This year I had the chance to present an idea for a tourism mobile app service, as a finalist in the Banbury Innovation Awards.

Now in it’s sixth year this award helps propel new start-ups and businesses that may need guidance with patents, legal and financial support. The award ceremony took place a week after the original Dragon’s Den style presentation, in front of a panel of 5 established business leaders. I’m glad to say I got out alive without any fire-based incidents.

In this day and age one can take an educated glimpse of what’s going to happen in the future, but patience is a virtual waiting room. You can grab the latest bit of kit or the slickest software to aid your needs but in the end you’ll need a fair bit of graft, luck and tenacity to change the game, if indeed you put down the thousands in costs needed to get this early foothold into an emerging sector. So basically after 4 long years of testing new products I finally had the chance to acquire the technology needed to help shift the local tourism focus up a gear. The innovation is to merge the tech with the community.

I live in Banbury, approximately 30 miles from the world renowned ‘dreaming spires’ of Oxford city in the UK. In 2008 I wanted to help people explore their surroundings a little more than just contacting Tourist Information centres or dragging a basic map out of a clouded plastic holder. So Tourismo was born, an active mobile-based tourist guide that can point you in the right direction for your journey’s need…Tourism + Mo (More). I can’t divulge too much more before launch but I plan on getting this done and dusted in 2013 depending on funding and partner relationship agreements getting sorted and signed off.

I will add updates here on but if you’re local to Banbury and want to know more about this enterprise, then please drop me an email at and I will happily keep you informed. The app will be based on iOS devices and Android phones to start with, with expansion packs available after launch.

Back to the awards, the presentation was relaxed after my opening volley of noteless iterations, with the 5 finalist groups, the judges, the Mayor, local MP Tony Baldry,  a journalist and radio presenter. Congratulations to the winners Rag Tag Dev who have the (also guarded) premise of a local gaming venture, and lovely runner up Vanessa Rogers who designed an iPad app for aiding clients with speech therapy.

Guardian – Innovation Finalists