Wales Start-Up Awards 2018: Winners Stories: CAUKIN

CAUKIN won the Construction Start-Up of the Year Award, kindly sponsored by Grapevine Event Management. We caught up with them after their win to find out a bit more:

1.) How did it feel to win a Wales Start-Up-Award? 
We are over the moon to have won a Wales Start-Up-Award. The opportunity to receive exposure on a national stage is one which is highly valuable to a fledgling business like ours. We believe that starting our business in Wales has been instrumental in our early success and winning this award has cemented that belief! 

2.) How did you find the experience of the Awards night? 
The awards night was really great. Having a well-planned and organised event to celebrate all the great companies there is brilliant. It was a great chance to speak to like-minded business owners and the drinks tasted even sweeter after finding out that we’d won! 

3.) How do you strive to make a difference in the Welsh business market? 
As graduates of the Welsh School of Architecture at Cardiff University, we are always looking for more volunteers and more students to come away with us on our projects. Through strengthening our relationship with Cardiff University and opening up other partnerships with the other Welsh educational institutions we will be able to provide more valuable experiences for young people. In terms of our area in Welsh business, we want to show how small, agile and young design practices can provide high quality services and products. We want to be a breath of fresh air in an otherwise slowly moving market. 

4.) What are your goals for the next 12 months? 
We are working towards expanding our international construction projects in size, scale and complexity, by taking more international volunteers on more projects world-wide. Our overriding goal is to create more impact and reach more communities in need, whilst bringing people together to learn and have fun through building cool buildings! 
In terms of our business expansion, we are looking to continue with our team being based here in Cardiff, looking for office spaces and work in the south of Wales. Alongside this we will be opening a second office in London to strengthen links between our work in the two capitals.

5.) What is the biggest lesson you have learned in the first year of your start-up business? 
Get used to rejection, use it as a way to refine your offer. There are multiple avenues to success in business; there are people out there who will share some part of your vision, you just have to find them. Be sure of what you can provide and be open, flexible and willing to collaborate to execute truly great projects, as well as develop some long-lasting relationships. 

6.) What one piece of advice would you give to any aspiring entrepreneurs? 
Don’t be afraid of failure, learn from it then build on it. Don't make the same mistakes twice! There is strength in acknowledging your weaknesses. 

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