Friday Five Interview with Will Walters of mobbra
That’s the vision of digital entrepreneur and film maker Will Walters, who set up mobbra Ltd earlier this year to deliver mass fan engagement – or ‘Fangage’ – at music and sporting events through the use of smartphone applications.
Based in MediaCityUK in Manchester, mobbra is now a team of eight people delivering a range of services to help get fans closer to the action.
1. What have been your key milestones and how have you celebrated them?
Initially sanity checking the idea with brands, marketing agencies and media owners was the first big step.
We believed that there was a problem with mobile networks and Wi-Fi connectivity where you have a high density of people such as at concerts and sporting events.
We were relieved to find that everyone we talked to agreed it was a problem.
We started this due diligence process back in June 2012 through to the end of the year and realised we had a good business case.
Getting investment was obviously another big step which we achieved in April of this year – that was worth a curry night in London to celebrate!
2. Have you had any setbacks or disappointments along the way and what have you learnt from them?
Touch wood – if I can find any in this office – we’ve been lucky so far and things are going smoothly.
3. Have you taken any chances or risks that you feel have really paid off?
Again, it’s been relatively risk free so far. Those early days when we were testing the concept took up huge amounts of my personal time and involved risking personal wealth.
That’s a risk of course, but it has paid off to enable us to get to where we are.
4. Tell us about your work-life balance?
Well, it’s 24/7 at the moment – I’ve just done five cities in five days.
My background is in creating digital marketing projects and I’ve also been involved in producing films in LA. So there have been lots of trips backwards and forwards to the US.
There are regular early trips to London – 5am the other day – and early hours discussions with people based overseas as well as late hours discussions with contacts in the US. That makes for a long day.
5. Where have you taken inspiration from?
It sounds corny but Walt Disney said: “If you can dream it, you can do it.”
I find that inspiring; the idea that you can make the impossible possible. Ultimately I want to keep on growing the business in as many directions as I can and to do that, I’m always thinking about innovative ways for brands to communicate.