Lancaster University students develop inflight entertainment idea
A business idea developed by students from Lancaster University Management School has been awarded a £10,000 innovation prize at an international competition.
tripTAB, an onboard entertainment tablet for long haul flights, is already attracting interest from easyJet, Ryanair and British Airways.
The idea, which provides travellers with hundreds of films, music and games for a low-cost rent, was dreamt up by undergraduates Varun Shah, Kevin Foster, Alex Roberts, Melissa McCue and Julius Rackys.
They came together on a New Venture Planning module, led by Ian Gordon of the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development.
tripTAB has an estimated turnover in the first year of £1.2m, even after splitting profits with the airline.
Varun said: “It gave you the space to think out of the box and to apply the skills you’d learnt in three years to real life.
“tripTAB is perfect for anyone with nothing to do because it is pre-loaded with rich media content which you can access with a special code so families get suitable content to share.”
Varun had tripTAB at the Startup Weekend contest in Newcastle in April, where he was one of twelve teams over an intensive two days during which he only slept for a few hours.
The prize includes £10,000 of mentor support from Newcastle Science City and access to a further £10,000 of venture-capital, with the potential to access up to £150,000.
It will enable Varun and Kevin Foster to develop the idea into a real product, which could be available to plane passengers within six months.
Kevin said: “We could not have done this without Lancaster University where we have had so much help with everything from technical support, IP, setting up a business and developing software.
“Building a business is tough and stressful but incredibly exciting. It feels fantastic that this could pay off and the potential to expand into Europe and Asia is huge.”
Their business model provides airlines with free tablets, with profits from the rentals split. The airlines can also benefit from lower fuel costs since heavyweight cabling to passenger seats can be ripped out and replace with tripTABs.
This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Tom Keighley .