In July this year, queue management software WaitWell – a queue management software optimizes service delivery at busy locations like universities, government offices and clinics – secured $1.5 million CAD in seed funding to expand its product offering across the States, venturing into new markets along the way. However, without the “sounding board” of Bryan Slauko and Jacques LaPointe the WaitWell story would have been very different indeed.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, WaitWell’s founders – husband and wife Steve and Shannon Vander Meulen – ran a motor vehicle registry office in Alberta, but with the ‘unprecedented new normal’ of Covid-19 came a cavalcade of service problems for customers and companies alike.
When the Vander Meulens noticed an opportunity to better resolve lineup management issues, they decided to launch beta testing on WaitWell in August 2020.
“Through the pandemic, we knew that we had the important role of providing an essential service while doing so in a safe and effective manner,” Steve began. “The solutions that were out there weren’t exactly fit for the style of business that we ran, so we built our own and had the good fortune to commercialise that to neighbouring markets.”
On the topic, Shannon said: “Immediately we realised once you digitize the way that people enter a queue, you have an opportunity to really digitally transform the entire customer experience from the time they join the queue until after they’ve left the building.”
The pair met Bryan and Jacques at an investment summit hosted by Startup TNT (WaitWell won the investment, by the way) and were struck by the pair’s unparalleled experience in the startup world, as well as their shared determination for the company to exit within Steve’s intention of a seven-to-ten-year timeframe.
It’s this “emotional investment” in the WaitWell journey that Shannon credits to the company’s success to date, crediting the pair as a “sounding board” for their questions and concerns as they worked to build WaitWell as a leader in queue management software.
“Although we’re experienced entrepreneurs, we are not experienced in the startup world, and so a lot of times we run into hurdles, challenges and questions,” Shannon said. “Bryan and Jacques have also been really helpful in providing connections for us. They’ve done a lot of introductions where necessary.”