Iconic Members Series: Conall Laverty, Wia
Back in March this year we ran a competition with Silicon Republic to give away a six months coworking membership for one lucky winner. We pulled a name at random and, lucky, us, that winner turned out to be the very talented Conall Laverty, CEO & Founder of Wia. Wia was tipped as “one to watch” in 2017 by Silicon Republic’s “Europe Start-up 100” across Fintech, IoT, SaaS and data and many more fields respectively. As part of our “Iconic Members Series” profiling, we sat down with Conall to find out a little more about the business, success to date and plans to come. Find out more about Wia on their website, www.wia.io.
Tell us a bit about your company, Wia…
We work in an industry called the Internet of Things. When most people hear that phrase, they think smart fridges, self-driving cars and thermostats. These are just some examples of the wide range of devices that make up this ecosystem. The challenge is to turn a piece of hardware into a smart solution; you need a way to talk to each and every ‘thing’. Wia provides a service that enables software developers and companies to build any type of sensor product or location tracking device in just a matter of minutes. Before now they had to spend months writing code. We’re now being used in over 85 countries helping people build the ‘next big product’ and have partnerships with big tech companies including Slack, Twilio and Sigfox.
What problem is your idea, business, or organisation solving?
Building a cloud platform is tough. Imagine every time you wanted to create a new venture you had to spend months writing code and an unpredictable amount of money to get your business up and going. We remove that complexity and cost so that companies can focus on creating great products and experiences for their customers.
How many people work in your business or organisation?
Seven to date.
Why did you enter the Silicon Republic/Iconic Offices competition?
I’ve been looking for a new co-working space to meet new companies. As we are a startup, budgets are always tight, so the opportunity to win a space at Iconic Offices was really exciting.
How do you think you will benefit from working in a coworking environment?
I find the networking element is always the most important part of a coworking space. The fact that The Brickhouse has beer on tap should certainly help with that.
What would be your Top 3 Tips for anyone looking to start up their own company?
1.Go talk to as many people as possible. Gathering a good network is key to getting up and going and validating your idea.
2. You don’t need a product, that comes after you have some customers.
3. Work, work, work. Putting in the hours will increase your odds of success.
What would be your advice to your 18-year-old self, compared to what you know now?
Don’t hide your ideas. Go out, tell as many people about it and get their feedback instead of spending months coding up a project and hoping people want it. It’ll help you build the right thing.
What is your ambition for the company over the next 6-12 months?
The ambition for the company is to make it possible for any company in the world to make an Internet of Things product. We’re already in 85 so hitting all 195 would be amazing.
What exciting plans do you have for the company over the next 6-12 months?
Over the coming months, we will be closing our seed investment round. This will give us the capital to expand the team here in Dublin as well as open new locations in both Berlin and New York.
Winner – IIA Net Visionary Awards – Best Startup ‘Won to Watch’ 2017.
Final 5 in Europe – Visa Everywhere Initiative at Mobile World Congress, Barcelona
Quick Fire Round!
Favourite lunch haunt? Smokin Bones on Dame Street.
What is the soundtrack to your coworking life? Soundtrack of life, not just coworking, is Ludovico Einaudi. Have him on repeat nonstop.
Favourite after-work haunt? As of recent, the Ferryman or Mary’s Bar just off Grafton Street (Wow Burger below it is also quite Wow).
Best thing about your building? Definitely the Hophouse tap.
What’s your most Iconic moment to date? Being a resident pianist for 3 months just off Times Square, New York. That was fun!
What do you love most about your job? Being able to shape the company in my vision and help other companies create their own.
Are you looking to collaborate with anyone? I love to hear from people who are starting companies so I can do what I can to assist them.
What do you need to reach the next level? We’re currently closing our investment round and will be hiring more people over the coming months.