Interview with the Founder of FlexiDrive on automating the driving lesson industry with a disruptive mobile app

Apr 21 2020
3 min
Valentina Biciuc
Marketing Specialist

We often hear successful startup stories, and we kind of assume that everything is easy like ABC. Don’t we? 

The truth is, startup founders know best that before hitting a highway, you get on some bumpy roads and novel paths. Good thing we can learn from their experiences of taking an idea to mature business and everything in between. 

As part of our mission to support entrepreneurial minds, the Wolfpack Digital team decided to share a series of interviews with inspirational entrepreneurs with whom we’ve worked. For instance, check the interview with the founder of Ideacracy from New York, who explained what it was like for him to build a new kind of social media app.

This time, we are heading towards the edtech industry and how traditional learning and education can be digitized using software. Everything started with Raymond Valentine, an Irish entrepreneur, finding the perfect moment to automate the driving lesson industry with FlexiDrive — a disruptive mobile app we helped build.

💡 Why did you decide to create the FlexiDrive app, and where did the idea come from?

When I did my driving lessons, I used a family friend, so I wasn’t really aware of the issues in the industry. Fast forward a couple of years, a lot of my peers are doing their driving lessons, and the majority are sharing bad experiences with me, whether it was the long delays between lessons, lack of flexibility, and/or lack of connection with their instructor. 

This made me look into the industry as a whole, and I saw there had been no innovation at all in the past decade. 

Websites were poor and outdated, a lot of manually matchmaking from driving schools and no automation or innovation using technology. The idea then sprung to mind when I was juggling all these issues, and a taxi drove past me. It was sort of a lightbulb moment: “Getting a driving lesson, should be as simple as ordering a taxi.” referencing FreeNow (EU Equivalent to Uber). 

That is when I began my journey of automating the driving lesson industry.

🛣 What are the main milestones your startup has achieved so far?

In terms of milestones so far, our beta trials were successful, and we gained a lot of experience during this time. It allowed us to get feedback from driving instructors in the industry 25+ years and feedback from our customers, which in return gave us great insight into what we needed to do moving forward in terms of strategy and development. Also, we were nominated for the Best Use of Mobile category in the Digital Media Awards in February 2020, which was a great experience so early on.

🏆 What are the main things that differentiate FlexiDrive from other startups, and why do you think you have succeeded in the Best Use of Mobile Category in Digital Media Awards?

Personally, I think our team is very diverse here with great experience in both B2B and B2C markets. We are also technology leaders in the space of app distribution. I believe we were nominated for the “Best Use of Mobile” category by taking advantage of an outdated industry and are boldly disrupting it with technology.

⚡️Can you please name a few things you wish you knew before starting the FlexiDrive startup journey?

Firstly, I believe I was very naive when starting this business. As this is my first startup, I expected things to run smoothly, which was not the case. We hit numerous unexpected roadblocks along the way, but the ability to adapt and overcome them is what will separate us in the long run and help towards our vision. 

I am happy we experienced these issues, as this has helped develop a lot of skills in the business world, as well as in my personal life. I believe key factors when building a successful start-up is an original idea, a solid team, a viable business model, and robust execution. One thing that is also crucial, but often forgotten is timing.

🚙 Where is FlexiDrive heading to, and what are the plans for the future?

We want to be the first truly nationwide driving school in Ireland, completely automating the driving lesson industry. Without giving away too much information, we have plans in place to tackle the main issues surrounding the instructor shortage, the long delays, and the tedious paperwork. Once we become established, we would like to enter other regulated markets in the EU and Internationally.

Each startup story is unique, and Flexi Drive proves that finding an opportunity to innovate an outdated industry is something worth trying. 

Wolfpack Digital team is grateful for the hands-on experience we gained in the process of building the FlexiDrive app.

You can be next! Share your startup story, or let's build together that app you’ve been dreaming about. Contact us and remember to look for opportunities where nobody even considered.

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