What is the Cyber Runway?
Cyber Runway is an accelerator for Cyber innovators focused on providing support and expertise to entrepreneurs and their immediate leadership team. Cyber Runway is funded by the Department for Science, Innovation & Technology and delivered by Plexal.
P3M Works was selected to join the Cyber Runway programme as part of the grow cohort in September 2022, after passing two interviews to assess our potential and validity. I was initially apprehensive of submitting an application as P3M Works primarily delivers services, however this preconception was swiftly dismissed in the interview process.
Cyber Runway lasts 6 months and consists of weekly remote sessions that cover everything from story telling to culture. Once the initial 6 month runway has been completed, cohort members then graduate and remain connected with opportunities to attend events organised by Cyber Runway.
Sprint 1 – Product
As the name suggests, this sprint focused on what we were selling, for me this was expertise and outcomes and not a widget or application. The fundamentals remain the same, know your market fit, secure your IP and understand your competitors and price point / key differentiators. This sprint identified that P3M Works is valued for innovative delivery, but further work was required to really pin down the magic behind the various innovations employed to deliver projects under a time and resource pressure.
Sprint 2 – Culture
If your culture sucks, you wont attract and retain employees. A fairly obvious statement but an issue that continues to impact consultancies across the world. Having the right culture is a really big deal at P3M Works, we actively talk about how we use our office space, the type of rewards employees want and how we are all motivated. Cyber Runway brought in three different experts to educate the cohort on establishing, maintaining and building culture which introduced new ideas and concepts but reinforced basic components such as the creation of values and creating a positive business environment.
Sprint 3 – Sales
I’m not a natural salesman, I often under sell and get uncomfortable around self-promotion, which was a stance shared by most of the cohort. The sales sprint honed in on government frameworks and how to make the most of them but also how to employ ‘sales people’ which was a subject I hadn’t yet fully considered as all P3M Works consultants sell organically. My key takeaway from the sprint was that the old adage of ‘your network is everything’ still rings true and requires careful cultivation to unlock opportunities.
Sprint 4 – Storytelling
This sprint focused on investor readiness and marketing. I found the marketing section particularly useful as it reinforced some of my beliefs about strong brand identity and how marketing is critical for communicating products and services, particularly through platforms such as LinkedIn. I personally had not invested enough in P3M Works’ marketing strategy at this point in the runway and set about remedying this issue by using the team’s internal expertise to improve our website and social media presence to generate organic leads and improve brand recognition and credibility. At the time I felt as if P3M Works was still too small to undertake such endeavours and I was glad to be shown the light by the excellent Joe from outfly (PS Joe if you are reading this I will reschedule our meeting ASAP!)
I was introduced to like minded founders who were incredibly supportive of one another, each with a novel product that they are passionate about and taken big risks to develop. The cohort itself is a powerful tool (remember your network is everything!) and I’m sure it will continue to flourish now the formal element of Cyber Runway is over.
The ability to pitch to two audiences was invaluable and really helped to identify strengths and weaknesses in my presentation style and the business itself.
A lot of my business strategies, ideology and objectives were ratified by the Cyber Runway participants, both from the cohort and presenters. As a sole founder it can be quite a lonely experience and you need feedback to ensure you aren’t spending money in the wrong places or chasing work that is unattainable whilst learning lessons from similar businesses that have already experienced the growing pains.
Thanks to everyone who made Cyber Runway possible, I fully recommend any small business that fits the criteria to apply for the next cohort!
If you’d like to find out more about P3M Works and our solutions and services please get in touch by contacting me at email@example.com