Entrepreneurial Alumni

Aaron Vennard

Aaron Vennard

Posted 01 January 2018

New York Program

March 2009 Intake

Describe your business and your role within it.
Founder and Chief head scratcher. SpiceRaQ is a new service that allows you to rent residential event space to host dinner parties and other small events. Guests can book a residential space for a set period of time to prepare and enjoy a meal with friends, availing of the kitchen and dining space. Sit and relax for as long as you want without the worry of the bill arriving shortly after the last bite, or the debate of how much to tip. ...and on the other side hosts can make a little extra money from a passive side hustle. Hosts can rent out their home listing the amenities to host a small event, seating, kitchen utensils and the contents of the their SpiceRaQ. Hosts can rent out their space without the need to find another bed for the night. Hosts could be staying late at work or attending a gym class, with their home passively working for them.

How did you get into this line of business?
SpiceRaQ came from the idea that it is becoming increasingly difficult to find the time and space to enjoy a meal with friends. I think living in NJ in the MB accommodation left me somewhat sheltered from the brutality of New York City living. 5 people sharing an apartment in Newport with a large living room and dining table for 6 was almost gluttony. And with the same token growing up watching "Friends" would have you believe that everyone in New York lives like Rachel and Monica. A huge 2 bedroom apartment in Greenwich village paid with a Baristas salary. The reality is that most live in a small space or share with a guy called Brian, who is just always there. Not ideal for having friends round for dinner.

How did you go about setting it up and getting established?
Probably more than ever, and thanks be to the internet that an idea is easier to execute. The resources are so readily available. The first step came with research into the feasibility of the idea, and to make sure nothing out there already existed. From there it was a case of finding an affordable development company who had the least bad reviews, supplementing their work with freelance tasks through Fiverr.com.

What else is in the pipeline?
As a cyclist I'd like to put my time towards an app that identifies and later fills in the many potholes of NYC, but for now it's focusing on SpiceRaQ. We launched just 3 weeks ago so our primary focus is New York City where the need for space and rent burden is the greatest, and finding Hosts willing to buy into a new but familiar concept.

What has been the proudest moment in your working life thus far?
Perhaps a moment of relief, less so pride, but finding my way back to New York, following a 4 year absence. I think the MB programme can be cruel in that just as you are getting into the swing of things, finding your New York, a year passes and it's time to go home.

What has been your biggest mistake/learning experience?
Maybe sitting on an idea for too long...And on a learning experience, navigating the US paperwork required to register as a C-Corp and file taxes.

Any words of advice/wisdom would you impart to others thinking of setting up their own business?
I've really only taken the first step in launching a business but again, the internet is a wonderful thing. I'm a big fan of Fiverr.com, and if anyone has an idea then that would be my first stop for developing a proof of concept. Aside from that New York and London have endless problems that could be solved with a bright idea from someone currently interning with MB. URL: spiceraq.com Instagram: @spiceraq FB: https://www.facebook.com/SpiceRaQDineInEatOut/ Twitter: @spiceraq2017 Medium: @spiceraq