There was once Grade II listed warehouses in the Baltic Triangle, Liverpool that were used to store cargo such as cotton, spices, and coffee. Then back in 2007, the 200-year-old buildings were converted into feel-good spaces which have now become the city’s magnet for innovative companies, art collectives, and musicians.
One of those innovative companies being Nova, who we met not too long ago and were absolutely fascinated by. Nova is a Startup Investment and Support company, founded in 2009 by Andy Davidson, who spent many years founding businesses and working hard to reduce the risk for founders.
Nova work with entrepreneurs to develop “good ideas into great companies”. In just the last five years, they’ve cofounded over 25 tech companies in sectors ranging from finance to healthcare. “The entrepreneurs we work with have experience and knowledge in a field, but don’t necessarily have the required resources and tech skills to create a business on their own… That’s where we come into it,” says Mariel Rubinstein, Digital Marketing and Content Creator at Nova.
“We bring our team, resource, and investment to guide and support entrepreneurs in starting their business. Our team takes entrepreneurs from an initial idea to discovering its market and then building a product.” Nova’s ‘tried and tested’ process forces startups to develop efficiently, ensuring optimized spending on resources they can all trust. This way they’re able to reduce the risk for everyone involved. The processes we use at Nova have been developed over a number of years with the support and expertise of a large variety of people.”
It really is a fascinating model and one of kind, we think, in Liverpool. We ask to find out some more about Nova’s processes and how they help the team, “when it comes to anything at Nova, we’re not afraid to take onboard ideas and implement them,” Mariel explains. “We won’t stick to one way of doing something because of habit or the status quo. We want to evolve and grow our processes to be the best we can be. That’s what makes what we do, unique.”
Over the years, Nova has cofounded various startups and Mariel shares some of their stand-outs, “Sentric Music is just one of the successful companies we’ve worked with that are continuing to grow. Another we’re currently working on is PinPoint, a fintech platform, which is now in beta. It’s a financial planning tool enabling millennials to take control of their money and achieve their goals, like buying a house, travelling or saving for maternity leave.”
They project innovation and a willingness to experiment with brave ideas. Courage is something that comes to mind when we think about Nova, courage and being ahead of the curve. “Everyone at Nova shares a vision of creating great products that actually make a difference. We start with a problem and develop a product that really solves it, rather than finding a problem our product might solve later on,” she says. “We’re also all really focused on the success of each and every startup because we’re cofounders, not just building a product, shipping it out and moving on to the next.” How they encourage the startups that they work with, it also stands true with the team that they’re working with within their teams, “although we’re united by our vision and the way we think, each member of the Nova team is unique. We’re very accepting of who people are, whist supporting each other to grow and be the best we can be. We have a very supportive and driven culture here, we encourage everyone to be brave and try out new things. If you’ve got an idea, we test it and it works, we’re all better for it.”
When it comes to finding talent to join their team, they’re just as driven. “Cultural fit is key. It’s important that we look for people who have the same values and ethos as the rest of our team, whilst having the skills and ability to do a great job,” reflects Mariel. “We want the very best tech talent that Liverpool has to offer. We have a passion for keeping tech talent in Liverpool… Many of our team studied at University in Liverpool and have stayed with us since graduating. We’re keen to continue to work with the talented people Liverpool has to offer and have close links with both the local universities and schools.”
Like many Liverpool businesses, their growth plans are both bold and exciting. “We’re working to open our Manchester Cofoundery in the near future but in Liverpool, we’re now at the size where our space in the Baltic Triangle is tight… So we’re excited to see what will come next.”