Devin is designer, developer, and entrepreneur who loves bringing ideas to life.
1. Where did you grow up?
I was born and spent the early years of my life in the suburbs of Toronto. At the commencement of high school, my family moved to Atlanta, which provided sufficient culture shock.
2. Where did you study?
I studied – after a few failed attempts at different majors – Computer Science and Industrial Design at Georgia Tech.
3. How did you end up in London?
My co-founders and I moved my first company, Habit Industries (an online animation startup), from SF to London, in pursuit of our market. The majority of our customers at the time were based, or had offices, in London: BBC, Channel 4, Aardman, Universal Pictures, and MTV to name a few. Additionally, after we closed a round of investment with TAG we saw an opportunity to move to a new city… or continent! We made the decision and jumped on a plane two weeks later.
4. What are you currently up to/working on?
My second company, Lyst (fashion discovery startup) is clipping along pretty well. I’m helping develop and teach the first intensive course (Front-End Web Development) at GA London. I’m also working on a couple new projects, but they are still mostly just garbled ideas in need of testing.
5. As someone who’s familiar with the London startup scene, what are some of your favourite projects from the last six months?
So many great companies and products have been surfacing recently. Two that I use are goCardless’s Paylinks and HouseBites. Both are disrupting spaces I use a lot. Also, though it’s older than six months, ThisIsMyJam.com is my first stop every morning.
6. What preconceived notions did you have about London before you moved here? How has your mind changed about those notions after living here?
When moving here there was a notion we were going to be the only fast, young tech company in the city. But within weeks of arriving I met so many amazing entrepreneurs and companies, that idea was summarily smashed. London’s small – but very vibrant – startup community at the time won me over. I also hoped the nightlife in London would mirror scenes in 24 Hour Party People. I was not disappointed.
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