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Building confidence with Peer Networks – Azul Optics

Lady looking in an eye examination unit
Image credit: Azul Optics

Azul Optics are based in Bristol and specialise in health-tech for optometrists and healthcare providers.

Matt Evans, COO and Co-founder of Azul Optics got in touch with the Growth Hub team as he wanted to grow the business services and improve leadership confidence within the business.

What interested you in the Peer Networks project and why?

Making local connections with people in a similar position to myself.

What support did your business receive?

In addition to my networking cohort I received, my business received 1/3 a day business coaching from a consultant that has now become our Non-Executive Chair.

How have you adapted your business model and working practices as a result of your involvement in Peer Networks?

The course made me more confident in taking a commercial stance when selling our product (marketing the business benefit to customers not just the health benefit to patients), plus gave me some good advice around moving the marketing strategy forward and I found good contacts for consultancy.

What measurable impact have you seen as a result of being involved in Peer Networks?

I have now engaged the consultant that provided us with business coaching as a Non-Exec Chair for the business.

What are your business’s next steps for growth?

Move the marketing strategy forward to capitalise on rising interest in our product and scaling our manufacturing plans.

What other support has the Growth Hub connected or signposted your business to?

I have recently had a meeting with YTKO and there are a lot of digital marketing courses and access to apprentices that will benefit the business.

Would you recommend Peer Networks to other businesses?


Running a business can feel like a seemingly endless series of questions and decisions on an infinite variety of topics, many of which are outside your comfort zone. Spending time with people in the same position as you helps you understand that you’re not the only one who feels like this, creates an opportunity for you all to share experiences and advice, and gives you a vital fresh perspective on things when you can’t see the wood for the trees.

In addition to this the sessions were very well organised - Toby did a fantastic job hosting and I genuinely looked forward to each session.

While Zoom is not quite like a face to face meeting, I think that we got all of the right benefits, while being able to attend with the minimum of disruption to the working day. That said, we hope to all meet up for a beer soon, and that would be a nice touch!

How would you pitch Peer Networks to your peers?

Spend a couple of hours a week with a group of like-minded business owners who want you to help you grow and develop as a person and as a business.


Want more information?

If you'd like to find out more on Peer Networks or the other leadership and development support offered by the Growth Hub, please use this link to take you to their website: take me to more information