As part of our partnership with Science City Bristol, we’re speaking to past and present attendees about Venturefest. Patrick Darlington, Director of Yellowbike tells us more about what he is hoping to gain from Venturefest…
Name, Job Position, Company/Organisation:
Patrick Darlington is a Director of Yellowbike which provides pedal and electric bike hire systems for tourists across the UK. The bikes are available to hire from solar powered secure docking stands, controlled by an asset management system and can be accessed by keypad controlled PINs.
Throughout the last four years, the tourist concept has been through rigorous testing and development with successful trials taking place in the Isle of White, the New Forest and at Eastbourne railway station with Southern Trains.It has been estimated that for every £1 spent on cycling initiatives, £4 is saved by the NHS and, as a result, Government funding of £114million is now in place for cycling across the country.
It is hoped that with this increased awareness, Yellowbike can continue to provide bike hire solutions for the tourist market and extend its facility to the commuter market over the coming years.
How did you find out about Venturefest?
This is the first year that we’re attending Venturefest. We were made aware of the event after being contacted by an angel group,SWAIN. We signed up as we believe it will generate exposure and possible funding opportunities.
Why do you think events like Venturefest are important to Bristol and the South West?
These events bring opportunities to businesses that wish to grow and find exposure. The business of grant funding is so complex and requires such a huge amount of time that most people in business are not sure that it is an intelligent use of their resources and often steer away from it. The Venturefest team offer a proactive and supportive approach, making the process easier and that really makes a difference.
What are you hoping to take away from this year’s event?
Currently Yellowbike have developed a tourist facility to service the day traveller and leisure break user. Thanks to Government funding in the renewable transportation sector through Local Authorities, Yellowbike are looking to launch a commuter model which will be available in towns and cities around the country. We believe many Local Authorities will be represented this year at Venturefest.
Also we hope to meet people who recognise the growth in this sector, and who are as enthusiastic about the opportunities which are presenting themselves at the current time. Our key goal is to have Yellowbikes available where people want them, when they want them and at an affordable price. We are therefore keen to meet people who share our goals.
What advice would you give to someone attending Venturefest this year?
I started my first business from scratch 35 years ago and it can be tough. You need a huge amount of stamina, focus and single-mindedness to be successful. My advice is ‘once started, keep going and be prepared to adapt to the market’.