With this year’s Bright Ideas competition finally open, we thought we’d revisit some of the biggest successes of last year’s competition, like DEtour! DEtour was initially created by Irene, Michelle, Felix, Samriddhi and Olga during their studies at Kingston University, and grew from strength to strength during 2015. After winning £1,000 at Bright Ideas, DEtour went on to join the Young Enterprise Start-Up Programme and were ultimately named Best Overall Company at the Young Enterprise Start-Up UK Final. Having developed an innovative product designed to ease the stress of travelling, DEtour intend to create a range of different items and gadgets that will make people more relaxed, happy and focused.
We caught up with DEtour’s Managing Director, Irene Canuti, to see how they’ve ben getting on, and to find out about their experience at the Young Enterprise Start-Up European Finals.
Thanks for finding the time to speak to us, Irene! Can you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind your brand?
From the moment we became a start-up company, we looked into the concerns of how high stress levels in a workplace are affecting people’s lives. Through this concern, we came up with a brand to create a range of products to tackle the daily stressful routine of professionals, gadgets that can make them more relaxed, happy and focused. The aim is to lower the level of stress in everyday life by offering solutions to balance both life and work. The target audience is mainly people who are aged between 25-35 and who have to travel long distances for work: those who have to take very busy flights on a regular basis.
Your product, flI, created quite a buzz at Bright Ideas! How does it work?
The first item we have created is a flI. It is a resting device which blocks out light and reduces sound and also offers the option to place your own earphones in them. It helps to lower stress levels for a happier and more productive day. We imagine it would be ideal for travelling or relaxing in busy environments. You can find out more about the product on our website.
How did you make sure your product would stand out?
We conducted market research and found there were no other product on the market that could block light, reduce noise levels and also have space for earphones. We also compared our product and what it could offer against several other similar products. We compared 5 characteristics of what the products should offer and we were the only item to score high in 4 out of 5 of the categories.
What’s next for DEtour?
Since winning Bright Ideas and then also winning Best Overall Company at the Young Enterprise start-up final, we have been very busy! We are travelling to Italy to meet with a potential new manufacturer and are considering meeting a new designer to be part of the team.
At the European Enterprise Challenge with Young Enterprise, we won the Leadership Award as well as the Manpower Award for Best Team 2015!
The Five-Year Plan:
- We could establish flI in health conscious companies who are looking for new ways to help their employees’ wellbeing.
- flI could see a strong presence in the healthcare market as it could be very relaxing for patients to use and also for those in therapy sessions.
- We believe that once we have increased out volume numbers; we could reduce production costs by moving the production from the UK to Asia.
Follow DEtour’s progess at flywithfli.com