Tatiana Livesey of Winerist talks about her plans and being part of Entrepreneur Academe.

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Winerist is the leading online marketplace for connecting wine lovers with wineries around the world

I’m Tatiana Livesey and together with my business partner Diana Isac we founded Winerist 3 years ago not only because ‘we have wine in our veins’, but because we wanted to disrupt the ‘red trouser brigade’ male-dominated wine industry. Having worked for years in finance in the City, we were used to a male environment; the decision to form a duo of female entrepreneurs in the wine world was frowned upon but we were determined to prove them wrong.

I’m happy to say that most fellow businesswomen were supportive and we applied for the Entrepreneur Academe after a fellow female-led startup recommended it, having had a great experience last year. Joining the programme has helped us share experiences with other like-minded female entrepreneurs and get coaching from amazing mentors.

Our story started in Moldova, where we grew up and made wine with our grandparents. There we found that unforgettable moments come from unique experiences with locals. Likewise the wines you remember the most are the wines with stories, not the most awards. Winerist sprung from our belief that wine & food travel can be simple, booked online or bespoke, without losing quality.

Today, it’s been 3 years of building Winerist into an award-winning website with over 200,000 wine lovers in our community across the globe. We went from providing travel guides to wine regions to now offering over 2,000 wine tours that can be booked online B2C. On our journey we learnt how important it was to listen to our partners and wineries, and how they need more visibility online in this digital age. Due to demand, in 2015 we therefore launched our B2B solution that easily allows wineries, wine hotels and tour guides to be visible in our marketplace, get a higher ranking and tell their stories at a different level. We have now had over 100 partners register with us and we look to increase this list to over 1000 by end of 2016.

What’s next for Winerist? We’re launching a Wine Club focused around our wineries and wine travel. Consumers will be able to discover authentic wines and order these directly from producers, without paying the retail price. The hook is that consumers get to become brand ambassadors for the wineries they love the most and visit them for free. There is nothing better than meeting the passionate winemaker of the wine you love!

On December 9, we’ll celebrate our 3rd Anniversary and the launch of our Wine Club, with an Italian Wine Love Affair tasting which will be hosted at our headquarters in Central London. We invite our mentors and fellow entrepreneurs to taste exclusive wines from 8 hand-picked Italian wineries as well as be the first ones to find out about the launch of the Winerist Wine Club. And since we’re entering the festive season, we have a  Christmas shop with perfect Christmas wines and great gifts for wine lovers.