Published: 00:01, 16 March 2017
A young entrepreneur is aiming to emulate his idol after attracting the attention of the co-founder of Apple with his new app allowing users to edit video as they shoot.
Former Kent College student David de Min is hoping to secure big investment in his Velapp technology, which has gained praise from Steve Wozniak, the man who launched the world’s biggest company with Steve Jobs in 1976.
“Velapp is an amazing application, I really admire the simplicity” said the computer pioneer after being shown the app in a meeting orchestrated by Mr de Min while the nation’s press waited to speak to the tech icon.
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Mr Wozniak had been booked as the headline speaker at the Business Rocks conference in Manchester last year.
Determined to meet one of his biggest idols, Mr de Min persuaded a Rolls Royce dealership in Mayfair to lend him a car to take Mr Wozniak from his hotel to the conference.
“I arrived with Steve and everyone was saying ‘who is this guy who has rocked up with Steve Wozniak?’
“It was a joke among the Business Rocks staff that everyone was asking who I was.”
Before he went on stage, the tech guru spent half an hour with Mr de Min talking about his app, which allows users to select points of interest in videos when filming long clips – like when waiting for a baby to take its first steps.
He said: “I didn’t realise there was a queue of people outside the room – all these journalists wanting time with him.
“I thought ‘I’ve got to demo my app to him’ and I showed him the technology.
"When he realised how simple it was he said ‘Wow!’. I have a voice clip of him saying it and I could listen to it on repeat.
“He is such a humble lovely guy. I really admire him because he took the time to speak with me.”
Launched on the App Store in the last few weeks, the idea came about after Mr de Min, 26, took a two-week trip to India with his brother Michael in 2014.
He filmed their journey from New Dehli to Kashmi on a pair of classic Royal Enfield motorcycles, passing through the Himalayas where they “caught trout in the glacial rivers and traded the fish for cashmere jumpers”.
He came back with 325 hours of footage, which took him three weeks to edit.
“The whole frustrating process of editing over two or three weeks made me think there must be a quicker way of doing this,” he said.
“It was not about improving the editing process but about removing the process altogether.
“When I’m filming, I know what the best moments are. With the app, if you like something you just press harder on the screen and you update the device to say where are the best bits.
“It is so simple to use and understand. I thought ‘if my mum can use this technology, then I’m on to a winner’.”
"I thought ‘if my mum can use this technology, then I’m on to a winner’...” - David de Min, Velapp
Mr de Min has been developing the app for the last year and has attracted £100,000 of investment so far, including a £25,000 interest-free loan from Kent County Council. He has also filed for an international patent.
The next aim is to attract more investment to develop the product further.
“We are focusing on building a user base,” he said. “It is important to get people using it.
“In the future I would like to develop different features. We need to add enough value to make it worthwhile for the user to pay.”
Having lived in London for six years, he has just returned to Canterbury to live with his parents.
His mother has even been given a 1% share of the firm as CNO – chief name officer – for coming up with its brand, which stands for Video Editing Live Application.
He said: “There is no point wasting money on expensive rent, especially when you are a start-up and trying to get investment.
“Why use the investment for living costs when you could put it towards the company?”
David de Min was born in The Hague, Holland, in 1990 to a Dutch father and English mother.
The family moved to Oman when he was four-years-old and he arrived in the UK in 1999 – the youngest of three brothers.
He was quickly diagnosed with dyslexia and went to East Court School in Ramsgate.
His brother Jamie was diagnosed with leukaemia and lymph node cancer when Mr de Min was 12.
Despite giving his brother a bone marrow transplant, he died aged 17, when Mr de Min was 14.
“He is the missing part of my team,” he said.
“He was such a technical person. He used to break things apart and fix them again.
"He would have been perfect working in our company.”
He later studied at Kent College, Canterbury, where he took A-levels in design and technology and business studies.
Main image supplied by www.dantaylorphotography.com
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