YO! Marketing Interfacing for Business Growth
Gillian Hambley from Interface and Yekemi Otaru, Managing Director, YO! Marketing Limited looks at how social enterprise Elevator and Interface collaboratively work to support local business owners through the delivery of Business Gateway and Elevator's Accelerator Programme.
At Interface, we act as a matchmaker, linking businesses of all sizes, ages and across all sectors into academic collaboration projects. As Interface has worked with all the Scottish Universities and research institutes for over a decade, we have strong relationships and understand their strength and interests, meaning that we can quickly identify and reach suitable academics for a range of projects making it easier than ever before for our clients to connect with academia. We’ll even explore possible funding options for the business to see how far the projects could go. Every day is different and I love the intrigue of not knowing what my day will hold, what my conversations will bring and what I will learn! I could be speaking to a business about a glamorous new product to take to market or talking about how waste could be reused. I work closely with the Team at Elevator and Business Gateway getting introduced to businesses such as Yo! Marketing, a new start business that we knew would benefit from collaborating with a Scottish University.
Yekemi, YO! Marketing
YO! Marketing is a strategic marketing consultancy that provides support to growing businesses.
I wanted to help business owners to navigate their marketing options based on some kind of intelligence. My idea was to do this through a web application utilising the opportunity to work with academics through Interface. I worked with Dr Xavier Bellekens (lecturer) and Gregory Hill (student) at Abertay University, Dundee
Through the collaboration, we identified key factors that drive marketing success and developed an initial machine learning model. This capability will form a significant part of the web application that we are building at YO! Marketing. It sets our app apart from other marketing applications in the market and allows us to make business life easier for business owners with limited marketing experience.
I am an alumnus of Elevator’s Accelerator Programme. Last December, I completed the programme and had access to fantastic support and introductions.
This included an introduction to Gillian Hambley who told me about Interface. I immediately recognised how academic collaboration would benefit my business, in particular, the development of a data-driven web app. Gillian kindly advised me on the next steps. Before long, I had a few universities that were interested in helping me.
Elevator and Business Gateway have provided me with a wide range of resources to support YO! Marketing’s success. I have been to free sales and customer care workshops, along with one-on-one support from business advisers. Earlier this year, I applied for a By Design Grant, which I got - thanks to the support of the Elevator and the Wider Innovation Team through Scottish Enterprise, in putting together a great application.
Businesses often cannot quickly find solutions to technical challenges. They might lack the expertise and resources too. This could delay or even stop a great idea from developing further. Interface offers a way around these challenges by uniting businesses with the much-needed collaboration that they need to move innovation forward. If you are a business owner with an innovative idea that needs to progress, speak to Interface today.
Roz Taylor, Operations Manager at Elevator delivering Business Gateway said:
"The Team at Elevator and Business Gateway find it essential to be engaged with many organisations in the entrepreneurial ecosystem to ensure that clients have access to the maximum support available to be able to achieve their growth aspirations. With Gillian from Interface working in Elevator's Headquarters at The Hub in Bridge of Don, one day per week provides ample opportunities for us to introduce clients to the services she can offer them in a continuous and timely manner. The co-working relationship has great benefits for all parties involved, especially the clients we support who can meet face-to-face with someone to outline the opportunities presented by Universities and Academia in general."