'Childhood cancer battle shaped me as a CEO'
A Manchester tech entrepreneur has spoken about how a teenage battle with cancer shaped his business outlook.
Dreamr CEO Jack Mason, 28, recently launched a manifesto for initiative Pledge 10%, which allows employees to spend ten per cent of their working time on both professional development and charity projects that spark their passions.
The scheme has so far seen team members training the homeless to code, working with local donkey sanctuaries and helping to keep Manchester tidy.
The reason behind his appointment as a trustee of Kidscan and his passion for helping others – especially young people with cancer – lies with his own challenging cancer journey that he faced as a teenager.
“I was diagnosed after finding a lump in my chest when I was just 16 years old,” he told BusinessCloud. “I endured two operations within 12 months before being given the all-clear.
“Six months later, during my first year at university, the cancer returned, and it took a further operation to remove it all.
“Luckily, my story is a positive one, as I have been cancer free for eight years, but not everyone is as lucky as I was. Charities like Kidscan need as much support as they can get, so that we can fund more research to help find treatments and cures to eradicate this devastating disease.
“Joining the board of Trustees at Kidscan, as part of Dreamr’s Pledge 10% initiative, was a hugely proud and poignant moment.”
Mason took over as Dreamr CEO when co-founder and friend Mylo Kaye left the business to set up his own charity, Pledge.
“My childhood cancer battle has absolutely affected my outlook and ethos as CEO of Dreamr,” Mason continued. “Making our Pledge 10% initiative more robust was one of the first things I did when I took over the reins earlier this year.
“Not only does it help Manchester-based charities and projects, it also enables our team members to spend time doing things that mean something to them on a personal level.
“Helping others is a key part of our wellbeing, and we wanted to make sure that Dreamr created an environment where people were happy and fulfilled. Work takes up a huge part of our lives, so why not make it as personally fulfilling and nurturing as possible?
“I believe that happy employees are more creative and focused, so it’s a win-win for all.”
→ READ MORE: HOW FACEBOOK HELPED MY CANCER FIGHT
Dreamr creates apps for tech entrepreneurs and enterprise businesses, with a focus on aspects of future tech such as machine learning and augmented reality, for a broad range of sectors including health & fitness, fashion and education.
Mason says he doesn’t believe in micro-managing, preferring to engrain the company goals and objectives in his team, and supports and mentors them in making their own decisions in line with Dreamr’s overall mission.
Dreamr also invests in tech start-ups with Dreamr Ventures, which offers support, development and infrastructure services to tech startups focused around augmented reality, artificial intelligence and machine learning.
It recently partnered with Manchester-based coding school Code Nation to take on its newly trained coders and support them on their tech career journey.