A Blackpool company which has created a one-stop online marketplace for resort firms has won a national award and is set to recruit three staff and move to a new office.
The team of entrepreneurs from OFFiGO have won £20,000 to further develop their website and app designed to revitalise local high streets.
They were awarded the start-up funding at the inaugural Geovation Conference after impressing judges at the Royal Geographical Society in London.
The idea is to develop a digital platform that shares daily offers, events and services from local retailers direct to consumers.
The website has already been launched to serve the Fylde coast with more than 170,000 people visiting it in just five months.
Now the aim is to scale the business model nationwide to help Britain’s struggling high streets.
OFFiGO founder Dave Preston said he was delighted to win. He said: “The Geovation judges recognised the plan we have for local high streets can make a difference, we hope this award will encourage councils to collaborate with us in supporting the promotional needs of local businesses and in turn boost each local economy.
The money will go towards taking OFFiGO from beta testing to the full version which will overhaul the admin sections and have new layouts and features to promote and support businesses from all sectors locally.
“Businesses can create a free profile and promote its events and offers to consumers. Over 175,000 have visited the site since launch with over 450 businesses profiled.
“We are moving this month to bigger offices on Church Street and there are three new jobs being created.”
In the Geovation awards, entrepreneurs pitched a diverse selection of ideas aimed at solving sustainability problems in the UK, in front of a packed house of experts, investors and pioneers. Judges awarded funds for ideas, which they believed had the most potential to succeed as a sustainable business model.
The winners can now call upon the support of a network of software developers.