Hi Janet, give me a quick summary of the lady behind the Dipsta.
Hi, I’m a British-Chinese entrepreneur. I also write and consult about Chinese wine culture and wine market (yes it’s a massive thing!). I blog from time to time on winepeek.com
What were you doing before you decided to create Dipsta?
I worked in finance for 9 years, in energy trading. I have also been writing about wine for 4 years. The original plan was to transition my City career into a more lifestyle friendly career as a wine writer, and it looked fairly promising; I was shortlisted for a Circle of Wine Writer’s award and a contributor for Decanter. However, over time I found my already modest alcohol tolerance becoming feebler year by year, so I thought maybe wine was not a long term breadwinning solution! I still love wine tastings & write whenever I have time – it offers endless discovery and sensory delights. I secretly wish I created Vivino – a wine app, which is how I realised I really wanted to create my own tech start-up.
Getting involved in Tech is still a new thing for women, what was the motivation for you?
Being in touch with the tech world makes me feel “with it”. I personally think keeping up with technology and innovation will keep you feeling young and engaged with the world, highly recommended, ladies! Tech had an unjustly “square” image for too long, but that’s changing already. I think more girls growing up now would embrace tech as something creative and empowering.
How have you found your journey so far and what has been your greatest accomplishment?
Above all else, my Dipsta start-up journey made me learn so much about myself, because the process will thoroughly test the limits of so many aspects of your own resolve. I’m very glad I took the plunge though, I’m buzzing with energy (on most days) because I believe in what I’m trying to achieve. In January 2017, we successfully achieved one of the UK’s highest reward based crowdfunding for a web/app product on Indiegogo, so that’s a good start for Dipsta as we enter our growth phase in 2017. But this is just the beginning!
How do you think the industry can inspire more women to work in tech?
Making the tech sector a leader in flexible working conditions would be helpful! And tech is well suited to lead this role.
Also it would help to have more relatable role models. Of course we should celebrate seriously successful women in tech – they are aspirational role models. But we need more “every day” role models and in more areas of tech. Role models don’t need to be given awards and making keynote speeches all the time, but just having more outlets for their voices and experiences heard and shared – among both women and men – could be immensely inspirational and more likely to spur others into action.
What advice would you give to young female entrepreneurs thinking about creating their own app?
Make sure you are disciplined with money. Your resources (money, effort, time) should be spent testing revenue-making hypotheses. Don’t waste money and time on superfluous activities or trying to be feature-perfect before you test on real customers.
Ask for advice and support can save a lot of time and avoid costly mistakes, but then again, mistakes are inevitable – just don’t run out of money so you have the chance to learn and adapt. Don’t bottle up all the pressure or try to cope alone!
What does it mean to you to be a woman working in tech?
I feel it’s a privilege because we are living in an amazing age of innovation. It’s irresistible for me to want to take part in it.
Overview of how Dipsta works:
Dipsta is a “win or buy” platform for prizes and promotions from independent & innovative brands.
Dipsta is built with no spam & zero hassle in mind. “Dip right” to enter a prize draw and save down a special offer, or “Skip left” to move on without action.
Dipsta enables brands, products & services to be searched, discovered by categories or by geo-location on the user’s mobile device. It offers an even playing field for businesses of all sizes by giving each campaign maximized & dedicated in-app display, and search results based on relevance alone - a "budget agnostic" approach to online visibility that empowers independents, start-ups and local businesses.
Dipsta is in beta and now open for both merchants and consumer sign-ups (it’s free!)