A Successful Husband-Wife Team: Moonfruit Co-Founders Wendy Tan White And Joe White (Interview)

moonfruit

Wendy Tan White: “We seeded the company with our own money. I put in $50,000 to start with.”

By Sramana Mitra (Founder, One Million By One Million)

Wendy Tan White is the CEO of Moonfruit, a company she co-founded with Eirik Pettersen and Joe White.

Moonfruit is an on-demand website development platform that allows anyone to develop a website for any purpose in a matter of minutes.

Prior to Moonfruit, Wendy worked at Arthur Andersen as an IT consultant and helped establish Egg. Joe worked as a website developer while finishing college and completed projects for clients such as Disney and Egg.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by reviewing your personal backgrounds.

Wendy Tan White: I studied computer science at Imperial College in London. It was a great experience and a great college. I used to program really old assembly line systems, which is a far cry from where we are today. Both of my parents worked in IT, which was unusual in those days, especially for my mother. She worked for DEK in Reading, England.

After college I ended up working for Arthur Andersen. It was good commercial experience although it was not my passion. I ended up in a financial services IT consultancy. One of my first big career step came when one of my clients headhunted me to help set up the Internet bank Egg.com. It was the first UK Internet bank which came around in 1997. That is where I got the bug that led me to try and understand how communities work on the Internet. Initially I approached that from the perspective of banks, but I quickly started looking at how people shared their passions online. That is when I founded Moonfruit in 1999.

I was quite lucky that my boss at Egg told me that if I stayed around a bit longer, he would help seed the business, which he did. He also let me work part-time at Egg to give me the opportunity to get the business started while being able to maintain some income. He was a tremendous mentor.

» Read the full interview at One Million By One Million.