Business Interview – Sugarcoat, Creative Boost recipients

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Creative UK is pleased to announce a loan investment through the North of Tyne Culture and Creative Investment Programme in Sugarcoat: an early-stage creative SME based in Newcastle.

Sugarcoat provides an eCommerce platform that allows businesses to create bespoke, high performance selling experiences through API driven technology. The initial concept of Sugarcoat was developed in 2015, since then the product has evolved from a prototype to a commercial MVP. It is in a mature state having been validated for over three years with a number of businesses relying on its capabilities, as well as providing regular product feedback and generating recurring revenue.

Sugarcoat has been awarded a loan of £25,000 via the Creative Boost strand of the North of Tyne Culture and Creative Investment Programme to expand their leadership team and continue evolving their product. If you’d like to learn more about the Creative Boost loans and other investment opportunities for North of Tyne Creative and Cultural organisations, head over to our Investment page or get in touch with Rahul Misra, Investment Manager, Creative UK, North of Tyne

We spoke to Sugarcoat founder Rob Mitchell to find out more about his journey:

Overview of Sugarcoat

Sugarcoat is a headless, commerce platform which puts creative control in the hands of digital agencies, developers and businesses, so they can craft beautiful and engaging sales experiences which standout in the market. The modern commerce experience needs to feel captivating, authentic and bespoke in order to convert, as opposed to the templated and “off-the-shelf” solutions which seem to litter the online space. Achieving this level of tailoring often comes with a high barrier to entry, associated costs or frustration which Sugarcoat looks to remove, becoming the tool of choice for creatives by providing a modern, flexible platform and ecosystem which unlocks their innovation.

How will this loan help you in your growth?

We’ll be using the loan to expand our leadership team, to help us execute on our sales and marketing strategy and to continue building our network of digital agencies and developers, who use Sugarcoat for their commerce needs. We’ll also be refining the product and progressing our innovation roadmap which is something we are particularly excited about and will be showcasing more of in the near future.

How have you found the process of working with Creative UK?

Obtaining seed capital can be a very time consuming and sometimes frustrating process but this wasn’t the case with Creative UK. They took an active interest in our business and what we were about very early on, giving us advice prior to investment and then supporting us throughout the process. We knew they were someone who we wanted to work with owing to their ethos and investment in the Creative Industries so we’re thrilled to have their support going into the next stage of our business.

Why do you think investment into the North of Tyne region is important?

North of Tyne is an area of the UK which is brimming with creative talent but it can often go overlooked. It’s important that these people are supported and potential start-ups nurtured so that the local economy thrives, the creative sector booms, new jobs are created and talent is kept and attracted to the area… I mean, who wouldn’t want to work for a Geordie unicorn?

What advice would you give to similar cultural and creative business thinking of taking the step towards long-term financing?

Financing needs to be tied to your goals so having a clear direction will help inform the type of financing to suit your needs whether that is debt, equity or some other form. Try to find people with experience who’ve been through the process before to give you advice and don’t be afraid to reach out to investors early on for some insight… most of them don’t bite.

Creative Boost is a new offer of unsecured, low-interest business loans of £25,000 for Creative SMEs based in the North of Tyne Combined Authority area. Applications are open on a rolling basis till the deadline of 19th September 2022. Check the offer details, eligibility, guidelines, and APPLY HERE. This is a unique opportunity which will act as a gateway for early-stage creative businesses to develop their business models and evidence of commercial sustainability, to access potential future funding through loans and equity.



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