how we won­der what you start

Former in­vest­ment banker turned tech en­trepreneur Claire Tra­chet talks us through Wondary and her plans for its ex­pan­sion

The Wharf - - Front Page - Laura En­field

First aid train­ing and travel plan­ning are be­ing rev­o­lu­tionised thanks to two fe­male tech founders work­ing in Strat­ford.

Dual Good Health and Wondary are both part of tech ac­cel­er­a­tor pro­gramme Plex­i­glass, which aims to give 12 women a leg up in the in­dus­try. Run by in­no­va­tion cen­tre Plexal, in Strat­ford, the eight-week pro­gramme of­fers them free space, men­tor­ing, pitch train­ing, founder fun­da­men­tals, go-to-mar­ket strat­egy, fi­nanc­ing op­tions, le­gal ser­vices and a chance to pitch to large cor­po­ra­tions and prospec­tive in­vestors.

We chat to the founders in the third of our Plex­i­glass se­ries.

Dual Good Health

Who: Anna Stoilova, 28, from Haringey, CEO and co-founder with CTO Mor­gan Page. Orig­i­nally from Bul­garia and has a BA in graphic de­sign.

What: Es­tab­lished in March 2017, the com­pany has cre­ated Redo Re­al­ity, a VR app for emer­gency first aid train­ing. It is aimed at help­ing re­duce costs, improve qual­ity of train­ing and in­crease en­gage­ment so more peo­ple know how to pro­vide emer­gency med­i­cal help.

Why: Mor­gan and I were work­ing in vir­tual re­al­ity games and de­cided to go on a hackathon, an event where peo­ple get to­gether to in­vent a dig­i­tal prod­uct, for VR in the med­i­cal field to cre­ate an in­no­va­tive idea.

I have first aid train­ing and thought it would be good to com­bine it so you can per­form CPR on a real man­nequin but what you are see­ing is in VR.

We spent 24 hours com­ing up with a work­ing pro­to­type and only slept for one hour and at the end we won the hackathon.

We thought there was a busi­ness idea that had legs so ap­plied for ac­cel­er­a­tor pro­gram Beth­nal Green Ven­tures and launched the prod­uct in March. How: We sell the soft­ware which works with HTC Vive and a lap­top and cus­tomers need to buy the hard­ware – the VR equip­ment and man­nequin.

It can track the hands of the user so they feel very im­mersed in the sce­nario.

They see real life sce­nar­ios and have ac­tions they need to per­form, like check­ing for dan­ger, shak­ing the shoul­ders and check­ing for a re­sponse and the deci­bel me­ter checks how loudly they do it, open­ing the air­way on the phys­i­cal man­nequin.

We track the speed and depth of how they are per­form­ing CPR and they re­ceive feed­back in the head­set and there is scor­ing at the end.

We had ad­vice from a se­nior aca­demic in nurs­ing from the Univer­sity of Hert­ford­shire, who has been a para­medic as well, and we have a cou­ple of peo­ple from Lon­don South­bank Univer­sity who work in the nurs­ing and sim­u­la­tion de­part­ments and we fol­low the Re­sus­ci­ta­tion Coun­cil guide­lines.

The idea is there is no need for a trainer as in VR it is more fo­cused – there are no dis­trac­tions.

You can leave peo­ple with it and they can learn how to do CPR in around 10 min­utes in­stead of three hours.

We have done test­ing with Queen Mary Univer­sity to com­pare the VR method with the nor­mal way and we’re wait­ing for the re­sults. What’s next: We’re talk­ing in­ter­na­tion­ally to get our first cus­tomers. A cou­ple of uni­ver­si­ties in the US have asked for pi­lots and we want to ex­pand to cre­ate a full first aid pro­gramme and other prod­ucts.

We want to be recog­nised as vir­tual re­al­ity train­ing providers in the med­i­cal sec­tor and in health and safety.

