1. To start things off, please can you introduce yourself.
Hi, I'm Jacoby Thwaites and I'm the CEO and founder of SPARKL.
2. Tell us a bit about SPARKL
SPARKL is a tech startup with a nifty piece of code, which we call the SPARKL Sequencing Engine. It automates the way things work together. The Sequencing Engine automatically provides data on all aspects of the business process, which makes it easy to tie business transactions to infrastructure events. It’s ideal for conduct risk management, but equally it has a broad range of applications across many complex sectors.
For example, US bank Merrill Lynch was fined a few weeks ago for continued failures in its transaction reporting. SPARKL Sequencing Engine could stop this happening again easily by automatically tracking each transaction log.
We are also developing and marketing a lighter, more consumer-friendly version of the Engine, which is SPARKL.io, an online web tool which automates life’s most tedious tasks. Built with the enterprise in mind, SPARKL.io helps your essential services to work together.
Believe it or not, that’s the short version of what SPARKL does! Its unapologetically deep tech!
3. What separates SPARKL from the crowd?
The fact that SPARKL could be adapted easily into any business. The Engine only needs to know three things about the business - datacentre resources, capabilities that may exist and intents the business may have. Like processing trades, or updating ledgers.
4. What business sectors is SPARKL aimed at?
Currently, we're focused on finance, pharmaceutical and aerospace - we like to aim high! However, the Sequencing Engine has such a huge range of use cases, almost unlimited and so really it could be applied to any sector.
5. What would you say you enjoy most about running your own business?
Working with my team. They're talented and creative and don't they know it - in April, we had a demo hackday at the rather splendid offices of the Digital Catapult. We came up with a demo that explained SPARKL tech with Slack and a Minion in about half an hour! Sometimes in this business you can get a bit bogged down in meetings and presentations - a hackday like that is a fantastic example of SPARKL collaboration - especially when we're under a time crunch!
We've always had a bit of trouble explaining SPARKL in the most basic way possible without going all techie. The Minion is the best example of that thus far.
6. How has the journey been so far for SPARKL?
Interesting! I founded SPARKL in 2012 - three years later, I've got a six-strong team, we're now IDEALondon alumini and SPARKL just became the first SDN (software-defined network) solution to receive a Cisco Preferred Solution Partner accreditation (I promise that's a big deal!). We're well on our way to getting our first pilot project.
7. How have you managed to fund your business?
Privately, with investors. We're actually going into a second round of funding early next year!
8. Tell us an unusual fact about yourself.
I am one of very few people of my age in the business who prefer to straight up code than go to meetings. Who knew?!
9. What does the next 12 months hold for SPARKL?
Continuing to develop and market the Sequencing Engine as well as looking for pilot projects. It can take a long time for deals to happen, so we're being patient. Something that isn't our strong suit, given that our company motto is 'Impatience is a Virtue'.... but in business it’s a necessity!