SKIBBEREEN-based business TravelMaster is set to launch the first online platform of its kind for crowd-powered ridesharing to events across Ireland, and will represent the Local Enterprise Office Cork North and West in the National Enterprise Awards in the New Year.
TravelMaster, which provides individual bus seats to all major concerts, festivals and sports events, was founded by Damien Long after seeing an obvious gap in the market for both bus operators and prospective passengers. The company which sold over €1m worth of seats in 2019 was hugely affected by the pandemic but has utilised the downtime this year to create a unique online platform which will allow it to build the business in 2021 and look to export their service to the UK.
TravelMaster will go head-to-head with twenty nine other high achieving business people to win a share of the €40,000 prize fund across thirteen categories. Run every year by the 31 local enterprise offices in the local authorities network, the National Enterprise Awards were set-up to celebrate the achievements of Ireland’s micro-enterprise sector. Previous overall and local winners include Irish Yoghurts, West Cork Distillers and Glenilen Farm Products.
Damien Long of TravelMaster said: ‘The concept of TravelMaster is simple – it gets passengers to gigs and concerts all over Ireland, picking them up in small towns and villages and delivering them to the door of the venue and delivering them home safely afterwards. Our platform will create work for bus operators and also help events reduce their carbon footprint, taking up to 50 cars off the road for each bus journey. Our technology will also have a contact tracing element and will allow parents to track the movements of their teenager to the event, allowing them to see what time they got on and off the bus. It is a new offering for Ireland and the UK and we are excited to put the technology to the test as soon as it is safe to do so in 2021.’
Kevin Curran, head of enterprise for Cork North and West said the past 12 months will be noted in the history books as one of the most economically challenging years ever. ‘However, real entrepreneurs never let such things stand in the way and Damien and his sister Jennifer Allan have really shown their entrepreneurial spirit by using the time to build the business to be ready for a strong return to trading next year. I wish Damien and Jennifer all the very best as they progress to the next stage of the awards.’