Poplar couple see Taskhub dreams turn to reality

By Beth Allcock on February 15, 2013 5:35 PM |

DSC_0336 1.jpg

The best idea comes at a time when you don't expect it the most," said a smiling Aurore Hochard, in an office which houses a host of newly-created start-up companies.

And for the 33-year-old, who founded online marketplace Taskhub alongside partner Rahul Ahuja, it's a notion that certainly rings true.

The Poplar couple's project strives to provide those living in their Tower Hamlets community, as well as in the wider London area, with a service where residents can post an online message about a particular job they need doing, with a function for others to bid for the job.

Aside from the commercial aspect, Taskhub is underpinned by the duo's passion for community, and the concept of bringing together residents by the sharing of skills.

Aurore said: "It's very interesting how ideas come from your dreams - most of them are personal experiences someone has lived through or seen.

"I had a friend who had a baby almost three years ago. She didn't have many family members around and she was struggling.

"She just wanted to find people to help with the little things and said she wished sometimes someone would come and clear up - just an extra pair of hands.

"I was thinking there has got to be someone who would love to come and help you and make a bit of money.

"I told Rahul and he just took some A4 sheets and started to just draw things - he could see how the website would look.

"We just got excited together and we could see this thing coming."

But their drive to forge a community service has come at a personal expense - the duo sacrificed their savings allocated for a new flat to bring Taskhub into being and Rahul is still not taking a salary from the business.

And, with Aurore moving away from her teaching career for a degree in law and Rahul previously holding down a job as a contractor for RBS, Taskhub was an extra ball to juggle.

"We feel so strongly and passionate about what we do," said Aurore.

"It's not just selling a product, it's got a social value to it.

"When you don't make money there has got to be something that motivates you.

"For me, it's engaging with people - I love helping people and bringing people together."

But, fortune favours the brave and, after a nerve-racking presentation to representatives from Wayra Academies and investors in May 2012, they were told they had secured office space and mentoring for their start-up at a site near Goodge Street station, which they took up the following month.

Aurore said it was the icing on the cake when Taskhub became the sole Wayra start-up to receive a six figure investment from Telefonica and a distribution partnership with O2 UK in January, to allow the marketplace to expand country-wide.

Currently, Taskhub is invite only. So if you're an existing member, you have 10 invites to send to friends and family so they can sign up - mirroring the community notion on which the marketplace was founded.

In the coming months, the founders have set their sights on using the funding package and O2 connection to expand across the country as well as providing space for local industries to post their services. They also want to employ two members of staff.

"That's our dream some day, just to be on our street and walk to work and just to look out of the window to work," added Aurore.

"I know it sounds cheesy but if tomorrow, something were to fail, I could never regret anything.

"The worst thing for me is to have a regret."

Email info@taskhub.co.uk or go to taskhub.co.uk.