Hospitality & Tourism

Simone's emotional rollercoaster as free app he created to help hospitality sector goes live

Simone Ippolito, Founder of the Capp app.

By Staff Reporter [email protected]

Published: July 10, 2020 | Updated: 10th July 2020

Simone Ippolito should be proud.

Very proud.

Thanks to his creation, businesses and consumers across the BCP area – and even further afield – will be able to safely use hospitality services again.

Because his free app – Capp – has gone live.

Just six weeks after the idea came to him “like a flash” while staring at the ceiling in his Bournemouth home.

It was an emotional moment for the 6’4” former Italian professional basketball player.

He said: “I nearly broke down when the news came that it was available on Android and Apple stores.

“It’s been a rollercoaster of emotions.

“Good and bad days, frustration and, finally, joy.

“It is my first time on a project like this.

“Anyone who knows me also knows how much it means to me.”

So what is Capp which first featured on Dorset Biz News in June?

In short, a capacity management, track and trace, kitemarking and ID checking app.

It enables businesses to show in real time their capacity and how many spaces they have available, all in compliance with government guidelines.

Consumers will be able to instantly select a more – or less – busy area of their choice using the live tracking system.

Simone, left, and Kevin Gunputh.

Simone may have had the idea but it was his friend, mentor and now business partner Kevin Gunputh who got the wheels turning.

The 28-year-old said: “I put my idea to Kevin and he was astonished.

“Kevin then contacted Tobias Ellwood [Bournemouth East MP] who said ‘Just do it’ because it will help everyone get back to hospitality.”

Local hospitality entrepreneurs Andy Lennox, Ben Reynolds and Ty Temel – all friends of Kevin – were approached and agreed to support and part-fund the app.

Bournemouth-based digital marketing agency, edirect, was tasked with the development.

Simone said: “I have no background in business but I act like a sponge.

“I watch, listen and take in the ideas of others.

“To sit at the same table with people I admire and aspire to be has been the most amazing experience.”

Capp’s features include:

  • Capacity management tracking
  • ID and a local badge verification
  • QR Scanning
  • Live mapping
  • A best practice mark provided by The Wonky Table for customers to know that businesses have signed up to best Covid-19 Safe practices.

It’s hoped Capp will become a mainstay app for BCP conurbation hotspots before being rolled out nationally.

The app is fully supported by BCP Council, Bournemouth Coastal BID, Bournemouth Town Centre BID, Christchurch BID, Poole BID, BH Area Hospitality Association, The Wonky Table and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Chambers of Trade and Commerce.

Weymouth is interested in adopting the app and there have been requests to extend the sectors from just hospitality to also include retail and care and nursing homes.

Simone, who only moved to Bournemouth five years ago after falling in love with the resort, is now planning other business ventures.

Later this month he’s launching The Green Italian, importing vegan products from his homeland such as pasta, extra virgin olive oil and other foods.

Meanwhile he celebrated the successful launch of Capp in true Italian style.

Simone, who speaks four languages, said: “I opened up a bottle of red wine and cooked some pasta.

“We want everyone to use Capp and help people, and businesses, return to what they love and enjoy but within government guidelines.

“I’m just so proud to play my part in making that happen.”

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