geeks, fruit crushers
and the BBC
Now a reputable agency, full of the highest calibre geeks, who’s business was kick-started by an appearance on the BBC’s Be Your Own Boss – Was once just Ben and Sam, skint, frustrated, employed, but inspired & convinced there’s more to life!
A lot changed. Ben Hogan & Sam Furr are The App Devs founders and have been best friends for ages. Through their love of technology and gaming have always been at the forefront of the industry, as consumers at least… Both worked full time for various big agencies and digital marketing companies, although sidelining in evenings and weekends making apps for fun! All the while dreaming of the perfect agency with them at the helm.
So when they both heard the same interview on BBC Radio with everyones favourite entrepreneur Richard Reed of Innocent Drinks, in which Richard was starting a journey across the next few months to find businesses and ideas to invest £1million in, a fire was lit inside them both and they entered the competition.
From a rumoured 42,000 that applied, some we’re called back, others discarded and cast aside for some seriously cool ideas and businesses. You see the competition entrants could be mates, a family, an idea, or an already operating business, it really didn’t matter. From a long wait, and some questionnaires and callbacks, The boys made it to the last 500. Where things started to get interesting.
BE YOUR OWN BOSS – THE TV SHOW, a hybrid of Dragons Den and The Apprentice.
Stage 1 – The £100 Challenge
Make as much money as you can from £100… Sam & Ben stuck to what they’re good at, digital marketing, and apps! A brand was created, in less than 2 days a website was done, some data obtained, and emails sent. within 7 days, two sales of apps had been achieved to some big brands.
The whole thing had to be filmed and submitted in a 3 minute video.
Stage 2 – The Pitch
There was an exhibition in London, in which the 500 businesses had to pitch their idea to Richard Reed or one of his ‘expert panel’, and announce the results of the £100 challenge. Ben & Sam first pitched to Tim Campbell (Apprentice Winner) then to Richard Reed himself.
Stage 3 – The Shortlist
From the 500 entrants, only 50 made it to the shortlist. Where you had to submit your business plan, then head to London to talk to Richard again and see if you’ve made it to the final 18, and these were the ones the TV series would be about.
Sam & Ben made it through to the televised final! Although it wasn’t plain sailing… Initially Richard told the boys they were not through as frankly he believed they would do it themselves regardless after seeing what’s been achieved from £100 so far!
Sad and deflated, they left the meeting, made a pact with each other to not prove Richard wrong, and to do it anyway … So that afternoon they both quit their jobs, viewed an office to rent, and decided this was the start of The App Developers.
Here’s the twist – Richard actually called the guys back after 3 days and said some wonderful things, and invited the guys back into the competition as he wanted them on the show and couldn’t believe he didn’t put them through with the others… We quote: “I might be the guy who just passed up on the Beatles” – Richard Reed, after telling the boys their out the competition.
Stage 4 – Start The Business
So with a small seed capital of £3000 from Richard Reed, each finalist had to develop their business or idea, over 6 weeks whilst being filmed daily. With the end result being another meeting with Richard at the legendary Innocent HQ ‘Fruit Towers’ to see if you’re getting a slice of the £1m!
After seeing some highs and lows in those weeks, Sam & Ben pulled off a remarkable feat and managed to get orders of over £20k (not bad for a couple of geeks in a shoebox office!). So in the meeting with Richard, he decided not to invest in the boys (you’ll have to watch it to find out why, it’s worth it!), but offered himself as a non-exec director as he wanted to keep in touch. Richard has been true to his word!
12months on, the team is 10 man strong (and growing), and working with brands such as Carling, Walkers, Monarch Airlines, Slendertone and many more!
See the shortened version of the show here (yes, selfishly we cut the others out to only include the bits about the boys). Enjoy!