Durham businessman Grant has the future all mapped out

Durham entrepreneur Grant Thompson is hoping to take on global travel site TripAdvisor with his new augmented reality app designed to help city visitors find the best places to eat, drink and be merry.

Sunday, 3rd December 2017, 11:09 pm
Updated Wednesday, 6th December 2017, 11:48 am
Grant Thompson with his mobile app 'Tipll' in Durham city centre.

Since Grant Thompson launched Tipll four months ago, more than 1,500 users have downloaded the free app and more than 40 bars and restaurants have signed up.

“Technology is changing the way people go out for a drink, whether that be through research beforehand or finding out through social media,” said Grant.

“We’ve created a platform that brings them altogether in one easy to use app – Tipll.

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“It’s not just for students or tourists. If you don’t have a solid plan and you don’t know a city you can end up wandering around, getting disorientated. That can happen to anyone and it takes the fun out of an event.”

A former semi-professional rugby player, Grant launched a successful promotions business before spotting a gap in the market for Tipll.

“We promote venues directly to users before they even take one step into their establishments using augmented reality – the ability to scan an area and find out what deals and promotions are around. We also use geofield notifications to text them with a promotion when they’re in a certain area.”

The app has been launched in Newcastle but will soon be rolled out in Sunderland and Durham. It is free to download but the bars and restaurant pay a fee to be on the map. It works by asking users five questions before coming up with the best places to visit suitable to the users’ personal drink and venue preferences.

Grant says he’s received a great deal of support from Business Durham, the economic development organisation for County Durham, on behalf of Durham County Council.

“Business Durham has been a significant help with introductions into the Durham business network,” he said.