“A meal for two at Nandos or a return trip to Milan?” It’s possibly the best copywriting line created at LSE for some time.
The world’s reaction to the offer will shape the immediate future for 22-year-old student entrepreneur Fifi Kara as she leaves the LSE campus with a degree in Social Policy this week.
Fifi, along with her business partner Jamie Snedden, will spend the coming months developing their new travel app Yonder which has just won a Santander Universities Entrepreneurship award for the Best New Innovation in Technology.
Yonder is a mobile app which allows people to find the cheapest travel destinations from their departure location for the dates they want to fly. Like many brilliant business concepts, it was born from a frustrating personal experience – Fifi and Jamie juggling 20 internet apps and multiple flight comparison websites to find a cheap holiday in 2015.
Unlike other travel apps, this one matches the cheapest location to fixed dates of travel, not the other way around. It reflects the way that young people in particular travel today.
“People of our generation are not too fussy about where they want to go; they just want to travel and experience something new. Students are often locked into dates but not destinations and our biggest consideration is cost,” Fifi said.
Generation Z aside, the two entrepreneurs are hoping the concept will appeal to all travellers worldwide and they intend investing the bulk of their £3000 Santander prizemoney on marketing and developing the app even further.
The award follows on the heels of a £3500 LSE Generate prize earlier this year, which kick started their new website, providing the students with finance, mentors, advice, training and networking opportunities to develop the travel app.
The app’s emergence on the eve of Fifi’s graduation from LSE marks the culmination of three years of “an incredible journey” at the School, where Fifi has made the most of her student experience.
After initially enrolling at LSE to study anthropology, Fifi deferred for eight months to work in the not-for-profit social policy area before returning to study Social Policy with Government at LSE.
Along the way she founded Model Westminster, a social enterprise aimed at educating students about political decision making, and successfully applied for a Fulbright Summer Scholarship in the US in 2014 at the Kelley School of Business on Social Entrepreneurship.
She also took up a Royal Society of Arts Fellowship and was selected to participate in a WPP Micro-Fellowship where she interned at three marketing agencies over the course of one summer, working on global brand marketing strategies.
Fifi’s LSE student experience has also been capped off with an upcoming Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship which she will undertake next month following her graduation. She will spend time in both the US and Brazil, researching innovations in policy making through technology.
Fifi’s learning experience has been richer than most, mainly due to her willingness to embrace a range of academic and personal development opportunities offered by LSE.
“The Careers Department, in particular, has been fantastic,” Fifi said. “LSE has been incredibly helpful to me over the course of my undergraduate degree and I couldn’t have asked for a more supportive university.”
18 July 2016