Blog post authored by Peter Lilley, cofounder of iGeolise, inaugural member of Oracle’s Bristol-based startup accelerator program. iGeolise is now in the Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem Alumni Program.
What turns a bright idea into a great business? Execution, execution and yet more execution. Yep–why double-down when you can triple-down! There are way more bright ideas in the world than great businesses. That’s because smart execution is hard. Really hard. For a tech company, smart execution means getting technology that can scale in the future, at a price you can afford right now. It means turning potential customers who say, “that’s interesting”, into ones who say, “who do I make the cheque payable to?” And that’s where the Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator helped iGeolise.
We met Oracle in April 2017 and showed them our routing and geospatial products. They were interested but said, “We can help you more if you can get on our Cloud Accelerator programme in Bristol this summer”. We applied, along with maybe 100 other companies, and after three knock-out rounds plus a final face-to-face session with 20 or so top Oracle people and advisors, we got lucky – they accepted us for the six-month programme.
The programme finished in Spring 2018, so we’re an alumnus now. What have we gained? First thing to say is that Oracle did exactly what they said they would. Going in, I’d wondered if there would be a bit of corporate bull-shit and lip service, but everything Oracle said they’d do, they’ve done. And more. Maybe that’s because the programme has the active buy-in from Oracle’s top executives (Larry Ellison himself even hosted us in his house in San Francisco during Oracle OpenWorld). We got credits to use Oracle’s technology to radically improve parts of our business that had previously been road-blocks (we used the bare metal servers, Kubernetes and containers and Virtual machines). They walked us into targeted Oracle clients (and since they have 430,000 clients, everyone on our hit list was an existing Oracle client). We spent time with their product development teams. We had top-tier tech and business mentoring. We were taken to major Oracle events around the world. Basically, you name it, we got it.
So, if smart technology and more sales can turn bright idea ideas into great businesses, why wouldn’t any company with ambition want to join the Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator? Looking back, the 45 minutes we spent completing the Oracle application form, might be the most valuable 45 minutes of our business lives.
To learn more about Oracle's Bristol startup program and apply, please click here.