The pride of our local business community

We are delighted to announce our CEO, Andrew Yates, has been nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year at the Pride of Reading Awards.

For those of you unfamiliar with Andrew’s story, he has always been passionate, determined, and full of positive attitude. His background as a rugby player taught him the importance of hard work, endurance and team spirit, and with his father as a strong mentor Andrew learned early on that support is critical to keeping you motivated.

He drew on all of these life lessons and experiences when he started his first business back in 2001, risking his personal security to build a start-up with no external investment. The risk paid off and the business thrived. But when it was acquired he didn’t sit back to rest on his laurels. He started again.

Artesian was conceived over dinner with co-founders Mike Blackadder and Steve Borthwick. Dreaming big, they believed they could create a software company that would make a meaningful dent in the B2B universe. Artesian was founded in 2006 with private capital and run from home. Within a year they had opened the first office in Winnersh, Berkshire, built a strong, like-minded, ambitious team, and were well on their way to launching their first social intelligence application.

Just three years later, during a period of recession, Artesian had gathered 5,000 users, was delivering 1 million actionable insights, and had been named Gartner Cool Vendor of the Year. Catching the eye of venture capitalists who were impressed by both their disruptive software solution and extremely talented team, Artesian kick-started a significant gear change. Today Artesian has offices in Winnersh, London and Boston USA, and delivers 16 million actionable insights every month to an ever-growing multinational customer base.

Despite his success, Andrew Yates remains the same person as when he started out – determined, focused, passionate, and team spirited. Still very much hands-on, he believes in the importance of drawing on all your experiences, having the courage to try, and constantly working on your strengths as well as your weaknesses. Andrew challenges everyone in the business to do the same and to venture beyond what they think they’re capable of, and in return he has created an environment where everyone is equal, and where reward is based on contribution and drive, not age or time served.

He also believes in giving back and supporting his local community, encouraging everyone in the business to do the same by dedicating a small amount of working time to good causes, in return for extra holiday time.

Asked what makes him most proud about launching and running a successful business, Andrew said: “Literally imagining something which can make people’s working life more effective – and turning it into something that really does! And in the process creating employment for 80 people who want to be the best they can be.”

We’re all keeping our fingers crossed that Andrew Yates will lift the trophy at November’s glittering award ceremony.