Startup Q&A: Alex McEvoy, Co-Founding Director, Gate One
Gate One is a three-year-old consulting firm that is already a standout proposition due to its value-for-money client-focused solutions. Alex McEvoy, one of Gate One’s four co-founders, fielded our questions about the firm’s startup phase.
Gate One was established in June 2013, with founders (pictured above, from left) Simon Dennis, David Holliday, Tim Phillips, and Alex McEvoy, aiming to create a different kind of consulting firm, focused solely on transforming clients’ businesses for the better.
The four founders had previously worked in ‘Big 4’ and specialist consultancies, and were convinced that they could deliver more innovative consulting solutions at better value for money.
Gate One ensures that businesses surmount transformation challenges by not only facilitating the conceptualisation of programmes, but also ensuring the programme is implemented.
The firm—which takes it name from the point in the transformation process when a bright idea is first made real—embeds small teams of experts to work alongside clients for the duration of a transformation.
Gate One’s teams are spread remotely across the UK, using the most innovative cloud-based tech for their operations. With a workforce of over 40 employees, and steadily growing revenue, the firm appears to be well on its way to becoming a consulting firm with a difference.
Co-founding director Alex McEvoy found the time to climb into the AGENT Startup Hotseat to answer questions about the story of Gate One so far.
1. Very simply, what does your company do?
Gate One helps our clients permanently change their businesses for better, through innovative, pragmatic design and delivery of their transformation activities.
2. What was the ‘Eureka!’ moment?
Having worked in the ‘Big 4’ consultancy firms and specialist consultancies, we realised that in both models there was general dissatisfaction from clients and employees alike. We figured there was a better way to attract top talent and deliver excellent client service at a more attractive price point. Since then, our breakthrough was when clients started to ask for ‘support from Gate One’ rather than for a specific individual. We knew at this point the brand was starting to gain traction in the market place.
3. What were you doing before starting?
The founders of Gate One are former ‘Big 4’ consultants and have worked in specialist management consultancy firms. All of the founders are transformation specialists and have worked on many of the most complex projects and programmes in the UK’s leading organisations.
4. How are you funded?
We began with very little capital. All we had was a notebook full of contacts and the drive to create something new and unique in the consulting space.
5. What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs starting their own company?
We were once advised to shop in Harrods for our people and Aldi for everything else. This has been great advice. Other than that, we have found the key ingredients to be a clear proposition that you have a reason to believe will resonate; the right market timing; and the readiness to iterate your proposition quickly.