North East entrepreneur helps wishes come true

An entrepreneur in rural Northumberland is helping people to buy or receive the perfect presents this Christmas through a new website idea backed by Multimap founder Sean Phelan.

The website - Wishli.st - enables users to make a list of the presents they would like and share it with their friends and family, who can then buy items from the list outright or contribute money towards them, instead of giving cash or vouchers, safe in the knowledge that it is something the recipient really wants.

Wishli.st is the brainchild of 21-year-old David Haywood Smith, who got the idea after he and his friends at Queen Elizabeth High School in Hexham used to club together to buy each other better Christmas and birthday presents. He says one of the most attractive features of the site is that it allows people to ask for what may previously have been prohibitively expensive presents, particularly as consumers look to tighten their belts as recession looms.

David Haywood Smith, founder of Wishli.st, said: "The credit crunch has changed people's attitudes to buying presents. Wishli.st is the perfect way to make sure you are buying great presents and not wasting your money. Our system of chipping in - which we call collaborative micropayments - is perfect for people who would prefer to contribute towards an expensive present rather than buying it outright."

David developed and launched the first version of the site in May 2007, then launched an improved version following funding from Business Link and Sean Phelan, the founder of successful mapping website, Multimap.com.

He said: "Sean Phelan led a seed round of investment in March 2008, and the deal was closed just before my 21st birthday. It came about after I did a work experience placement with Multimap.com in 2003. "So far the investment funds have gone towards a complete re-launch of the site and now the focus is on developing a valuable service for businesses."

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Reader’s comments

  1. David Haywood Smith

    13:22 5 Dec 2008

    Thanks for writing about wishli.st - it's much appreciated!

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