Name and role: Michelle Cowan – Co-Founder and MD
Organisation: Justo Software Ltd
Describe what your organisation does?
We (myself and my business partner Bren Adams) established Justo Software in 2018 on the back of an idea for an app. Our vision was to bring multiple software ideas to market. Our first product is ‘socialsendr’ – the only web-based app on the market that can create, schedule and post content on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, transforming the way in which sole traders and freelancers deliver their social media. Our second product we will be bringing to market is socialpostr. Similar to the already established platform socialsendr, this new product is designed to instantly share content as opposed to scheduling it, making social media easier for the least tech savvy individual, as they can simply login, create a post and share instantly within less than a minute.
How many staff do you employ?
Right now, it’s just myself and my business partner Bren. We have a number of freelancers we work closely with, to deliver services to the business where we have a gap in our skills or expertise.
What does your role entail?
It’s easier to say what my role doesn’t entail. Bren is the lead on everything creative. There is a ton of work to do in the ‘back room’ of the app which we share, and I tend to pick up everything else. I have a background in corporate sales, strategy and planning – which has come in handy but the accounting, legal, compliance etc was all new to me.
If a start-up/business owner: What attracted you to start/operate your business in Huddersfield?
I am Huddersfield born and bred, and whilst I ventured out for University, this is where my home is. I always wanted to be based in Huddersfield, and we have a policy to use local service providers wherever possible. Our software developers, Torchbearer are Huddersfield-based which has been invaluable when going through the development phases.
Name some of your biggest business achievements:
I worked for Cisco for 17 years prior to leaving my corporate career in 2017 – a role that took me all over the world, working with some extremely talented people and teams. I am hugely proud of what I achieved whilst working there. That said, when I left, I didn’t know what I wanted to do, so setting up the business is up there! Overcoming some of the challenges we had with both Apple and Facebook in the first year of development also gives me a great sense of achievement.
What advice would you give to someone looking to set up or relocate their business in Huddersfield?
I’m slightly biased, but I love the town and I love the people. For those businesses operating regionally there is no better place on the M62 corridor. We are fortunate to have what is becoming a leading university in certain fields right on our doorstep, and it is a great source of early in career talent for when we are ready for expansion.
What are your hopes for Huddersfield 10 years from now (2030)?
I’m really impressed with the rejuvenation work that is happening around Huddersfield right now – from the tidying up of the pavements, the art on the ring road and the plans for the market hall and the piazza. I would love to see continued investment, the support of Kirklees council and more community engagement.
On a personal level, what do you love most about the town?
I love that from the town you can hop on a train to lots of different places, but also you don’t have to venture too far out of the town to enjoy the outdoors – Greenhead Park and Castle Hill are just two great places nearby. A trip a little further takes you to the Holme Valley where we are totally spoilt for choices for walking.
Where is your favourite place to eat/drink in Huddersfield?
Just a minute from the town centre is The Scullery. A nice bar, with intimate dining and amazing food.
Are there any recommendations or local knowledge you’d like to share with a visitor?
The Merrie England café – notably the Cheese Special – the place is a Huddersfield treasure – I will say no more.
Website Link – www.socialsendr.com
Social media links
Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok – @socialsendr
Co-host of Two Northern Lasses Podcast – https://anchor.fm/twonorthernlasses