Snap Fashion fought off competition from 300 UK companies to win first place at Cisco's BIG Awards 2012 and Jenny Griffiths, Founder and Chief Executive describes her business, her product and the support she received from Cisco during the awards process. Jenny also tells us about the lasting effect it has had on her business.
Well, before we talk about the process that you went through during the Cisco big awards, tell us a little bit more about the product that you put forward.
When I had the idea for Snap, I was studying computer science at the University of Bristol. And basically, my problem was I could never find clothes quickly on my budget. And so I think the obvious thing to me to do is to search using an image.
Yeah, so we've got a website which is snapfashion.co.uk and also an iPhone app. And the idea is that you take photos, something that you love, and you can't afford, or it's not in your size, and then we'll find you similar items.
What made you enter the Cisco big awards competition?
I saw the competition advertised on Twitter. And I thought kind of enter it, give it a go. We're a startup based in London. It seemed like a really good fit. To be honest, we entered on a bit of an off chance, so it's really exciting to kind of carry on getting through to the different rounds.
You worked with Cisco mentors, of course, throughout the process. How did they assist you in developing Snap Fashion?
They're really supportive throughout the process. And so we first got introduced to them in the semifinal, and they helped us kind of reevaluate our business plan and look at our application. And then since then, they've been great. We go out to their offices, and they help this kind of grade the business.
So from applying for the final, how did Cisco support you, and what were the sort of things it helped you along the way?
We got introduced to our mentor who is Prathima Femi, and she kind of looked our business plan and showed us areas that potentially you be judged as being a bit weaker on and how to improve them. So she really helped us get up to the final stage and supported through that.
Since the Cisco big awards then, how do you think the process that you went through has enhanced your business?
It's been great, actually, because it's made us take a step back and checked that we're portraying the business in the right light from everyone to investors kind of touch on this users and just check that kind of our key messages are in line.
Jenny, what you think as Snap Fashion, and of course, there's the team of people that you had around you that you displayed to the judges that kind of impressed them the most?
I think they liked our live demo because it was a bit of a risk on the night, which paid off in the end. And also, I think they liked the way that we kind of demonstrated that our technology was reaching a new group of people, and it really could revolutionize the way people shop online.
And the future plans for you, what's next for Snap Fashion?
We've got a lot in the pipeline. We've got an update coming out for Christmas where people can track the January sales which would be quite fun, launching our new platforms like Android and Windows phone and then launching for men in the new year.
And what would your advice be to any startups who might be considered entering the Cisco big awards.
Yeah, definitely go for it. I'm always a huge fan of competitions. I think there's always worth the go. And yeah, just believe in your idea, because you'd be surprised so many people will meet you along the way and support you.