Neil Patel

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Tim Creswick, CEO of internet service provider Vorboss, has already raised hundreds of millions of pounds to help unlock more economic and business growth potential in one of the world’s most popular financial capitals.

During his appearance on the Dealmakers Podcast Creswick talked about hiring for startups, bootstrapping your business, long side hustles, and the reality of entrepreneurship.

Listen to the full podcast episode and review the transcript here.

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Discovering The Power Of Technology

Tim Creswick was born to an English mother, Canadian father, and grew up in Switzerland, where he attended an American school. He moved to the UK at 12 years old to finish his studies. 

This certainly prepared him for a lot of the uncertainty, new challenges, and changes that come with entrepreneurship. 

Arriving in the UK, alongside his brother, he asked their parents for pocket money (an allowance). They suggested they survey the other kids at school to find out how much they were receiving. They reported back a week later, only for their parents to give them less than the lowest number they presented. Tim was ambitious and so he set out to make his own money. 

He began by mowing the neighbor’s lawn. Then landed the next neighbor as a customer, and the next. Soon he was servicing the whole neighborhood, and was mowing twice a week. Even at just three pounds a cut, he was already making a lot more than his parents offered in pocket money. 

Pretty quickly he discovered that customers were taking their time  to pay him. He realized that if he provided a printed bill and invoice, they would pay right away. 

So he began creating and printing his own invoices. He even taught himself to code and began building websites. He continued to use his coding skills as he went to university at Oxford to study engineering and computer science. He used his entrepreneurial mindset to  build a point of sale system for some of the university bars. 

He built on those skills and used innovative technology to build businesses ever since.

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The 9-Year Side Hustle

Tim Creswick has been building his business for 17 years now. The first nine years were really a bootstrapped side hustle. 

He spent many years failing forward, learning, trying new things, and pivoting. All before things really took off in a huge way in the past three years. 

Initially, Vorboss started out as a software consultancy business. He soon realized that still just meant trading hours for money. 

Ultimately he discovered a huge opportunity to provide fibre connectivity for businesses. Since this pivot, Vorboss has gone from bootstrapping, putting all the profits back into the business, and drawing a small salary, to raising £250m, and hiring hundreds of employees. 

As an internet service provider, Vorboss runs London’s first fibre optic network dedicated to businesses.

Until recently the majority of London businesses relied on legacy infrastructure, only accessible through resellers, from one provider. 

As a result of this, Tim says that while London businesses might look well connected, they are still struggling with the limitations of expensive and constrained bandwidth. Which he says has continued to hold the businesses and the economy back.

Looking forward Vorboss aims to disrupt the status quo by providing ambitious businesses with direct access to critical fiber infrastructure, with simple, transparent pricing.  To make this happen they’ve already raised £250m. Not an easy task in a space where it is rare for such infrastructure projects to be funded. 

Storytelling is everything which is something that Tim Creswick was able to master. Being able to capture the essence of what you are doing in 15 to 20 slides is the key. For a winning deck, take a look at the pitch deck template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) where the most critical slides are highlighted.

Remember to unlock the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.

Scaling Your Startup Team

After years of really finding their place, Vorboss went from almost nothing to putting hundreds of millions of pounds in the bank almost overnight. 

That meant it was time to hire and scale their team. They’ve now added 300 employees, 200 of which came in one year. While scaling up in this way has its challenges,  Tim says that waiting so long to scale the team was actually a huge benefit. 

Whereas many startups run into it out of the gate, and grow uncontrollably, Vorboss was much more intentional when it came to hiring the right people. 

Having been in business for over a decade already, they had a strong foundation of their culture and values already in place. 

So, one of the first things that the leadership team decided when they set out on their hiring spree was that they would build a company that they would still want to work at. He says they still hire for culture over skills. 

Listen in to the full podcast episode to find out more, including:

  • Raising capital for infrastructure projects
  • Tim Creswick’s top advice before starting a business
  • Releasing yourself and your business from limitations


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Neil Patel

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