#YouMeEntrepreneur meet JP Barbe, Tobias Taupitz and Rana Abdulmajeed

Toni Vicars

By Toni Vicars

December 1, 2020

JP Barbe

“Hi I’m JP Barbe, a current and serving Detective in London and now I also have co-founded my tech startup business, Route Aware, to help people get from point A to B safely allowing them to travel smart and travel safe”

Why did you start your own business?

I think it was always in the back of my mind that I needed to do this. I love being a Detective, but sometimes there is a feeling of powerless to victims needs and suspects wants. We keep hearing how things are getting worse from the government, stakeholders and other cops. I just couldn’t step back and not do everything in my power to try and stop the trend. We have more data than ever; we have the most advanced computers in our hands; we are more connected than ever, and we have the most number of victims and suspects than ever before. There is apathy, ignorance but no excuses. My co-founder and I have collectively 30 years worth of military and law enforcement experience. We have served the public all our adult lives and believe that we can still do more. There are and always will be limitations to public services and we don’t accept those. So we wanted to create an even safer society through our business: Route Aware.

What is the best thing about being an entrepreneur?

The challenge, the unknown, the ups and (not so much of) the downs. More importantly, being able to use as many hours in the day to create my vision. I’m not going to say it’s easy. It’s not. It’s challenging. But I approach it much like my day job, like any case, one crime scene at a time. One bullet retrieval at a time, dealing with one victim at a time, interviewing one suspect at a time and then pulling it all together and having the best case possible. What we don’t know, we try to get the answers to. Basic investigation 101- 5WH’s, we look at the business challenge like this:


Also, lack of sleep and an increase of 400% caffeine has helped. There has also been some push back from senior leaders in the police; this only drives us. We know we’re doing something that will make a positive difference and that matters.

Has it been easier with a co-founder?

Yes and no, great idea’s flow, some decisions, splitting the work as well as being able to network twice as much. The other side is that we don’t always agree with the other (good and bad, I guess). But like all partnerships, they teach you things about yourself and make you grow.

Tobias Taupitz

“I worked in Corporate Finance. Now I’m running one of Europe’s leading Insurtech ventures, LAKA, specifically supporting the new future of mobility, covering bikes, e-bikes and more.”

Why did you start your own business?

I came across a pain point that bothered me a lot: the fewer claims an insurance company pays out, the more profit they make. They benefit from acting against their customers. It’s fairly obvious but the more I thought about it the more I knew this has to change — and an idea was born. Much of my journey was a matter of right time and right circumstances. I came across this idea and thought I could figure this out. I also had access to resources from regulators to investors to partners (including SBC) which aligned and made sense.

What is the best thing about being an Entrepreneur?

The best thing about being an entrepreneur is that your hobby is your job and vice versa. You also constantly sit outside your comfort zone which makes you learn something new every day.

Rana Abdulmajeed

“I used to be an interior architect and now I’m the co-founder of Classtap, a fitness & lifestyle startup”

Why did you start your own business?

I’m the kind of person that gets demotivated when doing the same fitness classes and workout routines. Every couple of months I would scout a new gym and try their classes. It became frustrating to stick to a healthy lifestyle and so I started Classtap to address these issues for people like me. At Class Tap I’m so excited that we provide access to any fitness class online at any studio with just one tap. It’s been an amazing journey to learn how to bring an app to market and I’m really excited that it’s now available on both Android & Apple.

What’s the best thing about being an Entrepreneur?

The best thing about being an entrepreneur is the satisfaction you get from seeing your efforts materialize into success and watching your company grow in the process.

At ASPIRE we believe in the democratisation of entrepreneurship.

The ASPIRE programme is designed for those who want to take the opportunity to redefine what work means to them by starting their own businesses, becoming an entrepreneur.

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