Following Tech Day London at Old Billingsgate in the Autumn, we had a chat with the innovators behind some of the more interesting projects being presented.
Having decided to spend a year in Munich, Two young entrepreneurs wanted to find the true heart of the city, the abandoned railways and underground bars that made Munich what it was. They would post their adventures on Facebook and Instagram, and the response they received inspired them to create Kompas, an app that would invite users to share the hidden gems in their city, and Tom Charman and Olivia Higgins, along with product developer and fellow entrepreneur Kurt Henderson haven’t look back since.
“We started Kompas because we were sick and tired of being taken to tourist traps,” Kurt told us, “We wanted an app that could understand us, plan for us and most of all, create an experience for us.” It is this desire to brake away from the “top 10 things to do” lists that drives Kompas, and they hope it is this sense of adventure that will drive their users as well.
They have created a dynamic app that learns what the user enjoys to see. If you visit lots of street art, then that is the sort of thing that will be recommended when planning a trip. It doesn’t simply work by your check-ins either, which can be a hassle, so the recommendations aren’t reliant simply on use. “Check-ins are quickly becoming a thing of the past for data collection, so we’re using other methods that will offer more automation.”
The app is currently active in 6 European cities, Munich, Berlin, London, Exeter, Liverpool and Birmingham, but as far as Kurt is concerned, the sky is the limit. “We plan to grow world wide, understanding the culture of every country and individual city”. And with £5tn spent globally on travel every year, there are huge opportunities for Kompas. “The business model is very scalable as the technology becomes more personalised and therefore more convenient for individuals.”
Though the nature of the app necessitates the types of businesses that will be featured on the app to be curated, Kurt is hopeful that collaboration and features for businesses will be available in the near future. The app makes money through affiliate marketing, as well as the leveraging of their technology through algorithms with a business-to-business model. First, though, they intend to gain users, and are marketing both online and offline. They hope that the app will become popular among traveller circles through word of mouth as well.
We love Kompas because as city dwellers ourselves we know the importance of finding those hidden gems when visiting a city. Most locals avoid tourist traps like the plague, so to get a true authentic experience it is important to learn from the people who live there year round. Kurt and Kompas are confident their app can help with that. “We’re targeting the independent and smaller businesses in order to give people a more cultural experience of the city from a local perspective.” This will hopefully do wonders for the local economy as well, and will train eyes on parts of the city that may have gone ignored. “The main selling point of our business is to try and convenience people with their discovery.” Kurt explained, and we think Kompas is a fantastic way to do that.
To find out more about Kompas Click Here
Kompas are also currently seeking funding through Seedrs. For more information Click Here
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