About

We're a team of passionate folk who work with tech startups to turn their vision into a reality, enabling tech innovation and customer-centred thinking into everything you do.

The team

More grit than glamour, we roll our sleeves up, get dirt under our nails and get stuck in. Meet the team that makes it happen.

  • Ian Brookes

    Founder

    The founding father of tsf.tech, Ian has spent the last decade working as a co-founder, investor and board member/advisor with a number of tech businesses and startups, with hands-on fundraising experience of c£64m via PLUS, AIM, FTSE and VC/PE.

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  • Headshot of Aleksa Vukotic.

    Aleksa Vukotic

    Chief Technical Officer

    As a CTO, Aleksa is responsible for the shaping of the technology vision and innovation within tsf.tech, as well as overseeing the technology strategy of the company and our clients.

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  • Charles (‘Chuck’) Rice

    Head of Design

    Chuck is Head of Design at tsf.tech, where he lives his passion for Human-Centred Design, wanting to better the world by engineering intuitive experiences for users.

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  • James Brookes

    Head of Projects

    James is Head of Projects, a role that starts with the first meeting with a potential client, through project inception and delivery phases with responsibility for agile processes and resourcing, and encompasses all aspects of the commercial relationship with a client.

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  • Eric Carter

    Head of Engineering

    Eric Carter is the latest edition to the team at thestartupfactory.tech, our guru of everything Engineering from the smallest prototype Proof-of-Concept up to large complex infrastructure deployments.

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  • Guy Remond

    Non-Executive Director

    Guy is the founder and CEO of Cake Solutions, an enterprise software development company with offices in Manchester, London and New York.

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  • Jan Machacek

    Non-Executive Director

    Jan is a passionate technologist, with hands-on experience with delivering large-scale systems, particularly those that bring together the data science and mathematics with modern engineering practices.

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Five Pillars

When setting out, we looked to other entrepreneurs for a steer as to what makes for a happy and healthy business. We found this quote from Jeff Bezos: Find the things that are important to you and invest heavily in those things. So we created the Five Pillars to stay focused on the things that will always be important to us.

We’re entrepreneurs, software engineers, designers, analysts, agile practitioners. We’re also bloggers, explorers, speakers, swimmers, dog lovers, coffee addicts, campers, walkers, musicians, gamers, footballers, readers, travellers, gardeners, parents, and optimists. We bring our true selves to work. Our business is defined by who we are, our values and the culture we create.

  • Vision & Values

    • Our business is about people capital, not venture capital
    • Reach beyond your expectations, every day
    • First names are important, job titles are not
    • Trusting each other is the platform for everything we do
    • Everyone practices humility and self awareness, but also self-esteem
    • We know the mentality to be successful and we have it in abundance
  • Culture

    • No office hours, but minds always open
    • 40 hours a week maximum; 32 summer hours (4 day weeks) July & August
    • Weekend starts 1pm Friday
    • Pay for one weekend holiday a year
    • Fresh fruit breakfast in the office every day; pay for a weekly ‘Hello Fresh’ shop once a month
    • Team social last Thursday of every month
  • Knowledge

    • Everyone has a personal R&D project
    • Host Lunch & Learns third Thursday in the month
    • Run four hackathons a year
    • Wednesday afternoon is your personal learning time
    • Everyone goes to one event a month; everyone has a monthly book allowance
    • Performance of the business is transparent to everyone
  • Social impact

    • Lead a Code school in Manchester for under 11s
    • Provide a platform for unemployed people to get back into work
    • Sponsor & help Manchester Soup
    • Mentor a Social Enterprise
    • Provide paid internship opportunities
    • Active contributor to Manchester Tech Trust
  • Success

    • We will keep our company small and intimate, with reasonable expectations
    • Our place of work is a welcoming oasis, not a chaotic kitchen
    • Anxiety is not a pre-requisite for progress
    • We are calm by choice and practice
    • Everything is about having a reasonable day, going home, and living your life
    • Success is looking at a visible horizon, and getting there in the long run