Runner Interview

Michael Blakely

Founder Equitas

Interview intelligence software, that helps companies hire the right people in half the time.

Can you give a brief introduction about yourself?
Michael Blakely, co-founder of Equitas. We have interview intelligence software, that helps companies hire the right people in half the time. In terms of background. I used to be a professional interviewer. I did about 10,000 plus interviews, and knew that they had to be a better way, had to be a fairer way to help people find the right people.
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur/startup founder?
My own personal pain point. Seeing things that were wrong, with the way that people were being hired. Also, my dad used to be self-employed and was an entrepreneur, so that was definitely an inspiration for going to work for myself and set up my own thing and do something that could have a good wack of impact.
Can you describe your startup in a single sentence?
Equitas is interview intelligence software, that helps companies hire the right people in half the time.
How did the idea for your startup come about?
See above!
What's the most unique aspect of your solution or business model?
The most unique part of our product is the fact that we've designed the first way to conduct live interviews. A mixture of technology, a bit of process thrown in there as well, and we are creating the Wikipedia for quality interview questions, so that we get upskill interviewers around the world.
What’s the most challenging aspect of building your startup?
Finding the right people, which is ironic because that's what the product helps people solve for as well. Team is nearly everything. Ideas 10%. Team is 30%, and then building a culture that's high performing is the game changer executions that last 60%.
What's the most valuable lesson you've learned as a founder?
You’re not pizza, you can not please everyone.
-How do you manage work-life balance, especially with the demands of a startup?
Next question! Ha! Coming out running, that’ll look good on the write up!
What’s the next big milestone for your startup?
We're big in healthcare at the minute. Our biggest client is the Irish NHS which is absolutely incredible. So cannot with the unite that market a little bit more in the UK and start coming across here and working with the NHS
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs or startups?
Don't be afraid to fail. Everyone always talks about failing fast. That doesn't mean that you can't put the thought, attention to detail in what you're doing. But don't be worried about looking stupid or saying the wrong thing. Probably like this interview as well!
Any ideas on how we could improve Seed Run?
Don't obsess over product obsess over distribution, and go to market. So we need everyone who's here to be tagging, distributing, spreading it, bring a friend, whatever it is to get more people coming down here. So far we've encouraged more female runner. Same idea for under represented founders. So next week everyone has to bring at least one friend.
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