Eric Knows is helping people across the region to discover activities for the whole family, useful contacts and enjoyable things to do in their local area thanks to support from Pathways to Innovation.
The platform was created by Ella Bains and went live at the beginning of this year, whilst she was pregnant with twins! As well as family fun activities there is also helpful listings for local health resources and charities too. The website is aiming to be fully inclusive and offers a key word search for the direct sourcing of wheelchair accessible venues and ASD welcoming places.
Last year Ella was keen to turn her idea into reality and contacted many web designers with a simple to use website with a crisp, straight forward interface in mind. In addition to being accessible and user friendly for everyone, Eric Knows have plans to provide an app in the future.
The website remained dormant for some months whilst Ella reviewed the different pages and amended the layout to ensure it flowed methodically. Whilst the website was being developed, Ella and a couple of friends started to look at resources in the North East and West.
For future revenue, the site will be selling ad space and possibly earning a small revenue from app downloads. However, it was important that the website was free to use and free for companies and charities to be listed on.
Just two weeks before Ella was due to give birth to her twins, she had arranged a meeting with Pathways to Innovation to enquire about potential advice and support for her new business.
Along with good friend Kendra, she initially met Paul Marriot, Team Lead, from Pathways to Innovation at an event for new business ventures in the North East. Having left the meeting feeling excited, the two discussed in more detail the ideas behind the business and formulated a comprehensive plan. Recalling her experience with the support she said:
“I have attended three fully funded courses that RTC have delivered and they have been absolutely brilliant in terms of sharing very valuable expertise on website, branding, and social media development. The speakers have all been very knowledgeable and supportive.”
Until recently, Eric Knows has not been marketed, however, at the beginning of October Ella began to promote the offering on social media in order to help spread the word about her new venture.
Eric Knows have received further support in the form of an intellectual property (IP) audit which has been invaluable in establishing any trademark contraindications and setting up Eric, the mascot Koala as a trademark.
Regarding the business plans, Ella will continue to source and list appropriate companies, resources, venues and charities. Categoric tabs focusing on weddings and events will also be added and more time will be allocated to digital marketing
Pathways to Innovation is a programme designed to help Small to Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) protect and commercialise new technologies, products, services and processes and access new markets.
Supporting the NE LEP's strategic economic plan, Pathways to Innovation is particularly aimed at businesses in; and can provide up to 35% funding for projects.
The programme is funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and is delivered by RTC North in partnership with the Business & Intellectual Property Centre Newcastle. For more information visit www.rtcnorth.co.uk