What is your background and how did you end up doing a startup?
I was a strategist at Nokia doing a fair bit of blue sky thinking and avidly watching the mobile apps phenomenon. Mostly for fun, I'd spend lunch and evenings discussing what great things apps could do. A few chance conversations led Nokia to fund one of my ideas and Haystacks, the London for kids app was born.
I left Nokia and built a team up from people I knew and who then brought on board people they knew, so we had the skills we needed to build the app. It also helps that our some of our team of software developers, marketers, accountants and content editors are mums, dads and grandmas themselves!!
Tell me about your Haystacks
Parents like to spend their precious time doing quality things with kids. A city like London has so much on offer, which is great, but it means that finding suitable fun things to do with the kids can be overwhelming. Haystacks is really unique in that it makes it really simple to find kids activities and events � you�ve always got a plan A and a plan B even when you are out and about.
Currently we have fifteen hundred activity locations and will soon have hundreds of events for kids. We are constantly adding to this and and we will also be adding new features and improvements in the future.
Why did you choose TechHub? Has the community been helpful?
TechHub is simply a great place. You have a high concentration of talented startups, lots of investors, an amazing support team and great events all under one roof. Everyone is really approachable and that means lots of knowledge sharing. It has all the right ingredients to create very successful technology companies.
What's a piece of advice you would give to a budding entrepreneur?
There's honestly nothing better than to build a startup. There's nothing more exhilarating than to see every bit of the team's effort making lots of people live their lives more easily. Personally I think a startup is a better education than my time in strategy, management consulting or an MBA.
One random or silly fact about yourself
With the Haystacks logo, we started with a picture of a haystack, but no-one got that. So we got one of our children, Zac, to draw a picture of a happy mum and kids and he's now the happiest boy in London because his picture is in the Apple app store!
Thanks Anu. We look to trying out Haystacks!