[email protected] Interview
Interview with Amanda Hamilton
“Trust your own instincts, but don’t be too closed to advice, it’s good to step out of your bubble. .” – Amanda Hamilton
Today we feature Amanda Hamilton, the founder at Veluba. We hear their story in their own words, their successes, their challenges and their insights.
Let’s start by getting to know you. Can you please tell us a little bit about you and what you do?
We are Keith and Amanda Hamilton, we founded Veluba in 2017 and after a few false starts, finally launched the service in Central London in August 2020. Keith’s background is IT and mine is IT, digital signage and translating Keith’s ideas into something commercial!
A great introduction and start to this interview. Can you please tell us, how did you start, from what age, and what made you decide to change direction and start?
Keith has always been an innovator; he doesn’t know how not to be! He will always solve a problem before anyone knew it was one! We lived in South Africa in the early 2000 and it was a great place for R&D. One project we worked on was converting a donor car (VW CITI Golf) into an electric car powered by solar panels.
The panels were 15cmx15cm and we stuck and puttied them by hand all the over body. The results were encouraging but we knew this prototype had to be refined. Fast forward 15 years and we revisited the idea of having a sustainable transport service that we could also utilise as a network for OOH and DOOH advertising.
Thank you for that insight. So can you tell us…What does your business do and where is your company based?
Veluba cabs are electric assisted 3 wheeled pedi-cab which transports Londoners in a completely safe way. Our first depot is based near Waterloo and we offer our cab service within a 2 mile radius of this area. The cab service can be booked via an app, similar to Uber. We provide multilingual tours of Central London’s popular landmarks. We also offer brands a unique mobile OOH opportunity by taking over a Veluba with their message.
What’s the story behind your success? What led to your aha moment? how did you get to where you are now?
Our family have always been our greatest cheerleaders, without their support, we wouldn’t be here. We had an early investor, that also saw our vision. But unfortunately, due to health concerns, pulled out of the project. Keith and I are the main shareholders but we did have a successful raise on an equity crowdfund platform, Crowdcube in July 2020. To have made it through the pandemic and now ready for London to fully open and welcome international travel, has taken unwavering belief, never accepting ‘no’, in-house innovation and copious amounts of wine!
Thank you for sharing that. What’s been your life’s biggest lesson so far?
EVERYTHNG takes longer to happen than you first planned, EVERYTHING cost more money than you first budgeted! We have also learned how to pivot; we are a small family run business that can think on their feet and make immediate changes.
That it would be harder than we ever imagined.
If you were to go back in time, what piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
We have always been entrepreneurs, albeit within a family business or family backed projects. We don’t know any other way to make…or lose money! There have been individuals who have joined us for some of our journey but not always shared our vision. But that’s OK too, not everyone is built to take risks, an entrepreneur has incredible highs and some life altering lows. Perhaps we would advise our younger selves, to only trust your own instincts and don’t sell yourself short.
We’re nearly halfway through our interview so it’s a great time to ask how does your business run. What three tools make your business run better?
IT including digital signage, cctv and relevant apps, people and people!
What do you know now that you wished you had known before?
That it would be harder than we ever imagined.
What has been your greatest or proudest achievement or moment?
Our children joining Veluba. For them to see and share our excitement and helping us achieve, 80 x 5* reviews in 5 months on Trip Advisor!
What future life goals do you want to achieve and why?
To continue to mentor our children and our wonderful team. To continue growing the Veluba fleet, all the while enjoying every minute…there’s no wealth without health.
To finish our inspire questions…”We believe that sharing inspiring words can inspire others.” If there was one positive thing you would say to someone to inspire and empower them what would it be and why?
Trust your own instincts, but don’t be too closed to advice, it’s good to step out of your bubble.
“Thank you it has been great learning more about your founder story and Veluba”
To learn more about Veluba Visit https://veluba.com
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