How It All Began

20 years selling to enterprise and one redeye flight from JFK to LHR changed everything.

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Origin Story
Origin Story

Our Origin Story

A redeye flight from New York to London. A chance encounter between two strangers. This is where our story begins.

In November 2019, our CEO Leon Hardwick boarded his flight, travel-weary and exasperated by how difficult it was to do business deals quickly. As the plane took off and Leon settled in for the long-haul, he began chatting with a fellow traveller about his job in sales with a small startup selling software tech. When it transpired the other guy was also a salesman for larger Fortune 500 organisations, the two spoke about the challenges they faced in their businesses and the long road they had walked throughout their careers. The similarities in their stories helped them realise there was a need for change. 

Over the course of six hours, their conversation stoked a burning desire to change the way founders, sales professionals and functional enterprise leaders would buy and sell. Handshakr was born.

A Seller’s Perspective

How do you find the right person to sell to?

Although our two travellers came from very different backgrounds, they were both struggling with the initial discovery phase.  How do you pinpoint the people within a company to sell to? It’s pretty tricky, especially in an ever noisier market.  Even when you do snag that meeting, progressing to the next step is a drawn-out process with multiple stakeholders and plenty of red tape to navigate.

Origin Story


The changing face of business

As a seasoned business development director and sales leader, our founder has seen a shift in the way people want to do business.  The push towards digital platforms has grown as teams became more adept with tech and lack the time to travel around the world, closing deals. Plus, people just aren’t keen on the typical ‘salesperson’ pushing their wares anymore.  Gartner describes it as ‘an inescapable evolution’ and states ‘a new understanding of the B2B process is needed.’

As hard as it has become to sell in today’s world, it has become that much more difficult to buy. The single biggest challenge of selling today is not selling, it is actually our customers’ struggle to buy.

Brent Adamson – Distinguished VP, Advisory, Gartner


We aim to be the platform companies use to find, forge and formalise relationships across the tech sector, making business easier for hundreds of people worldwide. Keeping it simple from the very first handshake.