There are beautiful pathways in our interior spaces just waiting to be traveled. To gain our footing, we only need to be shown a map or commit ourselves to the long journey of charting our own strange course. No one knows this better than the founders of Wifarer, Philip Stranger and Steven Dengler. In their personal lives and in their startup endeavors, the partners add unique lights and provide us with wonderful blueprints.
Wifarer is an indoor mapping mobile application, a GPS for the indoors. By pinpointing a user’s location in real-time, a smartphone will pull up maps, directions, and information at a variety of venues, including convention centers, airports, shopping malls, museums, and more. The startup is busy forming partnerships with institutions and companies to expand the scope of its offering.
At the moment, the software compliments visitors’ experiences at the Royal BC Museum in Canada and the Prudential shopping center in Boston. The company hopes to offer specific site content and navigational assistance at other venues such as universities and stadiums.
Imagine traversing a labyrinthine museum like the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City on a self-guided tour, digesting information about artists at your own pace and choosing–finding your way confidently as opposed to wandering aimlessly. Wifarer might allow you to do just that, while providing alerts to special exhibits and activities, as well as incorporating links to additional resources, and more.
Wifarer has been a bootstrapped venture so far, but looks to begin fundraising shortly. The company has fifteen employees working in offices in Victoria, British Columbia, and San Jose.
CEO Philip Stranger has worked in the tech world for more than 20 years. He helped large organizations such as CIBC and the Provincial Government of Ontario develop web and database systems. The Canadian entrepreneur is also a composer of incidental music. He’s written for the likes of Paramount Pictures, CBS, the BBC, and his compositions have garnered many awards. He holds a BA degree from The John Hopkins University and an MA from Yale University.
Steven Dengler is the co-founder and Director of Wifarer. He also founded XE.com Inc., where he serves as the CEO. Amazon’s Alexa named XE.com, a currency site, the 256th most popular site globally in 2011. Dengler also founded Dracogen Strategic Investments, a financier of high-tech ventures. Dengler is an alumnus of The University of Western Ontario.
Dengler holds dual Canadian-Italian citizenship. He speaks English, French, Spanish, and Italian. No he’s not the man featured in the Dos Equis commercials, but he might be one day. He’s also a private pilot and a video memorabilia collector. He’s an active philanthropist who supports notable charities including Child’s Play. In 2010, Dengler served as an official torchbearer for the Vancouver Olympics.
Dengler has even been the inspiration for a webcomic character. Granted he’s the co-founder of the publisher along with his sister (7 Hats Publishing Inc.), but it’s doubtful anyone will argue against his superhero status in the semi-autobiographical MegaCynics.
Grab the maps, or smartphone app. Throw open the doors. Let the explorations begin.