A Birmingham start-up has seen a flood of enquiries seeking help to run virtual board meetings in the weeks following lockdown.
BoardSecure, a board management improvement platform targeting small companies and small- and medium-sized charities launched earlier this year from its base at Innovation Campus Birmingham.
Founder Clive Bawden is a former Institute of Directors award winner and an experienced executive and non-executive director.
He previously held roles within corporate finance at leading boutiques such as Catalyst (now Alantra) and Springboard Corporate Finance, as well as charity and voluntary trustee roles including Trustee for Risk & Finance at the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the Warwickshire Cricket Board.
Most recently he has become a trustee at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery as well as joining the international governing council of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW).
“We had already been incredibly busy since launch but the wave of enquiries has exploded since the world moved to lockdown,” said Bawden.
“BoardSecure was originally created to focus on four areas of pain that I’d experienced practically as an SME Director and Charity Trustee myself – how to hold effective board meetings online, manage risk better, improve internal processes and how to broaden the skills around the board table.
“Since late March, we’ve seen a huge number of enquiries from potential customers in our core target customers – smaller businesses and charities.
“Most have started using tools such as Zoom or Teams for holding virtual meetings but are now finding the lack of structure and the lack of process are holding them back.
“BoardSecure solves those issues, bringing focus to meetings, making the administrator’s life easier and works easily alongside Zoom, Teams and other major tools.
“With many pushed for finance due to Covid, we’ve worked hard to create a new subscription level for customers needing our help right now but who might not be able to afford it.
“Those qualifying for our help (they can find out using a quick survey on our site) are given a free subscription for the remainder of 2020, whilst we are also offering existing customers the chance to gift a free subscription to another local business when they renew.”
One of BoardSecure’s new customers is Castel Froma Neuro Care, a small charity based in Warwickshire. Company secretary Alison Stiles said: “I found it really easy to get started with BoardSecure and get ready for my board meetings. It has saved me a lot of time that I can use to focus on other things.”