This is William (Henderson). I am Co-Founder of Knowa and CTO at Zephyrus. Previous to this I was the Product Manager at what3words and a founder & designer specialising in the growth of early stage companies.1 I have worked on multiple startups, three of which I co-founded, across a range of sectors including Architecture, Consumer Goods, Design & Media, Education, Venture Capital and Mapping. And I speak (ever depreciating) Mandarin.

1I specialise in Product development and utilise Graphic design, Web design & development, Architecture and Technology to build great things.


After graduating with a first class degree from the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, I moved to the most exciting and dynamic architecture environment at the time – the megalopolis of Chongqing, Southwest China.2

2Not sure where Chongqing is? Check it out on the map and read some information from the Guardian and Wikipedia.


I began studying Chinese language and calligraphy. Then, following a successful competition bid in partnership with a local architect, I established an architecture studio, going on to complete ten projects over two years with a team of ten people.3

3More details can be found at PACQ projects gallery. See Richard Macauley, ‘Wild West’Surface Asia Magazine, April/May 2012, pp. 92-95 for a feature on the studio.


After two successful years I sold my share in the studio and founded a startup studio, focusing on education, digital media and consumer goods.4 At the same time, I built Chongqing’s first co-working office space and established an international summer intern programme.5

4This came at a time when local investment began to shift from real estate to other emerging sectors. See ‘The Four Trends Driving China’s Future Growth, Forbes, July 2014.
5These were designed to house our portfolio companies and develop cross-cultural knowledge exchange respectively.


I began incubating projects and companies: I bought and revived a food import business; I oversaw the creation of an online China-focused magazine; I helped build a lifestyle guide for Chinese cites; and I developed a new English language training school & drama-based curriculum.


At the end of 2014 I moved back to London and for over two years played a central role in the growth of what3words from an idea, with a team of six, to an indispensable tool for individuals and businesses around the world.6 It has won numerous high profile awards, gained users in over 174 countries, secured two funding rounds and now has a team of twenty six.7

6Explore what3words’ partners and integrations.
7See the what3words news page for coverage and awards, including the coveted D&AD Black Pencil.