Each week, Female CoFounder features a female founder in the community. Follow along each week and learn from different founders and their journeys.
FcF: Tell us about yourself.
Amanda: I went to school at the University of Toronto with every intention to pursue law and work for the International Criminal Court. I was accepted to a program at the University of Oxford in England during my undergrad and decided this is where I would go to law school. However, I had always been fascinated with business and tech. I completed an internship at CIBC and began thinking of potential ventures. The year I sat for my LSAT and received my acceptances into law school coincided with the ideation of Fettch. I realized that I had a solution that was not only transformative but time-sensitive. The vision I had for the company and its intrinsic potential caused a huge shift in my focus. I knew I wanted to put my name behind Fettch and if it wasn't me that would come up with the product it would be someone else. I wanted to create a disruptive piece of technology and a product that would transform the way people live and re-define expectations. While I have pivoted from law to Fettch, my goal of transforming people's lives, shifting expectations, and creating substantive social good has remained the same.
FcF: What is Fettch?
Amanda: Fettch is a centralized marketplace with integrated payments, on-demand delivery, and real-time inventory selection which allows users in busy cities to connect to their favourite omni-channel retailers and have their items delivered within minutes. Fettch partners with local brick and mortar stores and the brands our users love to shop from to remove the need for shopping online with immediate gratification. Mobile users can browse through the stores on our app, see inventory in real-time, select, and have the item delivered within minutes. Whether users need their favourite pair of shoes, a last-minute gift, their beauty products, or a new set of speakers, Fettch will provide a centralized and evolving marketplace where you'll be able to receive these items within minutes.
FcF: How did you come up with Fettch?
Amanda: I was at the University of Toronto and heard from my colleagues that they didn't have the time to spend hours at brick and mortar stores or malls shopping for the items they want and need. More than this they didn't want to wait for weeks to receive items from their favourite brands. I noticed that there were true problems with both brick and mortar and online delivery.
I had heard endlessly about the "death of brick and mortar". I, myself, refused to shop online because of extended wait times and the inefficiencies involved in tracking an order and navigating from site to site. I knew that brick and mortar would in fact not die out. Rather, brick and mortar retailers needed to evolve alongside technology, become mobile-first, and satisfy the immediate gratification shoppers require.
I wondered why there isn't a centralized mobile marketplace for brick and mortar retailers that provide instant delivery and decided to leverage technology to create a mobile solution for omnichannel retailers to engage, satisfy, and delight mobile users to redefine the shopping experience.
FcF: What were the first 3 steps you took after you knew you wanted to pursue this idea?
Amanda: I initially conducted market research and validated my case. I reached out to look for a technical cofounder, found a partner who shared my vision and formed the confounding team. I contracted out the app development and built the minimum viable product.
FcF: How did you meet your Co-Founder? What do you look for in a Co-Founder?
Amanda: I met my cofounders via LinkedIn looking for individuals not only who were technically proficient but had the vision to think long term and to continuously set new standards of excellence for Fettch. I further looked for individuals with diligence and an excellent work ethic. Both my co-founders have brilliance, competence, and confidence that compelled me to pursue a partnership. We share a partnership built on mutual respect and admiration of one another's work and capabilities.
FcF: What has been the biggest challenge for you so far when starting Fettch and how did you overcome it?
Amanda: The biggest challenge in my case had likely been in creating and seeing a solution through from idea to prototype to MVP that was dependent upon multiple externalities. My background had been in law and a win or loss in a given case is dependent upon the strength of your own argument, your own skill and acumen. I knew I wanted to find a solution for omni-channel retailers and to create the next mobile marketplace.
I worked hard to produce a company that would continuously re-write standards, not stop once it created a product people wanted. However, at every turn there had been hiccups whether it had been delays in development, pivots to push certain features to the second iteration of the app, or investments at the cost of far too much equity.
At the end of the day, it's very easy to say I want something done in a specific way, but when you are relying on multiple people and don't have the resources or control in the very beginning, the challenge is in retaining that ownership.
That lack of control is a problem any CEO will face in the beginning but the silver lining is in being able to gain more as the startup progresses At the end of the day, that attitude still remains. Everything with respect to the company reflects upon my own capabilities.
The key for me was in managing those externalities and making sure that I was never vulnerable and somehow retained control. I made sure I hired the right people, found the right partners, and surrounded myself with individuals that not only shared my vision and values but took pride in the work they did. I spent countless hours documenting every foreseeable possibility and creating a game plan. I adapted to find ways to mitigate risk and retain ownership.
FcF: What advice do you have for other women who have a start-up idea or side project idea?
Amanda: My advice is that once you have identified a problem and have done your diligence to ensure your solution is not only viable but timely, proceed with the mindset that once you build it they will come.
Put efforts into producing a solution you can be proud of however you can do this and build your MVP. Pursue the idea with full force and avoid getting deterred by individuals who tell you it is not viable or that it'll be difficult.
Recognize the difficulties, anticipate them, and maintain the confidence which allows you to rely on your own due diligence, your own aptitude, and the strength of your solution and your company's mission at every turn in the process.
FcF: How can the Female CoFounder community help you?
Amanda: We are currently seeking investment opportunities and can't wait for the hard launch of the Fettch app which users can sign up to download. If there are any female-owned businesses that want to sell on the platform, please reach out to me.
If there are any women working with AR products please reach out as Fettch is committed to improving the buying experience on the user end.
FcF: How can people contact you?
Amanda: People can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to connect with Canadian startups in AR, as well as retailers who are looking to join the platform and occupy a mobile marketplace.
You can also check out more about Fettch below.
Feel free to also reach out to @Amanda Dias in our Slack Group!
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