Odyssea came into existence formed through an idea by creator Peter Holdsworth which came to him after the loss of his Grandmother, with whom he had shared many happy times over the years. Naturally, these happy memories would stay with him in his mind but in time would fade and he began to wonder what it would have been like to have known his grandmother in her early years and the way in which her own life’s journey had developed.
If Odyssea had been available to Peter’s grandmother the memories and moments, that defined her and made her the woman he had come to love and admire so deeply would have been recorded and never lost to time. Inspired by these thoughts the idea for a digital memory application was born. But how to go about making this a reality? There was a long journey ahead and many obstacles to overcome. The story begins…
Peter approached his local Job centre and decided to share his idea with Ian shears who is a Business mentor, and works for the European funded, Pinnacle People. It was a nervous moment for Peter as he knew from the outset that the idea was special and full of emotion. Let Peter tell you in his own words how he felt and what was happening at that moment.
“When I walked into the room, I saw two gentlemen. I felt extremely nervous as this was all new to me and I had no idea what the outcome would be. Ian greeted me with a warm smile and made me feel at ease. The other gentleman, who also was just starting out, had a large portfolio with him and I immediately felt very unprepared.
We shared the bare bones of our ideas but, I was keen to get Ian on his own because I felt incredibly possessive of the idea and at this point it was but a whisper of a thought, and I was terrified it would just vanish and not come across as I was seeing it in my mind. Finally, the session ended, and I had the opportunity to speak with Ian privately, to lay the idea out in full. Ian’s response and encouragement from the very outset was what I needed to go from a spark to a small flame. We were underway!”
Ian’s first impressions in his own words were.
“As a business mentor I support many entrepreneurs wishing to start a new business. When I met Peter, he explained his business idea and the reasons he wanted to do it now. I was taken aback by the level of vision and ambition shown and I was convinced immediately that Peter had created a wonderful platform for families to share memories and more.”
Shortly after this, Peter was introduced to Andrew Rennie, an experienced web and application designer with many years in the industry. The pair had a telephone conversation and Peter asked Andrew if he would be interested in joining the project. These are Andrews thoughts on joining the project.
“I first heard about Odyssea when Peter contacted me about helping out with the development of the application and straight away, I thought it was a great idea and was keen to help undertake the project. Odyssea has great potential to reach many people and help create a digital legacy for family and friends.”
Peter then shared his idea with his lifelong friend Sven Hampson who Peter has a deep bond with. Their friendship spans for more than twenty-seven years, and they consider themselves more like brothers than friends. Sven immediately loved the concept and the two set about making the project a reality, with Sven offering his support by contributing to the financing of it.
Sven shared his thoughts with us.
“When Pete first told me about his idea and showed me his business plan, I immediately thought how great Odyssea would be for members of the Armed Forces and their families, to have a platform like this to share their memories. I am ex-military, and there were many occasions when I was in dangerous situations and at these times I would think of my family and friends. Odyssea would have given me the ability to say things I may not have had the opportunity to say. Not in a macabre way, just prudent
thinking. It is a fact; you never know what is around the corner. Besides, it has given me the chance to work alongside my best friend on something we both truly believe in.”
Finally, Peter contacted Dick Brown who is the Grandparent to Peter’s eldest daughter Mia. Dick had an outstanding career in his own right as a Director of a leading manufacturing company in the UK. Peter was seeking stability and structure to the fledgling company and Dick was the perfect candidate for this.
Let Dick tell us his first thoughts and impressions of the idea.
“When Peter first approached me and showed me the prototype of the application, it stirred up a whole host of emotional feelings. My mother died when I was fifteen and my older sister when I was in my 50’s and all I had at home was a box full of old photographs and mementos, which over the years had been diluted by other members of the family? It really excited me to think that if all those precious memories could be kept in one place and shared for generations to come, how powerful it would be.”
So, the formulation and foundation of the team grew and was finally complete with the addition of Dick. The journey was underway…