StartUs Presents: Nameloop

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In today's interview we talked to John Wilmot, CEO of Nameloop. Find out how the app will change how you share personal info with people and businesses!

Describe Nameloop in 50 or less words.

Nameloop is an app for sharing contact and personal information with people and businesses. It’s completely secure and you have full control over what you share and who can see your data by putting people into groups, or ‘Loops’ as we call them. When contacts change their info, your phone updates automatically.

Why did you decide to pursue your own dreams rather than someone else’s?

For a start, I’ve always been a really bad employee and I think that’s down to the fact I’m always looking to push boundaries and many people in an employment environment don’t like that. I setup my first company aged 25 and sold it to an AIM listed Plc 18 months later (Bourne). Running businesses is the way my mind works – I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

The possibilities you create for yourself when running a business where you’re calling she shots are huge – there are no limitations other than the ones you place on yourself and that excites me.

With Nameloop, we’ve launched a consumer app product with an enterprise software solution. In the digital age that we now live in where things like Nameloop can grow at a rate people wouldn’t have believed even 20 years ago, the opportunity to create something great is right in front of you and for me, I have to go and grab it.

In 7 years from now: How did your startup change the world?

Imagine moving house and updating Nameloop to let your bank, dentist, broadband provider, and every company that you’ve connected to on Nameloop know you moved in less than a minute. Imagine visiting a friend for the first time and your sat nav looking up your Nameloop account for the address they’ve shared with you. Imagine buying something online from a website you’ve not been on before and rather than entering all your details, just selecting them from your Nameloop account. Imagine joining a new team at work and joining a Loop that gives you access to that team’s contact info instantly. Imagine never having the wrong contact information for anyone ever again because your connected to them on Nameloop and they’re sharing their info with you.

Nameloop delivers huge possibilities – we’re setting out to become the way the world stores and shares their personal information and for us, that’s a hugely powerful thing.

In what ways do you measure your success and how do you make sure you don’t lose track?

Success means so many things to people. I went to an uncle’s 50th birthday party a few years ago and in his speech he went round the room calling people out to show what an incredible bunch of people were in the room. From what I can remember, it kind of went like this – one person had been knocked off their feet three times by the shock wave from an atom bomb (WW2), someone else had Sacha Baron Cohen as the best man at their wedding, there were seriously successful lawyers with high profile cases under their belt, scientists that had cured diseases. It was a room full of impressive people that had great stories to tell about their lives. I wasn’t called up and it left me wondering, ‘what was there to say about me’? I had already sold Bourne by this point, and although financially rewarding, it left me feeling somewhat unfulfilled. What stamp was I going to leave on this world? For me, that stamp is Nameloop.

Describe your typical working day from coming to the office to leaving it.

If things are busy I’ll be in the office for about 8am but generally I like to spend some time at home with my wife and one year old son first and take time over breakfast, so typically I’m in around 9am. My focus has largely been fundraising, product direction and sales recently – that means I could have demo meetings for Nameloop for Business or could have several information requests that I need to put together on the business or it might even mean testing the app and giving feedback to the team. I’ll leave the office about 6/6:30pm. Before I leave for the day I’ll make sure my inbox is clean and filed and jot notes down of anything I need to focus on the next day so I’m clear on the things that need done.

Already pivoted? Did customers use the address book like you imagined it in the beginning?

There have been no major pivots with Nameloop – the app world is all about learning and evolving the product and that’s been our focus. We launched really early with a pretty weak product but we were under pressure to get something out the door – looking back, it was the right decision as you need a live environment to properly test things and get real-world feedback. People use Nameloop as we expected but the product is so much more refined and most of the suggestions for improvement have been built into the apps.

Bootstrapped or financed: What fuels your startup now and what will in the future?

We’re currently raising a round on crowd funding website, CrowdCube, right now. It’s a great way for us to fund the business as it gives users the opportunity to have a share in the business and that means we bring many investors on board who help to push the network and in return they could see an excellent return on their investment.

With ferocious competition and a booming trend to build new companies: How do you make sure you don’t get lost in the shuffle?

We know our market incredibly well, to the point we know of the competition that you wouldn’t be able to find if you were looking for them. Technology is a race and we’re well aware that other people are running it, but out product focus and execution are unique. We have key differentiators that allow us to deliver a product to people, which we believe is the ultimate solution to manage their contact and personal information and how they share it with people and businesses. Currently, there is nothing else on the market that achieves that.

What do you look for in team members?

Attitude and aptitude. I look for people that will challenge me too – people who aren’t afraid to push their own boundaries and reach for the stars. Entrepreneurs want to hire entrepreneurs and that’s why the term intrapreneurs has recently been coined – an employee that thinks like an entrepreneur within the business. These are people that aren’t just turning up for a 9-5. They’re problem solvers too and take the load off the leadership team. We’ve make some excellent hires in this regard.

Why would a talent join your team?

The team is already full of very talented individuals so they’d be in good company. Being a tech start-up with a consumer app focus, it means the working environment is very relaxed relative to working for a large corporate – it’s a little cliche but it is a little family. Working is all about having fun too and we go for lunch as a team most days and on Fridays we often do a networked game like Urban Terror, which is good fun. It’s also pretty cool to know that everyone around you could be using a product that you’ve built.

What was your most memorable moment so far?

Launching. Essentially the final action is only hitting a button – we’ve got it on video and I think we all had a little dance, a whoop and a holler! It was a good moment as when you set off on a venture, you don’t know how it’s going to do – what technical challenges will we have, will we have any issues with an unknown team, will we maintain funding in the business? Fortunately everything came together and we’ve now got a great product.

What advice would you give fellow founders for their startup?

No one who has ever given up has succeeded. There have been many very tough challenges that we’ve come through, as is the case for all start-ups. You’ve got to never stop believing and continue to drive the business forward. Also, build a strong board early – we’re fortunate enough to now be working with Owen O’Donnell who has previously been Chairman of FanDuel and CFO of, amongst others. Having a seasoned industry head to bounce things off will make things easier and add huge value to your business.



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