-powered growth programme.
Olly’s journey is an impressive one, and with recent research carried out by Populus for NatWest showing that 26% of people in the South West would prefer to be self-employed – yet just 2% are actually living the dream – TechSPARK invited Olly to speak at our Techie Brekkie on Entrepreneurship, to tell us what it’s like to be an entrepreneur, and his personal journey towards e-success.
“Being in control is scary but liberating and exciting”
He tells us that, “University conditions you to put your head down,” yet there are so many other options out there, including being your own boss. Olly goes on to say that, “[The best thing about being an entrepreneur is] the freedom and control of your own destiny and life. Too many people go through life without knowing what they want to do or achieve and by the time they find out, they are stuck in a job or industry they don’t like. Being in control is scary but liberating and exciting.”
“I have benefited from access to mentors and advisers who see Bristol as a great place to start a tech business”
Olly revealed that there have been challenges along the way, especially in recruitment, “because of my fear of employing the first person, my company suffered.” As he explains on employment, “For me, it’s trying to sell the vision and culture,” but by getting involved in the community, he tells us things can change for the good, “Over the past few years I have really seen an increase in the startup tech culture within Bristol and the South West. As a company, we have benefited from the growing number of events and resources available. Personally I have benefited from access to mentors and advisers who see Bristol as a great place to start a tech business.”
Signable has continued to grow and today is helping over 1,600 businesses. Gaining popularity amongst property, finance, legal and recruitment. Its friendly team can often be found at TechSPARK’s events.
If you would like to keep up to date with Signable, you can follow them on Twitter @signablehq, Instagram @signablehq, and Facebook signablehq. Alternatively, check out their regular blog, with weekly posts and new content.