1st August 2017

When you’re meeting a person to learn about their business – what it does, how they operate – it isn’t necessarily important for them to tell you their life story. But when the business you are learning about is a market leader, a major employer and contributor to Sheffield’s growing tech scene, you can’t help but be curious about the people behind it. Why is the culture they’ve built so important to them? What were their motivations to set up the business in the first place and what drives their success?

I recently met with Jonathan Burrows; the MD and founder of Sheffield based tech company ASK4. ASK4 has an impressive growth story.  Launching in 2000 with a focus on private residential Internet services, they moved into the student multi-let market in 2005 when they acquired Horizon Telecoms.  ASK4 made headlines again in May 2014 when they completed a buyout and refinancing backed by Darwin Private Equity LLP. The deal raised £21.5 million in capital to support their rapid expansion.

Today ASK4 employs 110 people and turned over £13 million last year, with continued double-digit percentage growth expected in the current year. They provide multiple occupancy broadband solutions across the UK and Europe. Their approach is quite simple. They want to put the customer first. It might sound like a cliché but it’s very apparent that this principle underpins every aspect of the business. The 24-hours-a-day, 365-days-a-year service, the multiple languages spoken by support staff, the home-grown developers that innovate and problem solve; customer experience is at the heart of it all.

So what of the people and the culture? What of the man, who aged just 18, after spending one year as an intern with IBM, decided to return to Sheffield to set up his own business? How many 18-year-olds do you know that have an idea and grow it into a multi-million-pound business? And why Sheffield? What did this tech entrepreneur see in this city that gave him the confidence to launch and grow his business here? Read the full story by visiting Business Sheffield news today…