The Silicon Valley Accelerate programme, now in its sixth year, gives startup founders access to the tech startup ecosystem, helping to boost engagement and relations between the two sectors.
This year’s cohort will include Andrew Parfery, co-founder of healthtech startup Care Sourcer, LearnBright’s Stephen Elliot, Biswajit Roy from Nuvven, and time2dine co-founder Florin Mandache.
DIGIT caught up with SCOTT WEIR, founder of PILLOW PROPERTY PARTNERS, to discuss the inspiration behind the startup, future ambitions and what the Accelerate programme could produce for this dynamic young company.
PILLOW is an online travel agency and property management company that matches holiday home owners with guests from around the world. The firm helps to develop hands-off businesses for a host of clients while enabling them to maximise income and free up time.
Tell us a bit about yourself, Scott
My background is property and I have been a landlord since the age of 17, where I set up my first management company in 2005. I am from South West Scotland and have a BA in Management, MBA and several industry-specific qualifications. I have won various entrepreneurial awards since founding the business.
What inspired you to create Pillow Property Partners?
Since being in the residential lettings market for more than two decades, I have seen that sector change massively.
These changes, mixed in with technological advances and shifting customer demographics, meant that it was the ideal time to launch PILLOW. Five years earlier and it would not have been possible, and a few years later and we would have had a massive challenge in a saturated market.
How has the company developed over time?
We are just over three years old and have grown from concept to MULTI-MILLION-POUND company in this short time – from zero properties under management to more than 1,000.
We have now outgrown our offices and are in the process of relocating to an amazing new space that will support our growth and has space for 50 team members, media studios and training studios.
What have been the biggest challenges the company has faced so far, and how have you overcome these?
Team. It is definitely finding and training the right talent. Being a self-funding startup, we could not pay amazing wages to start so we had to attract people willing to take a chance with us and grow with us.
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