Alongside Liam Fulton, Hannah Bratley is the co-founder of Huddersfield tech and data science company Frame.
Established in 2020, the company uses AI to turn images into insights with a focus on image-led data solutions. Its growing customer base spans banking and finance, retail, logistics and distribution sectors with a client list including NatWest, Sorted Group, ECO Surv and Smart Data Foundry.
Frame is also currently developing a brand-new image optimisation product for the ecommerce sector and was recently named as one of Prolific North’s 25 Tech Companies to Watch in the North.
Hannah shared all the lessons she has learnt…
Which single daily habit or practice could you not do without?
Without doubt it would have to be my to do list. I might work in tech but I’m old school and can’t live without the good old-fashioned pen and paper as they allow me to prioritise my work offline. I always try to get 75% of it completed by lunchtime so the afternoon can be given over to impromptu calls, meetings and other noise that typically come my way.
What’s been your luckiest break?
Two initially spring to mind. At a previous employer I was given the opportunity to build out a tech arm alongside three colleagues. It’s also incidentally where I met Liam, my fellow founding partner. That role gave me so much exposure to technology, but it also helped me to build from the ground up a product and consultancy offering which taught me about every aspect of running a business. It also greatly expanded my network which has been invaluable.
I hate to say it but the second would be the pandemic. I was furloughed which gave me the opportunity to take the seed of an idea (Frame) and actually bring it to life. That forced stop turned our ideas around and they became an operational entity. We’ve never looked back.
What’s your best failure?
Trying to reinvent the wheel. There are so many great SaaS products that already exist in the market that will fulfil users’ needs far more than what we could build. Realising that helped us to hone in on our own USP and shape our vision of becoming leaders in the computer vision space.
What is the best investment you’ve ever made, either financial or time?
When we first started to explore our product and business ideas we would spitball a lot of ideas that we thought were cool and edgy, but without really doing thorough research or gaining customer feedback. This was an inefficient approach. Realising that – and investing our time focussing on the products and services that we believe are really relevant to the market – was a gamechanger and was the springboard to taking Frame to where it is today.
Which book would you recommend others to read and why?
The Chimp Paradox as it completely changed my outlook and definitely saved me a lot of stress and emotional turmoil. I am an emotional person by nature, I wear my heart on my sleeve, and have a tendency to take things personally. The Chimp Paradox changed that negative mindset.
What one piece of advice would you give your 21-year-old self?
Look for opportunities everywhere. Life isn’t one singular path, not getting that promotion will not define who you are in years to come; seize every opportunity that comes your way and run with it, even if it doesn’t succeed; remember that your job title doesn’t define who you are as an individual; and know that there are so many soft skills that can have a valuable impact on your work and wellbeing.
Who or what has had the single biggest influence on your working life?
My (late) Grandad B as he gave me a lot of good advice, mainly focussed on grit, determination and resilience. I think his generation had heaps of those attributes. I’d also have to single out Liam as he is a true visionary, he rarely sees obstacles and doesn’t let them get in his way. It’s a skill!
Tell us something about you that would surprise people.
I’m born on a leap year and have only had seven “real” birthdays in my lifetime.
How will the COVID crisis change work for the better?
I am a huge fan of remote working. We are two days in the office and three days WFH at present. It’s the perfect blend as it gives people the opportunity to come in and collaborate, whilst allowing them time to really focus at home. I used to find my daily commute exhausting and I feel this blend gives me my time, focus and energy back. It’s here to stay.
What does success look like to you?
To continue to grow at our current pace. The last 12 months has seen monumental expansion which is something that we are very proud of and are determined to build on.