Traveltech Lab founding member Great Little Place plans to officially launch next month having already built up a significant social media following.
Like many web-based businesses start-ups, the concept – ‘a curated one stop shop of unusual things to do and remarkable places to go to’ – will require critical mass to really get off the ground.
Countless have launched platforms but failed to achieve cut through both in terms of content and engagement, whereas Great Little Place has attacked the problem from the other end.
It already has one million social media followers and enough content to enable it to launch on April 1, with 40 cities simultaneously offering 4,000 ‘great little places’.
Rossa Shanks, founder of Great Little Place, said: “It’s all about curation and things with character, unlike the usual mainstream stuff you find on other sites or apps.
“Charming, unforgettable and individual is the order of the day. Our idea is to get everyone in the world to say I know this great little place. Our app will show you the most remarkable stuff nearby.
“It will always be up to date and everything will be added by people who love it.”
Shanks said initially places uploaded will be vetted but over time the community will do the vetting with the best recommendations getting the highest profile.
Commercially, the start-up hopes to talk to travel industry partners and offer either a paid-for white label version of the app or a free Great Little Place branded version.
It hopes to work with tour operators so it can help them sell experiences with a ticketing mechanism on the app.Shanks said the “dream scenario” would be to have a Great Little Place widget on a site like Airbnb so users can find out about the places they have booked accommodation in.
He said entry into the Traveltech Lab gives Great Little Place an “amazing space” from which to run the business and contacts and networking opportunities in the travel industry.
The London & Partners Traveltech Lab is an initiative by the London Mayor’s official promotional company to promote the city as a world leader in travel technology.
It was officially opened last week by Prince Andrew and now houses 13 start-ups in a shared workspace in London & Partners’ headquarters in the heart of London next to City Hall.