On the front page this week the start-up Points in the City!
Meeting with Gaspard Normani, CEO and co-founder of Points in the City.
Hello Gaspard, can you quickly introduce yourself to our readers (who are you, what is your background)?
“My name is Gaspard, I am 35 years old and I come from Lille. After working for several years in professional football and travelling for a few months to Hong Kong, New York or London, I created with my friend Benjamin, the startup Points in the City.”
Can you explain in more detail the concept of Points in the City?
“Points in the City rewards visitors to a territory with points unlocked and stored in a virtual portfolio. These points are collected, on identified places of interest, through geolocation and selfie sharing on social networks. They can then be monetized with private partners and local merchants, allowing users to enrich their stay.
We are in a way a loyalty program for the territories and we sell the solution, in the form of personalized web apps, to destinations: encourage you to visit one more place, highlight different routes, work on the attractiveness of the territory, make people consume locally,… are our promises.”
What difficulties did you encounter and how did you overcome them?
“Working with the community requires a lot of patience and self-sacrifice, making yourself known, meeting the right people, convincing them one by one, bringing together as many local players as possible around our solution before contracting. Overall, we must never give up anything!”
Do you still face obstacles? If so, which ones?
“Every day is a great challenge with many solutions to find to keep moving forward: it ranges from the technical issues related to the development and deployment of our licenses with our customers to marketing, communication, recruitment, financial management, etc…”
Can you tell us something you are particularly proud of?
“After one year of existence, we will reach ten customers and continue to deploy our solution, which is designed to enhance the attractiveness of a city or tourist area. Pride is in providing this solution to promote local heritage and differentiating routes.”
What is your business model?
“We sell the solution as a license and annual subscription. The idea is to be accessible at all levels and for all budgets, in a sustainable way to promote a destination or ephemeral to promote a particular event.”
What are the next steps for Points in the City?
“In addition to destinations (Tourist Office, communities of municipalities, attraction agencies, etc.), we aim to develop our licences with private travel actors such as hotels and transport companies. We are already working with a network of hotels in the Lille Metropolitan Area, which is our showcase territory.”
How is the atmosphere at Points in the City? Do you recruit?
“We are based in the heart of the Euratechnologies ecosystem in Lille and we try to reflect our city: open-minded, dynamic and ambitious! For us, the most important thing is to learn and have fun in what we do. We are looking for profiles related to the communication and marketing professions.”
Find Points in the City on their website and social networks.