As part of our Basing Folk campaign and to celebrate International Men's Day, we spoke to influential men from around Basingstoke Town Centre. One of these was George Scott Welsh, Chief Operating Officer of Incuhive.
What is your current role?
The COO of Incuhive Group.
What is the most interesting part of your role?
Meeting lots of people in Basingstoke that have exciting business ideas, some of which I’ve not heard before. New ideas are what stimulates me the most. You always think there can’t be any new business ideas, then someone comes up with one. One that sticks out from Basingstoke is Hungrily, they are Deliveroo for home cooks, delivering homecooked food that people cook out of their own houses. This solves the problem of Chefs not being able to work “Chef hours” which are late nights and weekend, which can be very difficult if you are a single parent. But through Hungrily, these people can cook at home and use it as a platform to get their food out. My second favourite idea that I’ve seen recently is Stem Therapy. When you have a child, you can pay someone to extract their stem cells. Those cells are then frozen, and that resource can be drawn down upon in the future to help with certain diseases or cancers, and dramatically increases the odds of survival. The problem is who is going to pay for this, it costs about £3,000 to have the cells frozen, but if you then need to draw on the in the future the operation costs hundreds of thousands of pounds, and the NHS doesn’t pay for that. A man from Basingstoke has, however, identified this problem and created an insurance product to bridge this gap. It’s not so common in the UK to have this procedure, but in places like Singapore, around 26% of all new births register and have this done. But I get excited about stuff like that because I’m learning about new business models.
What’s your most vivid memory of working in Basingstoke?
Being on the panel for the Basingstoke Business Matters event. I was put on a panel for “Gender Diversity and Disability in the Workplace” when I was meant to be on “Start-up and Investment Strategy”! I was a bit clunky and got called out by someone in the audience, which was slightly embarrassing. That would definitely be my most vivid memory. I did engage with the person who called me out, and I made some great connections and contacts from the event, I even got invited back for this year! One of the problems as a business owner with these events and situations is it’s quite difficult to talk because inevitably, we will end up upsetting somebody, through a lack of knowledge and clunky terminology. I think my most pleasant memories of Basingstoke occur on a daily basis; I find Basingstoke to be such a positive place. The other places I work there’s a lot more moaning. Here people are all part of the same goal to grow Basingstoke and move it forward. I see and feel that positivity from the other shops on Church Street and the general public, there’s a resilience and a team mentality about moving the town forward and I really enjoy that and being a part of it.
What are the challenges for a man in your role?
I think having enough time to help all the people I want to help. As part of my role here we help any business, start-up or otherwise, with strategy, investment solution e.c.t. Having the time to help all those people is probably my biggest challenge.
Where do you see the future of Basingstoke?
I am absolutely convinced Basingstoke will continue on its current trajectory and be a very attractive place in the future. I see Basingstoke in 10 years being comparable to Winchester in its offering, but much better. It’s a much better place to do business with much better links to transport, a skilled workforce, positive attitude and a higher number of businesses willing to interact and low-cost office space. I’m a big fan of Basingstoke!
What advice would you give young men starting their careers?
Do it now. That would be my biggest piece of advice. Just do it now, don’t procrastinate. If you want to do something, don’t just talk about it, go and do it, make mistakes, fail and learn from them. Don’t be scared of failure. Go, fail and fail hard, then move forward.