Secret Escapes launched in February 2011 and was founded by Alex Saint, Tom Valentine and Troy Collins. It is the UK’s biggest members-only website that runs ‘best-in-market’ flash sales of four and five-star hotels and holidays worldwide. Secret Escapes works with leading hotel, tour operator and travel agent partners to negotiate exclusive rates for over 23 million members globally, and 15 million members in the UK alone.
Secret Escapes became a NEF Host Company in 2015 recruiting Lukas Roth into their core management team as an Entrepreneur- in- Residence. Their experience with NEF has been so positive they have taken on a new NEF candidate every year and are a valued NEF partner.
Lukas is still at the company three years later.
“When I first met Seb, the UK Managing Director he was looking for someone with an entrepreneurial mindset and someone he could trust who could work autonomously. They didn’t have a specific role for me and they were not quite sure what to give me to work on. My first week at Secret Escapes they just threw lots of things at me and after a few weeks I identified a couple of things that we could review and try and improve and then jumped onto the more analytical side”.
Lucas’ experience at Secret Escapes is evidence of the transformative potential of NEFers within established companies While still in the NEF programme, Lukas was instrumental in improving a Secret Escape digital product offering which now generates millions of pounds in revenue. After only three years in one of the UK’s fastest growing and most innovative travel companies he is Head of UK Growth, and continues to develop the networks he will need to launch his own business in the future.
“If I had not been accepted into NEF I would probably be sitting behind a desk 9-5, whereas it has allowed me to get hands-on experience and autonomy early on, working quite closely with the Managing Director of Secret Escapes. I had the luxury to touch upon various functions in the business and find my niche.”