Bringing events to life - OhSoChimp links social media and instant printing

Innovative branded photography company OhSoChimp lands blue-chip clients but has big future plans.

In the age of the selfie, a camera can always be found just an arm's length away. The likes of Snapchat and Instagram mean that images are shared digitally at the click of a button. But when it comes to printing those images, a long process and high costs mean that it has become less common.

OhSoChimp is starting to reverse that trend. With its unique social media software, it enables businesses to engage people with their brand at live events; linking social media with instant printing. Attendees can use the innovative and fun software to snap a photo, hashtag it and print it; all branded, on the spot and in real-time.

Founded by Jon Catney in 2013, OhSoChimp was prompted by the number of photos lingering on his phone. He didn't initially realise the niche and innovative element of the product, but has since secured both B2B and B2C work; already partnering with Blue Chip clients such as Red Bull, Ascot Race Course, Animal and Domino's.

The tech-driven company is also using its skills to branch into other sectors; the software can use facial recognition to identify people at doctor's surgeries, health clinics and chemists.

Built on Jon's love of imagery and technology, new services are being continuously developed, whilst also adapting to the changing needs of relevant sectors.

As a start up, OhSoChimp faced a number of barriers and struggles with legal assistance, building substantial forecasting and models, gaining further investment and structuring the business better.

Recommended to innovate2succeed by Sentinel Healthcare, who were already on the programme, the company contacted Project Manager Yvette Coles. She spotted how the programme could help Jon and proposed the Understanding Sources of Finance and Understanding Funding & Grants modules.

innovate2succeed specialists were appointed to work with Jon on developing a robust set of financial forecasts. Getting to know the business, at a finite level, they suggested how to tailor its growth and opened Jon's eyes to how effective a simple spreadsheet can be when looking at the company's financials.

OhSoChimp also received help identifying suitable sources of grant funding. With limited knowledge, Jon was shown other options, along with the pros and cons of applying for certain grants. He was delighted with the advice provided but would have liked extra time to really develop OhSoChimp's grant applications.

Lastly, Jon received advice on the benefits and pitfalls of attracting an investor. Having never looked for investment, the company recognised it would need to as part of the its future. i2s specialists helped Jon understand what to avoid and clearly explained what investors were looking for, allowing the company to pre-emptively secure funding.

Talking about the support received from the programme, Jon said:

"innovate2succeed provided amazing support. When you aren't an accountant or financial director, finance can be daunting. Following this support, the company is now better equipped moving forward - it has the correct tools in place, the correct knowledge and a clear understanding of what is needed.

"It showed us what we are good at and what we really need to streamline. It's definitely enlightened us."

Since the i2s programme, OhSoChimp is in the process of securing investment and hopes to increase its staff levels on the back of future funding. Jon also has a better understanding of where he wants the company to be in the future and a plan of how to get there.

Moving forward, the aim is to turn the business into a highly exclusive product to deliver high-end live events, develop new software to minimise live event staffing, break into artificial intelligence and grow a social media search engine.

Also, in collaboration with a medical company, OhSoChimp is developing software used for identifying skin lesions and determining if they are potentially cancerous.

Thanks to innovation, all current and future products also have the potential for internationalisation, with Europe, the Middle East and Asia first on the agenda.

Innovation should be considered a key component of any business growth strategy, which is why the innovate2succeed programme has been designed to help embrace innovative business practices and increase chances of success.

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