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Tribd - Start Up Case Study

Helping adventure travellers to find like-minded adventure travellers. Entrepreneur, Irena Miroforidu is at the beginning of her start up journey. Her business idea came to her during a a solo surfing holiday in Guatemala in 2016. In June 2017 she begun to turn a seed of an idea into a commercial reality. In January 2018 she registered her business, Tribd.


The Idea

As a keen adventure traveller, often travelling alone, Irena saw a gap in the market to create a social media app to connect like-minded adventure travellers with potential travel partners or groups. A similar concept to a dating site but for travellers (and without the dating). An adventure sport, for example snowboarding, skiing, trekking or surfing, is often a passion not shared by immediate family and friends and even when a shared passion exists, co-ordinating diaries for a holiday is not always possible. So, the adventure traveller is left with two options don't go or go it alone! Tribd will be the alternative third option.

Her background

Irena works full time in a senior position for a financial data and software company based in the City of London and like so many new entrepreneurs, is working full time whilst developing her vision. She has a solid commercial background. She understands complex financial markets, is experienced with software applications and understands the important factors within business transactions but, as she has found, an entrepreneur needs so much more.

Research, research, research

Research, research, research is how Irena has spent her recent evenings and weekends. Irena comments, "As the founder of a business you need to develop several new skillsets. Having the concept is the first step but you also need to learn all the other facets to a business; finance, IT, marketing, legal structure and contracts, funding and partnerships and it's a minefield."

Irena spent months on market research. Was the idea commercially viable?  How would she take it to market?  What is the app development process and how much does it cost?  How would she fund it? How could she secure investment? How is a business formed? What legal contracts or documents are required? Plus, a myriad of other questions that needed to be asked to ensure her decisions were made with minimal risk.

The reality of being a start up

There is lots of help on offer for a start-up but, as Irena soon discovered, it is rarely free support and it often comes with conditions attached. The start-up market is highly competitive and gaining support and investment is no easy challenge. There are companies out there that can offer a start-up a deal that on face value look very attractive, but Irena's advice is to check the detail and don't get tied into any unscrupulous or restrictive agreements.  Incubators and accelerator schemes often add conditions which don't fit with your own business vision. For example, one incubator would only accept Tribd if Irena recruited a travel industry expert as a co-founder but  that went against Irena's primary vision of connecting people.

She also found that professional advisors often provided conflicting information. Before Irena instructed JPP Law she had spoken to several other lawyers. More than often the other lawyers would only offer a few minutes of initial advice before they wanted to charge. They often gave confusing advice and only a vague indication the likely costs. When Irena spoke to Mark Glenister from JPP Law she felt a professional connection. He explained things clearly and he didn't just explain to her what she needed to do but exactly why she needed to do it. He was also concise and competitive regarding the legal fees. Irena comments, "Choosing professional advisors or support partners is difficult but it is worth shopping around until the connection feels right. You have to choose people that you are completely comfortable with and who you feel you can trust."

Investment

Initially Tribd was self-funded but to develop it needs external investment. There are literally thousands and thousands of start-up's competing for funding and although there are many companies who claim to put you in front of potential investors, they don't come cheap. However, Irena did manage to attract an investor from Saudi Arabia. His  terms were reasonable and in line with her business vision but taking someone's money is a huge responsibility, so they have agreed staged investment. An initial investment which can be increased as the project develops. All the terms of the investment have been formalised in an investment agreement and a shareholders agreement created by JPP Law.

Where is Tribd now?

Irena has taken a long journey in a very short time. After several quotes from UK software developers which were hugely over budget she has now found a developer based abroad to develop the app. Tribd, which has the potential to be adopted worldwide, is only a few months away from launch.   When asked about the worst and the best aspects of being an entrepreneur Irena says, "The hardest thing is having to keep your eye on every detail of the business. However, I love being my own boss and if I can create something that brings together adventure travellers from all walks of life, that will make me immensely proud."

For more information about Tribd and to be alerted when the app launches visit:
https://www.tribdapp.com/

Other Contact Details: 


Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Tribdapp/

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/tribdapp/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Tribdapp

Irena's LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/irena-miroforidu-56971523/


JPP is a passionate supporter of innovation and technology and can offer advice and guidance on business structure, funding, legal documents, including shareholders agreements, and intellectual property rights often at a packaged fixed price.

We have also produced a series of start-up guidance videos.

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