On Thursday, two companies run by TechHub members were accepted into Wayra UK's 2013 cohort, and we couldn't be more proud. After a long weekend to let the news sink in, we caught up with Drummond Gilbert, founder of goCarShare to hear more...
First things first, congratulations on getting into Wayra! It's obviously great news, just how important do you see this step for you guys?
I think it really changes everything for us, as well as the investment and the chance to put a full team together, it gives us contact to interesting and experienced mentors, as well as the potential partnerships with O2 and Telefonica, which are super exciting.
I know that they'll push us, and it's going to be a lot of hard work, but that will just help take us to the next level.
Essentially, we'll be given a warm introduction to Telefonica partners and brands all across the world, which is really important for us.
Was it intimidating knowing there were so many applicants and only 17 spots? How far did you expect to get?
I didn't have any expectations going in. The whole process was actually really fun, but I was definitely on edge throughout. It was useful though; they had sessions on PR, marketing, finance, pitching, and so in the process of Wayra Week we were actually learning loads. But, knowing that it all was leading to a big final pitch made me a bit nervous!
What about goCarShare made you special enough to be accepted?
Haha, that's a horrible question!
We're super passionate about what we do, and have incredible perseverance, having seen this right through from concept to a fully-functioning and growing community. I think that really worked in our favour - the judges knew that there's nothing that can make us give up now.
Also, Wayra has shown itself to be really excited about collaborative consumption and sustainability, and we've demonstrated that we can help address these issues. We had stats to back us up!
You've certainly been a great character to have around TechHub. What's the first thing you'll do when you get into Wayra?
I'm really excited about meeting the new teams, we've already met loads and can see the potential for partnerships, so we'll make sure to introduce ourselves to everyone. Probably unpack, and set up. We'll decorate our area with goCarShare swag.
You've been at TechHub since the very beginning, as one of our founder members. Are you going to miss us?!
Of course, the TechHub community has been amazing! We've made such great friends here, and I've learned so much from other startups. I've abused(!) a few people for testing, and loved the events that the wonderful Events team run.
It's been a privilege to work with such great people, in all honesty! I'm definitely going to stay a member though, Wayra is a great place to be but it won't replace TechHub in my heart.
Glad to hear it! So what's the next step for your car sharing network?
We've been really focusing on festivals, with ticket competitions, bands sharing journeys, priority car parks.
We're looking to move into commuter markets, and we think we've got a great proposition to help get people to work.
Also, we want to spread the car-sharing love, so we're looking at the possibility of getting everyone involved with some crowd-funding.
How did you celebrate your Wayra acceptance? Any big expenditures lined up?
I think I deserve some clothes that don't have holes in them! And, it'll be great to be able to go to the pub just once or twice and try not to worry about the pennies...
Finally, can you tell us a joke?
I'm not really a jokey person. I'll send you a one.
edit: We're still waiting on a joke
Thanks Drummond, it's been great chatting to you, and congratulations!