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ShareIn’s Jude shares her story at AGM talk

Jude Cook – the CEO and co-founder of Edinburgh-based crowd-funding and regulatory compliance company, ShareIn – delivered this year’s IMS member talk. Jude explored how the company has grown, and how a part-time job developed into creating one of Scotland’s fintech success stories.

Jude trained with Deloitte in London before a stint with BT; following a move to Edinburgh she took a career break to start a family.

From family to fintech

As a mum of three, Jude wanted to “think about something other than kid stuff” once in a while, and decided to ease back into the world of work, by helping SMEs write business plans.

 “It was fun, after working for a big company and auditing big organisations it was a whole new world for me. It was also an interesting time, as banks had stopped lending and people were starting to rely on Angel syndicates” Jude told delegates. She added that this was what sowed the seeds of an idea, and how she then began exploring different funding routes.

Jude related her experience of seeing a fully-fledge business emerge from a part-time role. “It soon became an all encompassing fourth child,” she said to nods of agreement from many delegates.

How crowd-funding took off

Covering the history of crowd-funding and changes within business investment, Jude explained that back in 2011, funding was still based around face-to-face networking sessions in soulless function rooms. It seemed illogical to her that this wasn’t being done online, although, as she also highlighted, equity crowd funding didn’t exist back then either.

Getting to where they are today has been a steep learning curve Jude said, adding that adapting their approach had been vital to success. In 2014, the company pivoted and shifted their focus onto finance and technology (Jude and Andrew’s respective areas of expertise); this was, according to Jude, “the real start of the business”.

A special day

Jude said that the date of the talk as a rather special one for her and ShareIn – as it was the anniversary of meeting her business partner, Andrew at a business event. They, their business and crowd funding in general have come a long way since they started out in 2011.

Summing things up, Jude explained that ShareIn has a unique model within the crowd-funding sector – technology and compliance – a fact that has seen them go from using a single shared desk on a part-time basis to having the largest office at CodeBase.