People’s Champion finalist 2017: Flight Club

Stepping up to the oche in the hope of being your Startups Awards People’s Champion 2017, it’s London darts bar Flight Club...

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  • Shane Donnelly

Start-up name: Flight Club
Founders: Steve Moore and Paul Barham
Started in: December 2014
Based in: London
Business description: Activity bar

Shortlisted category:

Innovative Business of the Year

The Flight Club story:

With Japanese karaoke and American sports bars having long entertained rowdy revellers across the UK, it was only a matter of time before the best of British would step up to the oche – enter Flight Club.

Taking the traditional game of darts and ‘supercharging it’, Flight Club offers parties, offices and stag do’s a range of multiplayer games or ‘social darts’ all served with food and drink inside its various activity bars across London, and soon, the US.

Founded by Steve Moore and Paul Barham, the duo dreamt up their business idea while in their local pub in Devon.

Watching a group of mates play a thoroughly exciting game of darts, the pair realised there could be an opportunity in offering the same kind of buzz and atmosphere as this – but with a tech twist.

Claiming to have the world’s first and only ‘darts vision system’, which is capable of automatically scoring games and offering multiple game formats, Flight Club – ranked second in the annual Startups 100 index of the UK's top 100 new businesses – says it has “revolutionised darts for the 21st century”.

No longer just a game for burly players with ruddy faces huddled around a board in the back of a dusty pub, Flight Club’s state-of-the-art gameplayer tech ensures a level playing field with multiple throw lines, meaning even a complete beginner could win on the day.

Shifting the emphasis from drinking pints to friendly competition, Flight Club hopes to alleviate any misconceptions about darts, while opening it up to everyone.

Launched in Shoreditch in 2015, Flight Club recently added to its tally by opening Flight Club Bloomsbury in April 2017.

With Flight Club Chicago already set to launch in Spring 2018, there are also plans in the pipeline for Manchester, Bristol, Oslo, Melbourne and Hong Kong offerings.

Having welcomed almost 400,000 guests through its London doors, who have thrown over 26 million darts since launch just two years ago, FlightClub has already increased its headcount from 70 to 170 – leaving the rest of us wondering how we can get 180!

Why Flight Club made our shortlist:

Giving darts a modern makeover, while retaining an emphasis on genuine socialising that’s lost with much modern-day entertainment, Flight Club is proof you can’t beat a bit of bully!

Where to find out more about Flight Club:

Website:  www.flightclubdarts.com
Twitter: 
@flightclubdarts

Shane Donnelly

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