Wippli is an end-to-end Smart Workflow connecting suppliers and clients to initiate and deliver great work from anywhere. Founder and CEO Jay Marcano says Wippli’s mission is to help people do a better job, easily, while improving global and remote interactions; with a vision to disrupt the digital collaboration ecosystem and to become the gold standard for Project Management and smart workflows.
Jay claims Wippli is solving the problem of combining multiple apps to initiate, produce and deliver digital requests from start to end, considering the client-supplier dynamics and “remote work” principles.
“Wippli has been ideated for users with low-tech literacy, and it’s flexible enough to include any industry that relies on digital files, resulting in exceptional opportunities, efficiencies, and gains across the board,” Jay says.
“It’s a tool for suppliers to manage clients and for clients to manage their suppliers. The aim is to help professionals optimise how we work and make the lives easier for everyone to do whatever we value with the extra time and headspace.”
Jay, who prior to Wippli was running his business ‘Brannium’ and spent several years as Creative Manager of Revlon, encountered a few challenges for Wippli in the early days.
“Apart from the typical cash flow and the adventure of swimming in somehow unknown waters, the biggest challenge is to manage different businesses and processes simultaneously and wear different hats as the need arises. For example, in one minute, I have to produce Wippli’s corporate strategy or be in a meeting with a CEO, then stop making a quick design change for one of our clients; this is fun most of the time, but sometimes adds a lot of pressure,” Jay says.
“It has been quite painful passing through such a challenging but fantastic journey; giving support, to the best of my abilities, to friends and family passing through hard times from the pandemic here and overseas. Also, being so immersed in the process sometimes is an obstacle to see progress. But I’m always impressed by how smoothly things always flow, how the idea, values, and people’s engagement remain almost intact after a year of hard work.”
Wippli’s biggest success so far has been achieving the NSW MVP grant. Jay says the application process was much more rigorous than he expected.
“I literally cried when I got the confirmation email from the NSW Government! We see winning this grant was a massive reaffirmation and validation that Wippli and the team are on the right track and it made me feel blessed and proud for being a second-generation Australian,” Jay says.
“Top VCs have reached out to us without even looking; we’ve won accelerator competitions and offered other opportunities. However, to me, the biggest win is the level of engagement, traction, and love from people that Wippli has achieved so far.”
Wippli is now a small community of almost 40 collaborators worldwide that add value in their different disciplines. Jay says, during this process, he’s always surprised by how Wippli gets so ingrained into people’s minds and hearts.
“I love when I see people ‘smiling with their eyes’ when they get i! Also, Wippli attracts top professionals such as our latest “wippliholic”, Publio Lorenzo, our new CFO who’s coming straight from HBO – Miami.”
“Now we’re in the process of finalising our scalable MVP to test with real clients such as Dell, Aware Super and Checkbox, which along with our business model, proposition and financial valuation, will be the ‘end of an era.’ We’ll celebrate this important milestone with a simple but charming demo night to talk about our journey and introduce the team and collaborators, including guest speakers around the concepts of Human Centre Design, Lean Methodology and Workflows.”
Jay says the team will now focus on fundraising in three pivotal steps:
“We’ll complete the rest of the functionalities for Wippli to go live commercially, including top security certifications; build top capabilities and put in place a high performing team to drive our customer-centric strategy; conquer the world with our Growth Strategy and position Wippli as the real disruptor in the digital business engagement arena,” Jay says.
“Wippli is planning to launch in Australia in Y1 and jump full-on into the US Market in Y2. The rest of the regions (EU and JP et al.) for Y3 onwards and deploy the subsequent revenue streams, in line with our growth strategy and innovation pipeline.”
Jay had started Wippli’s journey by enrolling on an “elite” networking hub, which never impressed him. Then a friend told him about Fishburners…
“I went to a demo day where Jane Oja kindly walked me through space, the model and benefits. I immediately cancelled my subscription and jumped into Fishies, as I felt a perfect fit! I have nothing but good words about my experience. I moved from a networking hub to a fully Support System where I’ve learned a lot and received fantastic support from members, mentors and staff. For example, David Cox from QAChef.com gave me immense support when filling up our grant application, Matt Heath from Make your Change consulted us to shape Wippli’s value proposition, and Jane Oja always puts me in touch with the right people.”
Jay has some fabulous advice for other startups:
“Always see your journey from a point of ignorance. You’re here because you’re intelligent, that’s for sure, but you don’t have all the answers, and you’ll make a lot of mistakes (and learn from them). So always validate your assumptions and activities with people more experienced (or with different approaches) than yours. See your process and journey as a learning experience and never stop asking questions, even if you think you may look clueless! Your idea is a time game (and bomb) Always look ahead to the next year or two and jump into the things that take time (i.e., intellectual property), so you don’t get caught in processes and bureaucracy. Be shameless. Ask for and seek support every time you need it, and always be sure you give support when people need you.”
“Defend your vision at all costs. The first step of the journey is to write (yes, write) and conceptualise your idea and business model using simple words (sounds easier than what it is) in a way that it’s easy to understand. Once you know and validate your business model, mission, vision, values and value proposition, stick to them and be consistent so you don’t get lost in translation, time, or others’ opinions. Be open to failure; trust me, the journey will come with many shortcomings, but hopefully, the successes will outpace the defeats. All you do is better have a plan B if things don’t result as expected.”
“For example, our first MVP was a total disaster. But we decided to use it as the prototype for our grant application, and it worked as a big lesson about how not to develop an MVP and, of course, how to do things correctly for the next one.”