Expertise Growing Businesses Promoting innovation: Helping entrepreneurs, investors and start ups

May 9, 2010


Filed under: — rufus @ 1:54 pm is, at base, a vehicle for Rufus Evison (Trading as Rufus Evison Ltd) so a few word about Rufus seem appropriate.

First off, though he is occasionally willing to travel for work Rufus is based in the UK in London. Rufus generally operates on an informal NDA but if you need and NDA signing there is a mutual one available here. The one caveat to this is that at anyone time Rufus is involved with several star-ups so, even though you have not come across someone using the same technology or idea as you, it could happen. Where there is a conflict of interest I (Rufus) will recuse myself and explain my reasons. I am fairly upfront and reasonable about things so this has never caused a problem, but if it ever does it will be resolved on a FIFO system, so whoever tells me about an idea first owns it from my point of view.

Rufus Evison has been involved in a whole host of start up ventures over the last 20-30 years and has a startlingly low failure rate. Whether this is because he is good at recognising a good combination of ideas and people, because he does not take enough risks or because of the benefits he brings to the party is left for the reader to decide. He brings three things to a start up company:

  • Experience starting companies and steering businesses past the pitfalls that can catch even the most experienced entrepreneur.
  • A wealth of technical know how combined with a different way of looking at things that re-frames impossible problems into straightforward projects.
  • A useful network of high level contacts.

The important things for helping start up companies are experience, network and resources. The resources are generally supplied by venture capital, business angels, or friends and families. More information about funding will be included in the blog in the funding thread.

Experience is shared in three ways.

  1. Through posts and pages on this site
  2. Through talks and training sessions involving everything from the informal Machu Pechu to lectures at Cambridge University.
  3. Through paid work either long term as a non-executive director (+) or shorter term as a consultancy contract.Many start-ups do not initially have sufficient funds to afford me, this is taken into account both in the amounts I charge and the possible methods of payment. As a non-executive director for the NCT I take their charitable status into account and do nit charge for my services. As NED for Fusepump I own a share of the company and so have a vested interest in their success. Reward Technology are currently getting a highly discounted rate with delayed payment on some charges to ensure they have the funding they need to move quickly.

The final piece is networking. There are several forums for networking which a company can arrange to be tied into. Alternatively people working with Rufus will often receive appropriate introductions to the right people as the opportunity arises.

In the mean time this page, like the rest of the site, will be under construction. In a way the entire site is planned to always be under construction so that it can evolve with the changing needs of the users as well as with the changes in the economy.

If you have any suggestions for content that I should include do feel free to get in touch.

When it comes to how much to pay me I am not cheap but what that is worthwhile ever is? I am flexible. I would love to be able to offer to work for free, and in fact I did take a year off at one point to do just that. Sadly at the moment I do need to charge something. My standard rates are £2k per day for a long term engagement but if there is interesting work I may discount and if there are good people involved I may discount heavily.
I probably discount more than I can really afford because I genuinely enjoy working with start up companies. As I say elsewhere on this site people are generaly better at the things they enjoy doing and so I am pretty good at this.

That said my wide experience allows me to help out interesting companies once they have passed the start up stage so do not feel shy about getting in touch.


(+) Very early stage companies are sometimes not able to pay in cash. In these cases it is sometimes appropriate to become a non-exec after acquisition of a small stake in the company and to work pro-bono while the company grows. My optimum is to get my money about 70-30 cash to equity so it needs to be a company with strong prospects to tempt me to accept some of the fees as equity.

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