Rogue builders are everywhere. Ross Clark reveals how to avoid falling victim to them and Rosie Millard applauds MyBuilder and its service.
MyBuilder CEO Ryan Notz comments on Treasury Minister slating tradesmen who accept cash in hand for jobs, as well as the homeowners who pay them.
This time of year we usually see interest in decking and building outdoor barbecue areas, but we are instead seeing a surge of jobs relating to flood damage,” says Ryan Notz, CEO of MyBuilder.com. Here are our tips for rain-proofing your home in our extreme summer weather...
Web 2.0 is producing a new wave of entrepreneurs with London acting as the epicentre for most of the developments. Dominic White looks at who might be the leaders of the new generation.
At 10AM on Thursday morning the 5th View Bar in Waterstone's flagship West End store was alive with activity. Two dozen would-be dotcom millionaires had gathered with laptops and business cards at the ready for a power-networking session over lattes and free Wi-Fi.
Ryan Notz felt a calling to the capital last summer when he was setting up buildersite.co.uk. This website, which allows homeowners to book, compare, recommend and (if necessary) criticise builders, is being tipped for big things.
Rosie Millard, the Telegraph’s new interiors expert, offers some tips on renovating your home with lots of style and not much money.Don’t use your old builders out of habit, hold a beauty parade for the best deal.
Campaign.co.uk covers the launch of our new ad campaign - thanks to everyone who made it happen! (Sell!Sell!, Mark Denton & Coy!, Martin Dornan - our very own builder / actor)
MyBuilder was just named No.6 on the Startups 100 list for 2010. "Startups 100 is the definitive countdown to the UK’s most innovative, inspiring and ground-breaking new companies."
Jonathan Moules, for the Financial Times, chats to Ryan about the challenges of starting a business, and the evolution of the business strategy over the years.
Startups.co.uk profiles founder, Ryan Notz, on the journey, success, and the future for MyBuilder. 'Despite the recession, MyBuilder.com has grown by over a 1,000% in the past year. The housing market may have stalled, but Ryan believes his company has benefitted from builders needing to do more to find work, and homeowners improving their properties rather than moving.'
'When Hong Kong-based arts group Para/Site were asked to create a giant installation in the Tate Modern's famous Turbine Hall as part of its tenth birthday celebrations this past weekend, they opted to go for a giant, multimedia structure complete with performers at every level of the structure, right down to a glass box filled with half-naked dancing women. But first, they needed someone to build it for them - and as many people know, finding a decent builder can be a bit of a nightmare. So naturally, they advertised the job on the internet. They posted the job on MyBuilder.com (a site that lets people find builders for specific jobs, and judge their trustworthiness based on ratings from other users) - which resulted in Stuart Hardy, a builder from Harlowe, Essex, and his team taking on the job.'
Lovemoney talks about the money saving benefits of using MyBuilder. 'For peace of mind, you can also check out the customer feedback on the website so you know you won't be getting shoddy work for your money.'
Channel 4’s 4iP fund has acquired a minority equity stake in former Seedcamp winner, MyBuilder.com for £350,000. As part of the deal, MyBuilder.com’s services will be integrated into Channel 4’s 4Homes website, with the company getting a proportion of CPA revenue generated through the site.
'Over the past six months builders have turned in desperation to the website and we now have 20,000 users,' says mybuilder.com founder Ryan Notz.
'Yet in the last quarter of 2008, the value of jobs dropped by 28 per cent, in part because some bigger jobs were cancelled, but also because tradesmen are dropping their rates to be more competitive.'
Jonathan Moules, writing for the Financial Times, takes a look over last year's Seedcamp winners, of which MyBuilder (then Buildersite.co.uk) is one.
"The business changed its name from Buildersite when it found someone else had bought the web address. It has raised nearly £500,000 from Travis Perkins, the UK chain of builders merchants, the Accelerator Group, a strategic adviser and investor in start-ups, and several high net worth individuals.
"Ryan Notz, the US-born roofer and stonemason who created the idea, has built a team of six full-time and two part-time employees and two non-executive directors. Since relaunching the service in May, MyBuilder has increased the number of registered tradesmen on the site from 4,000 to more than 10,000 people."
Building supplies firm Travis Perkins has taken a stake in online building website mybuilder.com, which aims to bring together builders and houseowners who want construction work done, writes Jon Rees for the Mail on Sunday.
Travis Perkins chief executive Geoff Cooper said his company had already made a small initial investment in the business. The website is already being used by about 6,000 builders. Cooper said: 'It is difficult getting a builder and more difficult getting a builder you like. This site helps that process.'
Alex Hoye set up GoIndustry in 1999, turned it into a £52m industrial auction website, then took it public. Now, as the chairman of Seedcamp, he's using his experience – and money – to help budding young entrepreneurs.
Through Seedcamp, he met self-employed stonemason Ryan Notz, the founder of www.mybuilder.com, an online marketplace for tradesmen and consumers. “I was impressed with his business plan. He’d spotted a gap in the market and had already attracted thousands of users, despite being based in his garage.”
We've rewritten the web site, we've redesigned the pages, and now the UK's largest marketplace for bringing homeowners and tradespeople together has been relaunched as MyBuilder.com.
"This is an incredibly exciting time for us, building on the successes we've had with buildersite and pushing it forward with a whole new offering built upon the same founding principles."
A company which works like an online dating agency for homeowners and tradespeople is aiming to end the scourge of cowboy builders. Homeowners register their building requirements and tradespeople ask questions and visit the property to bid for the work.
Buildersite, a web-marketplace for construction services for both homeowners and tradesmen has secured an Angel round of funding (amount not disclosed) led by Alex Hoye, former co-founder of GoIndustry which went public in 2006. He will chair the startup’s board. Also investing is The Accelerator Group, whose principals Robin and Saul Klein have invested in successful UK startups including Lovefilm, Agent Provocateur, Moo, and OpenAds. Joining them is Paul Birch, who co-founded social networking site Bebo, and Jamie Murray Wells who founded Glasses Direct. Buildersite’s CEO Ryan Notz - who actually started out as a stonemason and builder himself - says the funding will go into expanding the web development and marketing teams. The news is encouraging for the UK startup scene, in that UK entrepreneurs are clearly using their own success to plough investment back into the market.
Buildersite was one of five other startups which were selected for the Seedcamp event last year, winning some initial seed funding and mentoring.
Back in May, The Observer published a special supplement looking at success, and asking for nominations for the brightest and best rising stars in 10 fields: art and design, business, drink, fashion and retail, food, media, public life, science and innovation, sports and entertainment, and travel and leisure.
Ryan Notz, from London, is the founder of buildersite.co.uk, a web marketplace for construction services where consumers can find tradesmen recommended by others. Johanna Payton meets the matchmaking tradesman.
Jonathan Moules, writing for the Financial Times, highlights a new dotcom startup competition aiming to find the hottest new web businesses for the European market and beyond.
A search engine for hot concert tickets and a social networking site for silver surfers are among 20 fledgling web businesses selected for a week-long entrepreneurship bootcamp that its founders hope will spawn Europe’s answer to Google.
Seedcamp, which starts on Monday, is billed as an intensive series of events, run by investors, entrepreneurs and experts in marketing, finance and human resources, aimed at equipping European high-technology start-ups with the skills to grow into multi-billion dollar companies. The 20 participants were chosen by a panel of venture capitalists from about 270 start-up teams from 40 countries.
The list of participants includes Buildersite, an online marketplace for tradesmen that founder Ryan Notz wants to become "the Ebay for construction services". Mr Notz, a former stonemason, started his business in Bristol with £50,000.
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