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At last year’s Business Travel Show, app-based wardrobe management and luggage delivery service DUFL won the first Business Travel Disrupt Awards at the Business Travel Show.
We caught up with co-founder Andrea Graziani to discuss how winning the award has shaped its past year…
What stage was the business at when you showcased at the Business Travel Show Launchpad?
DUFL was fairly new at that time, we had just launched the service in May that year.
Why did you decide to apply for a free stand?
It was an incredible benefit as a startup company to get a free stand at a high caliber show like BTS.
How was the show for you? What kind of people did you meet? What feedback did you get? Did you learn anything that encouraged you to change the product in any way?
The show was fantastic and incredibly beneficial. We met influencers in the travel industry and got valuable feedback about our product and the travel industry in general. All the feedback we received was very positive.
How did it feel to win the first Launchpad competition?
It was an amazing honour to be selected.
What kind of publicity did you get as a result?
The BTS show was actually one of a kind in terms of the press that we received. It was very well done and we enjoyed the benefits of being included in multiple publications because of the award.
How important is it to a business like yours to get a free stand at next year’s event?
The ability to have a free stand at next year’s show is a valuable benefit for a startup. It allows us to gain great exposure without the expense of creating and shipping a stand.
How have things been in the last 9 months?
Business has been incredible. We’ve continued to receive an inordinate amount of press and have gained traction with many corporations in a number of industries who want to offer the service to their traveling employees. We’ve also developed additional features in the app and will continue to enhance the service.
Have your plans for the company changed since last February?
No, not much has changed in terms of plans for the company, we will continue to grow and expand the business, as well as adding products such as DUFL Sports for travellers who want to take their golf clubs, skis, bikes and surfboards, etc. as well as DUFL Business which allows companies to store and ship items such as tradeshow booths, banners, collateral, etc and have a visual inventory of everything in their DUFL Locker.
Are you looking forward to exhibiting at next year’s Business Travel Show?
Absolutely. The show was very well done; we were very impressed with the event from the minute we agreed to participate until well after the show ended.
What would you say to other start-ups considering entering?
Don’t hesitate - this show provides great exposure, an influential audience and opportunities and benefits well beyond the normal tradeshow experience.
What’s the future for ‘interrupters’ like DUFL in the business travel industry?
I think the future is bright. Travellers are looking for ways to enhance the travel experience and services like DUFL that offer convenience and time savings will thrive.