Meet Mike Ashcroft who has been mentoring Soda client Update Cove. Mike is the Australian co-founder of EstimateOne, a digital procurement marketplace for commercial construction. The business started in Australia, where they have around 60,000 organisations who use the platform to manage $60 billion worth of projects each year, and now have customers in NZ, UK, Ireland, Singapore and the Philippines. Mike is also an investor and advisor to a small number of other software and technology startups in Australia and New Zealand.

What do you love most about your job?

I'm very fortunate that I get to work with exceptionally talented, driven and capable people at EstimateOne, which is the part of my job that I relish most. I also enjoy working directly with customers as much as possible, understanding their problems and challenges in as much detail as I can, and sharing that with our organisation so we continue to create value for our clients for the long-term.

What was a highlight for you in 2021?

The major 2021 highlight for me was our successful capital raise which closed just before Christmas. We completed a $35M deal with Potentia Capital and Saniel Ventures, which will enable a new phase of growth for our organisation over the coming three years.

And what are you looking forward to most about 2022?

I'm excited about the growth journey that we're on as a business - our organisation will double its headcount in 2022 and expand into new geographies off the back of our capital raise. I'm also excited to be working with UpdateCove, through Soda, to help accelerate their growth ambitions during the year.

How has Covid impacted you and your business?

Remote work is now a staple rather than an optional part of our ways of working. This has pros and cons which we're still working through as a business. I personally lament not being in the office face-to-face for certain types of work - collaborative work for example. Covid has also had significant impacts on the construction industry, which has flow-through implications for our business. I'm optimistic that 2022 will be a significantly better than the year just gone though!

What or who inspires you?

People who are courageous and honest. People who are crazy enough to start businesses. My wife and kids inspire me to be better.

What is the best advice you’ve been given?

Execution > Ideas. And proper sequence of execution matters more than you think.

What three things can’t you live without?

My family, a good walk on the beach at sunrise, and something fulfilling to work on.

Best book, tv show or podcast you’ve enjoyed recently?

My favourite book is Dune, and I'm enjoying Yellowstone when I get the chance.