University of Exeter graduate Jake Billsberry (Management with Marketing, 2022), is putting ‘the human back into business’ with the launch of his new company, Tiptoparoo, which provides tailor-made team days for corporate teams.
Focused on connecting colleagues through shared experiences in the outdoors, Jake had the idea for his company following a camping trip to Italy, shortly after he graduated last summer. He has been working hard on the business ever since, and has already delivered team days to five clients across Sussex.
A Tiptoparoo team day is fully organised for the client, and includes travel, guided walks, games and group sessions, and a country pub lunch.
Tiptoparoo aims to tackle the lack of opportunities to meet and bond with colleagues in-person, which has arisen since the transition to hybrid and remote work for an increasing number of employees.
Jake is passionate about encouraging people to spend more time in nature – a LinkedIn post he shared in January explaining his decision to move to the countryside went viral with over 19,000 reactions. This resulted in the business gaining widespread attention and securing some bigger clients.
Jake recently completed the Student Startups Incubator programme, a 10-week extra-curricular programme delivered by the SETsquared Exeter Student Startups team at the University, which offers weekly masterclasses with guest speakers and 1:1 support.
Jake said: “It was fantastic getting to know others on the programme who were in similar situations and facing the same challenges. The guest speakers were definitely the best part – they provided so much value and I learnt so much from them.”
On the programme, Jake successfully pitched for a grant of £4000, made possible by the support of philanthropic partner Santander Universities UK, which will go towards the initial costs of getting the business started, including AV equipment, first aid training, and a Lowland Leader qualification.
Emily Davies, Head of Student Entrepreneurship at the University of Exeter said: “Jake was an absolute delight to have on our Autumn Incubator programme. He always brought such great energy to the weekly sessions and was passionately committed to building his own venture and showed so much encouragement for his peers. I have every confidence he will achieve remarkable things with Tiptoparoo”.
Jake hopes to secure bookings with bigger clients in the coming months, increase his marketing activity, and take steps this year to become a more established and trusted startup in the industry.