12 Dec 2018 05:19pm

As I see it: Lisa Doole

Lisa Doole, former dancer and now co-founder and director of ordering and payment app Hopt, describes how a graduate placement at PwC changed her life

I wanted to be a pop star. I performed at a couple of festivals alongside Busted, and Simon from Blue, but that career peaked early. I studied economics and accounting alongside my dance classes in London. My flatmate took me to a careers fair where PwC was offering a summer internship for first-year students. I couldn’t believe I was accepted, I had never heard of the Big Four until then. That led to a graduate scheme and the ACA.

I was ready for a challenge after six years at PwC. My co-founder and I were frustrated by the level of service at hospitality venues. Given the staffing problems facing the industry, especially with Brexit, the timing was perfect to launch a mobile ordering and payment app. We saved enough to pay for the development of the Minimum Viable Product (MVP), but taking that first step out of the corporate world to start a business with no external financial support was daunting.

We just completed a round of funding to rebrand from Tapp to Hopt. Everything moves so fast in tech. Payments are one of the most competitive areas so we make sure we are up to date with movements in the industry. We don’t develop payment software for Hopt so aren’t directly competing in this space but we have to partner with the best providers to ensure our hospitality partners receive cutting-edge technology with the lowest payment fees and highest security.

Being a woman in tech feels different. I can’t remember the last time where I wasn’t the only female in the room. By the time I left PwC the intakes were generally a 50:50 gender split. I can’t code and have never been particularly technically skilled but my experience at PwC means I have learned to trust my voice and solve problems. I strongly encourage more women to join the tech sector.

I am humbled by the support of the entrepreneur community, which lives by a pay-it-forward mentality. Everyone remembers needing a few bits of luck to get the business off the ground.