60-second start-up: Wazoku

0-5 seconds: Sum your business up in a sentence

Wazoku is an idea management company; we provide tools for businesses to engage their employees, customers and partners in the innovation and idea development and evaluation process.

5-10 seconds: What's the business model?

It is super simple. We charge £1 per user per month on a monthly contract, starting with a free trial to evaluate the product and realise the value any business can generate by making ideas in their business collaborative.

10-15 seconds: Who are your competitors?

There are a few businesses competing directly with us, including Spigit, Kindling and Nosco, but to be honest in the mid-market and at our price point we are fairly unique. We offer awesome functionality at a really accessible price point.

15-20 seconds: What's your USP?

Innovation and ideas are the lifeblood of any business. We are the UK's leading provider of SME idea management software. Our core technology is about helping to generate ideas through challenges and helping those ideas find the right audience through recommendation algorithms, so that they get signed off and actioned, all integrated with other leading tools, including Google apps, Yammer and more to come.

20-25 seconds: How have you funded it so far?

I sold my flat and put in what I could afford; after that we took some money from friends and family as well as very early angel investment to develop the proof of concept and get us out to market. We are currently looking for a first proper investment round right now.

25-30 seconds: What were you doing before?

I was one of the early employees at Huddle where I ran the business development team, signing strategic partners like HP, Intercall and LinkedIn.

30-35 seconds: Where did the idea come from?

The idea for Wazoku was the result of two ideas coming together. One was an existing technology that was being used by my co-founder's other business, Find Invest Grow. They had a simple tool for capturing entrepreneurial business ideas that I felt could benefit from a rework. I combined this thought with the observation that the front end of idea generation (the most important part of the process) was still very closed, non-collaborative and lacking a decent delivery tool - and so Wazoku was born.

35-40 seconds: What's the smartest thing you've
done so far?

That is easy. I went out and hired a team of people who are far smarter than me to help build my vision and drive this business.

40-45 seconds: What's the stupidest?

We invested a lot in the early days in some large early adopters. It took a lot of our time, but it is not our core market and it almost took us completely the wrong way strategically.

45-50 seconds: If your business was a biscuit, what would it be?

I think it would be an ice cream cookie sandwich. They are a great idea - the kind of innovation we are fostering through our tool - they are clearly the result of some great collaborative working, and are fun for everyone. 

50-55 seconds: Which idea are you a bit jealous of?

I am a big fan of TaskRabbit as a business idea and the way it is being built as a business. Collaborative consumption is going to keep growing.

55-60 seconds: Where are you going to be in
12 months' time?

We are growing quickly, so in 12 months we expect to be profitable and working with many of the world's most innovative businesses of all sizes to capture and develop great ideas within these companies.

For more information about Wazoku click here, www.wazoku.com.

Follow Wazoku on Twitter, @WazokuHq.

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