Lee Hayhurst reports from the Travo@10 Start-up summit in London, sponsored by Travelport and Cheapflights and hosted at at News UK’s new offices.
The founder of travel start-up Ride 25 explained how a failed attempt to win investment on BBC2’s Dragons’ Den was positive for the business.
John Readman said he was approached by a researcher from the show about appearing, the firm having already won a number of start-up awards. “It was quite a big decision because we didn’t need the cash, but 4.2 million people watch it,” he said.
After the programme aired in September 2015, bookings and corporate enquiries went up and Ride 25’s profile was boosted on social media and in other media. Readman said the aim of the firm was to become the leading brand for cycling holidays.
He said Ride 25 has a close association with charity and that this is an important ethic that it wants to maintain.
A corporate division of the firm organises corporate cycling events. Its first client, Google, was secured “by luck” because Readman knew a senior manager who worked at the search engine.
The Google cycle is now an annual sold-out event with 80 participants, including invited senior executives from Google partners such as Sky.