Features - Entrepreneurial Alumni
Posted 01 April 2017
New York Program
September 2003 Intake
James, a graduate of the University of Bangor, Wales, and also with a MSc from Oxford Brookes University, is the founder of Transcendent Real Estate (TRE) https://t-re.co.uk/. TRE is the UK's first dedicated commercial property investment/crowdfunding platform. The platform allows investors to acquire an equity stake in specific commercial property investments from £1,000 upwards.
How did you get into this line of business?
I got into Real Estate thanks to my year on the Mountbatten Programme. I worked for Buchbinder & Warren who are a family run real estate brokerage and management company, and then came back to the UK and did an MSc in Real Estate Management at Oxford Brookes University.
How did you go about setting it up and getting established?
There was a lot of research and learning in the early stages, whilst real estate wasn't new to me the crowdfunding/FinTech sector was, furthermore we had to be fully authorised and regulated by the FCA in order to operate. This was a steep learning curve with having to engage Nabarro as our legal advisors and took in excess of 12 months to get authorisation.
What else is in the pipeline?
Development of an Innovative Finance ISA on the platform to allow investors to benefit from tax efficient investing. We are also in the process of raising investment into the platform itself to kickstart the growth and development of it.
What has been the proudest moment in your working life thus far?
Definitely launching TRE as it was very challenging from having the concept to actually realising it.
What has been your biggest mistake/learning experience?
I would say not getting 3rd party investment from day 1. We tried to do everything ourselves but with hindsight it would have been prudent to get external input early on.
Any words of advice/wisdom would you impart to others thinking of setting up their own business?
Ignore the naysayers and never give up. There will always be people saying you can’t do things, but if you believe in yourself and your idea then go for it!
TRANSCENDENT REAL ESTATE
M: +44 (0) 7765 552 642
A: 28 King Street, Manchester, M2 6AY