how we wonder what you start
Former investment banker turned tech entrepreneur Claire Trachet talks us through Wondary and her plans for its expansion
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
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