Where did the genesis/idea for your business come from?
The founder, William Ferguson when president of the local swim club recognised that the club and sport were losing members, and therefore income, because of slowness, stress and errors caused by manual timing. Existing automated timing systems are too expensive and provide a poor user experience, so William developed the concept and software for Wylas Timing in 2013, and registered the company in 2015.
What do you believe sets your business apart from those already in the market?
We have first mover advantage with a wireless timing system that integrates management systems and video displays. We are the first in the market with a timing system that is inexpensive enough that those 40% of clubs that have never been able to afford one now can. We have an extremely easy to use product, something that can be understood by someone who is not highly computer literate in less than 5 minutes.
We offer our customers an automated timing system that just works, out of the box. It comprises a timing pack containing commercial off the shelf (COTS) hardware necessary to support the system, some flexible custom hardware and proprietary software that contains the timing functionality. We charge an upfront fee for the hardware and licence the software over a variable period that clubs can choose based on their needs/season.
Our competitors use proprietary hardware, which makes them expensive and slow to bring new capability to market. Only two competitors have a wireless solution.
Wylas Timing is significantly less than the price of its nearest competitor and provides better functionality. It cuts over an hour off club meets and displays times instantly at the end of each race.
We have deliberately kept the price low so that as many clubs as possible are able to benefit, providing as many kids as possible with the chance to really appreciate and enjoy the sport. The prices for the timing pack and licences are based upon our experiences running clubs and knowing the value of Wylas Timing to club finances.
Our product caters to all levels of competitive swimming and pool sizes in a global swimming market.
Our customers are:
– Amateur swimming clubs who have little funding and have not been able to afford an automated timing system. This is 40% of the market which we will take unopposed.
– Professional swimming clubs and private schools looking for the latest tech or to replace their existing system. They want touchpads and integration with large displays.
– The state/national swimming federations who are looking for ways to enhance club life.
What are people most excited by about your product? What do they like most?
There are numerous things that excite our customers – the ease of use, timing is automated, removes human errors, simplifies recording of results, can be understood by someone who is not highly computer literate in less than 5 minutes, reduces frustration, instant visibility of results, lets them go home early, and most importantly, it is at a cost which is within reach of every club.
What have you learnt about yourself building your company?
That sale of a product or business requires a very different lens than that provided by a background in software engineering. Thankfully I have always been attracted to working with smart people and I have brought together a team that can provide those insights for me.
As a business, what have been some of the biggest challenges have faced to date?
Getting the word out to the clubs that our product is actually better than the incumbent while being priced such that all clubs can afford it. It is hard to fight the 800 pound gorilla, but we are making traction through strong referrals.
Looking ahead to the next 12 months, what milestones do you wish to reach?
Our current focus is to:
– Raise funds to build sales in Australia and the USA and establish a management and sales team in Australia and the USA
– Development of products that provide additional services to clubs;
– Providing the timing system to other sports such as athletics.
Anything else you’d like to mention?
We are currently working with an international partner to integrate the world’s first wireless touchpads with our timing systems.
Interested in getting involved with Wylas Timing? Contact them here
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