By @SimonCocking

Describe the company – the elevator pitch…

Wakelet is a free to use content curation platform that lets you save articles, videos, images, Tweets, and pretty much anything to use later.

It provides simple and intuitive tools that give you the ability to organise and curate the content that you save into easily maintainable story-like collections called Wakes. Wakes can be created in minutes on any topic and can be made public, kept private, or shared with friends, family, colleagues or the wider web.

How are you different?

Our key differentiator lies in our vision and the way we have executed (visually and technically).

Beyond saving links to use later, Wakelet lets you organise, curate and edit content; allowing you to create stories, lists, fan pages, news pages, micro sites, portfolios, plan trips and so much more.

We believe that the future of the Internet lies in personalised, relevant and contextual information. Algorithms alone cannot achieve this; humans are key. Making content curation easy, useful and fun for the everyday user is an important step to creating a better and more meaningful Internet. We believe that the best curation is when experts, enthusiasts, fans and observers are collectively engaged in choosing the content they find compelling, entertaining, timely and authentic.

The power and potential of the platform is very clear when you look at the diverse ways that people, businesses, athletes and academic institutions etc. are already using it.

Why will the company/product do well?

We are on a journey to take things to a new level and are meeting an unmet need.

Even though we’re still early on in our journey, our excitement grows everyday. This is because we are clear on where we want to be ten years from now, we know how Wakelet will make things significantly better for people and we’re working hard to get there.

Where are you based?

We’re based in Manchester, UK

Manchester isn’t the first place you’d think of when building an ambitious tech start-up. There are more developed eco-systems to choose from. As far as the UK goes, we feel that there are only a number of cities outside London that can help support the growth of this type of start-up, Manchester being one of them.

In addition, Manchester is home, the city has a lot to offer and I have a good network here. Because of the three large Universities, good national and international connectivity and reasonable cost of living, the city is an attractive place to start a company.

When was the company launched?

I left my job as Head of Sourcing & EADS Co-ordination at Airbus Group to work on Wakelet in December 2013.

Thanks to one of the local law firms, I managed to find an office just after the New Year and we started working on the platform full time in 2014.

What have been your biggest wins to date?

For me the biggest win to date is my team. This should be one of the most important things in any company.

I tried to raise capital for Wakelet before we even had a product and was declined by over 100 investors. I did not let that dishearten me. So I tried to outsource and build the product in India on a shoestring but that didn’t work out the way I wanted.

One day I bumped into a person at the luggage carousel at the airport. He added me on LinkedIn. I connected with him, realised he was a developer and asked him to join me for shares. This is how I built my initial team, literally via LinkedIn and they are still here. Who could have planned this?

And because the team worked for shares, were not driven by money, were very passionate about what we are doing, we have been able to build on this and attract other like-minded people.

What type of people (market segment) are you trying to attract to your product?

The Internet is a crucial part of our daily lives. Whether we’re reading articles, looking for images, listening to music, doing research, or shopping, we are always on-line and pretty much connected in some shape or form.

We all come across content that we want to save, organise, edit and curate. Like Google, Facebook or Twitter, Wakelet is a platform that everybody can use publicly and privately.

It is already being used by people, journalists, academic institutions and businesses which include: ITV, Channel 4, Airbus Group, KPMG, England FA, Everton FC, Richard Dawkins Foundation, Manchester Metropolitan University, Newcastle College, Rugby Expo, Business of Science Conference.

Tell us about your team?

We’re a team of sixteen people.

Nine people form the development team including, backend, frontend, infrastructure, design, user experience, iOS and Android.

Six people form our marketing, growth and support team. This includes people who manage relationships with partners, look after marketing and growth activities, support and respond to our users, and conduct product testing. We also have an in-house video producer and editor.

And then there’s me. The structure is quite simple. There is a lead in each area and this forms our management team feeding into our board.

My team are more than the people I work with every day. It’s the people I learn from and ask for help, spend time, collaborate, share crazy stories, and share good and bad days with. It’s the people who are making all this possible and more.

What are your long-term plans for your product/company?

We’ve had a great response to Wakelet so far. There’s a lot of people who are using our platform in really interesting ways and users consistently provide useful feedback.

We’re currently working on improving the on-boarding and usability to make it as seamless and as enjoyable as possible before we add more functionality.

We have big dreams, so once we’ve made these improvements, we’ll focus more on scaling the marketing activities and look to set up offices in Europe and the USA.

Anything else you’d like to add/we should have asked? Yes…where did the name Wakelet come from?

When you organise articles, videos, Tweets podcasts and other content in a collection, you effectively create a story or narrative. We wanted something in the real world to show this. We looked at words like trails, paths, streams etc. and this finally led to the word ‘wake’ – like the wakes that boats or planes create. This is how Wakelet came to be.

We call a collection of items a ‘wake’. Now you know this, every time you look up in the sky or on the water and see those plane or boat wakes, it will remind you of Wakelet.

How do people get in touch with you?

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: j4jammy

Wakelet [email protected]

Twitter or Facebook: Wakelet

If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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