Entrepreneur’s app platform more than a dream
Taylor Rankin and his violin, Leroy, have spent years making music. Now, the aspiring entrepreneur is hoping to create a little magic as well.
The 38-year-old Bermudian is developing DreamDish, an early stage business that is creating an app to allow its users to enjoy unique experiences, order special food items, and be guided by curated maps, in Bermuda and elsewhere.
“Experiences” will be released on the app during the next three or four months to “tickle people’s senses”, Mr Rankin said.
“Over time, we will release the ‘Explorer’ features to let you access the world like a theme park.”
The app’s “experiences” include “Moment Alone”, an interactive tea with accompanying soundtrack that will be available at selected hotels and cafés.
Consumers will order the tea, listen to the soundtrack and be transported, Mr Rankin says, to “a jungle, a far-off fantasy land for a multisensory integrative experience”.
The “Explorer” series will allow users to order menu items in cities worldwide from restaurants whose chefs have worked directly with DreamDish to create special food items exclusively for people with the app,
The series will also allow visitors to a city to select on the app a creative or celebrity in that locale, and see a curated map of their favourite spots to drink, dine, or explore. Or users will select, for example, the app’s “Jim Morrison Map” for a curated tour experience.
A digital concierge will help app users to discover what is available on DreamDish.
Mr Rankin said: “DreamDish gives you the ability to transform your phone into a magical experience device.
“DreamDish puts experiences, food and a curated map all in one place with something special, which is creativity and imagination. It is an experience platform.
“We are trying to balance the real world with technology. It’s just audio — the ‘VR goggles’ are your imagination. The app will enable chefs and other creatives to have a direct connection to clients in a whole new way.
“Artists tour the world. Imagine that you could go and have a cocktail designed by the artist, and with an accompanying soundtrack.”
He added: “There are a lot of surprises that I am not telling anyone about because DreamDish is about sprinkling a bit of magic into our lives. It’s a bit hard to explain because it’s never been done this way.”
Mr Rankin said the idea came to him while touring. “Musicians don’t want to create just music,” he said.
The app will be free to download, and will include plenty of free content, according to Mr Rankin.
Each experience, menu item or curated map on the app will be available to purchase, with DreamDish generating revenue by taking a commission on each order.
Seed funding has come from contacts made through Mr Rankin’s participation in the Ignite Bermuda entrepreneurial accelerator programme, but he is seeking additional support.
Mr Rankin, who said that the app development and art for the project is being created in Bermuda, is delighted that Ignite is assisting Bermudian entrepreneurs.
“Ignite is itself a start-up and it has been built for Bermudians to be part of something so very important, which is small business and entrepreneurship,” he said.
“There are deadlines, so it’s important to be able to focus. Every two weeks, we have a ‘temperature check’ where we meet with Sean (Ignite’s executive director, Sean Reel), and set goals. We have to do a pitch at the end of every temp check and he holds us to our word.
“I basically got a scholarship to work on my magical idea.”
On his DreamDish entrepreneurial journey, Mr Rankin says he is guided by one thought: “What would Disney do if they didn’t have property?”
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