Hongwei talks Mappedin

I had the chance to interview Hongwei from Mappedin about his start-up. He will also be participating in the EOT Exhibition on March 29 from 11-2:30 in the SLC Great Hall.

Who are you?

I am a student of Electrical Engineering, a gamer, a badminton player, and (I guess) now an entrepreneur – though I don’t feel like one yet. I’m currently in my second year, and spent both my previous work terms working in Radio Frequency R&D at RIM. It was an interesting experience, and seeing my work get patented was downright awesome, but since I’ve found that I covet the startup life even more.

What are you working on? Explain?

A year ago, I co-founded MappedIn, a point-to-point mapping and navigation platform for indoor locations.  More simply, I like to think of it as “Google Maps for indoor places.” Up until now, our team has been working on MappedIn as a side project.  Recently, however, we finished our first paid contract and have decided to ride the momentum by working full-time this summer on the project.

How has living in VeloCity helped you in your entrepreneurial ambitions?

If I hadn’t gone to VeloCity, I probably wouldn’t have anything to do with startups (at least not right now).  Not because I wouldn’t want to, but like many people I know, I’d think: “that stuff’s too intense for me; where would I even begin?” So like them, I would whine about school and the hoops I have to jump through, and then jump them anyway for fear of poverty.

VeloCity is a place where cool things happen. I applied for the residence in my first year mainly because I wanted to have air conditioning* for the summer (my previous res didn’t). What I found is a community of fun, smart people who, like me, want something more out of university. For me, VeloCity was a foot in the door that got me to embrace the startup world, with the support of friends and like-minded peers.

* I just realized I made a terrible pun.  What’s done is done.

What are some of your current roadblocks?

The biggest obstacle we’ve been dealing with developing MappedIn is school and work/coop. In my case, at least, I find myself using school as an excuse for MappedIn, and the reciprocal as well. Somehow, I often end up here.

Next term, I’ll be able to focus on just one thing; happily, it’s the one I’m passionate about.

What’s the game plan for your future?

I’m excited to take MappedIn as far as it will go. It’s a great idea with a huge market, and a great team of people working on it 🙂
The outlook is admittedly uncertain. I can see so many ways for things to go wrong, but I’m hooked by the thought of it all working out.

Continue to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more details, information, and important updates!