Success and investment for graduate’s app

A young entrepreneur and graduate is celebrating after launching and securing investment for his Cardiff-based tech start-up following a chance meeting in the capital.

Tom Dewhurst is the brainchild of Ordoo, an app that lets cafe and coffee shop customers pay for orders on-the-go before collecting them at a later time.

He came up with the idea when he was standing in a coffee shop queue for more than fifteen minutes and became frustrated. He said: “It occurred to me that if customers could place a food or drink order ahead of time before you got to the venue then this would allow them to skip the queue and save time.

“After conducting market research into the idea, I soon realised that no other business was offering this kind of technology to consumers and independent food and drink sites alike and so I decided to do something about it myself.”

As well as saving time for consumers, they can earn loyalty awards and get discounts. The app is also a digital enabler for local enterprises, as it adopts a business model that lets smaller venues access usually expensive technology on a budget.

At the same time, by modernising payments through digital solutions, Tom believes businesses are able to streamline their services and take in more orders. This, he says, will help them increase profit margins.

He attended investment event Venturefest Wales at Cardiff’s Swalec stadium last year to show his start-up off to potential investors and network with other business leaders. There, he met Neil Cottrell, the CEO of software company LexAble.

Neil was impressed with Tom’s enterprising attitude and innovative business idea, and following an informal meeting after the event, he became a mentor. At first, the relationship consisted of regular calls, but soon Neil decided to put money into the firm.

“I went to Venturefest Wales to meet enthusiastic entrepreneurs and see if any opportunities could come of it. I benefited hugely from a business mentor when I was in the early stages of my company, so it’s great to be in a position where I can become a mentor to Tom and hopefully give something back,” said Neil.

“Earlier this year, Tom started to explore the possibility of seeking financial investment in Ordoo and I thought this was the perfect time for me to get involved in the company financially.

“Being a part of Ordoo at such an exciting time for the business has provided me with a new and inspiring project to focus on and while I hope I’ve been able to offer Tom useful advice, I have also learnt a great deal from his innovative approach to business.”

Venturefest Wales 2016 is set to take place in September and will focus on supporting businesses by identifying and breaking down barriers that commonly hold them back. It’ll also bring together investors with academics, entrepreneurs and innovators to continue to create meaningful business partnerships.