Andrew Ross & Tom Foster UK & Ireland
U.K. MASTERS STARTING A VENTURE X FRANCHISE EMPIRE OF THEIR OWNTom Foster and Andrew Ross never would have imagined that their career paths would lead them to opening a coworking space in the U.K. and becoming Master Franchisors for Venture X. However, their backgrounds in other industries provided them with the insight and skills needed to take advantage of our exciting opportunity. Of course, Venture X was there to teach and support them along the way. Here’s a quick look at Tom and Andrew, owners of the first Venture X in the U.K. with many more on the way.
A HOTEL INDUSTRY VETERANAt Venture X, we’ve always felt that the services we provide go hand-in-hand with the hospitality industry, and that franchisees with hotel experience would be particularly well-suited for the Venture X franchise opportunity. Tom Foster is just such a person. He built a career in the hotel industry, managing investments and operations for some of the biggest brands in the business. He recalls one of his most proud accomplishments: “I was fortunate enough to spend seven years partnering with the U.K.’s largest portfolio of Holiday Inn Express hotels, growing the business to 46 assets and seeing it trade through good times and bad.” As Tom thrived in the hotel business, he noticed a new trend: coworking spaces where local professionals and travelers alike could lease flexible office space to get the job done. “It was being plugged into the hotel world that opened my eyes to coworking, and once I started to look under the hood, I was struck both by the similarities between the two sectors, and the scale of the coworking opportunity as a hospitality product – the amount of global office stock quite simply dwarfs that of hotel stock.” A man who recognizes a great opportunity when he sees one, Tom started to research ways to break into the coworking industry.
UK & Ireland
A SEASONED REAL ESTATE ENTREPRENEURAndrew Ross had already conquered the real estate world when he decided to branch out into the coworking industry. He had co-founded a number of real estate investment businesses in Australia and Europe, spanning health care, residential development, and student accommodation. Having sold these businesses, Andrew was searching diligently for his next great investment opportunity. He recalls his thoughts when he discovered the coworking industry: “From a real estate investment perspective, the concept of taking property and increasing the yield that can be achieved by applying operation and service aspects is always attractive. Coworking fits perfectly into this model.” Having decided he’d like to break into the shared office space business, Andrew began searching for the perfect coworking space franchise opportunity in the U.K.
THE POWER OF A GREAT PARTNERSHIPTom and Andrew knew that they were ready to break into the coworking industry, and after doing some research they recognized that Venture X had the growth potential, franchisee support, and valuable services they were looking for. They could have worked together or on their own to open a single Venture X coworking space in the United Kingdom, but they were looking for something bigger. Working together, they became the Master Franchisors for the U.K., giving them the right to sell new Venture X franchises throughout the region. Not only can they open future franchises on their own, they can help new investors break into the industry as well. This was an excellent move for Tom and Andrew. Their extensive business experience makes them especially well-qualified to leverage our business model, and their decision to partner up gives them double the expertise and capacity to get things done.
UK & Ireland
OPENING THEIR DOORS
The U.K. Master Franchisors acquired the rights to operate in early 2019, and plan to have the flagship location in Chiswick Park, London open at the end of 2019. There’s no doubt that they’ve had a busy year. For one thing, they took part in the Venture X training program at our headquarters in Florida (Tom especially enjoyed the opportunity to visit sunny Florida and escape the rainy England weather!). There, they learned the ins and outs of our business model and operational procedures. Tom describes the program as “an invaluable fortnight’s training at HQ, which was perfectly timed as we started to turn our attention to operations ahead of opening the doors of the UK flagship in November.”
Venture X is much more hands-on than other franchise brands when it comes to supporting our franchisees. Tom reports: “The real estate team added value immediately in terms of space planning and construction considerations, as well as the marketing team who have helped us get the brand up and running here.” Andrew adds: “The other way Venture X has supported us is less tangible, but just as valuable. The goodwill associated with the brand and United Franchise Group more broadly, has enabled us to open doors that might otherwise have been closed, even in a maturing market like London where the product is, as yet, untested.”
We’re excited to continue working with Tom and Andrew throughout the process of their grand opening and beyond. They’ve already garnered significant interest in their new Venture X, and their grand opening is slated to be a major event in London. Whether you’re interested in opening a Venture X coworking space in Ireland, Europe, or a different region entirely, contact us! We’ll give you the information you need to get started.