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JPP Law Blog

ThanksBox - A Start Up Case Study

Founded in late 2014, ThanksBox are helping HR and Leadership Teams deliver cultural change, with tools and insights. ThanksBox facilitates employee recognition, rewards and idea generation across all levels within the organisation. The concept is impressive, and it has been implemented by some big organisations such as the NHS and endorsed by the professional body for human resources, The CIPD.

The Concept

Founder and CEO of ThanksBox, Luke Fisher, explains the origins of the idea."As an employee in a large organisation I spotted a gap in communication between employees and management. In most business areas it is considered important to 'know your customer' and there are many tools on the market to help obtain client feedback, which is then used to improve products and services. For many HR departments this process is missing in the employee / employer relationship. Feedback from employees is an obvious way not only to improve organisational performance and processes but also to aid employee satisfaction and staff retention. ThanksBox was developed to fill this gap. It is an online system that increases employee involvement from the grass roots upwards and provides HR professional and business leaders with impressive and useful analytics which can be used to improve business performance."

The Start Up Journey

Like so many entrepreneurs Luke gave up a well-paid job to develop his idea. His journey, full of risks and emotional highs and lows, began in the business incubator site Set Squared, Surrey. To set the business up they needed a team of professional service advisors including an accountant and a lawyer.

For their legal advisor ThanksBox chose JPP Law, a virtual law firm, who are actively involved in supporting start-ups across the country. Like so many start-ups the founders at ThanksBox recognised the need for a sound legal structure but were unwilling to commit to high expenditure on legal fees until the expenditure was absolutely necessary and they knew they had a valid business. JPP supported this approach.

Initially the three founders required a Shareholders Agreement to ensure each of the founders understood their rights and obligations.  For any business selling a product or service Terms and Conditions are essential, but this legal document wasn't required until a client had been secured.
Luke Fisher comments, "We were absolutely delighted when we got our first client but to secure the deal we needed them to sign the Terms and Conditions which we hadn't got. However, JPP Law were able to act quickly to produce and finalise the T&C's. The same approach was taken when we took on our first employee. Only after the employee was recruited was the employment contract drawn up. This approach is normal for start-ups when budgets are tight and so finding a legal advisor that can work in this way is really important."

Other Support

ThanksBox were also supported by many other organisations created to help new and growing businesses, including the government scheme Growth Accelerator, accountants Grant Thornton, Creative England and Sprint Pirates, a growth and acquisition specialist who work with pre-seed investors.

External Funding

Securing investors is hard but the ThanksBox concept was impressive enough to gain the interest of angel investors. To secure the investment the team needed to provide financial information and legal documentation. The investor required a detailed financial analysis which was provided by an accountant. A solicitor (JPP Law) was required to amend existing legal documents and to create new ones to ensure the investment was legally formalised and the that the terms were fair and understood by both parties. Securing investment can be an arduous process but for both investor and investee ensuring the due diligence process is thorough is a crucial step for future success.

On the Road to Success

The road of a start up us rarely easy but ThanksBox has made an incredible start. In just three years they have developed a fantastic product and successfully implemented it into several large and well-known organisations such as the InterContinental Hotel Group, the NHS and the O2 Arena. This is a team that will surely go from strength to strength.

For more information about Thanksbox: 

JPP is a passionate supporter of innovation and technology and can offer advice and guidance on business structure, funding, legal documents, including shareholders agreements, and intellectual property rights often at a packaged fixed price.

We have also produced a series of start-up guidance videos.

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