Bristol Business of the Week: TikkPosted on: 15 Aug 2017
Our business of the week is Tikk, the mobile ticketing app that ticks all the boxes. We spoke to Martin Hiscox about the ethical intentions of the project, the functionality of the app and how he has enjoyed launching a business in Bristol.
Tell us a bit about Tikk and your business.
Tikk launched this year in Bristol as a secure, ethical ticketing platform. We have apps on iOS and Android that offer tickets to events taking place in the city. We’re tackling issues surrounding ticketing for both organisers and ticket buyers.
What separates you from other mobile ticketing companies?
We're about making ticketing easier, faster and more secure. We’re committed to being an ethical company and protecting ticket buyers. We don’t add booking or transaction fees and we're tackling ticket touting, fraud and bankrupt events - all are increasing problems in the ticketing industry. We don’t profit from second hand tickets, so if you want to list an unwanted ticket you can do so for free. If it sells, you get a full refund.
Plus we’re based in Bristol and keen to keep money in our economy. 95% of our development, graphic design, marketing, accountancy and legal spend is right here in the city with local businesses and freelancers.
How does your service help to eliminate ticket touts?
Tickets are held within the app which is linked to your phone. We have four ways to verify a ticket holder if we need too - most events won’t need such stringent checks, but we have the ability to check if needed. Also, being app-based means we’re not as open to abuse by touts.
How long have you been operating for?
We launched in May, however the idea for Tikk started around three years ago. It was August 2016 where things really started moving and we successfully raised seed investment at the beginning of this year.
Could you give us a bit of a history of Tikk? What have been some highlights?
There are milestones every week and it’s going well. Teaming up with Simpleweb was a real highlight and we built something solid that works. As product partners they’ve been very supportive and Tikk wouldn’t be here without them. Raising investment was a real highlight and a relief - it took a while!
What sort of events do you sell tickets for?
Medium sized events and festivals, mostly food or drink themed. For example, we have Bristol Cocktail Week, Bristol Beer Week and a big event for a brewery coming soon.
Has this range of events changed at all since Tikk has been active?
It’s early days, but they’re getting bigger!
Are you originally from Bristol?
Yes, I’ve lived in Bristol all my life - well, I was born in Keynsham so my passport says Bath! For the last 7 years I’ve worked in food and drink, running my own online food delivery business at one point. I used to run beer tastings when Wild Beer and Wiper & True were just getting started. Before that I worked for what was JACK fm / Star Radio and BBC Radio Bristol.
Have you found it a welcoming place to own a business?
Very - Bristol has a very supportive culture and the companies I’m working with have all been great. Get out there and speak to anyone who will listen, it helps validate your ideas.
What have been the challenges posed by running a business in Bristol?
Getting investment was tricky at such an early stage. I think it’s getting easier here, but also more competitive, so you need to be good and confident in yourself.
What advice would you give to new business owners?
As one of my investors sent in an email with the subject “Your priorities’;
1) build something that works
1) don't run out of cash
Where are your favourite places to eat and drink in the city?
Wild Beer at Wapping Wharf, Caribbean Croft, Mud Dock and Lockside are my usual favourites, they’re all like remote offices for me.
If you were Mayor of Bristol for the day, what would you change?
Relax the rules on outdoor events!
An ardent Geordie minus the accent, Sam seemingly strove to get as far away from the Toon as possible, as soon as university beckoned. Three undergraduate years at UoB were more than ample time for Bristol (as it inevitably does) to get under his skin, and so here he remains: reporting, as Assistant Editor, on the cultural happenings which so infatuated him with the city. Catch him at firstname.lastname@example.org.