Tell us a little bit about your company. What is your business in your own words? How long has it been running?
I’m Julie Holmes, the creator and co-founder of a company called JUST Innovate Ltd which manufactures and sells a neat little gadget called Hey Mic!. Hey Mic! is a Bluetooth wireless microphone explicitly designed to connect with smartphones to capture great audio with your videos.
Our business has two founders: Steve Clarke and me. We’re both professional speakers who decided to work together early last year, and we’ve been running since June 2017. We launched Hey Mic! within 90 days!
Was there a lightbulb moment?
It happened when I was working at a trade show, where I was speaking to a group of about 200 people. I wanted to capture some audio of the essential messages I had put together for this presentation and the questions asked by the audience so that I could share them back with other people in my business, namely sales and marketing.
I’d done recordings on my phone before, but they were never good enough to be used as it was often hard to hear in big, busy rooms. I knew at that moment I needed to create something that would make it easy for me to capture and reuse the audio, so that’s where the idea of Hey Mic! was born.
Were there any big pain points when you were starting up the business?
One of the most significant challenges we had was purely finding time to get things off the ground.
Both Steve and I are busy, full-time speakers and business leaders, so carving out and creating another company was incredibly hard. So, as you can imagine, we were both working evenings and weekends as we tried to get Hey Mic! off the ground and it often felt like there weren’t enough hours in the day – we got tired! But we believed in our product, so knew we had to make it happen.
What has the high point been so far?
We donated a couple of Hey Mic!s to the Professional Speakers’ Association in the UK to help raise funds for their Foundation, which collects money from its members via auctions for other speakers when they fall on hard times, or just need a helping hand.
I was amazed to see how excited everyone was to bid on our product! It was so rewarding to see how much money we were generating for the cause, but it also reinforced that people in our marketplace; our friends and colleagues, saw how valuable Hey Mic! could be for them.
Have there been any low points and how did you overcome them?