Well, what a few months it has been! We are very pleased to have announced that Tenderfoot has accepted a position with the French Tech Ticket Program, which will see our business relocate to Paris and join the Paris&Co Welcome City Lab business incubator for a period of 12 months starting January next year. I have written this blog to communicate exactly what this entails and what Tenderfoot will look like over the next 12 months and beyond.
As you may be aware, we made a significant change to our product offering only a few weeks ago. This has been months in development and represents a new direction for Tenderfoot, albeit retaining some of the existing functionality. In summary (elevator pitch alert!), Tenderfoot is now a management tool for accommodation providers that enables them to communicate with guests and share travel information via a cost-effective digital platform (#buzzwords). We have 2 core products that interact with each other. The business-facing product is a web dashboard that enables accommodation providers to build and manage their own digital suite, from adding & managing events, offers, deals & tours to offering city recommendations and chatting with guests. The consumer-facing product is a mobile app – when guests arrive, then check into the digital suite on the app and can view/interact with all the content aforementioned. It also serves as a discovery service, enabling you to create beautiful maps and share your favourite places around the world with your friends.
We have been working really closely with hostels and just launched our beta a couple of weeks ago into Australia’s largest hostel, Discovery Melbourne. Choosing to start with the hostel market has been great – their audience is strongly aligned with our millennial target market and they are keen to adopt digital technology in their day-to-day operations.
As a tech tourism-based company, the European market is hugely important for us. Whilst Australia has a strong backpacking culture, the numbers are at opposite ends of the scale. Approximately 400 hostels in Australia compared to 18,500 across Europe shows just how important it is for Tenderfoot to have a strong European presence. More than half of the world’s hostels are in Europe and with France being the most visited country in the world, plenty of scope exists for us to look into the hotel and resort market down the track.
Having said that, we are determined to ensure our Australian brand is strongly maintained. We are currently considering an Australian-based ambassador program that will ensure our clients’ needs are sufficiently met and that our brand is retained.
Our decision to apply for the French Tech Ticket Program and, of course, accept a position in it is primarily a commercial one. An opportunity like this gives Tenderfoot the resources & support for a smooth transition into the European market. We are extremely excited to be working at the Paris&Co Welcome City Lab incubator, which boasts an impressive network of business mentors and partners. In addition, we will receive a funding package from the French Government and a 4-year residence permit.
The French Tech Ticket Program is a great initiative from the French Government to support, foster and encourage innovation. We are honoured to be a part of it and can’t wait to get over there and get cracking. In the end, this isn’t about Tenderfoot becoming French – rather, Tenderfoot becoming global.
As the sun sets on 2016, we would like to thank all of our followers, users & clients for their support over what has been a momentous year for our business. Tenderfoot couldn’t be better positioned to start 2017 with a bang and we can’t wait to deliver you more amazing products.
If you’re ever in Paris, flick us a tweet or shoot us an email. We’d be pleased to show you around.