Transforming the Great British Queue
Alumni were the big winners at the UK’s largest innovation event. Amos Teshuva (Economics, 2014), Frazer Harper and Archie Kennedy-Dyson (Computer Science, 2017) created WalkIn - a clever app that saves diners time by ‘queueing for them’ at restaurants. Pictured with Vice-Chancellor Professor Shearer West, they scooped first prize of £5,000 as well as the prestigious Vice-Chancellor’s Innovation award of £10,000 at Ingenuity18. We asked the guys to share how they got started.
"Queuing sucks and why do we have to wait for our bill!? That was how WalkIn started; no grand plan, just two friends at a restaurant who wanted to fix a problem. We had no idea how to get started, did corporate jobs that didn’t feel meaningful (I know…classic millennials) and didn’t think anyone would listen to us, what did we know about restaurants?
"Once we had the idea, every time we saw a queue it burned a hole in our chest and it still does, how can we live in a world where you can print anything in 3D and yet people have to queue for 2 hours on a Saturday for a burger? And why do we have to plan ahead to get a table at a restaurant; why can’t I know how busy a restaurant is instantly and just walk in when my table’s ready? All on my terms not on someone else’s. After a few weeks of sheepishly talking to waiters and our friends we decided to do something about it.
How can we live in a world where you can print anything in 3D and yet people have to queue for 2 hours on a Saturday for a burger? Why can’t I know how busy a restaurant is instantly and just walk in when my table’s ready?
"We went to Ingenuity17 and a had a really basic version of the app with no restaurants signed. Managed to get our way through to the Top 24, but not much further. We hated the feeling of losing but amazingly we won some cash and a gift in kind from the legends at Shakespeare Martineau LLP. But most importantly we met Archie, who’s now our CTO. That gave us the confidence to actually dedicate some real time to WalkIn and build this thing.
"We decided to get focused and started selling without a real product and unbelievably we had restaurants who wanted to trial, now we just needed the product.
"At the same time Frazer, one of our Co-Founders, was in a talk from Just Eat and showed them our super basic product and he got us a meeting with them. We applied for their venture programme where they invest in start-ups and unbelievably we got in!
Frazer and I quit our jobs on the same day and we went full time on WalkIn. Since January this year, where we started from ground zero with Just Eat’s backing, we achieved the following:
- Built the product ourselves in one and half months going live in February
- We now seat over 5,000 guests a month and will soon be around 20,000 a month
- Signed some of the best the restaurants in London including The Breakfast Club and EggBreak
"Finally we were fortunate enough to win the Ingenuity18 Competition, coming away with the Vice-Chancellor’s Innovation Award, 1st prize, and a range of incredible guidance from BDO, Shakespeare Martineau LLP and Potter Clarkson LLP, as well as cash which has helped our cash flow.
"We’ve just started our Seed Investment round and are starting to see crazy fast growth. If you'd like to find out more, just drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Much Love, Amos, Frazer and Archie - the WalkIn guys!"
Run by the Ingenuity Lab, the Ingenuity Competition has attracted over 1,000 of the University of Nottingham’s brightest minds over the past three years, has awarded over £350,000 in prizes, and has developed a reputation of finding and developing innovative high-growth businesses.
Discover more about the Ingenuity Lab
We have many exciting opportunities to help develop the next generation of global leaders and innovators. For more information, please contact HGI Administrator Georgina Hall: Georgina.email@example.com