Startup Lab guest speaker: Sophie from Drinki

Meet Sophie

The original idea came from Tariq (my co-founder and Drinki's CEO) but we have come a long, long way since then. In its current form, Drinki came after a 10-hour brainstorm session between Tariq and myself. We knew that bars would love the footfall and we knew that people would love our unique offer of a completely free drink. We just had to find a way to connect the dots. 

So, Drinki was born and we have built a platform for customers to explore new bars whilst getting drinks on the house and discounts on the rounds they buy. Not only that, but Drinki also gives bars a chance to market their venue and drinks in a completely unique way, making our app an all in one nightlife service. You discover a new place, try one of the drinks, fall in love with the venue and spend the rest of the night there. It's such a good showcase for the bar and their skills.

How did you develop your idea?

At the very beginning, we used to rope in friends to come along to the bars with us every night and talk to as many people as possible about the idea of Drinki. It would literally be us sat at the bar starting a conversation with anyone who would speak to us. Buying them a drink often helped! We also used to go out onto the streets flying and speaking to people, we definitely aren't afraid of getting stuck into the nitty gritty side of the business and market! 

We did the same with lots of bars around London and spoke to their bartenders and bar staff. This was so we could find out what the bars really wanted and needed out of a platform like this. That's why we think our app works so well now, as both a platform for the customer and for the bars.  

What advice would you give to someone that is looking to start their own business?

Speak to your stakeholders and customers. It is really easy to get bogged down with an idea and to assume that what you are doing is right for the business. But there is nothing more insightful than actually getting out there and talking to your target demographic.

Every week I personally email a sample of Drinki customers to find out what they think of the app so far. It is really insightful to understand, from their point of view, how they got on whilst using Drinki in the actual bar since each user experience is so unique.

Join Sophie and a host of other entrepreneurs on 1st December at Scape Shoreditch. Find out more info on how to secure a seat and take part > Startup Lab


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