Pioneering Tech Firm, Project#808 today announced the launch of its ground-breaking business – bringing together investment, innovation and the opportunity for sector collaboration and growth.
The Manchester-based firm have stormed onto the UK business and tech scene with ambitions to transform industries and invest in the future of whole industry sectors.
At its core, Project#808 is an investment and transformation business that takes shared industry problems and turns them into universal solutions.
Working with businesses that want to drive innovation within their sector collaboratively, Project#808 formulate innovation labs that solve collective issues and create future opportunities, both for the sector to grow and evolve, and as an investment opportunity in a high-growth tech start-up.
“Rivalling traditional investment methods, Project#808 offers a fresh, creative investment model that provides access to industry improvements as well as additional revenue streams.” says Founder of Project#808, Paul Billington, who set out with an intrinsic desire to do things differently and has created a business like no other.
There are three key phases to Project#808’s collaborative process; the discovery phase where they identify the issues holding the sector back, the validation phase where they validate with the sector that the proposed solution will work, and the final launch phase which sees the product developed as a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and subsequently sold to the sector. The brilliance of Project#808 is that at this final stage when a new start-up is born, there is already high and guaranteed demand for it, given the sector’s involvement in developing the solution.
Every spinout is majority-owned by early investors within the industry, who not only benefit from the transformative solution for their businesses but also have equity in the tech start-up selling the solution. The solution is continually developed into market leading solutions, which can then be sold to other sectors and into other territories to achieve widespread growth.
Paul Billington, Founder and CEO of Project#808 commented: “Having worked within the digital sector for over 25 years helping to support rapid tech start-ups, I experienced the landscape becoming somewhat stale and in many ways overpowered by the big players.
“Sector challenges are increasingly arising and standing in the way of businesses evolving. Unless they are one of the large corporate industry leaders, they just don’t have the means or income power to tackle the issues.
“Hence, I wanted to build a platform that will collaboratively support these business communities whilst in tandem build for the future of the industry, enabling them to be part of something that will achieve true high-growth potential.”
Project#808 achieves this – creating disruptive, market-defining products together, which together can dramatically reduce the cost and risk of innovation. Any business has the opportunity to collaborate across their sector so it’s accessible to all, and the beauty of it is that businesses not only benefit from the sector solution but they have the ability to part of something new, and possibly even bigger.
Paul added: “We have already created our first Innovation Lab, and there are more underway in the North-West and nation-wide.”
The first of Project#808’s Labs is ‘The Pharmacy Innovation Lab’, designed to instil innovation and unity to a highly fragmented 800-year old community pharmacy industry in danger of being dominated by a few key players. By levelling the playing field and creating this lab, Project#808 has made it possible for 7,000 SME sized pharmacies to thrive within the sector.
This is a true joint venture between Project#808 and the pharmacy sector – over 50% of the Lab is owned by the industry itself.
Tohidul Islam, Founder of The Pharmacist Cooperative and multiple business owner commented: “This has been truly revolutionary to be a part of. Bringing about change, implementing innovative solutions and investing in modern systems seemed an impossible dream, not for lack of drive but given the hefty investment costs associated with this – community pharmacies simply don’t have as deep pockets as the big corporates. So, naturally having the accessibility of the platform along with the chance to work and invest with likeminded people who care and know so much about the sector felt like an unmissable opportunity. Effectively, I could create and own a share of the future.
“Project#808 paves the way for change and growth. I’m overwhelmed by the progress we’ve already made in such a short space of time – The Pharmacy Innovation Lab is now in full swing and it’s only been a few months. It’s a truly exciting time for us investors, as well as the industry as a whole.”