Velvet Wi-Fi is a Finalist in this year’s bluebox Innovation Challenge. We spoke to Velvet Founder David Poxon to find out what makes Velvet tick, and what motivates him to get out of bed every morning to realise his entrepreneurial dream. Read on to find out about the first of our Challenge Finalists!
What is Velvet?
Velvet is the Wi-Fi sharing economy.
Who are the people behind it?
I’m David Poxon and I created Velvet Wi-Fi. More recently Florian Kalbe has joined me to help drive sales and marketing.
What is your connection with QUT?
I’m currently PhD student and Florian graduated from a Masters of Business Process Management in July 2016.
How long have you been operating as a business?
Velvet has been in operation since March 2016 and has recently launched presales of the Velvet Hotshot™.
How did you come up with the idea for Velvet?
I was working in France, and needed to get access to the internet for my PhD work. However, I found it almost impossible to get decent access on the go, while at the same time having unused broadband capacity at my home in Brisbane. From this frustration was born Velvet, the idea of the Wi-Fi sharing economy which allows people to share their excess Wi-Fi with people who need Wi-Fi on the go.
Do you have any experiences in startups or business?
Florian and I have some business experience, but as the Velvet team we are first time entrepreneurs.
What has been your biggest challenge with Velvet do date?
There have been a range of challenges that we’ve had to overcome. Some of these have been technical in nature, and others have been related to the business of doing business. Getting started was a really big challenge for me and creating a robust technical solution was another. Making the transition from building something to selling it is one challenge currently faced by the business.
What has been your greatest success with Velvet to date?
Translating an idea into a functional product that gives life to the concept of the sharing economy has been one of the biggest successes of the business so far.
Where do you find inspiration and what entrepreneurs are you influenced by?
I find inspiration in the stories of people who have set themselves ambitious goals and followed through on them. In terms of entrepreneurs, Bill Gates has been an influence, not just for what he has achieved with Microsoft, but for his subsequent work with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
What would it mean to you and your startup to win the Innovation Challenge?
Winning the Innovation Challenge would be transformative for Velvet. The business is on the cusp of growing strongly and the funds and profile created by the win would really help accelerate the growth of the venture.
For more information on Velvet Wi-Fi, visit https://www.velvetwifi.com/#/.