Oct 12, 2016 by Helena Category: Interview 5 comments

Twile
 
One of the first companies that joined Dotforge accelerator had a great year.
Twile partnered with leading genealogy site Findmypast, won two innovation awards at RootsTech 2016, including People’s Choice and just announced the launch of their new feature that integrates with FamilySearch.org. They have been selected for the next round of Pitch@Palace, have a project with a local primary school that incorporated Twile into the curriculum and have been selected as part of a cohort of companies chosen to visit the US to help raise the profile of the tech industry in the North of England.
We asked Paul Brooks, cofounder of Twile to share his entrepreneurial journey.

 

twile1Tell us something about Twile.

Twile is a timeline of everything that’s ever happened in your family, from your earliest ancestor right through to today

How did you get here?

We launched Twile during Dotforge in 2013 as a tool for parents to record their young children growing up and share photos privately with the rest of the family. After 2 years of trying to compete with big players like Microsoft, Dropbox and Google, we identified a new opportunity in the family history space and pivoted to take advantage of it. We developed Twile into a visual timeline that family historians can use to make their research more engaging and easier to share with the rest of the family. We have since secured investment with Findmypast (#2 in family history), won 2 innovation awards at RootsTech (the biggest family history event) and we’re about to launch a big integration with FamilySearch (a huge not-for-profit in the industry).

What is your inspiration for creating your company?

Twile has always been about preserving memories – getting people to record what they know about their family, past and present, to ensure that knowledge isn’t lost through the generations. We are all parents with young children and we’re keen to ensure our kids know who their ancestors were, what their parents were like and what they were like when they were younger.

What have been your biggest challenges as a Tech Startup?

Raising investment has been a consistent, ongoing challenge. We’ve always tried to raise just enough money to survive long enough to prove the model, which means we’ve had to raise 3-4 rounds of seed investment over the last 3 years. Trying to get in front of investors that are interested in a B2C business with no revenue in the genealogy industry is particularly difficult! Generating growth has also been difficult, but now that we’ve achieved product-market fit in the family history space, we’re gaining organic traffic through word-of-mouth and great press. The strategic partnerships we’ve worked hard to secure are beginning to pay dividends and should move the needle substantially in the next year.

What is your biggest learning from Dotforge?

1. Investment takes a lot longer than you think it will
2. The network of mentors you create is vital
3. You can expect your product to change beyond recognition before it’s successful
4. Building a successful startup is much harder than the press would have you believe

What is the most used piece of advice you have had to developing your startup?

Stay lean. Make your money last as long as you possibly can.

Comments5
  1. I was able to find good advice from your blog posts.

  2. LeandraOctober 30, 2016   

    My partner and I absolutely love your blog and find
    nearly all of your post’s to be exactly I’m looking
    for. Do you offer guest writers to write content in your case?
    I wouldn’t mind creating a post or elaborating on a number of the subjects you write in relation to here.
    Again, awesome blog!

  3. sonos play 5 reviewNovember 04, 2016   

    I get pleasure from, lead to I discovered exactly what I used to
    be having a look for. You have ended my four day long hunt!
    God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye

  4. wireless doorbell camera reviewsNovember 05, 2016   

    Fantastic web site. A lot of helpful info here. I’m sending it to a few buddies ans also sharing in delicious.
    And obviously, thank you to your sweat!

  5. water Flosser ReviewNovember 05, 2016   

    Very good information. Lucky me I discovered your site by chance (stumbleupon).
    I’ve book marked it for later!

Leave a Comment!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *