13 June 2017

INTERVIEW: Gator Watch's Colleen Wong

We recently reviewed a very special kind of kid's watch. The Gator Watch not only tells the time (yay!) but also acts like a miniature mobile phone and GPS tracker, allowing parents to always stay in touch with their wee bundles of joy. We were impressed, so lets grab five minutes with the creator, Colleen Wong.

Hello. Who are you?

I am Colleen, a Canadian/British mum of two monkeys aged three and one. My first born arrived nine weeks early and the amazing NHS took care of my son for a month. He had a blood clot in his brain one week after birth and I was told the only thing to do was wait. That complete lack of control was horrifying to me. My kiddo is a healthy and happy boy today, but because of this, I fear nothing when it comes to my business. Everything that happens to my business I have control over. There is never a moment when I say I need to sit back and wait for results. I just make it happen.

And what do you do?

I am the founder of Techsixtyfour. My product is the Gator Watch, a wearable mobile phone/tracker made for young children. I am trying to solve a big pain point amongst parents – the want and need to stay connected with our children for peace of mind, but we don’t want our young children to own or use smartphones which come along with the dangers of the internet, social media and games.

Tell us how you got started in that.

In August 2015 I took my kids to a farm park and heard a mother screaming as she looked everywhere for her little boy. The fear of losing my own children, coupled with the fact that I dislike the idea of young children handling smartphones, prompted the idea for a wearable that would keep parents and children connected, and that is when Techsixtyfour was born.

What is an average day like for you?

No one day is the same. I sleep at 2am which is my cut off time. I wake up when the kids are up, make breakfast with my other half for the kids, and works begins at 9am after the kids are dropped off at the childminder. The day is a mixture of emails, calls, and sometimes meetings in London. I look after every aspect of the business, but my first priority is always the customer. They are also the second and third priority so 75% of my daily work is focused on customers and how to make them my best sales people.

Where do you see children's wearable market going in the near future, and how might you have to adapt?

The wearables market is estimated to reach £24 billion by 2020. The importance of wearables that benefit families has been overlooked as most people focus on health and fitness and smartwatches for adults. Over 95% of parents love the idea of a wearable mobile phone/tracker for young children. Even people who don’t have kids love the product. Parents also love the Gator Watch because their young child doesn’t have exposure to the internet, games, or social media.

New technology seems to always be focused on new features, but I want to focus on benefits. I want to make wearables simple and beneficial rather than something that strives to be feature rich. Especially in the children's space, less is more!

What advice would you offer to someone keen to follow in your footsteps?

Being a founder of a start up allows you to cross paths with so many people and across all industries. My piece of advice is this - Being an asshole, even on an off day, is something people will never forget. You never know who you meet along your journey who can change your life.

Apart from your own product, what kind of gadget would you like to see being reviewed on The Test Pit?

I want to see a robot that can take poo from a potty, put it in the toilet, and then sanitise the potty. I love my kids but the crap they churn out makes me want to rip my own arms off so I don't have to do it.

Erm... we'll have a look around for that. Cheers Colleen!

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