Innopitch: Be the next European Young Innovator
20 June 2012

InnoPitch Award 2012 – Interview with João Romão, from Wishareit

Two weeks before the grand presentation at the Young Innovators Unconvention’ Town Hall Session we asked the six InnoPitch Awards 2012 finalists to briefly answer four questions in order to introduce themselfs to the world.

Check out João Romão (JR) answers:

European Young Innovators Forum:  How did you hear about EYIF and the InnoPitch Award 2012? JRThe first time I heard about EYIF and its competitions was in October’11. At the time, I applied to an exclusive Masterclass with Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary at the European Commission’s Innovation Convention in Brussels. It sounded like an amazing opportunity for personal development, real and empiric knowledge on how to start a business by one of the greatest leaders and business drivers of today. Ever since, I’ve been following EYIF’s work and the InnoPitch competition was launched and shared amongst the startup community in Portugal. Like in October, it seemed an astonishing chance to be part of something really great, thus resulting in the application prepared to this event.

EYIF What are your expectations from participating at the InnoPitch Award 2012?
JRI believe there are, amongst others, two things a startup needs to be constantly looking for: feedback and networking. In the InnoPitch Award 2012 I expect to meet innovators, leaders, inspiring and experienced people. On the other hand, I plan to collect as much feedback as possible, not only for my startup, Wishareit, but for myself as well. I honestly believe that InnoPitch will be an outstanding chance to show the world what we’re doing and where we’re heading. It will certainly also be a huge opportunity to foster solid relationships with the investment community.

EYIF Why will you win? (what is your strong card)
JRGift giving is a very strong social practice: everybody loves a good gift. However, 40% of all gifts given are considered to be bad. Who hasn’t received (several) bad gifts? In a recent survey, done by Wishareit to 1,500 people, we discovered that 83% of people find it hard to choose the right gift for someone among the overwhelming choices available today. Wishareit wants to help everyone to find, recommend, choose and buy the perfect gifts for their friends and family or even themselves. We focus everything we do in Strong Relationships (imagine Path but for presents), Collaborative Intelligence and Social Gamification and Reputation. Despite the competition (and a really strong one it is) Wishareit will win InnoPitch because of its potential to change and improve gift giving not just in Europe, but worldwide.  In a time of crisis, one cannot increase its spending. However, regarding gifts, it is possible to improve it, and that’s why Wishareit exists. Imagine the social, economic and even environmental impact of reducing the 40% bad gift ratio to 30%, for example. That’s millions of emotions (and thousands of millions of Euros). That’s our goal. Wishareit will globally connect people among them (based on major Social Networks) and with major retailers and local shops with one shared purpose: so they can know what to give to their loved ones, not to spend more but to spend better, and to help SME’s and large corporations promote their products and their businesses in the process. Besides all this, we’re a great team, we’ve all built startups in the past, we’ve over 25 years of combined experience in IT, we dream everyday on changing the world, we love our friends and family, and we’re lousy gift givers. This is a big problem. We really need Wishareit!

EYIF Who are you going to thank if you win?
JRWishareit is not a sole soul. We’re together with a remarkable ecosystem based in Lisbon, Portugal. I’ve got to thank, above all, to my team: Pedro Moura, an ex-director for Portugal’s largest IT firm, who quit his job to join our team; and to João Gomes, former booking.com coder and founder of Log, a high growth web development company in Portugal, for the incredible vision and tech insights for our project . I’d thank as well to our admirable board of advisors, from top executives from several industries to founders of successful startups in the United States. To Beta-i, a non-profit organization that thrives to streamline the startup environment in Portugal and to StartupLisboa, that kindly offers us a space to work and to gather our team. To all the Startups friends who live the dream by our side, persevering to show the world there’s always room to change for the better. Of course we couldn’t forget EYIF and Kumardev Chatterjee for the opportunity in hands and for the great work done to raise awareness on this subject. On a personal level, a very sincere thank you for my everyday life coaches, my personal advisors, my friends, my pirates.

Take a look at João Romão’s InnoPitch video submission

Come to meet the InnoPitch Awards 2012 Finalists and many other inspiring personalities by joining us at the UNconvention.

To reserve your chance to participate, do so by registering on our website as soon as possible.