November 6, 2013
In a market that’s already saturated with products, Mike Church’s Wipad is trying to establish a foothold and go toe to toe with Apple TV, Roku, and Chromecast. Since starting out, there have been numerous challenges like finding backers, raising capital, and bringing the product to market.
On top of all that, the Wipad virtually accomplishes the same tasks as Apple TV, Roku, or Chromecast, but sells for three times as much. However, throughout it all Church has remained optimistic and never abandoned his idea.
He was able to get some early adopters and get traction through past experience and strong network connections. He wants to make Wipad the wireless presentation solution for iPad, tablet, and laptop users, and he was gracious enough to give us a look at how he is doing it.
Tech Cocktail: Obviously there is a lot of competition out there in Apple TV, Roku, and Chromecast, so what do you do differently?
Mike Church: The big difference between Wipad and those other products is that we do not require an Internet connection for successful operation. The competition may be less expensive and will work for many users, but spotty or limited Internet can ruin them.
These solutions were designed for the home and work great in that environment, but when people try and make that work on an enterprise network, issues arise. Since the Wipad is a standalone device independent of a network, we can have numerous users present with the iPad and not affect the connection in any way.
Tech Cocktail: Who is using Wipad?
Church: Generally speaking, anyone who wants to present using their iPad, but doesn’t want to rely on their network, would be a potential Wipad user. More specifically, K-12 classrooms and teachers have been big for us.
Imagine you are a technology director at a K-12 school district and you purchased iPads for your teachers. The last thing you want is 30-40 people logged onto your network at the same time: it will demolish your network speed.
Educators typically will stretch their dollar as far as they can, so they all want to try other less expensive solutions before trying the Wipad. But once they try the Wipad, they implement it and purchase additional units.
Tech Cocktail: What is your marketing approach?
Church: We have taken the approach of marketing directly to end users. Through emails, calls, and presentations we work to make sure people are aware of Wipad. One of our strategies is to let keynote speakers and trade show presenters use Wipad for their talks.
If we can get the Wipad in the hands of end users, we can typically close a deal, and going to a distribution model or a manufacturer’s rep doesn’t fit our potential market. Wireless presentation is the future and what people are looking for; we are trying to position ourselves as a top wireless presentation solution for any device.
Wipad was featured at Tech Cocktail’s Kansas City Mixer & Startup Showcase on October 17th.
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