Member Spotlight: Rich Wilson of

As part of our ongoing member spotlight series, we interviewed Rich Wilson of!.

What is your background and how did you end up doing a startup?

Import�io is my second startup - I sold my previous one, Volcube, at the beginning of the year. Before that I brought US technology startups into Europe, notably Wily (which sold to CA for $460m) and Splunk. Great name, and in the midst of the Facebook IPO shenanigans we went public at $1bn. Within 24 hours we had a market capitalisation of $3bn. �But there's very little coverage of unsexy B2B tech firms like these!

Tell me about

Import�io is data, simply. �We're a data exchange connecting people who need data for applications or research, no matter how big or small they are, with those who own or supply data. �A single API for all data. �We're fortunate in that it's a spin off of an existing technology which has been sold as an appliance to KPMG, PWC, Citi, and a major police force. �We're taking that technology and adding a web layer to open it up for anyone to use. �In a sense we're democratising data.

Why did you choose TechHub? Has the community been helpful?

TechHub is a great place for us because there are lots of other startups all needing access to data. �So that's a fantastic testbed for our technology, and as a result we already have firms such as Planvine connecting to 100s of data sources through us. �TechHub is also a great community for bouncing ideas around and getting informal advice. �I've lost count of the times I've asked the community for help with branding or commercial ideas or such like, always with a positive outcome.

What's a piece of advice you would give to a budding entrepreneur?

Get involved, get in a co-working space. I set up Volcube in virtual isolation from the tech community, working from home. That was painful. It's good to have friendly faces around!

One random or silly fact about yourself

I have a terrible memory. I was once invited by some friends to meet the guys from The Prodigy while on a snowboarding trip, and only remembered two days after we'd arranged to hook up.

Find Rich on Twitter @richpwilson