Your Flock Ltd
Your Flock Ltd
Founded by Michal Wisniewski
Graduate, AMBS, Faculty of Humanities
£500 Venture Out | £2,500 Venture Further 2nd Prize
£5,000 Start-up Award | £1,500 Accelerate Me
Three words to describe your journey so far…
“Perseverance, Enthusiasm, Vision!”
Tell us a little bit about yourself, the Enterprise and your journey so far.
I’m Michal Wisniewski, founder of Your Flock Ltd, a consultancy providing TechHR solutions that help businesses increase performance by building a passionate workforce and aligning core values, motivations, and creating a culture fit. When I was 18 I dropped out of my high school in Poland and decided to move to the UK to finish an International Baccalaureate Diploma. Once I completed this, I went to The University of Liverpool to study Mechanical Engineering. During my studies I won 2nd place at The Undergraduate of the Year Awards in London. After graduating, I went to work in industry, however, I quickly realised it wasn’t what I expected. The working environment didn’t fit well with my own drive and motivations. I decided to change my career, so I left my job and joined The University of Manchester. I found an amazing course called Master of Enterprise which allowed me to conduct research on any subject that interested me and find a way to commercialise the subsequent idea. After spending 12 months researching the concept of company culture and increasing motivations of people at work, I completed my project and decided to set up my own business based on it, Your Flock Ltd. I graduated in December 2017 and I’m now leading Flock; a business that helps businesses to increase performance by building a passionate workforce.
How was your idea conceived?
After leaving my previous job I knew I wanted to do something that motivated me. Throughout my Masters and thereafter, it took a lot of effort and many iterations before I arrived at the concept that currently governs Flock. The business idea is based on the research I conducted at The University of Manchester, however, it is constantly evolving.
What is your company mission?
The vision of Flock is to help people find their calling at work. We want to achieve it by helping businesses raise performance and build value-driven and passionate workforces. Flock’s solution drives satisfaction, commitment, and retention in the workforce.
At what point, did you realise that the idea had commercial potential?
In the back of my mind I always knew I wanted to commercialise my research and the idea surrounding it. However, I was unsure if customers would be willing to pay for the service. There were two moments that re-assured me that my business had potential. The first one was during my research when I approached a large organisation at one of the ‘Meet Up’ networking events and I asked if they would consider being a pilot case study for Flock. After they agreed it suggested that organisations are looking for a real solution that I could provide. The second moment was when Dan Sodergren agreed to join the company back in December 2017. He’s over 20 years of experience in start-ups, marketing, and is frequently featured on the BBC. Having someone like this supporting Flock gave me the confidence that I’m not the only one who believes it may work!
What approaches did you first employ to develop the idea?
Initially I spent a lot of time in the library reading research papers to crystalise my ideas. Then, I engaged with my supervisors, friends and the community in Manchester via several networking events and competitions to challenge and test my ideas.
How did you get involved with the Innovation Optimiser?
I was recommended to take part in the Innovation Optimiser Roadmap series after receiving 2nd place in the MEC Venture Further competition. It was an amazing experience where I could interact with like-minded people and mentors.
How did this engagement help you?
The Momentum support has been invaluable supporting the growth of Flock. It was at the pitch assessment when one of the panel suggested an alternative use of the Flock assessment, which today, is the core value-adding activity of what we do. Flock would not be where it is without the support of the Innovation Optimiser. We’ve been provided with legal support, advice about IP, Trade Marks, given a platform to discuss ideas with other entrepreneurs, and challenged in our business model thinking.
What have been your major milestones and achievements so far?
We’ve reached a couple of initial milestones necessary to validate the commercial viability of our business. We’ve won several competitions to gain external approval of the business concept and recruited two powerful individuals who are actively involved with Flock: Dan Sodegren and Sandy Lindsay MBE. We’ve also produced the MVP software which is used to help businesses measure their company culture. Finally, Flock has secured multiple paying customers.
How has being involved with entrepreneurial activity benefitted you?
If I hadn’t engaged in entrepreneurial activity I wouldn’t have been able to validate my ideas. Before arriving at the current shape of Flock, I had 100 various iterations that I had to test against the market. Without entrepreneurial activity my work and research wouldn’t have made it out of the university; or worse, I would have produced something that had no value to people who are supposed to use it!
What future support are you looking for to progress your business?
We’re looking for organisational psychology and recruitment advisors to help further shape our product and refine our value proposition. We’re also looking to build strategic partnerships with other HR Consultants, whereby we add value to their services and help them diversify to reach more clients. Investment is also required to significantly scale the business. Flock has the following priorities over the next 6 months:
• Building the client database
• Building a team to support business growth
• Seeking investment to scale the Flock
Would you encourage other staff, academics and research students to seek support for their ideas through the Innovation Optimiser?
Yes, absolutely! The Innovation Optimiser creates a fantastic breeding ground for start-up development, providing essential commercial support for people who have great ideas but little or no commercial background. It also creates a ‘start-up support group’ where you can share your challenges and ideas in a truly safe environment, with people who will challenge your thinking to help you arrive at ideas which would be unattainable individually.