Adam Twidell, co-founder & CEO of PrivateFly
Former RAF pilot, Adam Twidell, 45, and his wife, Carol Cork, 44, raised £2m from 10 business angels to start this St Albans firm in 2008. Its website and app enable customers to search for and book flights on more than 7,000 privately owned jets. The company ranked at No 87 in the 2017 Sunday Times Tech Track 100.
What inspired you to start your business?
After leaving the RAF I became a private jet pilot and saw how inefficient our industry was. There was a real opportunity to disrupt it through technology, giving customers’ better pricing and more transparency.
What has been your biggest challenge?
Recruitment. I don’t want to dilute the fantastic talent pool as PrivateFly continues to grow. Finding the right people is tough sometimes – it takes up a lot of business time and effort.
What has been your best business decision?
Again it’s all about the people. Achieving our growth has only been possible through some great hires, both in Europe and the US. I am so proud of our team.
What has been your worst business decision?
In our early days, we were the victims of fraud, via a stolen credit card. We learned a huge amount from this though and now our fraud prevention is industry-leading, recognised by our Argus Broker certification. I would now rather turn away business than take any risks.
Which business leader would you most like to share a meal with, and why?
Elon Musk – I share his passion for electric vehicles and would encourage his interest in electric aircraft. It’s the future for aviation.
What company do you most admire, and why?
Tough Mudder, which has capitalised on the frustration of city dwellers, by adding a touch of military challenge into their lives!