Waffle is revolutionizing the way people connect to WiFi. Based in Seoul, their product was initially targeted towards small-business owners like coffee shops. A coffee-shop owner using Waffle has their customers send out a tweet, post on Facebook, answer a quiz, or watch an advertisement in order to access the Internet.
In today’s post, I caught up with Minku Lee to ask him a few questions about how Waffle is doing. He’s a cofounder of the company and, amazingly, still a high school student.
1. How did you come up with the idea for Waffle?
In Korea, almost all of the public Wi-Fis are provided by mobile carriers. So people just use their mobile phone tethering instead. We felt it was difficult to use existing Wi-Fi, so we decided to solve that with Waffle.
2. How is the business being funded?
Currently we’re self-funded, but we won a startup contest held by Korean government. We’re currently looking for additional investors.
3. How are sales and the roll-out going?
We currently have several franchises. However, we’re preparing to make public Wi-Fi zone – cover one huge area (like one city) with Waffle. Also we’re looking for global partners, with attending conferences like Startup Asia and LAUNCH Conference.
4. What has been the reaction of coffee-shop and other small-business owners to the product?
Coffee shop owners are interested in statistics. Because Waffle provides usage report, they can find out how users are using Waffle. On the other hand, they can customize Wi-Fi screen, that’s another merit.
5. How do you balance going to school and building Waffle?
6. Did anything exciting happen as a result of being a part of Twist Seoul?
I attended Startup Asia, and a few of attendees recognized me because they had seen me on TWiST!
7. What’s coming next for Waffle?
We’re currently focused on optimizing and improving Wi-Fi experience of user, however we’re planning something useful! Stay tuned. Waffle’s new website is coming soon. In the meantime, you can sign up for their newsletter.