WIFIPLUG’s Founder and CEO Leon Doyle tells us about his start-up successes, adapting to change and producing some of the world’s most innovative SMART tech.
What is WIFIPLUG?
WIFIPLUG is SMART company with a difference. We make the SMARTest SMART plug on the market. It can talk any language – Siri, Alexa, Google, IFTTT and gives you some pretty comprehensive energy data along the way.
Why did you start the company?
I wanted to make something that everybody needed but didn’t realise it yet. Five years ago, very few people had even heard of SMART Home. Now, just about everyone I know has an Amazon Echo or HomePod to control their homes. I saw the benefits in SMART Home and it really appealed to me at the time. I thought it represented something futuristic and I wanted to get involved in it; I’d just sold a previous company and witnessed first-hand how emerging tech changed the way companies operated.
So was your previous company not a technology company?
Not at first, no – but it became one quite rapidly once we went online. I learnt a lot from that but most importantly, I learnt to always think in terms of cutting edge and always think in terms of the future. I guess the timing was quite fortuitous because out of all of those learnings, WIFIPLUG was born. I had just taken a company whose traditional routes to market were paper-based online and it boomed. So, I got thinking about other traditional methods which needed an overhaul and came up with the concept of WIFIPLUG.
How has Dotforge helped you?
In a number of ways. The networking really is invaluable. Sometimes, I shy away from networking events but with Dotforge, you’re surrounded by people that genuinely offer you something – whether it’s advice, sales opportunities, funding ideas – everyone is like-minded, but the experience is so diverse that there’s real value in the knowledge transfer that takes place. Other than that, Dotforge has put us in front of people, opened doors and are always happy to help; it’s a safe forum to ask just about any question.
What advice would you give to a start-up?
Take your time. Think of the future. Learn your market inside out. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t rush. Do the best you can possibly do.