A North East entrepreneur has taken inspiration from Newcastle’s nightlife to launch a new app that aims to help visitors to any UK city have a night out to remember.
The new app – Tipll – has been created by Grant Thompson from Durham. Grant made his name in the region’s entertainment scene managing successful corporate and private events following a career in semi-professional rugby.
Grant Thompson, founder and MD of Tipll comments:
“The idea for Tipll came from a very simple notion that when travelling to new cities or locations, most people often have no idea where to go and what to do. How many times have you been asked by people “where is the best bar?” when walking the city streets? I felt that there was a gap in the market to help groups plan a night out in a new city using cutting edge app technology but also encouraging bars or restaurants to communicate more directly with customers, old or new.”
Grant has worked with TEDCO Business Support through the Start and Grow programme to seek help and guidance in the development of the app and specifically, a unique cashless payment system. The system will give users the opportunity to pay for drinks and food in bars via their mobile phone as well as offering a ‘drinks kitty’ system to pre-pay via cashless payment to manage purchasing rounds of drinks when out with a group.
The app also uses GPS technology, live user reviews and augmented reality to ensure users are armed with the knowledge they need to enjoy their night out.
“The two key standout features of the app are the cashless payment system and the augmented reality element which allows bars and eateries to showcase real time deals to the app users via augmented reality similar to Pokemon Go. It’s the first app of its kind to utilise this kind of technology to help bars, pubs and other businesses in the entertainment and lifestyle sector. There is even the option to book entry times into bars to save on queuing during particularly busy times.”
“The idea is that the app supports users to have the night they want by making informed decisions about places to visit for the night you want.”
Being asked to ‘Tipll it’ could become a regular phrase up and down the UK following the beta testing phase which is currently taking place in Newcastle. With every bar approached so far signing up straightaway to the subscription based service, Tipll is currently going through its beta testing phase and is looking for recruits to become testers to the system via emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grant is also working with his development team to create unique marketing opportunities via the app which can support the entertainment sector and keep people as safe as possible on a night out.
“A particularly useful function is the find a friend option which means large groups heading out can keep tabs on one another using GPS. Of course there is a big safety element in this particular feature as we wanted to ensure that people can find their friends using the app and stay together but also parents can locate younger adults who may be experiencing the nightlife of a new city as a fresher for the first time.”
“The safety function is key to the app but our research has shown that Tipll has a number of key audiences including freshers and students, stag and hen dos and local people who might be returning to the bar scene in their 30’s and 40’s and are looking for new places to enjoy a night out. Newcastle attracts up to 12,000 visitors to the city every week and we want Tipll to become a key part of a night out for visitors to the area.”
“We are actually officially launching on the 14th May through Newcastle Start Up week and we’ll be the official night time app for all people who are attending the city to take part in the week-long enterprise event.”
“Tipll has certainly struck a chord with many people already and we are now setting in motion recruitment opportunities to support the apps growth and development as we aim for a wider launch across the UK later this year.”
Tipll was supported by TEDCO as part of the Start and Grow programme, which is delivered by TEDCO Business Support in the North East and supported by the Regional Growth Fund (RGF). The programme is delivered throughout England by Cavendish Enterprise in areas where there are lower levels of business start-up to help new enterprises get up and running and develop new employment opportunities in the private sector with a range of services, including one-to-one mentoring, business planning and helping new ventures get investment ready.
The app aims to be self-funding in a matter of months as the subscription-based system for bars funds the apps growth and development across the UK.
Bill Hartshorne, business advisor at TEDCO Business Support said:
“Grant has managed businesses for a number of years so clearly understood the mechanics and demands of running an enterprise. However, with the strong growth potential of the app, we have been working on a one-to-one basis with Grant to develop ideas and plans to support rapid development of the business in addition to providing support on the electronic payment solutions and stability options to fund better expansion. Sometimes, being an entrepreneur can be a lonely place to be, particularly in the early days of a business and we have been a valuable source of opinion and ideas for Grant as he manages the myriad opportunities opening up for Tipll.”
For further information and to sign up to receive updates from Tipll, please visit www.tipll.co.uk. To learn more about how Start and Grow can support your new business venture, please visit www.tedco.org.