Bounce Insights

Bounce 1

A Born Entrepreneur?

With parents involved in enterprises spanning architecture, logistics and kebabs, it is perhaps not surprising that Charlie Butler picked up something of an entrepreneurial gene. His studies in Business at Trinity College Dublin provided the platform for that gene to come to the fore. The Trinity Entrepreneurial Society’s Dragons’ Den events and talks from entrepreneurs like Iseult Ward of FoodCloud excited and inspired Charlie. He will never forget Michael O’Leary of Ryanair underlining to students just what a great opportunity they had to explore new ventures: ‘No major responsibilities; lots of time and surrounded by smart people! Don’t waste this opportunity!’

Taking that advice on board, Charlie and a small group of fellow students came together to brainstorm business ideas. They selected an idea focused on connecting students with SMEs, where the students could provide services like digital marketing. While the proposition floundered on the back of a cool reception from investors, Charlie was struck by how difficult it had been for the team to conduct effective surveys as part of their research. Therein lay the seedling of an idea which was to become Bounce Insights: a digital platform that makes it easy for companies to get rapid, accurate and accessible consumer insights.

Finding the Cash to Make It Happen

Successful pitches at a Trinity Entrepreneurial Society Dragon’s Den event and at the Launchbox Accelerator Programme provided some early cash to help get the business going, but not enough to support a team which included Charlie and three software engineers. To help fill this gap, Charlie approached Local Enterprise Office South Dublin who were able to provide a Priming Grant towards salaries in 2020 – this proved to be ‘the oxygen that kept the business alive’ throughout 2020.

Meanwhile, the Covid pandemic was taking a grip on the world, creating a degree of uncertainty that caused many large companies to focus more than ever on consumer research in an attempt to gauge what the future might hold. These companies needed fast and effective research that could be conducted entirely remotely – precisely what Bounce Insights had to offer. Diageo became one of the company’s first clients, with their Marketing Director providing a strong steer on how the platform needed to work for its users.

With positive interest from companies like Diageo, the team began engaging with investors, and LEO South Dublin helped the company to transition and become a High Potential Start Up client of Enterprise Ireland. A combination of angel investors and Enterprise Ireland invested €750k in Bounce Insights in 2020/21, followed by a further investment of €1.1m in 2022.

Bounce Insights Now

Bounce has become the go-to platform for businesses and brands looking for rapid consumer insights on concepts, designs, products and services. Bounce Insights makes this happen by assisting companies to design effective surveys which are shared digitally with panels of consumers who are incentivised to provide prompt responses. The client company can access all the findings through a bespoke interactive data dashboard – within 24 hours of the survey being launched. It is this speed of response, the agility of their platform and their unique research expertise that has convinced companies like Coca-Cola, Diageo, Tesco and Mondelez to become clients of Bounce Insights.

The company began 2023 with a team of 13 but expects this to grow to 22 by the end of 2023. For the moment, the core focus is on Fast Moving Consumer Goods companies in the UK and Ireland, with the US next on the hit list.

Why Gamble on the Start-Up Path?

Charlie is at pains to express how exciting and rewarding the start-up journey has been for him but is keen to point out that you need to be doing it for the right reasons. Reason Number 1 for Charlie is doing it because you really want to and because you are passionate about the core mission of the business. He would also encourage people to launch their start-up with someone they love working with and can really rely on: ‘You will pick each other up amid the challenges that will inevitably arise.’  Like many entrepreneurs, Charlie admits that the journey has been longer and harder than he could have imagined: ‘It’s the hardest and best thing that I have ever done. We’re over 4 years on the journey and it feels like we are just beginning!’

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