In 2011, Audeohost went from an idea in my head to a firm way forward. I had recently finished running IT for a Hitachi company in Canada and full-time corporate IT and I went on a path of divergence. My background is in tech and spent years in media in the UK with organisations including Sky and Channel 5 and in Canada as a consultant with CTV/Bell Media. I had built products within other companies and have a portfolio of personal ideas that have never seen the light of day.
The next one was going to be mine!
Being a great fan of sports, particularly rugby, I have watched multiple sports in bars, restaurants and stadia and thought that it would be great to be able to have live commentary and studio pre and post game shows delivered to a person’s smartphone giving them the ability to hear the information that they want from whatever programme then want to hear based on what they can see. When it’s either raucous in the pub watching a single game, or there are multiple events on screen to choose from, wouldn’t it be great to give customers a choice to hear commentary.
Audeohost delivers program commentary directly to smartphones and customers get to choose what they listen to through an app. The venue operator needs to have an appliance installed and customers connect through wi-fi.
Being a subscription based service, Covid-19 effectively shut the business in March 2020. Having said that, I was able to apply for emergency loans and several grants that has allowed development of new features to continue. Given the delicate nature of the hospitality industry, it will allow us to make a slow return to the market.
With that said and given my technology background, I presently run operations for TV music channel across the UK university scene while also preparing to rollout Audeohost at those venues.
What vision/lightbulb moment prompted you to start-up in business?
I spent a long time working for others and thought it past time to go down the entrepreneurial path and own one of my own ideas. I was a little tired of corporate culture and decide to find the dart that stuck in the board.
What was your “back-to-the-wall” moment and how did you overcome it?
Covid-19 and its affect on offshore suppliers as well as the market that we serve. We had to find a new product development organisation that could work with our existing platforms. Personally, I rolled up my sleeves and got more closely acquainted with the technology. While we have yet to overcome longer term effects, staying positive, rebuilding awareness through marketing and working with related partners is helping to turn the tide.
To what extent does your business trade internationally and what are your plans?
We have a number of customers in Canada, Ireland and the UK along with an agent in Argentina. The Canadian and Irish markets are just getting “back on their feet” and I believe need additional time to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Meantime, I am based in the UK until October to begin a major rollout.
What are you doing to disrupt, innovate and improve the products or services you offer?
We are taking the product forward in a modular fashion and are currently rewriting the front end technology into a single codebase making innovation easier moving forward. New features are being added which will eventually allow us to sell the product online which was not something considered seriously pre-covid because of the number of touchpoints.