Business Name: Cornerstone
Support received: Start Up Loan
Selling exclusively over the web through cornerstone.co.uk, Cornerstone offers a regular, flexible delivery of razors and men’s shaving products meaning that men always have everything they need for a great shave. Oliver Bridge, a graduate of Oxford University, worked in marketing and then venture capital before embarking on his entrepreneurial journey.
The team secured £898,000 investment with a crowdfunding campaign to help grow their business. With a strong vision for the business, Oliver went on to secure backing from a group of angel investors – raising a further £160,000.
We spoke to Oliver about the development of his idea and the support that helped implement it.
How have the London Small Business Centre supported you?
When I started Cornerstone I was living in Shoreditch at the time and had heard good things about some of the work that the London Small Business Centre had been doing. When I decided to apply for a £5,000 Start Up Loan to raise some seed finance, it was a natural choice to go and speak to them.
When I applied for the Start Up Loan, my advisor Jim was very challenging (in a good way) and got me to think through my business plan in thorough detail – this ultimately helped when I went on to the angel investors later that year.
Tell us more about the idea and motivation behind Cornerstone?
As a consumer, I had never enjoyed shaving – it was uncomfortable, the products were too expensive, and when I finally got round to replacing my blunt razors, I had to spend my lunchtime queuing in Boots. I thought there had to be a better way. So, I created Cornerstone.