Beambox is a young entrepreneur Callum Short’s creation. It’s a tool that can help connect your business to your customer through the simple magic of free Wi-Fi hotspots.

Scouting out a business opportunity, Callum launched Beambox to help businesses build profiles on their loyal customers who are using their Wi-Fi, and in the process let companies reach out to thousands with a simple click and help elevate their social presence.

“Beambox goes live in over 5 new businesses every week and connects thousands of people to the internet every week”

 

We caught up with Callum, this year’s FutureSPARK winner at our very own SPARKies Tech Awards, to find out more about his entrepreneurial experiences.

TechSPARK: You started out in business very young. How did this come about?

callum-short-vegas-cut-300x198Callum Short: It was something I’ve been relentlessly interested in since I was a kid. I’m not sure why or how it became, but I’d say being able to sell was initially the main motive and still is my most prominent interest. When you’re young, business and, in particular, sales is almost entirely out of reach. I always saw technology and online businesses as an opportunity to bypass this, I could build or be anything and have the screen mask my age.

“The raw motivation sparked by a busy city [like Bristol] is priceless. Speaking of tech startups, it’s perfect”

 

It started out with me uploading YouTube video blogs at the age of 11 and using the audience to sell books. I built my first website at that age and then spiralled into tech-based business, which was online games for 11-year-old me!

TS: You recently won the International Franchise Associations Young Entrepreneur, what opportunities arose from that?

CS: I won $50 on the MGM Grand slot machines after they flew me out to Vegas. Apart from that, it was incredible being in a room filled with industry game changers. I met the CEO of Subway, previous CEO of Walmart and a handful of other big-business faces. Being able to tap into that calibre of knowledge and experience is something which really accelerated my desperation to grow.

TS: Can you tell us a little bit about Beamboxhow did you get the idea for Beambox and what successes has it had?

CS: Beambox is a wireless marketing tool for the hospitality industry. In a nutshell, it takes the concept of Free Wi-Fi to a level which benefits both the business and consumer.

“We’ve launched the spaceship, now I just need to make sure it doesn’t explode”

 

It was an idea I explored and built on over a year ago when I was sitting in a Cafe in London. Today, Beambox goes live in over 5 new businesses every week and connects thousands of people to the internet every week. It has a bold future and I can’t wait to get more high-tech products into the hospitality industry.

TS: What makes Bristol a good place to be a startup in? 

unnamedCS: It’s the perfect balance between country and city. You get the lower costs of the country, with the business benefits of the city. If I want to find talent to hire I have events like YENA on my doorstep to be a part of. If I want to connect with investors I have a network of schemes and incubators I can sit down with and talk to. The transport links are excellent and the raw motivation sparked by a busy city is priceless. Speaking of tech startups, in particular, it’s perfect.

TS: What advice do you have for anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps?

CS: JUST DO IT (Sorry Nike). Find an idea that excites you and start laying the bricks in any way. The progression you have will only spark more excitement and an added hunger to create. That first step, whether it be talking to a prospect, building a marketing site or creating a social page, will give you a high that you’ll crave. Once you’re hooked, there’s no going back.

TS: Were you surprised at winning the FutureSPARK award? 

Sparkies16_cutout_bluelogo_notext_smallCS: I was! I didn’t find out I was nominated (thanks Ash!) until I was invited to the event and it was awesome when I found out I won. I’m looking forward to taking part in the future events.

TS: What’s next for Beambox?

CS: Growth! We have a strategy that works and we’re moving fast. We’ve launched the spaceship, now I just need to make sure it doesn’t explode. I’m hoping to launch in the states early next year so there’s a lot to think about and a lot of work to do before then.

Thanks to Callum for speaking to us. He tells us you can get a 60-day free trial of Beambox at the Beambox website. You can also keep up with Beambox on Twitter: @BeamboxUK and on Facebook

Shona Wright

Shona covers all things editorial at TechSPARK. She publishes news articles, interviews and features about our fantastic tech and digital ecosystem, working with startups and scaleups to spread the word about the cool things they're up to. She also oversees TechSPARK's social media, sharing the latest updates on everything from investment news to green tech meetups and inspirational stories.