Meet Timely and WIP, joint winners at Webstock Startup Alley 2013.
We like it when companies we've featured go on to do great things. Take Timely, slick appointment scheduling software for service businesses. Timely won Startup Alley (a competition aimed at finding startups with the best chance of growing into a profitable and sustainable business) at Webstock last week, earning $10,000 from BNZ and a trip for two to Silicon Valley. Launched six months ago, it now has clients in nine countries.
Founder Ryan Baker says the win will be a great shot in the arm for the business, with a "good mixture of humour and brutally honest feedback from the judging panel "
"Webstock was an amazing opportunity to get the word out there about Timely - and winning is icing on the cake. The prize money will allow us to ramp up our advertising and attend other conferences."
But it wasn't the only winner; it shares that honour with another up-and-comer, WIP – a startup looking to revamp the whole video production process for studios. WIP is much more of a fledgling venture; just a couple of months old, it's still in the alpha testing stage, soon to launch a public beta. That said, users currently hail from as far away as New York, London, and Sydney, and the beta looks to have a similarly international flavour. Which makes sense, given WIP will be global from day one and is part of the first batch of Lightning Lab attendees.
Rollo Wenlock, WIP co-founder and chief executive, is a filmmaker himself and came up with the idea because, quite frankly, it was something he needed himself. He's felt the pain and wants to tidy up the whole work-in-progress process, countless back-and-forth emails and phone calls and all. With a cloud-based WIP account, users can collaborate on projects in a central place, commenting on videos right there and then and pinpointing specific elements for reference.
Wenlock says WIP is "fixing a gap" and has no competitors as such. It will target production companies, from sole operators to those with larger teams, covering most of those playing in the short-form video space. Advertising agencies could also provide a route to reach more customers. Catering to TV and feature film production companies could follow, he says, opening WIP up to a $200 million market globally.
WIP is a four-man band, a team assembled at lightning speed following Wenlock's post-33rd birthday epiphany. "It was one of those things that happens only in books," he laughs.
The vision for WIP occurred to him fully formed, he says, and with a leg up from Wellington development agency CreativeHQ, talent was quickly sourced and a prototype built.
WIP then entered Startup Alley at their developer's recommendation, he says, but they mainly viewed it as an opportunity to practise their pitch. Practise they did, and impressed judges despite their nascence.
As a bonus, Wenlock says they met "lots of really helpful people" at Webstock, both users and others keen to help them develop the idea further.