Geek Speak: Angela Robert, CEO of Conquer Mobile
Angela Robert knows new technology can be scary to many people. As the chief executive officer of Conquer Mobile, she aims to make it easy for businesses to take advantage of mobile technology.
Robert cofounded Conquer, a mobile-app-development company, in 2009. Soon after, the company became the first tenant at Wavefront, a not-for-profit commercialization centre in downtown Vancouver. Conquer has worked on 20 directory-based app releases, including a restaurant locator for McDonald’s Canada and apps for Park Royal Shopping Centre and ChicWalks. In December 2010, Conquer was one of the eight early-stage technology companies named inaugural winners of Vancouver’s Generator Challenge. The company moved to Discovery Parks Vancouver in February.
Born in Manitoba, Robert is 30 years old and lives in the West End. She previously worked at Electronic Arts for five years, serving as the development director for the video games Skate and Skate 2.
The Georgia Straight reached Robert by phone at Wavefront.
What is Conquer Mobile working on right now?
We’re working on a number of apps. We’re working on eight or nine apps right now. I can’t really disclose what they are.
What does your Conquer Locations product offer to your clients?
It’s like a store locator. You know how on every website there’s a store locator? For big brands, that’s what Conquer Locations is for mobile. An example of that is McDonald’s Canada.
What trends in mobile do you think will be key this year?
I’m really excited to see mobile payments done well. There’s a lot of things in mobile payments that are going on, but I’m excited to see how that shakes out.
How do you think mobile payments can be done well?
It’s a good question. I don’t know that I have the answer. I don’t use mobile payments right now, so no one’s really done it yet. I’m very much an early adopter of technology, and if I was using mobile payments, then that would say that someone has done it really, really well.
I really like what Mobio’s been doing—a local company here. They’ve been doing a lot of really cool things using QR codes and getting a lot of publicity around, you know, make donation by scanning a QR code on a bus-stop banner. That’s a cool example of being able to be in the middle of the street and scan something and pay for it right away—a more integrated shopping experience.
You know, we’ve been working with ChicWalks, which is step-by-step shopping tours in Vancouver, Paris, and San Francisco. It’s something where, if you didn’t have to pull out your credit card so you can just have your phone, it’s just so quick to pay for things, so you have less things to carry.
What did your company get out of being based at Wavefront?
We got a lot....It was a really big step for us. [Cofounder] Aaron [Hilton] and I were working out of a wholesale flower shop out in South Burnaby, and we made a really big decision to come move downtown and pay for office space. It was the best decision we made.
One of the coolest things I liked was just having that nice office where you have a boardroom and you can give presentations. That’s a really cool thing. Now we’re also completely connected to all the industry events, and we participate in them a lot.
You know, the people at Wavefront have a lot of really good skill sets. As a startup company, you don’t necessarily have a big budget to pay for a marketing person or pay for a sales person or someone to help with software contracts and that sort of thing. We were able to get some good guidance. Handset rentals and usability we used. We got introductions to some of our existing clients. Very, very beneficial.
Every Friday, Geek Speak catches up with someone in Vancouver’s technology sector, video-game industry, or social-media scene. Who should we interview next? Tell Stephen Hui on Twitter at twitter.com/stephenhui.