How did you come up with the idea for Nerdeo?
I had the idea for Nerdeo when I was a junior visual effects artist looking for cool side projects outside my day job, that could help further my career and grow my industry network. At the time I was working for the oscar winning company, Framestore, that has a total of about 800 employees (and freelancers) at peak time. There was a lot of word of mouth about senior artists with passion projects that needed an extra pair of hands but there wasn’t an actual website that I could search for these sort of projects in detail and that was focused on the post-production / animation industry. I joined some of these projects, however I found they were badly managed over forums and they faced the usual indie perils; lack of budget. This meant the projects relied on a lot of unpaid collaborations from people who believed in the idea. Once I joined one project, a lot more people contacted me about their projects, to see if I could “help out”. Soon this turned into about 1 email a week on linkedin! This was when I came up with the idea for nerdeo. A platform where people could showcase their film or games project idea and crowdsource people work on different tasks to get the project finished whether they had a budget or not. When I first envisioned it, the platform was like kickstarter where project owners would post promotional videos about their projects but then instead of attracting funding, they attracted people to work on their project. I started speaking to my colleagues about the idea and got an overwhelmingly positive response. So we decided to go ahead with the concept.
The mission would be to connect the right artist or student to the right budget and get their indie projects completed. Our aim was always to make a positive impact in the indie film and games industry. Also, selfishly, I just wanted to watch or play more interesting films and games made by people I had a connection with!
What’s next for Nerdeo?
We always have many plans for the future but for now we’re focusing on releasing our premium service and partnering with the right institutions and companies in the industry. In the next two weeks we’ll be releasing the instant project notification features that our users have been asking for, new features around completing projects and a whole new settings page. We’ve already partnered with Escape Studios, to provide their students with the material they need for their portfolios and Bournemouth is already a fan of our service. However, we have some BIG partnerships to announce over the coming month that will benefit our customers greatly.
Has the start-up journey been easy?
No! It’s been like chewing glass and trying to smile through it! Ha ha! We totally bootstrapped in the beginning and for many, many years this was just a side project. Indie all the way! We all had day jobs and did this outside of work. For most people who work in the visual effects industry, they’ll know, this means that we didn’t sleep much. There was a point where the platform was stable and we just let it grow by itself but we soon realised that we could do a lot more with Nerdeo and actually build all the features and integrations we had always envisioned if we got tech funding. So we got into one of the toughest tech accelerator programs out there, Founders Institute, and graduated top 5! This has opened so many doors for us in terms of funding, partnerships and mentoring. It’s been amazing and it will show in our product growth over the next 6 months. There are some exciting times ahead for us.