Rich Wilson, co-founder and CEO, shares the company’s plans for scaling up, going global and making the most of Scotland’s talent – and how the DDE Programme and AI Accelerator helped them make some crucial connections.
I joined the recruitment industry in my early twenties and was fast tracked into leadership at 23. After 12 years as an executive director at Gartner, I burned out. Despite deciding on a change, I kept a hand in and joined the Data Lab as a skills advisory board member. There, I met John Brodie, who’d just exited Aquila Insight. I had an idea for improving the recruitment process with technology and knew John would be the ideal mentor. I pitched him my idea and he said ‘yes’.
Our platform connects businesses with quality talent and freelancers. To do this before Gigged.AI you would have needed to rely on lots of different processes and platforms and we’re trying to provide a one-stop-shop ecosystem. Basically, we want to automate what a recruiter does via an AI-driven easy-to-use platform, making it possible to match the right talent to the right jobs quickly and easily.
Our platform is B2B, but I would say we’re focusing on solving three different challenges for three different groups: small and medium sized companies, larger enterprises and universities, and also freelancers. For the small to medium companies, we’re trying to help get ahead of the permanent tech crisis. For larger enterprises, our technology helps them look internally before they look externally. Freelancers get access to well-defined, quality opportunities while reducing admin and overhead time.
As we grow our own business, from a Scottish perspective, we’re hiring from often overlooked talent pools and we support them through a mentorship scheme. We’re hiring student apprentices, we’re bringing women returners in and offering fully flexible, remote working to accommodate those who can’t work a ‘nine to five’ job. So we’re really making the most of the amazing and diverse workforce available here in Scotland.
In the last six months, we’ve moved from being a ‘passion project’, to being something tangible. We have hired 10 people. We have got over 3000 users and over 200 clients. We won Scottish Edge and Tech Nation Rising Star. We were a finalist in the KPMG, Tech Innovation of the Year.
There are a few things in the Accelerator that have really hit home for us. A big one being the companies and mentors we had access to such as NileHQ for design challenges. We came to the Accelerator already set up, with employees and early investment in hand, and Nile supported us in terms of storytelling and refining our product and customer journey. It absolutely accelerated what we do, no doubt about it.
My best advice is to go and build connections with mentors or advisors who have been there and done it. Most entrepreneurs are really very open with their time, and can give you insight you won’t get anywhere else.
We’re excelling, we’re growing, we’re six months ahead of our goal and everybody that we’ve hired has contributed to that. Now we’re aiming to raise a significant amount of funding, over £4m ideally. That will allow us to increase our headcount from 11 to 45, giving opportunities to different demographics and different workforces. We also plan to open an office in Houston and break into the US.