Craig Buchan: The continuing journey of Qpal

Craig Buchan
Craig Buchan

I sat with great expectations of becoming a frequent blogger back in April after I put the finishing touches to my first chronicle, Coming Up For Air: The Launch of Festiwall.

The reality is though that running your own business requires a lot of plates to be spun and leaves you with little time to spare. The blogging unfortunately got put on the backburner and my creative juices were curtailed, but that all changes now. I’m delighted that Scottish Business News have offered me the platform to feature regularly as a contributor to talk all things start up, technology, lessons learned as a young business owner and whatever else is whirling around my head at the time.

A lot has changed in the 3 months since I last posted; exteriorly the business underwent a rebrand resulting in Qpal being born. We officially launched on July 9th by successfully deploying the Qpal system at Hops in the Garden. And most importantly, I’ve brought new members onto the Qpal team.

I touched on the significance of collaboration last time around, it seems fitting to continue down that route given that I’m currently assembling a team to work alongside me. To get up to speed on the early part of my journey, revert over to the Coming Up For Air blog that gives a background to the business idea.

Putting lots of entrepreneurial heads in a room together will always ignite discussions, generate ideas, test solutions and bring brutally damming truth to matters. Fortunately for Qpal I found myself in that exact environment by securing a place on the Elevator Accelerator Programme back in February.

I’m the founder of Qpal, but for the 10-week accelerator programme I felt as if I had 24 co-founders who were on the journey with me, who I could bounce ideas off and who had genuine interest in helping me achieve what I set out to achieve. I’m still currently working out of the Elevator space along with a few other comrades from cohort 2, which is great for keeping us on the straight and narrow.

I can’t recommend an accelerator programme enough for an early stage start up business, all different varieties exist across the world run by different organisations with different objectives but they all share one common goal – to provide a collaborative environment for high growth businesses. Yes there is a commitment requirement to being involved, but it’s a drop in the ocean compared to what you and your business will gain from it. Actions speak louder than words and I’m actually awaiting the verdict on whether I’ve been successful in securing a place on the Scottish Enterprise Start Global Accelerator that I recently pitched for!

From an early stage I knew the importance of bringing a Technical Director on board, which would allow me to focus on the commercial side of Qpal and sleep easy knowing the technology arm of the business was being driven forward. I was thrilled when Colin Dawson accepted the offer of joining me on the journey, and thrilled with how we’ve kicked off as a double act.

Putting the Batman and Robin double act connotations to one side, we’re going through an important phase for Qpal after the launch at our first event. We’re working hard in house to refine the system, taking the lessons learned from Hops in the Garden to enhance our offering. My next blog post will focus on taking an idea to Minimum Viable Product (MVP) stage and unleashing it into the wild

For now, keeping on the double act theme, it’s good night from me and good night from him.

Craig Buchan is founder and managing director of Qpal, an innovative technology solution that will enhance event experiences for organisers and attendees alike.
Qpal enables smarter and more efficient transactions, whilst giving events companies access to invaluable event intelligence.