Running a business is hard.

I hadn’t quite realised how hard it could be until things went wrong, and then the job quickly became the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It very nearly killed me*.

But after the rain, as always, comes the sun ☀️

Today, I’m excited to finally share two bits of awesome news I’ve been sitting on over the last few months.

Chew + BandLab = 🕺

Having to step away from (or kill) something you’ve been working on for nearly four years is not a pleasant process. Trust me on that one.

Thankfully, the former option becomes significantly easier when you find a partner and team who are aligned with your vision, albeit on perhaps a grander scale. I am delighted to share with you that, as of this week, the Chew platform and community has joined the BandLab family. Chew will continue as its own entity, as well as integrating into the BandLab platform, under new management with a fantastic team to take it forward. You can read our announcement on TechCrunch below or on the BandLab blog.

I will be working with the new team in an advisory capacity moving forward, but will be stepping away from day-to-day management and oversight in the next month or so.

Wil + Ignite = 🌚

Dream Team 🚀

If anyone asks me how we built Chew to where it got to, or if I could point to one or two things that got us where we got to, my answer would generally involve Ignite (applications are open!).

Outside of Chew and the many amazing opportunities the business provided the team and I over the years, I valued my time on Ignite as a founder — and after leaving, as a small-time investor and long-time mentor to the many fantastic teams that joined after I’d ‘graduated’. I’ve spent the last 18 months with teams and it’s been awesome. So when Tristan asked if I wanted to join in an official capacity, I didn’t have to think (let alone think twice) about my answer.

I recently joined Ignite as Programme Director alongside a truly incredible team: Tris, Martyn (who was Chew NED and saved the day on more than one occasion), Gabriela and our new Investment Director Alex (ask him about his love of ponies if you ever meet him). I bring my love of gifs, incessant emoji usage, electronic music, gin and my operational experience (both for businesses and for founders, on a human level) to our teams and the new distributed ‘2.0’ model.

Looking forward to being back in the booth with these two soon — watch this space!

A few Thank Yous

There are too many people to name individually in this story. Most of you know who you are — but for those that don’t, if you’re reading this you probably helped get me here.

Chew community, you kept the dream alive at the start of this year when I’d almost given up. I can’t wait to see what you guys do next! Chew team (both immediate and extended), I’m sorry things didn’t work out. I probably always will be. Such is life 🤷‍. Chew investors, thanks for all of your support and advice over the years; none of this would’ve happened without you. Ignite gang, it’s good to be home. Friends and family, you’re awesome. Thank you x

*If you’re having a tough time, drop me an email, tweet me or try talk to someone, anyone. It really helps. Thanks Sanctus (in a big way) for getting me through the dark days.

Venture & Ecosystem Director, ATI Boeing Accelerator & Head of Network, Landscape

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