BidnStay

We are talking to Emma Johnson, founder of the auction platform BidnStay. With more than a decade of experience in the travel and tourism industry, Emma has spent the past few years developing and refining the BidnStay concept. This year, she has been working with Angels@Essex to secure investment and kickstart the business.

Tell us about BidnStay

BidnStay is creating an exciting new auction platform to sell late availability accommodation. It will help owners increase occupancy and help travellers find the best deal.

How did you find out about Angels@Essex? 

I discovered Angels@Essex through another investment group I worked with over the summer. I decided to throw myself into this project at the start of the first COVID-19 lockdown and got involved in an investment programme. I received some attention at a pitching event and subsequently came across the University of Essex. 

How did the Angels@Essex team help BidnStay?

They made sure my pitch was ready to be put through to the pitching events and helped me gain more experience with pitching itself. It turned out to be great fun going through the pitching rounds and getting voted for. We successfully pitched for a share in some investment, and it has really helped get things off the ground. On a personal level, it has been a huge boost for me too.

Have you attended any of our Space to Grow webinars?

Yes, I have caught a few of them and they have been brilliant. There have been some inspiring and knowledgeable speakers, who have taught me a great deal. 

What do you see as the benefits of using the University of Essex?

There are so many benefits, additional to the funding. Building my confidence with pitching and making sure I have things in place to support me down the line. Connections-wise it has been great to work with the University and I hope there will be more projects with them to come in a few months’ time. 

"“The Angels@Essex team made sure my pitch was ready to be put through to the pitching events. It turned out to be great fun going through the rounds and getting voted for. We successfully pitched for a share in some investment, and it has really helped get things off the ground. On a personal level, it has been a huge boost for me too.”
Emma Johnson BidnStay founder

Do you think you’ll be using the business services from the University of Essex in the future?

That’s the plan!

Would you recommend our business services to others?

Yes, I certainly would, without a doubt. I can only speak highly of all the people that I have worked with and the support I’ve received. 

What are your future plans?

We’ve put together a five-year plan, in which we will build our MVP and add value to our business. We will then go for a second funding round. Initially we will just develop the technology to plug into other agency sites, other online travel agents. Then we will look create the platform as a second raise. We hope to build it all in-house and are looking to bring in our own team to do this.