Wine Picker is an app that works like a ‘sommelier in your pocket’, allowing users to select wines that match their budget and food choices. Founder Josselin Guibert discusses setting up the business and what it’s like to be your own boss.
Tell us about your business, what does it do?
Wine Picker provides all the information diners need with the swipe of a finger, including the five best wines for their budget and dish selection. It also includes all the details needed to understand and learn more about wine and lets users to write and share reviews.
What did you do before you started this business?
My background is in maths and technology, and for 10 years I worked in finance - but my grandfather being a wine connoisseur and that’s what inspired me.
What inspired you to start up?
My meeting with Julien Sahut, the co-founder, discussing the problem many diners face when attempting to navigate a wine list. We both decided that computer generated information distributed through an app could provide the information diners needed with the swipe of a finger.
How would you describe your business to a novice?
Wine Picker is a sommelier in your pocket. Just select a restaurant, tell Wine Picker what you’re having for dinner and your budget. In an instant it will find the 5 wines matching your criteria’s best.
Where do you get advice, support or help?
Julien Sahut, being Sexy Fish head sommelier, has an extensive network, giving us access to a board range of experts in the wine and food industry.
Regarding technology, I generally have enough knowledge to make decisions, but having great development partners also helps.
Finance is one of the most common barriers to starting up. How did you access the finance you needed?
At the moment we’re looking for funding, so far we self-seeded the company.
What has been your biggest achievement so far?
Wine Picker has been very well received by the public and rather successful.
Four months after launch:
- more than 3,000 users downloaded Wine Picker;
- it is ranked #2 in google play when you type “wine app” (after Vivino)
- it has been nominated for the Amazon Growing Business Awards as Innovator of the year.
How do you differentiate your business from others?
Our idea and the feature rich app is pretty unique in the very traditional wine world and we’re not really competing with sommeliers, we’re rather complementary.
What’s it like to be your own boss?
It’s thrilling and stressful at the same time. Since the company is in early stages with little money to spare we have very little room for mistakes.
Where do you see your business in five years’ time?
Many happy users getting to learn more about wine and making their selection with confidence. While at the same time supporting the hospitality businesses increase revenues, helping them understand their customers.
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
What we would tell any entrepreneur engaging in a similar journey is that meticulous planning is the key, anything that has been prepared in advance will pay tenfold down the line. In our case, for example, we haven’t spent enough time upfront preparing our financing rounds, and although we’re getting amazing traction, finding capital in the UK is proving tricky.
Then ensure that you have well documented contract with your key partners, not just about IP but also key elements like late delivery penalties or pre-arranged maintenance duties.
Finally, don’t venture on your own it’s too much for one person to do everything.
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