On Plex­i­glass: I find it re­ally mo­ti­vat­ing to be here and see other busi­nesses in progress. Get­ting that in­flu­ence and com­mu­ni­ca­tion is re­ally up­lift­ing.

On be­ing a fe­male founder: I know other women in VR and it is more open than other tech ar­eas, but even then it’s very frus­trat­ing that when it comes to CEOs and up­per man­age­ment there are very few women. I’ve never felt that lack of con­fi­dence, I have just been an­noyed by it and that has ac­tu­ally served as a mo­ti­va­tion for me. Go to du­al­go­od­health.com

Wondary

Who: Claire Tra­chet, 30, Not­ting Hill, CEO and co-founder with CTO Achim Weimert. Orig­i­nally from Paris, worked in bank­ing.

What: A web plat­form launched last June to save, or­gan­ise and share trips.

They are build­ing a pro­pri­etary dataset to de­velop rec­om­men­da­tions us­ing be­havioural sciences.

Why: I was in in­vest­ment bank­ing for six years work­ing on MNA for blue chip com­pa­nies on multi­bil­lion pound trans­ac­tions, but I have al­ways been an avid trav­eller.

I saw I could re­ally have a pos­i­tive im­pact by spread­ing the trav­eller spirit.

I was fas­ci­nated by the lever­age tech gives you to de­velop some­thing life-al­ter­ing with rel­a­tively small means.

In 2014 I took a trip to Patag­o­nia that I had or­gan­ised with a friend in a dif­fer­ent coun­try, so had time zone com­mu­ni­ca­tion is­sues, but also I was in bank­ing so had hardly any time to plan and only a lit­tle time there so had to re­ally op­ti­mise.

That’s what I want to solve for those young pro­fes­sion­als trav­el­ling, usu­ally in groups, across the world.

Achim, who is Ger­man, left GoCard­less to work full time with me. He was build­ing a travel app to deal with the pain of users so it was all very nat­u­ral. He could have a lot of em­pa­thy for what I was try­ing to solve.

How: We help you ex­plore based on the ac­tual knowl­edge of ac­tual trav­ellers. Any­one can add their trip to the plat­form and users can search and click and see trips that other peo­ple have taken.

You can copy trips in full or just add bits of it to an ex­ist­ing trip.

You can add your friends so in­stead of hav­ing dis­cus­sions across lots of dif­fer­ent apps and lengthy trails of emails you can do it all here.

Say you hes­i­tate over a choice of bnb, we have the Chrome ex­ten­sion so you go onto any web­sites you want to save – sim­ply press the but­ton and it adds it to your trip.

Then peo­ple can just click to thumb it up or down and with­out even dis­cussing it you can know which one to book.

You can add stuff to your cal­en­dar and it will all be in your phone when it comes to the time of your trip. You don’t even need an app. We’re not mon­etis­ing at the mo­ment – it is a peer-to-peer ex­pe­ri­ence where you can ac­cess be­yond your friends.

When you come back from your trip you don’t have to write email rec­om­men­da­tions – you can ei­ther share the trip pri­vately or make it pub­lic.

What’s next: We are seek­ing our first round of ex­ter­nal seed fund­ing to de­velop the com­pany. We want to re­view the plat­form and have more fea­tures, but also a sim­pli­fi­ca­tion of the user ex­pe­ri­ence.

We want to add gam­i­fi­ca­tion so we can move out of beta. That is a big thing for us be­cause it’s based on be­havioural sciences, which re­ally un­der­lines a lot of what we do. That is a new ap­proach for start-ups. Go­ing for­ward we will make money through book­ings and pre­mium fea­tures.

On Plex­i­glass: It’s great to meet like-minded en­trepreneurs on the same step of their path. It can be lonely to build a busi­ness and hav­ing a tribe around you is re­ally im­por­tant.

You usu­ally have pro­grams for ei­ther tech or women, but the two don’t of­ten cross so it’s an hon­our to have been selected as it demon­strates how much deep tech we’re do­ing in the back­ground that you don’t see from a user per­spec­tive. Go to wondary.com

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