The Upstart Company was set up by lifelong friends and business partners John Pring and Robert Thomas. Founders of world-renowned content development agency Designbysoap Ltd, they have spent the last 8 years working for some of the world's biggest brands, including Google, IBM, Microsoft, PayPal, The United Nations, The Royal Mint, Ford, Nissan, The Bank of England, AOL, Yahoo, Telefonica, Virgin, The World Economic Forum, GE, Jeep, BA, Capital One, Discover, Lloyds, Barclays, The Guardian, The BBC, Universal Studios and scores of others.
Setting the brand up from a spare room in John's house, the pair built Designbysoap Ltd from an unknown startup into the UK's best-known information design company, before evolving into a full-service content development agency known all over the world. Their content has also been featured by some of the most recognisable blogs, websites and news portals in the world, including the BBC, The Guardian, The Economist, The Financial Times, The Daily Mail, The Telegraph, Express Online, USA Today, Yahoo!, The New York Times, Mashable, Entrepreneur, INC, Complex, MIC, IFL Science, Buzzfeed, Elite Daily, TIME, Mental Floss, AV Club, Design Taxi, Richard Dawkins, Stuff, Gizmodo, Lad Bible, HBR and thousands of others.
By building a successful brand from scratch, our founders have a wealth of experience in marketing, branding, managing teams, leadership, pitching, dealing with clients, branding, design, SEO, productivity, financial management, HR, conflict resolution, social media and much, much more.
However, Designbysoap is not the end of the story - being true entrepreneurs, our founders also boast an impressive portfolio of brands, investments, products and achievements. One such achievement is Visualising The Beatles; an infographic-based book focused on the world's biggest band. Originally a successful Kickstarter campaign (where they raised over £10,000 for the production of a single chapter), the pair eventually went on to sign a publishing deal with Harper Collins in New York for a 2018 US release of the book, as well as being represented by world-famous literary agents Defiore & Company, also based in New York. In addition to the American release, the duo also signed publishing deals in Germany, Spain and the UK, giving this personal project a truly international presence.
In addition to the book and the agency, John and Rob are busy producing a follow up literary release, managing a varied investment portfolio and dealing with the launch and running of numerous other brands, including Visual Arcade Ltd, Learn Everything and The Upstart Company.
If you still need convincing about their entrepreneurial credentials, here's a short individual biography of our founders:
John Pring is our main presenter and writer, and it's him you'll see the most on our various social channels. John has BA degrees in English, Film & Media and Professional Musicianship, and various other credentials including a HND in songwriting and an Adobe accreditation in Illustrator and Photoshop. Before starting Designbysoap Ltd with Rob, John spent years working in the music industry, managing several popular UK bands and running large music events such as Club NME (Brighton), Rough Trade Unsigned and the music stage at the White Air Festival. He then transitioned into professional copywriting and SEO, working for two of the UK's biggest digital search agencies as well as freelancing for major international publications and organisations. Today, as well as being a published author, musician and entrepreneur, he is a regular speaker and teacher, including producing a data visualisation course for New York University. He also contributes to popular industry publications, including MOZ, Econsultancy, Advanced Photoshop Magazine, the Content Marketing Institute, Inspiration Feed and many more. For those of a literary persuasion, John is also a popular poet on Instagram, gaining over 20,000 followers in less than 12 months.
Rob Thomas is our head of visual content and brand management, although you'll regularly see him making appearances in videos and podcasts. Rob has a BA degree in Product Design, as well as an Adobe accreditation in Illustrator. Before founding Designbysoap Ltd with John, Rob was a talented lighting designer with a world-famous lighting specialist, working on major projects including Heathrow's Terminal Five and The Opus in Dubai. He also freelanced as a graphic designer and photographer in the music industry, working on posters and photoshoots for brands such as Rock Against Racism, Glastonbury Festival and Club NME, and bands and artists including The Buzzcocks, Bombay Bicycle Club, Frank Turner, Everything Everything, Cage The Elephant and The Temper Trap. Today, as well as being a published author and entrepreneur, Rob spends his spare time researching blockchain technology and its applications and investing in startups, as well as contributing to popular cryptocurrency investment blogs.
If for some reason you don't feel John and Rob are qualified to help you start a business, find prestige clients and produce world-class digital and physical content, The Upstart Company will also be regularly welcoming guest contributors, presenters and interviewees - each one chosen for their incredible achievements and experience in entrepreneurship.