L-R: North East BIC’s Paul McEldon, Cllr Michael Mordey and Six Circles director David Cook
L-R: North East BIC’s Paul McEldon, Cllr Michael Mordey and Six Circles director David Cook
Richard Bell

Mussel Club founder’s Sunderland tech startup to double staff count

A North East tech startup has revealed plans to double its headcount less than a year after launching.

Six Circles, founded in March 2017 by entrepreneur David Cook and business partner David Arkley, plans to create five jobs and grow its headcount to 10 over the next six months.

Mr Cook got the idea for Six Circles after a conversation with a client of business networking group The Mussel Club, which he set up over 12 years ago.

He explained: “The idea to launch Six Circles was born from a conversation I had with one of our clients.

“The Mussel Club was well-known as one of the region’s leading business networking groups and this was mainly down to the online platform we’d developed.”

Mr Cook continued: “Not only did it allow us to receive and share members’ news, but it also enabled us to share our events and provide a platform for people to discuss topics of interest with one another.

“We soon realised that it had become a networking tool in its own right. People were getting in touch pre and post-events to network and do business and generally using it to socialise.”

Six Circles has developed software, based on the tech underpinning The Mussel Club’s website, that helps businesses build platforms for managing community engagement.

Its founders tapped into support from Sunderland City Council to develop and bring their product to market.

The business eventually expanded with new staff and moved from its startup office to space at the North East Business & Innovation Centre (BIC).

Six Circles has been trading for just under six months and worked with local and national companies in that time, including charities, FTSE 100 businesses and sports clubs.

Mr Cook said: “We are expecting our headcount to double from five to 10 over the next six months and are excited to see where the company goes from here.

“The interest we’ve received so far has been extraordinary and is testament to the hard work of our team and the support we’ve been able to tap into.

He added: “A few people thought I was mad when I decided to launch a new software business at the age of 49 but I couldn’t be happier with how it is going. I love it!”

Sunderland City Council Deputy Leader Cllr Michael Mordey commented: “Having already grown The Mussel Club into such a regional success story, it’s fantastic to see David making inroads again with Six Circles.

“The company is a great example of what can be achieved when you come out of your comfort zone and really focus on making something a success.”

The North East BIC’s chief exec, Paul McEldon, said: “It’s great to support and welcome this new technology business to the BIC. I’m confident with their focus on innovation that they will continue to grow and flourish.”

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