TechSilver Case Study
Founded by Miles Waghorn, TechSilver is a business aimed at helping the elderly with a range of technology based products and services that make life easier and more enjoyable.
"Before university, I had a part-time job on the Music & Video desk at ASDA in my home town of Kettering, when I worked there older customers would regularly visit the store asking for technological support and guidance. This started happening more and more regularly until I realised they were bringing in products which we didn't even sell in store solely to gain some tech advise.
"From studying economics and paying attention to current affairs I was aware that in the UK and around the EU we had what's known as 'the demographic time bomb' or an ageing population. To me, this was an indication that the market for the goods I was looking at selling is growing exponentially. So I decided to launch an online store with an easy-to-use website, offering a range of technology-based products aimed at the older demographic combined with the expert customer service and guidance they valued so much."
The business story
Launched in The Hive in 2014, TechSilver is a business aimed at helping the elderly with a range of technology based products and services that make life easier and more enjoyable. TechSilver's products range from easy-to-use smartphones to health monitoring sensors, and big button landlines to home entertainment products.
In the Spring of 2015, TechSilver won the coveted Next Generation Business award at the inaugural VentureFest - they were voted the winners by thousands of delegates from across many commercial sectors. He was presented with the prize by Simon Woodroffe OBE, founder of the YO! (Sushi) brand and one of the first ‘Dragons' on BBC entrepreneur show, Dragons Den.
In 2017 Miles secured The Nottingham Roosevelt Memorial Travelling Scholarship, allowing him to explore topics of interest; carrying out research the relationship between ageing and technology in American society. Miles travelled across different states, whilst meeting people from prominent organisations in Silicon Valley to gain advice on how to grow TechSilver and his new venture Square One.
Also in 2017 TechSilver was a finalist in the Santander Entrepreneurship awards.
"I would say direction and knowing what to do and in which order. Like bringing up a child there is no rule book or set of instructions when setting up a business, each day you must work out what's important for your goals whilst assessing the amount of time you spend on each task. Luckily I have a fantastic mentor and the support of the Hive which is helping to keep me in the right direction!"
Long term goals
"I want to turn TechSilver into a brand that represents easy to use technology, top levels of customers service and expert guidance. The long term aim is to span various sectors including retail, workshops and tutoring, installations and exhibition events, all underneath the senior technology umbrella."
Miles also runs a second venture called SquareOne a night club event specialising in the genre drum and bass. Although the event was established as a way to pursue his hobby of DJing, it has quickly grown to Nottingham’s biggest drum and bass event, with plans to expand across the UK.
The Hive’s role
Advice for aspiring entrepreneurs
"Just get out there and start doing whatever it is you love doing, and become the best you can be. Begin your entrepreneurial journey by getting up and giving it a go. Your business will adapt and change in a massive way but it's all part of the learning curve you'll encounter during its development. Just don't sit back and think 'I'll do it tomorrow' or 'I don't know enough about it, I don't have enough money' Those things will sort themselves out, it's the drive and ambition you need to succeed."